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SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

Volume II, Issue III

Pages 60

`200

ISSN 2348-5027

Complete Renewable Energy Intelligence

ROOFTOP

SOLAR A CONSUMER DRIVEN ENERGY REVOLUTION Game Changing Potential of Distributed Power Generation

Design and Development of TI’s Grid Tied Inverter

Examining PV Module Failure


SmartEnergy Complete Renewable Energy Intelligence

Editor Santosh Khadtare santosh@supersmartenergy.com

Associate Editor Anisha Ganguli EDITORIAL ADVISER Pragya Sharma Editorial Co-ordinator Varsha Graphic Designer D. Vaidya Advertising & Marketing Head- Marketing & Business Development Sapna K sapna@supersmartenergy.com

Chief Executive Officer Rahul Raj Chandra Support Team Sunil Pawar Bharti Shetty Disclaimer All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and information in this magazine, opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not neccessarily reflect the vies of the owner/ publisher and the editorial team. Genesis Info-Media shall not be liable for any consequences in the event such claims are found- not to be true

Editor's Note Energy storage is hitting an inflection point, from being expensive to suddenly make economic sense. Tesla’s launch of a home battery that powers on solar is likely to give a big boost to renewable, disrupt business models, and tap into markets opening billions of dollar in coming decades. If successful, the battery will be a game changer in India's standby power sector, which relies heavily on diesel. For residential areas, reliable low-cost storage can help consumers think seriously of off-grid solutions, as is already happening in some western countries. Such batteries can do miracles for far-flung areas where feeding electricity through grid is practical impossible, such technology can power homes at a small cost and help in realizing the “Power for All” dream in India. Though difficult to predict, Tesla’s battery is definitely a shot in the arm for the energy storage industry. The potential of rooftop solar has never been disputed. But, MNREs decision to generate 40,000 MW of the 100GW from rooftop solar has given the required boost to the sector. The cover story in this edition deliberates on the challenges to successful implementation of rooftop solar, as well as possible interventions and support from the government that can unleash the vast potential of rooftop solar in India. This edition also bring article on the game changing potential of DG against the backdrop of Nepal earthquake and other natural calamities where electricity is the first casualty making life miserable for the survivors. In addition regular features like interviews and product updates make this edition a must read. Not wasting much of you time I suggest you to turn pages and relish the content. Don’t forget to write back your feedback to the editor at info@supersmartenergy.com.

Santosh K Editor Santosh@supersmartenergy.com

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Printed, published and edited by Santosh Khadtare on behalf of Genesis Info-Media, published at 509, pushp plaza, above snehanjali shworoom, manvelpada road, Virar Dist Thane and printed at M B Graphics, B 28, 3rd Floor Shri Ram Industrial Estate,Wadala West, Mumbai.

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SmartEnergy

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Contents

View this issue online on www.supersmartenergy.com

28

20

Rooftop Solar A Consumer Driven Energy Revolution

36

22

SPOT LIGHT Game Changing Potential of Distributed Power Generation Authored By: Abhishek Gupta

34

BY INVITE Rooftop Solar: Forecasts a Bright Future for India Authored By: Anurag Garg

40

REVIEW Design and Development of TI’s Grid Tied Inverter

EXPERT INSIGHT T Sriraman Founder & MD, Soltech Equipments

IN CONVERSATION Sethuraman A MD India and Sr. VP, Global Operations, Imergy Power Systems India Private Limited

44 EXCLUSIVE Ivan Saha President & CTO, Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd.

46 FACE 2 FACE Prabhu Ramachandran Director, WebNMS

Authored By: Naveen Bevara

50

SPECIAL FEATURE Examining PV Module Failure

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08. News Update 54. Product Review 57. Events Watch

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USE SOLAR ENERGY SAVE FUTURE GENERATION Govt of India

MNRE

CORPORATE OFFICE:

Approved

72, Palodia (Via Thaltej), Ahmedabad - 382115, India Email: electra@electrotherm.com Toll Free: 1800-258-4040

Year WARRANTY


NEWS THIS MONTH

Vikram Solar Collaborations with European Partners Within the framework of the Make in India initiative, solar company Vikram Solar has begun three new collaborations with leading international research institutes and technology companies from Germany and Switzerland. The partnerships are intended to further optimize the module production technology at Vikram, make preparations for cell manufacturing at the company, and establish a solar academy in India. Memorandums of understanding were signed to this effect with Fraunhofer ISE and the companies Meyer Burger and Centrotherm photovoltaics at the world's largest industrial trade show, Hannover Messe. Fraunhofer ISE in Germany is the biggest solar research institute in Europe, and will assist Vikram Solar with the research and development of industrial scale crystalline silicon solar cell and module processing. The aim is to help Vikram to rapidly expand its manufacturing capability and emerge as one of the largest integrated players in the solar industry. In addition, Fraunhofer and Vikram Solar are set to collaborate on establishing a solar academy in India, which will serve

Signing of MoUs at Hannover Messe 2015: F.l.T.R.: Thorsten Herdan (Director General for policy & heating and efficiency ñ German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs), Dr. Upendra Tripathy (Secretary MNRE), Michael Escher (CCO, Meyer Burger), Dr. Ing. Josef Haase (Sr. VP Technology & Sales PV, Centrotherm), Ivan Saha (President & CTO, Vikram Solar), Gerhard Stryi ñ Hipp (Head of Energy Policy, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE)

to impart technical knowledge, expertise, and practical training in solar energy systems. Fraunhofer will deploy technicians and experts to provide knowledge and training to the aspiring individuals of the solar academy. Headquartered in Switzerland, Meyer Burger is a leading global technology group delivering systems, production equipment and fully integrated system solutions and services along the entire photovoltaic value chain. Vikram Solar already uses Meyer Burger production equipment. In order to further strengthen this relationship, Vikram Solar and Meyer Berger signed an MoU for the provision of selected solar cell and module manufacturing equipment and for collabora-

tion on process improvements in solar cell and module manufacturing, as well as research & development for materials, processes, and device technologies. Centrotherm AG is a world-class manufacturer of cell production equipment and provides solutions for different levels of expertise across the crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturing value creation chain, specifically for processes, technology, systems, and applications. Within the scope of their partnership, Vikram Solar and Centrotherm have agreed to collaborate by using Centrotherm's production equipment and manufacturing expertise to improve cell efficiency and productivity ■

Orb Energy Crosses 100 branches in Karnataka Orb Energy (“Orb”) announced that it has surpassed more than 100 branches in Karnataka. From its branch network Orb sells, installs and services solar energy systems for electricity and hot water for both residential and commercial customers. Orb designs, and manufactures its own range of solar systems from its head office in Bangalore. Damian Miller, the Chief Executive Officer of Orb, said: "Orb is in the process of building

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the largest branch network for solar energy in India. Our unique approach ensures that our products are sold, installed and serviced at optimal quality. Our objective is that customers should experience the best solar systems available, coupled with expert installation and reliable after-sales service” Orb’s branch network in Karnataka covers not only the major towns and cities in the state but also small towns and rural areas.

In addition to serving urban customers, Orb also serves rural customers where solar helps struggling families and businesses to reduce their energy expenditure and have a more reliable form of energy. With a total of 105 branches now in Karnataka, Orb sees that the state could have more than 150 branches by the end of this fiscal year. The company is now in the process of establishing more branches in and around Bangalore where it is yet to establish its presence ■  www.supersmartenergy.com


NEWS THIS MONTH

Mahindra Susten deploys first solar powered petrol pump in Uttar Pradesh Mahindra Susten, India’s largest solar EPC Company, has deployed its very first solar powered petrol pump for Indian Oil in Uttar Pradesh. The stateof-the-art solar PV solution has been executed keeping in mind the highest quality standards and has been installed at the S.V. Filling Station, Rajesultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.

proud to have partnered with Mahindra Susten and are extremely pleased with the execution quality” said Vakil Ahmed, Owner, S.V. Filling Station.

“Indian Oil Corporation completely supports the Government’s vision to achieve the 100 GW mark in solar installations and hence, our focus on converting our retail outlets to green facilities as far as possible. The solar installation at the S.V. Filling Station is not only a step in this direction but also helps reduce our dependence on conventional fossil fuel. It also results in lower operating charges and increases reliability of electricity supply at the pump. The long life span of solar plants and the fact that it does not require much maintenance, is an added advantage” said Ashish Gupta, Senior Divisional Retail Sales Manager, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.

“This solar powered petrol pump has been designed in accordance with the latest IS guidelines and standards and also takes into account the exact number of dispensers and their load consumption pattern. We would like to congratulate both Indian Oil and Mr. Ahmed for taking such a proactive step and hope others will follow suit,” said Sachin Singh, Regional Head – North, Mahindra Susten.

“We have great faith in Mahindra Susten who we selected to execute this project on the basis of their past track record and reputation, in addition to their proposal being extremely detailed and cost competitive. We are

The speedy execution and project quality displays Mahindra Susten’s expertise and ability to deliver under any circumstance, even in the remotest parts of the country. Mahindra has Ferro Buildhards, represented by Nitin Gupta, as an exclusive channel partner in Uttar Pradesh (East), for quick on – site execution and speedy after-sales support. The name Susten is derived

from two words, Sustainability and Enabler and reflects the aspirations of the company that seeks to positively impact lives and emerge as a thought leader in the sustainable engineering space. With a keen focus on execution excellence and innovation, the company has grown exponentially over the last 3 years with a workforce of over 400 employees and a presence across the country. Mahindra Susten began by offering Turnkey EPC services for solar projects in 2011 and now has three business divisions – Energy, with a portfolio of over 350 MW of solar projects in both Utility and Roof-top, Engineering, for Solar and Infrastructure Projects, and Build Solutions for the Industrial Sector Construction ■

Manipal University & Tata Power Solar unveil solar car prototype aimed at commercial usage Tata Power Solar, India’s largest integrated solar player and Manipal Institute of Technology, India’s leading technology institute, which is a constituent of Manipal University, unveiled today - SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle), the university’s first prototype solar car ready for

exploring commercial viability. Designed by students of SolarMobil team, with an intention of commercial usage, the vehicle is custom-fit with bespoke solar panels designed by Tata Power Solar. SERVe is the perfect showcase of an industry-academia effort that will help increase the

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role of solar innovation in green mobility, with an objective of proliferation of eco-vehicles. This four-wheeled prototype, run solely on solar energy, is designed by the above team of 27 student enthusiasts. Weighing 590 kgs, this two-seater solar car

