The solar energy park was established in the year 1996 with research funding received from various Government Ministries namely Indian Council of Agriculture and Research (ICAR), Department of Science and Technology, New and Renewable Energy, Human and Resource and IIT Delhi etc. In solar energy park, there are low cost mud house, 5 kWp stand alone PV system , underground water pumping, various design of solar still, evacuated solar water heater, integrated PV hybrid active solar still, water heater, air heater, conventional and green house crop dryer, greenhouse cultivation system. The mud house has been integrated with day lighting and earth air heat exchanger and powered by electricity produced by stand alone system. All thermal based systems are also powered by semitransparent PV module integrated with thermal system to make the system sustainable. The system installed in solar energy park is successively running with optimal maintenance with help of research scholars working in different area of solar energy.
Recently, based on PV integrated greenhouse dryer at solar energy park, a project on building integrated Photovoltaic Thermal (BiPVT) greenhouse dryer of capacity 100 kg from Ministry of Food Processing is likely to be available for field testing at Bag Energy Research Society (BERS) complex, Varanasi. This will be a unique integrated project used for crop drying, daylighting and cooling the building with minimum energy pay back time with maximum CO2 credit.
Another research project is likely to be submitted in collaboration with University of Vaxjo, Sweden to SIDA for funding on BiPVT of 5 kWp to be installed at BERS complex at Varanasi.This project is based on daylighting, Trombe wall, rain harvesting, cooling by ventilation etc.
We are also planning to have field testing facilities of solar systems in villages in collaboration with various Government funding. Energy and Exergy Analysis of Solar Thermal devices and systems, PV-T hybrid systems, HVACR Systems and thermal power plants (including combined cycle and Co-generation Power Plants) is being undertaken by CES and some pioneering work has been carried out by CES which is well cited at international level.
The other areas of research interest include the experimental investigations and mathematical modeling on solar thermal utilization in low and high temperature applications like solar cooling, cooking and drying. The studies related to solar cooker include performance evaluation of box-type and paraboloid solar cookers, of which the development of thermal test procedure for paraboloid solar cooker is the significant contribution at International level and it is being at final stage of adoption by Bureau of Indian Standards for certification. In addition, in recent past, significant work has been done on the experimental investigations as well as mathematical modeling of heat and mass transfer aspects, considering the effect of shrinking of food product during drying.
The testing and evaluation procedure for standardization of various solar energy devices/equipments is necessary to evaluate the performance of these devices and provide the equitable basis for comparison among various designs, thus leading to their design improvements by the manufactures. The thermal test procedures for standardization of some solar equipments namely, Flat plate solar collector, solar air and water heaters, solar cooker have already been developed and adopted in many countries including India for performance evaluation. In future research work, effort would be made to develop the test procedure for solar cooling, solar drying systems which are highly intensive solar energy devices, primarily used to minimize the conventional energy consumptions.