Thrust Areas in Power

Providing access to reliable and quality power supply to all citizens/ establishments by 2019 forms the central focus of the Ministry of Power for the nation and the “24x7 Power For All” program is aimed at delivering on it. The  country, also,  has  set  an  ambitious  target  of  adding  175  GW  of renewable  generation  capacity  by 2022 to demonstrate its commitment to a better future for the next generation and to fight the adverse effects of climate change. In order to realize an uninterrupted and reliable power supply and also integrate high penetration of renewables into the grid effectively, the following R&D thrust areas has been identified for conducting research. CPRI invites research proposals on the following areas:

Thermal Generation

  • Identifying the impact of cycling loading on power plant components due to increased renewable penetration in the grid.
  • Online coal sampling.
  • Technological advances in syngas cleaning especially at higher temperature in IGCC (Integrated gasification Combined Cycle) Technology.
  • Utilization of Waste Heat Recovery technologies for enhancing the power plant efficiency.
  • Improvement of Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) performance.
  • Advanced surface engineering technologies for higher life expectancy of thermal power plant components.
  • High temperature wear and erosion resistance of thermal components (Burner, liner and shield etc.)
  • Design & Development of Last Stage Steam Turbine Blades and balancing of flue gas flow inside boiler for Improved Performance.
  • Boiler combustion Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of sub and Supercritical boilers.
  • Development of Nano particles for application in high thermal coefficient lubricants, additives in water to reduce evaporation losses.
  • Advanced Non –destructive testing/Non-destructive examination (NDT/NDE) based diagnostics and inspection tools for condition assessment of plant components such as In-situ inspection of Low Pressure (LP) Turbine Blades by Ultrasonic Phased Array.
  • Establishment of Advanced facilities for coal combustion / blended coal combustion evaluation studies.
  • Development of technologies for on-line measurements of coal flow, fineness, heating value, and balancing for combustion optimization in utility boilers, sensor systems for online fuel calorific value and un-burnt carbon in ash measurement.
  • Robotic Inspection of inaccessible/congested/hazardous areas inside boilers and other enclosures.
  • New improved methods of prevention of scaling on turbine blades and piping system in thermal power plants.
  • Application of Nano technologies in thermal power plant
  • Application of latest technologies such as Drone/LiDAR, Robotics, Phasor Matching Units in power plants 
  • Emission control technologies including control/mitigation of Nitrous Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Oxides (Sox) emissions.
  • Feasibility study on Co-firing of Biomass in conventional thermal plants

Hydro Generation

The following are the R&D areas for focus:

