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The third EAI Club meet was organized on the 21st of November 2010. It was held at the EAI office on Nungambakkam High Road.

The meet was attended by an eclectic mix of experienced industrialists, energy consultants, energy auditors, aspiring entrepreneurs and other green enthusiasts. The vibrant mix of people elevated the third EAI club meet with some very interesting and animated discussions. The following is a small excerpt from the meet.

Mr.  Bhoovarahan Thirumalai, CEO, Aspiration Energy enlightened the audience with the path breaking solar energy innovations they provide. He mentioned how tracking systems used in a solar system adds significant costs and does not provide efficient returns on space utilized. He proposed their system of manual tilt system or the 85 degree challenge which is aimed at achieving maximum solar power without the need of a tracking system. The advantage was that the efficiency increased in terms of space, and more power was generated from the same area.

He also highlighted the solar-max system that is aimed at capturing the maximum solar power against the existing maximum load demand system. Conventionally, design month and load first (max. load) were the most important parameters in designing a solar system.  These conventional systems were designed in line with electrical systems and were not indigenously developed for a solar system; this he states is what that makes solar power uneconomical. Hence he argued that solar energy primarily cannot serve the entire energy needs but only can supplement a part of our energy needs. Solar energy from his present perspective is an urban commercial energy source more than elsewhere.

The next speaker, Mr. Sri Raman, is the managing director of Soltech Solar Equipments Pvt. Ltd., a solar energy product manufacturing company located in Chennai.

Mr. Sri Raman briefed about his company’s indigenous battery less inverter product that can convert 48V dc to 230 V ac. These inverters produce more efficient results in terms of cost as well as in efficiency standards. These inverters are equipped with a new software system know as Power management system for controlling and managing the output. He also added that Andaman and Maldives are the two majorly affected islands which still face the destitute of electricity and his product is designed to benefit these countries.

Sriraman also briefed the audience about the various types of solar cells and their characteristics and benefits.

Madhavan Nampoothiri, Consultant, Energy Alternatives India, provided the key takeaways from the recently concluded DIREC (Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference). He highlighted the fact that 80% of the exhibitors represented the solar Industry and a meager 20% of the exhibitors constituted the rest of the Renewable Energy sector. This gave rise to the question whether aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs should go with the crowd in their green solar march or concentrate on other niche markets?

Mr. R.C Mohan of Easy Solutions, spoke about the clean room environment solutions currently in place for industries like biotechnology, aerospace, pharmaceutical etc. He highlighted the fact that in few years time, when wafer production in India gains momentum such solutions will become a norm for the PV wafer manufacturing units.

There were quite a few new members who attended the meet this time. Overall, we are clocking about10- 15 folks every time, even though there is always a floating population (sunday mornings are never the best time to attend meets).

Overall, I think the idea of an offline club for renewable energy discussions is taking shape quite well. I am hoping that we are able to make this into a well oiled system so that many more folks from Chennai and subsequently from around India are able to benefit from such meets.

Thanks once again to all the folks who came down this sunday, see you at the next EAI Club Meet Chennai – date is yet to be decided, tentatively 12 Dec, will confirm to members soon.

Take care.