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NEWS THIS MONTH can reach up to 60 kmph with a cruising speed of 30 Kmph. Designed keeping in mind the mobility and commercial viability, the solar panels have been custom-made to fit the car’s curved surface enhancing the aerodynamics and performance of the vehicle. The highly efficient customized panels weigh just 35kgs and provide upto 960 watts power and weigh less than half of the conventional panels. The car also houses a Direct Solar Drive, powered by solar panels, to maintain the cruising speed and is supplemented by extra power from its high-end energy storage system. Speaking on the project, Dr P Giridhar Kini, Associate Director, Manipal University said, “We are extremely happy to see how our students have combined their passion for green energy, through the launch of SERVe. Industry-academia collaboration is the key to foster innovation

among the student community. Hence, working with corporates like Tata Power Solar helped our students get technical support and knowledge transfer. The team looks forward to working with more companies for future projects and to continue to nurture student-level innovation.” “We are pleased to be part this project driven by a talented student-team. This project epitomizes Tata Power Solar’s belief that fostering innovation is key for the proliferation of solar energy. We not only encourage innovation within our organization but also propagate universities participation for this cause, since they can play an important role in driving innovation in part-

nership with the industry. The solar car is one of many ventures which we have supported, and we firmly believe India’s students will act as a key contributor in the progress of our solar industry.” said Ashish Khanna, ED & CEO, Tata Power Solar. The core members of the student design team SolarMobil, include: Anudeep Reddy, Jeet Bannerjee, Siva Bhushan Reddy, Anjan Kumar, Varun Gupta, Rohan Sahdev, Madhav Lakhotia, Samay Goenka, Sulekh.P, Akshat Singh, Amol Grover and Nikhil Gumidelli ■

Sterling and Wilson Develops 140 MW of Solar Power Plants across India during FY 2014-15 Sterling and Wilson Pvt. Ltd., part of Shapoorji Pallonji Group and one of India’s leading solar EPC companies with over 350 MW of solar projects spread across 13 states is close to commissioning more than 140 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation plants in India for the financial year 2014 – 2015. The Solar Photovoltaic power plant projects have been developed by Sterling and Wilson for various private sector institutions across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. According to Sterling and Wilson, the cumulative power output from the 140 MWs of solar power projects commissioned by them in a commendable time frame of 365 days would be able to

light up 2,00,000 Indian homes or approximately 4 times the number of households in New Delhi. From an environmental perspective, Sterling and Wilson has helped in reducing the country’s carbon footprint by decreasing its dependency on coal for captive power generation by 70 tonnes per year, which is the approximate amount of coal required to generate around 140 MW of electricity. Sterling & Wilson has also been ranked the top solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company in India by the Hong Kong-based IHS Research, a market research firm. The India and global lists put the company ahead of well-entrenched Indian solar EPC players such as L&T ECC Solar, Mahindra EPC and

Moser Baer. Speaking on the milestone of completing 140 MW of solar power generation plants across India during the last financial year, Mr. Bikesh Ogra, President, Sterling and Wilson, Electrical & Solar Business said, “It has been a very exciting year in terms of the solar projects executed by us at Sterling and Wilson. Our superior engineering capability coupled with our astute technical know-how has enabled us to deliver most of our projects in an efficient manner on or before the deadlines set by our clients. All of the Sterling and Wilson commissioned plants perform at a higher than estimated efficiency level thus increasing the value generated by it for the client on a yearly basis." ■

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May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


NEWS THIS MONTH

Welspun Renewables Signs 550 SunEdison and the Karnataka GovernMW MoU with iPLON at Hannover Messe, Germany ment Jointly Inaugurate 1 MW Canal Top Welspun Renewables and affordable through rapid iPLON announced the expansion. Towards this Solar Project signing of a 550 MW MoU. goal we have chosen to partThe Independent Power Producer (IPP) has chosen iPLON GmbH, a firm based in Schwaebisch Hall Germany, for supply, installation and commissioning of Solar PV power plant automation systems for its upcoming projects in India.

Vineet Mittal, Vice Chairman Welspun Renewables commented , “Welspun Renewables carries the responsibility of bringing about low-carbon transition in the energy sector. We are taking concrete actions in solving India's energy-related issues – energy security and climate change. By steadily building country’s largest solar capacities we are proving that green energy is doable and can be made

ner with Tier 1 technology partners, as this helps us in achieving high level quality benchmarks at our project site. Our partnership with iPLON will help us in delivering optimum plant performance day in day out .”

iPLON’s CEO Victor Thamburaj said “It is a pleasure to work with Welspun Renewables in expanding India’s clean energy security agenda. Through this venture we are making our first investment in India with our operations spreading across Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It’s a proud moment for us to be able to contribute to Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.” ■

SunEdison, Inc., the world's largest renewable energy development company, announced the completion of a one megawatt (MW) canal top solar power plant which it has built for Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd (KBJNL), the Karnataka government agency responsible for the Krishna River and Dam. Pashupathy Gopalan, President of SunEdison Asia-Pacific said: "SunEdison is extremely proud to successfully install and commission this canal top project on the banks of the Krishna river for the Karnataka government. . It is heartening to see other state governments embrace this innovative use of solar technology, which was pioneered by SunEdison for the Narmada Canal Top Project in Gujarat in 2012. We thank the Karnataka Government, the Honourable Chief Minister Shri Siddaramaiah, the Honourable Energy Minister Shri D. K. Shivakumar and the KBJNL authorities for their support in this project." ■

Havells India to expand its footprints in Solar Energy The Board of Havells India Limited approved the acquisition of majority stake of 51% in Promptec Renewable Energy Solutions at an enterprise value of Rs 65crs. Promptec Renewable Energy Solutions is a leading manufacturer of LED and Solar lighting products. With this acquisition, Havells would expand its footprints into two high growth lighting verticals of LED and Solar energy. Anil Rai Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Havells India Limited said, "Promptec is an ideal fit for Havells and the acquisition is expected to provide substantial impetus

to Havells' growth plans in the high potential segments of LED and Solar Solutions. Havells is constantly looking to add fresh products in its portfolio as part of its endeavor to serve its existing and additional customers & channels. The alliance also marks the entry of Havells into the promising field of solar energy that could further be expanded, considering the number of renewable energy initiatives of the Government." “We expect Promptec, which currently has revenues of Rs. 35 crores to grow multifold with its innovative lighting solutions and be a 250 crore rupee business

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in next 3"4 years”, he further added. Havells would significantly leverage Promptec’s experience and skills through its vast distribution network along with tapping into Promptec’s credentials in the emerging LED street lighting segments and solar products. The acquisition of Promptec would lead Havells to grow aggressively in the LED segment through a quick market reaction and short development cycles. Havells plans to take share of LED lighting to over 40%"!50% of its total lighting sales and this acquisition is a further step in the journey ■

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Short Facts

HVA28TD The b2 electronic Gmbh high voltage testing and diagnostics device HVA28TD offers outstanding features in terms of size, weight, ruggedness, safety and ease of use. Testing and diagnostics of medium voltage cables, rotating machines and transformers was never that easy.

• VLF and DC Output • Tan Delta Diagnostics (TD) • Leakage Guard • Sheath Test • Sheath Fault Location • Vacuum Bottle Test

Features • Output voltage 28kVpeak 20kVrms • Pure sinusoidal output voltage (load-independent) • Out put current 20mA max. • highest test capacity of 10μF. • Ultra light and compact weight (14kg) • Total Protection-unbreakable, watertight, dust proof, chemical resistant and corrosion proof case • Protection class IP67 (with closed lid) • Unlimited and continuous duty cycle

• Large Colour Display (4,3") • Internal TD Measurement with high accuracy (1x10-4) • Tan delta Measurement with various Frequency (0.01-0.1Hz) • Leakage Guard-leakage current correction • Cable testing according: CENELEC HD 620/621, IEEE 400.2-2004, IEEE 400-2001, etc • Programmable test sequences • USB and Bluetooth connections • Upgradable with partial discharge diagnostic system (optional)

• Integrated 12kV transient protection (50Hz) • Dual Discharge Device (DDD), both integrated and automatic discharge devices • Easy exchangeable HV cable • Intuitive menu operation Sheath Test • Sheath Fault Locating (in combination with Earth Fault Locator) • Vacuum Bottle Test


NEWS THIS MONTH

SECI invites bids for 2GW of solar EPC contracts The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the government body leading the country’s flagship Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, is inviting engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms to bid for contracts to build 2,000MW of solar power capacity. In an expression of interest notice, SECI said it was aiming to rapidly scale up solar power generation in the country. The 2,000MW of PV capacity planned to meet this aim will be made of projects ranging from 250MW to 500MW which SECI will contract on an EPC basis.

The time periods envisaged for completion of the projects are 30 months for 500MW and 24 months for 250MW. But it was unclear how SECI’s plan fitted into other solar programmes in India, which is pursuing a target of 100GW of solar by 2022. With a minimum of 4.5 acres required for 1MW, a 500MW project would require 2,250 acres. This is “a massive task” given the troubles of land acquisition in India. For example, local reports this week said that land prices in

Tamil Nadu rose five-fold after an announcement from Adani Group of plans to build a solar park of 1,000MW capacity in the region. However, president of the Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Association, Raju V R said that the hike in Tamil Nadu land prices was only moderate and increased demand for land was simply bringing prices back up to levels from four years ago. He also said that what solar companies pay for land is nominal compared to the PV installations ■

Uttar Pradesh waives AP govt to make state a off VAT on solar energy renewable energy hub equipment Andhra Pradesh government has decided to impleRecognising the potential of solar energy, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced waiving off VAT on solar energy equipment and said the State was working towards setting up solar power plants and parks here. “I announce to waive off VAT on solar equipment. Our State has a vast potential and if facilities are given here, the entrepreneurs could make India a developed nation. ‘Make in India’ could not succeed without ‘Make in U.P.’,” Mr. Yadav said. He was addressing North India Solar Summit-2015 organised by Indian Industries Association (IIA). Mr. Yadav said the State has announced its solar policy and the state government was working on the directions of making solar power plant and solar parks in the State. The Chief Minister said that in under construction Loha Housing scheme, arrangements are being made to run light and fans through solar power. He said that a village will soon be energised through solar power and no money would be charged from villagers adding that the State was working to ensure 16 to 18 hour power supply in rural areas and 22 to 24 hour supply in urban areas ■

ment a comprehensive action plan to maked the state a renewable energy hub in the next four years. As part of this plan, the government has contemplated to achieve 5,000 MW solar power and 4,000 MW wind power by 2019 to meet the twin objectives of energy security and clean energy considerations, an official release issued in Hyderabad. Impressed with the new solar and wind policy, KFW, a German Bank, has agreed to sanction Rs 515 crores at concessional rate of interest towards green energy corridor. The AP government is now contemplating to constitute a taskforce for expediting renewable energy projects, it said. Secretary (Energy) Ajay Jain, discussed with concerned officials the impact of solar and wind projects and the steps to be initiated by power utilities for completion of green energy corridor with an estimated cost of Rs 1,289 crores, with the support of Centre and international financial institutions The Discoms would procure around 2,000 MW of solar power capacity in a phased manner within the next 4 to 5 years and they would enter a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of 25 years with developers who are selected, based on a competitive procurement process. The government has initiated all measures to develop the solar park with a capacity of around 2,500 MW, with support of Centre, public undertaking sectors like NTPC, NVVL, MNRE, etc ■

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NEWS THIS MONTH

Govt to kickstart its 100,000-MW solar energy plan soon The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is considering starting its plan to build a 100,000-MW solar energy capacity by 2022 through award of 10,000-MW projects in the coming three months. The plan includes close to 6,000 MW of capacity to be set up by NTPC alone, 2,500 MW by Solar Energy Corporation, around 2,500 MW in Madhya Pradesh and the rest as solar energy parks in several other states. NTPC plans to harness 25,000 MW of solar power in six years. Of this, it has committed to building 10,000 MW itself. The balance it will tender to private players and bundle with unutilised thermal power and sell at an average rate.

