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Indo-Norwegian research initiative on solar modules

According to reports, a project funded by the Research Council of Norway, involving a major R&D company from Norway, Elkem Labs, Titan Energy Systems Ltd, based in Hyderabad, and Dr B.V. Raju Institute of Technology, an engineering college located in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh, is seeking to test the feasibility of a cost effective solar grade silicon for use in solar modules.

“The use of solar grade silicon, with lower purities compared to polysilicon used in manufacture of silicon chips, wafers etc., will bring down the cost of deploying solar modules by about 25-30 per cent. This has been researched by us in Norway and we are seeking to test this through this association,” said Dr Jan Vedde, Product Development of Elkem Solar AS, Research, based in Norway.

The agreement by Elkem with Titan Energy and later with the institute is part of the protocol for co-operation in clean energy technologies entered into between the Governments of India and Norway.

The Vice-Chairman of Sri Vishnu Educational Society, Mr Ravichandran Rajagopal, said that this would entail a research assistance of one million Kroners a year over the next five years. Under this various forms of solar modules would be tested for their efficiencies through a specially created lab under the guidance of experts.

Mr Vedde said that the special features of Elkem Solar’s silicon technology includes less energy consumption during production, lower carbon dioxide emission during manufacture and lower production cost. All these lead to significant savings. The Managing Director of Titan Energy, Mr Rao Y.S. Chodagam, said, “Titan Energy and BVRIT were chosen to take up this innovative research project. We expect that this will play a role in the long-term, once its efficiencies are compared with polysilicon modules etc.”

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