  • New superior erosion resistant materials for hydro turbine blades and runner.
  • Application of GIS/GPS in River Flow Discharge Measurement, flood forecasting.
  • Analysis and Monitoring of Cavitation phenomenon.
  • Integrated operation of Cascade Hydro Power projects.
  • Rock Stabilization Techniques for large size caverns.
  • Tunneling in Soft Rocks/Fragile Himalayan Geology.
  • Measures to tackle Bad Geology during Excavation of Tunnels and Construction of Dam Foundation and Cut off Wall.
  • Problems due to Silting in Hydro plants-R&D for Turbine components etc.
  • Studies on benefits of Pump Storage Plant (PSP) in Indian context, particularly keeping in view the large capacity addition through variable renewable power generation.
  • Analysis measures to increase service life for Silt Flushing Gates, Numerical Flow Simulation, Performance Optimization of Hydro Plant components and for Improving Desilting Chamber Efficiency using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
  • Technology for Spilt Runners / Site Fabrication of Runners.
  • Development of Facilities for Large Size/Weight Casting and Forging.
  • Development of Shaft Seal for Silty Water.
  • Generator Modernization to Increase Efficiency.
  • Site assembly and acceptance testing of 400 kV Generator-Transformer (GT).
  • Monitoring System for On-line Measurement of Turbine Efficiency
  • Simulation and development of Test Facility to Study the performance of Coating Material Characteristics.
  • Development of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) Material.
  • Measures to tackle Corrosion/Erosion Problems in Acidic Water.
  • Construction Methodology for Arch Dams.
  • Excavation of Large Size Cavern with Stabilization Technology.
  • Measures to tackle bad geology in Dam Foundation and Cutoff Wall.
  • The causes of pressure recovery loss near the best efficiency point in draft tube.
  • Dynamic pressure distribution and comparison between conventional and splitter blade runner.
  • Fluid-structure interaction of guide vanes, vibration, and magnitude of forces on guide vane spindle of Francis turbine.
  • Fluctuations in vane less space during turbine runner acceleration or deceleration and optimization of movement of guide vanes during turbine start-up after emergency shutdown of the Francis turbine.
  • Transient dynamic behavior and runner blade loading during no-load run/ runway, load rejection, and start-up as well as shutdown of the Francis turbine. A strategic start-up and shutdown technique of the Francis turbine may be developed.
  • Numerical Flow Simulation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools for Hydro Turbine Optimization and Enhanced Efficiency
  • Finding non-intrusive methods of assessing the sub-surface geology
  • The research on UHV DC +/- 800 kV transmission system and above covering the following aspects: (1) DC electric field, corona studies on equipment and electrodes; (2) Effect of pollution on insulator surface; selection of insulator profile, configuration to withstand DC stress under normal and polluted conditions. (3) Performance of bushings under DC electric stress. (4) Effects of DC stress on transformer insulation, ageing studies, diagnostic tools.  
  •  Development of controllers for Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) devices.
  • A pilot project for ascertaining the advantages of process bus technology over the conventional station bus technology. Studies for integration of optical current transformers in place of conventional current transformer.
  • Performance improvement of Bushings and transformers.
  • Real time Power System Simulator.
  • System Security and Operator Training software and simulation tools.
  • Gas Insulated Transmission Lines (GITL).
  • EHV Cables and submarine cables for bulk power transmission.
  • Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage System (SMES).
  • High Quality pressboard insulation for transformers
  • Resin Impregnated Paper (RIP) bushing.
  • SF6 filled large capacity power transformer technology.
  • GIS mapping of assets.
  • Novel method of Load and Energy Forecasting.
  • Mitigation of power system harmonics at transmission and distribution levels and improvement of power quality at distribution level.
  • Transformer-less HVDC transmission.
  • Development of Emergency Restoration System (ERS).
  • High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) Technology in Power Sector.
  • Electromagnetic interference with Radio, TV and Communication signals.
  • Biodegradable Insulation/ lubricating Oil for Transformer/ Turbo-Generator.
  • Intelligent Cyber Security related software solution and its application to power sector.
  • Implementation of Big Data technology in Power Sector including Renewable and Micro-grid.
  • Use of Robotics and Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV e.g. DRONE) in construction, supervision, operation and maintenance of power system equipment in difficult and inaccessible areas.
  • Gas Insulated Lines (GIL) for last mile connectivity
  • Manual design of Distribution networks is a labor-intensive activity. There is a strong need to standardize and promote design automation techniques which would reduce costs and improve performance. The future research initiatives for power distribution automation are:
  1. Customer Level Intelligent Automation System.
  2. Planning tool for distribution network.
  3. Computer Aided Monitoring and Control of Distribution Transformers.
  4. Substation and Feeder Level Automation.
  5. Data communication system for Distribution Automation.
  6. Development and Standardization of Distribution Automation software.
  • Load Shedding facilities by deployment of smart grid, which will be more selective and enable the system operator to shed non-essential loads, while maintaining service to critical loads.
