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Recent and Future Space Missions


SPACE: Recent and Future Missions

Recent and Future Space Missions

RECENT SPACE MISSIONS ISRO
1. Launch vehicles – Seven successful launch vehicle missions and two successful advanced launch vehicle technology initiatives of ISRO i.e. the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) and SCRAMJET technology demonstrator.
2. Satellite – 8 ISRO satellites, 4 student satellites and 22 foreign satellites were launched by these missions.
3. Space exploration domains – Mars Orbiter Spacecraft of India completed two years in its orbit around Mars and India’s ASTROSAT multi-wavelength observatory successfully completed one year in orbit.

SPACE EXPLORATION
• Mars Orbiter Mission: India’s first inter-planetary mission completed two years in its orbit around Mars. The health parameters of Mars Orbiter spacecraft are normal and all the five payloads are sending useful data. The Mars Colour Camera has produced more than 530 images so far. ISRO has also launched MOM Announcement of Opportunity (AO) programmes for researchers in the country to use the MOM data for R&D. The success of Mars Orbiter Mission has showcased India’s technical capability in exploring planetary bodies and has motivated India’s student and research community in a big way.
• ASTROSAT Mission: Astrosat is a multi-wavelength astronomy mission on an IRS-class satellite into a near-Earth, equatorial orbit. ASTROSAT has completed one year in orbit as of September 2016.  An Announcement of Opportunity (AO) was made in June 2016 for Indian researchers to explore the universe using data from ASTROSAT.
• Multi Application Solar Telescope: The Multi Application Solar Telescope (MAST) will be used for detailed observation of the solar activity. The MAST will usher the country to a vast amount of astronomical information that is owned only by a few countries in the world.
The MAST is located in the Udaipur Solar Observatory which comes under the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), an autonomous unit of the Department of Space.
The project was under by Union Ministry of Science and Technology and was funded by Department of Space (DoS).
The USO is situated on an island like land form in Lake Fatehsagar of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. The site is ideal for the observatory as it provides 250 days of sunlight in a year.
The lake will help provide the optimum temperature for the lens and also decreases the turbulence in the air mass. Considering the amount of magnification involved, lesser turbulence will result in improved image quality.
The telescope’s main motive is to capture high resolution 3D images of the Sun’s surface and observing phenomena like solar flares. It will also be used to study seismic effects of solar flares.
NAVIGATION SATELLITE MISSIONS
IRNSS: India’s Navigation system
• IRNSS is an Independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India.
• The NAVIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation) system consist of a constellation of 3 satellites in Geostationary orbit (GEO), 4 satellites inGeosynchronous orbit (GSO), approximately 36,000 kilometers (22,000 mi) altitude above earth surface,and two satellites on the ground as stand-by, in addition to ground stations.
• It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 Km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.
• IRNSS provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorized users.
• The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metres in the primary service area.
Applications of IRNSS are:
• Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
• Disaster Management
• Vehicle tracking and fleet management
• Integration with mobile phones
• Precise Timing
• Mapping and Geodetic data capture
• Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travelers
• Visual and voice navigation for drivers
GAGAN- Geo Augmented Navigation System
• GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation ‘‘GAGAN’’ is an augmentation system to enhance the accuracy and integrity of GPS signals to meet precision approach requirements in Civil Aviation and is being implemented jointly by AAI and ISRO.
• It will augment GPS signals over the Indian land mass, the Bay of Bengal, South East Asia, the Middle East and the Arabian Sea widening its reach up to Africa. At present radio navigation aids are used for precision landing and approaches at Indian airports.
Objectives
• The objective of GAGAN to establish, deploy and certify satellite based augmentation system for safety-of-life civil aviation applications in India has been successfully completed. The system is inter-operable with other international SBAS systems like US-WAAS, European EGNOS, and Japanese MSAS etc.
