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Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates the country’s first and only Supercritical-CO2 test bed at IISc

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23 Feb 2018
Photo : Dennis C J / Research Matters

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Science and Technology, Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Earth Sciences visited Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru to inaugurate the supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle test loop facility. He was welcomed by Prof. Anurag Kumar, Director IISc, Prof. G Rangarajan, Divisional Chairman, Interdisciplinary Research, Prof. Pradip Dutta, Chairperson, Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research, and V. Rajarajan, Registrar, IISc.

‘Supercritical’ describes a state of carbon above its critical temperature and pressure (31 Degree Celsius and 73 atmospheres). Under these conditions, the CO2 gas is twice as dense as steam, resulting in a high power density.  This allows power to be draws from the gas by a turbine ten times smaller than its steam equivalent, with significant improvement in the efficiency.

The first of its kind in India, laboratory scale supercritical carbon dioxide test loop was developed at the Interdisciplinary Center for Energy Research, IISc as part of the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS). The test loop is designed to generate necessary data for future development of scaled up supercritical CO2 power plants.

Speaking at the inaugural event, Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his pleasure at the way science and technology has been progressing in the country, with state of the art facilities like the Supercritical CO2 test loop. At the same time, he also urged the scientists and students present to apply their knowledge for the betterment of society. “We are doing excellent fundamental research, but at the back of our minds, we need to know the problem of the country and especially the problems of the people. Research needs to be people-centric. Scientist should see that the research that they do is actually having a perceptible and measurable impact on the society” he opined.

After his inaugural address, Dr. Harsh Vardhan engaged in a interactive session, answering questions from the students and faculty present at the event.

Following this, V Rajarajan delivered the vote of thanks, thanking the dignitaries and audience for attending the event, and thanking all the researchers and supporters for the successful launch of the supercritical CO2 test loop.