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17-year-old designs new-gen apps for solar power

Ministry asks research body to take it to commercial level

Shreya Jai  |  New Delhi 

Armaan Puri
Arman Puri with one of the solar apps he has designed. (Photo: Dalip Kumar)

Arman Puri says his grandfather and father keep talking to him about the solar energy sector every day and he "can't help but get inspired". The 17-year-old resident of Delhi is putting that inspiration to good use. He has designed two mobile apps on solar power, which have been referred by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) to its fully-owned research agency Institute on Solar Energy (NISE), to develop it further and take it to a commercial level.

It's actually in his DNA. Arman is son of Ratul Puri, chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects (HPP), and grandson of Deepak Puri, founder of Moser Baer - one of the first and most prominent players in solar panel manufacturing, apart from other products. HPP is a growing power generation company, with interests across thermal and renewable.

One of the mobile apps developed by Arman is beneficial for roof-top solar establishments. Based on the concept of photo-sensitive sensors and physics engines, as Arman puts it, the app converts the mobile into a sensor. "The mobile, when kept over the solar panel, recognises sunlight, the tangent and the intensity. It then directs the user at what degree and direction should the solar panel be to generate maximum power per panel per unit," he says, with a confidence belying his age.

The mobile app could not only be beneficial to commercial establishments using solar on their roof-top but also domestic consumers.

The other app is aimed at grid-connected solar power generating projects. It helps in forecasting a day before how much power a site would produce. The government is moving ahead with integrating large-scale renewable power with the grid. Also, the electricity regulator has come out with guidelines on forecasting and scheduling renewable-based power.

"I met senior ministry officials and they liked the ideas and have asked me to work closely with research fellows at NISE," says Arman.

Ministry officials who were showcased the apps say they were promising. "NISE would develop it further to make it commercially viable for us to endorse it," says an official.

So what are Arman's future plans? Having interned at Stanford University last summer with a noted physicist, he is keen to join the university as a scholar next year. He has been designing apps since 2012 - the first was a sharing platform for teachers and parents, and the second was a mobile game.

"My prime interest is the energy sector, as it has the highest potential," says Arman. Solar energy, it seems, has got its youngest brand ambassador.

  • Arman Puri is the son of Hindustan Powerprojects Chairman Ratul Puri and grandson of Moser Baer founder Deepak Puri
  • Has been designing apps since 2012 - the first was for his school and the second a mobile game
  • Has developed two solar apps - one for roof-top solar panels and the other is aimed at grid-connected solar power generating projects
  • Institute of Solar Energy to collaborate with Arman to further develop these
  • Having interned at Stanford University, he plans to join it as a student next year

First Published: Sat, November 28 2015. 00:28 IST