UNSW To Host IIT Ropar Students For Solar Energy Workshop
April 9, 2012
Australia’s University of New South Wales will host four engineering students from India at a solar energy workshop this week.
AsianScientist (Apr. 9, 2012) – Australia’s University of New South Wales will host four engineering students from India at a solar energy workshop taking place from April 10-12 this week.
Australia and India have a lot in common when it comes to solar energy: both have an abundance of sunshine, and neither is taking full advantage of this renewable resource, said Dr. Rob Taylor, a mechanical engineer at UNSW.
Taylor, who is working on developing next-generation solar thermal energy systems that convert heat from sunlight into electricity, spearheaded the workshop after securing an internal grant from the Faculty of Engineering.
The four students, from the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (IIT Ropar) near New Delhi, will be linked up with engineering students at UNSW to work on a range of cutting-edge solar energy projects, that will continue by correspondence once the workshop is over.
“We wanted to bring these students to UNSW to learn about some of the emerging solar technologies in Australia and to build research partnerships,” said Taylor.
The projects will explore plans for optimized solar powered cooling systems, the development of solar receivers that can withstand extremely high temperatures, and the design of thermal batteries that could be used as an additional energy source for electric vehicles – allowing climate control without compromising the travel range.
Other projects will explore ways that solar energy can be harnessed to more efficiently turn biomass into readily usable fuels and to reduce the environmental impact of water desalination.
“There are many states in India, especially along the coast line, which experience a shortage of pure water,” said Dr. Himanshu Tyagi from IIT Ropar. “Solar-powered water desalination, if implemented on a large scale, can provide an excellent solution to this problem.”
And solar energy can also be used to provide power to the masses.
“More than half of the country’s population does not have access to electricity,” said Tyagi. “For electricity production in rural areas in developing countries, solar energy presents a cheaper alternative.”
Unlike Australia, which has long-established power infrastructure that is costly to rebuild and retrofit, India has the advantage of being able to establish renewable energy systems from the get go, as it continues to develop, said Taylor.
“Moving forward, India will be one of the biggest markets for solar technologies, which can be used to meet a lot of their growth areas,” Taylor added.
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