  • Development of security and Protection system, which includes ability to operate the feeder through remote control with possibility of load control in response to under-frequency conditions and voltage collapse.
  • Need for development of organic polymer based electroluminescent light sources, which could compete with High power silicon based light emitting devices.
  • Development of energy efficient, cost-effective, reliable and future ready LEDs as per requirement of domestic environmental conditions
  • Study impact on power quality due to large scale integration of renewables
  • High speed charging of electric vehicles
  • Development of material for high capacity energy storage systems. 
  • Comparative study of forced outage rates of Distribution feeders using Aerial Bunched Cables and conventional conductors.
  • Comparative study of the losses and reliability levels of Distribution Transformers(say 25 kVA and 100 kVA) using:
  1. Fresh CRGO from the mill
  2. Scrap/defective CRGO from various sources.
  •  Comparative study of the losses and reliability levels of:
  1. Dry Type Distribution Transformers
  2. Oil immersed Distribution Transformers
  • Comparative study of reliability levels of Distribution Transformers using:
  1. CRGO core
  2. Amorphous core
  • Development of material for insulation, core, winding, tank etc. which can reduce size of Transformers.
  • Study of the quality of power supply in typical areas having different load mix like   IT based load, areas having sizeable irrigation pump sets, areas having industrial load, especially, electric arc furnaces; and traction supply etc.      
  • Evaluation of performance of mineral oil filled, dry type and K-class oil filled distribution transformers with a view to ascertain the field performance in respect of fire and related hazards.
  • Appropriate tariff models, which will be able to factor in charges based on time-of-day (TOD) and peak energy versus average energy consumption.
  • Development of online monitoring systems for substation equipment (like transformers, circuit breakers, CTs, etc.) to get early warning of failures.
  • Energy Storage Devices: Large capacity Power Storage Technology.
  • Development of Solar PV and Wind forecasting technologies
  • Solar PV performance and degradation studies
  •  Micro grid and integration of renewable energy into the grid.
  • Interconnection of Micro grids at distribution voltage level and control of power flow between micro grids.
  • Indigenous development of cost effective floaters for floating solar plants.
  • PV degradation studies and identification of best-suited technology for maximum solar PV generation.
  • Indigenous development of wet and dry robotic cleaning system for PV modules. .
  • Development of super hydrophobic coatings for PV modules.
  • Utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS) Drone & Li DAR for PV Plant inspection.
  • Utilization of concentrated solar thermal energy for Cooking systems, desalination and cooling systems.
  • Development of solar thermal and fossil fuel based hybrid power plants.
  • Synchronization of roof top solar and micro generation to the grid.
  • Reactive power management at the level of micro grid and distribution system and its contribution towards the stability of the grid.
  • Impact of climate, weather, geography, seasonal and other factors on renewable energy generation.
  • Impact of socio-economic factors & life style of society at different strata on the usage pattern of energy at distribution level.
  • Suitability of Pico hydropower in isolated hilly areas/villages of India.
  • Fuel cell development.
  • Electric Mobility issues – development of super-efficient batteries with fast charging capabilities suitable for transport application.
  • Indigenization of Concentrated Solar power technology
  • Increase use of Floating Solar Photo Voltaic and Building integrated Photo voltaic
  • Application of Nano technologies for power plant applications
  • Bio Mass and Bio Fuel for energy generation
  • Waste to Energy conversion
  • Mechanism for safe disposal and recycling of solar PV panels to counter the related environmental pollution.
  • Impact of large scale integration of renewables into the Grid
  • Road top solar plants
  • Development of methodology/equipment to detect micro cracks in solar cells
  • Smart utilization of solar and wind farm inverters as FACTS devices in grid integrated renewable energy
  • Internet of Things (IOT), Big Data Analytics, cloud computing, Cyber security and protection of equipment and system.
  • Novel methods of power system planning.
  • Development and use of GIS software in power system assets/geographic data representation.
  • Wireless power transmission.
  • Technology development of Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) system for high sulphur coal through electron beam (SO2 to SO3 conversion).
  • CO2 storage and capture in geological formations like Basalt and Sedimentary rocks, Amine solution etc.
  • Outdoor insulation – Pollution effect in AC & DC systems.
  • Development of wastewater treatment and recycling technologies.
  • Effects of Electromagnetic waves on human beings with specific reference to up-gradation of transmission voltages.  
  • Use of CO2 for reduction in pH of ash water.
  • Development of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) process for CO2 capture and conversion of CO2 into useful products.
  • Development of Micro-algal process for CO2 fixation.
  • Exploring possibility and knowledge sharing in carbon Capture and utilization techniques.
  • Adoption of Developing technologies for bulk utilizations of fly ash.
  • Zero Liquid discharge.
  • Recovery and Utilization of Sewage Water for power plant.
  • Development of Nano particles for additives in water to reduce evaporation losses.