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Issue # 15 | July-August 12

INTERNATIONAL Findings In The Correlation Of Ground Measured Irradiance Data With Satellite Derived Data

Efficient East-West Orientated PV Systems With One Mpp Tracker

Suggestions Towards Solar Policy Refinements

Photovoltaic Systems Properly Protected And Operated Safely


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Securing The Downside: Generation & EPC Contracts


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irst of all, It is my utmost pleasure in welcoming Mr.Subramanya to the editorial advisory board of EQ International. Mr.Subramanya recently resigned after serving as CEO of Tata BP Solar between 2006-2012 and took Tata BP Solar to great heights during his tenure. Currently he is also serving as Chairman, Solar Energy Task Force, FICCI. In the past he has won many awards including the prestigious Sarabhai Award in 2011 awarded by the ISA for sustained, outstanding contribution in the field of photovoltaics, India. Under his guidance and dynamic leadership we are confident to take the publication to the next level in serving the Indian Solar Sector. The States of India are awakening to realize the potential of Solar Energy Generation. Recently Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab announced their respective Solar Energy Policies. Madhya Pradesh aims to set up 4 solar parks in the state of capacity 200 MW each in public-private partnership. Various benefits to attract the private sector investments such as 10 year exemption in electricity fee & cess, four per cent subsidy by the state government in the wheeling charges, banking of generated power and exemption as per rules in VAT and entry tax, among others. Madhya Pradesh will soon see the solar project capacity building to the tune of 300 MW. Uttar Pradesh came up with a Draft Solar Policy 2012. UP aims to fulfill its Renewable Policy Obligation of 3% (approx 2.8 GW) by 2020. The state had a shortage of 15% in its power requirement as of June 2012. Many benefits such as removal of wheeling charges have been proposed. The nodal agency UPNEDA shall have a dedicated fund of INR 1 Billion though a bess on power generated by non-renewables as well as government & other grants. This time at the REC Trading session on July 25th 5, 08,295 RECs were available for sale, out of which 3, 34,297 REC were issued in the month of July, the highest REC available and issuance for any month till date. IEX recorded highest sale bid of 435,000 RECs in this session, more than 85% of the available REC were offered at IEX. IEX received buy bids of 1,49,628 non-solar RECs and sale bids of 4,35,348 non-solar RECs against which 1,47,369 non-solar RECs were cleared at Rs 2000/REC. IEX also received buy bids of 8554 Solar RECs and sale bids of 419 solar RECs against which 93 Solar RECs were cleared at Rs 12,800/REC. Indian manufacturing continue to struggle on the cost of attractive low rates of interest offered by foreign banks and a long repayment schedules at a condition on the condition of buying panels made in their respective country. Explains Chandra Bhushan, CSE’s deputy director general: “Fast start financing is a US $30 billion fund set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The fund, adopted at the Copenhagen climate meeting in 2009, is supposed to help developing countries deal with climate change impacts and limit greenhouse gas emissions.””The US has been very ingeniously using this fund to promote its own solar manufacturing. The US Exim Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have been offering low-interest loans to Indian solar project developers on the mandatory condition that they buy the equipment, solar panels and cells from US companies.”Interestingly, the US government has put anti-dumping duties on solar equipment imported from China because of the alleged subsidies that China is giving to its solar manufacturers. However, the US is engaging in a similar practice in India by subsidizing loans for buying American equipment!”

Anand Gupta Editor & CEO



17 Shradhanand Marg, Chawani Indore – 452 001 INDIA Tel. + 91 731 255 3881 Fax. +91 731 2553882







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22 Challenges For Cost-Effective Fab Design For Future Market Requirements

26 One on One Manfrd Koppl, Fronius International GmbH


Editorial Department:


Editorial Contributions:

Sonja Schreiner, Marek Stelmaszyk, Klaus Eberhardt, Peter Csatáry, Anmol Singh Jaggi, Cesar Hidalgo , Stefan Mau , Dietmar Staudacher, Torsten Hoffmann, Michael J. Ondrus, Sanjeev Sirsi, Umashankar S, Ragul Gogia, K Subramanyam, DwipenBoruah, Arnau Sumps, Sourabh Sen,Rajesh Kulkarni , Mukund Shendge, Keertika Singh, Sreeni Krishnamurthy, Josh Kunkel, Marie Schnitzer, Anindya Das, Samuel Rajkumar

Sales & Marketing:



Consulting Editor:



Dietmar Staudacher

Torsten Hoffmann

44 Efficient East-West Orientated Pv Systems With One Mpp Tracker

48 Photovoltaic Systems Properly Protected And Operated Safely



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ANAND GUPTA Disclaimer,Limitations of Liability While every efforts has been made to ensure the high quality and accuracy of EQ international and all our authors research articles with the greatest of care and attention ,we make no warranty concerning its content,and the magazine is provided on an>> as is <<basis.EQ international contains advertising and third –party contents.EQ International is not liable for any third- party content or error,omission or inaccuracy in any advertising material ,nor is it responsible for the availability of external web sites or their contents The data and information presented in this magazine is provided for informational purpose only.neither EQ INTERNATINAL ,Its affiliates,Information providers nor content providers shall have any liability for investment decisions based up on or the results obtained from the information provided. Nothing contained in this magazine should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sale any securities. The facts and opinions stated in this magazine do not constitute an offer on the part of EQ International for the sale or purchase of any securities, nor any such offer intended or implied Restriction on use The material in this magazine is protected by international copyright and trademark laws. You may not modify,copy,reproduce,republish,post,transmit,or distribute any part of the magazine in any may only use material for your personall,NonCommercial use, provided you keep intact all copyright and other proprietary notices.If you want to use material for any non-personel,non commercial purpose,you need written permission from EQ International.



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Solar Power International 11 - 13 Sept 2012 | Booth 3762 27th EU PVSEC 25 - 28 Sept 2012 | Hall 3.1 / C11


34 Securing The Downside: Generation & EPC Contracts

40 Findings In The Correlation Of Ground Measured Irradiance Data With Satellite Derived Data


SOLAR ENERGY Anmol Singh Jaggi

28 One on One with Rakesh Khanna, SMA Solar India


Rakesh Khanna




K Subramanyam

Vineet Jain

Josh Kunkel

60 Suggestions Towards Solar Policy Refinements

62 One on One Vineet Jain GreenBrilliance Energy Pvt. Ltd.

76 Wind and Solar Project Due Diligence

Eq Business & Financial News

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CSP Applications Glasstech CRB-STM 1900 for Solar Parabolic Shapes Grundfos Solar Pumps provides water for remote locations Cost Effective Solar PV Battery Charger Using Mosfet And IC741 Suggestions Towards Solar Policy Refinements Developing Solar Campus – A Strategic Approach What Makes A Good String Combiner Box? Solar Project Hype: Why Some Projects Succeed and Others Fail Double Insulation requirements as required by the Photovoltaic standard IEC 60364-7712 with regards to grid connected PV plants.


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& EQBusiness Financial News Madhya Pradesh Solar Policy 2012 Madhya Pradesh government approved a new solar energy policy under which four solar energy parks each generating 200 MW of power will be set up in the state in public-private partnership. The Solar Energy Policy 2012 was approved by the state cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, official sources said. Some features of the new policy are 10-year exemption in electricity fee and cess, four per cent subsidy by the state government in the wheeling charges, banking of generated power and exemption as per rules in VAT and entry tax, among othersState is Currently heavily dependendent on conventional sources of energy and is blessed High solar radiation, more than 300 clear sunny days and potential of more than 5.5 kWh/ sq.m/per day.The Policy recognizes the The Electricity

Act, 2003.“any private individual or Agency is free to set up a Power Generation Plant and they shall have right to open access of the transmission facility.”MPERC recognized as supreme regulatory body and Private sector participation is encouraged. Category of Solar Projects under the Policy: •

Category I : Projects selected as per the competitive bidding process for selling power to MP Discoms / MP Power Management Company

Category II : Projects set up for captive use or sale of power to 3rd party within or outside the state or for sale of power to other states through open access.

Category III : Projects set up under Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mode

Category IV : Projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Government is offering Land and other benefits for the Solar Projects Besides, the country’s biggest solar power project , with a capacity to generate 130 MW power, is being set up by Welspun in Neemuch district of the state. Alpha is setting up a 20 MW Solar Project, Acme 25 MW and Moser Baer 25 MW, NTPC 50 MW. Besides that M&B Switchgear has set up 2 MW under REC Mechanism, Gupta Sons 0.5 MW (REC Mechanism), JSR Developers - 1.25 MW (JNNSM), Shiv Vani - 2 MW (JNNSM), Adora - 2 MW (JNNSM) projects are already operational in Rajgarh (M.P.).

Debar Moser Baer, says Tata group company Source:Business Line Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, a joint venture of Tata Power Company and the Delhi Government, has called for “debarring of Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Ltd for poor performance of solar projects.”Tata Power DDL, (formerly North Delhi Power Ltd, in which Tata Power owns 51 per cent) has said in a letter to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, that it had awarded three solar projects to Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Ltd, a unit of the Moser Baer group. Not up to industry standards “The performance of the solar plants installed by them has not been up to the industry standards,” the letter says.The letter

cites a number of failures, including failure to adhere to contractual timelines leading to “tremendous delay” in commissioning of the projects, poor engineering leading to “faulty design and frequent change in layouts”, quality of workmanship and high system losses leading to actual electricity generation being much less than the guaranteed generation.” Poor response, maintenance support But what has irked Tata Power DDL is the “poor response to client’s complaints for rectification of faults” and the “weak operations and maintenance support”.The letter has been copied to as many as 87 people connected to the power industry,

including the officials of the Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the various state electricity regulatory commissions.“We had been following it up with them (Moser Baer) for over one year but there was no proper response,” an official of Tata Power DDL told Business Linetoday.However, after the letter was issued (on May 7), there has been some action from Moser Baer side. If the action is satisfactory “we may withdraw the letter,” the official said.When contacted by Business Line, a spokesperson of Moser Baer said, “We have reached an agreement on resolving the issue and the same is under execution.”

Waaree Bags a 5.75 MW Thin Film Solar PV Plant, EPC Order from Shree Saibaba Sugar Factory – Latur, Maharashtra, India Waaree Energies Pvt Ltd, operating in the field of Manufacturing Solar PV Modules, Design Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Operation & Maintenance of Solar PV Power Plants, has bagged a Turnkey project order of 5.75 MW Thin film Solar PV Power Plant for Shree Saibaba Sugar Factory, Latur, Maharashtra, India. Quoting Mr. AdinathSangwe, Technical Director of Shree Saibaba Sugar Factory 6 EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12

“We are very happy to award this order to Waaree Energies Pvt Ltd. The experience of Waaree Energies with regards to in-time execution of MW Solar PV projects has given us immense confidence in them. This Power plant will be one of its kind in Maharashtra. And will provide much needed momentum for grid based solar power in Maharashtra. This is the first

step in Maharashtra towards Solar Power.” “We are delighted to develop this important project for Shree Saibaba Sugar Factory. It is the first MW scale Thin-film Solar Power Project to be built in Maharashtra and it is our honour and represents an important milestone for us. Apart from EPC & EPCM services we assure our customers of very high quality of work overall.” Said Mr. Hitesh Doshi, Chairman of Waaree Group.


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& EQBusiness Financial News Uttar Pradesh Solar Power Policy 2012 The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) has published (August 2012) a draft solar policy titled The Uttar Pradesh Solar Power Policy 2012.

850MW has been divided over three phases. The second and the third phase have the maximum targets of 300MW each, while the last phase has a target of 250MW in

The policy is being introduced to fulfil U.P.’s Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of 3% (approx. 2.8GW) by 2020. The state had a shortage of 15% in its power requirement as of June 2012. The policy also intends to improve the overall energy situation in U.P.

Figure1: Target capacity for U.P. solar Policy

The “Incentive scheme for solar power generation” shall attract investors as it provides robust payment security and ease in obtaining clearances and permissions from the governmentThe U.P. solar policy removes wheeling charges for all grid connected solar power projectsThe eligibility criteria discourages participation from first time investors in solar and thus keeps inexperienced developers at bay The U.P. solar policy is targeting 1GW of installed capacity in the state by March 2017. No PV or CSP breakup has been provided in the draft. Their target is distributed over five phases as follows: According to a Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) official the first priority of the U.P. policy is to achieve its target of 1GW by 2017 successfully. The phases have been drawn out with this in mind, rather than basing the phased targets on the falling price of solar power. The policy initially aims to start out with allocating a smaller amount of 150 MW. Post this, the remaining target of



Total target capacity (MW)


















order to cover the remaining part of the targeted allocation. The nodal agency, the UPNEDA, will be the single window of clearance for all solar power projects under the policy. They will bear the sole responsibility of facilitating all clearances, approvals, permissions and consents required from the state government and its agencies. The UPNEDA shall have a dedicated fund of INR1billion (EUR15m). This shall be maintained through a cess on power generated from any non-renewable source, as well as government and other grants. The robust fund and the single window of clearance minimizing government red tapes shall ensure that government orders and permissions pertaining to the policy and the payments to the project developers are made on time. This should act as an incentive for solar project developers to bid for projects under the U.P. solar power policy.

The U.P. solar policy draft so far exempts all solar power projects from any transmission, wheeling or open access charges. This is expected to encourage investors to bid for grid connected solar power projects under the policy. The eligibility criterion of the U.P. Solar Power Policy states that, only developers with prior experience of successfully commissioning solar power projects shall be eligible to bid for projects. The developers need to have previously made a capital investments, ranging from INR100m (EUR1.5m) to INR500m (EUR7.7m) depending on the size of the project bid for, on grid connected solar power projects. This considerably narrows down the eligible entities in India to only those developers who have commissioned projects under the NSM, the Gujarat solar Policy, the Karnataka solar policy, and under the allocations made by the states of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. International developers especially those from America, Germany and China who fulfil this criterion shall be eligible to bid for a project under the U.P. solar policy. This criterion ensures the participation of only serious and experienced project developers, warranting that the allocated projects shall be commissioned on time. It however does not offer any opportunities to new, smaller developers. This step has been taken to keep the inexperienced players out of the bidding process. However, it also reduces competition and creates an unnecessary hurdle for serious new players.

Export Credit Line for ICICI Bank of India 1. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Hiroshi Okuda) signed on June 29 a general agreement with ICICI Bank Limited (ICICI Bank)*1, India’s largest private sector bank, for extending an export credit line*2 totaling up to 30 million U.S. dollars (JBIC portion) for financing renewable energy projects. The loan will be cofinanced by private financial institutions. The overall cofinancing amounts to the equivalent of 50 million U.S. dollars. This will be the first credit line to be offered by JBIC that specializes in supporting the export of renewable energy-related equipment. 2. This credit line is intended to provide medium and long-term U.S. dollar or yen-denominated credit, to finance through ICICI Bank, the purchase of renewable 8 EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12

energy related equipment (including solar photovoltaic power, solar thermal energy, wind energy, and geothermal energy, etc.) from Japan, thereby supporting expansion of exports to India. 3. As demand for electric power has been increasing, driven by the recent burgeoning economic growth, the Indian government has been making efforts to promote a broader utilization of renewable energy for power generation. It has a plan to increase the power generation capacity of renewable energy to 41.4 GW by the year 2017. This credit line will support the export of renewable energy-related equipment by Japanese firms to India, thereby contributing to maintaining and improving the international competitiveness of Japanese industries.

4. JBIC and ICICI Bank have built up close cooperative ties through loan commitments that are/were designed to support the following initiatives: the development of the local support industry which is significant for Japanese firms operating in India as well; trade finance during the financial crisis; renewable energy and energy efficiency projects; and export of thermal power plant facilities to India. In partnership with such Indian domestic banks, JBIC is committed to continue to support the deployment of Japanese business activities to India, including those in the renewable energy sector, by drawing on its range of financial facilities and schemes for structuring projects and performing riskassuming functions.

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& EQBusiness Financial News Azure Power legal tangle with Gujarat Government Azure Power Says that Despite the submission of the tariff invoices to GUVNL in the terms of the PPA, the GUVNL has till date failed to pay the billed amounts to the petitioner. AZURE has signed Power Purchase Agreement dated 30th April, 2010 with GUVNL to set up a 5 MW Solar Photovoltaic power project. The said project was commissioned on 25th November, 2011. Azure further submitted that the GUVNL has not opened irrevocable Letter of Credit as per the terms of the PPA. GUVNL submitted that in terms of the PPA, it is one of the obligations on the part of thepower producer to continue to hold at least 51% of equity from the date of signing of the agreement upto the period of 2 years after achieving COD of the power plant of the project. The GUVNL has been requesting the Azure to furnish the share holding pattern since September, 2011 i.e. prior to COD achieved by Azure. However, Azure has not submitted the requisite information sought by GUVNL . Thus, if Azure fails to fulfill the necessary terms and conditions of the PPA, it is an event of default on the part of the petitioner and in such event, the PPA may be terminated.In such a situation, GUVNL is eligible to receive payment for liability due to default on the part of Azure for an amount of approx. Rs.39 crores.

is mandated to make payment of 100% amount of the undisputed amount of the bill while in case of the disputed amount, it is required to pay 85% within due dates and either party shall have right to approach the Commission to effect a higher or lesser payment on the disputed amount. Thus, it is unfair and unjust that the generator is not paid for the power supplied by him to the distribution licensees. AZURE further submitted that GUVNL issued a termination notice dated 22.5.2012, alleging that the Azure has violated the terms andconditions of the PPA by nonfulfillment of Article 4.1(x) of the PPA.

It is further submitted by GUVNL that a notice dated 22.5.2012 has been issued by them for breach on the part of Azure in terms of Article 4.1(x) read with Article 9.2 & 9.3 of the PPA.

GUVNL alleged that Azure executed shareholding agreement with the Sun Edison Energy India Private Ltd. on 29.4.2010,which indicated that it was signed one day prior to signing of the PPA dated 30.4.2010. The said transfer from M/s. Azure Power India PrivateLtd. to Sun Edison India Private Ltd. will be on closing date after the fulfillment of conditions precedent for closing as specified in Article 3of the said Agreement. M/s.Azure Power (Gujarat) Pvt. Ltd. has failed togive an explanation as to how Sun Edison was holding majority shares as on date of signing of the PPA. Moreover, AZURE failed to provide duly certified Bank statement showing transfer of fund towards consideration of equity shares from M/s.Sun Edition Energy PrivateLtd. to M/s.Azure Power India Power Ltd. Relying upon the abovefacts, GUVNL issued a default notice as provided in Article9.2.1(g) of the PPA.

According to Dispute Resolution, the GUVNL

Learned Advocate Shri Soparkar of

AZURE submitted that the above reasons mentioned by GUVNL in the default notice dated 22.5.2012 are incorrect and invalid. He submitted that the shares of M/s.Azure Power Gujarat Private Ltd. held by M/s. Azure Power India Ltd. Were transferred on the name of M/s.Sun Edison Energy India Pvt.Ltd. on28.4.2010 which was reflected in the share certificates, Register of share transfer, share Purchase Agreement, Resolution of the Board of Directors of the Company of M/s.Azure Power (Gujarat) Pvt. Ltd. Thus,M/s.Sun Edison Energy Pvt.Ltd. was holding 9999 shares of M/s.AzurePower (Gujarat) Pvt.Ltd. on 28.4.2010 i.e. 2 days prior to signing of thePPA dated 30.4.2010. Thereafter M/s.Sun Edison Energy India Pvt. Ltd. has been holding the shares continuously from 28.4.2010. Hence, the reasons advanced by GUVNL that AZURE failed to fulfill the obligation as provided in Article 4.1(x) of the PPA is incorrect and invalid. Therefore, the default notice dated 22.5.2010 issued by the GUVNL for termination of PPA under Article 9.2.1 (g) read with Article 9.3.1 is illegal and arbitrary and the same is required to bequashed and set aside. AZURE has invested Rs.87 crores to set up the project and on termination of thePPA, AZURE is unable to generate electricity and receive theagreed tariff between the parties as per the terms of the PPA. The entireinvestment made by Azure would be lost.

BHEL commissions 5 Mw solar power plant Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has commissioned a 5-Mw grid-connected solar power plant at Shivasamudram near Mandya. This is the single largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Karnataka. The plant has been set up by BHEL for the state-owned power producer, Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), at a cost of Rs 62 crore.With the commissioning of this unit, the company has set a new record in its solar PV business in a single year, by 10 EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12

commissioning 15 Mw of solar power plants in various parts of the country during fiscal 2011-12, marking a significant contribution to the nation’s green initiatives.For the Shivasamudram project, BHEL’s scope of work included design, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of the solar power plant. In addition, BHEL will also operate and maintain the solar power plant for a period of three years.

satisfactorily since synchronising with the main grid and DC power generated by the solar panels is converted into AC by inverters and fed into a 66 kV grid through transformers. Crystalline silicon photovoltaic (C-SI PV) technology has been used for the solar power plant.

The solar power plant is operating

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& EQBusiness Financial News Ex-Im Approves $57.3 Million in Financing for Renewable-Energy Exports to India The Export-Import Bank of the United States has authorized a pair of loans totaling $57.3 million to Solar Field Energy Two Private Ltd. and Mahindra Surya Prakash Private Ltd., respectively, to finance the export of American solar panels and ancillary services to India.The solar panels, which are manufactured by First Solar Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., will be used in the construction of solar photovoltaic plants in Rajasthan, India. These transactions will support 200 U.S. jobs at First Solar’s manufacturing facility in Perrysburg, Ohio.Solar Field Energy Two, a Mumbai-based company wholly owned by Kiran Energy Solar Private Power Ltd., has been approved for a $23 million loan from Ex-Im Bank for the construction of a 20megawatt (MW) solar facility in Rajasthan. Mahindra Surya Prakash, also of Mumbai

and owned by Kiran Energy and Mahindra Holding Ltd., has been approved for a $34.3 million Ex-Im loan to build two solar facilities (one 20 MW and one 10 MW) in Rajasthan as well. “These important transactions will finance the purchase of American products and services and support jobs in our innovative renewable-energy sector,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “On top of that, Ex-Im’s financing will contribute to India’s drive to embrace clean-energy sources.”In 2010, the Indian government launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in an effort to add 20,000 megawatts of installed solar capacity to the nationwide grid by 2020. According to a 2012 report in the Wall Street Journal,

nearly 300 million people in India live without electricity.India is one of Ex-Im Bank’s nine key markets and accounted for approximately $7 billion of the Bank’s worldwide credit exposure as of the end of FY 2011. In FY 2011 and FY 2012 to date, the Bank authorized more than $330 million in financing for Indian solar projects. In FY 2012 to date, the Bank has authorized approximately $380 million for renewableenergy exports of all types worldwide. Founded in 1999, First Solar is the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar modules and has more than 1,900 employees in the United States, including 1,200 employees at its Perrysburg, Ohio, manufacturing and engineering center.

Mop Shri Sushilkumar Shinde to inaugurated solar HVAC system at NTPC Honorable Union Minister of Power, Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde, iinaugurated India’s largest solar HVAC system with storage installed at NETRA Greater Noida on 29th June, 2012. While leading the nation’s power generation capacity, NTPC’s focus has been on developing cutting edge technologies which will help in cost reduction and environment protection. To this end, NETRA has set up a Solar Energy Research Facility at Greater Noida. As part of this facility, Clique Solar, a Mumbai based Solar Thermal company, has installed India’s first, and probably, world’s largest solar HVAC system with storage. The Solar HVAC System consists of two large paraboloid solar concentrator dishes

(ARUN® concentrator) providing dry saturated steam at about 200kg per hour to a 50 TR (i.e. about 175 kW of cooling) Vapour Absorption Machine (VAM). In turn, the VAM supplies chilled water at 7°C to the local cooling units installed in various rooms. The distinguishing feature of the system is the storage tank that can store up to 2 days of chilling. Offices are generally closed on weekends. To avoid wasting the solar energy, this 2-day storage facility has been included. The stored energy can be utilized to deliver cooling in late evenings or to cool a larger area. “The ARUN® solar concentrator is the most efficient solar concentrator, both in terms of thermal efficiency as well as

land usage. Till date, we have focused on supplying solar steam generating systems for industrial process heat & mass cooking to replace expensive fuels like Furnace Oil, LPG, Natural Gas, etc. However, solar cooling too has an immense potential due to the natural match between the cooling requirement and availability of the sun”, said Mr Ashok Paranjape, Managing Director of Clique Solar, a company promoted by IIT-Bombay alumni. One ARUN®160 solar concentrator delivers about 1 ton of steam per day, while occupying ground area of less than 10 sq.m. It can deliver steam up to 25 bars pressure or thermic oil up to 400°C. At NETRA, ARUN®160 delivers 8 bar dry saturated steam to the VAM.

Probe Finds Lanco Didn’t Violate India Solar Program Lanco Infratech Ltd. (LANCI), the secondlargest non-state utility in India, is complying with rules on ownership of solar plants, the government said after a report on the company’s shareholdings prompted a ministry investigation.“We’ve completed the inquiry,” Tarun Kapoor, the joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said by phone. “As of now their shareholdings are in compliance.” Lanco owned convertible preferred shares

12 EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12

in companies that won national auctions to build solar projects and the equities can be switched into common stock, Kapoor said. The utility has cut some of the holdings so it will own less than 50 percent of the companies should the shares be converted, he said. Lanco didn’t respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment. The companies that issued the convertibles have established businesses and funds other than those from Lanco, Kapoor said.The

Centre for Science and Environment, a New Delhi-based environmental campaign group, said in a report in February that Lanco created companies to hold projects with 235 megawatts of capacity, or about 40 percent of the generation awarded by the government in India’s first national solar auction. The maximum for any one company, under the auction rules, is 105 megawatts. Lanco rose 1.7 percent to 13.88 rupees by 1:07 p.m. in Mumbai, paring its decline in the past year to 55 percent.