NTPC's plan has two solar parks - 1,500 MW in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh; and 1,000 MW in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. The clearance for land and tenders for transmission have been achieved and capacity will be awarded through rate-based bidding.

come up in Rewa and bids would be called in batches of either 250 MW or 500 MW, by May.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a fully owned subsidiary of the ministry of new and renewable energy, has invited tender for 2,000 MW of projects.

India's current solar capacity is 3,382 MW and the amount commissioned under the solar mission is 1,112 MW. The current government revised upwards the target for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission by five times. It aims to have in place 100,000 MW of solar capacity by 2022, including by foreign investment.

SECI is also about to sign a joint venture agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government to develop India's first solar ultra mega power plant, of 750 MW at one location. Officials in the state's renewable energy department said the project would

States are also awarding projects. MP leads with 2,500 MW. Others to issue tenders soon are Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Rajasthan is studying a model for harnessing solar power on a large scale in desert areas ■

ACME signs PPA for 30 MW Solar Project with Uttar Pradesh ACME, India’s leading green energy player, announced the signing of the PPA for 30 MW solar PV power projects with Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited. The power plant will be set-up at Mahoba District over 150 acres of land. As per the terms and conditions of the agreement, ACME Group would provide approx. 50 mn units power annually for a period of 12 years at a tariff of Rs. 8.93/ KWh and thereafter, it would supply power for further 13 years at the price of eleventh

year Average Pooled Purchase Cost(APPC). Commenting on this momentous occasion, Mr. Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, Founder & Chairman, ACME Group said, “We thank the Uttar Pradesh State Government, Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (State Nodal Agency) and Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (State Discom) for the opportunity given to us to partner with the state through green energy generation. We look forward to helping the state bring down

its power demand-deficit and look forward to support from all stakeholders in making this state an ideal green State.” This project would entail an estimated investment of approx $ 37 mm/ Rs.225 crore. The work on the project shall commence by November 2015 and will be commissioned by August 2016. This will be evacuated by 132 KV line connecting the power plant to the State grid ■

MNRE selects 50 cities for Solar City program India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has selected 50 cities under its Solar Cities Program. The program is aimed at reducing the projected demand for conventional energy in the selected cities by 10 percent over five years.Such cities will have to both enhance supply

from renewable energy sources and implement energy efficiency measures. The program encourages the selected cities to adopt different types of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, and wasteto-energy.The cities may have

between half a lakh and fifty lakh people. But north-eastern states, hilly states, islands and union territories have a special category. According to an official statement, master plans are ready for 44 cities. Also, stakeholders’ committees have been constituted in all the 50 cities ■

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May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


NEWS THIS MONTH

SKF signs strate- Gamesa Wins Fresh Orders gic agreement with Worth 194 MW In India ReGen Powertech Spanish wind energy techMaharashtra, Tamil Nadu SKF has signed a strategic agreement with Regen Powertech, a leading Indian wind turbine manufacturer. Under the terms of the agreement, SKF will supply pitch and yaw bearing sets and mainshaft bearings for the company’s 1.5MW wind turbines. Shishir Joshipura, Managing Director and Country Head, SKF India, said, “This agreement positions us as a strategic partner with a key manufacturer of wind turbines in India. These bearings will be manufactured at SKF’s state of the art manufacturing facility at Ahmedabad. This is a reflection of SKF’s response and commitment to the government’s ‘Make in India’ program.” “ReGen has been buying Main Shaft Bearings from SKF since its inception. The partnership with SKF has helped ReGen to grow in the Indian Market. The new agreement signed for supply of pitch and yaw bearings is another step towards strengthening this partnership between the two companies. SKF has always been the preferred partner for ReGen and this relationship will continue to grow,” says Madhusudan Khemka, Managing Director, ReGen Powertech ■

nology provider Gamesa is progressing well on its plan to expand its footprint in the Indian wind energy market.

The company announced fresh orders worth 194 MW from a number of customers in India, and all signed during Q1 2015. Gamesa will set up a 108 MW wind farm in Madhya Pradesh, and a 50 MW project in Gujarat, and will be fully responsible for the erection and commissioning of the 2 projects in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The smaller of the 2 projects is expected to be commissioned in July this year while the larger one will be commissioned by February 2016. Gamesa will maintain both the projects through long-term service contracts. The company will also supply 36 units of its G97-2.0 MW wind turbines to four wind farms located in the states of Madhya Pradesh,

and Andhra Pradesh.

Gamesa has been very positive about the growth prospects of the Indian wind energy sector. This year, the company plans to commission 1 GW capacity in India, nearly double the capacity it managed to add in 2014. The company has also announced plans to invest $1,119 billion over the next 5 years in the country to grab a larger share of the wind energy market. Currently, Gamesa holds 32% of the market share in India’s wind energy market. India remains an extremely high potential market for wind energy solutions providers. The government has announced plans to add almost 40 GW capacity by 2022. With high capacity addition plans in the solar power sector announced the government, Gamesa is also looking to develop solar power projects in India ■

Neo Solar Power and DuPont Signed Technology Cooperation Agreement Neo Solar Power and DuPont Taiwan Ltd. signed a technology cooperation agreement regarding high-efficiency solar cell technology on April 9th. The purpose of this technology cooperation is to develop high-efficiency solar cell technology using new DuPont(TM) Solamet(R) PV19x series photovoltaic metallization paste, in order to help NSP improve solar cell efficiency and panel power output. "DuPont is focused on the development of advanced materials that help improve

16 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

the power output, durability and return on investments for solar energy systems," said Walt Cheng, managing director, Greater China, DuPont Electronics & Communications. "R&D on innovative materials such as Solamet(R) pastes, as well as collaborations with forward-thinking manufacturers such as NSP, are key to the continued success of solar energy." "NSP has formed a strong, positive collaboration with DuPont on solar cell technology. By using advanced materials from DuPont and by working

closely together, we are able to increase the efficiency of NSP solar cells and improve the power output of solar panels. The signing of the technology cooperation agreement will enhance the two companies' cooperation in solar energy," said Sam Hung, chief executive officer, NSP. Technology and quality are the core competencies of NSP. NSP will continue to invest in R&D to manufacture cost-effective, high-efficiency and reliable solar products to fulfil different customer needs ■  www.supersmartenergy.com


NEWS THIS MONTH QUICK TAKES NATIONAL NTPC to invest ₹ 1,779 cr for phase-1 AP solar project NTPC Ltd’s board of directors approved an investment of ₹ 1,779.25 crore for the Anantapur Solar PV Project, Stage-I (5x50MW) in Andhra Pradesh. This is the first phase of the 1,000 MW ultra mega solar power project. The company has already entered into a power purchase agreement with state electricity distribution utilities Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd and Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd for the first phase. The tariff for energy supplied from this solar plant has been fixed at Rs 6.16 per unit for a period of twenty five years.

Madhya Pradesh approves 750-MW solar project

pared with the 948 MW achieved in 2013-14 and slightly higher than the target of 1,100 MW.

PTC India Financial Services to partner IFC for renewable energy projects State-run PTC India Financial Services Ltd announced a partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to fund renewable energy projects in India. “This collaboration will help standardise steps that lenders take when co-financing projects with IFC. The ultimate aim is to make local currency financing available in shorter time-frames and reduce financing costs for borrowers, enabling them to operationalise projects faster,” according to a company release.

Spain proposes to develop Delhi as smart city

Madhya Pradesh has authorised the construction of a 750-MW solar power facility in Rewa district, according to a statement released from the officials.

According to reports, Spain has proposed to cooperate with India in developing smart and sustainable cities in the country and presented a draft of a Memorandum of Understanding in this regard.

The state will turn to the World Bank for a loan to be used for the commissioning of the solar power station, which is viewed as the world’s largest. The project will require a total investment of about INR 45 billion (USD 712m/ EUR 649m), the release further stated.

The draft MoU relating to urban development was presented during the meeting of a high level Spanish delegation led by its Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Garcia-Margallo y Marfil with the Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu in Parliament House

4,000-MW renewable energy projects set up in FY-15

Chinese Solar firms to setup manufacturing unit in AP

More than 4,000 MW of grid-connected renewable energy power projects were set up in 2014-15, beating the targets by 8.5 per cent. At the end of March 2015, India had 35,777 MW of renewable energy capacity.

Two Chinese Solar firms have evinced interest in setting up manufacturing units for solar power in Andhra Pradesh.JA Solar, a known name for solar cell and solar module products is also likely to establish a 500 MW plant in AP. The Company’s President Xie Jian stated that the firm is looking for long-term investment opportunities in India and International

The highlight of the year was the addition in solar capacity, which stood at a record 1,112 MW, com-

18 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

markets. According to the reports from CMO, TCL Corporation and Nanjing-based construction giant Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Company also evinced interest in investments in AP.

Telangana to auction 2GW of solar power capacity The government of the south Indian state of Telangana is gearing up to invite tenders for the auction of solar power projects with total capacity of 2GW. It is the largest such initiative by either a state or the central government in India till date. Apparently the government is pinning its hopes on the kind of response it received from the auction of 500MW of projects last year. Domestic as well as foreign project developers had won significant project capacities at last year’s auction.

