Overview of PCRET
Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy
Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) was established by merging the National Institute of Silicon Technology (NIST) and the Pakistan Council for Appropriate Technologies (PCAT) on May 8, 2001. It is the prime institution in the country for coordinating R&D and promotional activities in different renewable energy technologies.
- ->To establish facilities, expertise and to do research, to develop suitable technologies,
- ->To produce materials, devices and applications in the field of renewable energy,
- ->To determine polices and make short and long term programs,
- ->To promote renewable technologies in the country through research and development,
- ->To organize conferences, seminars, workshops for promotion of technologies,
- ->To establish national and international liaison in the field, and
- ->To advise and assist the government and relevant industries in the area
Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies is committed to research, develop, promote, disseminate, impart training provide energy services to the people living in remote areas, and create Renewable Energy culture in the country.
PCRET Renewable Energy Experts
DIRECTOR GENERAL, PCRET
Contact No. 051-9265220, Fax: 051-9265221,
This is in line with the recommendations of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Science & Technology, through their letter
No. F.13(1)/2013-Com-I, dated April 22, 2015.
The basic mandate of PCRET is to carry out R&D in the field of Renewable Energy Technologies for the socio-economic development of the country, as well as promote the new and existing technologies to overcome the prevailing energy shortages and replace the environmental polluting fuel sources with the green sources. An important mandate is to convey the benefits of these technologies to the common public. PCRET has developed a number of new ways of exploiting the abundant natural energy resource of Pakistan, as well as introduced the already proven energy harnessing concepts in the rest of the world. It is visualized that nearly 85-90% of the efforts of PCRET should be directed towards the large scale dissemination of the already existing, proven and cost effective Renewable Energy Technologies in Pakistan, for harnessing the abundant natural resource, while nearly 10-15% efforts should be towards the development of “New Research based Concepts”. All R&D organizations and Universities of Pakistan should play their part for the contribution of new knowledge into the ever expanding global pool. At the same time all out efforts should be made towards harnessing the fruits of the already available and proven technologies to address the socio-economic disparities between the Developed and the Developing.
There is a huge scope of work in the areas pertaining to the mandate of PCRET. Currently, PCRET is in the process of recruiting additional staff. It is extremely necessary to allocate sufficient funds for advanced R&D in order to fruitfully utilize the expertise of the existing and the additional manpower to accelerate the effective penetration of Renewable Energy into the energy mix of Pakistan. Many of the ongoing programs of PCRET have suffered irreversible damage due to extreme paucity of funds in the R&D head, as well as the shortage of qualified technical manpower. It is desired that more advanced R&D be carried out towards designing and testing of the already developed products as well as develop new concepts, and introduce/ train the general public for adopting these technologies in their daily lives, in the below outlined areas, during 2015-18. Materialization of all the proposed activities is subject to the availability of sufficient funds and manpower.
1.Conduct Renewable Energy training workshops for the general public:
One of the greatest barriers in the large scale penetration of Renewable Energy Technologies in Pakistan is the lack of public awareness about the existence and associated benefits of these technologies, which are affecting and changing the energy vision and the energy usage practices in the rest of the world. It is extremely important to educate the general public about the benefits, cost effectiveness, and methods of using the Renewable Energy Products, and alleviate their fears about new energy practices. Pakistan is very rich in renewable energy sources. It is only the will to harness these sources that can bring the difference in the current state of the affairs. PCRET has regularly conducted such training workshops in the past and trained thousands of citizens, but due to extreme paucity of funds, it had to suspend these activities since the last few years. Now, it is desired to restart such training sessions with a greater vigor, and conduct several monthly training sessions in the various cities of Pakistan.