& EQBusiness Financial News Deutsche Bahn and Moser Baer Clean Energy commissions a photovoltaic plant on a railway – owned surface in Germany Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Moser Baer Clean Energy, India’s leading clean energy developer have officially commissioned byfar the most powerful photovoltaic plant on a railway-owned surface in Wittenberge. The solar park is standing on a former landfill site of 8 hectares (or eleven football sized fields) with a power generation capacity of 3.92 MWp. The electricity generated will be fed into the local grid which will help

meet the annual energy needs of about 900 households. Since 1997, DB has equipped the railway station roofs such as Uelzen, Hamelin and Berlin Central Station with solar PV Plants. It was later followed by S-Bahn workshops in Frankfurt. DB board has systematized the use of solar energy in late 2010 to determine across the functions in Germany, such roof

and surface potential, which can be used for renewable energy. Meanwhile, three million square feet of potential space has been identified for installation of solar plants. Thereby DB follows the principle, that the company invites tender for suitable land and leases them to an outside investor, who builds photovoltaic systems there and sells power.

Solar power project M&A hits record in 2011 Investors acquired approved and operating PV projects at record rates last year as investors sought high-yield assets despite subsidy cuts and a difficult financial environment London, 10 July 2012. Investors bought a record 3.9GW of solar photovoltaic projects in 2011, worth an estimated $10.8bn. The gigawatt capacity purchased was up 122% on the previous year, according to new research published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.The report, The Solar Portfolio Hunters: Focus On The Acquisition And Valuation Of Solar Assets, examined 221 deals from 2006 to 2011, and found that Italy was the most active market for transactions involving operating assets in 2011, with 540MW purchased. By contrast, the top five individual deals in megawatt terms took place in the US, all involving assets under construction rather than operating solar parks. The surge in PV project acquisition activity was driven by attempts by governments in many European countries to slow down the hectic pace of solar development, coinciding with natural market consolidation as entrepreneurial developers sell to longterm asset holders. With fewer opportunities to start PV projects from scratch, utilities

and infrastructure funds have opted to buy already-permitted, or already-operating, projects instead. The financial crisis has also made banks and equity investors more riskaverse, preferring to buy operating assets rather than take on construction risk.Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, commented: “The boom in solar PV in Spain and Italy, driven by unsustainable feed-in tariffs, left a pool of assets generating very attractive cash flows, and still owned by developers, manufacturers and contractors. These firms have a high cost of capital and many would prefer to recycle what funds they have into new projects. They are selling to longer-term investors with a lower cost of capital, who are happy with returns of between 5% and 15%, depending on the country concerned, over 20-25 years. PV projects can be a very attractive product for this type of investor, at the right price.” Some 2.8GW of the 3.9GW acquired in 2011 consisted of projects that either were completed and generating power for the grid, or were under construction at the time of purchase. The remaining 1.1GW of projects were permitted but not yet under construction.Among the large solar assets changing hands last year were three operating Italian portfolios

developed by Terna totalling 242MW, and First Solar’s 550MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm in California.The valuations placed by purchasers on PV projects have fallen by around 44% from their peak in 2008, at the height of the Spanish boom. Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research shows that global average sale values declined from a peak of EUR 6.4m per MW in that year, to EUR 3.6m per MW in 2011. “This reflected two influences,” said Pietro Radoia, solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and co-author of the report. “First, the subsidies for the average operating plant have become less generous, and therefore the potential revenues are reduced. Second, the financial crisis has pushed up the cost of debt and equity.” The average price of a solar PV module worldwide has fallen by three quarters since 2008, including a drop of nearly 50% last year alone. This has resulted from fierce competition in the solar manufacturing chain, particularly from Asia, and improving technology. The result has been to reduce the levelised cost of PV-generated electricity (i.e. the cost before any subsidies or support mechanisms) by more than 30% in 2011 alone, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance

“REC Sale bids hits record volume” IEX held the 17th trading session for REC on 25th July. For this trading session 5, 08,295 RECs were available for sale, out of which 3, 34,297 REC were issued in the month of July, the highest REC available and issuance for any month till date. IEX recorded highest sale bid of 435,000 RECs in this session, more than 85% of the available REC were offered at IEX. IEX received buy bids of 14 EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12

1,49,628 non-solar RECs and sale bids of 4,35,348 non-solar RECs against which 1,47,369 non-solar RECs were cleared at Rs 2000/REC. IEX also received buy bids of 8554 Solar RECs and sale bids of 419 solar RECs against which 93 Solar RECs were cleared at Rs 12,800/REC. In July’ 12 REC trading session, market share of IEX was 93%. Total participants in the auction

were 219 consisting of 83 participants from Discoms , captive consumers & open access consumers on buy side and 136 eligible entities on sale side. More than 796 participants are registered in REC segment at IEX till date. Out of this 242 are eligible entities, 577 are obligated entities and 5 have been registered as voluntary entities.

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Reliable And Ensured Quality: You Won’t Mind A Little Extra, Will You?

Key points for manufacturing good solar modules. Sonja Schreiner Conergy AG

As if guided by an invisible hand, the clean solar glass panel glides out of the washing station. Robots place foils and solar cells onto it. Then it is transported into the laminator on an electronically controlled conveyor. Here, all components are melded to form a firmly bonded assembly. And the human involvement? The operator looks on and only intervenes if it becomes necessary. Modern photovoltaic manufacturing plants, such as the Conergy module factory in Frankfurt (Oder), operate with a high level of automation – combined with excellent technological processes. Their aim: the best product quality, greatest efficiency and most competitive manufacturing costs per watt peak. But which standards should a modern module factory satisfy? And which processes and quality assurance measures does it take to ensure that a really good solar module can be produced?


odern module factories have the capacity to produce large product quantities in ever shorter periods of time – nowadays thousands of solar modules come of the line each day. In order to ensure that these modules are good modules and to keep manufacturing seconds at a minimum, quality assurance has to be right at the centre of all processes. This starts with an efficient setup of the production site itself: arranging the production lines in an optimal way minimises transport distances. Combined with a high level of automation this contributes significantly to keeping breakages of the fragile cells to a minimum. A premium class module as a whole is more than just the sum of its parts. For that very reason special attention has to be paid to every single component right from the beginning – at the supplier’s factory 16


Conergy_Frankfurt Oder_ Modulproduktion

where they are produced. The only way for a module manufacturer to guarantee consistent material quality of the components that are sourced elsewhere is to limit the number of

suppliers, closely monitor them and prescribe clear specifications. Before Conergy accepts for example a cell manufacturer as a supplier the first step includes taking a look at their production and to perform an expert audit. Crucial points are the cell manufacturer’s own quality management system and how it is implemented. In addition to that, by performing on-site spot checks on cells and testing the parameters responsible for product safety and reliability the expert audit lays the foundation for and ensures a “zero fault philosophy”. An important consideration all the way up and down the supply chain: Cell manufacturers must also monitor the suppliers of the intermediate products they purchase and push for improvements.

Trust is good, control is better.

thoroughly and strictly as the cells before they undergo the goods inwards inspections at the module factory. As everyone knows, two checks are better than one.

Conergy_Frankfurt Oder_Modulproduktion_3

But carrying out cell testing at the suppliers’ plants is only the first step of the quality management process. After delivery to the module manufacturing plant, the cells have to be thoroughly tested again, especially with respect to their optical characteristics and electrical parameters before a conveyor feeds them into the production lines. As far as optical criteria are concerned, particular care should be taken to ensure that the cell colouring is uniform. In addition, there must be no print errors such as grid discontinuities, thickening or smearing of the paste on the cells. Precision cell testers can be used to check the electrical parameters. An important point in this context: excellent output of the cells across a narrow range, because the weakest cell determines the output of the entire module. But for this to be as high as possible, the cells must also offer good low light behaviour, as little reflection as possible and low light-induced degradation (LID). The latter refers to the light-induced aging of solar cells during the last months of operation. This is unavoidable due to physical processes, but by insisting on high specifications for purchased cell this value can be kept very low.

But that’s not all. The cells also must have

Conergy_Frankfurt Oder_ Modulproduktion_6

low series resistance and good solderability. By precise electrical sorting procedures the Conergy experts counter the hot-spot risk, which can result in a module catching fire in the worst case. Through this sorting process any short-circuits in the cell that might lead to high currents and localised overheating during operation and even to the cell burning out are picked up. Such cells are then discarded directly. Quality also plays a crucial part for non-silicon components. After all, solar modules aren’t just made up of cells. All glass panels, frames and connectors should thus be inspected at the suppliers’ plants as

One of the keys to success are partners with high technological standards, i.e. a high level of automation and inline product monitoring all along the supply chain. If the glass manufacturer, for instance, detects defects or inclusions in the glass in the course of the production process, he doesn’t even let such inferior material leave the factory. A barcode system at the module plant ensures complete traceability of each individual component. So once intermediate

Conergy_Frankfurt Oder_ Modulproduktion_7

products have passed the receiving inspection at the module factory, every one of them is labelled with a barcode. The collected data is subsequently assigned to the individual modules via the serial number at Conergy. This will provide information on which suppliers the glass, cells or foils had come from even decades after delivery of the module to the customer.

Now the module must show what it can do. At the company’s modern module factory, the manufacturing process itself is

substantially more.

one step ahead with leading-edge products and satisfied customers.

By constantly monitoring and This plethora of quality assurance a n a l y s i n g t h e measures is however not a matter of course flasher data the by any means in the solar sector yet. But only technical experts with methods such as these can a module can d e t e c t manufacturer prove its claim of producing d ev i a t i o n s i n really good solar modules to its customers. production and After all, it is the customer who decides in t h e n r e s p o n d which supplier he puts his trust in. And it immediately with is his experience and satisfaction with the counter-measures. product that counts in the end. Conergy_Frankfurt Oder_ Modulproduktion_9 And what happens Complaint rates under 1 per cent if a module is a fully automated operation, with cycle times (and thus significantly below the industry actually found to be below par? As soon as of just a few seconds. Take the connection average of around 2-3 per cent) are the a module deviates from the expected output, box station. The module stops there for just best proof of Conergy’s sound and effective the electroluminescence procedure will show around 20 seconds. During this brief space quality assurance system. Additional tests why. This test detects hidden defects that of time a robot places the connection box and certificates from independent and the naked eye can’t see. The look into the in position and carries out the necessary respected institutes such as TÜV Rheinland “module core” will leave no short-circuit, no soldering. The tasks to be performed by also provide a good indication about the extra minute crack undetected. the line operators are mostly limited to value provided by a component in terms of monitoring the production processes and quality. carrying out optical quality checks. The That little extra for Both low complaint rates and external precision work involved in these is performed premium class modules. quality seals are credible arguments for a by camera systems and scanners, which are The experts at Conergy do not stop good solar module and help the customer integrated into the production lines. They there, but even go detect fractures in the cells or incorrect one quality step alignment of soldered cell strings and raise further for their the alarm or automatically shunt the affected high-class modules. module out of the production line. Besides the standard And yet, this high degree of automation p r o c e s s e s , t h e does not spare the double check by the modules are subjected experienced expert: Spot checks on the to exhaustive testing intermediate products such as tug tests to with the most modern confirm the quality of the soldering performed equipment available on the strings or the bond between glass such as climate and foil are another important step on the chambers, thermal way to a premium class module. Modern imaging devices, manufacturing plants have well equipped salt water pressure technical laboratories and a clean room for cookersor dry and Conergy_Frankfurt Oder_Modulproduktion_8 chemical analyses available for these testing wet insulation testers. purposes away from the lines. Two important methods are the aging test to in making his choice. A premium module Then the module has to show what it can IEC 61215 and 61730 and the mechanical manufacturer thus aims for this, but also do in the flasher. This piece of equipment is load test up to 8,000 Pascal guaranteeing should never rest on its laurels to ensure used to establish the output data of the module highly reliable and long-lasting modules that his premium modules remain premium at 1,000W/m² and 200W/m², simulating without yellowing or discoloration. For modules. Only by keeping a constant eye on both full sunlight and dull weather. Certain installation in locations with challenging quality assurance in the production process manufacturers, among them Conergy, offer environmental conditions like areas prone to itself will a manufacturer be able to produce an exclusively positive output tolerance. This snow or hailstorms, coastal areas or animal high-yield, stable and reliable modules. And means that modules produce at least the solar farming, modules undergo special resistance these will then also provide the promised power stated by the rated power figure; and tests against large hailstones, corrosion or great performance throughout the years. Reliably and guaranteed. thanks to the positive output tolerance, the ammonia. modules might in fact exceed the rated power by up to the percentage indicated. Customers will thus definitely receive the energy that they have paid for, and in most cases actually 18


And why is all this effort necessary? For being



New: STRINGER TT1200 HS with new design and higher speed

New: The world-fastest singletrack system STRINGER TT1200 HS solders at 1400 cycles Marek Stelmaszyk - teamtechnik Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH


he STRINGER TT1200 HS High Speed solders solar cell strings in a 2.5 cycle on just one track. It thus outpaces its predecessor by 200 cycles and is currently the fastest single-track system on the global market. A single track means higher throughput per soldering process, less complexity, a lower requirement for replacement parts and fewer operators. With avail-ability at over 95%, the system ensures stable production 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Our competitors’ machines only achieve the perform-ance of STRINGER TT1200 HS with two tracks. We are offering our cus-tomers a solution which is currently unique on the market in terms of speed, availability and breakage rates,” says Stefan Roßkopf, CEO of the team-technik Group.

of 2.5 sec-onds with just one track. This hold-down device also ensures a safe process and perfect string geometry. At the same time, it guarantees extremely low breakage rates – from below 0.1-0.3%, depending on the type of cell. The teamtechnik STRINGER TT 1200 HS feature contactless, controlled soldering technology. teamtechnik specializes in soldering techniques that rely on infrared light. With the integrated pyrometers that check the temperature of the cell during pre- heating and soldering and give feedback to the IR-lamps to increase/ decrease temperature low breakages and constantly good soldering results are assured. This closed

Success with singletrack technology Teamtechnik uses a unique design of hold-down device in its system to separate the actual soldering process from the cellhandling process. This allows companies to ensure 1400 cycles/hour, with a cycle time 20


Cell fluxing with possibility to spray flux partial busbar cells

loop tem-perature control is one of the key factors for the success of teamtechnik. As production proceeds, the controlled process technology compensates for variations in cell material to minimize breakage while ensuring consis-tent string quality, time after time. Each of the heating zones in the STRINGER TT 1200 HS can be adjusted individually. By allowing operators to precision-tune temperatures in each zone, this feature makes it possible to specify the ideal thermal conditions for each cell type prior to, during and after the soldering process. A dis-tinctive asset for users who process different cell types on a single production assembly. teamtechnik specialists have been working very hard on the efficiency of this tried and tested stringer technology and the company has succeeded in optimizing the price-performance ratio further. Other innovations in ad-dition to the new highspeed, are shorter set up times and a shorter deli-very time of a maximum of three months. The system’s power consump-tion and noise levels have also been reduced again.

Preheating topside followed by IR light soldering with closed loop temperature control for perfect soldering results

teamtechnik Group has sold stringer systems with a total production capac-ity of 8 GWp, and is therefore a global market in this segment. The com-pany guarantees its customers 24-hour support anywhere in the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can build one machine every day. None of our competitors can achieve this. We can deliver quickly and at an excellent priceperformance ratio,â&#x20AC;? says Stefan Rosskopf, elaborating on the customer-oriented service offered by teamtechnik. 70 Mega Watt with one system The company offer another innovation in the form of a standardized 70 MW system - a flexible complete system consisting of two new STRINGER TT1200s and a layup. With the integrated 6-axis robot this is a

Hold down devices for perfect ribbon position on cell

highly flexible package which allows the system to be adapted quickly to different ap-plications, or cell and glass sizes. The teamtechnik 70 MW systems are ready for operation within a short time and equipped with tested technology. Based in Germany, Teamtechnik Group has been making intelligent and reliable automation solutions for the solar and medical technology and automotive sectors for over 35 years. teamtechnik is considered an interna-tional leader in highly flexible automation technology. The senior management team has set a sales target of â&#x201A;Ź145 million for the current business year. The company employs 750 people around the world. The majority of the workforce are engineers and highly qualified specialists. The

Single track design ensures highest possible repeatability and less requirements for wear parts

teamech-nik-Group has production sites in Germany, Poland, China and the USA. Teamtechnik is represented in India by iNETest Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in Chennai with sales and service locations all over India. Most important for teamtechniks customers are short reaction times of local service engineers and availability of local spare parts which is assured by teamtechnik indian agency. Their Indian service engineers have a long history in the PV indus-try, realised many installations of module manufacturing lines in India, and received intensive training in Germany and also made installations and ser-vices in China which is the biggest market for teamtechnik with a market share of approx. 50%. nnn

Local Back Contacts Technology for iPERC cells Upgrade cell performance by back side passivation with Al2O3






Challenges For CostEffective Fab Design For Future Market Requirements Klaus Eberhardt and Peter Csatáry M+W Germany GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany

Currently, an ever-increasing number of countries are implementing PV applications with the emphasis being on utility-scale PV Power Plants. Due to the recent dramatic price decrease for PV modules, new markets have evolved since grid parity has already been achieved in some regions of the world, particularly those with high irradiation values and high conventional electrical power generation costs. In addition to the USA, it is also predicted that India and many other Asian countries will rapidly expand their PV installations with double digit growth rates in the years to come. Especially for India, grid-connected as well as off-grid installations will become cost-effective very soon. Over 50% of today’s PV module production capacity is located in China however, from a macroeconomic point of view; it is desirable not only to install the modules, but to increase the added value and to manufacture parts of the added value chain locally in those countries where large scale PV-based power generation will be implemented. A positive side-effect is the creation of sustainable jobs, which is actively promoted by many countries. This paper discusses which segments of the PV Added Value Chain are the most promising to commence local manufacturing and which aspects should be considered during their design in order to be competitive. PV added value chain Two major different PV manufacturing technologies exist today, namely the so-called crystalline Silicon and the Thin Film-based technology. Figure 1 depicts the PV Added Value Chain of these two technologies. The main difference between the crystalline Siliconbased and Thin Film technology is that the manufacturing steps based on crystalline Silicon are much more fragmented and batch oriented than Thin Film manufacturing, which is much more integrated. T o d a y ’ s m a i n s t r e a m inst allations are based on crystalline Silicon technology 22


with a market share of approximately 85%. Therefore, this article will focus on crystalline Silicon technology only. Recently, numerous PV manufacturers, particularly Chinese companies, have pursued a fully integrated strategy, starting from Poly Si through to PV Module Assembly. However, this trend seems to be slowed down due to

the recognition that less synergy exists than initially assumed and that it is challenging to develop leading edge capability for each individual manufacturing step. Furthermore, the capital expenditure when investing in all of the added value steps concurrently is very high. Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of an integrated manufacturing platform, it turns out that there are some distinct disadvantages for this approach (Table 1). Comparing the Pros and Cons for the two options, it looks more promising to start with segmented manufacturing, for example with Cell and Module manufacturing.

Fig. 1 PV Added value chain



Table 1 Comparison of integrated versus segmented PV manufacturing:

Integrated (e.g. Poly-Si-Module)

Segmented (e.g. Cell & Module)

Invest costs



Supply Chain

All upstream products have to be manufactured internally. In case one product (e.g. ingot) lacks in quality, the final product (module) will suffer as well.

Upstream products (wafer) can be purchased on the market choosing between different suppliers for best quality and lowest price


The manufacturing capacity of all More flexible to adapt manufacturing parts have to be matched capacity in case market conditions change

Overhead costs

Overhead costs can be distributed Overhead costs depend on overall over the entire value chain manufacturing capacity

decision required is whether the Cells and Modules should be imported from abroad or manufactured locally. Despite the current Anti-dumping discussions for modules from China, it will be important that any local manufacturing be cost-competitive compared to imported products. The advantages of local manufacturing are the vicinity to the market with reduced shipping costs and fast time to market as well as the ability to be more flexible to customer-specific requirements. But this will not be sufficient in order to remain competitive in the future in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s globalized markets. Therefore, it will also be important to correctly size and select a flexible design concept for such a manufacturing complex.

Cost-effective Fab design Different aspects must be considered when driving down PV fab investment. The main criteria are outlined in Figure 2

efficiencies and the equipment tool set with high uptime and throughput. A design / build company such as M+W Group can influence invest and running costs for the building itself, as well as for the related facilities which are necessary in order to supply the process equipment with electrical power, gases, chemicals etc. The major aspects include:

1. Scaling According to our recent experience, the smallest manufacturing capacity to start with in a first phase is approximately 100 MWp/a. A Site Master Plan should take future expansion into account in order to react in a flexible manner to market requirements. Depending on the size of the market, the final manufacturing capacities may range between 500MWp and 600 MWp.

individual process equipment. M+W has measured actual consumption values at reference customers and assembled a large database of real consumptions from a broad selection of different types of process equipment. This allows us to compare initial consumption data as provided from the equipment supplier and to adapt (reduce) them in case we identify any differences between these numbers and the internal database. A logistics concept takes into account the personnel as well as the material flow.

3. Degree of Integration As already described above, the most promising approach in order to start PV manufacturing is with PV Cell and Module production. After the Site, initial and tentative final manufacturing capacity has been defined, the concept design and the subsequent steps through to construction starts. Beside the pure manufacturing area, there are other supporting areas required as depicted in Figure 3.

2. Benchmarking, Value Engineering, Industrial Engineering The design of the necessary facility systems such as electrical transformers,

Fig. 3 Additional functions required to support the manufacturing area

After sizing the manufacturing as well as the support areas, the building concept can be developed, taking site specific conditions (flatness of the land, access roads, utility connections for electrical power, water and natural gas) into account. If the site allows, it is usually faster and cost-effective to construct a single level building and to avoid multi-level buildings if possible.

Fig. 2 Key elements to drive down costs for PV Fabs

The process equipment and technology provider can mainly influence the technology in order to achieve highest cell and module

chillers, cooling tower, and air handling systems depends on the consumption of the

Examples of building concepts with initial 300MWp manufacturing capacity with the option of doubling the capacity are depicted in Figure 4. After evaluating the different concepts, one concept is selected and the design phase can commence, which typically takes



Fig. 4: Examples of PV cell and module building concepts

up to 3 months and various steps for Value Engineering are implemented in order to reduce the construction costs. Important considerations for the design include the: l

Flexibility to accommodate technology changes (e.g. new process steps for cell manufacturing in order to increase the cell efficiency)


Redundancy concept


Safety concept


Expansion strategy


Energy supply and LEED (Green Building Council U.S.) certification concepts

A 3D animation of the building (Fig. 5) is prepared in order to provide a virtual impression of the future building.

In order to reduce the entire project duration, the permit design documents will be submitted to the local authorities while the final design drawings and the tender documents are still being prepared. This saves time and right after receiving building permission, the construction company can be awarded and the construction can start immediately. With such an approach, the entire project duration from start of the concept to “RFE” (Ready for Equipment) can be reduced considerably.

Conclusions Due to the recent price decrease for PV modules, grid parity has already been achieved or will be in the near future,

which primarily depend on the specific solar irradiation at the various countries. Due to the reduction of Poly Silicon prices and higher conversion efficiencies, the crystalline Silicon-based PV technology has regained market share compared to Thin Film technologies significantly. The fact that the crystalline Silicon-based added value chain is segmented opens a window to start local production in smaller steps, such as ell and module manufacturing. This satisfies the demand for local manufacturing and local content requirements, is close to the end market while creating sustainable jobs. This opens the window for other companies in supporting services and infrastructure to enter and create sustainable jobs as well. However, since 50% of today’s PV products are mass-manufactured in China, any local investment requires verification that it will be competitive. Therefore, it is necessary to select the best state-of-the-art equipment toolset in order to commence operations with a cost effective, leading edge technology and to size the manufacturing capacity according to market requirements. In parallel, a smart design and build approach for the building and related facilities is necessary to minimize invest and running costs and to align with the time schedule accordingly.


Figure 5 Example of an integrated PV Cell and Module manufacturing with an office building attached to the manufacturing area.






One on One Manfrd Koppl

Fronius International GmbH Area Sales Manager/Asia Pacific EQ : Please enlighten our readers on the unique technology aspect of these inverters installed in India and its performance.

Fronius MIX-Konzept: Inverters work best under high loads. When the insolation level is very low, losses are relatively high. This is on the one hand because the inverter itself uses power. In percentage terms, it uses more when less electricity is being generated. On the other hand, losses also arise from switching losses, and these have a greater impact when utilisation is lower. Some inverter manufacturers have adopted the master-slave principle as inverters often run under partial loads, particularly in our latitudes. The development of this principle, the Fronius MIXTM system, circumvents the disadvantages of the masterslave concept and has been employed to date in the Fronius IG, Fronius IG Plus and Fronius IG central inverters. The latest development, the new Fronius CL central inverter, also benefits from the advantages of this mode of operation.

HF Trafo: One of the many requirements of the modern inverter is a broad, coordinated input and MPP voltage range with a consistently high degree of efficiency across the entire operating range of the inverter. To satisfy this requirement, Fronius is implementing a high frequency transformer (HF transformer) in most of its current inverters. This HF transformer has a transformer switchover that ensures a consistently high degree of efficiency right across the input voltage range. It is often incorrectly assumed that the maximum degree of efficiency at a particular 26


voltage is one of the factors responsible for producing a good annual yield, when it is in fact the more or less constant degree of efficiency over the entire MPP voltage range. Thanks to the HF transformer switchover feature, the Fronius IG Plus and the Fronius CL offer maximum efficiency for almost any permissible string length.

Most efficient MPP tracking: The Fronius Module Manager always locates the maximum power point (MPP), even in the case of more demanding thinlayer modules. The Fronius Module Manager achieves an outstanding MPP adaption efficiency of >99,9% in total.

EQ : Please englihten our readers on the debate of “Central vs. String Inverters Design” Which concept is best suited for India and why We suggest string inverters for India, because our string inverters have the following pros: dependable yield, reliable and completely versatile, easy maintainance, low downtime, higher partial load efficiency. The Fronius IG Plus product family is suitable for every possible system size.

