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Special Focus - Solar Storage + Asset Management Special

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Volume 08. l Issue 1

January 2018


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 2


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India’s Most Read Solar Energy Magazine

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Exclusive Interviews

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Mr. Ivan Saha Head -Solar Manufacturing & CTO, Vikram Solar

12

Mr. Ashok D M Chairman & Managing Director, Avi Solar Energy Pvt Ltd.

News At Glance � Indian News ........................................................06 � International News............................................08

Industry Insights � AC-coupled systems.........................................21

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Mr. Krishnendu Mukherjee COO, Sova Solar Ltd.

� Everything you need to know about commercial solar battery storage................24 � What a solar asset management team can do for your business.....................25 � Single Axis Tracker- Factors Affecting Gain......................................................26 � Indian solar sector booming, but now comes the real test..........................27

14

Mr. Brijesh Gupta CEO, AMPL Cleantech Pvt. Ltd

� Four examples of why you need Solar Asset Management................................29 � What’s the right technology to keep tabs on our increasingly complex webs of power generation assets?..........................31

� Meco .....................................................................33 Mr. Anirban Das Associate Vice President, Kotak Infrastructure Debt Fund

� Goodwe ................................................................34 Company Feature

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Editorial: Neha Barangali Nikita Salkar

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Editor: Varun Gulati

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Mr. Anant Nahata Managing Director, Exicom Power Solutions

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Mr. P. Vinay Kumar Chief Operating Officer, Greenko Group

Mr. Guru Inder Mohan Singh Director and COO, Amplus Solar

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Solar Quarter • January 2018 5


Indian News

I

ndia defends solar panel makers from Chinese rivals

Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email

billion to fund a plan to substantially increase the share of

Modi’s plan to install 100 gigawatts of capacity by 2022.

renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022.

This setback comes just as the sector is bouncing back on

I

to the growth track after battling a difficult year.

ndia to set up fund to finance solar power projects

W

hat’s bothering the domestic solar industry?

licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers

India has proposed setting up a $350-million fund for

may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift

solar power projects as part of global efforts by member

Late last month, the government had ordered a safeguard

article service.

countries of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to

duty probe on surging solar cell imports with a view to

India has become the latest battleground in the fight to

mobilise funds for solar energy projects, minister of state

protect domestic manufacturers. But today, the All India

protect solar panel manufacturers from cheap Chinese

for power and new and renewable energy Raj Kumar Singh

Solar Industries Association (AISIA), the industry body

rivals, as regulators plan a 70 per cent import duty that

has said.

of domestic solar manufacturers, has come out strongly

developers warn could halt the fast-expanding industry in

Delivering the keynote address at an event organised

against the imposition of any such blanket import duty,

its tracks. Some of the country’s biggest builders of solar

by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in Abu Dhabi on

claiming that it will hurt manufacturers operating from

farms are battling proposals by Indian regulators to impose

Wednesday, the minister said India will need at least $125

special economic zones (SEZs).

an emergency tax on solar cells imported from China and

billion to fund a plan to substantially increase the share of

“SEZ units are treated on par with foreign manufacturers

Malaysia, as well as more developed economies. The plans

renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022.

and hence any safeguard duty will be detrimental to the

are likely to have a big impact on the Chinese industry, which has ramped up exports to India in part because of domestic oversupply.

I

ndia to set up $350 mn fund for solar projects to meet renewable energy target Minister confident of achieving 175 GW of installed capacity well before 2020. India will set up a $350 million fund to finance solar projects, Power Minister R.K. Singh said, as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022. India will need at least $125 billion to fund a plan to increase the share of renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022, underlining the immense financing challenge ahead.

C

hinese imports edge out domestic solar players

The National Solar Mission may have set a target of 20 million m2 (metre square) solar thermal capacity with ‘Make in India’ panels, but the government’s proposed incentives package has left this segment of the domestic solar industry out in the cold even though it is getting swamped by cheaper Chinese imports. The renewable energy ministry has proposed a slew of incentives only for domestic solar PV (photovoltaic) industry, ignoring the fact that solar thermal sector — once the only 100% indigenised solar technology — has lost 60% market share to cheaper supplies from Chinese companies.

I

ndia to launch $350-mn fund for solar projects

India has proposed setting up a $350-million fund for solar power projects as part of global efforts by member countries of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to

I

domestic solar industry as a whole,” said AISIA general

ndia is said to consider 7.5% tariff on imported solar panels

India, the largest buyer of solar equipment from neighboring China, is considering a 7.5 percent tax on imported solar panels, according to government officials with knowledge of the situation. Such imports aren’t taxed now, but might be reclassified as motors, which are subject to the tariff, the officials said, asking not to be named until a final decision was taken. The finance ministry is considering the renewable-energy ministry’s request to tax panels imported for projects won under future solar auctions while exempting those already awarded, they said.

W

TO: Support grows for India in solar tiff with US

The European Union, Canada, Brazil, China, and Japan were among those who supported India on Friday in the solar panel dispute with the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO), people familiar with the development said. According to these countries, Washington’s demand for trade retaliatory measures against India is unjustified. In the face of sharp differences, the matter was referred to arbitration.

Emmvee Photovoltaic Power Private Limited, India’s top solar PV module manufacturer commissions 1 MW solar rooftop project at its solar water heater manufacturing facility. Emmvee has always lived up to its responsibilities with green energy, comprehensive expertise and a strong focus on sustainability across all products, areas, and processes. Emmvee Solar System Private Ltd a subsidiary company of Emmvee Group,which produces Solarizer solar hot water heating system now installed with 1MW solar rooftop project 3312 no’smono-crystalline modules. Over all the annual power generation is 1,660,092kW/h (Units) and helps to replace 550tons of carbon emission. Speaking on the occasion D.V.Manjunatha, Founder and Managing Director, Emmvee Group said, “Weare very proud to have our own manufacturing Solarizer solar

on 12 January, the US and India clashed over Washington’s

hot water heating system facility operating with clean &

decision to seek trade retaliatory measures without

green solar energy. With our expertise and engineering

establishing that New Delhi failed to remove local content

capabilities in solar rooftop EPC projects, we were able to

requirements for manufacturing solar cells and solar

complete this project inshort duration”.

modules by the 14 December deadline.

I

ndia’s ruining its grand plans to become a solar powerhouse

The Indian government is undermining its own grand plans for the country’s solar power sector. India’s directorate general of safeguards (DGS), part of the

for power and new and renewable energy Raj Kumar

ministry of finance, has proposed a 70% safeguard duty—

Singh has said.

imposed during import surges—on imported solar cells and modules in order to protect the local industry.

by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in Abu Dhabi on

These are likely to jack up costs and add to the pressure on

Wednesday, the minister said India will need at least $125

solar power projects, thwarting prime minister Narendra

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E

MMVEE Commissioned 1MW Roof Top Solar Power Plant, At Its Solar Water Heater Manufacturing Facility in Dobespet, Karnataka.

At a meeting of the WTO’s dispute settlement body (DSB)

mobilise funds for solar energy projects, minister of state

Delivering the keynote address at an event organised

secretary Gyanesh Chaudhary in a statement.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 6


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 7


International News

T

aiwanese ‘Solar Power Flagship Company’ announced, plans for module factory in the US

Three of Taiwan’s most prominent companies involved in renewable energy technology, on Jan. 29 confirmed a proposed merger to establish a “solar flagship company”

PID (“potential induced degradation”)-free Eagle modules

Survey Digital, a company specializing in sales, installation

to Enerray, an Italian subsidiary of Maccaferri Industrial

& commissioning, and maintenance for solar inverters.

Group and Desert Technologies (‘DT’), a Saudi renewable

Survey Digital has been designated as a certified sales

energy engineering and construction contractor. Enerray and DT acted as turnkey EPC and O&M contractors for this project.

agent and service provider for AlsoEnergy in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). For AlsoEnergy, the top selling independent monitoring

to create a “competitive edge on the global market” for

Located 125 miles north of the Jordanian capital in Ma’an,

Taiwanese solar panel manufacturers.

the 23MW solar park uses 73,320 pieces of JinkoSolar

provider for commercial PV in North America, this

high-efficiency Eagle modules. The project has been

partnership is an opportunity to extend international

completed and is expected to produce approximately 47

coverage for sales and support. AlsoEnergy has expanded

GWh/year for the Red Sea port city of Aqaba and reduce

international offerings over the past several years and

The three companies involved in the merger are; Gintech Energy (TPE:3514), Solartech Energy (TPE:3561) and Neo Solar Power (TPE:3576). An “Extraordinary General Meeting” for the board of all three companies is planned for March 28, when the official resolution will be passed. After the March proceedings the combined company will be named the United Renewable Energy Co Ltd (UREC)

T

rump says solar tariff will create ‘a lot of jobs.’ But it could wipe out many more.

Trump says a tariff on solar-energy cells and panels will create jobs and revive a U.S. manufacturing sector that has been decimated by imports. The tariff sparked controversy in the solar industry after Trump imposed it Jan. 23. A couple of remaining U.S. solarcell manufacturers say it will help them get back on their feet. But the developers that install solar panels and farms - a much larger segment of the industry - say it will hike their costs, kill projects and make it harder to compete with wind and natural gas. Fueled by low prices and innovations in imported solar cells, the U.S. solar market began to grow at a breakneck pace starting in 2010.

CO2 emissions by about 25.000 tons/year. This project marks the first large scale project in the Middle East and is one of the 12 approved PV projects by the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. It is backed by a twenty-year power purchase agreement with the National Electrical Power Transmission Company (NEPCO).

O

T

ariff on foreign-made solar products could cost Minnesota jobs

President Donald Trump promised last week that a new 30 percent tariff on foreign-built solar cells and panels will “create jobs in America for Americans.”

penetration in the EMEA region, providing localized sales and services for the AlsoEnergy product line. Survey Digital will also assume frontline support service for the existing AlsoEnergy install base in the EMEA region.

L

The low prices seen by Alberta’s recent renewable electricity

ocus Energy Announces Active Monitoring & Clarity Fleet Analysis Offerings

auction clearly shows renewable energy has arrived.

Enables residential solar asset owners, loan providers,

The future is here for no-emission, small-scale solar

installers, developers, and distributors to truly understand

power, thanks to Alberta’s abundant, world-class solar

how their PV systems are performing.

utlook is sunny for renewable energy in Alberta

resource. Energy Efficiency Alberta is helping support the growing use of solar energy to generate new jobs, train professionals and earn revenue for Alberta-based solar providers and associated service companies. Energy Efficiency Alberta was created a little more than a year ago. We launched our first program last February and currently have five programs focused on energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy, including our Residential and Commercial Solar Program.

Locus Energy announced the launch of a comprehensive, low-cost monitoring, analytics, and fleet management solution for residential solar sites. The offerings, Active Monitoring and Clarity Fleet Analysis, separate out addressable issues, such as capacity losses, from nonaddressable issues, such as shading and snow losses, in order to increase system uptime and reduce maintenance costs. Locus currently monitors more than 5 GW of solar capacity

But the tariff is bound to change the dynamics. Will it add “a lot of jobs,” as Trump says?

the Survey Digital partnership will enable further market

A

BB to Support Integration of Solar Energy in Saudi Arabia

High voltage switchgear to support Saudi Arabia’s first integrated solar and natural gas power plant. ABB has won an order to supply Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) which will be installed at a substation that will

across more than 130,000 sites and hundreds of different device types globally, with flexible, highly reliable data acquisition services. Leveraging Locus’ expertise as the leading independent residential solar monitoring firm, the new offering ensures that residential sites are well-serviced and performing to expectations.

transmit power from Green Duba, the first integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) power plant in Saudi Arabia. Located

V

erano Capital wins large portion of Argentina’s solar tender to deliver 100 MW project

Curt Shellum, who runs a solar panel installation business

in the country’s north-west, along the Red Sea coast, when

in Rochester, doesn’t see it.

operational in 2018, the energy generated from the plant

The tariff comes too late to save Minnesota’s biggest

will be equivalent to the annual power consumption of

manufacturer of solar panels, which shut its doors in May,

approximately 600,000 Saudi Arabian households. The

Verano

and only one solar-panel plant continues to operate in the

order, worth around $26 million was booked in the fourth

headquartered in Chile, announced that it won 18% of the

state. The effect on installers like Shellum, who rely on the

quarter of 2015.

solar capacity in auction at the Argentinian energy tender

foreign producers that make 90 percent of all solar panels,

The Green Duba power plant will deploy an innovative

with its 100 MW VeCaSo-1 solar project. Located near

is likely to be higher costs.

solution that integrates solar energy and combines with

Mendoza, Verano’s PV project was selected on a winning

Some in the industry fear that the tariff could slow the

natural gas to produce up to 550 megawatts (MW) of

bid at $42.50/MWh.

growth of renewable energy by raising prices, a possibility

electricity, of which 50 MW will be from solar.

that could cost hundreds of solar jobs in the state. The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group, believes roughly 600 of the state’s estimated 4,000 solar jobs may be lost.

J

A

lsoEnergy Partners with Survey Digital for Sales, Installations, and Support in EMEA Region

inkoSolar Supplies 23 MW of Solar Modules to Jordanian Solar Park

For AlsoEnergy, the top selling independent monitoring

Capital,

an

American

project

developer

This is yet another achievement for the company, who completed the development of a project that was awarded a large chunk of the Chilean energy auction just 2 weeks ago. The VeCaSo-1 100 MW project is set to be completed in 2019 and will run on a 20-year “take-or-pay” power purchase agreement. Within this PPA framework, the

provider for commercial PV in North America, this

generator takes on the production risk, with its plant

partnership is an opportunity to extend international

expected to deliver power on a must-run basis. CAMMESA,

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (“JinkoSolar” or the “Company”)

coverage for sales and support.

Argentina’s national utility company, on the other

(NYSE: JKS), a global leader in the solar PV industry, today

AlsoEnergy, a leading provider of monitoring and SCADA

hand, must integrate all of the plant’s output, or remit

announced that it has supplied 23MW of high-efficiency

systems for solar PV, is announcing a partnership with

compensatory energy payments if it fails to do so.

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Solar Quarter • January 2018 8


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 9


In Conversation “Our modules are one of the best options for developers to build sustainable green energy projects.”

MR. Ivan Saha Head -Solar Manufacturing & CTO, Vikram Solar

Besides providing modules, we offer comprehensive

Focusing on innovation, we have signed MOUs with

EPC services ranging from conceptualization, execution,

international tech leaders like teamtechnik, Finwind. In

commissioning and acquisition of developed sites.

addition, we believe that the alliance will help us reduce

We also offer O&M solutions providing preventive and corrective maintenance services for solar plants.

Tell us more about the latest innovations in your product and solution offerings for the Indian market Our latest innovative offering is SOMERA. This Mono-

Let’s begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence and offerings in India? In just a decade’s time, Vikram Solar has contributed to shaping the solar revolution, not only in India, but across continents. With presence across 5 continents today, the group is further expanding at a rapid scale. In India we have presence in West Bengal, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

crystalline module works with 1500V System voltage, has extremely Low Light-Induced Degradation, MC4 compatibility and features Passivated Emitter Rear Contact Technology (PERC) cells, offering highest efficiency up to 19.05% (for 60 cells) & up to 18.45% (for 72 cells). The new monocrystalline modules are conditioned to withstand 2400Pascal Wind load, 5400Pascal Snow load and Dynamic Wind load, which makes them the best option for all geographical locations. Standard tests have revealed that ‘SOMERA’ line can offer 10% higher energy generation output than that of any industry average polycrystalline modules.

