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Intersolar India

posted Dec 16, 2011, 6:00 AM by Unknown user
Well, just got back from INTERSOLAR India (http://www.intersolar.in) - held between 14-16 December 2011 in Mumbai. Have to say it was a great experience for one new to the fast growing solar power and thermal industry (i.e. me). It was a nice opportunity to meet and interact with many likeminded people from all over the world. The exhibition was held in a large hall at the Bombay Exhibition Center, and had hundreds of stalls and thousands of visitors from all over the world. Technology ranging from the small-scale to mammoth was represented. There was a fair split between solar photovoltaic (this means electricity generation from solar modules) and solar thermal (this means concentrate heat from the sun using mirrors etc to run industrial processes) technologies.
The solar photovoltaic (PV) technology ranged from stuff used in tiny (1 kW or less) to huge power plants (think hundreds of megawatts.) Some of the interesting (for me) exhibits:

- there were a bunch of German companies selling "industrial-strength" fusing and inverters for the larger power plants
- there was a company from the netherlands that had a VERY sexy-looking futuristic looking contraption on display. Closer examination revealed it to be a very pseud-looking inverter, with touchscreen, power i/os etc. It's tempting to think of us as being in the same era as the computer manufacturers were in the 80s.. hence there are the equivalent of "Apple" for really well-designed, good looking equipment (at a price of course. When I am a rich man, I will get all this stuff for myself :P)
- there was a very nice person from a company called 5N (standing for 99.999%) who patiently explained to me some of the nuances of manufacturing solar modules. It was a really fun and educational experience.. the previous technical area in which I was had a handful of people working on it in the world. It's nice to be in a blossoming field like this where there are so many smart people to interact with..
- Battery technology (which imho is the weak link in solar power plants) was represented on one end by the usual tubular/gel/solar battery manufacturers. At the other end of the scale, there was a HUGE battery system on display - using Vanadium Oxide as the active material - with a voltage of about 440 volts!!

All in all a nice experience in Mumbai (though I ate too many vada pavs and suffered as a result.) Later!!..
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