• The goal is to provide navigation system for all phases of flight over the Indian airspace and in the adjoining areas.
Benefits
• Improved efficiency
• Increased fuel savings
• Direct routes
• Reduced work load of flight crew and air traffic controllers
• Improved safety
• Ease of search and rescue operation
FUTURE MISSION
Solar Mission- ADITYA
• ADITYA-1 is the 1st Indian space based Solar Coronagraph intended to study the outermost region of the sun called ‘Corona’. The project will increase our understanding about the Sun.
• The Temperature of the solar corona goes beyond million degrees. From the ground, the Corona could be seen only during total solar eclipses mainly due to the bright solar disc and the scattering of the sunlight by the Earth’s atmosphere. One has to go beyond the atmosphere to be able to mask the bright solar disc and study the Corona.
• Objectives of the Mission: The major scientific objectives of Aditya-1 are to achieve a fundamental understanding of the physical processes that –
– Heat the solar corona
– Accelerate the Solar Wind
– Produce Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).
Aries (Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences)
• On March 30, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel unveiled Asia’s largest optical telescope in Nainital, Uttarakhand from Brussels, Belgium. “Even the sky is not the limit for the ARIES Telescope” said Modi after launching the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences or ARIES project.
Project ARIES
• ARIES telescope is a joint collaboration between Indian, Russian, and Belgian scientists.
• The total cost of the construction and setup of the telescope is estimated to be Rs 120 crore.
• The telescope is located at Devasthal, Nainital at a height of 2,500 metres.
• It is said that the site was chosen to get a clear view of the sky.
• The ARIES optical telescope’s mirror is 3.6 metres (360 centimetres) in diameter.
• The high end technology incorporated in the telescope enables it to be operated with the help of remote control from anywhere in the world.
• The telescope will be used in the study and exploration of planets, starts, magnetic field and astronomical debris.
• The scientists will also help in research of the structures of stars and magnetic field structures of stars.
• In March 2007, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences and Belgian company Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) had entered a contract for design, manufacture, integration, testing, supply, and installation of the telescope.
Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI)
• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has installed the GadankiIonospheric Radar Interferometer (GIRI) Radar System near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. It was installed at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), which is an autonomous research institute of the Department of Space (DoS).
• Primary objective:
– Carry out unattended observations for studying the forces from the sun like variation in solar flare, solar flux and magnetic storm on the ionospheric irregularities.
– Studies unattended observations from the underneath atmosphere on the ionospheric irregularities (for e.g. waves generated by weather phenomena).
– Provide important information about the angular location of plasma irregularities during the onset phase.
– Also establish its relationship to background ionospheric state parameters and sunset terminator.
• Applications
– Investigations made using this system are expected to improve the Equatorial Plasma Bubble (EPB) forecasting. It will further be detrimental for satellite based navigation/communication applications.
Neutrino Observatory
• The Government of India’s Union Cabinet recently approved the India-based Neutrino Observatory project.
• A pioneer in the field of neutrino science, India was a world leader in 1965. In the mid-1990s, with the closing of the Kolar Gold Fields which was the site of the experiments, experimental neutrino research in India came to a halt, and the INO is expected to revive the lost advantage,
• The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) Project is a multi-institutional effort aimed at building a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover of approx.1200 m for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in India.
• The project includes
a) Construction of an underground laboratory and associated surface facilities at Pottipuram in Bodi West hills of Theni District of Tamil Nadu,