India Considers Using Dollar Hedging to Bring Down Cost of Solar Power Energy policymakers in India are considering a plan to use US dollars to make electricity from solar photovoltaic projects affordable. The novel plan under discussion has the potential to bring down tariffs in the region of IRP4-IRP5 a unit, roughly on par with supplies from gas-fired plants and slightly higher than coal. A brainchild of coal and power minister Piyush Goyal, the plan revolves around the idea of dollar-denominated tariff bidding. Under this arrangement, distribution companies would quote their price in dollars while tying up solar power for 25-year contracts but charge consumers in rupee ■

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INTERVIEW NEWS RE COVER FINANCE THIS STORY EXPERT MONTHINSIGHT

T Sriraman Founder and Managing Director Soltech Equipments

"We are working closely with Canadian Solar to bring some extremely unique solar products into the Indian market later this year"

Q

.Shed some light on Soltech Equipments over three decades presence in the Solar Power Industry in India? The different products and solutions you offer? Soltech was started with the vision of promoting widespread use of Solar power in the mid1980s. This was long before any major initiative in this space by the Government, so we had to start off with solar products like water heaters, cookers etc. One of the key strengths that we leveraged all along in order to create a niche in this space was innovation. Let me give you an example. Our early projects were in the Coimbatore region where we dealt with domestic Solar Water Heating systems. Most of these houses had their water tanks at roof level and this meant that water would not flow into the Solar Water Heater.

We came up with unique, customized configurations involving Auxillary Tanks (placed over the existing ones to elevate height) or in some cases, a Forced Flow Circulation method with a ball valve that made sure that the Solar Water Heater pipes were always filled with water before it was routed into the tank. We set up one of the earliest Solar Cooking systems in Tirupathi temple with parabolic concentrator technology that helped in feeding 40,000 during the mid-day meals. At some point we also worked with Solar Stills to generate distilled water, which I continue to believe, is a lucrative idea for starting a home business in remote areas. Over these years we have worked extensively with MNRE Nodal agencies like TEDA in promoting solar power technology. Since JNNSM, we have been able to

20 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

focus on Solar PV in a large way and with our strategic association with Canadian Solar, today we have an organization that provides Solar PV solutions across wide capacities from 1kW systems to multi-MW Solar Power Plants. We still offer some off-grid solar products but their proportion in our business has come down.

Q

.What difference, in growth, opportunities and service, has Soltech Equipments undergone after associating with Canadian Solar as its channel partner? It is a very good question. Though we were able to provide some innovative solutions in Solar and work with government agencies, the reach of Soltech was largely confined to Tamil Nadu and the neighboring states. For a company

ďƒœ www.supersmartenergy.com


to scale it needs the right partners. Canadian Solar is a global leader in Solar PV modules known for its quality and delivery. Our vision and value systems were already aligned. Hence, entering into a partnership was a mutually beneficial proposition. Although Soltech is the Channel Partner for their modules, association with Canadian Solar has helped significantly in elevating the overall brand value of Soltech and in the process open the doors to our growth across the globe.

Q

.The government has embarked on an ambitious plan of generating 100GW from Solar Energy, what opportunities are you looking at? As a company that has always been playing an active role in growth of solar in the country, we look forward to being a contributing partner in the government’s 100 GW plan. Our major thrust will be on Canadian Solar modules, which is already the market leader and the most preferred option for Indian projects. We are also keen on strengthening our position as a provider of world-class EPC and O&M services where we foresee significant opportunities as the industry matures. Overall we look to being associated with at least 1- 2% of the result.

Q

.How do you see the rooftop market in India and its role in achieving 100GW from Solar Energy? As far as rooftop is concerned, we have crossed the stage of educating people or creating awareness. Today the major gap in rooftop lies in the revenue model. Each state has its own policy that dictates the rooftop market there. This must be unified into something that is more general and nation-wide. There is a sizable unexplored market available for rooftop in India and with the right policy drivers, it could be a significant contributor to the 100 GW plan. Another important point here is

the need to differentiate the motivations for households and commercial properties to go solar and associate them to their respective power consumption pattern. In fact, it is a good idea to come up with different policies for attracting these two market segments, which some innovative startups are already doing through their propositions.

Q

.As an EPC player, what are the challenges in executing a solar project in India? How do you overcome these challenges? How do you ensure timely completion of a project? As in the case with any new market, there has been a sporadic mushrooming of ‘solar companies’ over the last few years. Unfortunately many of them do not stick around in business beyond a couple of years. Solar is a longterm business. For EPC, we focus on Captive Power Projects, which involve only the developer and us. This gives us the space and predictability needed to deliver on time. In most cases, time delays and uncertainties are caused by multi-party presence in a project especially if the power is being fed into the grid.

Q

.How is the market for solar products like lanterns, charges and streetlights? Where do you see the growth coming from? Off-grid products are one of the earliest solar solutions to find a market but their growth hasn’t been very impressive. This is largely because of the issue of energy storage and poor maintenance. Peak consumption happens at a time outside the window of solar power generation and hence, batteries are key components in these products. If we manage to address this challenge, solar products have a good market especially in remote areas with limited or no access to grid power. It is also important to educate the customers about

usage and maintenance of these products.

Q

.What differentiates Soltech Equipments from its competitors? How do you keep ahead of your competitors? Soltech has always placed quality and innovation above everything else. We have built the business and the Soltech brand on the trust of our customers and partners who continue to help us grow. When we are developing solar projects for a life of 25-30 years, our track record of being a part of the industry for the last three decades despite all odds shows our commitment to the business. It reiterates our promise of being there for our clients and thankfully all of them appreciate that. The trust thus established helps us deliver better results for them.

Q

.How has been the growth of the company over the years? What are your plans to take the company to a new level? As I had mentioned before, we have come a long way from solar cookers and water heaters to utility scale solar power projects. In a sense, we have evolved along with the solar industry in the country. Our vision is to facilitate widespread adoption of Solar technology and we would continue to tackle challenges in this front through innovative products and solutions. We are working closely with Canadian Solar to bring some extremely unique solar products into the Indian market later this year. Additionally, we also plan to address some key areas of technology like energy storage and monitoring systems, which will help in accelerating the inclusion of solar in our national energy mix. We would continue to extend our support to the initiatives by MNRE and TEDA for coming up with policies and incentives for adoption of solar power ■

21 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


SPOT LIGHT

Game Changing Potential of Distributed Power Generation Authored by: Abhishek Gupta

S

hould we continue to use our mobile devices only to make phone calls? Most people would fiercely contest that suggestion. Public policies are being formed around how to leverage its reach for unprecedented social change. New businesses are born and existing ones adapting, simply because of the possibilities that this device opens up for them and their consumers. Yet when electricity is talked about, most people perhaps unwittingly miss the “Game Changing” potential of distributed power generation and use. If solar can generate power almost anywhere, should we still limit where it should? It follows,

Logically, if power consumption is distributed, wouldn’t it be better if electricity generation is too? Distributed generation offers significant benefits to consumers while adding much needed resiliency over an electric grid based on a traditional centralized generation. A grim advocate for this much needed resilience is the recent earth-

A powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, causing massive damage in the capital Kathmandu. Large towers, many sub-stations, susceptible distribution poles etc.are always the first to give way leaving millions powerless.Distributed generation can offer significant benefits over a traditional centralized generation in such situations

22 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

quake in Nepal and parts of India. If electricity wasn’t disrupted due to the falling towers and if power was locally generated; primary light, basic communication and clean drinking water, critical for survival while relief is awaited, could have been available and hundreds of lives may have been saved. Large towers, long cables, many sub-stations, susceptible distribution poles etc. are as much danger to themselves as to others in such calamities and are always the first to give way leaving hundreds, thousands and even millions powerless. Distributed power generation also offers the benefit of producing electricity onsite, thereby reducing the need to build new transmission capacity while eradicating most of the technical losses and chances of theft (up to 60% in some states in India) that the larger grid cannot avoid. Naturally modern distributed power generation systems are being used in wide ranging applications from small household, to rural communities to large commercial and industrial use. Given its techno-commercial viability a surge in distributed power generation over the next decade on the back of the expanded deployment of renewable energy is eminent.

Enter Distributed Solar

»

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23 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


SPOT LIGHT PV Systems Of the possible solutions solar is the only truly distributed electricity source and thus the key driver of widespread deployment of the natural-fit distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems. Distributed solar Power Generation leads this transformation not only because it is abundant and sustainable but also because it is unique and highly configurable. While most other sources of electricity generate energy spinning turbines, Solar PV converts sunlight directly into electricity. • This “technical” difference is enormously consequential since, a solar power generation system • Has no moving part, so operation and maintenance is about basic cleaning. • Requires no fuel. Once the initial investment is paid off, the power produced is free. • Generates power without any pollution. Solar PV’s unique way of generating power has another important consequence: it can be highly distributed. Although states focus on big solar — constructing fields of panels—solar can also scale down to feet, even inches. Anywhere there is sunlight, which is in most places where humans are or can be settled, it can be harvested for power. Though adoption of solar power was primarily driven by government incentives, sharp fall in

cost of distributed solar power systems is driving adoption by small and large consumers of power. Solar power is no longer perceived a hobby of environmentalists with lots of money, in fact people get it not to save the planet, but because it’s a good deal.

Distributed solar power generation will grow not because people want to save the world, but because more people want to save money A recent report by the investment bank HSBC, for example,”…anticipates that the dropping price of solar power and battery technology will rapidly make distributed solar systems cheaper than traditional grid power…”.Trending news about Tesla’s introduction of battery based energy storage systems for more than just households is a huge step towards mass adoption of distributed solar power generation systems. Navigant Research forecasts that, from 2013 to 2018, distributed solar PV installed will represent $540.3 billion in revenue. Another analysis of the same dynamic by UBS anticipated that “… this trend could render the construction of new centralized power plants irrelevant…”

leapfrog from a financial and engineering model that relies on large centralized power plants to one that is more diverse - both in sources of location of generation and ownership of the generation assets,” This transition to a distributed solar power generation system will produce evolution of both technologies and business practices. Those that resist will at first drag and then dissolve.

