The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, unveiled the first Indigenous High Temperature Fuel Cell System developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Indian industries under India’s flagship program named “New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)” on the occasion of CSIR Foundation Day at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today.
A unique example of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) among CSIR’s three Laboratories [CSIR-NCL, Pune; CSIR-NPL, New Delhi & CSIR-CECRI, Karaikudi (Chennai Center)] and two Indian industries; M/s Thermax Limited, Pune and M/s Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai exemplified exploiting materials of science developments at CSIR laboratories into practice by Industry. The 5.0 kW fuel cell system generates power in a green manner using methanol / bio-methane, with heat and water as bi-products for further use; amounting to greater than 70% efficiency, which otherwise may not be possible by other energy sources.
The Fuel Cells developed are based on High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HTPEM) Technology. The development is most suitable for distributed stationary power applications like; for small offices, commercial units, data centers etc.; where highly reliable power is essential with simultaneous requirement for air-conditioning. This system will also meet the requirement of efficient, clean and reliable backup power generator for telecom towers, remote locations and strategic applications as well. This development would replace Diesel Generating (DG) sets and help reduce India’s dependence on crude oil.
The developed technology is world class and the development has placed India in the league of developed nations which are in possession of such a knowledgebase. CSIR has an impressive portfolio of global patents on these developments. In the field of clean energy, Fuel Cell distributed power generation systems are emerging as promising alternative to grid power. The Fuel Cells fit well in India’s mission of replacing diesel with green and alternate fuels. The development of fuel cell technology is indigenous and carries immense national importance in terms of non-grid energy security.