As a fully forward- integrated Solar EPC contractor, we deploy world-class technology to design, install and commission benchmark solar projects worldwide. Our total EPC capacity portfolio exceeds 750 MW (commissioned + under execution) (Rooftop + Ground mounted) in India. With projects as unique as India’s first floating solar plant to benchmark projects like India’s largest rooftop airport solar plant, we have an impressive portfolio in a short span of 11 years. We offer solar PV modules within the range of 10 Wp to 350 Wp to our customers. In 2014, we introduced PERC technology-based modules. Our products are mostly highefficiency polycrystalline silicon PV modules.

What exciting opportunities do you see in the Indian and global markets? With awareness growing and more developing countries like- Africa, Philippines, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile etc investing in the renewable energy mix, we see huge potential for solar in the future within both national and global markets, forwarding solar revolution to new heights. With US president Mr. Donald Trump focusing on fossil fuel, it is best time for India to claim the demand gap left by US and become a largest solar contributor globally, thus

A few of our polycrystalline modules are-

increasing demand for domestic manufacturers like us.

72 cell

India’s leadership in ISA will help the country and its

� ELDORA Grand

domestic manufacturers to access virtually untapped solar

� ELDORA Grand Ultima Silver 60 cell � ELDORA Ultima Silver � ELDORA Ultima All Black

markets in 121 countries (members of ISA).

the learning curve and innovate new solutions to the world. Recently we have introduced a new line of mono-crystalline module ‘Somera’ that offers at least 10% more energy generation than industry average poly-crystalline modules. We have already invested more than INR 70 million in R&D. And for the next year, we will heavily focus on not just supporting the Indian and global solar growth but revolutionizing it through innovation.

Quality, Costs and Performance are key concern areas for Indian project developers. How would you like to address these issues for your offerings in India? Quality, performance, and customer centricity are the core ideals of our business. Moreover, since we understand the responsibility we bear as a leading solar manufacturing company we make sure to offer assurance within product and service offerings to our clients. Our modules have global certification standard: � ISO 9001:2008 for manufacture of solar photovoltaic modules and systems; EPC and O&M of plants � ISO

14001:2004

ensuring

globally

benchmarked

environmental management system � ISO 18001:2007 ensuring safe work environment � We are UL 1703 certified, MNRE certified and CEC listed (60 & 72 cell modules), JETPVm certified (Japan) and CAN/CSA certified (Canada) � We have IEC 61215, IEC 61730-2, IEC 61701 and IEC 62804 certifications � We also offer 27 years of linier performance warranty for 60 & 72 cell modules We also have in-house R&D facility that continuously developed test protocols to validate long-term reliability of the modules manufactured. Our products are further tested by world-class, accredited testing facilities, such as

Solar growth in India is also expected to grow and overtake

UL – PTL labs, TuV Rheinland and DNV-GL product test

EU within 2022. And we believe, this is a great new for

labs.

domestic manufacturers in India.

Our modules are one of the best options for developers to

In 2017, India overtook Japan and became the third top

build sustainable green energy projects. Our modules offer

solar market. Within the country, policy developments,

compromised quality and performance over imported

However, in 2017, we introduced a Mono-Crystalline

developing solar parks (approving Rs 8,100 crore for 50

modules.

module with higher energy generation capacity (at least

solar parks), new projects like- 20 GW capacity solar project

10% more than poly crystalline modules). It is named

planning, and India finally thinking about imposing anti-

‘SOMERA’.

dumping on imported solar modules will help domestic

� ELDORA Prime

manufacturers in supporting India solar dream.

Our latest innovative offering is SOMERA. This Monocrystalline module works with 1500V System voltage, has extremely Low Light-Induced Degradation, MC4 compatibility and features Passivated Emitter Rear Contact Technology (PERC) cells, offering

Please could you shed some light on your plans for India over the next 12 months. India reached from 5 GW in 2015 to ~16.6 GW in 2017. It shows incredible and consistent growth rate. To match the pace, and to one day become the largest contributor of Indian solar revolution, we made aggressive plans. Our plans revolve around expansion and innovation, as we believe that following these two components will help the industry to evolve and lead Indian solar revolution to desired heights. Vikram Solar has made elaborate plans to facilitate the growth. The company has expanded its solar manufacturing

highest efficiency up

capacity from 500 MW to 1 GW in 2017. We have addressed

to19.05% (for 60 cells) & up

more than 750 MW EPC projects in India (commissioned +

to 18.45% (for 72 cells).

under execution) (ground mounted + rooftop) and for the next year we will focus towards increasing our contribution level to many folds.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

What differentiates your company’s offerings from your peers? Our dedication to offer quality, performance, and innovative solutions separates us from our competitors and peers. We are India’s second largest module manufacturing capacity holder (500 MW to 1 GW in 2017). We utilize finest machinery and equipment imported from United States, Switzerland, Germany and Japan in our manufacturing factories to uphold the quality and performance promise that comes with products and services of Vikram Solar. Our proven capacity to handle utility scale projects (e.g:130 MW, 80 MW, 50 MW), rooftop projects (over 190 projects commissioned), innovative projects (India’s first floating solar), our portfolio of conservative clients, and airport installations (Calicut, Kolkata, Kochi) testifies our capability and uniqueness in the sector. Recently we have introduced a new line of mono-crystalline module that lower LCOE compared to poly-crystalline modules. It is fair to state that we are one of a kind solar module manufacturers and our offerings and achievements separate us from our competitors.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 10


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 11


In Conversation “We are providing O&M service for more than 35 PV plants across 9 states for more than 600MWp total capacity.” What have been some of the recent developments at your organisation?

the

MR. Ashok D M

Avi Solar strengthened its management team with

avoid generation loss. Skilled manpower to quickly

Chairman & Managing Director,

passionate and successful professionals in their domain.

restore the breakdowns. Planning and Tracking of

Avi Solar Energy Pvt Ltd.

2017 with 26+ years experience. Building robust internal

Let’s begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence and offerings in India?

Mr. Nithin B has joined as CFO and Director in April process to meet the market demand.

Solar Energy in India is on the surge and soon will become a trending industry. What is your outlook on Indian O&M Sector for the next 5 years? Solar Power plants generates energy for 25 years, hence professional O&M service is a key to get maximum energy

frequent

breakdown

points

and

maintaining

the sufficient spares. Local and Remote Monitoring infrastructure to quickly identify the breakdown and

all preventive maintenance activities to reduce the downtime and increase the plant life.

What are your growth plans for the Indian market? What are the milestones you wish to achieve by the end of this fiscal? We are expecting PV plant O&M service to go up from current 600+ MWp to 1000+MWp by end of March

Avi Solar founded in 2010. Offers O&M and EPC services,

from Solar PV plants for it’s entire lifetime. As per MNRE

2018 and may cross 2000MW by end of Dec 2018. We

and Remote monitoring products.

target Solar Power plants capacity expected to cross

are building strong the leadership team to handle this

Avi Solar is rated as No.1 O&M Service provider in the

100GW in next 5 years, Demand for professional O&M

massive market demand. We are also strengthening our

service provider will go up at the same time cost pressure

SCADA and Remote monitoring solution with advance

utility-scale segment in India by GTM Research and SOLICHAMBA. We are providing O&M service for more than 35 PV plants across 9 states for more than 600MWp total capacity.

also be challenging. O&M service provider needs to be innovate in optimizing the cost, reducing the manpower by automation of labour intensive tasks, provide value added services to assess and reduce breakdown when

Avi Solar also has indigenously developed innovative wireless products and solutions for Solar Power plant

plants gets older.

Avi Solar EPC team has successfully commissioned 6 PV

What can be done to increase performance of the project while improving the life of the project?

plants of cumulative size of 18+MW and more than 2MWp

Design and Build PV plant for 25 years life, selection of

Rooftops.

each component with long life is important. Identifying

Remote Monitoring, Asset Management and Solar Analytics.

feature to accurately predict the generation and reduce the plant downtime.

Anything else you would like to add for our readers. Indian market is very cost sensitive, in this process let us not compromise on the quality of plant and machinery, which should be a performing asset of the Country for future generation.

At Sova Solar, we are always passionate about bringing the best to our customers

MR. Krishnendu Mukherjee COO, Sova Solar Ltd.

competitive price to give them the edge in the market.

give major advantages of scale. Moreover, the bouyancy

We are grateful to all of our customers for their support

seen in the Chinese markets bodes well for the Indian

through the years which have helped us grow rapidly in the

industry, as China gets busy in domestic market, India gets

last few years. Now we are present in all the major markets

the opportunity to explore new horizons such as Africa and

in India and we are getting patronage from customers from

Latin America.

Kashmir in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south

What excites me most is that now the Govt is envisioning

and from Gujrat in the west to Nagaland in the east. We are having our offices and warehouses in seven points all over India for catering to the local demands.

Sova Solar are a global leader in the solar industry. Could you please tell us about your current business presence in India?.

Tell us more about the latest innovations in your product and solution offerings for the Indian market. At SOVA SOLAR, we are always passionate about bringing the best to our customers. For this we have tied up with

Thanks very much for your appreciation. SOVA SOLAR

IIT-Kgp for technical support and our R&D team is carrying

has been and is continuously striving towards excellence,

out extensive tests to increase the yield. We have achieved

to bring to our customers best in class products at a

ZERO conversion losses at commercial scale production level. We are bringing to the market Mono-PERC and HJT

We are in collaboration with our technology collaborators on various issues to ensure that SOVA SOLAR remains in the fore front to serve our esteemed customers with the best in class products.

Modules. We have also developed a portfolio for coloured modules for BIPV applications.

What exciting opportunities do you see in the Indian and global markets? India has always been the land of opportunities, and with the pro active support of the Govt. we now stand at the doorsteps of a golden future. The structural changes along with the pro renewable policy of the Govt has opened several doors for the Indian manufacturers. And as the GST operations get smoothed out the competitiveness of the Indian Industry will rise and we will be at par with Global competitors. Also the capacity expansion of the players will

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

power-plants of capacities of multiples of tens of GIGA WATT, and vertically integrated companies in INDIA. I believe that we Indians have the capability make the best utilisation of this opportunity and shine.

Please could you shed some light on your plans for India over the next 12 months. SOVA SOLAR has been in the growth mode since inception and today it is the opportune time to accelerate on the growth trajectory and we are also gearing up for the same. As of now some major developments are under the wraps and we hope to unveil them in short while.

What have been some of the technology new trends in the module industry and how have you geared up for the same? The Solar Industry is a rapidly developing field and obviously we have ensured that our investments are safe in terms of technology, and utility. Like 5 BB has come to the market and now some new exciting technologies coming us like HJT cells, wire mesh type cells etc which have the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of Solar Modules. We are in collaboration with our technology collaborators on various issues to ensure that SOVA SOLAR remains in the fore front to serve our esteemed customers with the best in class products.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 12


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 13


In Conversation AMPL Cleantech, group’s renewable energy arm has been performing consistently and became one of the most prominent players over the last decade. We deploy products and equipments and technology of the highest standards which are certified by International

Company has

Agencies and works with ISO certified EPC contractors to build the projects and deliver quality and value for its Mr. Brijesh Gupta CEO, AMPL Cleantech Pvt. Ltd

already established

customers.

its presence in the

What has been company’s growth strategy in the past?

ground mounted Utility Scale plants

As a part of the company’s growth vision, ‘to make renewable energy the leading contributor to the energy system and

and now would

thereby offering an environment friendly sustainable zero emission power supply through operational and

Can you explain us about AMPL’s business model in India? AMPL Cleantech is the corporate venturing subsidiary of Atha Group, India’s leading integrated mining and renewable company based out of Kolkata. Atha Group has over 60 years of experience in the Mining Industry. It is a diversified business house with interest in Iron Ore, Power, Sponge iron, Calcined Petroleum coke and Renewable Energy. AMPL Cleantech, group’s renewable energy arm has been performing consistently and became one of the most prominent players over the last decade.

organization talent.

solar segment and

Can you explain us about the company’s future growth plans, and strategy going forward? and another 200 MW of solar power projects are in pipeline which are expected to be commission by the end of 2019. And we are aiming to achieve a target of 1000 MW by 2020. This is completely in sync with our Governments ‘India 2022 renewable energy portfolio represents its integrated element for growth, industrial innovation, leadership and competitiveness as well as for reducing emissions. We

stiff bidding process

lower energy costs and revenues for government and local

Power utilities who

aim to generate more jobs, investments, infrastructure, communities in the coming years. We would continue to focus primarily on diversification, vertical and horizontal integration, organic growth and

are also our major

M&As. AMPL would continue to create robust solar and

buyers of electricity,

that will be a key contributor towards our sustainability.

wind energy assets with the state of the art technology

we follow the best in

Company has already established its presence in the

class technology to

in to fast growing rooftop solar segment and grid level

provide high quality output.

ground mounted Utility Scale plants and now would enter energy storage solutions. We also believe that the future growth for the segment would come from a mix of Government and Private Tenders apart from the M&A route. We will follow a similar strategy for growth in our foreign operations such as South Africa,

Explain AMPL’s presence in India and the Technology that the company currently puts in use The company has 9 operating solar power plants and wind power farms with capacity of 200 MW spread across Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Today we have one of the best technologies adapted across segments in order to cater to the best needs of our customers. As we win projects largely through a stiff bidding process of Central and State Power utilities who are also our major buyers of electricity, we follow the best in class technology to provide high quality output. NTPC Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (NVVN) & Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) are our major customers with an off take of more than 50% of the energy produced. The rest of the power has been bought by state utilities of MP, Telangana and Karnataka. We have already bagged tender from the TN State power utility to buy 200 MW of power. It is one of our largest projects in the country and expected to be completed by end of 2019.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

grid level energy storage solutions.

AMPL has already built a solar asset base of over 200 MW

largely through a of Central and State

growing rooftop

country’ AMPL has been focusing more towards building

strategic growth plans’. For us the expansion of company’s

As we win projects

enter in to fast

managerial excellence and passion for people in this

Namibia, other parts of Asia Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka.

About AMPL AMPL Cleantech is the corporate venturing subsidiary of Atha Group, India’s leading integrated mining and renewable company. AMPL Cleantech is into renewable energy and independent power producer; a developer of utility-scale ground-mounted solar and wind farms, with a successful track record of over 200 MW of solar and wind power projects. It envisages to contribute to increasing available energy supplies and proven technologies by investing in clean energy generation projects. Solar energy is increasingly competitive and accounts for a growing share of our energy portfolio. AMPL Cleantech, is targeting to add 200 – 300 MW to its solar portfolio in the current Financial Year and also looking forward to enter into rooftop solar solutions. India represents a strategic market for us due to its high levels of solar radiation, its electrical base load and consumption, its level of development and relative economic and investment stability within the region.

Profile of Brijesh Gupta Brijesh Gupta is the CEO of AMPL Cleantech, a corporate venturing subsidiary of Atha Group. It is India’s leading, integrated mining and renewable energy company based out of Kolkata with projects spanning across the country. Brijesh is currently responsible for the company’s business operations, performance and transformation of businesses across segments through organic and inorganic means.

