The foundation stone for a PAN-IIT Solar Thermal Project involving the Indian Institutes of Technology from across the country will be laid near here next week.

The Rs 15-crore project is a research effort in which the IITs together will contribute towards establishment of a pilot solar thermal power generation system. The project will receive funding to the tune of Rs 15 crore from the Centre through the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

“Three major projects have been envisaged under this effort, namely, the establishment of a direct steam generation based solar thermal power plant, a liquid dessicant based solar air conditioning system and a thermal storage system,” B. Nagarajan, Deputy Registrar (Training, Placement and Public Relations), IIT-Madras said.

The project on the solar thermal power plant with direct steam generation is being coordinated by IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee, he said in a release here.

The liquid desiccant-based AC system and that on storage of solar thermal energy using phase change materials and other storage systems would be coordinated by IIT Bombay and IIT Guwahati, respectively, he added.

“All three projects will be integrated in a pilot solar thermal plant located at the Pathashaala, Vallipuram (Kanchipuram district), Tamil Nadu,” he said, adding the foundation stone for this ‘prestigious’ project would be laid on February 17 by Secretary in the Department of Science and Technology T. Ramasami.