Materials for Renewable Energy

  1. Solar cells: C-MET Pune has established the hybrid solar cell (inorganic-organic materials based) fabrication set up and developed conceptual solar cell. Also, DSSC and perovskite solar cell materials are being developed under this activity.
  2. Hydrogen generation and storage: C-MET, Pune is working on the hydrogen generation using renewable energy source i.e. sunlight from water, hydrogen sulphide and biomass. The stable and economical photocatalysts (Nano Semiconductors) have been developed for hydrogen production   under natural sunlight from water and H2S. C-MET has established photoreceptor system which can produce hydrogen from H2S using Natural sunlight. The hydrogen storage materials such as Hollow glass microspheres and other hydride materials have been developed. 
  3. Fuel cells: Fuel cell is one of the efficient energy generation devices where hydrogen is a fuel and air is an oxidant. C-MET, Pune is working on PEM fuel cells where bimetallic economical nanophase catalysts have been developed. Proton conducting membranes are also developed for SOFC. Development of SOFC fuel cells using LTCC packaging is also in progress.
  4. Thermoelectric cells: C-MET, Pune is working on development of thermoelectric materials for energy generation from waste heat. Facilities for making thin films of materials have also been established.

 Energy storage Materials and Devices   

The state of art facility for Li-ion and other rechargeable batteries fabrication has been established.  The cathode and anode materials for Li-ion batteries and sodium ion batteries have been developed.  The solid state Li-ion battery has also been demonstrated. Considering the demand of flexible electronics, flexible batteries have been developed. Rechargeable batteries are increasingly viewed as an important means of alleviating problems associated with an overdependence on fossil fuels, as they can serve as storage devices for renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, and as power sources in environmentally friendly vehicles (fully electric and hybrid cars) as well as in a host of consumer electronics, such as mobile phones and laptops. However, the low abundance and uneven distribution of lithium resources show the potential difficulties of the long-term and large-scale applications of lithium-ion batteries in terms of their availability and cost. Hence, the development of new types of batteries, such as sodium-ion and magnesium-ion batteries, is necessary. Among them, sodium-ion batteries (NIBs) possess electrochemical working principles that are similar to LIBs. In addition, sodium is inexpensive and abundant in nature. Sodium is the sixth richest element on earth. Therefore, NIBs could substitute LIBs in applications such as smart grids and large-scale energy storage for renewable solar power and wind power.

The major activities being carried out at C-MET Thrissur centre under materials for renewable energy are both Aerogel based and graphene based supercapacitors for potential applications in various sectors such as strategic, automobile, power electronics etc.

  • C-MET is working on the development of Aerogel supercapacitors for various applications starting from raw material production at pilot plant level to fabrication of aerogel super capacitors upto 50F using in house indigenously established supercapacitor fabrication facility. Currently aerogel super capacitor is being tested as a power source for VVPAT of Electronic Voting Machine.

  • C-MET has established a process for the production of continuous graphene electrodes suitable for supercapacitors. C-MET has developed graphene based supercapacitors having capacitance of 0.1F to 100F and achieved an ESR of 10 milliohm.