EQ : Please tell us in detail about your company (Company structure, Sales, Employees, Products & Solutions etc…) Fronius International is an Austrian company with headquarters in Pettenbach and other sites in Wels, Thalheim, Steinhaus and Sattledt. With 3,257 employees worldwide, the company is active in the fields of battery charging systems, welding

technology and solar electronics. Around 94% of its products are exported through 19 international Fronius subsidiaries and sales partners/representatives in over 60 countries. With its innovative products and services and 878 active patents, Fronius is world technology leader.

EQ :What are the other products and solutions for Solar pv plant provided by your co and what are its technological features.

System monitoring: Fronius DATCOM is a user-friendly data communications system for individual PV system monitoring. The hardware components are quick and easy to install, the software easy to operate. Because of its modular design, Fronius DATCOM can be upgraded at any time. Customized monitoring solutions, from basic equipment to complete system management, can be installed quickly and without problem. Because every PV system operator wants to know how their investment in the system is doing. Pros: Modular. Fast and easy to install. User-friendly.

Fronius Energy Cell: The Fronius Energy Cell comprises an entire system of regenerative energy creation and storage. The final version will fulfill two roles - performing electrolysis and

the function of the fuel cell. A PV system converts sunlight into direct current, which is then either converted into alternating current by an inverter and channeled to the consumers, or (should any power not be needed straight away) used to decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen = electrolysis function of the Energy Cell. The hydrogen is then stored in a hydrogen tank. Stored hydrogen is converted back into electricity using the fuel cell function of the Energy Cell when it is needed, i.e. when no power is being generated by the solar modules. Clean, emission-free energy is now available for use at all times. The fuel cell function (hydrogen into electricity) of the Fronius Energy Cell is already ready for mass production. In the next version of the Fronius Energy Cell the electrolysis function will also be fully integrated.

The Highest Reliability and Uptime for the Lifetime of the Plant

EQ :Have your product won any award recentlyâ&#x20AC;Ś. Kindly enlighten us in detail about this product

2010 VDI Innovation Prize for Logistics (HyLOG*) 2008 Austrian National Award for Climate Protection (HyLOG) World Energy Globe (HyLOG) Energy Globe Austria (HyLOG) National Environmental and Energy Technology Award (HyLOG)

EQ : Development of Micro-Inverters and its implication towards development of solar Pv market, its applications and usageâ&#x20AC;ŚKindly describe in detail regarding micro inverters Micro-Inverters are an interesting development, which we take very seriously and will naturally be keeping a close eye on.

Avenal, California 57 MWp

Grid Ready, Utility Photovoltaic Central Inverters from 145kVAp - 1590kVAp

EQ :What is your opinion on the JNNSM Batch II Phase I Bidding Outcome. Is it possible to deliver a EPC Solution to match the IRR expectations (Around 15% to 20%) to get the Solar KwHr at a price band of Rs.7.5 to Rs.9.5 No.

EQ : Whats your view on the Indian Policy Framework and one piece of advise you would like to give to the government Quality first â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not the lowest price!

EQ : What is your Top 5 Advice to a Project Developer in India while choosing the your products for its Solar PV Plant l l l l l

use string inverters use high frequency transformer inverters go for quality service friendliness 20 years warranty

Generate more energy &GÂťDJFOU Generate for longer 4XJUDIPOPGGBUPOMZ8 Generate more reliably ÂŻ.VMUJ.BTUFSTZTUFNJTGBVMUUPMFSBOU Generate with confidence &NFSTPOCBOLBCJMJUZ

email: EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12



One on One with Rakesh Khanna Managing Director SMA Solar India 1. What is the Future of solar power The global long-term prospects of photovoltaics are good: The energy supply of the future is de-centralized and renewable. PV energy is one of the most important pillars of this future energy mix and is poised to soon become an important mainstream source of energy.

2. Briefly explain Inverter technology Technologically, the inverter is the most important component of a PV plant. It efficiently converts the direct current generated in the photovoltaic cells into alternating current compliant with the grid requirements – for self consumption or feed-in to the power distribution grid. As an intelligent system manager, it also monitors both the PV array and the power distribution grid. SMA inverters already perform important grid management functions, which are becoming increasingly important as electricity production from renewable sources grows. SMA has been developing leading technological solutions and pioneering trends in this area for years.

3. Please enlighten our readers on the debate of “Central vs. String Inverters Design” Which concept is best suited for India and why There is no general answer to this question, because each PV plant is different 28


and demands an individual plant design. In order to build an efficient, reliable and profitable PV plant, specialists will take into account all individual parameters and decide on this basis, whether string inverters or central inverters are the best solution for the plant.

4. Please tell us in detail about your company SMA Solar Technology AG is a global leader in the development, production and sales of PV inverters and, as an energy management group, offers innovative key technologies for future power supply structures. SMA is represented in all important photovoltaics markets in 21 countries. The company has a staff of over 5 500 and reached a sales volume of EUR 1.7 billion in 2011. SMA has an extensive range of products, which offers the right inverters for all module types and plant sizes; for small residential systems as well as large scale plants, gridconnected installations as well as stand-alone and backup systems all over the world. Plant monitoring and visualization products as well as energy management solutions complete the portfolio. SMA has been developing leading technological solutions and pioneering trends in this area for years and is driving

future-oriented topics. For instance, these include intelligent energy management at a household level, grid integration of solar power, connecting storage facilities for more effective use of renewable energy and solardiesel hybrid systems. In addition to this, SMA customers worldwide benefit from comprehensive services: from support in installation and commissioning of PV plants to quick and uncomplicated device replacement service in Germany / worldwide, and the SMA Service Line for technical questions. The company also provides training for plant planners, installers, electrically qualified persons and anybody interested in solar power in seminars as part of the SMA Solar Academy.

5. What are the resources in terms of manpower for sales, O&M and other aspects developed and present in the Indian market? SMA setup a 100% own subsidiary in October 2010. The SMA India HQ is in Mumbai with a sales office in Delhi. SMA

India also have service HUBs with trained engineers and spare part warehouse in Ahmedabad / Rajkot / Jodhpur and Mumbai. SMA India is committed to offering efficient / effective support to customers and have a team of ten service engineers fully trained and experienced. SMA India has also started “Solar Academy” to offer hands on training in all segments of markets – Rooftop / Off Grid / Ground mounted PV plants. SMA India has a total strength of 30 and also offering extensive pre-sales support to offer solutions appropriate to meet site / customer requirements.

6. Ongoing R&D within the company and the way forward for its technology, products & services. What is the annual R&D budget? Research and development has been a major focus for SMA from the beginning on. Currently, we are employing around 1,000 people in this area. SMA will invest up to 110 million Euros in this area in 2012. The focal points of research and development are further reduction of system costs, grid integration and energy management.

7. Awards won and details SMA has won several awards on a corporate level as well as for its comprehensive product range. These for example include the first prize in the German “Great Place to Work®” competitions 2011 and 2012 as well as several top 10 positions in the European “Great Place to Work®” contest, the Best Innovator Award, and on a product level the Intersolar Award, the Innovation Prize Bad Staffelstein and the Red Dot Design Award. Additionally, SMA has received the first prize of the 2010 International Energy Efficiency Award for its solar inverter factory, located in Kassel, Germany. This is issued by Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) and awarded to companies for projects that help to increase energy efficiency and considerably reduce energy consumption

8. Recent trends in your company sales, profitability and other key financial figures.

SMA Solar Technology AG sold inverters with an output of 7.6 GW and reached a sales volume of EUR 1.7 billion with an operating profit (EBIT) of 240.3 million euros in 2011. SMA also posted a positive start to fiscal year 2012. In the first quarter, the company sold solar inverters with a total output of 1.9 gigawatts, with sales amounting to 405 million Euros and an operating profit (EBIT) of 42.8 million Euros. The half-yearly financial report January to June 2012 will be published on August 9, 2012.

9. Development of MicroInverters and its implication towards development of solar Pv market, its applications and usage…Kindly describe in detail regarding micro inverters SMA Solar Technology expands its product portfolio with a new micro inverter Sunny Boy 240. The new SB240 is suited to rooftop plants in the power class of up to 2 kW. It is especially applicable for small and micro plants, plants with complex shadowing situations, and building integration. The Sunny Boy 240 offers high flexibility in the planning of small plants in the power class of up to 2 kilowatts, and may be combined with all other SMA devices. High reliability and performance at an attractive price are main advantages of the completely new design. SMA’s micro inverter features an innovative safety concept as well as intelligent panel failure detection and is easy to install. We have also received “reddot design award” for our micro inverter

10. What is your opinion on the JNNSM Batch II Phase I Bidding Outcome? Is it possible to deliver a EPC Solution to match the IRR expectations (Around 15% to 20%) to get the Solar KwHr at a price band of Rs.7.5 to Rs.9.5 JNNSM bidding process is a market driven and viable approach. We are observing that customer / developers are more and more focused on setting up plants with 20 year plus horizon. Thus the focus is balanced between CAPEX and OPEX. Many successful bidders under JNNSM have considered SMA solutions based on their past experience

of proven technology / local support and productivity.

11. Whats your view on the Indian Policy Framework and one piece of advise you would like to give to the government The Indian policy framework is evolving steadily. We think the most important thing for the policy is to drive the importance to set-up plants with proven technology and experience to ensure a productive life cycle of 20 plus years.

12. What is your Top 5 Advice to a Project Developer in India while choosing the your products for its Solar PV Plant Developers in our country are well experienced and globally connected. We find their focus is on following: •

Design flexibility

Fast project execution

Adopt proven technology

• Future proof to meet grid related present / future management needs. •

Easy of O&M.

Accordingly SMA complements them by offering Outdoor Inverters, Globally / Indian proven technology, Smart Connection Systems / Grid Management feature to meet present / future needs and local service / spare parts support.

13. Kindly enlighten us on the competition scenario and increasing competition from manufacturers worldwide In contrast to other components of the value chain in the photovoltaic industry, the market for PV inverters is dominated by relatively few providers. The high level of concentration is the result of substantial barriers to market entry. The market for PV inverters is technology-driven. In addition, a strong international sales and service infrastructure play an important role. SMA has a strong position in all of these fields, and we will intensify our efforts to achieve technological progress and promote internationalization.




Partnering with SunPower, Mahindra EPC commissions high-performance solar plant in record time SunPower Solar India (P) Ltd.


uilding a 5 MW solar PV plant in Rajasthan, India, under Phase 1 of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (NSM) presented a number of challenges for Mahindra EPC (MEPC). A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, this was their first experience with utility-scale solar. The plant needed to live up to the expectations of the Mahindra Group, one of the most respected corporations in India, known for “getting it right the first time”. The developer wanted to be the first to achieve non-recourse funding, meaning lenders would demand rock-solid guarantees of the plant’s long-term performance. And it was crucial to meet the commissioning deadline to avoid high penalties imposed by the government under the NSM. Wanting to take no risks, Mahindra EPC partnered with SunPower for their bankable technology, proven experience and collaborative approach, choosing SunPower’s single-axis T0 Tracker as the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective way to maximise power generation. SunPower assured the MEPC team that, despite their lack of familiarity with trackers, the T0 Tracker was easy to install, and that the SunPower team would be available to help every step of the way, from site preparation to commissioning. Thanks to SunPower’s support and to its own highly committed and energetic



team, MEPC managed to commission the 5 MW plant ahead of schedule, in a record time of just 110 days. After seven months of operation, the plant’s energy output is above the predicted performance.

• First power plant in India to obtain non-recourse financing


“It was very rewarding to work with SunPower. We were under tremendous pricing pressure:

Site location: Phalodi, Rajasthan (India) System size: 5 MW System type: SunPowerTM SerengetiTM modules mounted on SunPowerTM T0 Trackers Date of commissioning: January 2012

PROJECT PARTNERS EPC Contractor: Mahindra EPC Services Pvt. Limited Project developer: Mahindra Solar One Pvt. Limited, a joint venture between the Mahindra Group (26%) and Kiran Energy (74%)

BENEFITS • 5 MW plant commissioned in just 110 days • First PV plant connected to the grid under Phase 1 of India’s NSM scheme

• Solar electricity generated powers 60,000 rural homes and avoids emissions of approximately 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually

in India, a highly competitive market, everything affects your margins. Continuous interaction with the SunPower team helped ensure that we did everything right the first time. SunPower’s expertise and collaborative efforts were key to commissioning the plant with high quality standards and in record time. We look forward to working with SunPower again.” Basant Jain CEO, Mahindra EPC

THE PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY OF SunPowerTM T0 TRACKERS Determined to ensure maximum return on investment, MEPC asked SunPower about the usefulness and feasibility of trackers at their site in Rajasthan. SunPower was able to demonstrate that its single-axis T0 trackers would not only maximise energy production but also require very little

maintenance thanks to their construction in corrosion-resistant steel with few moving parts. Moreover, the T0 racker was easy to install, and the SunPower team was available to help every step of the way. Now that the plant has been in operation for over seven months, the reliability of SunPower T0 Trackers in the Rajasthan climate has been proven beyond doubt and Mahindra EPC is now recommending them to its customers.

Lenders want to see proven technologies and guaranteed return on investment. The SunPower team was instrumental in securing non-recourse funding for this project, by sharing technical documents that convinced investors of the effectiveness of their trackers, and preparing forecasts, based on over two decades of proven experience, guaranteeing that the plant would meet or exceed performance expectations.




Several factors went into MEPC’s extraordinary success in getting a high-

quality, high-performance plant connected to the grid in just 110 days. Good planning and logistics were crucial, from the careful selection of technology to ensuring the timely arrival of materials. SunPower’s on-site training and continuous interaction, coupled with a collaborative approach across the board—from conception to commissioning— helped streamline design and execution while minimising costs. Mahindra EPC and SunPower have established a strong working relationship through this successful project and look forward to working together again on many more occasions.




RV Akash Ganga Infrastructure Ltd

Project Capacity: 2000kWp Grid Interactive Solar Power Plant Site Location: Vill. Hakimpur, Bhagwanpur, Roorkee EQ : What the history of your group and what made your group foray into solar RV Akash Ganga Infrastructure Ltd. popularly known as RVAG based at New Delhi came into existence in July 2007 being the amalgamation of RV Associates and Akash Ganga Infrastructure Ltd., two of the pioneers in the field of RMC and Equipment Hiring in Delhi - NCR. After having substantial growth in the infrastructure sector ,company has decided to move into emerging foray of solar sector. Company has found interest in the policy and initiative of the Government of India towards the Green Resolution. RV Akash Ganga had bagged 2MW Grid Interactive Solar Power Plant under RPSSGP policy in GBI scheme. IREDA had announced the 90MW solar project under this policy and which had made revolution in the Indian market towards green resolution.

EQ : What were the challenges in securing the finance for your project and who are the bankers & investors behind it We faced lots of challenges in getting financing for the solar power plant, as it was one of the first few projects in India. We have approached almost all the banks for the financing but banks were not aware about the solar technologies. Banks were very adamant in financial closure as there certain condition like EPC contractor were not agreed on giving generation guarantees till the repayment of loan. Banks had asked the absolute generation number from us as they were not ready for betting on climatic condition, if climatic 32


condition change then there will be issue in revenue/ cash flow. Finally we and our EPCC had agreed on absolute generation number and we got the loan from ICICI bank.

EQ :What were the challenges in choosing & securing land, permits, grid interconnection etc… As there was the huge documentation involved and we have to submit the land acquisition papers along with the application , so have choosen the land which is on the shore of River Solani in Roorkee, Uttarkhand. As mentioned it was the first solar projects , so nobody was aware the policy ( UPCL ) so we have initially faced the issue as government has mentioned that transmission will be provided by the Electricity board till the premises of the Solar park but UPCL were not cleared and we have given them the reference of other state solar power project , finally they said in laying transmission line they will take 5 months as there are lots of government approvals involved . But as we have the deadlines given by the IREDA, so we have decided to get the transmission line by ourselves. Grid interconnection was also the major issue as the feeder was not stable so we were getting high voltage at our end , so after long research and discussion with UPCL we have put extra equipments to get stabilized the voltage to the desired level as it required by the inverter.

EQ :Briefly describe the challenges of working with available met data from NASA and others

regarding irradiation, GHI etc… This issue was majorly related to EPCC , as there was no updated data available in NASA website and IMD ( Indian Metrological Department ), but as the EPCC contractor had the advance software ,by that they were able to achieve the absolute numbers . Now we have the weather monitoring station installed at the site and we are getting the climatic data which is comply the data which has given by the EPCC

EQ :Please enlighten us on the selection procedure of equipment & technology (c-si vs. Thin Film, Fixed structures vs. Tracking, String vs.Central Inverter ec..etc…) Whats the ideal solution for India and why. We had a lot of research going on various technologies, such as crystalline and thin film based, but with the advice of our consultants on this project we decided to go with thin film technology. After long research and guidance of the EPCC and our consultants, we decided to go with Japanese (Sharp) solar panels. Sharp as a company is a top tier brand with several years of manufacturing experience. Their panels have been installed in many countries and the installed capacity of their panels is more 200MW. Since the solar panels are the most important component in the solar power plant, with solar inverters as the second most important component of the solar power plant we were more focused and diligent on this selection and finally decided on the renowned German inverter manufacturing company, SMA Solar. SMA central inverter was selected, as we found that in string inverterslot of maintenance might be required and the circuit/engineering

also could become a bit complicated, so to avoid the complications and to keep it simple we went ahead with this decision. As in India there was no manufacturer available who manufacture the tracking systems and with tracking system lots of maintenance is required as well. There will be a gain in energy but the initial cost was coming out to be very high. So overall in the life cycle of the power plant then cost to benefit was not looking very attractive for the Indian latitude and insolation conditions. So we decided to go with fixed angle structure.

EQ :Who was your EPC Contractor and rationale behind selecting them After long research we decided to have GreenBrilliance Pvt. Ltd, a Vadodara based solar company to be our EPC partner. GreenBrilliance has good presence in India in solar manufacturing and as an EPC integrator.They and their European partner have done more than 80 MW solar power plants worldwide. They have vast experience delivering lots of solar power plants in USA, Europe and now in India as

well. They are highly committed professionals and a great company,which is what made us more comfortable with GreenBrilliance. They have guided us in every phase of the power projects.

EQ :Briefly describe the components used and the rationale behind Solar panels – Sharp solar Inverter-SMA Cables – KEI and topsolar Structure- Arcelor Mittal Junction box – Weidmuller Transformer- Atlanta Breakers- ABB After long research and discussion, we have selected components which are being used in more than 100’s MW. So these components are well tested in real conditions and thus are going to deliver a world class power plant.

EQ :What’s your view on the Indian Policy Framework and one

piece of advice you would like to give to the government and regulators? Government has drafted a wonderful policy and the associated departments like electricity, nodal agency who don’t have a crystal clear picture about the policy are also learning at a fast pace to keep up with the demand and service to their customers. Some guidance and streamlining is definitely going to help these associated departments and make them inline to the policy and make this program a huge success.

EQ :What’s an ideal financial model for the Solar PV Project in India to optimize the IRR Due to competition in the market, tariff rates are going down drastically,due to that payback period is crossing the repayment period of bank, so banks are hesitating in financial closure. So either bank has to reduce the interest rate or government has to increase the PPA to 35 year. This will add revolution in the market and if GOI will allow for 35 yrs. then developer will give more discount to the government, this is how we can achieve the grid parity in a short period.

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Securing The Downside: Generation & EPC Contracts Anmol Singh Jaggi Director – Gensol Consultants Pvt Ltd


n recent years, India has seen the fastest growth in Solar Power Generation among all the power sources. India’s geographical advantage of being in high irradiation zone, our focus on low cost innovation and the fact that millions of Indians don’t have access to reliable electricity has only added pace to this momentum crossing 1 GW of installations already. Further, the recent allocations under National Solar Mission, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha state policies and trading of solar Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) at healthy prices have given the industry a healthy pipeline of projects for the coming year. Chattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh are not far behind with their Solar Policies already released.

S. No.


P V C a p a ci t y (MW)


National Solar Mission









Madhya Pradesh



Registered REC Projects


are already having sanction letters. At this point, it would be healthy to find how a project developer or a lending institution can secure their downside through the EPC Contracts.

Security Mechanisms There are primarily four kinds of risks

that the project developer needs to guard against at the time of signing EPC Contracts: Advance, Contract Performance, Equipment Failure and Generation.A combination of guarantees and other mechanisms are embedded in the EPC Contracts to guard against these risks.

• Advance Bank Guarantee: Advance should be typically released after submission of Bank Guarantee of an equivalent amount. Depending on the negotiations, the amount is typically 5 to 10% of the contract value. Most EPC Contractors are able to get Bank Guarantee (BG) limits approved from the bankers after the Letter of Award is given

Any solar power plant goes through 4 distinct phases in our country: •

Project Allocation – Through Reverse Bidding or RECs

Appointment of EPC Contractor & Securing Financial Closure

Construction of the power plant

Operation & Maintenance

Most of the already awarded solar PV power projects – approximately 650 MW – are in the 2nd phase of their lifetime when negotiations with EPC Contractors have been finalized, the lending institutions have given term sheets and few lucky project developers 34


to them with a percentage kept as margin money. Therefore, though the advance payment is secure and backed by a BG, the EPC Contractor gets the free cash to mobilize team and start procurement.

with a maximum ceiling of say, 10%. o

â&#x20AC;˘ Co n t r a c t P e r f o r m a n c e B a n k Guarantee: The contractor needs to honor the commitments made in the contract, including: o

Timely Completion of Project: The risk is amplified by huge Bank Guarantees kept by the project developer, which can be liquidated if the project is not commissioned by the date mentioned in the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Liquidated Damagesâ&#x20AC;? (LD) clause in the EPC Contract protects the Project Developer from undue delays in completion. Considering that solar power plants are mostly built in approximately6 months, which is a relatively small period for a power project hence, LD is charged typically on a daily basis as a percentage of the contract value, say 0.5% on a daily basis

Quality & Complete Hand Over: The contractor during construction has to adhere to industry best practices, applicable laws, conditions in the Power Purchase Agreement and various IS standards. Non â&#x20AC;&#x201C; adherence might have consequences in terms of penalties from authorities, reducing generation or lifetime of the power plant.

of guaranteeing generation is of immense importance to the Project Developer and the Lending Institution. o

Exported Units Linked: The EPC Contractor guarantees a minimum generation figure at the metering point. The generation can be guaranteed on monthly or annual basis. Further, there is a reduction â&#x20AC;&#x201C; typically 1% - in the generation guaranteed with each passing year to account for annual degradation. This form of guarantee is most preferred by Lending Institutions as it limits the downside of the project. However, in case of better than expected radiation, the EPC Contractor is not penalized for the plant not generating better than guaranteed units.


Performance Ratio Linked: In an Exported Units linked guarantee, the EPC Contractor takes the risk of the sunshine i.e. radiation on itself. Performance Ratio is a measure of the quality of the plant that is independent of the location and radiation. The

Contract Performance Bank Guarantee â&#x20AC;&#x201C; typically 10% of the contract value â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is kept by the EPC contractor at the signing of the contract to safeguard the Project Developer against delay or lapse in quality. The Guarantee is typically valid up to the Defect Liability Period say, 1 year after hand over of the plant. â&#x20AC;˘ Generation Guarantee: After erection of the power plant, in most cases, the Operation & Maintenance Agreement is signed with the same EPC Contractor,at least for 5 years and in some cases till the tenor of the loan. During this period the EPC Contractor guarantees generation. The amount and mechanism





performance ratio (PR) is stated as percent and describes the relationship between the actual and theoretical energy outputs of the PV plant. It thus shows the proportion of the energy that is actually available for export to the grid after deduction of energy loss (e.g. due to thermal losses and conduction losses) and of energy consumption for operation.

are not uncommon, yet, the international best practices follow PR linked guarantees as the contractors can be expected to guarantee their engineering, not the sunshine.

Typically, the claims of the Project Developer for the damages caused by on account of delay or lapses in quality are settled using the following priority order:

Both the kinds of generation guarantees are typically backed by a BG of 10% of the expected annual revenue from the solar power plant. The BG is rolled over for 2 to 3 years and then can be replaced by Corporate Guarantee.

Deductions from payment owed to the EPC Contractor

Deduction from amount retained from payments made to EPC Contractor

Liquidation of Bank Guarantees



One time settlement: A unique and seldom used method to compensate the

Though, it is never to cover all the




Amount& Duration



Advance Bank Guarantee& Amount retained from payments

10% of the contract Value till the advance amount is completely recovered


Timely & Quality Completion of Project

Contract Performance Guarantee& Amount retained from payments

10% of the contract Value till the Defect Liability Period


Faulty Equipment Equipment Warranties

Actual AC yield is the Annual generation of electricity from solar PV power plant as recorded on the export meter. Total generation of units (kWh) = Insolation x Yield Factor x Total installed capacity Where, Insolation is the irradiation falling on the site for particular interval, kWh/m2/day Yield factor is the combination of all losses in PV system Total Installed Capacity, kW Target yield (kWh) = Irradiation on module plane (kWh/ m2/day) x Area of modules x Efficiency of module The closer the PR value determined for a PV plant approaches 100 %, the more efficiently the respective PV plant is operating. In real life, a value of 100% cannot be achieved, as unavoidable losses always arise with the operation of the PV plant (e.g. thermal loss due to heating of the PV modules). The guaranteed PR for Indian conditions typically varies from 75% to 80% depending on negotiations, site conditions, technology etc. This too is subject to degradation on annual basis on account of degradation. While Exported Units Linked guarantees 36


Depending on the Equipment from 1 year to 25 years

project developer for lower generation is to monitor the generation for a period of 1 year and the EPC Contractor paying the project developer for any shortfall in generation guaranteed by a one time settlement in the range of 10 times (depending on negotiation) the revenue lost on account of shortfall. This method is not preferred by most as it leads to large uncertainty for the following years.

possible risks in a project, yet it is only prudent to secure the downsides to the extent possible according to the best practices mentioned above.

