Economical Solar Thermal Storage System for Rural Communities of India

India/Birla Institute of Technology Global, 2010-11

Liaison(s): Dr. Gordon Pickett
Advisor(s): Anthony Bright, Lisette dePillis
Students(s): Jennifer Lee (TL-S), Andrew Xue (TL-F), Hufsa Ahmad (TL-SU), Julie Lapidus (Scripps), Niger Washington (Pomona), Allie McDonnell (F)

Undergraduate students from Harvey Mudd College and Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi worked together to find an energy storage solution for rural communities in Jharkhand, India that do not have access to a centralized power grid. The team’s final design collects low-grade heat from the sun for diurnal and seasonal use, and powers simple everyday applications like lighting or cooking. The HMC students designed the seasonal component of the system, which stores thermal energy in a large volume of soil underground.