What else is driving distributed solar? Capital Woes; Large power plants are not easy to turn off or turn on. Companies that invest in thermal power projects, for example, have to “win” coal mines to feed these giant plants. Setting up plants, developing mines, relocating communities, managing environmental impact is a capital-intensive and long drawn out misadventure. Even when completed the price at which these large plants can sell electricity to consumers

is bound and limited by geo-political landscape and red-tapism. Thus in recent times these large plants are finding it tough to raise funds — not just to operate or develop mines, but to run daily operations as well — as lenders have become wary of their ability to payback in light of rising costs and reducing margins. Power industry already accounts for most of their bad loans. Similar problems wrought all other forms of large scale power generation investments. Even large solar farms risk similar issues in light of the capacity and intent of the state utility to keep paying higher cost for power generation. Their “Creative Financing” today could in time explode leaving us debt ridden with blackened faces. Supply Woes; India is already the world’s third largest buyer of coal and coal imports jumped 33.5 percent in the last fiscal. A large portion of India’s annual coal needs is supplemented

»

“The electric power industry has a chance to

24 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

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SPOT LIGHT by imports. This puts pressure on our balance of trade and risks making our growth highly dependent on outside factors. Social Woes; According to recent news, as many as 63 thermal power projects, worth 57 Gigawatts (GWs), are running behind schedule across the country. Critical to the infrastructure, these overruns – at a time when the country is facing a power shortage of 30 GW – could cripple the economic growth of the country. Issues like land acquisition, frequent hartals, contractual disputes, tiff with villagers and slow civil works are to be blamed these delays. Even when these large plants materialize, transmission and commercial (AT&C) losses are between 26-70 percent of generation. These systemic and social problems aren’t likely to be resolved anytime soon. And the longer we wait the higher the cost of sitting around doing nothing. Rather than keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best, consumers are taking matters into their own hands, Get Solar and Get Going!

network, distributed solar has the potential to bypass the national p o w e r grid with its fraught distribution network. Distribute Solar Power Generation is best suited for electrifying remote and often inaccessible communities throughout India. This electrification can be done without investing in costly transmission and distribution network. And as the needs of these communities grow, incremental solar power capacity can easily be added. Distributed and rooftop solar has arisen as a viable strategy and effective alternative to waiting around for their governments to connect them to the electrical grid.

Future is Bright and Sunny

Hundreds of millions of people in India still lack access to centrallygenerated electricity, and live without power or rely on diesel generators and kerosene.

As consumers look for options and traditional utilities compensate losses by hiking rates to maintain their infrastructure and business models, it is bound to have a snowball effect. Even more consumers will push back and install their own captive solar power generation solutions.

Just as the advent of cell phones enabled villagers to communicate with the outside world by bypassing the conventional landline

Only solar PV has the potential to be minutely distributive and eventually diffuse into and become a pervasive and unre-

Distributed Solar P o we r s V i llage Micro-grids

"Around 280 million people in India to this day do not have electricity connection at their homes, they are denied the basic thing like power" Shri. Piyush Goyal

Minister for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy

26 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

markable feature of the built environment. That will make for a far, far more resilient energy system than today’s grid, which can be brought down by cascading failures emanating from a single point of vulnerability, a single line or substation. Distributed solar power solutions are smarter and more efficient, not only in the incremental ways current technologies are, but in stepwise, nonlinear ways, replacing entire centralized grid dependent systems rather than parts. We will find that in energy, as in so many other natural and human systems, distributed power works better, than the concentrated kind. If solar power keeps further evolving along the lines that it has been, its unique properties will propel it to dominance. Distributed solar power generation will grow not because people want to save the world, but because more people want to save money ■ Abhishek Gupta, is President - Sunipod and a Solar Energy Patriot, leading awareness programs to help institutional adoption of solar power as a cost appropriate means to achieve business excellence social cognizance in India. Sunipod India, manufactures key components used in solar power generation and provides turnkey project deployment solutions. www.sunipod.com

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NEWS THIS MONTH

ROOFTOP

SOLAR A CONSUMER DRIVEN ENERGY REVOLUTION

India has estimated 124 GW of rooftop solar PV potential. Taking into consideration this potential the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has set a target of 40GW of gridconnected rooftop solar power in its 100GW solar power target by 2022. This combined with the debilitating condition of power supply and growing price for grid electricity and diesel fuel to power diesel generator creates an unique opportunity for the growth of the sector in India. This article by Rohan Singh deliberates on the challenges to successful implementation of rooftop solar, as well as possible interventions and support from the government to unleash the vast potential of rooftop solar in India.

28 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

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NEWS THIS MONTH Solar energy is revolutionising the world. It’s revolutionizing the energy sector and most importantly it’s changing our economics. The sector has witnessed impressive growth in recent years and the changing energy dynamics with more focus on renewable has triggered new ambitions to scale up country’s generation targets. If things are on the set path, that day is not far when every house will turn into a power plant. Yes, this is not a part of some science fiction but a reality which has already started happening. The households will no longer be just the consumers of power but they will soon play an important role in power generation. Rooftop solar is going to democratise the energy production and distribution scenario in India. Every building, whether home, industry, institution or commercial establishment can generate some solar power by installing solar panels on their rooftop. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has ambitious plans of adding 100 GW of solar power by 2022 of which 40 GW has to come from rooftop solar. However to make this  dream of energy sector

into a reality, many policy reforms are urgently needed. To start with, India would need to implement the net-metering system, remove uncertainties, bring uniform tariffs across the country , and giving incentives to rooftop solar to compete with the grid electricity.

Viability of Solar Rooftop While the commercial and industrial rooftop segments have already seen viability in several states, results from the residential rooftop segment are still to be assessed. The solar industry believes easy access to finance and not subsidies will be key for rooftop installations to take off. Experience say, despite subsidies solar rooftop installations have performed way below targets. Of the 358 MW rooftop solar projects sanctioned by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), only 42 MW of rooftops have been installed so far. Looking at the scenario centre has planned to cut the subsidy on rooftop solar plants to 15 per cent from 30 per cent. The lesson is that  sub-

sidy system doesn’t work when finances itself are are low. Lack of financing solutions is a major hurdle in the solar rooftop market which needs urgent attention. The solar rooftop revolution has to be led by the common man but many consumers may not have the liquidity to pay for the entire solar system upfront. This capital should be financed by commercial banks and other financial institutions in the same way they finance a car loan or any other personal loan. The challenge in the commercial segment lies in getting access to the roof area for a longer period. The rooftop space, which was till now was not so useful commercially has become a valuable real asset, with hotels, hospital and other commercial buildings dedicating the space for solar projects. Rooftop installation are profitable for commercial buildings as these can utilise the solar power during peak-load daytime periods, thus saving the money required to set up battery banks. Unused power can be stored in a battery

»

29 

March/ April 2015 SmartEnergy 

File photo of a typical rooftop solar installation (Image Courtesy: www.123rf.com)


COVER STORY bank for use at night when energy consumption is the least. The power, either injected into the grid or consumed by owners of solar power systems, will be adjusted against the Renewable Purchase Obligation of the distribution companies. This is a critical part of the proposed guidelines as it would encourage the distribution companies to set up the infrastructure to enable implementation of such systems. For organisations planning to shift from traditional power to solar energy , a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant can not only be a money saver but also a new source of income with excess power supplied to the grid. While the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is still in the process of laying down specifications for incentives, experts feel that with the right policies and execution, solar rooftop installations can be a hot trend in green technology. It is a profitable business concept, and hence a viable investment option.

Rooftop solar panels are best installed on a large and flat roof which receives direct sunlight without shadow from the surrounding structures. If there is shadow on a part of the terrace during the day, PV solar panels are unable to harvest the sun’s energy for that period of time. To inject the generated power  into the grid, one needs to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the local distribution utility in the area . Under this agreement, a tariff is determined by the appropriate State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). However, the issues related to grid integration, metering, measurement and energy accounting for projects are under consideration with the government. The safety aspect should also be considered before installing the solar rooftop. There is always

a risk involved, as when the grid fails the solar power system automatically stops injecting power into the grid. This is called islanding, where the inverter isolates itself. This is a standard feature built into solar power inverters, making these safe for residential and commercial applications. A standalone feature in the inverter would enable captive consumption of the solar power generated in the event of any grid outage. Weight Load: The system should be carefully designed to withstand heavy winds. Such systems are designed to connect the solar power system to a roof using weights, rather than fasteners that must be anchored to the roof. Roof Condition: The roof should be in a good state prior to solar installation. If it needs significant repair or replacement, it should be done before installing the system. Investments Involved: Solar

Snapshots: Rooftop solar installations around the world

Installation and Requirements Some factors should be considered before installing a solar power plant on the rooftop including electrical load, current rate, roof size, load capacity and geographic location of the building. Rooftop PV installation can either be done for standalone use or to feed into the grid.

Rooftop Solar Car Parking by Sunipod

A 2.4 MW solar panel system on Anaheim Convention Center, City of Anaheim- California

Solar rooftop 2,000 megaw


panels accounts for the almost 70 per cent of the total project cost. The investment primarily depends upon the size of the power plant, which varies from a small kilowatt to multi-megawatt plant. At present, good-quality off-grid rooftop solar power plants can be installed at a cost of Rs 250,000 per kW. Typically, a solar power plant has a life of 25 years with proper maintenance. Ownership: The rooftop solar projects can have two kinds of ownership arrangements: Selfowned arrangement wherein rooftop owner also owns the PV system and third party ownership in which a developer owns the PV system and also enters into a lease agreement with the rooftop owner. Third party financing mechanisms include both power purchase agreements (PPA) and leasing arrangements. With a PPA, the host agrees to purchase all the energy produced onsite.

Solar PV on Apartment Complex

Any excess generation is typically subject to a net metering arrangement between the host customer and a utility. With a leasing arrangement, the host agrees to pay a fixed monthly fee that is not directly based on the amount of on-site generation.

But why is rooftop solar not picking up fast in India? Even though it has so much of prospects ,there are some factors making rooftop solar slow to take off. There are several challenges to it, for example adapting the net metering system, the tariff structure and grid-reliability. Net-metering allows customers who generate their own electricity from solar to feed unused electricity back into the grid and be compensated for that. If the energy supplied by the consumer to the grid is at a  higher tariff rate than the one at which electricity is bought from the grid , then it is called a “feed-in-tariff”. However, if the selling and buying are at the same tariff-rate (usually the buying rate), then it is called netmetering. And herein lies a problem. Unfortunately, feed-in-tariff is just not possible in India because of the simple reason that the DISCOMs are in financial deficit – they have no money to pay the users. Lack of viable financial incentives is, thus, restricting end customer’s adoption of net-metering. For the net-metering to make financial

p installation at the stadium in Belo Horizonte. A PV system generating watt hours of electricity per year has been installed on the roof

sense, the government will have to introduce innovative financial incentives to make choosing solar through net-metering easier for consumers. Other than that, some other factors impeding the growth of solar rooftop market are ii High upfront cost ii Lack of financing schemes by banks ii Lack of awareness in people ii Unavailability of standardized Rooftop SPV systems

Government’s role in encouraging rooftop solar The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy needs to remove all the remaining roadblocks to encourage rooftop solar power to feed their solar power into the grid.In the countries where rooftop has been a success, the rate for the solar power fed into the grid is higher which makes it a rewarding investment. Another challenge is that some people can, instead of injecting solar power from their panels, may connect the conventional electricity to the grid. In such a scenario it becomes difficult for the energy meter to detect the mode of power. However, this challenge is being overcome by introducing innovative DC energy meters that detect the kind of power being transmitted and accept only the power generated by solar PV panels. The biggest boost to rooftop solar uptake will be setting up of uniform FiTs (feed in tariff) across all states.