Also, the generation being guaranteed are always subject to the grid being available. • Payment Retention: In addition to the above guarantees, most EPC Contracts are structured to retain a percentage – say 10% - from each payment to the contractor to repay whatever advance has been give. Once, the retained amount is equivalent to the advance given, the advance BG is returned back to the contractor. • Equipment Warranty: Most of the critical equipment in a solar power plant come adequately covered by industry standard warranty conditions, for e.g. modules are covered for degradation upto 25 years and inverters typically upto 5 years. The warranties are transferred to the Project Developer with the transfer of title for the equipment to the Project Developer.

EQ E nergy U nplugged EQ

Issue # 13 | May-June 12


ASYS SOLAR – Lowering The Total Cost Of Ownership

Inverters As Grid Managers

M & B Switch GearIndia’s First Solar REC Generator

REFUPMU® - Power Management Unit for Solar PV Plants

Japan FIT For Renewable And Solar


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Case Study - Foula Island Rolls Distribution


oula is Britain’s most remote inhabited island. It is situated in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 20 miles to the west of the Shetland mainland. The Island currently has a population of 25

residents. Travel to the Island is by sea or air and is completely dependent on suitable weather conditions. It is an island of crafting townships, breathtaking sheer cliff drops, and a wealth of wild flowers and wildlife.

The Project The Island of Foula is not connected to any mainland electricity grid system. In 1987 a community electricity scheme was constructed, comprising a 3.3kV Island grid which linked diesel generators, a wind turbine and hydroelectricity scheme to the Islands properties. The scheme gradually fell into disrepair and has undergone a major refurbishment, funded through grants. The transformers and control system have been replaced, a new photovoltaic PV array has been installed, battery storage and associated inverters have been integrated into the system. The renewable generation has been specified to optimise energy output around the year. The battery storage system manages the discrepancies between periods when power is available and when it is required by the Island load. The hydro generator will provide the bulk of the Islands base load during the winter months, supplemented by small amounts of energy from the PV array. Before the hydro generator is recommissioned, and during the summer months, the island will 38


Geographical layout of Foula’s electrical network

still rely on the diesel generators, but the battery storage system and PV array will help to minimise the diesel generator run time. Because of the northerly latitude of Foula long hours of daylight are experienced over summer months so output from the PV system is expected to be very significant. The system provides 24 hour power and the battery storage has been sized to supply a small overnight load, which is assumed to comprises fridges, freezers, central heating pumps and a few lights.

generators, and a generator management system.

Battery/Inverter System Wind & Sun designed and installed the battery / inverter system and PV array and installed it in November 2006 and January 2007. Thesystem uses 9 Sunny Island SI4500 bi directional inverters as the heart of the system to combine to give a high quality sine wave inverter with powerful overload capability (total of 40KW 30min rating) They include high performance battery chargers that ensures maximum battery lifetimes, energy management controller for loads and


The batteries are Rolls 4KS21P ( 4v 916Ah @ C10) connected to give 60 VDC and fitted with low maintenance hydrocaps to reduce down time and increase battery efficiency. The batteries provide total storage capacity for the whole system of over 80kWh to 50% depth of discharge.

PV System The 19.2kWP PV array consist of 6 sub- arrays each comprising of 2 strings of 20 BP Solar 80Wp PV modules. (240 modules in total). The modules are mounted on a galvanised steel ground mount framework designed and constructed to stand up to the elements. Foula experiences extreme weather (173mph winds have been recorded) so the PV modules were chosen for being the strongest available.

Passion for power

Come over to the sunny side. Electrical installation for photovoltaic plants made easy!

Inverters The Sunny Island inverters control the battery charging and the system is designed to tie in with the ex i s t i n g d i e s e l generators. One of these generators is selected at a time and can be controlled from the Sunny Island. Generators are only needed if loads exceed inverter capacity or if batteries need recharging.

Good preparation is the key to success: especially true when installing photovoltaic plants. Hensel is now offering new PV generator junction boxes with string overload protection or


blocking diodes with sustainable protection against damages .

The entire system is monitored using a Sunny Control Plus unit and all the inverters are connected to this via RS485 cabling. An analogue telephone modem is included which allows performance to be monitored remotely. This is invaluable for system set up. Diagnosis and control.

to meet all requirements and help the electrician in their profes -

Hensel provides standardised, turn-key manufactured solutions sional execution of PV installations.


Water Turbine The hydro turbine is rated at 15kW and obtains it 1s water supply from both the Ouvrafandal Loch on the hill above the turbine and the Creyg Burn using a newpipeline. The Burn supply only works after it has been raining whilst the Loch provides storage for a more consistent supply. During the summer when insufficient water is expected, the PV`s will be working at their best so it is hoped that diesel generator running time will be minimal.

Hensel Electric India Pvt. Ltd 35, Kunnam Village, Sunguvarchathram Walajabad Road, Gustav Hensel GmbH /&Flextronics Co. KG 4th km behind Samsung D-57368 Lennestadt Sriperumbudur 631 604. Kanchipuram Dist., Tamil Nadu INDIA Ph: +91 044 3727 0202 Fax: +91 044 3727 0200

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Findings In The Correlation Of Ground Measured Irradiance Data With Satellite Derived Data


he inter-annual variability of solar radiation is an important factor in determining the uncertainty associated with the energy yield prediction for solar plants. As it is uncommon for more than a year or two of ground-based measurements to be recorded at a site, longterm reference datasets are usually required to assess the inter-annual variability, and estimate the long-term average irradiance conditions. Satellite-derived irradiance data are often used for this purpose, although ground-based measurements from reference meteorological stations can also be used, if available.

the long-term irradiance conditions at the site. A comparison of correction methods between satellite-derived long-term solar radiation data (global horizontal irradiance, GHI) and measured data for seven locations in Australia is presented in this paper. The purpose of this investigation is to verify and compare the quality of the following three different correction methods: 1) Daily 2) Daily classified by irradiance and 3) Daily classified by month. The quality of the correction is quantified by the correlation coefficient and the accuracy between the satellite-derived and measured datasets.

A common approach is to adjust the long-term reference dataset, using a linear correlation, to better match the site data during the measurement period. This adjustment can then be applied over the long-term reference period to estimate




Measured hourly GHI data recorded at the following meteorological stations have been procured

from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). Details about these stations can be found on the BoM website [1]. The period from August 2003 to July 2005 has been considered: The satellite-derived data used in this study are solar radiation data derived from satellite imagery processed by the Bureau of Meteorology from the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (GMS-5), and MTSAT series (MTSAT-1R) operated by Japan Meteorological Agency, and from GOES-9 operated by the US National

Broome Airport

17.95ºS, 122.23ºE (tropical)

Rockhampton Aerodrome

23.38ºS, 150.48ºE (subtropical)

Alice Springs Airport

23.80ºS, 133.89ºE (desert)

Wagga Wagga

35.16ºS, 147.46ºE (temperate)

Melbourne Airport

37.66ºS, 144.43ºE (temperate)

Cape Grim

40.68ºS, 144.69ºE (temperate)

Adelaide Airport

34.95ºS, 138.52ºE (temperate)

Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). [1] The data were provided in the form of hourly GHI data grids covering the whole of Australia with a 0.05 degree resolution. The irradiance values have been calculated by BoM by reprocessing archived raw satellite data using software that was extensively rewritten in 2006 and is based on the two-band physical model. Data have been extracted at the 4 nodes closest to each location described above, and these have then been interpolated at the point of interest using bi linear interpolation. The uncertainty associated with the interpolation is considered negligible. As with most satellite derived data, these data are instantaneous and are not recorded on the hour. As it was not possible to correct for this, the study presented here does not include a correlation of the hourly values but instead focuses on the daily sums. Whereas the measured data is nearly complete, in the satellite data the hours near sunrise and sunset are often removed by the BoM due to higher uncertainty. This leads to a low total data coverage, as summarised in table 1. As most of the missing data are at very low irradiance levels, the total data coverage is not considered to adequately reflect the quality of the data in terms of

energy. Therefore, the data coverage for GHI > 100 W/m2 was also calculated. It can be seen that this data coverage is very high, and that the energy attributed to the irradiance interval between 0 and 100 W/ m2 is only approximately 1%. Therefore, in this analysis only irradiance data with GHI > 100 W/m2 was used. In order to show the difference in the seasonal trends for tropical, desert and temperate locations monthly values of mean daily GHI were calculated and averaged for the different climate zones. These are presented in Figure 1. It can be seen that the desert and temperate locations experience a more pronounced decrease in GHI from summer to winter and then a more pronounced increase in GHI from winter to summer than the tropical locations. The three profiles show the influence of the orientation of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rotational axis relative to the sun at different latitudes. The tropical and desert profiles also indicate that weather events such as storms can affect the seasonal profile of GHI at a location, if they occur more frequently during specific times of the year. In the case of these tropical locations, this is particularly evident during the wet season from January to March.

Table 1: Data coverage for the seven locations analyzed

Figure 1: Monthly values of mean daily GHI for the three different climate zones (blue: tropical, red: desert, green: temperate)



Data preparation The data preparation of the hourly measured and satellite-derived data within this work included the following steps: 1) Correct for possible time off-set between measured and satellite-derived data and check on possible changes of hour during summer and winter time; attention has to be paid to the fact that the recording of measured and satellite derived data is often not synchronized. 2) Neglect all hours when either measured or satellite-derived data is less than or equal to 100 W/m2. 3) Calculate the daily sum of the measured and satellite-derived GHI (All days). 4) Neglect all days where one or more hourly values are missing, thus only the complete days are used in the following. 5) Calculate the correlation coefficient between the measured and satellite-

derived data according to equation 1 (data without correction).


400 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 600 W/m2


600 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 800 W/m2



> 800 W/m2

1 With: Xm: measured data Xs: satellite-derived data 6) Execute a linear regression between the measured and satellite-derived data in order to calculate the two constants a and b according to equation 2. Correct the satellite-derived data by multiplying with constant a and adding constant b. Equation 2

7) Determine the correlation coefficient of the Daily data according to step 5. 8) Classify the data into the following irradiance intervals: o

9) Correct the satellite-derived data according to step 6 for each individual irradiance group in order to calculate the Daily classified by irradiance data and calculate the correlation coefficient according to step 5. 10) Classify the data by month. 11) Correct the satellite-derived data according to step 6 for each month in order to calculate the Daily classified by month data and calculate the correlation coefficient according to step 5.

Results The correlation coefficients determined for the seven locations and different correction methods are presented in Table 2.

< 200 W/m2

Table 2: Correlation coefficients for different correction methods and 2 year datasets

Figure 2: Comparison of mean daily GHI for the different correction methods



In general, the correlation coefficient of daily measured and satellite-derived GHI is high, indicating that the measured data is well represented by the satellite derived data on a daily basis. It is also evident that considering a daily correlation on an annual (all data), irradiance level or monthly basis does not have a significant impact on the quality of the correlation. In order to estimate the uncertainty of the different correction methods a Monte Carlo simulation was carried out. The uncertainty was found to be very low, lying in the range of 0.4 to 0.8% for each location and correction method. This is consistent with the high correlation coefficient presented above and the long time period of the analysed data. The impact of shorter or less complete measurement periods have not been considered in this assessment. Energy assessments for solar photovoltaic (PV) plants is usually conducted on a time series basis on one single year, averaged over the long term climatic conditions. It is therefore important when assessing the irradiance at a site to also consider the seasonal profile of the GHI dataset. Figure 2 presents the monthly GHI profile at Wagga Wagga for the period from August 2003 to July 2005. Shown are the uncorrected ground-based measurements and satellite-derived data, and the satellitederived data corrected using each of the daily correction methods described above. As it can be seen deviations between the daily values appear mainly at low irradiance levels during winter time. In general the daily classified by month data represent most closely the seasonal profile measured at the site whereas the satellite-derived data present deviations of up to 20%.

Conclusion A comparison of measured and satellite-derived long-term GHI data was conducted for seven locations in three different climate zones in Australia. Due to the pre-treatment of the satellite-derived data, the analysis was undertaken only for GHI higher than 100 W/m2. It was found that the measured data was generally well represented by the satellite-derived data. Daily correlations between the measured and satellite-derived data at each of the seven locations are generally strong, having values above 0.9. Classification of the correlations by irradiance level and by month were investigated. It was found that assessing daily correlations by month resulted in the corrected data most closely representing the seasonal profile at the site. The impact on the correlation of shorter timer periods or the presence of incomplete data that often occur in energy assessments are subject to further investigation.



Efficient East-West Orientated Pv Systems With One Mpp Tracker Dipl.-Ing.(FH) Dietmar Staudacher FRONIUS International GmbH

ABSTRACT: A willingness to install east-west orientated photovoltaic (PV) systems has lacked in the past. Nowadays, however, interest in installing PV systems on east-west roofs is steadily increasing. Although south orientated systems are better, east-west orientated PV systems can also generate substantial earnings. Moreover, due to the sharp drop in module prices, increased demand for east-west systems are expected for the future. From the perspective of grid operators, east-west orientated PV systems are preferable to south orientated ones, as the energy is fed-in more evenly throughout the day, therefore reducing power peaks thus relieving the grid. Up to now it was assumed that east-west orientated PV systems require separate inverters for each orientation, or at least one inverter with multiple MPP Trackers (Maximum Power Point), to avoid mismatching losses. This paper will show an analysis of east-west orientated PV systems connected to one MPP Tracker and demonstrate the high performance of such systems. 1

INTRODUCTION Based on theoretical analysis, the

behaviour of the MPP of an east-west orientated PV system was investigated and then verified by comparing measurement results. For the practical results two east-

generator, 90° for the west generator, and an inclination angle of 15°. Measurements of the ‘IV’ characteristic were taken to obtain accurate results and possible inverter deviations were monitored by installing energy meters.

Since the total voltage of the east generator is similar to the total voltage of the west generator, very small mismatching losses are expected if these strings are connected in parallel to a single inverter (one MPP Tracker).

west arrays were installed – one PV array with thin film modules and one PV array with crystalline modules. These arrays were then split and put into operation as separate systems – the first with one inverter for the east roof and one inverter for the west roof, and the second with a single inverter for both roofs. The thin film modules were installed with an azimuth angle of -67.5° for the east generator, 112.5° for the west generator, and an inclination angle of 30°. The crystalline modules, on the other hand, were mounted with an exact orientation of -90° for the east 44




At first glance, the installation of a single inverter in an east-west orientated PV system leads to the expectation of large mismatching losses. Due to the different orientations in an east-west PV system, the solar modules are exposed to various irradiation levels. For this reason, different module currents occur between the east and west strings, depending on the time of day. In contrast to large current differences between the east and west generator, the MPP voltages are nearly identical, as can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1: IV characteristic of a crystalline module at different irradiation levels [1]

The mismatching losses differ according to the inclination angle of the installed solar modules and the module technology used. The greater the inclination angle of the

solar modules, the higher the mismatching losses. Essential for the losses from the module technology are the fill factor and the change of the MPP voltage as a function of irradiation. The fill factor - which is usually higher for crystalline modules than for thin film modules – is crucial, since it determines how steeply the power curve drops before and after the MPP. Figure 2 shows the typical characteristics of a crystalline module and a thin film module. It can be seen that the power curve of the crystalline module drops more steeply around the MPP than the power curve of the thin film module. Therefore, it is likely that crystalline modules lead to higher mismatching losses in east-west orientated PV systems than thin film modules. Another important point, however, is the change of the MPP voltage as a function of irradiation [see Figure 1]. A small change of the MPP voltage over a wide irradiation range causes the fewest losses. The change in MPP voltage is mainly affected by the module temperature. A low temperature coefficient and good ventilation of the solar modules therefore results in better performance in east-west orientated PV systems. Moreover, a high low-light performance of a solar module can also improve the power output. Since all these variables differ with every module, no general conclusion can be drawn about which technology is more favourable for east-west orientated PV systems.

losses. However, these losses are minimal and are partially compensated by other positive effects. For example, an east-west orientated PV system with a single inverter operates in a higher efficiency range for more of the time when compared to an installation with separate inverters. The figures shown in section 3.1 use data from the east-west orientated PV system with the crystalline modules [see section 1].

Figure 3: Comparison of the measured DC voltages with the corresponding irradiation and temperature profile on a sunny day

Figure 3 shows the DC voltage of the east/west generator with a single inverter compared to the DC voltages of the east/ west generator with separate inverters. As can be seen, the voltages of the east and west generator are different. In the morning, the voltage of the west generator is generally higher than the voltage of the east generator, whereas the reverse is true in the afternoon. This is a result of the irradiation and temperature behaviour of solar cells, since the DC voltage remains nearly constant

at a global irradiation level above ~180 W/ m2 and increases/decreases with decreasing/ increasing module temperature. The east/west generator produces mismatching losses because the DC voltage of that generator is not identical with the DC voltage of the west generator in the morning. The same applies to the DC voltage of the east generator in the afternoon. Although the DC voltage of the east/west generator deviates by up to 5% from the voltages of the generator with separate inverters, the energy losses are very small, as can be seen in Figure 4. This is because the DC voltage of the east/ west generator follows the voltage of the east generator in the morning and the voltage of the west generator in the afternoon. An additional point to note is that a deviation of 5% from the optimal MPP voltage does not lead to the same percentage of power losses, since a lower/higher MPP voltage also causes a higher/lower MPP current. As shown in Figure 4, the AC power curve of the east/west generator with a single inverter overlaps the combined AC power curve of the east/west generator with separate inverters for the whole day. The different DC voltages of the generators lead to approximately 0.5% mismatching losses but the final energy losses are just 0.1% - within the accuracy of measurement of the energy meters of ±1%. As mentioned before, the mismatching losses are partially compensated due to the east/west generator with a single inverter operating in a higher efficiency range. The energy losses are highest on a sunny day because the lower the irradiation difference between the east and west strings, the lower the deviation of the DC voltages. The result is that energy losses are even lower on a cloudy day or on days with diffuse irradiation. 3.2 Energy yield comparison – Part I The following energy yield comparison shows the result of the east-west orientated PV system with thin film modules. As can be seen in Figure 5, the energy losses of the east/west generator with a single inverter are very low over a long period.

Figure 2: Characteristic curves of a crystalline module and a thin film module


RESULTS 3.1 Low mismatching losses

As explained in section 2, the installation of a single inverter in an east-west orientated PV system necessarily results in mismatching

Figure 4: AC power comparison with the corresponding energy yield on a sunny day. ~ 0.1% energy losses of the east/west generator with a single inverter compared to the east/west generator with separate inverters

Based on the results from May to July, it can be expected that the annual energy losses of the east/west generator with a single inverter will be less than 1%. The east/west generator with a single inverter therefore has a clear advantage compared EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12


separate inverter is always cheaper than two smaller inverters. Consequently, the payback time of the east/west generator with a single inverter is shorter than that of the east/west generator with separate inverters. Figure 5: Energy yield comparison of the east-west orientated PV system with thin film modules over a period of 3 months. ~1% energy losses of the east/west generator with a single inverter compared to the east/west generator with separate inverters

Figure 7: Energy yield comparison of the east-west orientated PV system with crystalline modules over a period of 3 months. The energy yield of the east/west generator with a single inverter is nearly the same as that of the east/west generator with separate inverters

to an installation with separate inverters. It is also superior to an installation of a single inverter with two MPP Trackers. In fact, the east/west generator with a single inverter is the cheaper solution whilst generating almost the same energy yield, as only one inverter is needed. In addition, the single inverter can have a lower nominal power than the sum of the nominal power of the separate inverters. This is because the power peaks of the east and west generator are time-shifted, as shown in Figure 6. The nominal power reduction depends on the inclination angle of the solar modules – the higher the inclination angle, the lower the nominal power of the single inverter. As explained in section 1, the thin film modules were installed with an inclination angle of 30°, allowing the nominal power of the single inverter to be reduced by approximately 15%.

inverter is shorter. 3.3 Energy yield comparison – Part II The results in section 3.3 are the energy yield comparison of the east-west orientated

east-west orientated PV system with thin film modules. A nominal power of ~85% of the sum of the nominal power of the separate inverters is sufficient for the single inverter From these results it can be concluded that the cost savings are greater than the energy losses. This means that the payback time of the east-west PV system with a single



The following rules must be observed in order to ensure that an east-west orientated PV system with a single inverter operates optimally: 

Shading must be avoided

The number of solar modules must be identical in all strings

Within a single string, the inclination angle and orientation of the solar modules must be identical

5 Figure 8: Example of the AC power profile of the east-west orientated PV system with crystalline modules. A nominal power of ~95% of the sum of the nominal power of the separate inverters is sufficient for the single inverter

PV system with crystalline modules. Since the inclination angle of the solar modules is just 15°, there is very little energy loss, as can be seen in Figure 7. The mismatching losses are between 0.3% and 0.5%, but they are compensated due to the higher efficiency operation of the single inverter. Figure 6: Example of the AC power profile of the


In this case as well, the east/west generator with a single inverter is the lowercost option. The cost savings are obvious and roughly the same as set out in section 3.2. Firstly, only one inverter is required. Secondly, the nominal power of the single inverter can be reduced by approximately 5%, as shown in Figure 8. The nominal power reduction of 5% results from the 15° inclination angle of the crystalline solar modules, as explained in section 3.2. At this point, it should be mentioned that a single inverter with twice the nominal power of one


The investigations on both PV systems have demonstrated that in an east-west orientated PV system, with a single inverter for the east and west generator, mismatching losses occur. As expected, these losses are very small and are partially compensated by the fact that the single inverter operates in a higher efficiency range. In contrast to minimal yield losses, the following costs can be reduced significantly: firstly the number of inverters can be reduced and secondly the nominal power of the single inverter can be reduced by up to 35% - depending on the inclination angle of the installed solar modules. Furthermore, installation costs can be minimised. If one considers basic installation rules, the inclination angle of the solar modules and module technology, installing a single inverter in an east-west orientated system can be cheaper than installing a system with separate inverters. Finally, installing a single inverter has no disadvantages compared to installing an inverter with two MPPTrackers. nnn

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Photovoltaic Systems Properly Protected And Operated Safely Torsten Hoffmann- Productmarketmanager Photovoltaic Systems, OBO Bettermann GmbH & Co. KG


oday, renewable energy, for example, and the field of photovoltaics (PV) are booming industries. The German Renewable Energy Law (EEG) means that PV systems have become interesting to private and commer-cial investors. However, amortisation of the PV system may be delayed through damages and loss of income. Proper installation and cable routing as well as lightning and surge protection measures increase the availability of the system.

Local circumstances and requirements must be weighed up during planning. Does the building have a lightning protection system or is there a statutory requirement for the building to have a lightning protection system? Does the insurance company require lightning and surge pro-tection measures? Are there fire protection zones or escape routes in the building?

Correct lightning

protection and PV systems If an external lightning protection system is required, then it should be designed according to the current IEC 62305-1 to -4. A direct lightning strike of the solar modules should be prevented by a lightning rod erected at a distance. An external lightning protection system of class III to IEC 62305 is normal for PV systems. In special cases, a risk analysis should be compiled by a lightning protection specialist.

Separation distance There should be a separation distance (s) between the external lightning protection system and the PV generator. Usually, a separation distance of 0.5 m to 1 m is sufficient. If there are queries, we recommend letting a lightning protection specialist make a calculation according to IEC 62305.

Figure 1: Separation distance (s) between the external lightning protection system and the PV system



Protective angle and rolling sphere The protective area of the lightning rod can be determined using IEC 62305-3, using the rolling sphere or protective angle method. Avoid the formation of shadows!

Figure 2: Planning method: rolling sphere, protective angle and separation distance (s)

protection devices should be designed for the maximum open circuit voltage. This is up to 20 % above the open circuit voltage UOC STC. If the separation distance between the lightning protection and PV system is maintained, then the system is protected against arcing and lightning power surges. If the distance cannot be maintained, then a lightning current-compatible connection (min. 16 mm2 copper) must be made. Lightning arresters (type 1 or type 1+2) for lightning protec-tion equipotential bonding are used on the DC (A) and the AC (B) side. (Figure 4).

Figure 6: Lightning and surge protection on the DC, AC and data cable of the PV inverter

Figure 3: PV modules in the protective area of a lightning rod

Surge protection for PV systems If a lightning protection system is not required by law or by the insurer, then correct installation increases the availability of the PV system. Suitable cable support systems and safe cable routing can prevent damage and failures. Functional earthing of the PV system should take place using the metal parts of the PV generator, such as the frame, supports and rails, and with at least 6 mm² (copper) in the equipotential bonding. Inductions should be minimised using close, parallel routing of the equipotential bonding with the DC cables. The use of surge protection devices (type 2) at the inverter prevents damage through inductions. The DC surge

Figure 5: Installed surge protection on the inverter with cable support system

Data cables Data cables used to display or transfer output data should be included in the protection concept and should be connected to protection devices as necessary. Local equipotential bonding should be provided on the inverter (Figure 5).

Safe cable routing It is in the installation and cable routing that you see the difference between cheap systems and safe systems. Proper cable support and cable tray systems ensure perfect, tidy installation. Fire zones must remain intact in public buildings and emergency and escape routes may not be subjected to additional fire loads. Only safe systems pose no risk and provide a maximum of availability.


Figure 4: DC and AC surge protection arrester, type 2, with equipotential bonding on the inverter

Today, PV systems are operated as an economic investment with an expected amortisation time. System faults and failures endanger the investment. A safely installed PV system minimises the faults ensuring high operating safety. With its complete product range, OBO can ensure that the system is integrated in the overall building installation. Besides transient and lightning protection products, OBO can offer everything which is required for a tidy installation. From mesh cable trays through installation ducts and cable junctions, terminals, clamps and screw-in and knock-in systems right through to fire protection. EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12



In Complete Charge –skytron’sPlant Controller Integrates PV Power into the French High-Voltage Grid skytron® energy GmbH


or the first time, in March 2012, the power plant controller skycontrol installed and commissioned in a photovoltaic installation that feeds directly into France’s 63 kV high-voltage grid. Drawing from its solid experience in the control of utility-scale PV plants connected to medium-voltage grids, the Berlin-based company skytron® energy GmbH fine tunes the plant controller of the 34 MW ac PV power plant in the south-west of France to the stringent grid connection specifications of RTE, the French transmission system operator.In addition to the control functions that by now are standard to the plant controller, such as active power curbing and power factor adjustment, the controller is empowered to meet a number of new challenges. The four plant sections spaced from each other as far as 30 kilometres require active compensation of the reactive power load caused by long cable lines. Another trying task is the injection of reactive power into the grid for voltage stabilization, and this even at nights when no power is being generated.



