Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana: Design and Development of Solar PV Based Super Efficient Agricultural Pumps and Hybrid Multidimensional Inverters

IIT Delhi researchers to design cheaper, energy friendly solar pumps

Aimed at boosting the productivity of the farmers, researchers of Delhi IIT in partnership with industry are designing solar pumps and invertors that are cost effective and energy saving.

The research being done as part of the project titled - Design and Development of Solar PV Based Super Efficient Agricultural Pumps and Hybrid Multidimensional Inverters-comes under the ambit of the Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

The Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana was launched by the MHRD with a view to promoting innovation of a higher order that directly impacts the needs of the Industry/industries and thereby improves the competitive edge of Indian manufacturing. The scheme is aimed to promote innovation in areas that are directly of relevance to the manufacturing and design industry, to spur innovative mindset in the students and faculty and to bring a coordinated action between academia and the industry.

There has been a lot of emphasis on renewable energy generation, particularly solar energy. India is an agrarian economy as agriculture is one of the most important sectors in India. The agriculture sector in India is highly dependent on the seasonal monsoon and a reliable irrigation system. Irrigation cost, or the cost of the energy (electricity or diesel) to drive the water pumps, constitutes up to 30% of the total input cost for a farmer. Moreover, there are still many remote parts where electricity has not reached yet. Solar water pumping can help eliminate the burden on the Indian farmers and Indian electrical grid.

The project proposal aims at design and development of the industrial products under three verticals, says project investigator Prof Bhim Singh. “Besides development of super-efficient pumps we aim to design solar water pump with suitable motor considerations and variable frequency operation. We will subsequently be designing and developing the on grid/off grid hybrid inverter,” he adds.

Shakti Pumps Limited, the industry partner has decided to invest Rs 1.12 crore for this research.

Apart from the investment in R&D, the company has also invested in talent acquisition with recruitment of several undergraduates, post graduates and PhDs from various premier institutes for R&D purpose. Dinesh Patidar Chairman, Shakti Pumps feels this is a step that is in line with the energy security steps of the country “The government of India is trying hard to help farmers and a great emphasis is being given to the use of renewable solar energy for agriculture as electrification and energy access to Indian farmers is still a challenge to the government due to higher transmission and distribution losses and cost of infrastructure. In this context, the solar pumping is proved to be the perfect solution. The R&D initiatives with IIT Delhi assumes greater significance to our business strengths and we believe the outcome will help us to position ourselves in a more competitive manner.”

While manufacturing facilities would be provided by the industry the technical design and concept would be taken care of by the academia. Researchers working on this project will also develop inverters which can be used to light up the household from the solar power and feed the electrical grid. Such inverters would be useful to reduce the electricity bill of the consumer.

The final deliverables at the end of four years would include new technology in electrical drives fed from solar power, novel motor and pump design and hybrid inverter design.

The research team includes Prof Bhim Singh(Principal Investigator) and research scholars Utkarsh Sharma, Aryadip Sen, Md Kashif, Rashmi Rai, Hina Parveen, Yalavarthi Amarnath.