2.Effectively Advertise the products/ services of PCRET on the electronic and print media, and hold a series of seminars/ exhibitions:
As already mentioned, PCRET has developed a number of new ways of exploiting the abundant natural energy resource of Pakistan, as well as introduced the already proven energy harnessing concepts in the rest of the world. However, there is a general lack of public awareness about the PCRET products and services. PCRET offers a number of testing and certification services towards standardized dissemination of the Renewable Energy products in Pakistan, by the private sector. It is very desirable that the PCRET products and services be given wide publicity through the print and electronic media/ Advertisements/ TV talks/ Seminars and Exhibitions, to speed up the penetration of Renewable Energy into the energy mix of Pakistan and in order to remain in line with the rest of the world.
3.Development of improved and user friendly Solar Cookers for mass scale dissemination:
One third of the primary energy consumption in Pakistan goes for the cooking of food. Cooking of food using conventional means like wood, natural gas, kerosene oil and cow dung is not only hazardous for health but also put great burden on the national exchequer in terms of imports, as well as causes rapid deforestation. Solar cookers are very suitable and environmental friendly alternates for replacing the above energy sources. PCRET has developed and disseminated several types of solar cookers in the past. However, these cookers are yet not very user friendly, and need further R&D and improvements to make them attractive options for the general public. Three different types of solar cookers are intended to be designed, fabricated and tested over the years to achieve the intended targets. Work will be extended to acquire the capability to cook food even after the sunset. The work is expected to produce several research papers as well, publishable in reputed international journals. Replacement of solar cookers with the conventional cookers has the potential of saving tens of billions of rupees annually to the nation, bring convenience to villagers, as well as provide new jobs to thousands of young Pakistanis. The developed solar cookers will be massively deployed in the rural and urban areas nationwide, with proper publicity and training.
4.Development of improved Solar Water Purifiers for mass scale deployment:
Availability of clean drinking water is one of the major problems being faced in Pakistan, in the rural as well urban areas. Use of the contaminated and polluted water causes thousands of deaths every year. Solar water purifying systems may provide a very convenient and affordable means to solve this problem. One such system on small scale can produce 10 to 15 liters of clean water in a day to fulfill a single family demand. PCRET has developed some such systems in the past, but they need further improvements, ruggedness and user friendliness. It is intended to carry out advanced R&D to improve the yield of each system, reduce its weight, increase its mobility and decrease the cost to make them more appealing to the end users. This will require conceiving, fabrication and testing of new designs and use of more efficient materials. The work may yield publications in reputed international journals and bring enhancement in the pool of existing human knowledge.
5.Development of Horizontal and Vertical Axis Wind Turbines
Pakistan has a total wind energy resource of around 120,000 MW. Currently, about 300 MW capacity wind turbines have been grid connected, and their numbers are increasing rapidly. While grid connected wind turbines provide cost effective energy security at the national level, small wind turbines have the potential of fulfilling the energy demands of dispersed population patches consisting of individual houses, farms and small businesses. Most of the installed wind turbines are of Horizontal Axis type, but Vertical Axis type concepts offer a large area of further R&D for improvements. These turbines have the unique characteristic of remaining independent of the directional changes of the wind, as they catch wind from all directions. They are therefore simpler to build and operate. Further, their generators are fitted on the ground, permitting much easier maintenance and trouble shooting. It is desired to design and test some of these concepts during the year 2015-18, and install models in the PCRET head office and the regional office. Also the capability to produce more conventional Horizontal Axis wind turbines, their generators and other associated components will be acquired through R&D at PCRET.
6.Carry out advanced work in the field of biogas production:
PCRET has so far installed 4600 biogas plants, throughout Pakistan. Biogas Technology is the fastest growing Renewable Energy Technology in the country. The country has the potential for the installation of around 15 million such plants. Biogas plants convert cow dung into natural gas and enriched fertilizer. While the current biogas plants are cost effective with a payback period of about seven months, versus the plant’s life of 15-20 years, there is much space for further improvements in their designs, daily yields and efficiency with respect to the climatic conditions of the various regions of Pakistan. Further, the project scope may be extended to work on waste to energy conversion. It is desirable to gradually convert the PCRET’s regional office in Lahore into a “Center of Advanced Research in Biogas Technology”. A number of equipments and supplies are required to be purchased for this purpose. The current capacity of the building at the regional office, Lahore, is sufficient to accommodate all the new equipment and additional staff.