Enabling Net Metering System What that means is you put up a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel on your roof and when it produces more electricity than you need you can sell it to your utility for a fixed

31 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 

»


COVER STORY Rooftop Experience in Other Countries Key components for Germany development of rooftop solar PV programmes

Japan

California

FIT, periodically updated

Capital subsidy, RPO

Capital subsidy, tax credits, rebates

Long-term project viability

Long-term FIT guarantee Public participation in enhancing financing streamlined interconnection & permitting processes

Soft financing Streamlined interconnection & administrative approval processes

Emergency of 3rd party service providers who take on the risks associated with the development & performance of the system

Metering arrangements

Gross metering till now Piloting net metering

Net metering

Net metering

Implementation Models

Income from preferential tariff

Saving in electricity bill

Savings in electricity bill for rooftop owners Lease payement & tax benefits to project developer or owner

Reasons for Programme Structure

FiT’s to encourage solar project development independent of the captive load of the consumer

Higher retail tariffs & promotion of captive conumption where the key factor for choice of net metering

Use of net metering mechanism allowed regulators to facilitate the development of decentralised solar systems withou significant cooperation from electricity utilities

Incentive Structures

price. The consumer becomes a producer and one can actually make money instead of paying the electricity bills. This mechanism is called ‘net-metering’. This also does away with the need for expensive and not so clean battery storage systems. In addition to helping consumers reduce their energy bills, it is also supposed to help stabilise the national, regional and state grids, provide financial relief to the distribution companies (DISCOMs) through consumer default risk mitigation and reduction of AT&C losses, and help cut down the per-capita energy footprint. Net-metering is crucial for India if it wants to achieve energy security by 2022.

Advantages Rooftop Solar

of

The biggest advantage of the rooftop solar is that it is the customer driven solar project. Small-scale decentralized projects developed by electricity consumers on their own premises. Photovoltaic rooftop installations at the tail-end of the grid can enhance grid-stability and reduce losses. Savings in land requirement and costs: The land costs in cities had gone up, so there is a need to invest in rooftop solar devices. Rooftop solar projects have the potential to create economic value for unutilized rooftops and are not faced with the issues of land availability. Dealing with erratic and ineffective power systems: A rooftop system saves you from uncertain power supply.With power generation on your roof itself you can be more certain about your energy security. Ensuring power to all: About

32 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

75 million of India’s 226 million households (400 million people) have no access to power. In rural areas, the electrification rate hovers at 47.5 per cent -- either the grid does not reach these places, or even if it reaches, it fails to provide end-point connectivity. In such a scenario, decentralised off-the-grid renewable power projects could be a way out.

States Embracing Rooftop Solar Indian states are making noticeable progress in implementing rooftop solar net metering with an attempt to expand distributed solar power infrastructure.Gujarat is leading the way having initiated the installation of rooftops much before it became popular in other states. Gandhinagar’s rent-a-roof project has proved to be extremely popular with other states getting  www.supersmartenergy.com


inspiration to emulate the same. The residents will be able to use their terraces for generating solar power, and revenue for themselves in the process. If you have a rooftop of 1,000 sq ft, you could earn Rs36,000 a year, and that too for the next 25 years, by allowing a developer to use your rooftop for setting up solar power panels. The rooftop owners would get a part of power generation revenue for 25 years. This is the most lucrative rooftop monetization policy in the whole country. Delhi is on the lines of Gujarat to bring rent your roof concept. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission  recently issued draft guidelines  for  solar net metering after years of attempts to implement an effective and popular policy. The regulations, if approved, would allow homeowners and project developers to export electricity from rooftop solar power projects. Punjab is also aggressively looking to leapfrog its solar generation capacity. The  state has cleared a solar net metering policy to facilitate installation of 100 MW of rooftop solar power capacity. The Chandigarh Administration is keen to proliferate and scale up the solar rooftop development in the city and become a model solar city. Rooftop solar may prove to be a boon to several cities and towns in the country which are experiencing a substantial growth in their peak electricity demand. Municipal Corporations and the electricity utilities are finding it difficult to cope with this rapid rise in demand and as a result most of the cities and towns are facing severe electricity shortages. Various industries and commercial establishments e.g., Malls, Hotels, Hospitals, Nursing homes etc housing complexes developed by the builders and developers in cities and towns use diesel generators for back-up power even during the day time.

STATE-LEVEL POLICIES FOR ROOFTOP SOLAR Certain states have also announced their own solar policies with initiatives for rooftops. The following are the various state policies that include rooftop solar as a critical component in the overall capacity addition Gujarat: Gujarat already has 1.39 MW of rooftop capacity installed in Gandhi Nagar. It recently announced a rooftop scheme for development of 25 MW in 5 other cities. The DISCOMS will pay a feed-in-tariff for 25 years Tamil Nadu: TN’s solar policy 2012 includes a rooftop capacity target of 350 MW. In three phases of 100, 125 and 125 MW (per year), a total of 350 MW is to be developed during 2012-2015. Of this 50 MW is targeted from domestic customers who will receive a GBI of Rs. 2/kWh for the first two years, Rs. 1/kWh for the next two and Rs. 0.5/kWh for the subsequent two years. The remaining 300 MW will be from government buildings and government schemes for rural and urban lighting. It is first of its kind to announce GBI for rooftop projects. Rajasthan: Rajasthan’s policy 2011 aims to promote rooftop projects via RPSSGP as well as another 50 MW through 1 MW capacity plants selected through competitive bidding. Kerala: Kerala launched its 10,000 rooftop power plants programme for 2012-2013. With each applicant eligible to apply for 1 kW only, the total capacity target is 10 MW. Due to the small per capita limit; the target audience will be only households and small cottage industries. Apart from the MNRE’s 30% capital subsidy, the state is offering a discount of Rs. 39,000. Haryana: Haryana’s solar policy targets commercial and industrial entities. It has approved two pilot projects of 100 KW with a financial assistance of Rs. 75 lakhs each. Karnataka: Karnataka’s Solar Programme of 2009 targeted 25,000 Solar Roof Tops of 5-10 kW with net metering during next 5 years. So the total capacity potential is 250 MW. It has very recently (Jan 2013) released a tender for 1.3MW through 0.5-1kW household solar systems across some 1943 houses in several cities. The total tender cost was specified as Rs. 34 Crores.

Conclusion The time has come for a solar revolution in the energy sector as there is wide recognition about the impending energy crisis in India. The costs of solar products have come down over the years and rooftop solar devices have begun to have a significant impact on our renewable energy solutions. Rooftop SPV can be a good solution for reducing demand supply gap and distribution losses. State policies and guidelines for Rooftop SPV are still evolving.Government should bring more clarity on rooftop solar policy so that people can bring in the new revolution from their homes. India needs to invest in innovations while creating the right environment for policy regu-

latory frameworks. India has estimated 124 GW of rooftop solar PV potential. The government of India recognizing this potential has set a target of 40GW of grid-connected rooftop solar power in its 100GW solar power target by 2022. This combined with the debilitating condition of power supply and growing price for grid electricity and diesel fuel to power diesel generator creates an unique opportunity for the growth of rooftop solar. This article by Rohan Singh deliberates on the challenges to successful implementation of rooftop solar, as well as possible interventions and support from the government that can unleash the vast potential of rooftop solar in India ■

33 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


BY INVITE Authored By

Anurag Garg

VP-Energy Business, Schneider Electric India

Rooftop Solar: Forecasts a Bright Future for India

I

ndia has ultimately realised the tremendous energy source it has access to in the form of the mighty sun. Rightly realising that it is the solar which can actually replace India’s humongous conventional energy base without risking the prospect of a colossal power shortage, the Government has set a target of 1 GW of solar energy including 40,000 MW generated through distributed and rooftop solar by 2022. For organisations wanting to move from conventional energy to renewable energy, a rooftop solar energy mechanism is best suited for the existing as well as for the forthcoming projects. A rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) power generating mechanism is a cost efficient proposition even though, at initial glance, the high assembling cost can be misguiding. The financial viability is seen in the long run. The true benefit of rooftop PVs is that it enables abundant power generation and simultaneous depletion of carbon emission – a significant requirement of the time. While the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is still in discussions, finalising the specifications for subsidies and incentives, specialists feel that with the right strategies in place, solar rooftop establishments can be a hot pattern in green technology. For the businesses to grow solar energy optimisation can subsequently be a reasonable venture alternative, and hence a doable investment option.

