The National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) at IIT Bombay was launched in 2010 with funding from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India. The 5-year Phase I of NCPRE lasted from 2010 to 2015. Phase II started in 2016, and funding has now been extended till 2021.
The broad objectives of NCPRE are to provide R&D and education support for India’s ambitious 100 GW solar mission. NCPRE has 39 faculty members and over 120 research staff across 8 Departments at IIT Bombay working on various aspects of PV. Excellent laboratory facilities have been set up which are accessible to all NCPRE researchers. NCPRE conducts periodic short-term courses about the latest developments in the field of photovoltaics, for working engineers in industry as well as faculty and students from academic institutions.
The Centre is involved in both basic and applied research activities. These research activities include silicon solar cell fabrication and characterization, new materials for PV devices, energy storage and batteries for PV, development of power electronic interfaces for solar PV systems, and module characterization and reliability.
NCPRE has a strong programme of industry outreach. It has a successful Industry Affiliate Program (IAP), and undertakes projects and consultancy in its areas of expertise. It also provides services for characterization and measurement where available. NCPRE also explores the technology basis of solar energy policy, and brings out relevant reports in this area.