The Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd on June 10, 2018 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project.
The Agreement was signed by Dr Vijayamohan K Pillai, Director, CECRI and C Narasimhan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of RAASI Group in the presence of Union minister for Science & Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan.
CSIR-CECRI’s facility to manufacture Li-ion cells
• CSIR-CECRI Tamil Nadu has set up a demo facility in Chennai to manufacture prototype Lithium-Ion cells.
• A group at CSIR-CECRI headed by Dr Gopu Kumar has developed this indigenous technology of Lithium-ion cells in partnership with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory New Delhi, CSIR- Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute Kolkata and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) Hyderabad.
• CSIR-CECRI has secured global Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for enabling cost reduction, coupled with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology for mass production.
India is one of the largest importers of the Lithium Ion batteries. In 2017, it imported nearly USD 150 million worth Li-Ion batteries.
At present, Indian manufacturers import Lithium Ion batteries from China, Japan and South Korea among some other countries.
Raasi Group to set up production facility
• RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd will set up the manufacturing facility in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu close to Bangaluru with an aim to bring down the cost of cell manufacturing below Rs 15,000 per KW to replace Lead Acid Battery.
• The company also has plans to make Lithium Ion battery for solar roof top with life span of 25 years to make it affordable enough to drive the Photo Voltaic segment.
The production of the Li-Ion batteries will give tremendous boost to various flagship programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
• Clean Energy: Increasing the share of Clean Energy in the energy basket by generating 175 Giga Watts by 2022, of which 100 Giga Watts will be Solar
• National Electric Mobility Mission: It will enable the nation to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030.
• The project is also in tune with Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative to turn India into a manufacturing hub and to cut down outflow of foreign exchange.
Li-Ion batteries have applications in Energy Storage System from hearing aid to container sized batteries to power a cluster of villages, Electric Vehicles (2-wheeler, 3-wheeler, 4-wheeler and Bus), portable electronic sector, Grid Storage, Telecom and Telecommunication Towers, Medical Devices, Household and Office Power Back (UPS), Powering Robots in Processing Industry.
Lithium-ion batteries can power any electrical application without the need of physical wires-means wireless.
Currently, the Li-Ion cells are only developed by ISRO for space applications.
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