But despite the provision of subsidies, solar rooftop installations have been way below targets. The subsidy mechanism is seen as ineffective because not enough funds are made available, delaying or stalling projects. There is also a demand for standardisation guidelines for installations and grid inter-connectivity instead of channel partners, though this mechanism helped to ensure quality to some extent. On the other hand though, the economic viability of this solar segment has been rapidly increasing. Over 40 per cent of the Indian states have achieved grid parity in commercial rooftop. With Accelerated Depreciation (AD) benefits, a same percentage of states see viability in industrial segment. The industry does welcome the RBI’s recent move to bring the renewable sector under the ambit of priority sector lending but it now wants the financing process to be free of hassles. It is also upbeat about the state government’s decision to introduce a policy that will encourage households and other buildings—institutional and commercial—to install rooftop solar PVs and do their bit in reducing

34 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

carbon footprint. In this context the applicability of solar rooftop PVs can be best understood from the energy management point of view. Smart and efficient monitoring of generation to controlling equitable distribution will see that the rooftops are used to their maximum capacity - a move which can curtail excess cost as well as wastage of power. Schneider Electric, for instance, offers solutions for Rooftop & Off Grid Segment. We have offers which cover various solar needs of Off Grid and On Grid with MPPT Charge Controllers of Various Ratings, Inverters suitable for Battery based and Non-Battery system for single and three phase system. Our offer of Charge Controllers is widely used in Telecom Towers which have started using Solar Power to off-set diesel and thus reducing its OPEX and also reduce CO2 emissions in environment. We also have unique solution for Solar Agricultural / Commercial Pumps which can be used for AC Pumps. We have design and engineering capabilities and also have capability to help our customers with Concept and Financial Analysis to help them decide ■

 www.supersmartenergy.com


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35 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


INTERVIEW COVER STORY IN CONVERSATION

Sethuraman A Managing Director India and Senior Vice President, Global Operations Imergy Power Systems India Private Limited

"Our Energy Storage Solutions Platform are "cradle to cradle" long life assets"

Q

.Tell us more about Imergy’s revolutionary energy storage solutions and its advantages? Imergy is a US Headquartered company that ha developed an innovative Energy Storage Solutions Platform (ESP). The ESPs, are a series of energy storage devices capable of integrating with not just renewable sources but also with the grid providing high quality and reliable power over with a lifetime of more than 20 years. There are several advantages of an ESP battery. It is extremely safe – the vanadium electrolyte is Nonflammable and non-combustible. It has a very long life – 20+ years compared to 3-4 years of a lead acid battery. It is capable of working in +50 degree centigrade heat in desert climates as well as -20 degree centigrade weather. It needs minimal maintenance over its life time making it extremely reliable. Some of the key advantages is in the ESP’s performance

capabilities: It can be charged-discharged limitlessly in a day and from any State of Charge without any effect on performance or wear and tear of the unit. This gives customers extreme flexibility in designing energy and cost–saving strategies.

Q

.Shed some light on the company’s latest technology breakthroughs and how is it helping create a greener, economical energy storage system? Imergy has developed a proprietary chemistry for its batteries using a vanadium based liquid

electrolyte. We also do not need to shut down our systems for any chemical reversal process unlike other technologies. This allows the systems to work round-theclock, squeezing out every cent from expensive grids while passing on maximum cost benefits to our clients. By using a waste byproduct such as fly ash, Imergy has the capability to reduce waste and recycle unwanted material. The electrolyte lasts forever and is fully reusable. Imergy ESPs have extremely large energy storage capacities, allowing for the mass deployments of renewable energy technologies.

Imergy ESPs have extremely large energy storage capacities, allowing for the mass deployments of renewable energy technologies

36 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

 www.supersmartenergy.com


By relying less on coal powered unreliable grids, a user can be selfsufficient by self-generating clean power and being carbon neutral or net – zero. Traditional solid state technologies have a limited cycle life and are consumables. They have a big waste footprint and both high life cycle cost and environmental impact. Our ESPs are “cradle to cradle” long life assets: ii Our electrolyte is fully reusable ii The Balance of Plant is made of recyclable common industrial parts, making it the Electrochemical storage product with the lowest lifecycle environmental impact.

Q

.Give some insight into SunEdison’s purchase of 1000 batteries from Imergy? And the supply relationship between the two companies? Sun Edison is one of the largest solar companies in the world and is also an investor in Imergy. At the recent Re-Invest India conference, both companies collaborated to show-case a solar and storage solution together – a demonstration of an ever growing, progressive relationship. It re-affirms the commitment and faith that Sun Edison has in Imergy’s products. Both companies work jointly in identifying and executing on new opportunities. A purchase commitment of 1000 units from SunEdison is for deployment of long-duration storage for rural electrification. We believe this a strong demonstration of their commitment to Imergy’s storage technology and in its roadmap for the future. Both companies will continue to build on the trust and collaborative relationship that each other share towards the common goal of better, cleaner and affordable energy for the world.

Q

.What role do you envision Imergy to play in providing economical and efficient energy storage solutions in enabling

We are happy to provide a technology that can supply people’s energy needs at a cost far cheaper than building conventional thermal plants and assets associated with it

24x7 electricity in India? Imergy has developed its technologies keeping in mind the needs of developing countries and emerging nations like India. We envision Imergy taking the lead in showing the way towards self-generation and energy independence for all sections of society. We at Imergy envision us being the principal energy solutions provider, solving a multitude of challenges and overcoming existing hurdles to help people receive energy and thereby enabling them.

Q

.How do you view the government’s initiatives to drive growth of storage and microgrids in India? Imergy can be mistakenly seen as a company that provides products for early-adopters only. However, it is inevitable that as people’s aspirations grow, newer and cheaper technology is made available and adopted. India is an extremely dynamic place with changes happening faster than ever before. We are happy to provide a technology that can supply people’s energy needs at a cost far cheaper than building conventional thermal plants and assets associated with it. Imergy can set up microgrids in even remote locations at a very fast pace bringing power to people very quickly. The government’s initiatives have opened up all kinds of opportunities in the energy sector for storage. It provides us the prospect of bringing a readily available modern system, developed and refined over the past decade to solve the country’s energy problems.

Q

.Advance energy storage market in India is in its

Infancy, what market potential do you see? Your suggestions to unlock the true potential? The market potentials are enormous. Also the Indian energy storage market is ready for accepting advanced products like Imergy’s ESP. Lead acid batteries have been conventionally used due to the very cheap price point. However companies are realizing the lost capital in short lifecycles and cycling limitations. Modern technology companies are taking the lead in adopting advanced energy storage to drive their operating costs down. The government can help in unleashing the power of energy storage by fast tracking pilot projects for high tech energy storage adoption in remote villages and towns. We can very quickly set up solar farms and be a micro-utility with the help of storage and renewables. The ban of diesel generator-sets in telecom sites is an encouraging shift on decreased reliance in generatorsets to contain air pollution. It would be most helpful if taxes on green energy based technologies are eliminated or reduced. Central and state incentives for energy storage adopters would go a long way in promoting energy storage in India.

Q

.Apart from renewable integration what other markets hold potential for energy storage solutions in India? Apart from renewables, advanced energy storage can provide reliable spinning reserves in conventional fossil fuel plants. It is also vital for a smart grid to have energy storage to mitigate risks of a grid failure and intelligent two-way communication between

» May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 37 


INTERVIEW IN CONVERSATION assets on the grid that effectively respond for ready-operation. As utilities adopt time of use rates, energy storage can help reduce operating costs. It can help in energy arbitrage where utilities can store power into the system at off-peak cheap rates and discharge power from the system at on-peak demand times. Energy storage is also used heavily to rely less on burning diesel. Instead of burning expensive diesel for more than ten hours, the battery could provide ten hours of power at a much cheaper cost.

Q

.How important is Indian market for Imergy? What are the other projects that you are currently working on? Imergy has always recognized India as a very important destination. We view India as a place where we can help people achieve their dreams. Imergy realizes having a great energy landscape

in the country is not a far-fetched dream. People should have one less thing to worry about. That is why Imergy’s success can change the world and Imergy has been most committed to India from the beginning. Our India operations’ employs a significant number of employees besides having several Indian customers. We are currently working to provide our biggest Energy Storage Platform to a large IT service company to eliminate their dependence on diesel generators. We recently deployed a medium scale storage project in a remote village in Rajasthan and another one for an engineering college in Bangalore.

Q

.What are your plans for Imergy in India? Where do you see Imergy in the near future in the energy storage market in India? Imergy India will be a Make-InIndia hub for our Indian custom-

OUR OTHER PRODUCTS:

ers. We want to take the Indian Prime Minister’s goal forward to help develop the Manufacturing Sector in India and we are already playing an active role in it. India makes strategic sense for Imergy because of the right fit through what it offers and what India needs. We are here to offer affordable, reliable and safe energy storage solutions. Our smallest systems are in the field for a number of years. Moving forward, we plan to introduce the medium and large scale energy storage systems to major industries that consume high power and aren’t able to access the energy they need to expand their businesses. We also plan to ramp up our service teams and have been utilizing Indian talent to drive business, data analytics, engineering, and sales. We are also actively exploring new and unique opportunities in the country ■

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SPECIAL REVIEW

control of the power stages, MPPT, and grid-tie synchronization. The power conversion stages include 1) an active clamp fly-back DC/DC converter with secondary voltage multiplier and 2) a grid-tied, DC/ AC inverter.

Features: ›› Implements control of an active clamp fly-back DC/DC converter with secondary voltage multiplier, MPPT and a grid-tied DC/ AC inverter, comprising the power conversion stages of the solar micro inverter. ›› Supports panel voltages of 28 to 45V at input as well as universal power output at up to 280W for 220VAC and up to 140W for 110VAC, making it suitable for the diverse requirements of worldwide solar markets. ›› 93 percent peak efficiency and less than four percent total harmonic distortion (THD) provide more power output per solar panel, reducing detrimental heat dissipation and increasing system longevity. Authored by: Naveen Bevara

T

he renewable power is increasingly becoming attractive because of a more severe environmental protection regulation and predictable shortage of conventional energy sources. Photovoltaic power generation is considered to be a vital part of the overall renewable energy scheme. A grid-tie inverter is a power inverter that converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) with an ability to synchronize to interface with a utility line. In all solar inverters, Solar micro inverters are an emerging segment of the solar power industry. The modular-

ized micro-inverter which can feed power to the grid has a merit of installed flexibility and omitting the battery in the application.

Solar Grid Tie Micro Inverter with MPPT reference design by Texas Instruments: The reference design from Texas Instruments is a digitallycontrolled, grid-tied, solar micro inverter with maximum power point tracking (MPPT). For this design, a C2000™ Piccolo™ TMS320F28035 microcontroller (MCU) is the digital controller for the complete inverter, including

40 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

›› C2000 Piccolo F28035 MCU serves as a high-performance controller for the complete micro inverter system, executing highfrequency control loops for the DC/DC and DC/AC power stages. ›› Single-MCU system implementation offers design simplicity and reduced system cost. ›› C2000 Piccolo F28035 MCU operates the inverter at a high PWM frequency (100 KHz) to reduce harmonic distortion and lower passive component costs. ›› Solar and digital power software libraries provide code-optimized building blocks to implement a variety of power topologies and algorithms such as MPPT and Software Phase Locked Loops (PLL), perfect for designing customized solar inverter solutions. ›› Fully-functional evaluation  www.supersmartenergy.com


==

=

=

DC-DC Clamped Flyback

PV Panel

Inverter

Notch Fltr

MPPT

Vbus_Ref Gi

Grid

Vbus_meas

Ipv Vpv Notch Notch Fltr Fltr

Ipv_meas

Solar Micro Inverter Kit

PWM

+1 to -1 pu

Vac PLL Ifdbk

Gv Inv_I_Ref

PWM Feedback Linearization Gi

Control Diagram of Solar Micro Inverter (Texas Instruments)

board includes software, hardware design files, quick start graphical interface and step-bystep documentation.