7.Develop and test a solar thermal power plant for electricity generation:
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is fast gaining ground around the world for cost effective harnessing of the solar power. In this technology, solar radiation energy is first used to heat water and generate high temperature and high pressure steam. This steam then drives a steam turbine for generating electricity. The plant is relatively complex, but has the potential of large scale grid connected power production. It is desired to construct a 20 meter long and 3 meter wide solar collector for making a pilot scale solar thermal power plant for installation at the PCRET head office. This plant will generate high temperature steam to drive a steam engine to generate electricity.
8.Development of larger scale solar driers
Solar drying is an effective technology for the preservation of food when it is available in abundance, and consumption when it is scarce. Fruits, vegetables, fish, prawns and meat can be preserved this way. The food is dried under scientifically controlled conditions, allowing the preservation of nutritional content, taste and flavor. There is a huge market with export potential, in the country, for utilizing solar drying technology. PCRET has developed several Solar Driers in the past and disseminated them to the end users, but there is vast potential for their further improvement in terms of performance, capacity and response to the demands of the end users. It is intended that advanced designing and continuous testing of new driers be carried out during the years 2015-18, at the regional offices of PCRET. Also subsidized solar driers may be provided to the end users to substantially increase their penetration in the local agricultural practices.
9.Enhancement of PCRET facilities for advanced R&D in the field of micro-hydro power
Pakistan has a total hydro power resource of around 100,000 MW. A few tens of thousands of MW of this potential relates to micro-hydro level turbines. PCRET has so far installed more than 560 small hydro power plants in the Northern areas of Pakistan, with a combined capacity of nearly 10 MW, to fulfill the energy needs of more than 80,000 households and businesses. Since nearly all the applications of micro-hydro technology lie in the Northern areas, it is desired that the PCRET’s regional center at Peshawar be developed as the Center of Excellence in Micro-hydro Power. Some heavy equipment related to the manufacture of pipes, lathe and milling machines, provided by USAID is already available at the Peshawar center. It is intended that more required equipment be acquired and installed at the center and a good team be deputed after fresh recruitments to carry out the local manufacture of some of the related components, thereby acquiring self-sufficiency in this very important Renewable Energy Technology. The facility will also permit more advanced R&D in this sector.
10.Enhancement in the existing solar PV research facilities
Photovoltaic (PV) is the second highest investment attracting renewable energy source in the world. The recent drop in prices of the silicon solar cells, up to 40˘/ watt, and even lower prices in case of Polycrystalline silicon solar cells, has tremendously increased the viability of PV technology. PCRET has already established PV technology of first generation solar cells for mono-crystalline silicon solar cells. The polycrystalline silicon solar cell technology is yet to be established in the country. At present PCRET is working on research and development of 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation of solar cells and have successfully fabricated the 2nd and 3rd generation of solar cells. Research work for fabrication of 4th generation solar cells is in progress by involving 06 PhD students from different universities of the country.
During next 03 years PCRET plans to execute the followings in the field of PV Technologies:
i)Fabrication of 4th generation solar cells.
ii)Present research collaborations will be enhanced with different universities of the country by involving greater numbers of PhD students.
iii)Power conversion efficiency of indigenously fabricated silicon solar cells will be enhanced from the current range of nearly 13.5% to 16% through PSDP Projects.
iv)Fully equipped mechanical workshop will be establishment under the ongoing extension project.
v)Trainings will be provided in the field of silicon solar cell fabrication and PV module fabrication.
vi)The PV products testing lab will be upgraded to enhance the purpose of certification for private sector importers to ensure quality of the imported PV panels.
200 kW solar PV system at PCRET is planned,
under PSDP project to acquire partial self
sufficiency in power consumption .