Tools And Models



    January, 2016

    CSTEP’s Solar Techno Economic Model (CSTEM) is an open-access, computational tool that can facilitate analysis of grid-connected solar power plants. The technologies covered by the tool are Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaics (PV). The tool can be used to estimate the performance of a solar power plant and the cost of electrical energy generation. This tool blends technology-centred engineering analysis with financial models. The technical model has been developed as per scientific and industrial literature. The financial model has been based on the norms specified by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) of India. The current version of the model can be used to perform pre-feasibility/potential assessment studies. 

    The development of CSTEM is based upon work supported by the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy-Research (PACE-R), for the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the U.S. (SERIIUS) funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government of India. The base version of the CSP tool (Parabolic Trough) was developed under the grant support provided by MNRE. 

    The CSP version of the tool currently caters to the Parabolic Trough technology and Solar Tower. The current version of Parabolic Trough, which is a stand-alone software package, is available for download at: http://www.cstep.in/CSTEM_Windows.zip or http://www.seriius.org/modeling.html

    The PV version of the tool currently caters to the fixed tilt configuration. The current version, which is a web-based tool, can be accessed at: http://cstem.cstep.in/cstem/


    CSTEM Roof Top Photovoltaics (CSTEM RTPV) is modelled specifically to perform pre-feasibility assessments suitable to Indian scenarios.

    The tool considers the following factors:
    •    Solar geometry components, which models the sun’s path, as seen by the location of interest
    •    Effect of temperature and wind speeds on module power output
    •    Module degradation effects
    •    Inverter start up voltage requirements
    •    Effective sizing of the plant considering location specific configuration assessment.

    The tool estimates the payback period and savings for a given setup as per state specific policies. These insights would aid in capacity planning and assessment of financial viability of RTPV setup.

    The current version of the model solely caters to pre-feasibility/potential assessment purposes. Some assumptions and considerations used in the model development are:
    •    The model is suitable for rooftop setup less than 1MW
    •    The model has been designed only for fixed panel configuration at a constant tilt angle. 
    •    The model developed considers a design for no shading conditions. The user has to provide a percentage of roof area which is shadow free. 
    •    Degradation/reliability aspects of PV module
    • Generally quoted in manufacturer data sheet - drops to 90% of efficiency in 10 years, then drops to 80% of efficiency in 25 years.

  • RE Atlas for India

    August, 2016

    The (Renewable Energy) RE Atlas is a tool that provides users visualisation and first-cut analysis, of national and state level potentials across various RE sectors such as solar, wind, bio-mass and pumped hydro. It is intended to act as a common platform for decision-makers, policy researchers, academia and industry to visualise renewable energy potential within India.
    The tool is currently categorised into two segments, namely Solar and Wind. The solar category comprises of both Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaics (PV), whereas the wind category comprises of both offshore and onshore wind potentials. This tool provides land parcel details, at the taluk level, for each state in India. The tool is freely accessible and doesn’t require any login credentials.

    The RE Atlas is meant to be a dynamic and user-interactive platform and is presently based on resource data and information that we have obtained from various sources.  

    The Renewable Energy (RE) Atlas for India with the following features:

    1.    Karnataka Wind Site Allocation Data (partial dataset obtained from Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited)
    2.    Karnataka Wind Site Installation Data (partial dataset obtained from Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited)
    3.    Gujarat Wind Site Generation Data for 3 months (as reported in real time on https://www.sldcguj.com/)

    Core grants provided by Think Tank Initiative (TTI) of International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Oak Foundation helped us build the expertise in geo-spatial analysis and acquire various datasets and tools. Grants from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation enabled us to procure relevant data and add Integrated Resource Planning as a component for modelling the integration of RE with conventional power sources. A grant from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy enabled us to develop CSTEM, which is an engineering-economic analysis model for solar thermal technologies.  We further used a grant from Department of Science and Technology (DST), under the Indo US Joint Clean Energy R&D Centre, SERIIUS, to add engineering-economic analyses of solar PV technologies to CSTEM.

  • SANITECH: The Integrated Urban Sanitation Decision-Support Tool

    September, 2015

    SANITECH is a pre-feasibility technology-choice decision-support tool.  It is a part of the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Toolbox (www.fsmtoolbox.com), a one-stop knowledge and resource platform for FSM projects, developed by the Asian Institute of Technology, CEPT University and CSTEP. SANITECH has been validated in Warangal and through Project Tuymai.

    The tool features:
    • View the sanitation situation in a city through a GIS-enabled interactive user interface.
    • Assess various technology options in sanitation in specific contexts.
    • Compare a portfolio of context-appropriate technology choices across the sanitation value chain.
    • Design context-appropriate systems from a repository of technology options.
    • Take various actions and examine their impact on the performance of specific indicators.
    • Build and compare scenarios on decision-support indicators.

    CSTEP has prepared a comprehensive compendium of sanitation technologies, across the sanitation value chain, which provides readers information on the features, design, operation, cost, etc., of these technologies, and a compendium of sanitation tools which aims to list all accessible and relevant tools in the sanitation sector, with focus on tools that take FSM into consideration. Factsheets, which cover the objectives, descriptions, advantages, limitations and details of the tool, have been developed for each of these tools.

  • India Energy Security Scenarios 2047

    January, 2015

    CSTEP is a knowledge partner in the development of India Energy Security Scenarios (IESS) 2047, which is an energy scenario-building tool with an aim to develop energy pathways leading up to the year 2047. CSTEP has been working on assessing the energy demand trajectories for agriculture and commercial lighting and appliances, and energy supply trajectories for hydro power and nuclear power.

  • Vehicle Dispatch and Routing System

    July, 2014

    CSTEP has developed a visualisation tool to chart the best possible routes from a resource location (such as a fire station) to an incident site (such as a fire), keeping in mind the width of the roads that lead up to the incident site. In other words, given a classification of road networks and resource requirements, the tool calculates the shortest routes between the incident site and the resource locations along with fulfilling resource requirements. It is called the ‘Vehicle Dispatch and Routing System (VDRS)’.