Friday, 12 February 2016 16:55

CIAL to roll out innovative and cost-effective design for canal-top solar project

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After being the first fully solar energy-powered airport in the world, the airport company Cochin International Airport Limited(CIAL) will soon roll out an innovative and cost-effective design for its proposed 3.5 km-long canal-top solar project. The design envisages construction of mounting racks with Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) instead of steel or aluminium, used elsewhere in the country.

V.J. Kurien, Managing Director, CIAL said “After due consultations with structural engineering experts, we have finalised this plan to mount these glittering panels on concrete structures. The cost details are yet to be worked out but initial assessments show that this will help us save around Rs.1 crore per megawatt on a year-on-year basis”.

The project, to be launched here on a pilot basis, could be expanded to other parts of the State based on the rate of its success rate. “For instance, the Palakkad district alone boasts a canal network of around 1800 km and if found successful, we can replicate this model there,” said the official, who is also the Additional Chief Secretary of the Department of Water Resources.

Work on the project is slated to begin in two months. The project is scheduled for commissioning in June.

P.K. Aravindan, former Head of the Department of Structural Engineering, IIT Chennai, and CIAL’s project consultant, said the plan is to construct columns and beams using RCC, which would save on the initial installation cost while ensuring longer service life. “The installation part is going to be a bit tedious, but this will be cost-effective in the long run as the RCC structures practically require no maintenance.

The chance of corrosion setting in is almost zero when compared to the metal frames,” he said.

The canal-top project, to come up on the Chengalthodu diversion canal, will have a capacity to generate 7 MW of power.

Additional Info

  • News Section: Technology
  • Month: February
  • Year: 2016
Read 258 times

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