OVER 20 physicists and chemists at IISER, Pune, had united in July last year to bring their works on green energy on one platform — the Centre for Energy Science (CES).
With the addition of vital instrumentation facilities like the High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM), worth Rs 7.6 crore, the centre will soon be operational in its full capacity.
The is the first centre across all the IISERs in the country to dedicatedly undertake research work and devise cost-effective batteries, supercapacitors, LEDs and fuel cells — solely for clean energy harvesting, storage and conservation.
Solar energy is the current focus of the CES. The scientists are also trying to tap the unused heat emitted from vehicle engines, turbines for effective use during various processes.
Eminent scientist C N R Rao, the head of the Nano-mission programme operated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), had given the green signal for setting up CES to promote work in the field of clean energy.
The idea behind setting up such a centre was to mainly address the growing emphasis on switching to green and clean energy, which, in addition to being an inter-disciplinary area, influences other important fields such as environment and health.
Satishchandra Ogale, CES team leader, told The Indian Express, “These three fields are intertwined, so much so, that it is simply with clean energy that the environment is protected and it is thereby possible to maintain better health for the people,”
On the centre’s activities, Ogale said, “While most of the basic instrumentation setups and some key computational facilities were in place, HRTEM will be a game changer for the institute. It will primarily deal with study material and will be open for faculties across different streams at IISER, Pune.”
In its first phase (2016-19), CES has received Rs 13 crore out of the sanctioned Rs 16 crore by the DST.
Developing cost-effective material for solar cells, electronics, next generation storage devices for electric mobility, generating hydrogen using water splitting methods, converting carbon dioxide into fuels, developing next generation LEDs are some of the broad applications the team has planned to work on during the subsequent phase, where they are hopeful of getting an additional and equally significant level of funding based on the performance of the first phase.