We deploy products

Brijesh has a work experience of over 25 years and a commendable track record of strategizing managing

and equipments and

and execution of business plans for some of the top

technology of the

companies such as Lloyds Group, Raymond, ESSAR, Ispat

highest standards which are certified by International

corporate houses in the country. In the past he worked with and Adani Group. He has diverse experience in handling multiple sectors for corporates in India. At Adani he was heading the P&L of the private sector coal trading business and Essar he was handling various roles, major being laying foundation for International foray

Agencies and works

in steel and mining sector as a Senior Vice President. He

with ISO certified EPC

raw material business plan and developing strategy

contractors to build the projects and deliver quality and value for its customers.

was also responsible for securitisation of the steel business for acquisitions and Joint ventures, due diligence and feasibility studies. Brijesh had played a larger role in Essar for the development of mining assets for allotted captive blocks in India and Middle East. Brijesh is widely recognized for his management skills, organization building and performance oriented directives in the Industry.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 14


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1800 2121 2121 321 321 1800 Solar Quarter • January 2018 15


In Conversation “We are looking to play a key role in development of the sector, by providing longer tenor debt to operational projects” So, on one hand, we have to deal with extremely low tariffs

Worldwide, there

for new bids which have built in the positives in the bid

is a conscious shift

price while ignoring the negatives. And many of those negatives are coming true – module prices are at above 35 Mr. Anirban Das

cents whereas 25 cents was assumed, no clarity on GST etc.

Associate Vice President,

Customs duty on imported modules and Anti-dumping

Kotak Infrastructure Debt Fund

from fossil fuels to renewables, and

duty are also on their way, let’s hope those are applicable

India will not be

on a prospective basis only.

any different. There

On the other side, these low bids are also making developers of earlier projects jittery about the possibility

will be temporary

of tariff renegotiation.

Please brief us about Kotak Infrastructure Debt Fund’s operation in Renewable Energy Sector?

In the last two years what kind of different projects has your company invested in?

Kotak Infrastructure Debt Fund (“KIDF”) is the newest entity

span of time, we have invested in renewable projects across

in Kotak Mahindra Group, representing the group’s focussed

states, programs and timelines. We have exposure to wind

entry into long term funding for the infrastructure sector,

and solar projects operational for more than 5-6 years as

and renewables is a core focus area for KIDF, forming 30%-

well as around 1-2 years. We have invested in renewable

40% of the current asset book. We are working as long

projects in a tariff range of Rs. 3.56 – Rs. 10.

term partners with quality sponsors who have a proven project track record.

turbulences, but the sector will remain a long-term attractive

We are only a year old company. However, within this short

bet at macro level. However, for a technology intensive sector like solar, it is more relevant to look into the module quality since we are talking about a timeframe of around 15-20 years here.

We have exposure to counterparties like NTPC Vidyut

This assumes even higher importance with the low tariffs

Vyapar Nigam Ltd. (NVVN), Solar Energy Corporation of

– conducting detailed due diligence is critical. Just seeing

KIDF has a lean and well-knit team where each team

India (SECI) as well as state DISCOMS of Gujarat, Telangana

the module manufacturer name in Tier I list may not be

member has significant experience in the infrastructure

etc. This is a constantly evolving sector and the only way

enough anymore, It is time to expand scope of lenders’

sectors, particularly renewables and roads. This has enabled

to stay relevant is to stay abreast with happenings in the

engineer assignments - bills of material for cells sourcing,

us to quickly devise a well-defined strategy towards the

sector on a day to day basis. We are an India-centric,

specifications of back sheet, tests for long term degradation

renewables sector and leverage relationships to implement

knowledge driven institution and we keep upgrading

etc. We also need to build in replacements needed during

the same.

our intellectual capital that enables us to take informed

the project life, especially for inverters. Then there is the

We are looking to play a key role in development of the

investment decisions.

question of financial health of module manufacturers,

sector, by providing longer tenor debt to operational

can we stipulate bankruptcy insurance to cover for such

developers getting longer tenor funds at competitive rates

What are investors looking for while investing in solar projects?

while the lender is protected from construction risk, and

One thing is clear – renewable energy is going to provide

banks’ books are freed up of Asset-Liability Management

bulk of the capacity addition going forward. And this is

The other key risk falls under the broad category of

(ALM) issues.

true not only for India, we are following a well-established

counterparty risk - which are the DISCOMs on whom long

In addition, KIDF brings with it the benefits of the full range

global trend. So, in spite of all the concerns, there will be

term calls can be taken? What are the tariff levels with

of financial services provided by Kotak. We are in an ideal

investments in solar.

which we are comfortable? What is a reasonable amount of

position to provide developers a one stop solution to most

We are currently still in a phase where solar / wind plays

requirements – ranging from long term debt to structured

a role of complementing thermal capacity as base load,

funding to capital market solutions (both debt and equity).

but a shift to a regime where renewables actually replaces

projects. It serves as a win-win situation for all parties –

What are the risks involved in raising the capital for renewable energy projects?

thermal energy is not really far-fetched any more. The government is doing its bit by actively promoting the

situations? There could be some resistance as it adds to the module price, but in the long run, developers will also benefit.

sponsor skin in the game? etc. Every lender would generally have a comfort level defined for each of these parameters. The levels will defer across institutions depending on risk appetite, as well as for the same institution over time as part of constant recalibration on basis of market feedback.

sector - the 100 GW target may not be achieved by 2022,

One last key risk factor, and it deserves a separate mention,

but it certainly acts as a strong signal of intent. Investors

is evacuation risk. Renewable energy, especially wind,

Renewables is a capital intensive sector, with almost annuity

will always be interested in clean energy in a country where

poses significant challenges to the grid due to its inherent

type returns spread over a long tenor (25 years or more). Such

such clear intent is present.

variable nature. This might not have been that important till

long tenors come bundled with associated uncertainties to

And if we look at the recent guidelines for future solar

the annuity type cash flows – be it the regulatory framework,

as well as wind auctions, there are significant steps that

interest rates, exchange rates or the technology itself.

have been taken towards addressing the single most

Technology improvement coupled with demand supply

important risk factor, i.e. counterparty risk. National

dynamics driven by Chinese manufacturers has been a

Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) / SECI is brought

particularly important factor for solar energy. From 2011

in as counterparty (or state government guarantees

onwards – which is roughly when grid scale solar projects

are provided for state DISCOM PPAs), provisions for

Anything else you would like to add?

began in the country - tariffs have dropped from Rs. 17 to

termination payment and deemed generation brought

I would go back to the old concept – infrastructure has to

Rs. 2.44 today. It’s a structural change, solar moving from

in. We are also talking about load shedding being

take lead for a country to grow. Augmentation of power

the realm of CSR to actually becoming the mainstay of all

penalised - proper implementation of this shall correct

generation capacity is critical and renewables would form

future power generation capacity addition.

the artificial reduction in power deficit.

bulk of the incremental addition. Government measures have

However, there is a flip side to this welcome development.

As an investor, I would be positive about the macros and

Almost every new auction results in a new record low

the intent.

tariff, it also raises a question mark about procurers

a year ago as renewables formed a very small proportion of the power mix, but steady augmentation of evacuation capabilities would be of critical importance for sustainable growth of the sector. As a lender, looking at the evacuation system and associated approvals will be a key requirement.

been largely positive. Steps have been announced to plug some of the key loopholes such as termination payments, deemed generation, curtailing load shedding, etc. At the same time, regulators need to be careful about

available to DISCOMS that would make life difficult for

What are the key Risks faced by lenders while funding Solar Projects and which mitigation strategies can be used

developers. Contract enforcement, as it is, is not a strong

All risk factors that are applicable for equity investors are

Worldwide, there is a conscious shift from fossil fuels to

point for India as a country. And these PPAs are quite weak

equally applicable for lenders, since we are funding over

renewables, and India will not be any different. There will

in terms of safeguards provided to developers in the event

75% of the project cost. Construction timelines and land

be temporary turbulences, but the sector will remain a

of procurer default.

acquisition plays a part, as in any infrastructure project.

long-term attractive bet at macro level.

honouring earlier higher tariff contracts. And I am not even talking about Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) being renegotiated. There are enough mechanisms outside PPA

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

measures like anti-dumping duty. We need to maintain a fine balance - the Make in India initiative cannot come at the cost of jeopardising growth of the sector itself.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 16


In Conversation Sprng Energy is a renewable energy platform set-up in early 2017 with an objective of build 2GW+ renewable energy assets

Mr. Gaurav Sood CEO, SPRNG

As a developer, what key challenges do you face today?

All these create high uncertainties for developers in execution

The solar industry is facing some serious headwinds:

Which states do you believe lead see maximum solar energy investments this year?

1. There is a wrong classification of modules under HS Code – Most of the port authorities currently are considering the panels being imported under ‘8501’ instead of earlier classification ‘8541’, resulting in custom authorities to ask for a BG/ Provisional Duty (PD) Bond to tune of 7.5% of the import value. 2. Further, there is an ongoing anti-dumping investigation initiated by DGAD to evaluate whether dumping

Let’s start with the recent developments at your SPRNG Energy in last one year.

is happening for cells and modules from specific countries. One of the challenges the industry faces is that the domestic manufacturing industry is not equipped to deliver good quality solar cells to tune of

Sprng Energy is a renewable energy platform set-up in

more than 1GW whereas the government targets to

early 2017 with an objective of build 2GW+ renewable

install at least 10 GW of solar capacity every year for

energy assets to deliver competitive solar and wind energy.

next couple of years to meet the committed target of

In our first year of operation, we have won two prestigious

100 GW of solar by 2022. This has resulted in paradox,

projects –

as, any dumping duty if levied, would translate in

1. 250MW Rewa Solar Project at levelized tariff of INR 3.3/

higher cost of electricity for end user and also it would

kWh. The project achieved financial closure (lead by IFC and L&T Finance) and is under construction with L&T Limited providing EPC services. 2. 197.5MW Gujarat Wind project at flat tariff of INR 2.43/ kWh for which PPA was signed in January and project execution would start this year with commissioning due by June 2019.

become challenging to install the required capacities in line with expectations of government. 3. In first week of January, Directorate General of Safeguards recommended an imposition of provisional safeguard duty at rate of 70% ad valorem for imports of “Solar Cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels” from China and Malaysia.

of existing projects and for bidding of future projects.

This year Rajasthan, MP, Karnataka, AP and Gujarat should be the leading states for solar investments.

As the assets become older, will aggressive bidding today become a pain point for the industry a few years down the line? Solar power assets have all along been allocated through transparent competitive bidding route. The tariffs over the years have come down on account of lower capital costs, operating costs, financing costs and technical advancements in terms of higher efficiency modules, bigger inverters, trackers, robotic cleaning, 1500V system etc. So, there cannot be a comparison between currently prevailing tariffs and tariffs of earlier PPA’s. Hence don’t see this becoming an issue in future.

At what price do you see solar tariffs stabilising in future tenders? Currently there are lot of uncertainties in the solar industry. In case these don’t play out, tariffs should generally be around INR 3/kWh, with states having higher irradiation and lower land costs seeing lower tariffs and vice-versa.

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Solar Quarter • January 2018 17


Industry Perspective

E

With Recent Advancements In Energy Storage Technology, How Will Indian Solar Sector Shape Up? nergy storage systems play a vital role to enhance capacity firming and smoothing the variable &

intermittent power output from solar plants.

ESS also

support in energy time shift, peak shaving and power quality applications. The need for Energy Storage is thus indispensable in lieu of growing share of solar power in India’s energy basket.

Though, solar has already reached grid parity in India with tariff going as low as INR

With the year on year declining price trend of solar and energy storage technologies, the time is not very far when

2.44/kWh which has been a

not only commercial and industrial customers but also residential customers would become prosumers where

result of Government’s push

they will produce and consume the electricity in-house and this will be possible with the hybrid solution of solar and

for renewable energy; energy

storage. Though, solar has already reached grid parity in India with tariff going as low as INR 2.44/kWh which has been a result of Government’s push for renewable energy; energy

storage is not very far behind from reaching the grid parity

storage is not very far behind from reaching the grid

in the years to come.

parity in the years to come as the prices of energy storage technologies specially preferred Lithium-Ion batteries are going to see further downward trend due to push from the electric vehicle, grid scale storage projects and huge investment in the technology not only in India but across the globe as well.

W

Another market which will grow in the near future will be

Mr. Anant Nahata Managing Director, Exicom Power Solutions

second life of the battery where the batteries (after few modifications) from the electric vehicles after their life can be used for the solar applications which will further reduce the solution cost of solar plus storage.

e are at the very early stages of a Energy storage

deployed , in case of the residential segment it has been

revolution. It is pretty early days for us to ponder

mainly behind the meter applications , to increase reliability

over the effect of increased energy storage in the Grid and

and mainly for backup applications. For C&I customers, the

impact on the growth of Solar Installed capacity in India.

application has been mainly to reduce demand charges.

If we were to look at other markets, like the US which

So if you see, the initial spurt in demand for storage is

installed 700 MWH of batter storage in CY 2017, most of

happening independent of solar capacity in advanced

it has gone into two markets. Largest offtake has been in

markets. Grid applications are just beginning to take off.

the Commercial and Industrial Segment with the residential

It is important to realize that Energy storage offers some

segment coming a close second.

Grid applications have

services to the Grid . it could be frequency management,

been far and few between, and utilities are just looking at

RE firming / smoothing, T&D investment deferral, time

storage deployments. Utilities in California and New York

shifting etc., In mature power markets these services

have just come out with some interesting schemes to

are priced in the electricity markets, which in turn create

incentivize storage deployment and we expect this to lead

viable use-cases for storage deployment. In the absence

the initiallarge scale deployments next year. If one were

of Power market maturity in India, I do not see private

to look at the applications where this 700 MWH has been

deployment of storage taking off in a big way for now. The initial demand and deployment will be Utility owned as we can see in the first lot of tenders have been issued by

Regulators play a key role here. Given the current cost structure of storage, it competes well with Diesel based power and so in offgrid applications and in island grids it does make immediate

NTPC, NLC and other PSUs. While acknowledging the role of storage in firming up intermittent Renewable power ,at this point of time , it is difficult to come up with business cases for solar storage hybrids to leverage the synergies that such a combination will bring to the Grid. Also the regulators would need to warm up to the potential that Storage offers to the Grid and put in place enabling market and legislation gets tempted to choose winners. It is essential that we drive growth of these new technologies in a technological agnostic manner, and purely by market

forecasting and scheduling

mechanisms. Regulators play a key role here. Given the

their current level, there might emerge a few cases for deployment.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

In mature power markets

mechanisms that can price Grid services. Too often policy

sense. If the penalties for for solar plants go up from

Mr. P. Vinay Kumar Chief Operating Officer, Greenko Group

these services are priced in the electricity markets,

current cost structure of storage, it competes well with Diesel based power and so in offgrid applications and in

which in turn create viable

island grids it does make immediate sense. If the penalties for forecasting and scheduling for solar plants go up from their current level, there might emerge a few cases for deployment.

use-cases for storage deployment.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 18


The Solar Revolution is on the fast track.

n Technology first time in India. ®

Exceptional performance under thermal stress

in low light

Glass and polymer with anti-reflective coating

ely light

OP NS

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

MODULE MOUNTING STRUCTURES

INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCER

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SOLAR WATER PUMP

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1800 2121 321 Solar Quarter • December 2017 15 Solar Quarter • January 2018 19


Industry Perspective

With Recent Advancements In Energy Storage Technology, How Will Indian Solar Sector Shape Up?

