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Combustion Group 

The group is involved in the development of Fluidized Bed Combustion Process, PFBC-based Combined Cycle Power Plants and development work related to Pulverised Fuel (PF) fired Boilers.

Major Achievements:

In the area of PFBC:

Establishment of 6 tonnes-per-day coal capacity PFBC Test Facility 
Developed and proved the suitability of PFBC process for high-ash coals.
Intensive testing to study the effect of operating parameters like bed temperature, pressure, and superficial velocity on Performance parameters like throughput and combustion efficiency.
Established Bed-Ash Transfer System to transfer ash under high-temperature, high-pressure conditions.
Demonstrated part-load capability of PFBC plants using bed ash transfer system. 
In-Bed desulphurisation studies with sorbents.
Established 880 mm diameter Fluidiser, geometrically similar to 15 MW PFBC combustor to carry out scale-up studies. 
Carried out scale-up studies maintaining non-dimensional parameters like Archimedes number, Froude number and Reynolds number 
Feasibility studies for 70 MW PFBC combined cycle power plants.

In the area of AFBC:

Establishment of 1M x 1M AFBC Test Facility. 
Carried out 100-hour continuous test with bagasse fuel using high alumna bed material.

In the area of CFBC:
Developed sorbent reactivity apparatus to characterise limestones.  
Characterized a number of lime stones.

In the area of PF fired Boilers:
Established one-sixth size bowl-mill model with dynamic classifier.  
Experimental studies carried out to ascertain the effect of inclusion of dynamic classifier.

Major Ongoing Projects:
Development of dynamic classifier for 1003/1103 bowl mills for 500 MW PF power plants
Development of on-line measurement and control of pulverised coal flow in fuel pipe lines to burners

Major Test Facilities:
6 tonnes-per-day coal capacity PFBC Test Facility
880 mm diameter Fluidiser 
AFBC Test Facility  
Sorbent Reactivity Apparatus    
Dynamic Classifier Test Facilities 

IGCC Development Programme

BHEL is the first and foremost organization to develop IGCC in India. GT, HRSG and ST are the standard products of BHEL and need to be only integrated to the gasification island. The extensive studies conducted by various committees in which BHEL participated, indicated that air-blown PFBG based IGCC plant would give the lowest cost of electricity compared to other gasifier types such as entrained bed/moving bed.

The total IGCC development was executed in three phases:
In the first phase, although it was known that the air blown fluidized bed gasification would be techno economically competitive as compared with moving bed gasification for higher capacity IGCC, BHEL had set up a pressurized moving bed gasifier of 6.2 MWe Combined cycle plant for getting the lead in IGCC technology in India and was the first to fire low Btu coal gas in Gas turbine of IGCC plant in Asia. 
An 18 tpd coal capacity Process And Equipment Development Unit (PEDU) was taken up in the second phase.
Based on the data and experience from PEDU pilot plant, a PFBG of 168 tpd coal throughput capacity (for 42% ash coal) was designed and retrofitted to the above 6.2 MWe IGCC during the third phase of development.
Pilot plant studies on parametric optimization of gasification process is carried out in 200 mm test rig.
BHEL also has developed Hot Gas Cleanup System(HGCS) using granular bed filter system coupled to a 6 tpd Pressurised Fliuidised Bed Combustion (PFBC).

Based on the experience from the pilot plant and demo-plant studies, BHEL is planning for setting up a national project of 100 MW IGCC for commercial demonstration using air blown PFBG process. The approach followed by BHEL in going for the higher capacity gasifier for 100 MWe IGCC is in stages. After having tested geometric scale-up by a factor of 3.3, in going from 18 tpd PEDU to 168 tpd PFBG plant, BHEL now proposes for a geometric scale up in gasifier diameter by a factor of 2.0 in up-scaling the 168 tpd PFBG to 1700 tpd PFBG required for a 100 MWe IGCC plant. The gross scale-up criteria of the gasifier design for the 100 MWe IGCC mentioned above will be refined as per hydrodynamic design criteria developed through a 950 mm diameter cold model tests being carried out at the Corporate R&D division, Moulali site using dynamic similarities and appropriate mathematical modeling. Technical support from organizations and individuals experienced in the areas of system integration and modeling will be taken to augment in-house capabilities. 

