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IGCS Workshop on “Improving Energy Sustainability – Conventional and Renewable”, Dec. 4-5, 2014

Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) has organised a two-day Symposium on ‘Improving Energy Sustainability – Conventional and Renewable’ on 4 and 5th December 2014. The IGCS Energy Workshop was inaugurated by his Excellency Mr. Achim Fabig, German Consul, Chennai. Prof Krishna Vasudevan, IGCS Energy Area Coordinator, IIT Madras, welcomed the dignitaries and spoke on the need, relevance and purpose of the workshop. Prof F. Behrendt, IGCS Energy Area Coordinator, TU Berlin, any gave the introductory remarks and he has highlighted the need for such workshops to take stock of energy requirements and the research needs. He cited the case of mobile communications and their phenomenal non-linear rise in the last decade. He welcomed Prof Ajit Kolar, former IGCS Energy Area Coordinator and commended his contribution to the IGCS activities in Energy Sphere since its inception. He also welcomed the new incumbent: Prof Krishna Vasudevan. Prof. S. K. Das, Dean (Acad. Research), IIT Madras presided over the function. He spoke about the genesis of five IITs in the country. He reminded the signing of the first Indo-German Agreement in 1959, for the establishment of an Indian Institute of Technology at Madras and during its 50th year celebration in 2009, the birth of IGCS. He stressed the need for inclusive development for a country like India where aspirations of less privileged have to be internalised. He spoke on the role of energy in meeting the development goals without adversely impacting environment. The Chief Guest for the occasion Mr. Achim Fabig, German Consul, Chennai spoke on the lopsided energy consumption patterns in the world and need for sustainable energy mix. He stressed the need for energy security, energy equity and energy sustainability. He emphasised the need for employment of renewable energy technologies at present juncture. He wished fruitful deliberations at the workshop.

There were three technical sessions spanning two days comprising of 12 invited lectures. Prof Behrendt, delivered very informative lecture on Biomass Pyrolysis and Gasification – Products and Problems. He touched upon the state-of-the-art technologies in Germany in the domain of Biomass Pyrolysis. He touched upon role of molecular level processes and multi-scale approach for reactor modelling in Biomass Pyrolysis. He presented very interesting aspects of what does gasification do to biomass and resultant product spectrum.

Prof Vinu made an instructive presentation on Thermochemical conversion of biomass, coal, algae and MSW to fuels and useful intermediates. He presented salient aspects of fast pyrolysis. He spoke in great detail on co-pyrolysis of biomass and plastics; catalytic fast pyrolysis of waste engine oils and microwave pyrolysis of
Biomass. He discussed various steps involved in ‘biomass to biofuels’ through fast pyrolysis. Ms Sabrina Krugel, IGCS Scholar from TU Berlin, presented the work carried out by her on Fast Pyrolysis Characterization of Medium and High-Ash Coals of Indian Origin at IIT Madras under the guidance of Dr Vinu and Dr Sreenivas Jayanti.

The second Technical Session devoted mainly on the topics related to Gas Turbines. It started with an illuminating talk by Prof Christian Oliver Paschereit, Hermann-Foettinger-Institut, Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics, TU Berlin, on the topic ‘Taming Turbulent Flames’. He dealt the intricate issues of Combustion Dynamics and effective control approaches. This was followed by another interesting talk by Prof Satya Chakravarthy, Dept of Aeronautical Engineering, IIT Madras. He spoke on ‘Trends in gas turbine combustion’ He presented available various industrial gas turbines and their merits and demerits. He touched upon IGCC issues and emerging technologies. He also discussed activities of joint initiative by IITM and IISc at National Centre for Combustion Research and Development supported by DST. The other important lectures in this session include: ‘QBlade: open source wind turbine design’ by Mr. David Marten, Hermann-Foettinger-Institut, TU Berlin, He spoke about Open source wind turbine calculation software: QBlade. He spoke about its sophisticated interface features. This was followed by talk on ‘Load Control for Wind Turbines’ by Ms Alena Bach and talk by Dr. Christian Navid Nayeri, Hermann-Foettinger-Institut, TU Berlin, on the topic: ‘Vortex generators for wind turbines as retrofit performance boosting’. There were active discussions after each presentation.

The second day’s presentations started with a talk by Mr Joshua Gray, Hermann-Foettinger-Institut, TU Berlin, on ‘Windgas and the combustion technology to make it worthwhile’. Prof. Sundararajan of IIT Madras spoke about the efforts at Direct Steam Generation from Solar thermal energy. He highlighted the work undertaken by researchers at IIT Madras for establishing a 500 kWH pilot steam generation plant. This was also the site for a field visit organised for the workshop participants in the latter half of the second day.

Dr. U. Kaltenborn from Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen, Head of Portfolio Management, (MR), Regensburg, spoke on Germany’s experience in achieving High Penetration of Renewable Energy Sources in the electricity grid. He highlighted the challenges in the development of future electrical grids. Some possible ideas like the voltage regulated transformer and solid state transformers were presented to tackle the difficulties caused by decentralised power integration into the grid. Prof. Sreenivas Reddy of IIT Madras spoke of the research work in the area of Solar CPV Systems for Poly Generation and Dr. Anand of IIT Madras spoke about the challenges of Bio-Diesel as a fuel for the future.

The workshop concluded with a visit to the direct steam generation pilot plant set up in a school named Paathashaala, situated at a distance of about 60 km from IIT Madras. The pilot plant generates steam by direct heating of water from solar thermal sources. Prof. Sundararajan spoke about the uniqueness of the system. The small scale plant currently operational is proposed to be scaled up to 500 kWH to supply power to the school and neighbouring villages. The visit also enabled the participants to get a glimpse of the south Indian countryside.




Contact: Prof. Krishna Vasudevan, IGCS Energy Coordinator, IIT Madras