Blue Star plans solar-powered ACs with IIT-M help

January 25, 2016 05:53 pm | Updated September 23, 2016 03:05 am IST - Chennai

Leading air-conditioning firm Blue Star has said that it will work on developing solar-powered air-conditioners (ACs) and indigenising controls and other parts used in inverter ACs as part of its collaboration with IIT-Madras.

Blue Star was among 25 companies that entered into memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with 25 of the top Central institutions in the country a couple of months ago. The collaboration meant for research requirements, curriculum development, faculty exchange and student internships, among others.

“We will jointly develop several products. IIT-M has an incubation centre. While we may end up using their facilities, we will also impart some training to them. In this joint development tie-up, we are focused on developing solar-powered air-conditioners in the next two years. Also, we will focus on improving the existing product line up in the air purification business,” said B. Thiagarajan, Executive Director & President – AC & R Products Division, Blue Star.

The company will also look at indigenisation of components for inverter range of ACs, a fast growing category for the company in the room AC segment.

“We are optimistic about outcome of our collaboration with IIT-M. We hope something big will come out of this joint initiative,” he added.

Over the past few years, Blue Star has been boosting its R & D efforts. Some months ago, it had come up with VRF (variable refrigerant flow) IV Plus AC system, which was designed and developed in-house with the help of an international expert. A VRF system is an intelligent system that cools large multi-zone spaces with varying heating and cooling needs through smart controls.

The company is also increasing its investments in new product development and other R & D works to stay competitive in the market. It has planned to spend about Rs. 30 crore in 2016-17 as against the budget of Rs. 20 crore for this fiscal.

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