Fuel Cells Laboratory

The laboratory was established in the late eighties. Initially, the development of Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC), was taken up as PAFCs held the promise of becoming commercially viable, within the next decade or so. 

The PAFC development meant literally starting from scratch and also required developing the process technologies for making all the major components that make up a fuel cell, like electrodes (anodes and cathodes), matrix, bi-polar plates and edge sealing. Simultaneously methods to assemble and test single cells/stacks were also evolved. A number of single cells of a few watts (6 x 6 cm) and stacks with 50 to 200 watts power (10 x 20 cm and 15 x 30 cm, 10 to 15 cells each) were assembled and tested. 

During the nineties, the component sizes were gradually scaled up and larger power packs of 1 kW (1990-91, 12 x 36 cm, 40 cells), 5 kW (1995-96, 30 x 40 cm, 80 cells) and 50 kW (2000-01, 2 stacks of 25 kW each, 40 x 50 cm, 160 cells each) ratings were assembled and tested.

Major Achievements:
Electrode making technologies (rolling and screen printing) developed
Bi-polar plate making technologies (lamination and molding) developed
Edge sealing techniques for electrodes developed
Stack assembling jigs and fixtures designed and fabricated
First indigenous 1 kW PAFC stack demonstrated in 1991
Largest indigenous Fuel Cell Power Pack (50 kW) demonstrated in 2001

Major Ongoing Projects:
Development of 3 kW Polymer Electrolyte Membrane(PEM) Fuel Cell stack
Development of 1 kW Alkaline Fuel Cell stack  

Major Facilities:
Screen Printing Machine for processing fuel cell electrodes 
Laminating and Hot Pressing Facilities for making Membrane Electrode Assemblies

Renewable Energy Systems

The laboratory was created to develop systems for tapping renewable energy. The laboratory, in its initial years, concentrated on projects which were funded by organizations like the Department of Science and Technology and Union Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources. The group has so far developed systems used for tapping energy from virtually all the renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biogas, and products like solar water heating systems, wind operated water pumping systems.

Major Achievements:
100 kW SPV Grid-Connected Power Plant at Vidyut Soudha of AP Transco, Hyderabad
100 LPD Solar Geyser for domestic purposes

Major Ongoing Projects:
20 x 100 LPD Solar Geysers for individual customers 
24 x 100 LPD Solar Geysers for Executive Hostel Block at ASCI, Hyderabad 
Wind-Diesel Hybrid Project for WBREDA

Major Facilities:
Performance Estimation Facility for Solar Geysers
Energy Estimation and Micro Siting of Wind Farms

Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell Plant, Gurgaon

The Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell Plant (ASSCP) at Gwalpahari, Gurgaon, is an R&D facility for the development of amorphous silicon thin-film and related photovoltaic technologies. The Union Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources, (MNES) set up the plant in 1988-89 as an S&T project with BHEL implementing the project on a turnkey basis. BHEL, who have been managing its operations since beginning have also been funding complete operations of the plant since April 1999. The plant is now slated for transfer to BHEL on long-term lease. Since its inception, ASSCP has successfully developed 1 ft x 1 ft single-junction and 1 ft 3 ft double-junction a-Si PV modules through in-house R&D.

Recent Major Achievements:
Single chamber deposition based on simple process for large-area double-junction a-Si modules 
Highest module power output of 17.5 W ( 6.5% module efficiency) 
Average module power output of 15.3 W ( 5.7 % module efficiency)
Very good consistency in batch processing
Light-induced degradation within 18%
Deployment of modules in the field in the form of street lights/ blinkers

Major Ongoing Projects:
Development of silicon nitride anti-reflection coating for crystalline and multi-crystalline silicon solar cells by PECVD 
Development of low-cost encapsulants for double-junction a-Si modules 
Field evaluation of double-junction a-Si modules 
Process development for efficiency improvement of double-junction a-Si modules

Major Facilities:
1500 sq m of clean room area, housing APCVD furnace for on-line TCO deposition, laser for TCO & a-Si film, multi chamber PECVD system for a-Si thin film deposition, DC magnetron sputtering for metallization, on-line and off-line test and characterization facility including Spire Sun simulator for module testing and vacuum laminator for module encapsulation 
Diffusion furnace for single/mc-Si wafers
Sintering furnace
Physical vapour deposition system with e-beam evaporation facility

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