Why Green Technology is the Need of the Hour

By- Mahesh Wagle, Co-founder & Director, Cybernetik

As the world battles the vagaries of climate change, green technology is gaining prominence in mitigating the impact of global warming. Here, electric vehicles (EVs) are a major focus area in India and abroad.

In the past few weeks, however, repeated instances of electric two-wheelers catching fire have led to injuries and fatalities. In all these incidents, battery-pack problems are purportedly behind the sudden fires. Given this scenario, these issues must be resolved at the earliest so the adoption of EVs does not suffer a significant setback.

Criticality of using Indigenous Batteries

A battery comprises the heart of EVs. Earlier, range anxiety was a huge hurdle in the adoption of EVs. Thanks to tech breakthroughs, longer-range batteries have helped EVs gain greater acceptance. But the recent spate of fires threatens to dent this progress.

Experts believe one reason the imported batteries are catching fire is that they are unsuitable for India’s hot climatic conditions. This highlights the criticality of using indigenous technology created as per local conditions. Fortunately, select domestic companies possess the requisite expertise in automation and robotics to customise batteries for India’s automotive industry.

EVs in India face two primary challenges – energy storage and energy delivery technology. Through automation, both the challenges can be addressed. Imported batteries not working well in India are primarily linked to the cell’s building technology. But domestic battery manufacturers understand the significance of building battery packs that can withstand such potential problems, including vibrations, drops and potholes.

Meanwhile, given the barriers of space and lack of adequate charging infrastructure, battery swapping is an apt solution to handle these issues. The swappable battery packs are built to withstand diverse Indian conditions while also being drop-proof, idiot-proof and robust enough to meet IP67 and other standards. Battery packs are also available for solar, where different challenges arise since the pack sizes are much bigger compared to automotive applications.

Whatever the segment, automation and robotics help in making better battery packs, ensuring these are assembled accurately, automatically and speedily. Moreover, quality checks are conducted right from the time they roll out of assembly lines. Manufacturing large battery packs is best done with end-to-end robotics. Since a battery pack essentially represents an energy device, these shouldn’t be tinkered with except by trained and authorised personnel.

If EVs are supported by bespoke domestic batteries, the transition from ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles would be much faster in India. But a quicker transition from ICE to EVs may only be possible if supply-side constraints are addressed.

The Role of Catalytic Converters

Another vital element in the shift towards green technology is the catalytic converter. The converters mainly neutralise carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulate matter found in vehicle exhaust.

In essence, catalytic converters limit pollution by oxidizing carbon monoxide from automobile exhaust to carbon dioxide. Hydrocarbons are also oxidized while reducing nitrogen oxides. As transport is the main source of urban air pollution, killing countless people globally every year, catalytic converters play a pivotal role in minimising such deaths.

However, a major factor impacting the efficiency of catalytic converters is the substrate coating. But a substrate coating system based on multiple automation mechanisms can facilitate data traceability, customised design, high productivity and safety for passenger cars, heavy trucks and motorcycles.

Wind Energy and Root-end Machining

Today, governments in many countries prefer wind electricity to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and water usage by the power industry. This helps diversify the sources of power generation, ensuring better price stability over the long run. In 2020, around 28% of the electricity produced globally was derived from renewables. As per the Global Wind Energy Council, wind power generation stood at 743 GW at the end of 2020, which accounts for 6% of global power.

In numerous nations, wind power has exceeded or achieved grid parity with generation costs either equal to or less than that from traditional sources. This is good news as two other energy applications – heating and transport – are especially difficult to decarbonise. Through renewable sources, it is easier to decarbonise electricity.

Where wind energy is concerned, the three-blade HAWT (horizontal axis wind turbine) remains the industry standard because it ensures better efficiency and controllability while rotor speed is difficult to control in VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine). Nonetheless, HWATs remain ultra-sensitive to any changes in the blade design and profiles.

Accordingly, fastening of blades to the hub, or root-end machining, is a skilled operation requiring precise machining that maintains the turbine’s structural integrity, given the massive loads it may face. Moreover, fastening must be done without impeding the turbine’s efficiency. All hurdles can be managed smoothly via customised automation that can deal with multiple and sequential operations.

After hydroelectricity, the most renewable electricity is generated globally through wind energy. As India seeks to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2070 (from the earlier date of 2050), a sustained shift towards green technology is the need of the hour. Automating these technologies can ascertain the country reaches its net-zero goal sooner rather than later. 

electric vehicleElectric Vehiclesglobal warmingtechnology
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