b) Construction of a Iron Calorimeter (ICAL) detector for studying neutrinos, consisting of 50000 tons of magnetized iron plates arranged in stacks with gaps in between where Resistive Plate Chambers (rpcs) would be inserted as active detectors, the total number of 2m X 2m rpcs being around 29000, and
c) Setting up of National Centre for High Energy Physics at Madurai, for the operation and maintenance of the underground laboratory, human resource development and detector R&D along with its applications.
• The initial goal of INO is to study neutrinos. There is a hierarchy among the masses of these three types of neutrino and the experiments at the INO will study this mass ordering using a magnetised iron calorimeter (ICAL)
• However there are concerns about the nature of neutrinos themselves — whether the experiment will use artificially manufactured neutrino beams and on the safety to humans and the environment if such neutrinos are used. There are also concerns regarding the stability of mountain region if tunnel is dunged.
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION PROJECTS
GRAVITATIONAL WAVES
What are Gravitational Waves (GW)?
• Gravitational waves are ripples in the space time curvaturetraveling outward from the source produced by violent events such as collision of 2 black holes or by supernova explosion
• They are produced by accelerating masses just the same as accelerating charged particles produce radio waves (electrons in antennas).
• GW is akin to Electromagnetic Waves (EM) waves, but emitted by gravitating bodies in motion such as black holes, spiraling towards each other in binary orbits.
Properties
• Can penetrate regions of space that EM have no reach.
• Gravitational waves are hypothesize to arise from cosmic inflation (expansion of universe after big bang)
LIGO
• Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory is large scale collaboration between scientists of MIT, Caltech and other institutions.
• Founded in 1992 aimed at detecting the gravitational waves that were once predicted by Einstein and also validate this general theory of relativity.
• For the first time, scientists at LIGO have observed ripples in the fabric of space time called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.
India’s Gravitational Wave Observatory (IndiGO)
• INDIGO is the country’s own laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory for cosmology research. It’s in collaboration with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in the US.
• The project will build an Advanced LIGO Observatory in India, a move that will significantly improve the ability of scientists to pinpoint the sources of gravitational waves and analyze the signals.
Thirty Meter Telescope Project
• The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an international project being funded by scientific organizations of Canada, China, India, Japan and USA.The project expected to start construction on Mauna Kea, Hawaii in 2015.
• However, it is now stalled due to the recent decision of the Supreme court of Hawaii revoking the construction permit on procedural grounds.
• The State of Hawaii agencies are working on the permit process following the prescribed procedure by the court. TMT is pursuing the matter in consultation with the University of Hawaii ( land lease holder) and other agencies.
• TMT continues to respect the rights of the indigenous peoples of Hawaii as it seeks to construct TMT on Mauna Kea which is the preferred choice.
• Given the large investments that have already been made and committed, some of the project partners are also looking at alternate sites both in the northern and southern hemispheres. It is expected that on-site civil work on the project may be delayed by about 18-24 months. However, work on telescope and observatory subsystems continues across the partnership
India, NASA join hands for astrobiology mission
• India and NASA has collaborated for mission for finding the life over mars and future astrobiology missions.
• After its first successful and low cost mission to the Mars NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) along with Mars society of Australia and Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow will be mounting an expedition towards the Ladakh which is being found to have similar topography and microbial life as that of Mars.
• This is the first time that India is part of the Spaceward Bound programme. The Spaceward Bound is a NASA project that educates future space explorers and funds expeditions to places with extreme climate conditions.
• Before Ladakh, there have been expeditions to the deserts such in Atacama, Chile; Mojave, California; Arkaroola, Australia as well as the Arctic and Antarctica, organised since 2006.

