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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J000345/1
Title: Development and Integration of Biomass and Concentrating Photovoltaic System for Rural and Urban Energy Bridge: BioCPV
Principal Investigator: Mallick, Professor TK
Other Investigators:
Grant, Professor DM Eastwick, Professor CN Luo, Professor X
Walker, Professor GS Ma, Professor L Jones, Professor JM
O'Donovan, Professor TS Nimmo, Professor W Pourkashanian, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2011 Ends: 31 January 2013 Value (£): 1,401,637
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioenergy Energy Storage
Power Sys Man, Prot & Control Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Mar 2011 Bridging the Urban and Rural Divide Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Given the threat posed by global warming it is widely accepted that the reliance on fossil fuels for our energy need must decrease rapidly. To tackle the global threat and self dependency on fossil fuels, renewable energy such as solar, wind, wave and biomass gives the pathways to reduce the overall CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. This project addresses the issues related to integrated solar photovoltaic system - converting incoming solar energy into electricity and biomass power technologies - generation of electrical power from waste materials, for rural electrification.

This project seeks to develop a new class of solar photovoltaic technologies - Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) to integrate with Biomass and waste power generation as a backup source and develop high efficiency hydrogen generation and storage from the integrated systems. The integrated system will be installed at Uttar Sehalai Tribal Hamlet, located in a remote village, 200km west of Calcutta for rural electrification with key focuses on satellite based remote monitoring technologies. The village comprised of 80 households and has a population of approximately 400. It is located very close to Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan (a probable World Heritage Site).

The scalable prototype developed in this project will be the first ever such integrated system (Biomass, CPV and Hydrogen) for the provision of electricity that will be installed in India. Due to the lack of electricity in the village, the major fuels currently used are kerosene, firewood and wood based raw coal. Most of the nearby villages are also without any grid connections and as a result, children from the poorer families do not have the motivation and necessary resources to take advantage of basic education and health. Many of them that start schooling are forced to discontinue their studies due to the need to work to provide for their families. Availability of energy is a critical driving factor in economic development, while limited fossil fuel resources and environmental hazards drive the need for sustainable and environmental friendly solutions based on renewable energy. Thus, the project will brings together Biomass, Concentrating Photovoltaic, and Hydrogen Generation and Storage expertise from University of Leeds, Heriot-Watt University, University of Nottingham in the UK and Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, PSG College of Technology in India with the goal of developing a low cost autonomous power generating system for rural electrification.

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Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk