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Chennai startup comes out with power-saver device for solar units

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New Delhi: In a significant development that could give a big boost to the adoption of solar energy in power-starved countries like India, a Chennai-based startup has come out with a unique device – a dual mode micro-inverter.

Kripya Technologies, a Chennai-based company established by Dr V G Veeraraghavan in 2010, inspired by the 11th president of India late Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, has come out with the cost-saving inverter that functions in on-grid as well as off-grid modes.

“A significant fall in the cost of photovoltaic solar panels has made solar energy a very competitive and viable alternative to fossil fuel-based generators. Despite this, solar energy adoption in developing countries like India has remained puzzlingly low,” said Veeraraghavan, a US-based industry veteran with over 40 years of technology management expertise.

“At Kripya, therefore, we examined the factors that will help increase adoption of solar energy by everyone irrespective of their geographic location and economic status and designed the dual mode micro inverter,” he said.

Typically, an inverter is used to convert the DC power generated by the solar panel into readily usable AC power. The inverters currently available in the market are all designed to function solely, either using power supplied by the grid or expensive battery in off-grid mode, requiring two different sets of devices.

Focusing on solar power units such as rooftop installations, the Kripya team realised that the grid-connected inverters have to depend on the vagaries of power supply as a necessary input for the conversion of DC to AC, while the off-grid inverters rely on very expensive battery storage for storing the electricity prior to conversion to AC.

These are serious limitations for the adoption of solar energy in developing countries like India where the grid power is not always available — and even when it is available, the reliability of grid power is low, Veeraraghavan said.

In addition, the team also recognised that conventional string inverters — connected to a group of solar panels — are not optimal for capacities less than 10 KVA for homes and small offices, due to lower efficiency and perennial load shedding that plagues many cities and towns.

The Kripya team thus conceived and developed the Dual Mode Micro-inverter to resolve these issues and facilitate easy adoption of distributed solar energy generation in developing countries.

Micro-inverters offer the added advantages of modularity, scalability, maximum power efficiency, real time optimisation and superior means for monitoring and control of the overall system.

Kripya has already filed for patent for the dual mode inverter which is easy to install and use in a plug-and-play mode with minimal or no wiring required.

The inverter can dynamically detect and switch modes based on the availability of grid power.

As the available solar radiation and associated photovoltaic energy can change even during the day, Kripya has also developed a micro-processor- based load manager which works in conjunction with the Dual Mode Micro-inverter. The load manager has a feature to segment the loads and assign a different priority to the different load circuits of the solar energy system

During operation, the load manager will automatically manage the segmented load circuits connected to the solar energy system and turn off the non-critical circuits while maintaining the critical circuits on when the available harvested solar energy is less than what is needed for supporting all the circuits.

“Kripya is very proud to have developed the products that offer cost effective means for adoption of solar energy by combining innovation, social and environmental consciousness,” Veeraraghavan said.

(IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)