S

torage is meant to bring stability to an infirm

border posts, islands, micro-grids, resorts. The last mile

life. However, it is bound to make infirm RE more

infra in Indian grid will continue to have reliability issues,

exciting and moreso solar, considering that it has both the

especially in Tier 3 towns and this is where energy storage,

distributed and large (as other RE) versions. In my view, the

sold as part of solar kits, will grow as DIY systems or

impact on residential solar and open access projects would

through local distributors.

be the most exciting.

Large solar will include Discom sale and private sale

Distributed solar on unreliable grids or off grids will both

projects. Sale – to – Discom projects will benefit from a

flourish with storage prices coming down. On-grid versions

reliable grid that will be supported by energy storage,

will include residential solar and small commercial sectors,

either as frequency regulation support or if the grid

for example- telecom towers, petrol pumps, toll plazas,

operator decides to add energy for storage and hence

highway restaurants and off-grids versions will include

absorb energy and consequently expand the ulitization of grid infrastructure. The impact on open access projects, in comparison, will be very different. Open access projects

Large solar will include

bank on “banking”. Banking regulations allow these projects to store their generation into the grid bank, from which

Discom sale and private

their customer can withdraw energy as and when required.

sale projects. Sale – to –

The bank’s passbook is the customer’s monthly electricity

Discom projects will benefit

bill which reflects the deposit and withdrawal from the grid bank. Unfortunately, the grid owner (Transco) is a not-so-

from a reliable grid that

distant-cousin of the Discom and Discoms are not really

will be supported by energy

fond of open access projects for the simple reason that

storage, either as frequency regulation support or if the grid operator decides to add energy for storage and hence absorb energy and consequently expand the ulitization of grid

these projects take away their creditworthy commercial

Mr. Guru Inder Mohan Singh Director and COO, Amplus Solar

& industrial consumers. And therefore, the banking regulations may change or even vanish. And because

As should be obvious from the above, energy

open access projects have been or will be setup under

storage is a toll of free markets, bringing

policies that provide 10 to 15year certainty on banking,

power to consumer, away from regulations.

they would be left with 10 to 15year project life but no banking facility. It is at this point, that energy storage will move in and create a new business model, where on-call and dispatchable power will be available for sale.

infrastructure.

I

n the distributed solar market, the adoption of

One major hurdle in adoption of solar with storage is

energy storage will be driven by microgrids for rural

the upfront CAPEX associated with the batteries and

electrification, diesel replacement for cost savings and

incremental costs of hybrid inverters over grid-tied

need for environment friendly power generation. State

inverters. To tackle this problem, service providers will have

governments should also promote behind-the-meter

to provide OPEX or a combination of CAPEX and OPEX

energy storage to reduce peak demands, smoothen

model to the customers, and companies having strong

out the variability and bring stability to the grid. From

financing abilities will do well in this segment. Service and

the supply side, the adoption is getting accelerated by

maintenance requirements would also go up with storage

technological advancements such as increasing efficiency

and customers should choose EPC companies with strong

and cycle-life of both Lead-Acid and Lithium-Ion batteries,

servicing ability to alleviate this concern.

globally reducing costs of Lithium-Ion batteries (73% reduction from 2010 to 2016), and innovations in battery management systems. Looking at the cost economics for diesel replacement, the cost of energy provided by solar plus storage is close to INR 14 per kWh with typical VRLA Gel batteries. Compared to the unit cost of diesel power generation, which range between INR 19 to 21 per kWh, the solar system with storage offers a compelling saving of INR 5-7 per kWh. The total cost of ownership still favours VRLA Gel batteries over Lithium-Ion batteries; however, that will change in next couple of years as the prices of Lithium-Ion batteries reduce further. Even today, applications where faster discharge rates are required and space availability is a constraint, Lithium-Ion batteries have an advantage over Lead-Acid batteries.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

From the supply side, the adoption is getting accelerated by technological advancements such as increasing efficiency and cycle-life of both Lead-Acid and Lithium-Ion batteries, globally reducing costs of Lithium-Ion batteries.

Mr. Vinayak Kathare Senior Manager, New Initiatives Fourth Partner Energy

Solar Quarter • January 2018 20


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Industry Insights AC-Coupled Systems

Figure 3: AC-coupled solar+storage system

AC-coupled solar+storage systems, shown in Figure 3, are

Critical loads are now energized through a combination of

ideal for existing solar installations. This is because the

solar generated power and stored energy flowing through

existing connection from solar array to grid-tied inverter will

the two inverters.

not need to be rewired.

When power is restored to the grid, the battery-based

However, some grid-tied inverters are more sensitive to

inverter transfer switch is again triggered, reconnecting the

changes in AC supply than others, so it is important to

system to the central grid.

research existing inverter specifications prior to adding

The battery-based inverter is equipped with a charge

storage onto a solar system. Some inverter manufacturers do not support the use of their equipment in AC-coupled storage installations.

controller to prevent battery overcharging. However, in situations where there is a low load and fully charged battery, islanded AC-coupled systems must be designed to

In an AC-coupled system, the grid-tied solar inverter

control the output power flowing from the grid-tied inverter.

essentially replaces the charge controller in a DC-coupled

The most common control methods are to knock the grid-

system. Both the grid-tied inverter and battery-based

tied inverter offline, use a diversion load to soak up excess

for new solar+storage installations.

inverter are connected directly to a critical load subpanel.

power, or curtail inverter output by direct control signals.

AC-coupled systems are generally more scalable and more

The subpanel acts as the point where the two inverters can

Using a blackout relay to knock the grid-tied inverter off-

easily expandable than DC-coupled systems, and AC-

couple and share energy to meet a facility’s electricity needs.

line is the cheaper and less complicated approach and is

cases when AC-coupled systems are more desirable even

coupling makes it a fairly simple process to incorporate additional AC backup generators. Incorporating energy

Under normal conditions, when the grid is available, energy

sufficient for most solar+storage applications. Once the

from the solar array flows through the grid-tied inverter,

battery is drained enough to accept further charging, the

which converts solar DC power to AC, and on to the critical

grid-tied inverter is brought back online. Systems with solar

load subpanel. Any additional energy not used to power

generation capabilities much larger than available battery

these critical loads moves on through the battery-based

capacity may want to consider using a diversion load. A

inverter to power loads connected to the main circuit breaker

diversion load is simply an additional load that can perform

DC systems.

panel or is converted back to DC to charge the battery bank

useful work by utilizing excess solar energy. Devices such as

Another potential benefit is that the battery-based inverter

when needed. Excess energy is once again exported to the

water heaters and space heaters are commonly employed

and the solar PV system’s grid-tied inverter act independently

central grid.

as diversion loads.

in AC-coupled systems, so that maintenance or trouble-

In the event of a grid outage, the battery-based inverter

Because solar energy in an AC-coupled system must

shooting on one of the systems doesn’t necessarily require

automatically disconnects the system from the grid and

undergo two conversions, DC to AC through the grid-tied

shut down of the other system.

keeps the grid-tied inverter online by using energy drawn

inverter and AC back to DC through the battery-based

In general, DC-coupled systems are the first choice for new

from the battery as a power source. The grid-tied inverter

inverter, before being stored in the battery bank, AC-

installations, as they tend to be less complex and more

doesn’t distinguish whether it is being powered by the grid

coupled systems typically have lower overall efficiencies

efficient. AC-coupled systems are the lower-cost approach

or the battery and thus continues to operate as normal.

than DC-coupled systems. However, there are still some

for retrofits with existing solar systems in place.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

storage on the AC side of the system may also be preferred to avoid transmission losses when there is a long distance between the solar array and battery bank, though higher voltage charge controllers have improved performance in

Solar Quarter • January 2018 21


India’s 40 Most Promising Young Business Leaders In The Solar Industry T op

Akshay Mittal & Abhay Mittal Directors Bluebird Solar Private Limited

Kuldeep Jain Managing Director Cleanmax Solar

Raghunath VC Director SWELECT Energy Systems Ltd

E ntrepreneur

Ashok DM Managing Director & Chairman Avi Solar Energy Pvt Ltd

Amit Bansal Director Vivaan Solar

Manan Thakkar Director Prozeal Infra Engineering Private Limited

Saurabh Bhandari Founder SolarMaxx

Sachin Jain Co-Founder & CEO Oriano Solar

T op

Gaurav Sood CEO SPRNG Energy Pvt Ltd

Munjal Rangwala CEO Harsha Abakus Solar

Kapil Maheshwari CEO Hinduja Renewables Pvt Ltd

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Chintan P Shah Director Sunelec

Dev Arora Founder- CEO 8minutes

Pinaki Bhattacharyya CEO & Co-Founder AMP Solar India

Saurabh Jakhotia Director Spark Solar

Prashant Kothari Director Cleantech Solar

Shailesh Vaidya Co Founder, CEO Scorpius Trackers Private Limited

Shekhar Singal Managing Director, EAPL Eastman Auto & Power Limited

executives

Ashok Nehra CEO Enfrosun Power Pvt Ltd

Guru Inder Mohan Singh Director & COO Amplus Solar

Naveen Khandelwal Chief Investment & Strategy Officer Hero Future Energies

Solar Quarter • January 2018 22


India’s 40 Most Promising Young Business Leaders In The Solar Industry T op

Gagan Vermani Founder & CEO MYSUN

Punit Goyal Managing Director and CEO PLG

Shobit Rai Managing Director Prozeal Infra Engineering Pvt Ltd

E ntrepreneur

Gajanan Yadav Managing Director Vedanjay Power Pvt ltd

Gyanesh Chaudhary Kumar Managing Director & CEO Vikram Solar Limited

rahul dasari Co-Founder & Director Sunshot Technologies

Anshumaan Bhatnagar Co-Founder & Director Sunshot Technologies

Simarpreet Singh Director Strategy Hartek Group

Sishir Garemella Founder/CEO Sunvest Energy Private Limited

T op

Anirban Das Associate Vice President Kotak Infrastructure Debt Fund

Hemant Tikkoo Executive Committee Member Orange Renewable

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Hitaksh Sachar Director Asun Solar Power Private Limited

Karan Dangayach Managing Director Shashwat Cleantech Pvt. Ltd.

Rahul Goswami Founder and Managing Director Greenstone Energy Advisors

Indrajeet Dudile Co-Founder & Director Sunshot Technologies

Uday Doshi CEO / Founder Excelsior Engineering Solutions

Vikram Dileepan CEO SolarTown

Vineet Mittal Director Navitas Solar

executives

C Chaudhary Head Solar Ostro Energy Pvt. Ltd

Hiten Girish Parekh Head - Everest Solar Everest Industries Limited

Manish Singhal Head - International Business Mahindra Susten

Solar Quarter • January 2018 23


Industry Insights Everything you need to know about commercial solar battery storage It’s not hard to see why the

offset the costs of their

talk and excitement around

energy usage, so demand

commercial

battery

tends to predictably rise

storage just keeps growing

and then fall over the

with each passing month.

course of a day.

As the price of batteries

Look familiar? If you’re a

solar

continues to fall—and their performance to

rise—more

continues and

more

companies are taking a closer look at how battery storage can dramatically lower their monthly energy bills, especially when combined with a commercial solar panel system.

The batteries behind solar storage First, let’s talk about the batteries typically used in commercial solar energy storage. Besides their size and the software used to manage them, the batteries you’d use to deliver power to your business are very similar to the ones you’d find in a cell phone, cordless drill or electric car.

typical business, it should. Now, let’s see what happens when we add solar power to the picture, where energy from the sun can be used to significantly reduce the number of kilowatt-hours needed at certain times of the day. That load profile might look something like this: As you can see in the orange area in the graphic above, the energy produced by solar is greatest between

Just like in those devices, most of the battery storage

around

systems in large-scale commercial settings use lithium-

every day (i.e., when the

ion chemistry, and are about the size of a refrigerator

sun is shining), dramatically

(or several refrigerators, depending on how much power

reducing

you need). And just like their little brothers, these battery

needed during that period.

storage systems get charged up (in this case, from energy

But what about the time

and utility savings achieved by reducing demand charges.

produced by solar panels) and store power, then discharge

outside that period, when the business still needs significant

Even if you don’t purchase a commercial solar battery

that power whenever it’s needed.

power, but there isn’t enough sunlight available to offset

storage system outright, you can still benefit from these

that demand with solar? Can those remaining spikes, or

rebates and credits as pass-alongs from your provider.

peaks, in demand be further flattened out to help save a

So how do you know if a combined solar power and

business money? They sure can—and that’s where solar

battery storage solution is right for your business? It really

As you probably know, commercial utility customers pay

battery storage kicks in.

comes down to how your business uses energy throughout

for the power they use (measured in kilowatt-hours, or

Take a look at the graphic above. The lighter blue area

the day, month and year. Most solar providers should be

kWh) and demand charges, based on their highest usage

shows how batteries can be charged in the first part of

able to provide an in-depth analysis of your load profile,

(measured in kilowatts, or kW) within a billing cycle. This

the day; the darker blue area shows where they can be

including how your overall power consumption and spikes

means a business is billed for spikes in usage beyond the

discharged later in the day to reduce, or flatten, those

in demand could be offset by the installation of solar

number of kilowatt-hours they use, which could result in

peaks in demand. As you can imagine, in parts of the

panels and a battery storage system. At the same time, they

hundreds if not thousands of dollars every month in added

country where demand charges are high, the savings an

should be able to give you a clear picture of the rebates,

costs. In some states, these demand charges make up more

organization gets from a 100- to 200-watt reduction in

credits and other incentives available in your area when

than half of a commercial customer’s monthly utility bill.

peak demand can be substantial, making commercial solar

you invest in solar and energy storage for your business.

While alternative sources of energy like solar can absolutely

battery storage a great cost-saving solution.

Thanks to the latest advancements in commercial solar

Financial benefits of battery storage

help offset these demand charges (not to mention the

7am

the

and

5pm

kilowatts

battery storage, the opportunity to save thousands in

can be most effective in reducing (or “shaving,” as it’s also

Is solar energy storage right for your organization?

called) these peak periods, by delivering their stored power

Now, we’ve seen how battery storage works in conjunction

right solutions, be sure to ask how solar energy storage

on-demand.

with solar, and how it can make a lot of sense for a business

can be included with your system, so you can determine

At this point, it might help to see some pictures to get a

looking to reduce high monthly demand charges. Before

whether it’s the right choice for your business.

obvious offsets for power usage), it’s really batteries that

better idea of how demand charges work, how solar can offset them, and how battery storage can help reduce them

of commercial battery storage—and how to figure out whether it might be a worthwhile solution for your business.

available.