Advent of the Europeans/British East India Company /2nd Phase of British East India Company


Advent of EuropeansBritish Expansion In India Second Phase of British Expansion in India

Advent of the Europeans

• Before the beginning of the formal rule of the British in India, there was a background of Indo-European economic relationship.
• The commercial contacts between India and Europe were very old via the land route either through the Oxus valley or Syria or Egypt.
• But, the new sea route via the Cape of Good Hope was discovered by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and thereafter, many trading companies came to India and established their trading centres.
• The British East India Company was a Joint- Stock Company established in 1600, as the Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies.
• During this time, other trading companies, established by the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and Danish were similarly expanding in the region.
• The British Company gained footing in India in 1612 after Mughal emperor Jahangir granted the rights to establish a factory (a trading post) in Surat to Sir Thomas Roe, a representative diplomat of Queen Elizabeth Ist of England.
• They entered India as traders at the outset but by the passage of time indulged in the politics of India and finally established their colonies.
• The commercial rivalry among the European powers led to political rivalry. Ultimately, the British succeeded in establishing their rule India.
The Dutch
• In March, 1602, by a charter of the Dutch parliament the Dutch East India Company was formed with powers to make wars, concluded treaties, acquire territories and build fortresses.
• The Dutch set up factories at Masulipatam (1605), Pulicat (1610), Surat (1616), Bimilipatam (1641), Karikal (1645), Chinsura (1653), Kasimbazar, Baranagore, Patna, Balasore, Negapatam (all in 1658) and Cochin (1663).
• In the 17th century, they supplanted the Portuguese as the most dominant power in European trade with the East, including India.
• Pulicat was their centre in India till 1690, after which Negapatam replaced it.
• In the middle of the 17th century (1654) the English began to emerge as a formidable colonial power.
• After 60-70 years of rivalry with the English, the Dutch power in India began to decline by the beginning of the 18th century.
• Their final collapse came with their defeat by the English in the battle of Bedera in 1759.
• One by one the Dutch lost their settlement to the English and their expulsion from their possessions in India by the British came in 1795.
THE PORTUGUESE
• The Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama reached the port of Calicut on 17 May 1498 and he was warmly received by Zamorin, the ruler of Calicut. He returned to Portugal in the next year.
• Pedro Alvarez Cabral arrived in 1500 and Vasco da Gama also made a second trip in 1502.
• They established trading stations at Calicut, Cannanore and Cochin.
• The first governor of the Portuguese in India was Francis de Almeida.
• Later in 1509 Albuquerque was made the governor of the Portuguese territories in India.
• In 1510, he captured Goa from the ruler of Bijapur. Thereafter, Goa became the capital of the Portuguese settlements in India.
• Albuquerque captured Malacca and Ceylon. He also built a fort at Calicut.
• Albuquerque encouraged his countrymen to marry Indian women.
• Albuquerque died in 1515 leaving the Portuguese as the strongest naval power in India.
• The successors of Albuquerque established Portuguese settlements at Daman, Salsette and Bombay on the west coast and at Santhome near Madras and Hugli in Bengal on the east coast.
• However, the Portuguese power declined in India by the end of the sixteenth century. They lost all their possessions in India except Goa, Daman and Diu in the next century.
THE DANES
• Denmark also established trade settlements in India and their settlement at Tranquebar was founded in 1620.
• Another important Danish settlement in India was Serampore in Bengal.
• Serampore was their headquarters in India.
• The Danes failed to strengthen themselves in India and they sold all their settlement in India to the British in 1845.
THE FRENCH
• The French East India Company was formed by Colbert under state patronage in 1664.
• The first French factory was established at Surat by Francois Caron in 1668. Later Maracara set up a factory at Masulipatam in 1669.
• A small village was acquired from the Muslim governor of Valikondapuram by Francois Martin and Bellanger de Lespinay in 1673. The village developed into Pondicherry and its first governor was Francois Martin.
• Also Chandernagore in Bengal was acquired from the Mughal governor in 1690.
• The French power in India declined between 1706 and 1720 which led to the reconstitution of the Company in 1720.
• The French power in India was revived under Lenoir and Dumas (governors) between 1720 and 1742.
• They occupied Mahe in the Malabar, Yanam in Coromandal (both in 1725) and Karikal in Tamil Nadu (1739).
• The arrival of Dupleix as French governor in India in 1742 saw the beginning of Anglo French conflict (Carnatic wars) resulting in their final defeat in India.
THE ENGLISH
• The English East India Company (also known as the East India Trading Company, and, after the Treaty of Union, the British East India Company) was formed by a group of merchants known as ‘Merchant Adventures’ in 1599.
• The Company was granted an English Royal Charter, under the name Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies, by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies, the largest of which was the Dutch East India Company.
• In 1608, the company decided to open a factory (the name given to a trading depot) at Surat.
• The English ambassador Captain Hawkins arrived at Jahangir’s Court to seek permission for trade with India. But initially it was turned down due to Portuguese intrigue. This convinced the English of the need to overcome Portuguese influence at the Mughal Court if they were to obtain any concessions from the Imperial Government.
• The Company achieved a major victory over the Portuguese in the Battle of Swally near Surat in 1612, where two English naval ships under Captain Best defeated a Portuguese naval squadron.
• These victories led the Mughals to hope that in view of their naval weakness they could use the English to counter the Portuguese on the sea. Moreover, the Indian merchants would certainly benefit by competition among their foreign buyers.
