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Fuel cell tech? a solution to power crisis

A SENIOR professor of the Electric Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-K) Dr SC Srivastava urged the mechanical engineers to design systems for fuel cells power supply, which was a proven technology for tapping alternative source of energy in the world.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 00:28 IST

A SENIOR professor of the Electric Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-K) Dr SC Srivastava urged the mechanical engineers to design systems for fuel cells power supply, which was a proven technology for tapping alternative source of energy in the world.

Inaugurating the two-day national workshop on “Fuel Cells-Power Device of the Future” at the IIT-K on Friday, Dr Srivastava said that there was need of promoting alternative source of energy to meet the growing demand of power in the next two decades. He said even at present the power generation was too little to meet the existing total power demand. Only 40 percent of people living in the rural areas were getting bare power supply.

He further said that adequate, uninterrupted and cost-effective power supply should be ensured to the people of any country and the scientists should give more thrust on R&D in the power sector keeping in mind that the resources for power generation were limited while the demand was unlimited..

Dr Srivastava advised the electrical engineers that they should concentrate on developing Fuel Cells Technology for the future power generation. The Fuel Cell Technology no doubt was a new and costly concept, but the researches could make it financially viable and reliable.

He said the Fuel Cell Technology was the future generation technology and it had great potential to cater to the needs of the ordinary power consumers.

Later delivering the key-note address, a professor of the Mechanical engineering Department Dr Sameer Khandekar said fuel technology was 100 percent eco-friendly and it did not create any environmental hazards in the production process. He said this technology produced power without emitting dangerous smoke. During the power generation process it only releases harmless water vapours in the atmosphere.

Dwelling upon power generation system, he said the new technology required hydrogen and oxygen to produce required power. He said: “In this technology no combustion of fuel is done. Power is produced with the help of chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen with zero emission.”

He said the technology had not been introduced in India but it was being applied in other countries like USA, Japan and Germany. With this technology, non-grid power supply on community base could be made through gensets. Besides stationary power stations could also be set up using this technology in the remote areas.

About 40 participants including 10 representatives from industries, 15 from different institutions and rest students from different colleges participated in the national workshop.

Eminent speakers including Executive Director Energy Technology Dr RR Sonde, Head Fuel Cell Scientist at BARC SK Misra, Chief Scientific Officer at SPIC Science Foundation C Sasi Kumar and Dr Jon Phaaroah from Queen’s-RMC Fuel Research Center, Canada would deliver lectures during the technical sessions.

The workshop has been organised by Mechanical Engineering department at the IIT-K. Dr SG Dhande the Director of the IIT-K, heads the organizing committee with its chairman Dr K Murlidhar, HoD of the department


First Published: Feb 04, 2006 00:28 IST