Many people assume the only option is an outright

First, let’s look at a typical commercial customer’s load profile, where power is mostly used during the day. In this case, the customer isn’t using solar or battery storage to

As you evaluate commercial solar power providers and the

we finish up, let’s take a look at some of the practicalities

even further in times and situations when solar power isn’t

How do solar batteries work?

demand charges every year is real—and really significant.

purchase of an on-site solar energy storage system, with costs that typically start in the tens of thousands of dollars and go up from there. However, an ever-increasing number of solar power customers are leasing their battery storage directly from their provider, which helps eliminate any up-front costs and avoid ongoing operational and maintenance costs, too. Whether they buy or lease, commercial solar customers who use battery storage can achieve payback in as few as three to five years through a combination of state

rebates

(California,

for instance, has its SelfGeneration

Incentive

Program), federal tax credits

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Solar Quarter • January 2018 24


Industry Insights WHAT A SOLAR ASSET MANAGEMENT TEAM CAN DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS Once your company has decided to go solar, it’s time to

ROI. Your solar asset management team will take several

think about how you are going to manage the installation

factors into account including:

and upkeep of your solar power system. Since solar isn’t

� Project accounting

your main business but rather a way to cut costs and help the environment, you shouldn’t be expected to handle all

� Taxes and audits

the details surrounding your solar installation. Too often

� Reporting and regulatory management

companies try to keep their solar asset management

� Contractual compliance

in-house, and wind up spending more money than is

� Risk management

necessary for the installation and management of their solar power. The good news is that you can outsource your solar management to a team of experienced professionals who have an in-depth working knowledge of solar power for business, including how to maximize a business’s ROI.

certifications, not to mention all the added costs that come from keeping an in-house team employed. An outsourced team can work with a point person within the company

� M&A transactions

to stay on top of the technical and financial details to

3. Maintenance

maximize your business’s ROI.

Your solar asset management team won’t leave you

5. Decreased Risk

hanging after installation is complete. They will also be

Here are 5 benefits of having a solar asset management

there to help you with routine maintenance, including

team.

preventative

1. Attention to Detail

vegetation and soiling control, and security, all with a

A solar asset management team knows what to watch

only getting the best solar maintenance available, so you

out for during your installation and will take care of every little detail, including ones that you probably aren’t even

maintenance,

corrective

maintenance,

performance guarantee that ensures that your business is can focus on running your business.

The risks associated with transitioning from electric to solar power are greatly minimized or altogether erased when companies work with a solar asset management team. This is because a solar asset management team will be able to foresee potential problems, fix maintenance issues quickly and efficiently, and work with you to keep your costs down and maximize your ROI.

aware of. The details related to your building and project

4. Expertise

You’re turning to solar power to save your business money

influence how your solar panels are installed, and the solar

Some companies opt for in-house solar asset management

and to create a sustainable environment for your employees.

asset management team will be able to determine which

from employees who know something about solar energy,

You shouldn’t need to worry about the details surrounding

installation type to use for your business. An outsourced

but who lack the experience and certifications that come

your solar installation and maintenance. Having a solar

solar asset management team can tailor a plan for your

from an outsourced solar asset management team.

asset management team on your side means you can get

business so you get the service you need for your particular

Hiring a team that specifically specializes in solar asset

back to doing your job, with the assurance that all of your

project.

management and has performed hundreds of installations

solar needs will be met in a timely, efficient manner. By

2. Financial Strategy

means that your energy system will be in the hands of

outsourcing the management of your solar assets you’ll

experienced professionals who will be able to keep your

have the help of professionals who know exactly what

Solar asset managers are experienced at figuring out and

business’s solar power running smoothly without lapses.

needs to be done to maximize your ROI and keep your

Further, turning to an outsourced solar asset management

solar power running as it should.

executing the right financial strategy for business owners who are going solar, so that businesses can maximize their

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

team will save your company money in training, hiring, and

Courtesy - Conergy

Solar Quarter • January 2018 25


Industry Insights Single Axis Tracker- Factors Affecting Gain Solar trackers have seen a tremendous growth in the last few years as costs came down. However, the growth for tracker stayed flat in Indian solar market in 2017-18 in anticipation of fall in module price. Also, developers are still conservative in terms of using a PV tracker in place of a fixed tilt system. One of the reason for this reservation is the difference between tracker gain estimated by PVsyst and the actual gain observed at site. Let’s look at how onsite factors like irradiance, Sun’s position, tracker availability etc. affects tracker gain but still remains a preferential technology with respect to fixed tilt system, especially with higher modules prices. The total solar radiation, often called as global radiation is the sum of direct, diffuse and reflected radiation. While Solar trackers help in maximizing the direct radiation component, the diffuse radiation can be maximized only when the panels are kept horizontally. That’s where a horizontal tracking system which when tracks the sun captures most of the direct radiation, the amount of diffused radiation captured goes down. So on a given day

Fig. 4 Power Distribution Chart

the ratio between two components of radiation decides the gain. Irradiance variation between days and seasons is one major reason for Tracker gain variation. Daily Tracker gain between predicted vs actual data is shown in figure below for one of the sites. The change in sun’s position also causes the tracker gain to vary. The difference in average gain in different seasons for one of the sites is tabulated below. As you can observe the gain during May- August, i.e. during Summer is higher as compared to winter i.e. December-January: Sr. No.

Month-Year

% Gain in Specific Yield wrt FT

1

May-16

25.34%

2

Jun-16

20.06%

3

Jul-16

23.90%

4

Aug-16

21.45%

5

Sep-16

19.85%

6

Oct-16

16.63%

7

Nov-16

8.80%

8

Dec-16

12.38%

9

Jan-17

13.65%

10

Feb-17

19.77%

11

Mar-17

20.57%

12

Apr-17

26.80%

13

May-17

22.21%

14

Jun-17

23.34%

Another reason which causes the gain to vary significantly

Grid Outage

Grid Outage

Date

GHI (Wh/m2)

Actual S.Y. Gain wrt FT

Gross generation considering grid out & load shedding (kWh)

Plant Downtime (Min)

02-June

5788.78

25.31%

28219

695

13-June

6250.27

31.4%

31267

10

21-June

5045.92

16.8%

25353

10

25-June

5255.56

16.7%

25219

5

Other reasons like backtracking, location of installation, proximity to equator, pitch also impacts the overall generation.

In conclusion, solar tracking gain is an

amalgamation of various factors like season, timing of

The total solar radiation, often called

grid outage or clouds, backtracking, efficiency of modules,

as global radiation

Sun’s Position, etc.

is the sum of direct,

between days is the timing of certain events like Grid

Day to day gain is not a right way of analysing the gain of

diffuse and reflected

Outage, Clouds. If the grid outage happens at a time

solar tracker. Overall gain captured over a year is the right

when tracker gives maximum gain like in the morning or in

radiation. While Solar

parameter, and the differences between actual vs PV syst

evening, the tracker gain with respect to fixed tilt would be much lower for that day.

gain are not that high, making Solar Tracker the preferred

trackers help in

choice to improve gains of the plant.

maximizing the direct

maximum gain between the time intervals of 6:00 AM

With over 481 MWp of tracker portfolio in India and

radiation component,

to 10:00 AM and 14:00 to 18:00 PM. However, if the grid

Thailand, Mahindra Susten Solar tracker MSAT100 can

the diffuse radiation

outage occurs before 10:00 AM or after 14:00 PM in the

help reap the benefits of the tracker technology. With

can be maximized only

In the above Power Distribution Chart, tracker generates

evening, the overall tracker gain will be affected. One such example of the same is shown below, where even with higher plant downtime the tarcker gain is higher on a partciular day compared to the other day

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

gains ranging from 18% to 22% over fixed tilt MSAT 100 continues to develop as a viable alternative to fixed tilt for PV plants.

when the panels are kept horizontally. Solar Quarter • January 2018 26


Industry Insights Indian solar sector booming, but now comes the real test ÂÂ Lack of an efficient and reliable T&D infrastructure that can handle the kind of solar power being injected into the grid poses a major challenge in the way of realising the country’s solar potential The power sector is growing like never before to cater to the ever-increasing needs of a rapidly developing economy, and it is solar energy which has emerged as a pacesetter. Registering a phenomenal 32-fold growth in generation in just six years, the Indian solar industry has really risen to the occasion. In fact, it is poised to grow by leaps and bounds the way so many developers are lining up one mega solar power project after another. Up against a tough target of 100 GW by 2022, India’s installed solar capacity is 16 GW now. The impressive growth notwithstanding, challenges remain. One of the biggest hurdles in the way of realising India’s solar potential is lack of an efficient and reliable transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure that can handle the kind of solar power being injected into the grid. Solar in India would have everything going for it had the transmission system been growing in sync with the increase in generation. But the fact remains that our transmission lines have not been upgraded adequately

to

withstand

this

additional load of electricity. If ignored for long, this widening gap will put immense pressure on the existing transmission lines, which may even result in system collapse. The stakes in the solar sector are so high that we cannot afford to have any breakdowns. We have to be constantly at it by upgrading the grids and coming up with new ones to match the outflows created by new solar projects, just as Andhra Pradesh is doing. As and when the Andhra Pradesh government formulates a plan for a new solar project, it has a parallel plan on T&D going. Apart from encouraging private investment, we should rope

in

utilities

and

enable

them to acquire the financial firepower to invest heavily in grid infrastructure and make largescale green electricity purchases. Upgrading

transmission

and

distribution lines assumes utmost importance. The way the solar sector

is

growing,

all

states

should take it upon themselves to upgrade their T&D system in accordance with the increase in installed capacity. If they fail to do so, they could find themselves in a difficult situation like Punjab. Cashing in on the solar overdrive, Punjab is poised to achieve an installed solar capacity of 1 GW soon. But the T&D network in the state has not been upgraded adequately

to

evacuate

this

additional electricity. Though the government has asked the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Solar Quarter • January 2018 27


(PGCIL) to build separate transmission lines in the form of National Green Energy Corridors to evacuate renewable energy, the PGCIL is likely to put up only inter-state transmission lines, at least in the initial stages. States governments will be required to invest in capacities on their own. Bogged down by grossly deficient transmission capacities, we lose millions of kilowatt hours of

electricity

to

inter-state

transmission

congestion. High T&D losses can make solar power a highly unfavourable proposition. Though the government, in association with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the PGCIL, is doing its bit to upgrade its substations and T&D lines to reduce T&D losses, the efforts need to be redoubled. We cannot afford to operate with this redundant network of transmission lines. We should gradually upgrade our grid ring system from 440 KV to 765 KV, and then to 1,200 KV, so that electricity can be optimally transferred to the central ring and suitably distributed among power-deficient areas of the country.

generation can falter on a cloudy day, we can, on the

While the best panels in the market convert at the most

The process of upgrade from 66 KV to 132, 220 and 440

contrary, have more solar electricity on a bright and

35% of sunlight into energy, most modules have an

KV should take place simultaneously. We must ensure that

sunny day than is actually needed. This disparity in the

efficiency rate of just 15%. Many companies are working

each unit we generate reaches its rightful destination. The

flow of power poses one of the biggest challenges and

on more and more compact modules and inverters to

entire exercise will prove to be a wasted effort if we are not

calls for massive upgrades or even redesign of the grid

make them more efficient.

able to upgrade our grid infrastructure in consonance with

infrastructure. Since solar energy cannot be stored at this point of time, how we manage the power generated

Solar developers also need to guard against the tendency

the growth in solar generation capacity. When it comes to providing grid connectivity to solar projects, the rooftop segment, which accounts for 40 GW of the 100-GW target for 2022, presents no problem as rooftop solar power is distributed smoothly in a welldefined network. It is the 60-GW ground-mounted solar projects which pose a major challenge as these projects

at a specific point presents an equally stiff challenge. Maintaining grid stability can become a major challenge when a large amount of intermittent solar power is injected into the grid. This problem can, however, be overcome with modern technological breakthroughs and advancements like smart grids and solar energy storage solutions.

of depending too much on grants, especially if they are looking at commercially viable ventures. Though the solar industry is supported by government incentives like lower duties, tax concessions and guaranteed purchases by state utilities, these concessions can be withdrawn as and when the government’s financial considerations get the better of its commitment to clean and green energy. Facing severe

will eventually be connected to the grid. When we talk of

But the situation can become even more challenging when

fiscal deficit, the central government may not stick to its

grid connectivity for solar projects, the one thing that we

the share of renewable energy in total power generation

obligation to fund mega-projects, leaving cash-starved

find lacking is consistency of flow. Be it thermal, nuclear

goes up in due course of time, and yet the constant flow

state governments in no position to buy power from either

of electricity is lacking. While 10% is a challenge, it is still

the Centre or private developers. To counter this situation,

manageable. Beyond that, the task is increasingly difficult.

solar developers should do everything to make their

Since many large solar facilities are in remote locations

businesses commercially sustainable without depending

such as deserts where grid infrastructure doesn’t exist, we

overly on grants.

need to find a viable way to connect to and store solar

State utilities, too, should take responsibility and rise

or hydel power, there is a certain consistency of electricity

Solar developers also need to guard

energy, as and when needed.

to the occasion. The surge in production of solar power

Lack of storage poses one of the biggest challenges in

should be matched with large-scale guaranteed purchases

against the tendency

the solar sector. We will have to create batteries so that

from state utilities despite the drain this costlier source of

whatever power is generated can be stored and distributed

energy puts on their finances. In the long term, the answer

of depending too much

24x7 as per the requirement. There has to be consistency in

lies in transforming state utilities into financially robust

the flow of power to the grid to keep volatile fluctuations

profit-making enterprises through power reforms. On

to a manageable extent. With the integration of storage

a positive note, the gap in the cost of conventional and

facilities, we will also be able to use solar energy at night

renewable energy is gradually narrowing down, thanks to

and regulate its supply during the day. The US and some

technological breakthroughs and economies of scale.

European countries are working on solar batteries to

Last but not the least, fast-paced advancements pose

on grants, especially if they are looking at commercially viable ventures.

flow round the clock. In power plants using conventional sources of energy, the flow of electricity, design and T&D network are all planned as per the estimated outflows from these plants. Thermal power plants can easily burn more or less coal to generate power as per the demand. But this is not the case with solar. While the T&D infrastructure for solar power is designed to withstand peak loads, the inconsistency in flow at different times of the day leaves the potential grossly underutilised and makes power systems prone to breakdowns and volatile fluctuations. This may be a bigger issue for larger solar projects, potentially leading

address the problem of storage. We may have a solution in a couple of years with research going on at a furious pace in these countries.

another big challenge. Every two-three years we have a new technology, which makes the old one obsolete. This is what big developers are doing to stay ahead of

Containing costs through R&D is another formidable

competition. Blessed with abundant sunshine and vast

challenge. Costs will go down if indigenous R&D is

tracts of non-cultivable land to run solar projects, India—

encouraged. But India lacks in R&D. It has a long way

given the conducive business environment and favourable

to go. Let’s pump enough money into R&D and create

government policies—can virtually become a global solar

a mindset for research. Why can’t India develop its own

superpower if it takes these challenges head on.

technologies and export them to build foreign reserve rather than depending on imports and foreign capital? Collaborative and outcome-based R&D can make India a world leader in PV technologies, but we also need closer industry-government collaboration for these technologies to achieve scale. One more area that we need to work on is reducing the costs of modules and inverters, and enhancing their efficiency. As the costs of modules and invertors are going down, so are the bidding prices. Though production costs

mr. Hartek Singh

have declined on account of cheaper capital, technological

Solar energy is intermittent. It cannot provide the same

Chairman & Managing Director,

innovations and falling prices of equipment, inefficiency

amount of power throughout the day. While solar power

Hartek Group

continues to be a major hurdle before the solar industry.

to problems during peak usage periods.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Solar Quarter • January 2018 28


Industry Insights Four examples of why you need Solar Asset Management As the Asset Management Services provider for hundreds

information we were

of solar PV and energy storage systems, we’ve seen just

able to pinpoint the

about everything. By actively managing everything from

exact time and cause

inspections to incentives, supported by detailed reporting;

of

TerraVerde ensures that organizations get the full financial

result, we were able

benefit from their systems. We’d like to share four examples,

to provide supporting

where management of these assets resulted in successful

documentation

outcomes.

our client’s successful

If you have questions about your systems, please reach

insurance

out to us here to set up a call with our Asset Management

detailing the cause of

team.

and party responsible

the

issue.