• Captain Bust succeeded in getting a royal firman by Jahangir permitting the English to build a factory in Surat, Cambaya, Ahmedabad and Goa in 1613.
• The English were not satisfied with this concession and in 1615 their ambassador Sir Thomas Roe reached the Mughal Court. They also exerted pressure on the Mughal authorities by taking advantage of India’s naval weakness and harassing Indian traders and ship from the Red Sea and to Mecca.
• Thus, combining entreaties with threats, Roe succeeded in getting an Imperial farman to trade establish factories in all parts of the Mughal Empire.
• Roe’s success further angered the Portuguese and a fierce naval battle between the two countries began in 1620 which ended in English victory. Hostilities between the two came to an end in 1630.
• In 1662 the Portuguese gave the Island of Bombay to King Charles II of England as dowry for marrying a Portuguese Princess. Eventually, the Portuguese lost all their possessions in India except Goa, Daman and Diu.
• The Company, benefiting from the imperial patronage, soon expanded its commercial trading operations, eclipsing the Portuguese Estado da India, which had established bases in Goa, Chittagong and Bombay.
• The Company created trading posts in Surat (where a factory was built in 1612), Madras (1639), Bombay (1668), and Calcutta (1690).
• By 1647, the Company had 23 factories, each under the command of a factor or master merchant and governor if so chosen, and had 90 employees in India.
• The major factories became the walled forts of Fort William in Bengal, Fort St George in Madras, and the Bombay Castle.
• In 1634, the Mughal emperor extended his hospitality to the English traders to the region of Bengal, and in 1717 completely waived customs duties for the trade.
• The company’s mainstay businesses were by then in cotton, silk, indigo dye, saltpetre and tea.
• By a series of five acts around 1670, King Charles II provisioned it with the rights to autonomous territorial acquisitions, to mint money, to command fortresses and troops and form alliances, to make war and peace, and to exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the acquired areas.
IMPACT OF EUROPEANS ON INDIA’S FOREIGN TRADE
• With the arrival of the Europeans, particularly the Dutch and the English, there was a tremendous increase in the demand for Indian textiles for both the Asian markets and later the European market.
• The Asian markets for Indian textiles were developed over a long period. There markets were extensive and widespread and there was great diversity in their demand.
• There was a bilateral trade between the Coromandal and various parts of South East Asia such as Malacca, Java and the Spice Islands. In this trade, the Coromandal textiles acted as a link in a multilateral trade, embracing the Coromandal, South-East Asia, West Asia, and the Mediterranean. In this trade, Coromandal textiles were exchanged for South-East Asian spices which were in turn meant for the West Asian and Mediterranean markets.
• The European market for Indian textiles actually developed around the middle of the 17th century, and thereafter it grew by leaps and bounds.
• The intra-Asian trade witnessed severe competition among the various groups of merchants, such as the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English, the Danes, and the Indians consisting of both the Moors and the Chettis, whereas the European market for Indian textiles was dominated entirely by the European companies, particularly the English and the Dutch, with the Indian merchants acting essentially as middleman.
• European participation in the foreign trade of India showed a marked increase in the second half of the 17th century. This increase can be seen clearly in the sharp rise in their investments, a large part of which was in textiles meant for the Asian markets as well as the European market.
• Though initially European investment in Indian textiles considerably exceeded those ordered for the European market, by the end of the 17th century the situation was reversed with two-thirds of it going for the European market and only one-third for the Asian market.
• Among the various European companies competing for Indian textiles, the main rivalry was between the Dutch and the English, with the former initially having an edge but the latter gradually gaining supremacy by the turn of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century.
• With regard to the textile varieties that were exported from the Coromandal to South East Asia and other Asian markets, and later to Europe, the European records give a very long list.
• The various types, in order of importance, were long-cloth, salempors, moris (chintz), guinea-cloth, bethiles, allegias, sarassas, tapis, and the like.
• All these varieties were being exported even during earlier periods to several Asian markets such as the Moluccan Spice Islands, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, the Malay Peninsula, Siam, Tenasserim, Pegu, Arakan, Persia, Arabia, and the Red Sea ports.
• But the specialty of the period under study was the increased European orders which, though matching the already existing varieties, demanded measurements large than those in the Asian markets.
• Consequently, the Indian weavers had to change their methods and their looms to accommodate this European demand.
• Many of them did so quite profitably, but it necessitated long-term contracts and rendered spot orders improbable.
• The Indian economy, more specifically its textile trade and industry, during the second half of the 17th century, was a seller (i.e. producers) market. For, when the three European companies- English, Dutch and French were competing in the open market, making large orders from India, and these were supplemented by European private trade and Indian trade, the weavers had greater flexibility and large freedom of operation.
• The interchangeability of goods ordered by these various buyers, who were aiming at broadly the same export market, made it possible for weaver produced was bought up by one or the other eager customers.
• If, for instance, any cloth produced by the weaver was rejected by the companies, then the weaver could sell it to English private traders. This situation existed in many parts of the country where the three companies as well as the other buyers were in free competition.

