India to don a new feather in the hat. As per a recent official statement, the agreement on the first transfer of technology for lithium-ion batteries has been signed between the government-run Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd. Also, according to the Science and Technology Ministry statement, this memorandum of understanding is the first of its kind for the country.
Further reports also state that, the indigenous technology of lithium-ion cells has been developed by a group of scientists at the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR)’s CECRI in Tamil Nadu’s Karaikudi in partnership with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, CSIR-Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
It read that “CSIR-CECRI has set up a demo facility in Chennai to manufacture prototype lithium-ion cells. It has secured global IPRs with the potential to enable cost reduction, coupled with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology for mass protection”.
Also, according to the ministry, Indian manufacturers source lithium-ion batteries from China, Japan, and South Korea among some other countries. To this, the report added that “India is one of the largest importers, and in 2017 it imported nearly $150 million worth of lithium-ion batteries”.
In this aspect, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan added that “Today’s development is a validation of the capabilities of CSIR and its laboratories to meet technology in critical areas to support our industry, besides other sectors. It will give a tremendous boost to two flagship programmes – generating 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, of which 100 GW will be solar and the second, the National Electric Mobility Mission, to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030”.
Under this MoU, the Raasi Group would set up a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district, which is located close to Bengaluru. Here, Raasi Group Chairman C.Narsimhan added that “We want to bring down the cost of cell manufacturing below Rs 15,000 per KW to replace a lead-acid battery. We also have plans to make the lithium-ion battery for solar rooftop with the lifespan of 25 years to make it affordable enough to drive the photovoltaic segment”.
Lithium-ion batteries’ usage includes applications in energy storage systems which can power any electrical application without the need of physical wires.