This is ensured by meticulously adapted control algorithms and phase-shift capability of the inverters. A further important aspect: frequency control makes sure that the frequency stays within the predefined characteristics and power generation is throttled in the event of overfrequency.

for the entire project. “But our minds were quickly set at rest by the flexibility of the power plant controller. Right now we are in the approval phase during which we have to provide the plant’s logged and recorded control responses to the French RTE company. We are confident to pass this final test.”

During on-site commissioning and ongrid test runs, the controller was finely tuned to follow a comprehensive plant

Following this successful completion of controlled PV power feed-in, skytron energy GmbH is now installing another power plant controller in a 40 MWp project in the southeast of France, this time injecting into RTE’s 225 kV grid. “We are happy about the growing importance of photovoltaic power plants connected to France’s highvoltage grid. And with the controllable provision of PV power we make an important contribution to grid stability,” explains Marco Wirnsberger, Managing Director of skytron® energy GmbH. “To date, our company has equipped 1.3 GW of installed PV capacity with the skycontrol plant controller, which clearly puts us on the market leading scale.”

simulation model. “First we were a little apprehensive. For everybody involved, these control requirements meant treading new trails”, admits Gerald Freymann, Technical Manager of GP Joule, the EPC contractor


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One on One Lalit Jain CEO - Wind & International Solar, Moser Baer Clean Energy Ltd 1) What is the history of your group and what made your group foray into solar ? Established in 1983, Moser Baer India Limited (MBIL) has successfully developed cutting edge technologies to become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of Optical Storage media ( pre- recorded and blank). It has the distinction of manufacturing every 5th disc globally. The company also has emerged as a leading player in the next-generation of storage formats like Blu-Ray discs in India and is set to lead the technology curve in tapping renewable energy in the high growth area of photovoltaic. Moser Baer Solar Limited (subsidiary of MBIL) manufactures world-class solar modules and provides EPC solutions for effective deployment of PV System. It has been conferred with the prestigious “5 Star Rating” certificate by TÜV Rheinland for maintaining highest standards of quality in manufacturing for consecutive second year.

of renewable power projects worldwide. MBCEL is a project developer, owner and operator of solar power projects. It is India’s largest solar power development company with a presence in key international markets in Europe, Japan and North America. Recently, the company has started project development of wind projects in India and Europe. MBCEL- among the World’s Largest Project Developer, has several land-mark projects to its credit, It is the first company to establish a Mega watt scale project in India. We have established the largest solar PV plant in UK and also jointly own the largest greenhouse roof mounted PV project in the world. Moser Baer is also one of the largest solar EPC companies in the world

2) Please tell us the policy under

which your project is built and tariff got for your project Internationally, MBCEL builds projects which either have guaranteed feed in tariff under the local law or tradable renewable energy certificates. On this basis, till date, Moser Baer has built 9 projects in UK, Germany and Italy. In India, we have built plants under both National Solar Mission and State level solar programs.

3) What were the challenges in securing the finance for your project and who are the bankers & investors behind it Moser Baer has strong relationship with both international and domestic lenders. Till date, we have raised debt of over hundreds of millions for solar power generation

Over the years, the Group has diversified and engaged in the development of power assets using both conventional and nonconventional sources of energy under Moser Baer Projects Private Limited (MBPPL). Presently, it is one of the fastest growing integrated power companies in India, operating across a synergetic span of Thermal, Hydel and Solar verticals offering end-to-end services (Power Generation, Power Trading, Engineering Procurement Commissioning, etc.) in its areas of operations. Further, Moser Baer Clean Energy Limited (MBCEL) was incorporated with a strategy to undertake development 52


vs. Tracking, String vs. Central Inverter ec.. etc…) Whats the ideal solution for India and why.

business. We work with local banks in each country we operate in. In markets wherein Solar PV has been around for several years, raising construction debt is faster provided project has been developed properly. In new markets like UK, India wherein lenders and even technical consultants are not much experienced with Solar power generation, we have to make available relevant information to lenders to facilitate informed decision making. This is time consuming and at times leads to longer debt financing cycle.

4) What were the challenges in choosing & securing land, permits, grid interconnection etc… I believe securing appropriate land and grid connection is a universal challenge we face in all markets. This has been overcome by us with a large development team which is always on the look-out for appropriate sites.

5) Briefly describe the challenges of working with available met data from NASA and others regarding irradiation, GHI etc… NASA provides satellite data for 1 by 1 degree grid. This makes accurate assessment of energy yield and P75 values used by technical consultants difficult and thus, lenders are fairly conservative. We believe over time as actual generation data from solar installations becomes available to various stakeholders, technical consultants would be able to fine-tune energy yield estimates.

6) Please enlighten us on the selection procedure of equipment & technology (c-si vs. Thin Film, Fixed structures

Selection of equipment used by us depends upon the energy yield versus project cost relationship. We optimize the same to maximize the returns for all the stakeholders. It is important to remember that solar industry is still evolving and changing at a fast pace. Thus for us this evaluation is a continuous exercise. What may be best option today may not be a good solution tomorrow.

you would like to give to the government and regulators At Moser Baer, we are committed to drive down the costs of solar power generation. We believe that this has been achieved with great success. Going forward, to avoid the mistakes in other infrastructure areas, I believe that it is important that we must ensure that we encourage experienced players with demonstrated track record and decision making should not be solely based on lower cost.

10) What’s an ideal financial model for the Solar PV Project in India to optimize the IRR At Moser Baer, we are focused on appropriate site selection to optimize yield and cost of setting up the power plant to maximize the financial returns from our

7) Who was your EPC Contractor and rationale behind selecting them In India, Moser Baer is the most experienced solar EPC company. We have built the maximum capacity and have experience of dealing with all kinds of modules and inverters. We have experience of doing ground mounted, roof mounted as well greenhouse roof mounted solar PV plants. In international projects, our EPC team is responsible for engineering, design, project management, procurement and sub-contracts the construction to the local companies.

investments. Proper structuring of the projects further help increase the shareholder returns.

13. What are the future plans in India and other countries? MBCEL has a large pipeline of projects in India, Germany, Italy, UK, North America and Japan. We are currently focused on implementing the same.

8) Please share the plant layout & diagram of your plant This is the plant layout for the Lauta plant.

9) What’s your view on the Indian Policy Framework and one piece of advise




CSP Applications - Glasstech CRB-STM 1900 for Solar Parabolic Shapes Michael J. Ondrus|Director - Solar Energy Systems Glasstech, Inc


he CRB-STM system has been specifically designed to meet customer requirements for high-output, ease of operation and high repeatability for forming flat glass into parabolic or cylindrical shapes with the advanced benefit of strengthening the parts. The glass shapes produced on the Glasstech CRB-S system can be heat strengthened or fully tempered, depending on the thickness. Fully tempered glass is up to five times stronger than annealed glass and provides increased impact and wind-load resistance, and if broken, results in small pieces which are much safer for workers and other components nearby. The Glasstech CRB-S 1900 System •

LS-2, LS-3 and LS-4 (up to 1900mm wide) part size capability

Processes up to189 loads per hour, depending on glass thickness, load size and heater length

Uses much less energy than traditional sag process

Allows fast changeover times of 60 minutes or less.

Forms glass without dedicated tooling

Achieves superior repeatability and shape control while strengthening the glass



Processes fully tempered or heat strengthened glass shapes

The CRB-S system is available in 1900mm (74.8”) width and features a combination bending /quenching station with upper and lower flexible beds. When bending is complete, the glass can be quenched by a high-efficiency quenching system to provide fully tempered or heat-strengthened glass. The CRB-S can also process thin glass suitable for lamination.

required. Glasstech’s modular design combines high productivity, flexibility and economy of operation. Glasstech’s CRB-S system also uses less energy when compared to traditional sag technologies. * Production rates for product from different raw glass manufacturers, glass compositions and coatings will vary. ** 1.6mm (0.63”) and 2.2mm (.087”) are low stress

3mm (.118”) is heat strengthened only for that size

Production is controlled by a user-friendly Allen-Bradley ControlLogixTM PLC controller. Setups can be stored and recalled, permitting fast changeover times, dependent on glass thickness, shape and dimensions. No part-dedicated tooling is

4mm (5/32”) and 5mm (3/16”) can be heatstrengthened or fully tempered

Part length up to 1700mm perpendicular to bend

Low stress is defined as < 3,500psi, Full temper is defined as >10,000psi


Grundfos Solar Pumps provides water for remote locations Essential life factor made available to all Sanjeev Sirsi Head Water Supply project and Sustainable Energy Business


rundfos with its convention and dedication towards innovation of environmentally friendly products has a proud range of the state of art pump range powered by renewable energy.The Solar Submersible PumpsSQFlexand Solar Surface pumps CR flex range provide a sustainable water supply solution for remote areas and irrigation where the power supply is non-existent or unreliable. The better the quality of water and more reliable the water supply, the better the quality of life for everyone. Flexible as to its energy supply and performance, the submersible SQFlex works both on DC and single phase AC power without an external inverter or batteries and can draw water from depths of upto 200 m. Surface CR flex pumps also work on DC and single phase AC power source without an external inverter or batteries can provide water pressure upto a maximum upto 7 bar. Both CR flex and SQFlex range of pumps have a unique built in microprocessor with MPPT (Maximum Power Point tracking) which enables the pump duty points to be monitored continuously irrespective of variation of energy supply enabling them to deliver optimum water efficiently during daytime. To provide a reliable solution, Grundfos, as a standard have a built in protection for 56Â


Dry Running, Over/Under voltage protection, Overload protection and Overtemperature protection in its SQF submersible range making it virtually a fail proof pump set. SQFlex pumps operate on a wide voltage range from 30VDC to 300VDC and on Single phase from 90V AC to 240VAC and the speed range from 500 rpm to 3600 rpm thus ensuring water even on a cloudy weather.

for small villages or for livestock, horticulture, Green houses, Wild life water holes etc.

Focus on lifecycle costs Following the initial investment, it is important that costs are kept low for typical users of these pumping systems.The lifecycle costs of a Grundfos solar pumping solution is considerably low, because substantial sums can be saved by reducing maintenance costs and zero energy costs. Other more intangible costreducing factors include correct system sizing, high pump efficiency and performance, technical advice, after-sales service and reliable logistics.

The surface solar CRFlex pumpis powered by a highly efficient MGFlex motor which can be operated both by AC or DC source and as a standard have built in protection for Over/ Under voltage protection, Overload protection and Over temperature. The motor operates on a wide voltage range ie.from 110V DC to 415VDC and on singe phase 220-240VAC. Grundfos Solar Surface Pumps are easy to install, needs no maintenance and comes at an affordable cost. It is also possible to connect the Grundfos Remote Monitoring system (GRM) to these pumps, which helps in monitoring the system at a distance. In rural areas, these pumps can be used for small scale irrigation purposes, water supply

Numerous Grundfos SQFlex pumps have been installed in various states of India which are providing outstanding results for remote water supply and irrigation and to name a few are the state of Bihar, UP, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, MP, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.

November 6–8, 2012 India's Largest Exhibition and Conference for the Solar Industry Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai

350 Exhibitors 20,000 sqm Exhibition Space 10,000+ Visitors




Cost Effective Solar PV Battery Charger Using Mosfet And IC741 Umashankar S, Ragul Gogia School of Electrical Engineering, VIT University, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India


istorical past of solar battery chargers begins with the purpose of harnessing energy from the sun for commercial applications. Leonardo da vinci was the first to study the sun and ways to harness energy from it in the fifteenth century. Charles Ritz, with the initial solar cell in 1883 discovered how to convert the sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rays into electricity. However, at that time, coal and charcoal were preferred as commercial sources of energy since fuel was in abundance at that point of time.

and is compact in nature.

BLOCK DIAGRAM: The circuit consists of a solar panel connected to the battery charger circuit.

When the panel voltage is high enough, it triggers the battery charger circuit into operation which allows the solar current to flow. Thus the battery is charged. Once the charging is complete, the battery charger circuit functions as a Schmitt trigger and the solar current keeps turning on and off thus maintaining the battery voltage near the maximum value.


Today, with the conventional sources of energy taking a big hike in prices, many electronic devices are being replaced by alternative renewable gadgets. This is how the electronic charger has been replaced by the solar charge controller as a means of charging batteries. External solar chargers are useful wherever there is an absence of an electrical outlet like during camping, trekking and sailing. It is possible to get sufficiently big solar panels to maintain everything in your camp charged and usable without tapping into electrical power supplies. They are great for any emergency, survival or your pleasure when electricity isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t available. The conventional solar charge controller was large in size and was costly. It also faced overcharging problems. Hence we have designed a cost-effective solar charge controller that has a fast switching action 58Â


Fig.1. Block Diagram of a solar battery charger

Fig.2. Circuit Diagram of the solar battery charger

When the battery needs to be charged and panel voltage is high enough, the non-inverting input greater than inverting input, IC 741 is powered on and works as a comparator. Subsequently the signal switches on 2N3904 and Q3 as well. When Q3 switches on, solar current flows through that channel and the battery starts charging; this is indicated by the lighting up of the red LED. Once the battery is charged, the panel voltage drops and input to IC 741 therefore drops too. With

the non-inverting input greater than inverting input, IC 741 now acts as a Schmitt trigger and the solar current keeps switching on and off, thus maintaining a voltage near the required maximum charge voltage; this is indicated by the lighting up of the green LED

CASE STUDY: The following case studies were conducted to test the working of the solar battery charger at 8V and 12V in battery.

CASE 2: Floating Mode with Battery Voltage at 11.7V When the load is already charged to or near the panel voltage then it does not draw current from the panel. In such a case, the op-amp works as a Schmitt trigger to maintain voltage at near the peak value. This is referred to as floating voltage and the switch continuously keeps turning on and off.

Hence this device assumes great importance as a renewable energy based charge source and will be of optimum use to present day consumers due to its flexibility and compact nature. When the load has taken too much charge from the batteries, it stops the flow of current until charge is restored. This greatly increases the life of the device as well. The simplicity of the design ensures a low cost in formation and packaging of

Fig.5. Floating Mode at 11.7V DC in battery with green LED glowing

Fig.3. Experimental setup for solar battery charger

CASE 1: Charging Mode with Battery Voltage at 8V



When load voltage is lower than panel voltage, it draws current from the panel. The op-amp then works as a comparator and the switch turns on. Thus current flows to the battery and charging takes place which is indicated to user by the lighting up of the red LED.

In the table shown below, we have made a comparison between the variations in the different features of common commercial solar battery chargers in use today.

product which ultimately leads to a potential device suitable for widespread commercial usage in the near future.


Fig.4. Charging mode at 8V in DC battery with red LED glowing




Suggestions Towards Solar Policy Refinements K Subramanyam Former CEO, Tata BP Solar and Chairman, FICCI Solar Energy Task Form

Bidding protocols Some general principles While it is necessary to encourage competition in the field of solar power generation the auctioning policy must not allow indiscriminate entry into the industry at such an early stage. Unfettered entry will create a fragmented and cut throat environment and discourage serious investors with a long term interest. One of the most visible consequences of the current bidding mechanism is the entry of a high number of players, many of whom have neither experience in power generation nor a proven long term interest in this activity. Secondly, tariffs have been beaten down to levels that in some cases are barely profitable. This could not only encourage project developers to make cost and quality compromises, but will deter long term players whose investments in quality and sustainability cannot be supported by the current tariff levels. The JNNSM’s primary and most strategic objective is to develop solar energy at a large scale and on a sustainable basis. For this, the Government has allocated a large budget and has developed a well thought-through game plan. While cost consciousness is an important factor, achieving relatively small cost savings at early stage of the mission is not desirable if it’ threatens the strategic objective in any way. The current bidding outcomes for phase I batch II suggest that 60


this risk exists. This must be guarded against in future phases of the Mission. India’s experience with auctions in emerging industry contexts have often been unfavourable. Without adequate precedent or benchmarks, industry players have often over-extended themselves during bidding stages. This has led to the emergence of the term `winner’s curse’, as winning parties belatedly realise that their assumptions were unrealistic and inaccurate. Learning from this experience, it is necessary - in the longer term interest of the JNNSM - to protect bidders from this self inflicted curse, at least in early stages of a new industry paradigm.

Suggested arnendments in the bidding process The greatest challenge faced by the Government has been the large number of bids received for phase I of the JNNSM. While this is a positive trend which deserves to be encouraged, the above principles must be given priority. A few alternatives that can be considered for future bidding rounds include the following: • Maintain an inernal ‘floor tariff ‘ below which bids will not be accepted at all. This level should be sufficiently high to generate a positive, but modest, IRR. Bidders should know of the existence of such a floor but not the figure itself. The purpose is to discourage over-aggressive predatory bids. The floor should be revealed only after all bids are

received, but before they are openrd. Bids below the floor should be rejected ‘while those above should be selected at;their quoted tariffs in a progressive manner so as to complete the total quota of power to be allocated. In this model, (a) all bids below the floor are automatically rejected; and (b) bids at the highest tariff levels may also be rejected if the total quota of power to be allotted is fulfilled with lower bids. Hence, this approach weeds out both very high and very low bids. • A variant of this model is also possible, wherein a bench mark tariff is set dynamically instead of prior to receiving bids. After all bids are received with known quantities (megawatts), the benchmark tariff can be calculated as the weighted average tariff of all bids (the weights being the project size, in megawatts). Subsequently, bids are accepted according to their proximity to the calculated benchmark (average) in both directions (lower and higher) until the total power quota to be allotted is fulfilled. This model also ensures that extreme bids on both sides of tariff scale are eliminated. Both models also ensure that bidders will have an incentive to quote realistically but not over-aggressively. • An alternate model is one in which bidders quote on project sizes and a fixed and known tariff. In this approach, bidders would need to submit bids in smaller denominations

of project sizes (e.g. instead of bidding for a 10 MW project, they would bid for 10 projects of 1 MW each or 20 projects of 500 KW each). Bids would then be selected in the order of minimum denominations as needed to complete the quota of power to be allotted, on a first-come-first-served basis. In this approach, every bidder can potentially be selected but may receive anything between the minimum and maximum capacity bid for. This approach has the disadvantage of incentivising smaller project sizes, but has the advantage of ensuring greater inclusion and tariff visibility. I t is well suited for off-grid projects, which are inherently small scale in nature and are more in need of widespread inclusion/participation. In addition to the above, it is essential to include technical goal fcation criteria (in addition to price/tariff) as a filtering rmmechanism. Bidders with experience in the solar/related domains should receive higher `preference’ in the bidding process, as compared to new entrants.

Assistance in land acquisition It has been observed in many cases that the `land mafia’ steps in to acquire land once it is known that solar projects may come up in a given region. Subsequently, developers are forced by the `mafia’ to pay high prices to acquire the land. In recognition of this phenomenon, the Gujarat Government has proactively attempted to pre-notify land for use in solar projects, through its `solar park’ initiative. Although this matter fundamentally lies in the domain of state Government control, the MNRE can play a constructive role by sensitising state Governments of the seriousness of the land acquisition challenge and encouraging them to provide assistance to developers. A longer term solution would involve amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, wherein the MNRE can propose to the relevant Ministry (Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources) that solar projects may be tagged priority through their inclusion as projects of `national importance’ or `public good’. Particularly if such projects are developed on waste or uninhabited land, the Government can take on a more proactive role in facilitating land acquisition, than is currently envisaged in the Amendment Bill.

Availability of finance for solar project developers Non-assignability of PPAs A major challenge faced by project developers is the lack of access to finance. One constraint to bank lending is the nonassignability of the PPAs signed between developers and the NVVN. In an ideal scenario, project developers should be able to float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for each solar project and sign PPAs through this SPV. The lending bank should then have recourse to the assets and cash f l ows of the SPV. This is currently precluded by the fact that PPAs cannot be signed in any name other than that of the original applicant. The SPV option is effectively ruled out altogether and finance has to be sought purely on the strength of the promoter’s parent balance sheet. This rule is motivated by the understandable desire to prevent original allottees from selling their licenses immediately after auctions and creating a secondary/ speculative market. However, through simple checks and balances to authenticate identity and ownership, it should be possible to enable the creation of SPVs by the original allottee. The MNRE should look into this aspect seriously, as this step can help alleviate the funding challenge faced by the solar power industry.

Time available to achieve financial closure At present, the NVVN requires that projects achieve financial closure within 3 (this is now clearly modified and improved) months of signing the PPAs. This is a challenging timeline as most banks are unable to complete their due diligence and loan approval processes within this period. It has also been observed that banks are unwilling to enter into serious negotiations until a PPA has been signed. Hence, even if proactive developers try to save time through pre-PPA efforts, they do not achieve much success. In the absence of a more favourable response from the banking sector, the NVVN should increase the deadline to 6 months after signing the PRA.

Encouraging banks to lend to the solar industry As with any new industry, the solar sector suffers due to banks’ lack of familiarity and unwillingness to take risk. As debt funds are a crucial source of capital for solar projects,

it is imperative that bank lending to solar power developers be facilitated. As this matter lies in the domain of the RBI, the MNRE should actively suggest the option of including solar projects within the list of priority sectors for banks (implying a mandatory minimum proportion of lending to this sector).

Uniform domestic sourcing obligations for crystalline and thin film modules JNNSM (batch II onwards) mandates that developers must source PV crystalline cells and modules from domestic manufacturers. However, it mandates no such restriction in the context of thin film modules. As a result, there is a tendency for developers to prefer thin films (despite this being a relatively untested technology) as these can be procured from large scale (i.e. low cost) global suppliers, whereas crystalline modules must necessarily be sourced from higher cost local suppliers. Consequently, a policy that is meant to encourage the domestic manufacturing industry may effectively serve the opposite purpose, by influencing the choice of technology in favour of global suppliers. To maintain the objective of supporting the domestic industry, the MNRE should consider applying the local sourcing rule to thin film modules as well. This will equalise the two technologies and allow market forces to dictate the choice of technology and vendor. It will also encourage investments in thin film maufacturing capacity domestically (currently, thin films are produced if at all only by one player) if the technology is indeed suitable for India.

Ratings scale From a longer term perspective, the MNRE should consider the institution of a formal rating system, wherein project developers, equipment suppliers and other stakeholders, are contiruaoxsy evaluated on a set of performance benchmarks. The benchmarks would cover factors such as execution of project within budgeted timelines and cost, product quality, power generation quality, uptime/downtime, etc. Over time, this could become a credible and objective system to separate high quality players from others -- and through the natural `rule of the market’, will encourage players to achieve high standards of performance. EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12



One on One Vineet Jain Managing Director GreenBrilliance Energy Pvt. Ltd. EQ : Please enlighten us on the history of your Group, Group Strengths, Vision, and Strategy for India etc… Ans. GreenBrilliance Energy Pvt Ltd is a Multinational organization established in 2007. The company was started with an idea of showing the world the path of clean affordable energy. Since the solar business was still in the nascent stage and very new to the consumer market, the main aim of the company was to provide complete end to end turnkey solution in solar energy for every kind of customers. To fulfill this space, the company embarked into a manufacturing unit of solar modules in Vadodara, Gujarat. A state of the art facility was built with international standards and machines from the world leader Spire corporation USA. This 15Mw per year capacity was later tripled to 45MW annual capacity with top grade quality and process controls and among the very few companies worldwide with ISA 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 under its belt. In parallel to the establishment of this manufacturing, organization moved to the solar EPC space as well with 2 projects offices, one in Pune India and the other in the Washington DC area (USA). As a solar energy services company,

differentiating factor which led your company win these projects? Ans. With our foray into EPC, we have established a complete in house engineering division in Pune which specifically looks after the EPC projects all over India in line with the headquarters in Baroda. Our first breakthrough was winning the 2MWp solar power plant at Chandrapur with MAHAGENCO. After that we were able to close deals with several more clients for systems ranging from 100kWp and 5MWp respectively. In India there are many private and government developers investing in solar power plants under different schemes proposed by Ministry of Renewable Energy as well as state nodal agencies. Our plan is to tap these developers and put up solar power plants for them irrespective of any technology. When we say EPC contractors, it means that we provide with turnkey solutions i.e. the customer comes to us with finance and scheme under which they want to install the plant and we deliver a complete up and running, commissioned plant to them.

Manufacture high quality solar modules

Provide turnkey solar energy solutions

Provide solar energy consulting and service.

The long term vision of the company is to emerge as an leading organizations in solar with an international brand recognized by the markets worldwide.

EQ : Your Group has made significant footstep by winning several EPC contracts in India. What is the role of your group in India and the roadmap, challenges in executing these projects? What was the 62


Going through with the grueling procedures of government to get the tax benefits for execution of the plant.

Pressure of commissioning a plant under unrealistic timeframes.

Proper combination of the international standards used for solar technology with prevailing Indian Electric Codes used to set up any kind of power plants.

Some of the differentiating factor which led our company wins these projects is as follows. •

Our tie- ups with different international vendors, secured supply chain and long term relationships, which help us in getting competitive pricing and higher quality products and unparalleled service

Higher technical competence over other competitors.

Better market research and good relationships with government agencies and local offices.

Aggressive market pricing offered by us to the customers

MNRE channel partners helps us get the subsidies for the clients

Some of the major challenges in getting these orders are as follows: •

we: •

examples they asking the EPC providers to guarantee on the Sun’s power for next 25 years.

Customers that come to us have very little knowledge about the plants, hence it becomes our responsibility to first educate them about the technology irrespective of whether we are the Contractors for them or not. So I would say, education is of prime importance as well as a challenge. Dealing with the inconsistent and out of context information in the market about the technology resulting in misleading the customer.

Some of the major challenges in Execution of these plants are as follows: •

Convincing the customers that the technology/ engineering proposed is the best one under the prevailing climatic conditions in India and their particular location.

