ABB partners with IITM to cooperate in microgrids, energy projects

IITM and ABB will jointly design, build and supply equipment for up to two microgrids in rural areas.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Swiss power and automation technologies major ABB on Wednesday signed an MoU with Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) to forge technical cooperation to develop microgrids and undertake joint R&D on rural electrification, natural non-fossil resources utilisation, battery energy storage and their connection to loads and main grid.

As part of the agreement, IITM and ABB will jointly design, build and supply equipment for up to two microgrids in rural areas. With ABB equipment, the microgrid will have energy efficient DC devices such as LED bulbs, TV, cell phone charges, brushless DC motor based fans; all designed by IITM.

IITM will manage the project till the transfer of the installations to the local distribution utility (DISCOM).

ABB will help IITM’s Battery Engineering Center to enhance life and discharge cycles of lead-acid to lithium-ion batteries over the next five years.

“This is a great opportunity to combine our expertise with bright young minds from this renowned institute to devise and deploy solutions tailored for India.  Microgrids technology is an important part of our next level strategy and well poised to make the Indian government’s vision of power to all a reality by providing access to energy and ensuing economic empowerment to the people,” ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said.

Last year, ABB had set up India’s first multi-source urban microgrid in Delhi to power its flagship event.

“IIT is committed to implementing an affordable solution for supplying electric power to Indian homes, whether they are off-grid, or homes with several hours of power cuts. Our solution helps reduce the home’s monthly power bills even when there are no power-cuts, a must for most middle and lower-income homes,” said Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras.

“IITM is committed to a vision of India moving completely to Electric Vehicles by 2030. Towards this it is ready to commit the best-in class technology. The R&D cooperation with ABB will help them get to these goals faster,” Ramamurthi said. 

ABB’s initiative in India has already resulted in bringing solar power to more than 100 villages in Sunderbans and over 1,200 households in the Rajasthan desert, thereby giving them a better access to education, healthcare and energy.

IITM, on the other hand, has also utilised its solar-DC technology to power 4000 off-grid homes in Rajasthan.

“The agreement also includes internship opportunities to post graduate students of IITM for the next three years,” ABB India said in a press release.

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The Dollar Business Bureau - Apr 06, 2016 12:00 IST