3-D Printing


3-D Printing

• 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
• 3D printing encompasses a wide range of additive manufacturing technologies. Each of these builds objects in successive layers that are typically about 0.1 mm thin.
• The methods used vary significantly, but all start with a computer aided design (CAD) model or a digital scan.
• This is then processed by ‘slicing software’ that divides the object into thin cross sections that are printed out one on top of the other.
• 3D printed models of human organs have been a frequent tool for surgeons over the last two to three years, as they provide a more intricate view of the issues at hand. Instead of relying on 2D and 3D images on a computer screen or a printout, surgeons can actually touch and feel physical replicas of the patient’s organs, bone structures, or whatever else they are about to work on.
• Because of the unique geometries offered by additive manufacturing, militaries around the world, as well as agencies such as NASA and the ESA, along with numerous aircraft manufacturers are turning to 3D printing in order to reduce the overall weight of their aircraft. Complex geometries and new materials offer superior strength with less mass, potentially saving organizations like NASA boatloads of fuel, and thus money, during the launching of spacecraft and/or rockets out of our atmosphere. At the same time, companies like Boeing and Airbus are using 3D printing to reduce the weight of their aircraft, allowing them to cut fuel costs for each flight.

Solar Technology Terms


Solar Technology Terms

Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.
The terms related to Solar technology have been listed below:
• Solar vehicle: It is an electric vehicle powered completely or significantly by direct solar energy. Usually, photovoltaic (PV) cells contained in solar panels convert the sun’s energy directly into electric energy.
• Solar lamp: It is also known as solar light or solar lantern, is a lighting system composed of an LED lamp, solar panels, battery, charge controller and there may also be an inverter. The lamp operates on electricity from batteries, charged through the use of solar photovoltaic panel.
• Solar cooker: It is a device which uses the energy of direct sunlight to heat, cook or pasteurise drink. Many solar cookers currently in use are relatively inexpensive, low-tech devices, although some are as powerful or as expensive as traditional stoves, and advanced, large-scale solar cookers can cook for hundreds of people.
• Solar water heating (SWH): It is the conversion of sunlight into heat for water heating using a solar thermal collector. SWHs are widely used for residential and some industrial applications.
• Solar panel/ Solar cells: It refers to a panel designed to absorb the sun’s rays as a source of energy for generating electricity or heating.
• Solar Street light: These lights provide a convenient and cost-effective way to light streets at night without the need of AC electrical grids for pedestrians and drivers. They may have individual panels for each lamp of a system, or may have a large central solar panel and battery bank to power multiple lamps.
• Solar cars: Solar cars depend on PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity to drive electric motors. Unlike solar thermal energy which converts solar energy to heat, PV cells directly convert sunlight into electricity.
• Solar buses: Solar buses are propulsed by solar energy, all or part of which is collected from stationary solar panel installations.
• Solar ships can refer to solar powered airships or hybrid airships.
• Solar powered spacecraft: Solar energy is often used to supply power for satellites and spacecraft operating in the inner solar system since it can supply energy for a long time without excess fuel mass.
• Solar propelled spacecraft: A few spacecraft operating within the orbit of Mars have used solar power as an energy source for their propulsion system.
• Solar thermal collector: It collects heat by absorbing sunlight. A collector is a device for capturing solar radiation.