Dealing with the unconditional request of the banks and customers, in some

EQ : How India has to evolve in terms on financing of grid connected solar projects and the lessons India must learn from Germany & Europe and other advanced & matured PV Markets. Ans. Some of the major issues faced

in the market in terms of financing is that, for any kind of solar projects Indian banks provide finance at high interest rates. The high cost of financing is a huge deterrent to the solar projects. While calculating the ROI with these high interest rate the projects become very unviable mostly. On the other hand the foreign banks are financing the same projects at much lower interest rates making the projects viable. Thus a large number of the solar projects in India end up financed by foreign companies on their own terms and conditions. Due to which foreign companies are making Indian developers use products from their own countries.

the site increases the delays in availability of material on site.

5. Please enlighten us on the projects executed and in pipeline worldwide, and India. Ans. Presently we have executed the following orders in India •

2MWp solar power plant in Chandrapur, Maharashtra under MAHAGENCO

800kwp solar power plant in Narnaul (Haryana)

2Mwp Solar power plant in roorkee

DC works for 4.5Mwp solar power plant in Pokhran (Rajasthan)

Several 2KW to 100KW roof top projects country wide

Projects in pipe line are as follows (in India)

25 MWp solar power plant coming up in Maharashtra by MAHAGENCO

3Mwp solar power plant in Rajasthan by a local developer

Projects under REC scheme at various places in India

Off – Grid projects for rural development in India

Water Pumping projects in India

Ans. Sorry!!!! But we never got a chance for experiencing the work culture in solar farms in European countries, hence we cannot comment on it. Well looking at the prevailing market scenarios in India and Europe. There are certainly some differences which can be noticed.

Projects executed are as follows (International)

More than 500 roof top systems delivered in the state of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC, USA

Several rooftops delivered in New Jersey, USA

For E.g. we feel that the European market is more stable as it is not cost driven instead it is more technology driven market. On the other hand Indian market is cost driven due to which it is very unstable. The cost of putting up a solar power plant has reduced from 16.5 Corers to some 8.0 Crores in last one and half year.

800KW system delivered in Sardinia, Italy

There are huge differences in the solar market of India and Europe. But still there are a few things we can take from the European markets. Such as, we have to give more importance to the quality of the product than the cost, as these products have to run for 25 long years.

EQ : What are the experiences and learning’s from Europe for constructing a solar farm. How do you think India is a different market than Germany and rest of Europe? What are experiences in India?

We have executed several projects in India and all of them in very different conditions. Due to which we can say that we have a fairly good idea of the execution and things required for execution in Indian conditions. One of the major issues is that we don’t have skilled labors in India hence execution becomes very difficult. Our engineers have to train the labor and show them how different activities are done in different parts of the plant. On the other hand the lack of infrastructure available on

EQ : Please enlighten us on the experience of working with different technologies (c-si vs. Thin Film, Fixed vs. Tracking, String vs. Central Inverter etc…) what’s the ideal solution for India and why. Ans. We have worked with both the technologies i.e. C-SI and multi crystalline. Multi crystalline technology is well established and well proven as compared to thin film. Thus for an investment which is based on long term cash flow it is important to keep this in mind. We manufacture multi crystalline and can definitely confidently talk about the robustness. With higher

efficiency of the modules a similar system size would occupy one third the space with multi crystalline over thin film. While working with Multi crystalline modules we feel that it is very easy to work with these modules as they are robust and are easy to work. There is less risk involved in activities like module loading, unloading and shifting. It is seen that the breakage of modules is also far less with multi crystalline as compared to thin film. In a way we can say that execution becomes really easy with Multi – crystalline modules. Thin – film modules are no doubt a bit lighter in weight than Multi – crystalline modules, but they are also very fragile compared to Multi – crystalline modules. We have seen huge breakages in modules during loading, unloading and shifting of modules. Since many of these modules are frameless, hence installation of such modules is also difficult. Overall we can say that compared to multi – crystalline execution of solar power plant is more difficult and tedious work. In the case of structures we feel it is much simpler to carry out installations on fixed structures. As the design of these structures are pretty simple and hence makes it easy for the unskilled labors to carry out installation of modules. On the other hand tracking systems have some of the problems. Like the design is too complicated and takes time for installations. We cannot disagree the fact that with the use of trackers we can increase the generation. But then we should be ready to face the challenges while executing the plant with trackers. Generally we have used central inverters for all the Mega watt size power plants. In which we have to build inverter rooms for every one mega watt plant. With the use central inverters for power plants we increase the cabling a lot. In case of central inverters DC cables are more used than the AC cables which lead to increased losses in power plant. String inverters are generally used for KW size rooftop installations. Some of the advantages in using string inverters are that with the use of string inverters we can remove the use of DC cables and junction boxes. Due to absence of DC cables and junction boxes the losses in the plant are reduced drastically. The maintenance of the plant becomes easier. EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12


EQ : What’s your view on the Indian Policy Framework and one piece of advice you would like to give to the government and regulators? Ans. As per the Indian Policy Framework regarding the tariff rates of mega watt size plants is given in the hands of the developers. Some of the developers are reducing the tariff drastically in order to grab the orders. But this will eventually crash the market, because there is threshold cost for everything. If the actual cost of a material is 100 Rs and someone says that he can give the same product in 50 Rs then there is something more to it which the clients should watch out for. So it is very important for government department to check whether the cost given by the developers is possible or not.

EQ : How has falling modules prices affected the EPC Business in positive and negative manner. As Industry is expecting further drop in module prices…what impact is it likely to have on the solar industry and your business. Ans. The cost Modules have changed drastically in last one and half years. We have seen a steep drop in the modules prices. Because of this the overall project cost has also fallen down a lot. If the modules cost has fallen down to 80 USD cents per watt peak, the developers are asking the modules at 60 cents. Due to which people are going for the low quality modules rather than the good ones. And since the Indian market is cost driven. Developers are going ahead with the cheap but low grade material rather than going for a good quality material. We can say that this drop in the cost of the modules have in a way hampered the market a lot. If in the future the cost of the modules will decrease further down then according to us there will be problems created in the market.

case of monitoring systems and other small components. In all we can say that the cost of the components specifically designed for solar have fallen but other general components like cables, transformers etc are at the same cost. In all with this kind of reduction the overall cost of the project will go down in the future. And since the cost of the modules and other BOS is falling the project cost of the power plant with Thin – film technology or Crystalline technology will be almost same.

EQ : A Large chunk of Projects with PPA’s signed are going to miss the deadline to complete the projects….Please enlighten our readers the real challenges faced by these projects and the reasons for the same (Is it falling prices or finance or land etc…) Ans. Large number of developers who have no experience in the projects and have no clue about the solar have signed a PPA with the utility companies and are claiming to put up solar power plants. But Due to problems in financial closer they are not able to start the execution of these plants. Some of these developers have sold their projects to other developers. And some of the developers are not able to take any decision on the same. We met some of the developers who are still waiting for further drop in the module prices. In all these developers will have to pay heavy penalties, if they miss a deadline mentioned in the PPA.

EQ : What area the brands with which you generally prefer to work and detailed reasons.

EQ : Module Prices have been significantly dropping while the BOS of a solar project has not seen much change….What change or breakthrough do you foresee in the BOS in terms of price and technology in the BOS.

Ans. We have a tie up with different types of vendors for all the components which we do propose to our developers, but it not necessary that we are able to use these vendors for all our projects. One of the main reasons for this is that, solar is a developing market and we can see different companies coming up with new product, on other hand. Some of the companies are to too aggressive in quoting for solar power plants and are able to offer better prices on their products. Hence the selection of the materials is done on project to project basis looking the prevailing market conditions.

Ans. With the drop in the cost of the modules even the BOS cost have dropped to some extent. The same drop we can see in the

EQ : Can you please enlighten us on the way you implement a



project and what specific or unique things are followed which makes you different from other EPC Players. What are the unique parameters which differentiates projects executed by your company? Ans. Success of the project lies in the detailed planning and engineering of the project before starting the execution of the project. In GreenBrilliance we first carry out the complete Planning and engineering for any project right from the analyzing the site from execution of the project and planning the project accordingly. During the design we look and the most advanced and economical technologies available in the market and incorporate the same in the design. Still while designing we make sure that the final product is designed in such way where we can make the changes in the design during execution if any other problem are faced. To achieve perfect planning of the project it is important to have timely availability of material on the site. We at GreenBrilliance give very high priority to selection of material and then follow up with the vendors for the manufacturing of the material. If the material is being imported from other countries, then we see to it that all the custom clearance is done before hand so that we can there is no delay in the transporting the material on the site. In any project it is very important to have a quality control on all the things right from manufacturing of different materials which will be used in the power plant till the quality of the workman ship used for installation of the plant. At GreenBrilliance we have a special procurement team that keeps a check on the quality of the material being manufactured and we have inspection team which carries out daily inspection of the plant and informs about the necessary changes to be made to improve the quality of the project.

EQ : Please tell us about the team strengths and resources developed in order to offer you’re EPC Services. Ans. At GreenBrilliance we have team of young and energetic engineers who have done Masters in the field of Solar and Photovoltaic. To guide these engineers we have a team of experienced higher management with an experience of over 30 years in the field of solar and other EPC projects.

EQ : Thin Film is theoretically supposed to perform better than c-si in Indian Climatic Conditions. What is your view on this? Kindly comment on First Solar’s recent comment “Our experience has shown that our warranty rates for hot climates are slightly higher than for temperate climates,” “As our geographic mix of sales has shifted to hot climates, we have increased our warranty accrual,” Chief Financial Officer Mark Widmar. Ans. Theoretically Thin – Film modules perform better than Multi – Crystalline in hot climate. This is because thin – film has a better temperature co-efficient than multi – crystalline. But to prove it we require generation record for both the technology installed at the same place. Presently we don’t have this data to prove on any theoretical thesis. In case of “First Solar”, as the news in the market, first solar modules had a huge breakage in the hot climatic conditions in Middle East and other countries. We can say that this is because the modules of First Solar are not robust enough to get exposed to hot temperatures.

EQ : What is your opinion on the JNNSM Batch II Phase I Bidding Outcome? Is it possible to deliver a EPC Solution to match the IRR expectations (Around 15% to 20%) to get the Solar KwHr at a price band of Rs.7.5 to Rs.9.5 Ans. Well since the developers have taken the project with the tariff rate of 7.5 Rs. The cost of putting up the project at present is approximately 7 Corers. And since the cost of the modules and components are falling down, so the delivering the project at that cost is possible. But one of the most important things to consider is the financing for the project. Generally Indian banks provide financing at the interest rate of 11% to 13%. But most of the developers are taking the finance from the foreign bankers where the finance is available at 4% to 6%. With such low interest rates it is possible to achieve the IRR of 15% to 20%.

EQ : What’s an ideal financial model for the Solar PV Project in India to optimize the IRR?

Ans. There are lots of different financial models which differ from company to company depending on their respective needs. Well it is difficult to say which financial model is the best for the company. Some of the companies are looking at normal depreciation while some the companies look at accelerated depreciation. So accordingly the financial model will change. Hence it is difficult to vote on any one financial model.

EQ : Kindly describe your Top 5 (worthwhile discussing) experiences with Solar PV Industry in India Ans. Experience 1 We had a meeting with the one of the developers in Haryana. In the meeting when we were discussing with him about the technology to install. One of his consultants asked us that we have to give guarantees on the generation. The argument was that we can give guarantees on the on the performance ratios but not on the generation. We explained him that we cannot guarantee generations as it depends on the input power of the sun, one which we cannot predict or control. But they were not willing to budge on their conditions. Once we agreed to give guarantees on generation. We agreed upon guarantying 1.5 Million units per mega watt. But they said that some other company guaranteed 1.9Million units per mega watt every year. Well there was nothing we can do. We tried explaining him but it didn’t work out. Experience 2 One of our customers even more weird and stubborn from the last one and was not ready to listen to any thing. He had a very unique demand, he wanted copper cables and our design was done with aluminum cables. Second most unusual demand he had was that he wanted cable trench instead of underground cables. It was not really making any sense. We tried convincing him that what he is asking is not good for the plant; there was high possibility of theft or any other kind of damage to the cables. But that guy was not ready to listen. In the end we lost the order Experience 3 Once we had a meeting with Top officials of MAHAGENCO on a 125MWp tender. They had a clause in the tender where they had mentioned that the size of the inverters

allowed was 500Kwp and 1MWp. We asked them to increase the size till 2Mwp inverters. But they were not ready to change the specifications. In the meeting, we gave them the complete presentation and explained them all the technical and financial advantages of using a higher wattage inverter. After an hr of discussions with the technical team of MAHAGENCO in the presence of MD and higher officials, MAHAGENCO personal were convinced and agreed to our point and assured us that they will incorporate our suggestions in the next tender. Well we are waiting for their next tender to be published. Experience 4 We were awarded DC contracts for 3Mwp by L&T which was working as an EPCM contractors for reliance to put a 40MWp solar power plant in Pokhran, Rajasthan. This 3Mwp plant area was divided in 2 block of 1.5MWp each. It was conveyed to us that we have to complete one block in 1 month, and on our performance in that block we will be awarded the 2nd block. We were able to complete the whole block in 15 days. The highest record of one of the contractors was installing 70 pallets of boxes where in each pallet there were 50 modules in a day. We were able to install 60 pallets in a day out of which our 2 hrs were wasted because L&T was unable to supply us the required clamps and other material on that day. Experience 5 One of the other experiences in L&T was that. Once we completed the 1.5MWp block there was a last block of last block of 3Mwp remaining which was supposed to be divided between GreenBrilliance and other contractor. There were huge local issues and we both contractors were not at all able to start our work. On top of that we were getting threatening calls from the locals every day and night. We asked L&T and reliance to help us but no one was ready to help, other contractor left the site. Finally with the help of our higher management, we were able to break a deal whit the head of the local community and were able to start the work on our block. Looking at our commitment to our work and progress, L&T awarded us the remaining block of 1.5Mwp also.




Solar Street Light in Silver Jubilee Campus

Developing Solar Campus – A Strategic Approach DwipenBoruah Managing Director, GSES India and experienced consultant for developing Solar Cities and Solar Campus projects.


rowing energy use has a direct impact on global and local environment. Unbridled increase in global population, which surpassed 7 billion last year, has tremendously increased the demand on energy resources. The extensive use of conventional sources of energy (coal, gas and oil) has been riddled with concerns of rising costs, resource depletion, and environmental degradation coupled with rising GHG emissions. The commercial and institutional sector consumes a major portion of energy with its stakeholders like educational institutes, healthcare sector, hospitality sectors, restaurants, office buildings and other commercial building establishment contributing upto 20% of total GHG emission in a city. Use of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in the institutional campuses and townships can substantially reduce energy consumption at community level contributing towards reduction of GHG emission. Development of “Solar Campus” or “Green Campus” has gotten much more visibility in the recent years around the globe. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Govt. of India under “Development of Solar Cities” scheme set a target to support 50 townships/campuses for development as “Solar Campus”. The program aims at minimum 10% reduction in projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, which can be achieved through 66


Sector wise CO2 Emissions Range in Indian Cities* Residential Commercial – 20-55 % & Institutional

- 05-20%




-10-40 %

Solid Waste

- 03-15 %

* Report on Energy & Carbon Emission profile of 53 South Asian Cities by ICLEI a combination of energy efficiency measures and enhancing supply from renewable energy sources. MNRE provides financial assistance upto Rs.10.00 Lakh for preparation of a Master Plan and Detailed Project Reports including the action plan etc. for renewable energy installations, green campus development, awareness generation and trainings etc. for new small townships/campuses being developed by the promoters/builders,

SEZs/ industrial towns, Institutional campus duly notified/permitted by the States/Local Authorities. Pondicherry University is the first educational institute approved by MNRE for developing its Silver Jubilee Campus as a “Solar Campus”.

Strategy for Developing Solar Campus: The first step for developing a “Solar Campus” is to understand and assess carbon footprint of the campus as a whole and prepare a masterplan to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to achieve a targeted goal to reduce conventional energy consumption and thereby reduce GHG emission in the campus in a techno economically feasible way.

The master plan for Solar Campus shall include assessment of carbon footprint, sectorwise base line on energy use pattern, water use and waste generated and respective GHG emissions in the Campus. Year-wise targets for energy conservation, renewable energy addition and GHG abatement along with the action plan for implementation shall be clearly brought out in the master plan. The master plan preparation process may be divided into the following steps:

Strategy For Energy Efficiency Intervention:

o Shading through suitable roof overhangs

For preparing a strategy for energy efficiency intervention, sector-wise technoeconomic analysis of potential energy efficiency and DSM measures need to be carried out.Examples of energy efficiency options in a campus have been mentioned below:

o Suitable window sizing and positioning for controlling light and ambient temperature o Building Materials such as concrete floors and brick or clay walls that absorb heat from direct sunlight and release it again at night

Assessment Carbon Footprint Activities in this step will establish a baseline data for GHG footprint, energy use, water use, and waste generated in each sector. The focus will be to obtain and organize data so as to be able to quantify and compare environmental impacts by different categories of consumers within the sector as mentioned below l

All residential accommodations, hostels and guest houses


All departmental buildings

Building Energy Efficiency


Canteens and food services


Business Centre


Utilities and services


Community facilities



Solar Passive Architecture â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Solar passive architecture is unique stream of building architecture aimed at a building design that makes use of optimum atmospheric resources and saves energy. Some of the key features of solar passive design are:


Transport Facilities, vehicles

The analysis shall focus on the following areas:


Good insulation and ventilation


Appropriate orientation

o Landscaping through planting evergreen trees or shrubs to block strong winds in the winter, and deciduous trees to provide shade and reduce sunlight reflection in the summer. Building Energy Codes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Building Energy codes are minimum requirements in the architecture and design of commercial and residential buildings mandated or advised by local governments. Inclusion of energy efficiency requirements in building codes can ensure that concern is taken for energy efficiency at the design phase and can help to realise the large potentials for energy efficiency in new buildings.

Strategy For Renewable Energy Intervention: This will include assessment of resource availability and techno economic feasibility of using solar, wind, biogas, waste to energy etc. and other appropriate technology (waste water treatment and use, rainwater harvesting etc.) applications for the facilities for all categories of consumers. Most techno-economically viable renewable energy options have to be identified and cost benefit analysis has to be carried out. Potential for introducing different renewable energy devices in each category of consumers need to be worked out based on energy use pattern of concerned categories, financing,



availability of such products and economic feasibility.

PV system under Installation

Once the potential of the renewable energy course has been established, it is essential to carry out a preliminary costbenefit analysis for identified the renewable energy technologies. Renewable Energy Systems could be recommended based on assessment of present energy demand; energy and fuel used, load shedding occurs, standby power supply provision, space available for installation of solar arrays and collectors etc. of people living and visiting the campus.A technical team from utility or facility providers should be trained on GHG inventory, energy audit, energy conservation measures, planning, techno economic feasibility and operation and maintenance of renewable energy projects. Benefit from Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Framework:

Actions Plan, Physical Target And Budget:

Stakeholder’s Participation: The strategy for developing a “Solar Campus”can be implemented successfully through active participation of all stakeholders in the campus. A “Core Committee” representing all sectors of energy users needs to be formed to ensure contribution/ participation of all stakeholders for development and implementation of “Solar campus” project.

Make an assessment to avail potential financial benefits from renewable energy generation projects under REC mechanism and if feasible, initiate the process of Accreditation – Registration as per REC regulation.

SWH in Pondi Uni

Training & Capacity Building: Publicity and general awareness on energy conservation and use of renewable energy should be created among allsection Preparation of an action plan and setting up of physical target to achieve year-wise energy savings goal& expected GHG abatements through demand side management & supply side measures based on renewable is important part of the master plan. Budget and potential sources of funding from respective sources including government incentives available for such projects could be worked out based on the action plan and physical target. Battery Operated Vehicle






What Makes A Good String Combiner Box?

The Importance Behind 0.5% Of The PV Plant Cost Arnau Sumpsi-Colom is the Global Product Manager for PV solutions at Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG.

Do you know if the string combiner boxes that you are using are of good quality? PV string combiner boxes (also called string boxes, string combiners or just PV boxes) can be seen in PV plants using any module technology (crystalline, thin film, etc.). In this article we will describe the functions of a combiner box and we will analyze with some detail what makes a good quality combiner box. The three functions of a combiner box

against UV light, rain, snow, insects, dust and sand.

The three main functions of a string combiner box (CB from now on) are: combining, protecting and monitoring. Let’s understand them one by one.

• MONITORING: This optional function implies remotely measuring and storing electrical, mechanical and environmental variables related to the CB. A good quality CB monitors at least the string current, the system voltage, the CB’s internal temperature, the status of the switch-disconnector and the status of the surge arrestor cartridges.

• COMBINING. As the name implies, a string CB is fundamentally an electrical cabinet that aggregates current (and thus power) from PV strings. In the case of thin film PV plants, CBs usually aggregate the current from the so-called arrays as the strings are normally combined right at the cable harnesses. • PROTECTING. This function is usually misunderstood because there are many elements to be protected with a CB. The PV modules and the inverter input are protected from surges by means of a surge arrestor in the CB. The PV modules are also protected against large reverse current by means of fuses in the CB. The same CB fuses also protect the string wires against short-circuits. Maintenance people are protected from direct and indirect contact (i.e. electric shock) by means of the double insulation of a good-quality CB. The PV plant staff is also protected against direct contact during maintenance tasks thanks to the fusedisconnectors and the switch-disconnector inside a CB. Last but not least, the enclosure of a CB protects all the equipment inside 70


including at least the following phases (the exact name of each phase may depend on the manufacturer; these are the names used by the Weidmüller PV team): • DESIGN. A combiner box is conceived starting first with the specs of the PV plant. An internationally-accepted standard such as the IEC 61439-2 plus a team of experienced engineers is what turns a set of requirements into high quality documentation ready for the prototyping phase.

About good quality combiner boxes Combiner boxes are components of the PV balance of system (BoS) family. The cost of the CBs in a PV plant accounts for around 0.5% of the initial investment. Because of this small cost share, the CB specs, quality and the reputation of the CB supplier are sometimes overlooked. The consequences of poor quality CB choice involve savings in the very short term but are disastrous over the mid- and long term. Intermittent failures, lower-than-expected performance ratio, higher-than-expected yearly number of maintenance sessions, and even fire inside the CBs are realistic outcomes resulting from a bad quality CB selection. Any serious PV plant investment deserves combiner boxes from a reliable manufacturer and a product development

Photo 1 – PV engineer during the design phase

• PROTOTYPING. Except for standardized designs, it is good common practice to prototype the CB and discuss any issue with the design engineer so that the mass-production will run smoothly. For highly customized CB designs the customer can have a chance to evaluate a sample of the product, provide feedback and a signed acceptance form.

compatibility, etc. Only combiner boxes that have gone through all these tests can be certified according to IEC 61439-2

enclosures, clearance and creepage distances, protection against electric shock, mechanical operation, dielectric properties, wiring, operational performance and function, etc. Once all the routine verification tests have concluded successfully, a routine verification report is signed and included inside every single combiner box delivered to the customer.

Photo 2 – Assembly specialist during the prototyping phase Photo 6 – Combiner box wrapped in aluminum foil,ready for the dielectric strength test according to IEC 61439-2

Photo 3 – Discussion of improvements during the prototyping phase

• DESIGN VERIFICATION. This is one of the key areas that differentiates a good quality CB manufacturer from an unreliable, low cost one. The IEC 61439-2 mandates a series of tests to be performed on one representative prototype of each CB design. These tests include (but are not limited to): resistance to corrosion, resistance to UV, mechanical impact, degree of protection, clearance and creepage distances, dielectric properties, impulse withstand voltage, temperature rise, electromagnetic

• MANUFACTURING. Once the design has been verified against IEC 61439-2 and the prototype is formally approved, manufacturing documentation is prepared to trigger mass-production of the combiner boxes. Ideally this must happen in an ISO 9001-certified facility and the assembly process must be performed by workers with experience in the particularities of PV combiner boxes. The employees, the processes and the tools are periodically audited to ensure a fully compliant production. Once a combiner box unit has gone through the machining, assembling, wiring and marking phases it is handed to a different set of workers in charge of the routine verification. • ROUTINE VERIFICATION. One often misunderstood mandatory step in IEC 61439-2 is an individual test of every single unit manufactured, called routine verification. This verification evaluates the manufacturing process and looks for potential deviations and assembly errors, that is why it must be performed by workers different to those assembling or wiring the product. Routine verification includes (but is not limited to) the following tests: degree of protection of

Photo 4 – Setup for the temperature rise test according to IEC 61439-2

Photo 5 – Temperature rise test thermography according to IEC 61439-2

Photo 8 – Routine verification: employee performing a series tightening torque test according to IEC 61439-2

Photo 9 – Signed IEC 61439-2 routine verification report, included in every combiner box delivered to the customer

• ACCEPTANCE SAMPLING. As part of ISO 9001 and in order to fulfill the quality standards expected from a premium combiner box manufacturer, a statistical sampling (i.e. outgoing batch inspection) is performed on a subset of every combiner box production batch right before shipping it to the customer. This closes the feedback loop to ensure a continuously-improving designto-manufacture process for PV combiner boxes.