As

a

for claim,

for the power surge

#1 Active Continuous Monitoring results in 15% uptime increase

damage.

One of our school district clients installed 20+ solar PV

value of the production,

systems utilizing 40+ inverters. Through our investigative approach to system monitoring, we were able to determine that many of the inverters were temporarily shutting down

quantifying the

district

Finally, by the

lost

received

weather data from several reliable sources in the same an

additional

“make

whole”

reimbursement for $60,000 in lost solar production.

area, all of which revealed that the District was owed approximately $30,000 in shortfall energy production payments.

changes in current during morning start up. We worked

#3 Performance Guarantee Evaluation Uncovers Unpaid Production Shortfall Payments

with the inverter manufacturer to proactively upgrade the

TerraVerde was recently hired to review the historical

#4 Savings Analysis Provides Transparency to Concerned District

firmware of every inverter in the district, and all similar

performance of several solar PV systems for a California

A school district with a 3-year-old solar PV system was

models for other clients in our portfolio, even those that

water district. Our performance review determined that

concerned that the system wasn’t saving the district money

had not yet been affected. This change permanently

one of the solar PV systems which was under contract

because of a large annual electricity bill True Up. We were

resolved the issue, which otherwise would have reduced

with a 95% performance guarantee had only produced

able to determine, by analyzing energy usage data in

performance indefinitely.

about 90% of the expected energy for two consecutive

each 15-minute interval during a one year True Up period,

years. There had been no shortfall payments made to

that the system was saving the district about 10% of its

the District, and the PPA provider’s annual performance

electricity bill. More importantly, by switching to solar, the

report indicated that the system was performing above the

district had avoided a potential move to a higher cost rate

Another school district client experienced an inverter failure

95% level. Upon further analysis, TerraVerde determined

utility structure, which would have led to a 25% increase in

caused by a power surge from the utility. While the inverter

the Provider’s assessment was based on a miscalibrated

annual electricity bills. This information enabled the district

protected the solar panels from any damage, the utility

irradiance sensor at the PV system’s weather station, which

to stop worrying whether their combined utility and PPA

power surge caused damage to the mechanical equipment

was understating how much sunlight the system was

bills were higher than they should have been, and provided

at the school. By performing analysis of the inverter

receiving. We recalculated the weather-adjusted expected

the transparency that staff, Board and other stakeholders

data, examining the utility voltage data and supporting

energy per the terms of the performance guarantee using

required.

with the same internal error code. A further investigation determined that the inverters were overly sensitive to

#2 Detailed Data Analysis Earns Solar Owner $60,000

O&M

EagleSun SCADA Watching your plant.

Inspired by Nature Powered by Sun

ISO 9001 - 2015 Certified Company

www.avisolar.com

“Avi Solar named No.1 solar PV O&M service provider in the utility-scale segment in India by GTM Research and SOLICHAMBA in their new report 'Global Solar PV O&M 2017-2022: Markets, Services and Competitors”

Wire Free - RF Design

“Plant Data to Cloud with 3G Connection”

Managing Over

700+ MW

Solar PV Assets

“We don't just provide service, we add value to our clients”

35+ Locations 250+ Engineering Team

Want to replace your SCADA? Need String monitoring ?

“Contribute to Environment and Society by Harvesting Energy from Sunlight”

sales@avisolar.com w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Ph : +91 70229 49911

+91 80235 68018 Solar Quarter • January 2018 29


Company Feature Creating employment opportunities for tribal youth – transforming lives Breaking barriers – Breaking myths

Goldi Green has taken up the opportunity to train and

Not merely a job, but these youth are getting an

employ the tribal youth and indirectly elevate their status

employment which pays much more than what they would

in society.

earn doing rural work or as farm hands.

representing a much needed solution to unemployment in

Goldi Green can almost be termed as an ST (Scheduled

Besides, the Goldi Green facility provides a work

the face of India’s burgeoning population and labour force.

Tribes) institution that trains and enhances the skill

environment where attitude, behaviour, punctuality and

capabilities of the tribal youth, shaping up and transforming

discipline are inculcated in them.

Solar PV is recognized as creating more jobs per unit of energy produced than any other energy source; potentially

It is a myth that the solar industry requires highly skilled and qualified personnel.

them into industry – ready professionals.

A few of our employee testimonials

Ishver Dholakiya

Chetan Shah

“The growth inclusive employment

As a substantial contribution to our Prime Minister’s

opportunities and training offered by Goldi

‘Skill India’ campaign, Goldi Green has been

Green to the tribal youth have proved to be

training these tribal youth, employing them and

highly productive and should be recognized

contributing to their overall personal development

as a trend setter and adopted by other

and social status, empowering them to be financially

players in this industry as well.”

independent and live a life of self-respect.”

Himanshu Chaudhary

Bakul Chaudhary

Himanshu Chaudhary had a burning desire to further his education after completing his HSC, and improve the quality of his life. The son of a

Bakul Chaudhary is an ITI pass out. He joined the Goldi Green facility three years ago as a trainee operator. Three years down the line he has learned most of the manual process of module assembly and he also doubles as a cell tabber when hands are short.

labourer, financial constraints were holding him back from going to college.

become a school teacher, which is his cherished dream. He has also bought a motorcycle on personal finance and successfully repaid the loan.

are today self – sufficient in operating robotic and fully automatic modern machinery.”

Kaushik Gamit Kaushik Gamit works in the module re-working section of Goldi Green’s manufacturing facility but is also an expert at tabbing, stringing and layup.

the contract work was over, he found himself without work. Living in a house with other six

a course of three years, he has completed his

for a B.Ed. which will give him an opportunity to

come from the most primitive background

as an electrician on contract. But as soon as

life. Along with working at the facility, within

He aims to finish his Master of Arts and then go

“It should be noted that these youth who

Having completed his ITI in 2011, he worked

Joining Goldi Green was a turning point in his

Bachelor of Arts.

Bharat Bhut

members of the family, life was tough before Yogesh Gamit

he started working with Goldi Green. The

It’s been four and a half years since Yogesh Gamit is working in Goldi Green’s manufacturing facility. Speaking about the transformation in his life he says ‘Before I began working here, my life was zero. I had no money and had no clue where life was going. After joining Goldi Green, today I am financially independent.’

family could barely make ends meet with just

Yogesh has bought two motor bikes on loans and now his house is fitted with all the electrical appliances, and also a refrigerator (which is considered a luxury in his village). With his continuously increasing salary, he has managed to pay off all his loans and has now also bought a smart phone.

decision.

enough to eat from tilling the small piece of land they owned. As he looks back four years into the past, he agrees that joining Goldi Green was a good

“It feels good to earn money, I am not

“I like the overall environment of this company, the

”I hugely appreciate Goldi Green’s No –

dependent on anyone, I can buy new

company provides last mile bus facility right up to my

Tobacco policy, owing to which, me and

clothes, I have made new friends here and

village and I have made new and valuable friends.

most importantly I could complete my

Besides, in these three years, there has been a consistent

education.”

increment in my salary.”

bad habits.”

- Himanshu Chaudhary

- Bakul Chaudhary

- Yogesh Gamit

Company profile Goldi Green is one of the fastest growing Solar PV Module manufacturing companies, having a 500MW annual production capacity. We manufacture PV modules up to the range of 365Wp using Poly and Mono Crystalline Solar cells in an ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 & OHSAS 18001:2007 certified facility. Offering turnkey services, and the latest in technology, we are also a leading solar design and installation firm undertaking EPC projects.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

my colleagues have not fallen for any

We are also a leading OEM Solar PV Module company, catering to many international brands across the globe and delivering unmatched quality at a competitive price. Goldi Green has been recognized and certified as ‘Star Export House’ of India by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. Goldi Green is also the first Indian company to be audited by SolarBuyer, U.S.A. Goldi Green is promoted by the Dholakia family, who are also founders of the USD 1.2 billion diamond manufacturing conglomerate, SRK Exports.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 30


Industry Insights What’s the right technology to keep tabs on our increasingly complex webs of power generation assets? Collecting, combining, and distributing renewable energy

Beyond managing the assets at the operational level,

is a complex business on many levels: differences in

SCADA provides the data necessary to make well-informed

frequency and voltage, inconsistencies in power provided

commercial predictions and decisions. The real-time and

by each asset, assessment of the demand for the power,

stored data enable more accurate, data-based forecasting

and capacity of the grid to take it.

both in the very-short term (hours) and near term (days).

Want more complexity? How about generating that power

The internally focused operational data can be combined

via a mix of 100 different wind farms and other renewablegeneration facilities serving multiple energy markets

with the externally focused market and grid-status data to make the best choices about when, where, and who to sell

these portfolios is likely to grow even larger. One of the central benefits of SCADA is its scalability, making it the monitoring and control technology of choice for these

spread across both the US and Canada. This project is

energy to.

actually underway, and it’s an impressive undertaking.

The US/Canada renewable energy project is impressive,

providers can operate most efficiently, increase revenue,

but it’s not unique. Other energy providers are developing

and maximize the return on their investment.

One of the biggest hurdles they have to overcome – and one of the essentials of success – is effective monitoring and

equally large and complex portfolios, and the scale of

vast energy webs. Through SCADA, renewable energy

Courtesy - ABB

control across the system. ABB is knocking down that hurdle with our SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) technology

and

dedicated

applications

for

managing

and integrating the power into electricity grids. A key trait of SCADA is that it works across all types of generation

assets.

geothermal,

hydro,

Wind, solar,

gas … whatever the energy source, we have a standard SCADA template to connect it to the network. The first benefit operators gain is the ability to monitor all of the assets, both from a

production

perspective

(how much energy is each producing?)

and

asset

health perspective (what is its condition?). Answers to these two critical questions ensure operators get the most from each asset and avoid downtime surprises. We make it possible to easily work with that data through a very lean and logical humanmachine

interface

(HMI).

These tend to be highly customized screens that are created with lots of input from the users on the desired look, feel, and function. There are two things that make for a highly effective HMI: they must provide a clear, bigpicture view and the ability to drill down quickly to any point of interest. When you have a portfolio of 100 generation assets, that big-picture view can be quite cluttered. We do a good job of organizing and displaying only the relevant, top-level information. When operators have to explore an issue or take action, they can rely on the to

customized minimize

shortcuts

the

number

of mouse clicks needed to accomplish

an

action

as

simply and quickly as possible.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Solar Quarter • January 2018 31


Company Feature SOFARSOLAR ARRIVES IN INDIA ! So why do customers choose SOFARSOLAR inverters? Here are a few reasons: � All SOFARSOLAR inverters have 25-year data storage capability � All SOFARSOLAR inverters can be found in PV Sol system. � All SOFARSOLAR inverters and distributors are insured by US CHUBB Insurance Corporation Company. � All SOFARSOLAR inverters are capable of Wi-Fi communication and have alternative choices of communication. inverters

� SOFARSOLAR

support

intelligent

power management and have built-In protection functions. � SOFARSOLAR inverters have 7 years warranty as

The SOFAR group is No.1 in the GPS industry and has

It was in 2016 that companies in India began to contact

devoted itself to the communications and renewable

the company and enquire about their product offering

energy fields since 2007. Seeing the constantly growing

for use in India. In response to these enquiries, SOFAR’s

global PV industry, the group formed SOFARSOLAR in

marketing people started to explore the opportunities in

2012 specifically to cater for R&D, production, sales and

India and they found that there was great potential for PV

service of grid-tied inverters ranging from 1kW to 7.5kW

installations of all sizes, both residential and commercial,

for residential installations, 4kW to 70kW for commercial

throughout the country. The Indian government was

installations. They also supply AC connection storage

also in favour of PV and was introducing subsidies to

inverters and true hybrid units from 3kW to 5kW and

help potential customers.

other related renewable products.

SOFAR immediately started gaining all the necessary

SOFAR already provides units to more than 30 countries

certifications to enable grid connection and testing

worldwide and has established itself as a leader in PV

the units to ensure excellent performance in India’s

technology, with experienced technical staff always

changeable weather. The marketing department began

looking to improve their inverters. With more than

talking with existing distributors and EPC companies to

3.5GW of units installed and six subsidiaries (Australia,

get a better knowledge of the market.

of installations,

Wuxi, Beijing, India, Shenzhen and Henan), the company

Both residential and commercial projects proceeded

SOFAR decided to

has forged an excellent reputation in the PV industry.

standard. � SOFARSOLAR service engineers are available from India offices � We build Quality. � We offer Quality.

With inverters suitable for all sizes

quickly and the first commercial rooftop project was

increase their

completed by the end of 2016.

SOFAR immediately started gaining all the necessary certifications to enable grid connection and testing the units to ensure excellent performance in India’s changeable weather. The marketing department began talking with existing distributors and EPC companies to get a better knowledge of the market.