Fuel Cell


Fuel Cell

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy in fuels into electrical energy directly, promising power generation with high efficiency and low environmental impact.
A fuel cell produces electricity, water, and heat using fuel and oxygen in the air. Water is the only emission when hydrogen is the fuel.
As hydrogen flows into the fuel cell on the anode side, a platinum catalyst facilitates the separation of the hydrogen gas into electrons and protons (hydrogen ions). The hydrogen ions pass through the membrane (the center of the fuel cell) and, again with the help of a platinum catalyst, combine with oxygen and electrons on the cathode side, producing water. The electrons, which cannot pass through the membrane, flow from the anode to the cathode through an external circuit containing a motor or other electric load, which consumes the power generated by the cell.
The voltage from one single cell is about 0.7 volts – just about enough for a light bulb – much less a car. When the cells are stacked in series, the operating voltage increases to 0.7 volts, multiplied by the number of cells stacked.
Most fuel cell power systems comprise a number of components:
a) Unit cells, in which the electrochemical reactions take place
b) Stacks, in which individual cells are modularly combined by electrically connecting the cells to form units with the desired output capacity.
c) Balance of plant which comprises components that provide feed stream conditioning (including a fuel processor if needed), thermal management, and electric power conditioning among other ancillary and interface functions

Benefits of fuel cell
a) Low emission
A fuel cell operating on pure hydrogen emits zero emissions at the source. Based on measured data, a stationary fuel cell power plant creates less than one ounce of pollution per 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity produced. Conventional combustion generating technologies create 25 pounds of pollutants for the same amount of electricity.
Fuel cells also reduce noise emissions. Since fuel cells do not rely on combustion and have few moving parts, they are very quiet – about 60 decibels, the volume of a typical conversation. And since noise pollution is all but eliminated, fuel cells can be sited indoors or outdoors without being obtrusive.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are the least polluting of all vehicle types that consume fuel directly, emitting zero emissions during use.
b) High Efficiency
Because fuel cells create energy electrochemically, and do not burn fuel, they are fundamentally more efficient than combustion systems. Fuel cell systems today achieve 40-50 percent fuel-to-electricity efficiency using hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas.
c) Energy Security
Hydrogen can be produced from domestic resources, eliminating the need to import foreign oil.
Because fuel cells do not have to be connected to the electrical grid, they are a form of distributed generation that allows the country to move away from reliance on high voltage central power generation, which is vulnerable to attacks and natural disasters. Fuel cells aid critical communications networks, providing crucial connections and continuous power during weather events such as hurricanes and snow storms that can cripple the grid. Fuel cells have proven themselves during these violent weather events over the past few years, providing reliable backup power to schools, hospitals, and grocery stores, all of which deliver crucial goods and services to communities. Fuel cells are also rugged, and can be sited in harsh terrain, extreme climates, and rural areas without infrastructure.
d) Durability
Whether in rough terrain or extreme climates, fuel cells can be sited wherever power is needed. Uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units currently backup cell towers in remote locations, and portable fuel cells have proved themselves alongside the U.S. military in theater, providing soldiers critical power with low heat and noise signatures in extreme environments.
e) Scalability
Fuel cells are modular, and can be scaled up depending on the power needs of a facility. Larger fuel cells can be linked together to achieve multi-megawatt outputs, while smaller ones can satisfy specific power needs at residential, telecommunications, or small commercial facilities.
f) Lightweight and Long Lasting
Fuel cells are being developed for portable electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones. Fuel cells provide a much longer operating life than a battery, and since fuel cells have a higher energy density, they are lighter than an equivalent battery system. Fuel cells do not require recharging; as long as fuel is present, the system will continuously generate electricity.

Sai Praveen

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