IIT Roorkee Organises First International Conclave on Energy Storage Devices

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Roorkee: Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Department of Physics, recently held a first international meeting and industry-academia conclave on Energy Storage Devices (IMESD), titled ‘Energy Storage Devices: Recent Advances & Future Challenges’. More than300 participants representing 14 countries took part in the event held from 10-1​2​ December. The focus was on the role of Energy Storage Devices in reducing the carbon footprint​,​ in line with Paris Agreement.

Eminent scientist and co-inventor of many materials being used in commercialized battery system, Prof. Arumugam Manthiram from University of Texas,Austin speaking on the occasion emphasized the need of efficient trained manpower to deal with the development of indigenous battery technology. He further suggested that a consortium of IITs, NITs, National Labs and Industry must be formed at national level where IIT Roorkee can play a vital role, as the institute is well-equipped with the facilities required for research & development of energy storage technologies. Further, framing, implementing and executing various policies towards use of energy storage devices​,​ then their integration and finally deployment with various renewable energy establishments may also be done with the help of IITR, he advocated.

In his lecture at the conclave, Prof. Vijaya Mohanan K. Pillai, former director of CSIR-CECRI and NCL Pune, a policy maker and outstanding scientist, suggested an urgent need for development of affordable material and energy storage technologies to support our Electric Vehicle program ​for​ self-sustainable growth of Nation.

Padmashree awardee Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, emphasized on the need for developing robust charging platform and battery recycling technologies along with indigenous development of secondary batteries specifically for electric vehicleapplication. For a self-sustained economic development of our country, a need for other indigenous battery technologies was highlighted in his speech. R & D on Na- batteries, Redox-flow batteries and Li-sulpher batteries was proposed to support ​the ​long-term perspective of power, transportation and other allied sectors.

During the deliberation at the conclave, companies working in the area of storage devices such as Amar Raja Batteries Ltd. (Amaron Batteries), TVS Motors, XNRGI (Exponential Energy), USA, BHEL, BEL, MNRE, DRDO showed keen interest to support IIT Roorkee storage program/facility at the Department of Physics, under the mentorship of Prof. Yogesh Sharma. Significantly XNRGI (Exponential Energy), USA has committed to support one PhD student ​from Department of Physics , IIT Roorkee under the ​Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) Program of Govt. of India​​.

The other dignitaries who addressed the gathering included: Prof JTS Irvine, University of St Andrews, Scotland, Prof Dominique Guyomard, University of Nantes, France, Prof Vijaymohanan K. Pillai, Outstanding Scientist and former Director, CSIR-CECRI, India, Prof V Thangadurai, University of Calgary, Canada, Prof. Hirotoshi Yamada, Nagasaki University, Japan, Prof. Neeraj Sharma, University of Sydney, Australia, Prof. Rajan Jose, University of Malaysia, Pahang, Prof. M. V. Reddy, National University of Singapore, Prof. Sagar Mitra, IIT Bombay and many more.

Highlighting the significance of the conclave,Prof Yogesh Sharma, Dept of Physics, IIT Roorkee and convener of this event said” IMESD-2018 has turned into an important gathering for providing thought-leadership within community working on energy storage devices and technologies and to foster collaborations between government, industry and academia. The event outcomes are indicative of the strong research collaboration established with the industry partners to develop indigenous energy technologies at IIT Roorkee.”

Key topics that were discussed in the conclave included: need of storage devices, Challenges and Innovation, Energy storage devices: development and application, Govt policy and support for energy storage solutions, demands of industry and scope for an academician in India, joint industry academia project, involvement of stakeholders on integration of energy storage facilities, and the current scenarios and way ahead.