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

The size of the project was 280KW, and 7 units of 40KW

presence in the

inverters were used in the finished project. The SOFAR 40000TL unit used has a high-power efficiency and runs

country and become

without problem in India’s variable climate.

part of this rapidly

After the power station was completed, the daily power generation averaged 62MW/h. Such high efficiency not

expanding market.

only provided normal power usage, but also earned the customer extra income. The customer remarked that the technology service and support provided was very professional and very quick. This was an excellent cooperation for SOFAR’s first commercial project and a good beginning for SOFARSOLAR to enter into the Indian commercial PV market. The news of the success of this project spread quickly and helped SOFAR to gain more orders. With inverters suitable for all sizes of installations, SOFAR decided to increase their presence in the country and become part of this rapidly expanding market. The marketing department quickly identified the areas with the most potential for business and two offices were opened, one in Ahmedabad and one in Hyderabad. Both offices have engineers to provide technical support for all customers and are used as a local base for customer relations. Having established the offices, work then began on the formation of a distributor

of SOFAR’s presence and intentions in the Indian market. Stands at exhibitions, advertising and brand awareness programmes followed. SOFAR has long term plans for India, including manufacturing in country and intends to be a reliable supplier for all PV inverter needs for India in the coming years. Managing Director, David Zhong also said: “As the head of the international sales market, I am very confident about the quality of our products and after-sales service. Each machine is tested at different stages during assembly. Our R & D team also constantly improves the technology. The quality and reliability of our inverters has always been our first priority. They are of paramount concern to us. They are what every customer wants and we will provide them.”

network throughout the country. Marketing and sales

- Paul Nicholson

people now regularly visit distributors already in the PV

Country Manager

business and also EPC companies to make them aware

SOFARSOLAR

Solar Quarter • January 2018 32


Product Feature MECO “TRMS Digital Multimeter” MECO introduced new 6000 Count TRMS Digital Multimeter, Model: 153B+TRMS

153B+ TRMS is a 6000 Counts Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter with LCD Backlight & Holster having Voltage Range upto 1000V DC & 750V AC and Current Range upto 20A AC & DC. Basic accuracy for DC Voltage ± 1.0%rdg + 4dgt, for AC Voltage ±1.0%rdg + 5dgt, for DC Current ± 1.0%rdg + 2dgt, and for AC Current ± 1.5%rdg + 5dgt. It has special features like Auto Power Off, Resistance, Capacitance, Frequency, Duty Cycle, Diode Test, Audible Continuity, Data Hold. For details please visit our website: www.mecoinst.com

MECO “TRMS Digital Multimeter” MECO introduced new 6000 Count TRMS Digital Multimeter, Model: 171B+ TRMS. 171B+ TRMS is a 6000 Counts Auto & Manual Ranging Digital Multimeter with LCD Backlight & Holster having Voltage Range upto 1000V DC & 750V AC and Current Range upto 20A AC & DC. Basic accuracy for DC Voltage ± 1.0%rdg + 4dgt, for AC Voltage ±1.0% rdg + 5dgt, for DC Current ± 1.0%rdg + 2dgt, and for AC Current ±1.5%rdg + 5dgt. It has a special features like Auto Power Off, Resistance, Capacitance, Frequency, Duty Cycle, Temperature, Diode Test, Audible Continuity, Data Hold, Max/Min, REL∆ For details please visit our website: www.mecoinst.com

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Solar Quarter • January 2018 33


Product Feature Secure a Faster ROI with GoodWe’s Second Generation of MT Series Leading solar inverter manufacturer GoodWe has received

inverter can still work normally because of the low start

large orders for its second generation of MT Series string

voltage.

inverters from Indian top solar developers and EPCs with a total capacity of 45MW. Half of them are on the way. Apart from offering a more competitive price, the new MT series inverters are able to provide a continuous maximum AC output power overload of 15% thanks to its boost function, which offers customers a faster return on investment. The new MT Series features a more compact design with less than 20% volume and lighter weight compared to other

“We are pleased to launch our new generation of MT Series inverters which can be successfully deployed on large scale commercial rooftops and ground-mounted solar PV systems,” said Huang Min, CEO of GoodWe. “The compact design of MT Series can help further reduce installation costs while its power boost function provides higher yield and a faster ROI.”

conventional models, which greatly simplifies installation

For price and delivery, contact sales@goodwe.com.

and commissioning, saving time and costs. It also supports

About GoodWe

95mm2 aluminum cables instead of 75mm2 copper cables, which saves investment for AC cables. With capacities of 50 kW and 60 kW, the new transformerless, three-phase GoodWe MT series grid-tied inverters are equipped with four MPP Trackers ensuring that the outputs of connected modules are able to generate the

GoodWe Power Supply Technology Co., Ltd is a leading, strategically-thinking enterprise which focuses on research and manufacturing of PV inverters and energy storage solutions. With an average monthly sales volume of 30,000 pieces in 2017 and over 30 GW installed in more than 100

highest yields even in different PV installation conditions,

countries, GoodWe solar inverters have been largely used

5% output up compared with the string inverters with one

in residential rooftops, commercial systems, and energy

MPP tracker on the market. Moreover, the start voltage

storage systems, ranging from 1.0 to 80 kW. They offer

is 200V, much lower than 600V of other products, which

reliable operation and excellent performance and are

makes our inverter start up earlier to generate more power

highly spoken of by its customers worldwide. Learn more

with longer working time. Even on the rainy days, the

at www.goodwe.com.

Legacy of Expertise. Solutions for the Future J D Ray’s vision to develop indigenous technology led to the conception of India’s first manufacturing facility of the Clip-on type Din Rail Mounted Terminal Blocks. Since then, Elmex has been continuously reinventing technology, bringing innovations to the industry, and developing breakthrough products and solutions. Elmex today exports its products to more than 40 countries and is a global supplier for multinationals such as ABB, Schneider, Siemens, GE and Alstom to name a few. Elmex’s manufacturing plants are ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2015 certified. With technological expertise spanning over five decades, Elmex’s solutions bespeak reliability, safety and impeccable quality.

of system components (BoS) in PV power generating

Featured Product: Details about the product technology

strings and to transfer DC Energy from PV module to final

you would like to feature

output.

Elmex has extended its domain knowledge in Wire

As a solution provider Elmex also closely works with system

Termination Technology to develop a product range

service/ technology portfolio mix

integrators and end users providing on-site training and

suitable for Photovoltaic systems through indigenous

engineering support. As on date Elmex has installed more

Founded in 1963, Elmex is one of India’s leading

design and development. A typical photovoltaic system

than 2 million connectors and is successfully serving 200+

manufacturers of Terminal Blocks, and a pioneer in the

comprises of photovoltaic arrays / PV modules, inverters

solar sites across India!

Electrical Wire Termination Technology. Founder-Chairman

and other associated components such as Connectors,

Introduction: A brief about the company’s current product/

Junction Boxes, Terminal Blocks, Surge Protection Devices, Fuse Protection, Isolation Transformers, DC Isolators, Cables etc. These systems and equipment’s need interconnectivity solutions that meet the electrical, mechanical and environmental specifications conforming to International Standards – EN 50521/IEC 62852 and EN 50548/IEC 62790. Elmex range of PV products comply with International Standards and are approved by TÜV Rheinland. The Elmex range of PV products include PV Junction Boxes (2-Rail, 3-Rail & 4-Rail), PV Connectors suitable for 1000 VDC & 1500 VDC (Straight, Branch, Panel), PV Straight Inline fuse Connectors, PV Wire Harnesses with connectors, DC Fuse Holder suitable for 1000 VDC & 1500 VDC and PV accessories which are used as balance

w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Solar Quarter • January 2018 34


Tech Insights How to choose the best battery for a solar panel system There are certain specifications you should use when

efficiency means you will get more economic value out of

evaluating your solar battery options, such as how long the

your battery.

solar battery will last or how much power it can provide. Below, learn about all of the criteria that you should use to compare your home energy storage options, as well as the different types of solar batteries. The cost of solar is dropping across the nation.

Battery life & warranty- For most uses of home energy storage, your battery will “cycle” (charge and drain) daily. The battery’s ability to hold a charge will gradually decrease the more you use it. In this way, solar batteries are like the battery in your cell phone – you charge your phone each night to use it during the day, and as your phone gets older you’ll start to notice that the battery isn’t holding as much of a charge as it did when it was new. Your solar battery will have a warranty that guarantees a certain number of cycles and/or years of useful life. Because battery performance naturally degrades over time, most manufacturers will also guarantee that the battery keeps a certain amount of its capacity over the course of the warranty. Therefore, the simple answer to the question

How to compare your solar storage options As you consider your solar-plus-storage options, you’ll

it will lose over time. For example, a battery might be warrantied for 5,000 cycles or 10 years at 70 percent of its original capacity. This means

the battery’s capacity & power ratings, depth of discharge

that at the end of the warranty, the battery will have lost no

(DoD), round-trip efficiency, warranty, and manufacturer.

more than 30 percent of its original ability to store energy.

Capacity & power - Capacity is the total amount of electricity

Manufacturer- Many different types of organizations are

that a solar battery can store, measured in kilowatt-hours

developing and manufacturing solar battery products,

(kWh). Most home solar batteries are designed to be

from automotive companies to tech startups. While a major

“stackable,” which means that you can include multiple

automotive company entering the energy storage market

batteries with your solar-plus-storage system to get extra

likely has a longer history of product manufacturing, they

capacity.

may not offer the most revolutionary technology. By

While capacity tells you how big your battery is, it doesn’t

contrast, a tech startup might have a brand-new highperforming technology, but less of a track record to prove

moment. To get the full picture, you also need to consider

the battery’s long-term functionality.

the battery’s power rating. In the context of solar batteries,

Whether you choose a battery manufactured by a cutting-

a power rating is the amount of electricity that a battery can

edge startup or a manufacturer with a long history depends

deliver at one time. It is measured in kilowatts (kW).

on your priorities. Evaluating the warranties associated

A battery with a high capacity and a low power rating

with each product can give you additional guidance as you

would deliver a low amount of electricity (enough to run

make your decision.

low capacity and a high power rating could run your entire home, but only for a few hours. Depth of discharge (DoD)- Most solar batteries need

funds to developing batteries, and they’re expanding into the energy storage business. Tesla is the first mainstream example (with their Powerwall battery), but MercedesBenz and BMW are also bringing standalone batteries to the market in 2017.

the brand of battery you buy and and how much capacity

The most important ones to use during your evaluation are

a few crucial appliances) for a long time. A battery with

are dedicating significant research and development

“how long will my solar battery last?” is that it depends on

come across a lot of complicated product specifications.

tell you how much electricity a battery can provide at a given

As electric vehicles become more popular, more companies

Automotive companies are jumping on the energy storage bandwagon

While capacity tells you how big your battery is, it doesn’t tell you how much electricity a battery can provide at a given moment. To get the full picture, you also need to consider the battery’s power rating. In the context of solar batteries, a power rating is the amount of electricity that a battery can deliver at one time.

to retain some charge at all times due to their chemical

Home energy storage technology and electric vehicles

composition. If you use 100 percent of a battery’s charge,

are a lot alike: they both use advanced batteries to create

It is measured in

its useful life will be significantly shortened.

more efficient, sustainable products that can reduce

kilowatts (kW).

The depth of discharge (DoD) of

greenhouse gas emissions.

a battery refers to the amount of a battery’s capacity that has been used. Most manufacturers will specify a maximum DoD for optimal performance. For example, if a 10 kWh battery has a DoD of 90 percent, you shouldn’t use more than 9 kWh of the battery before recharging it. Generally speaking, a higher DoD means you will be able to utilize more of your battery’s capacity. Round-trip efficiency- A battery’s round-trip efficiency represents the amount of energy that can be used as a percentage of the amount of energy that it took to store it. For example, if you feed five kWh of electricity into your battery and can only get four kWh of useful electricity back, the battery has 80 percent round-trip efficiency (4 kWh / 5 kWh = 80%). Generally speaking,

a

higher

round-trip

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Solar Quarter • January 2018 35


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 36


Tech Insights How to choose the best battery for a solar panel system How long do solar batteries last? There are two ways to answer this question and the first is to determine how long a solar battery can power your home. In many cases, a fully charged battery can run your home overnight when your solar panels are not producing energy. To make a more exact calculation, you’ll need to know a few variables, including how much energy your household consumes in a given day, what the capacity and power rating is for your solar battery and whether or not you are connected to the electric grid. For the sake of a simple example, we’ll determine the size of a battery needed to provide an adequate solar plus storage solution with national average data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The average U.S. household will use roughly 30 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per day and a typical solar battery can deliver some 10 kWh of capacity. Thus a very simple answer would be, if you purchased three solar batteries, you could run your home for an entire day with nothing but battery support.

Proper maintenance can also have a significant effect on

higher DoD and longer lifespan when compared to lead

your solar battery’s lifespan. Solar batteries are significantly

acid batteries. However, lithium ion batteries are more

impacted by temperature, so protecting your battery from

expensive than their lead acid counterparts.

freezing or sweltering temperatures can increase its useful life. When a PV battery drops below 30° F, it will require

In reality, the answer is more complicated than that. You

more voltage to reach maximum charge; when that same

will also be generating power with your solar panel system

battery rises above the 90° F threshold, it will become

during the day which will offer strong power for some 6-7

overheated and require a reduction in charge. To solve this

hours of the day during peak sunlight hours. On the other

problem, many leading battery manufacturers, like Tesla,

end, most batteries cannot run at maximum capacity and

provide temperature moderation as a feature. However, if

generally peak at a 90% DoD (as explained above). As a

the battery that you buy does not, you will need to consider

result, your 10 kWh battery likely has a useful capacity of

other solutions like earth-sheltered enclosures. Quality

9 kWh.

maintenance efforts can definitely impact how long your

Ultimately, if you are pairing your battery with a solar PV

solar battery will last.

array, one or two batteries can provide sufficient power However, without a renewable energy solution, you may need 3 batteries or more to power your entire home for

Batteries used in home

24 hours. Additionally, if you are installing home energy

energy

storage in order to disconnect from the electric grid,

are made with one of three

you should install a few days’ worth of backup power to

chemical

account for days where you might have cloudy weather.

lead acid, lithium ion, and

Solar battery lifespan

saltwater. In most cases,

The general range for a solar battery’s useful lifespan is

the best option for a solar

between 5 and 15 years. If you install a solar battery today, you will likely need to replace it at least once to match the 25 to 30 year lifespan of your PV system. However, just as the lifespan of solar panels has increased significantly in the

storage

A newcomer in the home energy storage industry is the saltwater battery. Unlike other home energy storage options, saltwater batteries don’t contain heavy metals, relying instead on saltwater electrolytes. While batteries that use heavy metals, including lead acid and lithium ion batteries, need to be disposed of with special processes, a saltwater battery can be easily recycled. However, as a new technology, saltwater batteries are relatively untested, and the one company that makes solar batteries for home use (Aquion) filed for bankruptcy in 2017.

What are the best batteries for solar?

during nighttime when your panels are not producing.

3. Saltwater

typically

compositions:

lithium ion batteries are

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panel system, though other battery types can be more affordable.

past decade, it is expected that solar batteries will follow

1. Lead acid

suit as the market for energy storage solutions grows.

Lead acid batteries are a tested technology that has been used in off-grid energy

Proper maintenance can also have a significant effect on your solar battery’s lifespan. Solar batteries are significantly impacted by temperature, so protecting your battery from freezing or sweltering temperatures can increase its useful life..

they have a relatively short life and lower DoD than other battery types, they are also one of the least expensive options currently on the market in the home energy storage sector. For homeowners who want to go off the grid and need to install lots of energy

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storage, lead acid can be a good option.

2. Lithium ion The

majority

home

of

energy

new

storage

technologies, such as the , use some form of lithium ion chemical composition. Lithium are

ion

lighter

batteries and

more

compact than lead acid batteries. They also have a

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A SS-2018

Join one of the Most Prominent Solar Events in India

All India Solar Summit

http://www.aiss.org.in

23rd to 25th Feb 2018, IIA Bhawan Grounds, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, U.P. (India)

I

Welcome to AISS (All India Solar Summit)

ndian Industries Association (IIA) & UPNEDA welcomes you to the world of endless opportunities in one of the world’s biggest solar market. Indian Market is so diverse, so wide and so multifarious that it will not only challenge your ultimate marketing skills, but also make you hone your company strategic tools. There is a market which is seething with an insatiable appetite for power, so what are you waiting for!!! Come and explore this wonderful opportunity, Welcome to AISS- All India Solar Summit 2018. Who should embellish a stall at AISS ? Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

Solar System Integrators Ÿ Solar Cell Manufacturers Ÿ Solar Module Manufacturers Ÿ Module Manufacturing Line Suppliers Ÿ Solar Farm Developers Ÿ Solar water Heaters Manufacturers Ÿ Solar Street Lights & Home Systems Manufacturers Ÿ Battery Manufacturers Ÿ Inverter Manufacturers Ÿ Solar BOS(Balance of System) Manufacturers Ÿ EPC Companies Ÿ Solar PV/Thermal Installers and Contractors Ÿ Suppliers of Raw Materials Ÿ Solar Turn Key Solution Providers Ÿ

Solar Enthusiasts you will meet Builders & Solar Farm Developers Construction Professionals Projects Heads Investors Trade Buyers and Business Buyers Industrial Purchasing Managers Engineers and Installers Green Consultants and Experts Local Agents and Distributors Local & National Government Institutions Domestic and International Associations Energy Storage Systems Industry Executives Transmission & Distribution System Operators Policy Decision Makers Media and Publishers Architects Commercial & Domestic End-Users

3 Days Full of Business Opportunities !

Organizer

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Special concessions for MSME’s and SC/ST Exhibitors available as per Government Schemes. For Stall Bookings/Visiters Registrations visit www.aiss.org.in or Contact IIA H.O. at 8601855543, 8601855546 or via Email at: contact@aiss.org.in; mkb@iiaonline.in

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Solar Quarter • January 2018 38


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 39


Tech Insights WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED COMPONENTS? The systems shown in figures below are the simplest representations of solar+storage installations. In reality, solar+storage systems may be composed of any number and variety of solar arrays, energy storage technologies, inverters, management systems, and additional backup generators.