Photo 7 – Routine verification: employee performing a series dielectric strength test according to IEC 61439-2

The background and concepts explained above are meant to illustrate the functions of combiner boxes, highlight the importance of CBs as a key BoS component in a PV plant and describe the behind-the-scenes development of a CB until it is ready for shipment to the customer. We hope that this educational material will be useful in the decision-making process of selecting a suitable combiner box, given the time and cost pressure that drives nowadays PV business. EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12



Solar Project Hype: Why Some Projects Succeed and Others Fail Sourabh Sen Co-Chairman, Astonfield Renewables


fter the largest blackout in recent memory, when over 600 million people lost power in India, the mismatch between energy supply and demand has reached a level that jeopardizes India’s entire economy and our national security. Last month, on average, peak demand exceeded supply by 10.5 gigawatts (GW), or roughly 8.1 percent according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). As far as solar industry development is concerned, India has a number of crucial factors working in its favor. First and foremost is the abundance of sunshine. Second is the demand and desire: The country’s landmark national solar goal, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), aims to build 20 GW of solar power by 2022. It represents a key solution to the lack of supply. On top of this, there is a “survival of the hungriest” effect going on with solar developers – the weak are perishing, and the serious players emerging. But India must get its tariff scheme right in order to facilitate swift industry growth. In 2010, the average accepted bid for solar projects in Phase I Batch I was Rs. 12.16 (~$0.20). In 2011, the average for Phase I Batch II was Rs.8.97 (~$0.18). Compare this to Germany. After 12 years of policy support and over 24,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power installed, Germany’s tariff in Q42011 was still higher than Batch 72


II tariffs, around 21 euro cents (~$0.27). Germany has become a solar giant through economies of scale and predictable graduallydeclining incentives, recent news of more aggressive tariff cuts notwithstanding. India’s tariffs are a little over two years old. The country has an estimated 1,030 MW installed as of July, 2012, yet we started with a fraction of the incentive size that Germany had when it began its solar program. Their tariff began at approximately 51 euro cents (~$0.66), and India’s tariffs started at Rs. 17.19 (~30 euro cents, or $0.38). India installed an estimated 213 MW in the first two years of its national program. Over the same years, Germany had installed 7,400 MW and 7,500 MW. Even as it maneuvers to slow down its solar market, it has installed over 4,300 MW from January to June this year. Unlike any solar market in the world, India has the least room for error. To get a reasonable rate of return on a solar project is challenging with borrowing costs around 13-15 percent compared to 7-9 percent in Europe and the United States. To make the financing equation even more complicated, the rupee has depreciated 11 percent against the dollar over the last year, making dollarbacked loans more expensive. The reverse auction is the preferred

market mechanism for central government and several states. Unfortunately, the reverse bidding process has been muddled by “developers” with no experience (and no desire to ever actually build a solar plant) submitting lackluster applications with extremely low bids (read: not commercially viable), who win contracts because their bid is the lowest. All of these factors have resulted in a slow start to installing utility-scale solar projects in India. To cite one example: several states set appealing goals for installing solar projects in 2011, and as the year came to a close, installed less than 20 percent of the goal amount. Now, if you took an exam and scored less than 20 percent, would you consider that successful? No. Clearly the blame cannot be placed solely on the local and central governments for the lagging installation rates; as developers, we need to get it right, also. However, the profit margins are so tight for solar projects that only the most qualified developers are likely to succeed because they are able to secure financing,

and minimize cost overruns and delays. Experience, diligence, and meticulousness are prerequisites.

appear to be solely technical issues, they

Given these circumstances, to complete a solar project requires a development team with experience, savvy and strong relationships with trusted partners, not only in the worlds of finance, construction and manufacturing, but in the communities where solar plants are located. In short, they must do their homework and recruit a world-class team.

heavily on its performance. This is also the

have significant financial implications. The financial returns of a solar array depend reason why developers need to choose their partners carefully.

Teamwork There are many solar panel makers, and the manufacturing industry has experienced quite a shake-out in the past year, just like developers. As the global economy changes


and businesses merge, get purchased or go

A developer is the brain of a solar project. They must do their homework before they search for financing or compete for a bid. This includes determining where the best place is to build and identifying whether there are affordable land options in this locale. Physical characteristics, such as how much sunlight hits the surface, what soil types exist, and topographical surveys of potential sites, must be analyzed as well.

wrong manufacturer get burned.

Based on solid site and product research, developers must choose the best technology possible. For example, crystalline silicon (c-Si) is the most popular type of solar panel in the world, but at high temperatures its performance lags. Thin-film panels, while less efficient at converting sunlight into electricity, perform better in hotter places like Rajasthan. They are also cheaper than c-Si panels and concentrating photovoltaic technologies. While technology and topography

bankrupt, developers who partner with the Having the best equipment, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor is crucial. Last year, our company used the same thinfilm technology to build a five megawatt solar plant as another developer, yet our project produces significantly more power than theirs because we had a better construction team with top-notch knowledge and experience. High borrowing rates, paired with the rupee losing value versus the U.S. dollar, have created an environment where solar projects will not be profitable unless developers are able to get commercially viable pricing on quality products and services from their partners. With such a tight window of opportunity to make a meaningful profit margin, this is why so many projects either will not get built or are being sold to other developers. We receive calls regularly from

Solar Mission (JNNSM) and state-level bids, asking us to buy out their projects because they cannot execute them. As a developer, I hate to see press about failing solar projects, especially at a time when electricity supply shortages are so acute. This attention only promotes the misconception that the solar industry is all hype and no substance. Solar power in India should be an easy investment to make, and it should continue to be a national priority, as there are still 400 million Indians who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have access to electricity. The societal and economic benefits of electrifying this populous far outweigh the desire to prove the naysayers wrong, but for the solar industry to mature and reach its potential, we must continue to build consensus and garner support from our skeptics. And garnering this support comes down to effective project development. Yes, there are some policy improvements that could be made to create a better environment for developers, but as it stands it is very possible to erect effective and profitable solar plants. As we learn more and have more successful case studies, more affordable financing and effective policy is bound to follow, as the banks and political leaders gain confidence in the sector and its developers. It is a matter of taking the bull by the horns, doing your homework, and recruiting the right people to get the job done. nnn

other developers who have won National




Double Insulation requirements as required by the Photovoltaic standard IEC 60364-7-712 with regards to grid connected PV plants. Rajesh Kulkarni - National Sales Manager Hensel Electric India Private Limited


n its clause, 712.413.2 IEC recommends the use of class II protection insulation to be adopted on the DC side.

It means, the normal Junction Boxes which ideally are conforming to IEC 6067022 are not suitable because this standard does not foresee any testing for protection class II. In view of the same, IEC recommends that any equipment that is used in PV on the DC side shall be tested in accordance with a relevant IEC standard to fulfil this clause. In view of the same, IEC 60439 / IEC 61439 ( new revision) comes as an important standard as it fulfils this requirement. It will be clearly noted, that any enclosure which is tested for the Dielectric Strength of 4.65KV DC is ideally the best solution for PV installations on the DC side. It also proves that any plastic box, just being Polycarbonate, really doesn’t qualify for such applications. Specifically in the Indian installation habits of a regular installer on the first level of combiner boxes ( mainly the AJBs) MC4 connector ( String connectors) are not used for strings on the boxes. Even if the Isolator inside these Boxes are switched –off, the PV power has to be isolated completely for safety reasons and if MC4 connectors are 74


not used, glands are preferred by many to avoid increased costs. In this scenario, during maintenance, if the PV supply is not isolated and the enclosure is not of protection class II, the safety of the maintenance personnel is at stake. As a result, it is very important to use an enclosure which is of protection class II along with MC4 connectors for the PV strings. The ideal way during maintenance is to first switch off the isolator which will isolate the Inverter and then un-plug the MC4 connectors which will isolate the PV supply completely. This way, the complete AJB or the first level Box gets completely isolated.

Hensel Electric India Pvt. Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hensel International GmbH, Germany, are market leaders in the field of Industrial Electrical

Power Distribution Systems for difficult environments. Where environmental influences like dust, moisture, or corrosion demand a safe installation technology, Hensel enables safe energy distribution with innovative solutions. In simple words, Hensel is a Specialist Weatherproof Enclosure and solutions provider in thermoplastic with a very high degree of protection IP 65. Hensel has developed innovative and standardized system solutions, which are fine tuned to the specific requirements of the PV installation.

Enysun, is the new and professional photovoltaic distribution system from Hensel makes sure you are always on the safe side as the system fulfils all the requirements of the Photovoltaic Standards of IEC 60 364 -7- 712. The solutions are available for interface requirements suitable for On-grid, Roof top and stand-alone ( OFF – grid) PV systems. Products include Array Junction boxes / String Combiner boxes, DC gatherers / PV Generator Junction boxes, AC Gatherers / PV Solar Inverter collectors, AC Distribution Boards, DC Distribution Boards etc.


REFUsol 23K – Yet Another Milestone In The Field Of String Inverter Technology

Mukund Shendge & Keertika Singh Refusolar Electronics Pvt. Ltd.

REFUsol string inverters are recognized for itsfirst-class quality and long-term reliability. Thanks to the high efficiency and high performance REFUsol string inverters product range - in a very short span of our presence in India REFUsol string inverters have become popular choice for thePV installers. This article primarily describes a new member joined in the REFUsol string inverter family - REFUsol 23K, it also elaborates the benefits of utilizing this new inverter to the installers and power plant owners. Need of innovation Majority of the solar PV policies announced in India are favoring the development of huge ground mounted grid connected solar PV plants. To achieve PV market transformation objective it was essential to focus on development of huge plants through large scale installation supported by manufacturing scale-up. Majority of PV installations commissioned in India have used central inverters as their preferred choice for the installation. However, appropriate capacity string inverters give installers flexibility in terms of •

Ease in design configuration - supporting optimization of BoS requirement and associated losses

Easy installation due its simple installation requirements – no highly skilled technicians required

Performance monitoring and Control of the plant is easy

maintenance of the plant performance becomes easy due to lower complexity and quick replacement possibilities

Considering the increasing trends of utilizing string inverter in multi-megawatt PV power plants and increasing roof-top and small PV installation worldwide;REFUsol 23K provides PV installer a flexibility and better option to design their PV plants.

Product Details The REFUsol is a three-phase solar inverter without a transformer, which has a

particularly high efficiency at any operating point and is suitable for the connection of a PV generator with a power of 25.8 kW. Heat is dissipated only by convection. An internal monitor prevents the device from exceeding the permissible ambient temperature. The inverter is designed such that the device does not have to be opened for assembly and connection work. All electrical connections are exclusively made with lockable connectors. The device features an integrated DC isolating switch according to EN 60947-3, which considerably reduces the overall installation work. The inverter provides the usual communication interfaces, RS485 and Ethernet. An illuminated graphical display shows the development of the feed-in power and other operating data in a clearly arranged manner. An 8-key control panel below the display provides excellent and convenient control and navigation features. Due to its design in protection class IP65, the invertercan be installed in almost any out sidelocation. The innovative MPP tracking and wide input range allows for a peak efficiency of 98.3% even at low irradiation. Monitoring of important parameters along with the day to day energy yield can be ensured by an integrated data logger using REFUlog ® portal. Key highlights In general REFUsol 23K provides following benefits to the PV installers and the developers. •

a compact and higher capacity string inverter unit which is very light in weight for three phase string inverter class. •

Requirement of combiner boxes can be eliminated since the unit has 6 D.C. inputs.

No Auxiliary Power Supply.

Natural convection cooling – Cooling system without rotating fans reduces maintenance requirements.

Bracket mounted - IP 65 unit does not require foundation baseor canopy. Can be easily mounted on the module structures.

User friendly, Plug and play concept makes installation, repair and replacement of the unit easier.

Greater flexibility of designing medium and large PV plants.

REFUsol 23K is a higher capacity string inverter unit complements the existing product line of three phase string inverters family viz. REFUsol 8K, sol 10K, REFUsol 13K, REFUsol 17K and REFUsol 20K. All the inverters including REFUsol 23K are certified according to the low and medium voltage Germany directives and EEG 2012.

New string inverter REFUsol 23K is EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12



Wind and Solar Project Due Diligence Sreeni Krishnamurthy AWS Truepower LLC.

Josh Kunkel AWS Truepower LLC.

Marie Schnitzer AWS Truepower LLC.

An In-Depth Look At Risks That Can Make Or Break A Project.


he differentiation between a renewable energy project that gets built and a project that stalls is often a determination of whether or not the plant is believed financeable. While the ultimate determination of a project’s future lies in the details of balance sheets and cash flow models, the inputs needed for these projections are gathered by industry experts and third parties hired by the financial institutions. This investigation into the plant’s projected health is conducted on many levels – commercial, legal, financial and technical – and the findings of these efforts ultimately decide on how, or if, a project gets financed and built. One of the most critical investigations into the future well-being of a plant is the projection of its performance. In order to successfully gauge the technical viability and future energy production of a project, a due diligence effort is conducted by an independent engineer (IE) hired on behalf of either the lender or sponsor before the financial transaction occurs. What is due diligence? Due diligence is an investigation into the viability of a potential project which occurs in some form before every investment or major decision. While due diligence can cover a lot of aspects of a project, this discussion addresses only technical due diligence conducted by an experienced IE for renewable energy projects. 76


Ideally, no red flags will be present and the IE will continue with the due diligence effort.

After the buyer and seller come together in principle on the terms of the arrangement, an IE is brought in to assess the project. The results of the IE report is then used in the final negotiations to work out differences that might remain. IE reports are very thorough, which means the scope of work for the due diligence effort is extensive and can take weeks or months to complete. Every technical aspect is investigated and high risk items should be identified and communicated immediately. A critical starting point of the effort is a fatal flaw review to identify any red flags or high risk areas that may exists. This can be done in a matter of days through a high level review of the project’s data room. The data room should contain all critical information and key agreements pertinent to the future plant. Any missing documentation or contracts should be identified immediately and reported back to the appropriate parties to decide the best path forward. Keeping an organized and complete data room is critical in presenting the project as a comprehensive and valuable asset. If documents are missing or there are unanswered questions, this could lead to delays, a lower valuation or potentially abandoned negotiations.

During the IE’s assessment of the project, some very basic yet critical questions are asked.These questions are used to dig down into the details of the project and predict its future health.The more questions that are ans wered as “yes,” the safer the potential investment. Those questions should address things like: •

Will the project be profitable based on energy projections?

Is the project technically feasible?

Does the project meet permitting and environmental standards?

Are the project costs realistic?

What is the current project status?

Will the project be completed on schedule?

Will the project meet operational

requirements? •

Does the generation potential of individual wind turbines correlate with existing turbine performance?

Does the inspection of the wind turbines, balance of plant, power evacuation systems and operations and maintenance practices correlate with the desktop study?

These questions and their subsequent answers provide the framework around the full IE report. In any renewable energy project, there are some common areas of concern that warrant detailed review. Misrepresented or inflated energy numbers:The capital structure and projected cash flow models of the future plant are highly dependent on energy projections. Understanding the energy potential of the plant and accurately estimating the resource is critical to the future health of the project. Inflated energy numbers can very negatively affect future returns. A variety of inputs are assessed when calculating energy numbers and a few of the critical factors that may affect the overall accuracy of the projections include the following: Resource Assessment:The resource assessment is highly dependent on the onsite data gathered in the years leading up to construction. Even with this data, it’s extremely important to assess how well the data within its given measurement period correlates with the long term resource in that area. Forexample, if one year of onsite data exists, is that data representative of the resource over the past twenty years? If it happens to be a windy year, or a below average year, it is important to correct for those anomalies using long term resource data from nearby meteorological stations. Energy Losses:Any losses that are applied to the gross energy number should be validated where possible. Any data, if available, should be supplied to justify the losses. For example, if the developer has data showing the availability of a similar wind farm, using a similar model in a similar environment, this data can be used when assessing the availability of the new project. If no data is available, it is critical to understand how and why losses are applied. This will affect the projected capacity factor of the plant, and in turn the size of the debt secured and the financial health of the plant moving forward.

Uncertainty:Likewise, reducing the uncertainty of the resource and energy estimation can be very beneficial to the owner. A lengthy and well-designed measurement period, data to back uplosses, and choosing the right site for the project are all important to minimize uncertainty, which directly affects the size of the debt secured. For example, if the project is financed off a P90 value (the energy number that has a 90% chance of being exceeded), depending on the coverage ratio, a 2-3% increase in the size of the debt is possible by reducing the uncertainty by 3-4 percentage points. At the large scale of many renewable energy projects, this is in the order of millions of dollars. Missing or conflicting contracts: Contractual arrangements between all parties involved are critical to mitigating the overall risk of the project. Contracts must be tailored specifically to the individual project, taking into account the size of the project, the technology implemented and the current market. If any of these are missing or conflicting,or lack contractual strength, these are potential red flags and may lead to delays. Schedule slow-downs: Staying on schedule is very important for financing, tax credits etc., and many things can unexpectedly stall a project. Common reasons for delays include permitting, transportation issues, community objections, supply chain problems, weather, work force availability and even the availability of heavy equipment like cranes. Missed schedules are costly and these risks must be identified and monitored. Late or incomplete federal/state/local permits: The importance of understanding what permits are needed and the timing of obtaining these permits needs to be addressed early in the project life cycle. It is important to keep all permits readily available and easy to find in the data room. Failure to obtain the correct permitting or address any issues in the community can result in lengthy delays. New or higher risk technology : Advancements in technology is the pathway towards increased performance, lower cost of energy and ultimately allow renewable energy to compete with traditional methods of energy generation. However, until the technology becomes proven, new technology is considered higher risk technology.

However, there are ways to mitigate these risks and allow the benefits of technological advancements to be realized. Ways to mitigate this risk include: •

Review the history of the company.

Review the past and present models of the technology and evaluate if the current model is an evolution, which is lower risk, or a complete revolution,which may be higher risk.

Evaluate the record of the technology itself – number of installations, quality of the warranty, record of maintenance, and the maintenance plan moving forward.

Evaluation of the contractual provisions -the more willing themanufacturer is to take some of the risk; the more willing lenders may be willing to take that risk as well.

Summary: The Financial Implications The bottom line for every project is how profitable the project will be. All of the risks affecting renewable projects discussed above contribute to its capital structure and future fiscal health. While some of the technical areas addressed are straight forward pass/fail scenarios, some, including resource estimation, are dynamic and variable throughout the life of the plant. Depending on the capital structure, it has been observed that a 5% missed resource estimate for a wind project can result in a 30-40% decrease in dividend payouts to the equity holders for that year. In fact, if the plant’s production is not meeting a certain level of expectation, the lending institution could implement measures to mitigate their own risk. This could include a cash sweep, where all revenue for a certain period of time will go only towards paying off the debt, eliminating any profit for the owner. Another example is that if a project is unable to pay the debt as agreed for a certain period, it may need to use its reserve cash to cover the payments. This means that future revenue will need to be used to replenish these reserves. Ultimately, if a project is struggling, and cannot get meet its expectations, it may need to be refinanced using less favorable financial terms or even sold at a lower valuation. Drastic measures such as this can be avoided through accurate energy estimations and strong confidenceinthefuture project’s revenue projections. EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12



TRESERT – Decentralized Supply Of Electrical Energy, Heat And Refrigeration Solarlite GmbH


RESERT demonstrates how a decentralized supply of electrical energy, heat and refrigeration can be created from solar thermal energy and biomass.The last stage of the TRESERT project located at the energy park of the School of Renewable Energy Technology (SERT) of Naresuan University in Phitsanulok, Thailand, is in operation since February 2012. The solar thermal biomass power plant created by Solarlite, based in Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania, Germany, is an innovative example of a decentralized energy supply that can reduce CO2 emissions. The project was developed with funding from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).The goal of the project is to raise awareness of green technologies in the region, and the use of low-temperature turbines and an absorption chilleris a technical innovation that has tremendous marketing potential. In fact, training and information initiatives are underway to help spread the technology in an effort to tap and further develop its CO2reduction potential. Dr. Joachim Krüger, CEO and founder of Solarlite GmbH, notes: “Projects like TRESERT are the right approach to finding a long-term solution to energy problems in the rural areas of Thailand. Working 78


with the SERT was absolutely terrific and provided the infrastructure and contacts we needed to successfully market the TRESERT project.” An innovative combination of tried and tested components The entire system is built withSolarlite SL 2300 and SL 4600 parabolic trough collectors for steam generation, turbines for energy production, and an absorption cooling machine for air conditioning. A biomass boiler was integrated as a back-up solution in order to keep the operating temperature stable. The system produces a total thermal output of 500 kW and up to 50kW of electrical output from the low-temperature turbine. The absorption cooling machine generates 105 kW from the waste heat for cooling. An additional 224.25 kW of heat output is available to heat water. In total, the system offers three (representing the TRE in the TRESERT name) major benefits: It supplies electricity, hot water and air conditioning. This results in much greater use of solar radiation and much more efficiency in power plant operations. Direct steam generation in recirculation mode. The system has been set-up for direct steam generation running in the recirculation mode. In the solar field with a total surface of 662m² water gets pre-heated and evaporated, leaving with 26 bara and 226°C.

No superheating is applied; the turbine can be operated with saturated steam. After running through a steam dryer, the saturated steam enters the turbine to produce electricity. Dry steam slightly above 100°C leaves the turbine.From the turbine the steam enters into a condensator,which supplies heat to an absorption chiller. The chiller runs at an inlet temperature between 80-90°C. Alternatively the turbine’s waste heat can be used to produce hot water.The waste heat is dissipated by a cooling tower. Through a feed water tank with desalination, the condensate is pumped into the solar field. A cost-effective and sustainable solution for supplying regions without a grid connection TRESERT harnesses local, green energy sources in its solution to the challenge of providing a safe and clean power supply to less developed regions of Southeast Asia. Although solar radiation can be used for free, the technology is subject to variations in seasonal and weather conditions. As for biomass, it is generally locally available. When combined, these two sources of energy form a green, CO2-neutral energy supply. Moreover, Solarlite is using this green energy production technology to raise awareness in emerging countries of environmental and climate change issues. A reliable supply of low-cost energy will make

it possible to improve the living conditions of local electricity consumers, strengthen the economy and create new jobs from that growth.

solar energy and biomass and to introduce it to potential cooperation partners in the region of Southeast Asia. The use of low-temperature turbines and an absorption cooler represent an innovation that offers significant marketing potential. The dissemination of the technology is to be supported through training and road shows, thus targeting and promoting new CO2 reduction potentials

Project parameters

Growing energy needs in Southeast Asia

Project duration 04.11.2008 to 31.12.2012

Electricity consumption in Thailand rose steadily between 2000 and 2009, and experts say that it will remain high in the coming years. According to projections by Egat (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand), Thailand can expect an annual increase of 5.5% in electricity use. In response to this projection, the government is pushing for more energy efficiency measures and continued development of production capacities. The Thai government’s goal is to show leadership in the area of renewable energies and cut CO2 emissions by at least 15% by 2018.

Project location Energy Park at the School of Renewable Energy Technology of the Naresuan University in Phitsanulok, Thailand

TRESERT is a positive example of an efficient, decentralized energy supply. The location of the School of Renewable Energy Technology (SERT) makes it possible to present the innovative power plant technology to a wide international audience of experts. The concept can be replicated in every region where the sun radiation is high enough,for example in the MENA region, India, South East Asia, South Africa, US, Australia and Mexico. A plus is an additional feed in tariff for renewable energy production. Rural regions without any grid connection located in sunbelt areas can profit immensely from such a technology. Applications in combination with cogeneration can be used for the production of heat, absorption cooling or also for seawater desalination.

Project aim: To demonstrate an innovative technology for the decentralized provision of electrical energy, heat and air conditioning from

Technical parameters Thermal output 500 kWth Collector area 928 m² Collector aperture 2.3 m / 4.6 m Electrical output up to 50 kWel Project volume 3 Mio EUR Reduction on CO2 emissions 180 t / year

Social impact Reduction of CO2 emissions Decentralization allows for energy provision even in undeveloped regions and as such it contributes to growth and economic development. Awareness-raising in the Southeast Asian countries on the topic of solar thermal energy, particularly politicians, associations and institutions

2. School of Renewable Energy Technology / Naresuan University. Sponsored as part of the International Climate Protection Initiative by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), following a resolution by the German parliament

Efficient, environmentally-friendly energy production Solar thermal power plants are the most sustainable form of energy production in terms of the environment, resources and availability. This technology has the advantage of achieving even greater efficiency with direct sunlight. In addition, the plants are highly flexible. They can be combined with all fossil and renewable energy sources to create baseload power. Because they are so flexible, easily integrated into existing systems and efficient, solar thermal power plants are an excellent way to make a speedy transition to renewable energies. The water used for direct steam generation gives these plants significant advantages over those that use other heat transfer fluids, such as thermal oil or molten salt. Direct steam generation makes it possible to reach higher operating temperatures. Thus, the total investment cost can be significantly reduced, since thermal oil and related components (heat exchangers) are not needed. The technology is greener and environmentally friendlier. Although the operational design of the direct steam generation technology has been tested before in other plants, the TSE 1 parabolic power plant in Huay Krachao, Thailand is the first time that Solarlite GmbH has implemented direct steam generation for commercial use.

Qualification and training of skilled workers for an industry of the future

Project partners 1. Institute for Solar Research at German Aerospace Center




Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) – Energy Source of the Future Anindya Das, Industry Manager, Energy & Power Systems Practice, Frost & Sullivan South Asia, Middle East, and North Africa


oncentrated Photovoltaic or CPV is a relatively-new concept of solar power generation, wherein with the help of optics such as lens or curved mirror, sunlight is concentrated at a small area of specially-designed photovoltaic (PV) material to generate solar power. The main difference between CPV and regular PV technologies is that, in the former, concentrating systems use specialized optics to bundle the arrays. Sunlight can be gathered with relatively large lenses that focus the solar energy on to a smaller area where the solar cell resides. Thus, CPV increases the power output while reducing the size or number of cells needed.

CPV System CPV is based on the concept of solar tracking. CPV solar trackers use a range of emerging PV cell technologies such as Germanium-based triple junction receivers or Crystalline Silicon-based PV receivers. CPV modules accept sunlight through these optical systems and with proper orientation, they maximize the energy collected. The tracking accuracy is crucial, which in turn increases system concentration ratio. Both reflective and refractive-based concentrator systems are used in CPV-tracking method.


CPV systems are divided in to three categories on basis of their solar concentration: •

Low-Concentration Photovoltaic (LCPV)

Medium-Concentration Photovoltaic (MCPV) and,

High-Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV)

LCPV operates at less than 5 Suns (Suns - Unit of solar concentration. One sun is equal to the power of solar incidence at noon on a clear day). As this system operates at a very low range of solar concentration, solar tracking is sometimes not needed. This is an economical CPV system compared to the other two. MCPV operates between 5-100 Suns. It primarily functions through a single axis tracking and cooling system. Meanwhile, HCPV mainly operates at more than 100 Suns. It primarily functions through a two axes solar and cooling system, and is currently the most-widely-used category of CPV system. Table 1 provides an overview of various CPV systems.

