Renewable energy has been CSR's first field of research
and development and India's Ministry for Non-conventional Energy Sources
(MNES) has been its main sponsor in this domain.
CSR developed and produces maintenance-free
ferrocement biogas plants
of two types: floating drum and fixed dome. R&D was financed
CSR developed India's best performing wind-pumps
(5.5 m diameter wheel, 25 m high tower). CSR's wind pumps are manufactured
and marketed by "Aureka", a sister unit under the Auroville
Foundation. R&D was financed by MNES.
CSR built a
15 metre diameter fixed spherical solar concentrator for
Auroville's "Solar Kitchen". The solar concentrator has
been designed to produce sufficient steam for 1,000 lunches and
1,000 dinners on clear days. The system is fully automatic and hybridized
in order to produce steam regardless of the cloud cover. MNES and Hudco were sponsors.
- CSR installed a 37
kW solar photovoltaic power plant for Matrimandir. It has also installed more than 200 solar photovoltaic water pumps of at least 1kW each in Auroville and surrounding region.
CSR has manufactured components
of an 8-metre diameter solar parabolic concentrator to be equipped
with a 10 kW Stirling Engine. This system was designed in Germany
and will be installed at Vellore Engineering College in Tamil Nadu.
In 1997, IREDA (Govt. of India) gave CSR the award
of India's "Best NGO in the Renewable Energy Sector in India".