Solar Panels Solar panels are obviously an integral part of any solar+storage system. Each solar panel, also known as a solar module, is actually composed of a number of small units called photovoltaic (PV) cells. The cells themselves are composed of a semiconductor material, which is most

a location receives throughout the year. For example, on average Phoenix, AZ receives about 6.6 hours of peak sun per day while Ithaca, NY receives about 3.9 hours of peak sun per day. A derate factor must also be applied to account for all the potential losses in a solar system, such as energy conversion from DC to AC, wiring losses,

But, regardless of complexity, each system will likely follow

commonly made of silicon. When a particle of light, or

temperature effects, shading, dust, and age of the system.

one of the two simplified designs already discussed and be

photon, hits a PV cell, an electron is knocked free. These

A derate factor of about 75 percent is typical of most

composed primarily of the same basic core components: a

free electrons generate a current. It is this current along

systems.

critical load subpanel, solar panels, batteries, and at least

with the cell’s voltage that defines the power that a PV cell

one inverter.

So, a facility in Phoenix, USA looking to offset 10,000

can produce.

kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would need a solar

Critical Load Subpanel

The combined power of all PV cells in a solar panel will be

array with a rated power of at least:

the rated power output of the solar panel. Peak rated power

The critical load subpanel is arguably the most important

varies among manufacturers and solar panel designs, but

(10,000 kilowatt-hours per year) /

component to consider when designing a solar+storage

tends to average around 200 watts per panel. Individual

system. Which loads to include, and which not to include,

panels can then be connected to form a solar array. If an

will determine the optimal sizing of the rest of the system.

array is composed of 10 solar panels, each with a rating

If the same facility was instead located in Ithaca, USA, it

It is usually not practical to design a solar+storage system

of 200 watts, the entire solar array will have the potential

would need a solar array with a rated power of at least:

with the intent to support all of a facility’s electrical loads

to produce 2000 watts (2 kilowatts) of power. Solar arrays

when the grid is down. At this time, installing a battery

can be located on rooftops, carports, and other structures

system large enough to serve all loads is not typically a

or they can be stand-alone, ground-mounted arrays

cost effective solution. This is why it is necessary to install

positioned in open areas.

kilowatts

a critical load subpanel that is separate from the main

There are many different types of solar panels available

This type of calculation can provide a rough initial estimate

distribution panel. The subpanel is very similar to a main

today. The most common are panels composed of either

for the size of solar array a particular facility might require.

circuit breaker panel, except that it only includes loads

monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon cells. The main

A number of good online tools are also available to

deemed critical to a facility during a central power outage.

difference is that monocrystalline cells are cut from a

help determine optimal solar array sizing. The National

In the event of grid failure, only the loads connected

single silicon crystal, so that the entire cell is aligned in

Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has developed a particularly

through the critical load subpanel will be supported until

one direction; whereas, polycrystalline cells are made up

useful tool called PVWatts (available online at pvwatts.nrel.

power is restored.

of several bits of pure silicon, meaning that individual

gov).

Specific critical loads will vary depending on the needs of

crystals may not be perfectly aligned. Monocrystalline

each facility, but generally include loads such as heating

cells are very efficient in bright, direct sunlight. And though

The Failure of Diesel Generators

and cooling, emergency lighting, a few outlets, elevators,

polycrystalline cells tend to be less efficient in direct light, they can perform better in more diffuse and low light

Most of the critical infrastructure that communities depend

refrigeration, and water pressure pumps. Table 1 provides a sample of some common critical loads and their

conditions.

corresponding power needs.

There are numerous other solar technologies, such as thin

when the grid goes down. Unfortunately, diesel generators

The total expected critical load, the sum of all individual

film and hybrid panels, but when it comes down to it, a

aren’t always up to the task when called upon.

critical loads, can be used as a baseline to specify

10-kilowatt solar PV system will generate a very similar

inverter and battery capacity requirements. In the case

amount of energy regardless of the material it’s made of.

where a facility has one or more high-power critical load

The efficiency of the solar panels and system design will

requirements that may not be well-suited for energy

ultimately determine how much area is needed to produce

storage applications, an emergency backup generator

the desired power output.

can be employed to serve these individual loads while the solar+storage system supplies power to the remaining critical loads.

manufacturers and solar panel designs, but tends to average

shelters—rely almost exclusively on diesel generators

In fact, diesel generator failure is a commonly occurring theme when disaster strikes. High-profile failures at hospitals, resulting in life-threatening conditions for vulnerable patients, have been particularly widespread. Superstorm Sandy led to the evacuation of nearly 1,000 city’s busiest medical centers. Hospitals in New Orleans were crippled after Hurricane Katrina. Irene brought

the northern hemisphere should point due south in order

down hospitals in Connecticut. Tropical Storm Allison left

Shading of any part of a solar array should be avoided at

power varies among

on in an emergency—fire stations, hospitals, community

available for solar panel placement. Ideally, solar panels in

of all PV cells in

panel. Peak rated

(3.9 hours per day * 365 days per year * 0.75) = 9.4

patients in New York when generators failed at two of the

The combined power

output of the solar

(10,000 kilowatt-hours per year) /

factors. In many cases, array size is limited by the space

easterly orientations can work as well and can be better

be the rated power

kilowatts

Optimal sizing of a solar array depends on a number of

to maximize energy generation, though more westerly or

a solar panel will

(6.6 hours per day * 365 days per year * 0.75) = 5.5

situated to produce electricity at different times of the day. all times. If even one cell is shaded, the power output of the whole interconnected array can be significantly impaired. The inclination, or tilt, of a solar panel is another important consideration. The most efficient inclination occurs when panels are aligned at an angle as close as possible to the location’s latitude. Most solar panels are installed with a fixed position. The addition of single or double axis tracking capabilities allows solar panels to alter their orientation throughout the day in order to maximize production along with the changing position of the sun. While these systems have higher efficiencies than fixed-tilt arrays, they are more complex and expensive. Tracking systems are more

Houston hospitals in the dark when generators failed. And failure is not just limited to severe weather. In 2003, a software problem led to massive blackouts across the Northeast, and diesel generators malfunctioned at hospitals throughout the region during the outage. The list goes on and on. Generators

can

fail

for

any

number

of

reasons:

malfunctioning switches, overheating, lack of adequate fuel supplies, improper sizing for loads. A key issue with diesel generators is that they spend the majority of their time just sitting there, doing nothing. When a generator sits idle for too long, it tends to break. There are protocols in place for periodic testing of generators, but testing is generally infrequent and does not typically reflect real load conditions. This sporadic testing provides no guarantee

common in large, utility-scale installations.

that generators will perform properly in an emergency.

per panel. Individual

When space isn’t a determining factor, solar systems are

Despite their flaws, diesel generators still meet the

panels can then be

typically sized to meet a facility’s average monthly or an-

minimum requirements specified by current backup power

nual electricity needs. Electricity needs can be estimated by

supply standards. Because of this, they remain the default

simply examining a facility’s electricity bills over a period to

choice in emergency power for many facility owners.

calculate average kilowatt-hour usage.

However, with their inherent limitations and consistently

The other crucial factor in sizing a solar system to meet

high rates of failure, diesel generators fail to ensure the

around 200 watts

connected to form a solar array.

electricity needs is determining how much solar energy

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level of reliable, resilient power that other technologies can provide and that critical facilities demand.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 40


Tech Insights Batteries The other main component of a solar+storage system is the energy storage technology, usually a battery. A battery is a device consisting of one or more electrochemical cells that converts stored chemical energy into electrical energy through chemical reactions. Each cell in a battery has a positive terminal (cathode), a negative terminal (anode), and an electrolyte. The electrolyte allows ions to move between terminals, which generates a current that can flow out of the battery to perform work. While there are many different varieties of batteries with different chemical compositions, the two most common technologies for solar+storage applications are lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries have been around since the mid-1800s and remain the workhorse of PV storage applications, though this may change as other technologies continue to evolve. Most people are familiar with the lead-acid batteries found in automobile engines; however, these are not the same as those used in energy storage systems. Car batteries are designed to be almost always at or near full charge, whereas those required for solar storage must be able to withstand frequent deep discharge. These are known as

take into account inverter and other losses incurred when

If a building is installing a solar+storage system from scratch,

DC power from the battery is converted to AC power.

with no existing solar system, it may not need a grid-tied

Battery system charge/discharge round trip efficiency can

inverter, but most systems must have a battery based inverter.

typically be assumed to be about 85 percent. So, for a facility with a total critical load of 2 kilowatts that must be able to supply power for two days, the battery bank will need to have a power rating of at least 2 kilowatts

A battery-based inverter can be known by any number of names: grid-interactive, dual-function, hybrid, bi-directional, multi-function. No matter what you call it, it is responsible for converting energy flowing to and from the battery.

deep-cycle lead-acid batteries. Some of the disadvantages

and an energy storage capacity of at least:

of lead-acid batteries for energy storage applications, such

( 2 kilowatts x 48 hours ) / ( 0.80 depth of discharge x

DC power from the battery must be converted to AC before it

as lower energy density and shorter battery life, are now

0.85 inverter efficiency ) = 141 kilowatt-hours

can be used to power loads, and AC power flowing in to charge

being addressed with the next generation of advanced lead-acid battery technologies.

Again, this is just a rough estimate of the battery storage

the battery must first be converted to DC. Unlike the grid-tied

system size a facility with these needs might require. Some

inverter, the battery-based inverter includes an automated

Lithium-ion batteries are a much newer and still developing

critical loads may not need to be powered 24 hours a day,

transfer switch that enables the system to disconnect from

technology. First used for consumer products like laptops

allowing for the battery capacity to be reduced. Available

the central grid and continue to operate critical loads during a

and mobile phones, lithium-ion batteries have a far greater

battery capacity is also highly dependent on temperature

energy density than lead-acid batteries, which means that

and the rate of discharge.

power outage. When the central grid is up and running again,

a lithium-ion battery can weigh less and require less space while storing the same amount of energy as a lead-acid battery. The term “lithium-ion” actually refers to a wide array of different chemistries, all of which transfer lithium ions between electrodes during charging and discharging reactions. Primarily due to their use in electric vehicles, the cost of lithium-ion energy storage technologies has been decreasing at a rapid pace in recent years. Each

battery

technology

has

its

advantages

both result in less available battery capacity. Both variables should be considered when designing a system. Ultimately,

and

proven technology that is widely available and relatively inexpensive. On the downside, they are quite large and heavy and tend to have a shorter lifespan than lithiumion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are more compact and lightweight and are better suited for frequent cycling. Lithium-ion batteries also typically perform better at low temperatures than lead-acid batteries. For some applications, the increased lifespan and more robust cycling capabilities of lithium-ion batteries will make them a more cost effective choice. As the costs of lithium-ion batteries continue to drop, they are likely to become increasingly cost competitive. Hybrid battery systems are also being deployed that combine the use of lead-acid and lithiumion batteries to capture the benefits of each technology. Like solar panels, batteries can be wired together to achieve desired current, voltage, and power ratings. To determine the optimal size of an emergency battery storage system, a facility must know the maximum power needs of critical loads and how much time the battery may be required to supply critical power. If the system will be required to provide critical power for an exceptionally long period of time, the developer may want to consider adding a generator as a third source of power during extended outages. Two other important factors must be considered when sizing the system: depth of discharge and inverter losses. Batteries can be damaged or have their lifespan significantly shortened if they are discharged too deeply too often. A good rule of thumb for sizing a lead-acid or lithium-ion battery system is to set a maximum depth of discharge of 80 percent. Battery system sizing must also

operation. Larger systems with multiple battery banks may require more than one battery based inverter.

capacity requirements and the choice of technology may

In a DC-coupled system with no grid-tied inverter, the

also be limited by real world considerations, such as cost

battery will usually be charged directly by the solar array.

and space available for placement of the battery system.

Because the solar array produces a DC current, no energy

Inverters

disadvantages. Deep-cycle lead-acid batteries are a

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Lower temperatures and higher rates of discharge will

the inverter will automatically switch back to grid interactive

Solar panels generate DC power and batteries discharge DC power; just about everything else in a building runs on AC power. That’s where inverters come in. Inverters can perform a number of useful functions, but their primary

conversion is needed. A charge controller connected between the solar array and battery is responsible for regulating the DC transfer of solar energy to the battery in these systems. In some cases, the charge controller is integrated with the DC port of the battery-based inverter.

role is converting energy between DC and AC currents.

Battery-based inverters should also be able to handle

There are many inverter manufacturers offering various

the energy from a PV system. Additionally, they must be

technologies, but only two basic types are commonly

sized with the ability to supply power to all critical loads

needed in a solar+storage system: grid tied inverters and battery-based inverters. If a building only has a solar PV system, it only needs a grid-tied inverter. These inverters are sometimes known as grid-direct inverters. They convert the DC power produced by solar arrays into the AC power used by appliances and distributed across the grid. Grid-tied inverters are required to have anti-islanding

simultaneously. The battery-based inverter should be appropriately sized to accommodate the larger of the two values. If the array can produce 4,000 watts and critical loads may require up to 5,000 watts, the battery based inverter should be sized to meet the 5,000 watt need.

Everything Else

protection, which ensures that they will shut down in the

A whole lot more goes into making a solar+storage system

event of a power outage. This is why most solar systems

work than just these few major components.

don’t provide any power when the central grid goes down. Depending on the number of solar panels involved, a system may have one or many grid-tied inverters. Some

It takes fuses, circuit breakers, switchgear, cables and wires, mounting hardware, battery enclosures, and

solar panels even have their own built-in inverters, called

safety equipment like earth-grounding and lightning

micro-inverters. Micro-inverters typically increase the cost

protection to properly get a system up and running.

of a system, but can also improve the overall performance

Added functionality like peak load reduction may require

of a solar array. A system based on micro-inverters can

additional management software and hardware. For

optimize performance for each individual panel, so

systems with large loads or extended outage requirements,

that one poorly performing panel won’t drag down the performance of the whole array. This can be particularly

it may be necessary to incorporate a backup generator.

beneficial when shading or debris can be an issue. Grid-

There are myriad possible equipment combinations and

tied inverters should be sized to effectively pass energy

sometimes getting all these pieces to work together can

from the PV system to building loads or the grid. If a solar

be a challenge. To help avoid compatibility issues, it can

array is rated to produce a maximum 4,000 watts of power,

be beneficial to use hardware from a single manufacturer

the inverter should be sized accordingly.

whenever possible.

Solar Quarter • January 2018 41


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 42


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Solar Quarter • January 2018 43


w w w . s o l a r q u a r t e r . c o m

Solar Quarter • January 2018 44

SolarQuarter January 2018  
SolarQuarter January 2018