The main advantage of CPV over a normal PV system is that it reduces the size or number of cells needed and can produce the same power from a much smaller area of solar cells. Thus, it effectively uses less place, in terms of land area, for producing same amount of power than other known PV technologies

Compared to the installations of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) system, CPV system installations are relatively lesser cumbersome. CPV systems are “flexible” in size and can be commissioned in phases

CPV systems use minimal quantity of water compared to CSP systems

In terms of cell, module, and system efficiency CPV systems are “ahead” of CSP, Si-based PV, and thin film-based PV systems

Table 2 presents a comparative analysis of various solar technologies.

Drivers and Challenges Drivers

Advantages of CPV system

Some of the major advantages of CPV system are:

Requirement of efficient PV systems will primarily drive the CPV market. The high-efficiency cells used in CPV systems, coupled with concentrating optics and solar tracking systems, enable

Table 1: Overview of Various CPV Systems

CPV System

Power of Concentration

Type of Cells Used

Type of Tracking



<5 Suns

Silicon semiconductors

Low-accuracy tracking

It is mainly used in rooftop applications


5-100 Suns

Silicon-based cells (sometimes Single-axis tracking thin film)


>100 Suns

Multi-junction Cells

It is suitable for use in solar farms and large gridconnected applications

Double-axis tracking It is mainly used as off(rotates throughout the grid power systems for day) areas with high DNI

Source: Frost & Sullivan and Industry Sources



Table 2: Comparison of Various Solar Technologies


CPV System

CSP System

Si-based PV Thin Film-based System PV System

Cell Efficiency





Module Efficiency





System Efficiency





Source: CPV Consortium, Frost & Sullivan and Industry Sources

CPV systems to produce more electricity output compared to fixed module PV systems •

There is optimum performance in regions with high (>1,800kWh/m2) Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). DNI is defined as the average amount of solar radiation received per unit area per day. About 35-40 percent of the Earth’s surface has access to direct sunlight, which acts as a driver for growth of CPV systems Solar power is a clean energy source, however, it does have marginal negative impact on the environment (for instance, usage of excess water in water-deficit areas for CSP plants) associated with the same. On the other hand, CPV, with its optimal utilization of land and water, makes work easier for regulatory bodies to give speedier sanction for projects

Challenges •

of the CPV industry.

CPV system is not feasible for areas which receive diffused sunlight, as diffused sunlight cannot be concentrated. Thus, CPV systems are area-specific and can operate well only in places that receive plenty of direct sunlight. As CPV system is feasible only in areas with direct normal irradiance of sunlight, the potential market for CPV system is also limited. As this market is mainly area-specific, the availability of land (whatever is the requirement) for largescale projects becomes a challenge. CPV systems are higher-priced (various components used herein, such as solar concentrators, trackers, etc. are expensive) than PV Systems (prices of PV modules have come down drastically in the last 2-3 years). It is expected that prices of PV modules will dip further in coming years. Due to this cost factor, it becomes very challenging for a CPV system manufacturer/integrator to convince a developer/end user to opt for a CPV system, unless the developer/ end user is thoroughly convinced about its viability in the long run. This is the biggest challenge impeding rapid growth

Globally, CPV systems up to 7.8MW have been commercialized (Next Era Energy Resource’s 5 MW facility and SolFocus’s Portugal Plant, apart from the project in Villafranca, Northern Spain etc). Such projects are much lesser in number than various PV and CSP projects that have been commercialized. This at times deters project developers/end users to undertake CPV projects of higher capacity, even if they are convinced about their long-term benefits. Availability of reliable data on CPV projects (CPV being a relatively-new technology with limited installations) is limited. This has a bearing on the confidence of project developers, end users, project financers, etc. to venture into CPV projects. Availability of data from different regions across the world will boost stakeholders’ confidence.

Value Chain and Major CPV Suppliers Although CPV technology is still developing, sizeable opportunities are expected to come up across the value chain. The CPV system value chain includes: •

Cell and Module Suppliers

Tracker Suppliers

Balance Of System (BOS) Suppliers

Developers/Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies

Materials and Manufacturing Equipment Suppliers Some major CPV suppliers include: •

SolFocus Inc

Amonix Inc

Concentrix Solar GmbH

Emcore Corporation


Opel Solar Inc.

CPV in India

stage.Though there have been few CPV project proposals and small orders/installations, till date no noticeable installation of CPV projects has been carried out in the country. Although some players (Thermax Limited in tie up with Amonix Inc) are venturing in the CPV market, it still has a long way to go in the Indian solar market. In spite of its advantages, the complexity of the system and its cost are two major factors that have made it difficult to commercialize CPV projects in the country. The falling prices of PV modules have further affected growth of CPV in India.

Way Forward Improvements in cell efficiencies (of up to 50 percent from the current 38-40 percent), tracker and optical efficiencies, as well as manufacturing economies of scale will help CPV become an important energy source in the future. Current project sizes (maximum size being 7.8MW in Villafranca, Northern Spain) are small, but are expected to increase between 2013-2015 with larger plants (between 30-200MW) being planned. It is also expected that by 2012-13, the manufacturing process of CPV systems would reach some levels of maturity, enabling large-scale production capacities to sustain increasing demand. Companies that have successfully completed CPV prototype projects and are ready to expand into utility-scale power plants will help expand acceptance of CPV among investors and would create larger investment opportunities for the entire industry. This includes an increase in global demand for diverse CPV system components, such as trackers, BOS, multi-junction cells, and solar concentrators. Thus, CPV system, which promises to be the ‘future’ of solar power generation, must overcome the stiff challenges it is facing at present. The technological and project viability, as well as cost involved, should be brought under control in order to make way for large-scale CPV projects. Although high efficiency with a much lesser area can be “achieved” with CPV, it requires both technological and cost viability in order to catch up with existing solar PV technologies. nnn

CPV in India is still at a very nascent EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12



“ Romax Insight ” Samuel Rajkumar - General Manager Romax Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Romax Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a UK based company having its operations in Pune and Chennai, recently launched a new wind farm O&M software and service platform “InSight”. Romax is confident about the considerable return on Wind farm investments, optimising its balance between energy yield improvements and operational cost reductions through the InSight. Mr. Samuel Rajkumar, General Manager at Romax Solutions Pvt. Ltd., took us through its evolvement.


omax in collaboration with world’s leading wind farm operators assessed the method of gauging the performance of Wind Turbines. They arrived at a conclusion that predicting the failure of the main components was the main factor affecting the maintenance planning. The alerts provided by existing Condition Monitoring Systems were insufficient to predict the failure. Wind Farm Operators realised the need for a proactive monitoring system, and thus Romax InSight was created to tackle these operator’s challenges in planning their maintenance schedule of WTG. With over twenty years of expertise in drive-train design and failure analysis, Romax InSight offers Wind farm owners visualise their fleet condition and to predict the life cycle of their WTG and its components. Romax believes that the ability to identify, predict and resolve maintenance issues at an early stage before they become significant



is directly related to WTG profitability and return on investment. To achieve maximum output, you need to know both its current and anticipated future condition. Cost savings in operations and maintenance have a significant impact on reducing the Cost of Energy (CoE) though Industry data shows that improvements in Availability have a significantly larger impact.

By focusing on improvements in availability the resulting CoE reductions can be more than ten times as an effective in reducing CoE than on OPEX savings.

time visualisation of fleet performance and interfaces with ERP systems such as SAP to

Romax’ objective in developing InSight is bold – we are attempting to ‘model out’ the reasons for failure and create predictive maintenance (PdM) tools that are accurate, reliable and easy to use, said Mr. Samuel Rajkumar. It is also important to ensure that maintenance is undertaken at the optimum time. InSight has been developed to meet these requirements. InSight comprises three core elements, InSight Inspection and Analysis, InSight iDS(Intelligent Diagnostic System), InSight SCADA.

enable links between maintenance works and performance changes to be easily identified as well as the optimisation of work scheduling and commercial control. iDS is hardware neutral, which means it can integrate dat a transmitted from multiple manufacturers’ CMS hardware, presenting it in a single, unified and easy to understand dashboard. Our system display allows trends and potential problems to be identified far more quickly and easily than is possible via multiple system interfaces. With over two decades experience of modelling, analysing

InSight Inspection and Analysis draws on our deep experience of forensic engineering, studying machine behaviour and field services to tackle maintenance issues. InSight iDS(Intelligent Diagnostic System) is a powerful diagnostics platform which provides precise visualisation of fleet condition to asset managers and vibration monitoring experts. InSight SCADA provides near real

and understanding machine behaviour and the vibration signatures of rotating machinery, our engin eers have incorporated advanced diagnostic rules into IDS, which identify telltale sign combinations long before they turn into serious machine faults. The IDS comes preloaded with diagnostic rules covering many major wind turbine manufacturers’ machines and model type faults. On-screen, InSight displays an ‘alarm’ for each turbine within a wind farm, as well as alarms for the gear, bearing, shaft and sensors of every drive-train, with detailed diagnosis results of all alarms shown in a ‘trend’ graph. CMS alone is limited in its ability to pinpoint the location of potential faults, with most only being able to indicate the sensor closest to the irregular vibration signature. Identification of specific component faults using CMS data can only be achieved by vibration analysis experts and even then it may take them many hours to identify and locate the most common faults. Through the intuitive user interface IDS enables both asset manager and vibration analysis expert to identify the specific problem area immediately down to subcomponent level. The InSight system is currently geared towards conventional planetary drivetrains, although software for direct-drive transmissions is under development. Further development of InSight will incorporate condition monitoring of elements outside the drive-train, with the next generation taking in componentry, including rotor blade pitch and yaw systems. E.ON’s 30-turbine Scroby Sands project is the UK’s first offshore wind farm to have expired turbine warranties and be managed independently. This is an important early application of InSight. Romax’ whole InSight philosophy is based around EQ INTERNATIONAL July/August 12


the position that drawing on our experience and data collected over the past 20 years and using some very clever algorithms and information, we can give our clients a far greater insight into their assets and significantly increase their yield. As turbines become larger and more sophisticated, decision making play key role in terms of operational costs and the impact on revenue. Offshore wind farms involve enormous investment and maintenance is inevitably more challenging. The fact is that currently the drive-train failure rate is too high for offshore turbines at almost 0.1 – 0.2 failures per year (1 failure per 5 – 10 years). With the offshore wind power market forecast to increase to 9.6 per cent of total installed capacity by 2015, InSight can make a momentous contribution to Wind Industry.

Primary Causes of Turbine Failure The main area of turbine downtime is the drive-train, which includes the gearbox, generator associated bearings. With the first large turbines (multi MW turbines) coming out of the warranty period, there are a number of reliability issues appearing. There are three primary causes of failure. The first arises from maintenance issues. This is not always the fault of the operator – there are occasions when turbines do not lend themselves to component maintenance. There are examples where a gearbox is well designed but the subsystem requiring maintenance is not. Similarly, if during assembly, parts were not aligned properly, this could lead to problems later on. Romax engineers encounter a number of quality issues related to manufacturing on a daily basis.

causes considerable downtime. Offshore operations requiring a blade swap out can be very costly. A principal focus for Romax is quality of O&M on the WTG. We have InSight that will help schedule the flow of maintenance and to provide quality assurance of maintenance action. This will allow operators to document and monitor both improvements and defects identified during the maintenance process.

Operator Controlled WTG The InSight solution comes from the technology side, rather than the service or product side. This means that we are offering an independent view. This is an end-toend solution, from a condition-monitoring hardware solution to a fleet monitoring service. We help clients put the processes in place and provide the training they need in order to operate their assets to optimum capacity. Our solutions give the owner control of everything rather than being tied to one service provider. Owner-operators can understand their assets and manage them on their own terms, so they are not tied into a hardware vendor. It is a technology-based offering that empowers the asset owner, rather than tying them into a product or service.

A Critical Time InSight is getting launched as the first generation of 1.5 MW to 2.5 MW class wind turbines enters into maturity, there is increasing evidence of main component failures across a variety of turbine types, bearing types, Gearbox types, and Generator

types. Failures have been experienced by operators in the US, Europe and Asia and in many cases a number of failure modes and symptoms have been found to be consistent across the fleets. The nature of these WTG’s is very different to smaller WTG’s in terms of cost to operate, size and revenue generated. Technology levels are higher as are the value of assets. Correct operational management is more important than ever. At Romax we have a strong background in the design of drive-trains for multi-MW turbines. As a result we really understand how to protect your valuable assets.

About Romax Technology Ltd. Romax Technology Ltd. is leading independent provider of simulation and analysis services for bearing, gearbox, and drive-train systems and unique in applying its expert knowledge through the operation and asset management of WTG’s. It has decades of experience of monitoring and analysing data to understand drive-train reliability and failure modes and has incorporated this knowledge and experience into its world class turbine health management software and services platform branded as Romax InSight. Headquartered in Nottingham, UK Romax provides an award winning localised service through an extensive global network, with 12 offices located in the UK, France, USA, Korea, Japan, China and India.


Secondly, Poor siting can be a further cause for turbine reliability issues. Particularly, where turbines are subjected to higher than necessary wind loads. A third area is related to design flaws, where there are issues running through a product line there can be multiple failures resulting in significant consequences. Blade issues are not so common, but they present a significant cost item when they do occur because the remedial work




Generating Business At Solar Power International


he solar energy industry is in high gear and at Solar Power International 2012 (SPI ’12), September 10-13, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, participants can plug into the technologies, personal connections and professional insights that give rise to new business and learning opportunities.

Widely regarded as the can’t-miss industry event of the year, SPI draws 21,000+ professionals in solar energy and related fields, from 80 nations. Nearly 25% come to this global event from outside the United States. Attendees include manufacturers, installers and contractors, distributors, engineering firms, utilities, government representatives and policy makers, investors and financiers, architects, builders and developers—anyone who needs to stay on top of the latest developments in solar energy.

Over 1,200 companies representing the entire solar industry spectrum exhibit on 1.1 million square feet of total gross space. Exhibits highlight the latest in PV cells and modules; balance of systems; material and equipment suppliers; distributors; integrators; installers and solar service providers; thermal solar technologies; concentrating solar power (CSP) and solar thermal electric and concentrating PV (CPV); publications; and an additional array of products and services. Now is the time to make connections in Orlando and throughout the solar energy industry. Build your network face to face in SPI’s general sessions, conference sessions, receptions and pre- and post-conference workshops—or as you explore the dynamic exhibit floor. SPI is presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). Unlike other solar conferences, all proceeds support the expansion of the U.S. solar energy market through SEIA’s and SEPA’s year-round research and education activities, as well as SEIA’s advocacy. Growing your energy business begins at SPI.



PRODUCTS HMI Devices for Graphic -Intensive Applications Phoenix Contact has expanded its HMI product line to include a new performance class: the TP 5000 series. In addition to the high-performance Intel® Atom™ 1.6 GHz CPU, these devices set themselves apart as a result of their wealth of functions. The Visu+ runtime software is available on three different displays for visualization. These display diagonals extend from 30.73 cm (12.1”) through 38.1 cm (15”) up to 43.2 cm (17”). The integrated OPC server

or additional Ethernet-based drivers are used to link to the control level. Further, these devices can be connected to Profinet. This offers advantages such as IP allocation via the engineering station or PLC for commissioning, connection monitoring for operating tasks, as well as location identification functionality for service and support. In addition to the standard interfaces, such as Ethernet (2x), USB (4x), and RS 232, the device also has a VGA interface. Multi-station operation

can be set up by connecting an external monitor. These devices are suitable for large machines and plants where HMI SCADA functionality is required. Not only this, they can be used in almost any sector thanks to the high-quality aluminum housing, which is dust protected and water resistant at the front in accordance with the IP65 standard.

Identifying Energy Peaks Helps Reduce Costs In the scope of a long-term technological collaboration, Phoenix Contact, manufacturer of industrial electronics, and Gossen Metrawatt, manufacturer of measuring and testing technology, have jointly developed a product for acquiring energy data. The objective of energy data acquisition is to identify potential for increasing efficiency and therefore helping to calculate costs. The power measurement terminal IB IL PM 3P/N/EF-PAC expands Inline I/O-stations to include a power management function and

acquires sampling as well as basis measured values of line supply parameters such as voltages, currents, and powers. The device can analyze AC line supplies and can be used wherever conventional analog measuring instruments in distribution systems can no longer keep up with increasing requirements. This means that in the “sampling measured values” operating mode, instantaneous values can be acquired so that the curve waveform of a measured value can be subsequently analyzed.

Additional advantages of the power measurement terminal include voltage measurement up to 690 V AC (L-L), being able to directly measure currents from 1 A or 5 A including the neutral conductor current, the possibility of analyzing harmonics up to the 31st harmonic as well as synchronizing to the measurement interval of the power utility company.

Compact Signal Routing in Power Systems (05/12) The new pluggable 4-level routing terminals PT 2.5-4L/1P and…/2P from Phoenix Contact provide universal signal distribution options within compact control systems and plant sections. As a result of the various bridging options within the terminal strip, as well as routing options within the freely configurable four-position connector, compact, threedimensional signal distributors can be created using this terminal system. On one side, the



terminals have push-in connection points, on the opposite side, one or two 4-position slots. The terminal version with two slots increases the system modularity by an additional signal routing level within the routing connectors that can be individually configured. The modular routing connector accessories enable horizontal, vertical, and diagonal signal wiring within a terminal strip.

Screwless flange covers and the corresponding flange terminals have been developed to additionally fix the routing and field connectors.

PRODUCTS M17 Plug Connecters in Miniature Format for Power Ratings up to 630 Volt With the M17 compact series of round plug connectors, Phoenix Contact has reduced the size of its standard connectors. The diameter of the cable connector was reduced by 2.6 mm to 18.7 mm; the total length was also reduced by about 15 percent. Three new housing designs round off the product range: In addition to cable and coupler connectors, there is also a panel feedthrough with integrated mounting flange. By simply interchanging the molded seal, users can use the panel feed-through for rear

and front panel mounting. In addition, eight and nine-pin insulators, which are factory equipped with 1 mm crimp contacts, are being launched into the market. Another new feature is the optional color marking using plastic rings on the housing, which help prevent false connections being made. With the Speedcon rapid interlock system, plug connectors are quickly and reliably interlocked with just half a turn. The position can be identified by the “open/locked” marking.The IP67-compliant housings and are

shielded against electromagnetic interference. All of the previous isolators of the standard M17 series from Phoenix Contact can be combined with the round M17 compact plug connectors and provide an optimum solution for supplying power to compact devices and drive units.

PC Board Connection for High-Current Applications without Tools With its PLA 5 and PLH 5 PC terminal blocks, Phoenix Contact expands its series of conductor connections for high-current applications that do not require any tools. The lever-actuated PLA 5 terminals with 30 degrees and PLH 5 horizontal conductor outlet can accommodate conductor cross sections extending from 0.5 mm2 up to 6 mm2. As a result of the zigzag pin arrangement, even in a 7.5 mm pitch, the compact terminal has UL approval for 600

V and has a current-carrying capacity of up to 41 A. The push-lock technology allows conductors to be connected with or without a ferrule. This PC terminal block sets itself apart as a result of the labeling surfaces in the field of view, as well as an easy-to-access test socket. The sandwich design allows color coding from one up to 12 positions. The singleposition versions are also securely mounted on the PC board as a result of the double

pinning arrangement. The new PCB terminal blocks round off the “Combicon power” product range with push-lock technology from Phoenix Contact.

Fast WLAN for the Control Cabinet (05/12) With its industrial WLAN Access Point/Client WLAN 5100, Phoenix Contact presents a new device for wireless communication in accordance with the WLAN standard IEEE 802.11n. The wireless component supports the Mimo (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology with three antennas. This represents a significant increase in the degree of ruggedness, range, and speed of wireless communication when

compared to the WLAN802.11a/g systems generally used today. Both in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, this Access Point/Client WLAN 5100 achieves data rates of up to 300 Mbit/s.

The special feature of this device is the new cluster management function. This facilitates central configuration and monitoring of the WLAN network. The access point is suitable for wireless data transfer in

the automation environment and for use in industryr e l a t e d areas such as logistics. It is also suited for transportation systems and connecting network subsections.



Solarcon India 2012

Date: 1-3 Sept , 2012 Place: Bangalore Organiser: SEMI Tel.: 80 4040 7103 Email: Web.:

The 2nd Solar Energy Africa 2012 Date: 4-5 Sept, 2012 Place: South Africa Organiser: Spintelligent Tel.: 27 21 700 3500 Email: Web.:

PV Rome Mediterranean 2012 Date: 5-7 Sept, 2012 Place: Italy Organiser: Zeroemission Tel.: 39 02 66306866 Email: Web.:

SolarPACES 2012

Date: 11-14 Sept, 2012 Place: Morocco Organiser: SolarPACES Email: Web.:


The 2nd Smart Grid World Conference Date: 12-14 Sept, 2012 Place: New Delhi Organiser: SZ & W Group Tel.: 86 21 5830 0710 Email: Web.:

MENA Solar Power Forum

Date: 17-19 Sept, 2012 Place: Abu Dhabi Organiser: DMG Events Tel.: 44 (0)203 615 2877 Email: Web.:

27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

Date: 24-28 Sept, 2012 Place: Frankfurt Organiser: WIP Tel.: 49 89 720 12 735 Email: Web.:

Solar Power UK Clean Energy Expo Asia 2012

Date: 12-14 Sept, 2012 Place: Thailand Organiser: Koelnmesse Tel.: 65 6500 6717 Email: Web.:

Date: 2-4 Oct, 2012 Place: United Kingdom Organiser: Solar Media Ltd Tel.: 44 207 8710122 Email: Web.:

PV Taiwan 2012 14th Renewable Energy Finance Forum Date: 12-13 Sept, 2012 Place: London Organiser: Euromoney Energy Event Tel.: 44 20 7779 8084 Email: Web.:

Solar Power International 2012

Date: 10-13 Sept, 2012 Place: Florida Organiser: Solar Energy Trade Shows Tel.: 202.595.1143 Email: Web.:



Solar Energy Forum 2012

Date: 3-5 Oct, 2012 Place: Taiwan Organiser: Taiwan External Trade Development

Date: 13-14 Sept, 2012 Place: Shanghai Organiser: China Decision Makers Consultancy Tel.: 86 21 63931899 Email: Web.:

Council,TAITRA | Tel.: 886-2-2725-5200 Email: Web.:

Solar Arabia Summit 2012

Power Gen Asia

Date: 16-17 Sept, 2012 Place: Riyadh Organiser: Naseba Tel.: 971 44 55 7956 Email: register@solararabiasummit Web.:

Date: 3-5 Oct, 2012 Place: Bangkok, Thailand Organiser: PennWell Corporation Tel.: 44 1992 656 610 Email: Web.:

All Energy Australia 2012.

Date: 10-11 Oct, 2012 Place: Melbourne, Australia Organiser: All-Energy Events Pty Ltd Tel.: 61 (0) 2 9422 2500 Email: Web.:

6th Renewable Energy India Expo

Date: 7-09 Nov, 2012 Place: New Delhi Organiser: UBM Tel.: 22 6612 2600 Email: Web.:

Solar Future Italy

Date: 11 Oct, 2012 Place: Milan Organiser: Solar Plaza Tel.: 31 10 280 9198 Email: Web.:

Global Solar Forum 2012

Date: 27-20 Nov, 2012 Place: Singapore Organiser: Global Solar Forum Tel.: 44 (0)207 060 6200 Email: Web.:

4th PV Power Plant Inter Solar India 2012

Date: 6-8 Nov, 2012 Place: Mumbai Organiser: MMI India Pvt Ltd Tel.: 91 22 4255 4707 , 49 7231 58598 Email: Web.:

Date: 28-29 Nov, 2012 Place: Arizona Organiser: Solar Praxis Tel.: 49 (0)30 72 62 96-373 Email: Web.:

Solar Brazil

Date: 16-17 Oct, 2012 Place: Sao Paulo Organiser: Green Power Conference Tel.: 44 (0) 20 3355 4205 Email: Web.:

Power Gen Africa


Solar Industry Summit

Date: 17-19 Oct, 2012 Place: Washigton D.C Organiser: Access Intelligence LLC Tel.: 301-354-1503 Email: Web.:

RenewableUK 2012

Date: 30-01 Nov, 2012 Place: UK Organiser: RenewableUK Tel.: 44 (0)844 412 7962 Email: Web.:

Date: 6-8 Nov, 2012 Place: Johannesburg Organiser: PennWell Corporation Tel.: 44 (0) 1992 656 671 Email: Web.:

Date: 14-Nov, 2012 Place: Dubai Organiser: Solar Praxis Tel.: 49 (0)30 72 62 96-326 Email: Web.:

Wind Power India 2012

Date: 28-30 Nov, 2012 Place: Cheenai Organiser: Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Tel.: 44-24620227 Email: Web.:

PV Japan 2012

Date: 5-7 Dec, 2012 Place: Makuhari Meese Organiser: SEMI Tel.: 81.3.3222.5988 Email: Web.:

RENEXPO @ South East Europe

Date: 21-23 Nov, 2012 Place: Bucharest Organiser: REECO RO EXPOZIŢII S.R.L Tel.: 40 (0) 257 230 999 Email: Web.:

Inter Solar China 2012

Date: 12-14 Dec, 2012 Place: Beijing Organiser: MMI (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Tel.: 49 7231 58598-218 Email: Web.:

For Listing of your Event : Conference and events are listed free-of-charge, so please feel free to get in touch to tell us about your event. We would also be happy to provide you with free copies of magazine for distribution at your events.(while stock last). Please send your conference information to : Mr. Gourav Garg at




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Corrigendum - This is with reference to Article from ASYS SOLAR – Lowering The Total Cost Of Ownership on PV manufacturing published in May/June 2012, readers are requested for following correction :: Authors of the article are Mr. Fabian Weber (Technical Manager Solar)ASYS Group / Mr. Karl Schanz, General Technical Manager Solar ASYS Group.

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