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Anna University, NLC joint venture to set up solar drying unit
A pilot project for drying lignite using solar energy has been proposed to be set up at NLC, Neyveli under Anna University’s Institute of Energy Studies (IES) and NLC India Limited’s collaborative research and development project.
Anna University sources said that the solar unit will be set up at a cost of about Rs 3 crore and unit will increase the production from about 2,600 kilocalories to about 5,000 kilocalories. NLC general manager Manoharan V and Anna University Registrar S Ganesan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently.
According to the sources, the installation of 10 MW (AC) grid interactive solar power project is expected to be completed by one and half year. The civil foundation works is expected to start by October.
The research and development also include that the lignite is crushed and made into pellets which are dried through the solar drying plant and then iron ore is added to make the pellets useable as reduction agents in the iron ore purification process.
Further research will be done to reduce moisture in raw lignite at site and increasing calorific value will reduce the transportation cost and increase the fuel value. This will reduce auxiliary power consumption, CO2 emission and improve power plant efficiency and overcome the problem of spontaneous ignition while transporting lignite over long distances.