Micro Inverters vs Central Inverters: In solar power systems, a solar inverter is a critical component. It performs the conversion of the variable DC output of the Photovoltaic (PV) module(s) into a clean sinusoidal 50- or 60 Hz AC current that is then applied directly to the commercial electrical grid or to a local, off-grid electrical network. There are several different kinds of inverters, including central, string, and micro inverters. Solar micro inverters are a fast-growing application in this industry. Microinverters are small inverters rated to handle the output of a single panel. Modern grid-tie panels are normally rated between 225 and 275W. TI’s reference design is rated for 250W. Rather than linking all of the solar panels in an installation to a central inverter, solar micro inverter systems place smaller, or “micro,” inverters at the output of each individual solar panel. There are many benefits of this kind of configuration. The first benefit is that it reduces the losses that can occur due to partial shading, which increases system efficiency. The microcontroller (MCU) in the system can implement maximum

power point tracking (MPPT). The controller executes the very precise algorithms required to keep the panel at the maximum power extraction point while adjusting the DC/DC and DC/AC conversion to produce the output AC voltage for the grid. This makes solar micro inverters more efficient than the other options and can increase power output over the long term. Solar micro inverters are also more reliable because they produce grid-matching power directly at the back of the panel. Panels are connected in parallel to each other which in return, connect to the grid. This means that a single failing panel or inverter won’t take the entire string of panels offline; power will continue to be sent to the grid. Because it is operated at this lower power, many design issues inherent to larger designs simply go away; the need for a large transformer is generally eliminated, large electrolytic capacitors can be replaced by more reliable thin-film capacitors, and cooling loads are reduced so no fans are needed. For micro inverters, this is a “distributed MPPT” architecture that adds cost per PV panel; however, efficiency is increased by 5 to 25 percent by recovering the following efficiency losses: ›› PV panel mismatch losses (3-5% )

›› Partial shading losses (5-25%) ›› Simpler system design and alleviated fault tolerance (0-15%) ›› Suboptimal MPPT losses (3-10%) ›› Also, increases safety and square footage (roof) use

Growth and Opportunity TI is looking at: Solar energy is one of the most benign sources of electric energy since it has zero emission and unlike fossil fuels, does not run the risk of price volatility or delivery. The Solar PV market had close to 39GW of capacity installed in 2013, 40GW in 2014 and is expected to be adding close to 54GW in 2015. The Indian Solar PV market is still in its early stage (2.3 GW installed by 2013 and is expected to grow to 142GW by 2030 as per IEA 2014) compared to some of the western countries. But it is expected to have potential growth with the new government norms. With this Solar micro-inverter can see an explosive growth in Industrial and Residential segments. A nascent industry like the solar PV industry relies heavily on both technological push as well as market demand pull, to ultimately ensure that the overall costs of delivering energy are comparable to other technologies. TI’s comprehensive solar energy harvesting portfolio delivers solutions to the entire solar energy systems. A broad selection

» May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 41 


SPECIAL REVIEW

DC AC

Fig a: Central Inverter of analog, power management, microcontroller & wireless communication modules are targeted at both grid-tied & off-grid central inverters as well as microconverters and micro-inverters, to maximize the power point and provide the highest possible system efficiency.

Chinese Inverter Manufacturers: At the moment, although the main players in solar inverter are not from China, surely Chinese companies have an important role in solar inverter business. The solar inverter will always be the component that is closest to the customer and it will witness more challenging demands than solar panels or solar modules. Governments are greatly concerned about the development

Fig b: Micro Inverter of renewable energy. In 2007, the Chinese government issued a “renewable can meet the longterm development planning” and in 2008, issued a renewable energy development plan for the eleventh 5-year. According to the requirements of the plan, the China photovoltaic power generation installed capacity in 2013 is 18GW; it is estimated that by 2030 this capacity will reach 634GW, which, combined with the grid-tie photovoltaic power generation, accounts for 75 percent of the total.

TI Strategy: TI is transforming power through energy management innovation in areas such as energy generation, conversion, distribution and control of energy demand and resources. The company’s

dedicated energy lab is the focal point for intelligent energy conversion and management systems for accessible and cost-effective power delivery. Projects in the labs have evaluated energy harvesting technology and energy conversion from solar to electricity, as well as bringing in new semiconductor materials technologies to achieve higher power densities, voltages and efficiency levels that will be needed in the future. Other research and development teams throughout TI’s businesses also contribute to TI’s commitment to meet customer needs, along with partnerships with universities and consortia to explore and incubate new ideas.

Support to Customers:

TI works with customers to make the process of gathering tradi50000 tional and clean energy as safe, Growth of Solar PV Market 47500 clean, efficient, productive and 45000 reliable as possible. TI Supports 42500 all the leading Inverter manufac40000 turers are provided support on 37500 available solutions locally and 32500 globally ■ 30000 27500 About the Author 25000 22500 20000 17500 15000 12500 10000 7500 5000 Source: EPIA, Photon, Various Sources Naveen Bevara, 2500 Analog Applications Engineer, 0 Texas Instruments 83 89 95 99 02 05 08 11 14E

42 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

 www.supersmartenergy.com


COVER STORY INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE

Ivan Saha President & CTO, Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd.

"Vikram Solar is on a high projectory growth path in PV manufacturing with over 500 MW expansion in cell and 1.2 GW in module manufacturing"

Q

.Shed some light on Vikram Solar’s collaboration with European institutes and suppliers that were signed at the recently concluded Hannover Messe? The scope of this collaboration and the strategic thinking behind it? Vikram Solar is on a high projectory growth path in PV manufacturing with over 500 MW expansion in cell and 1.2 GW in module manufacturing. This capacity expansion will involve high volume and superior quality equipments, processes and materials. It is therefore natural we choose experienced partners in equipment and process design as well as advanced R & D concepts.

Q

.How important is this collaboration for Vikram Solar in reinforcing its position as a

technology advanced PV manufacturer delivering quality products at competitive costs? In PV industry, growth is not sustainable without right ingredients of cost and quality. I believe our collaborations are aimed to do just that.

Q

.What are the likely contours of the solar academy that Vikram Solar is going to establish in collaboration with Fraunhofer ISE? How does it

fit into the company’s overall philosophy? One of the vital and key ingredients to a 100 GW solar vision in India is the availability of trained & adequately skilled manpower. There is a serious gap as of now. Our solar academy aims to fill this gap for ourselves and the nation.

Q

.Vikram Solar has been winner of different awards and recognition, to what do you attribute your success to?

In PV industry, growth is not sustainable without right ingredients of cost and quality. I believe our European collaborations are aimed to do just that

44 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

 www.supersmartenergy.com


One of the vital and key ingredients to a 100 GW solar vision in India is the availability of trained & adequately skilled manpower. Our solar academy aims to fill this gap for ourselves and the nation

Sustainable growth, hands on management and simplicity in conducting, PV business has ensured that we remain competitive all through. These are the pillars of our success.

Q

.With the government targeting 100 GW from solar energy, how do you look at this target and what opportunities for growth are you looking at? We, at Vikram Solar, currently has a module manufacturing capacity of 150MW per annum and hope

to be at 1.2 GW in next 5 years. This is more than a 6 fold growth.

Q

.India is said to be a priceelastic market, can you comment on the dynamic of cost in India and the impact that this has on the nation’s solar market? Indian market is extremely price conscious and the dynamics of new low price discovery makes it one of most vibrant markets today, globally. It is simple logic that the solar market will be driven

by parity with conventional energy and sustainable only without subsidies. We will see exponential growth once this happens. The Future is Solar ■

Mr. Saha is a post-graduate engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur with over 20 years’ experience in technology development, large-scale manufacturing, innovation, process engineering, reliability and R&D in semiconductors and photovoltaic modules. He has held several leadership positions in ISRO and Moser Baer prior to joining Vikram Solar. He is trained as a Six Sigma black belt, has published over 60 technical papers in peer reviewed journals and conferences and holds several international patents in photovoltaic technology. Mr. Saha has delivered keynotes and invited lectures in key technical conferences and seminars all over the world.

45 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


INTERVIEW FACE 2 FACE

Prabhu Ramachandran Director, WebNMS

"We look forward to play a vital role in providing large-scale IoT deployments in smart city projects and industrial applications"

Q

.To begin with tell us more about WebNMS and its M2M solutions for the energy and utility sector? WebNMS, the service provider software division of ZOHO Corp, specializes in solutions for multi-vendor network anagement  and  IoT  applications. Being an industry leader in telecom  network management space for over 19 years, we have forayed into  Internet of Things (IoT)  market focusing on building array of  IoT  applications in the areas of remote monitoring, energy efficiency, and security. WebNMS IoT Platform provides flexible ways to integrate devices, people, and other enterprise systems on one platform. The robust platform is highly customizable to develop plethora of energy applications ranging from energy monitoring, energy pilferage detection,

pipeline management, smart metering, smart grid, connected refineries, and more. ​ WebNMS’s niche IoT applications built on top of WebNMS framework for the energy and utility sector includes Windmill Manager, Solar Farm Manager, and Power Grid Monitoring solution.

Q

.What are the factors that are driving the adoption

of M2M/ IoT  solutions in the energy and utility industry? Globally, energy and utility industries are embracing IoT as their traditional business models are challenged by the aging infrastructure, environmental impact, and deteriorating capacity utilization.  With pressure mounting to reduce operating expenses and in an effort to confront these challenges, they are resorting to IoT as it enables a data-driven optimization.

For renewable energy sector WebNMS technology brings sophisticated solutions for some of its key issues in plant monitoring, fault management, maintenance and performance monitoring

46 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

 www.supersmartenergy.com


Investing in IoT  will address both technical and non-technical issues for the energy and utilities industry. Sensor data and advanced analytics tools can be used to identify energy wastage and predict the failure of critical assets in the remote site (in case of renewable energy farms and oilfield), thus avoiding expensive downtime. Non-technical issues in terms of theft and tampering/ pilferage of assets that are impacting revenue.

Q

.Can you share some examples that can bring to light some of the things that the energy and the utility industry are doing in a ways which they never did before? The Internet of Things will drive the energy and utilities industry to undergo a paradigm shift in their operations as the data deluge creates new opportunities. In case of utilities, IoT creates valuable data for utility operators to capture, dissect, and analyze. The digitization would benefit them in below ways: Predictive approach: Predicting when the equipment is likely to  breakdown  thereby slashing maintenance costs via routine maintenance Process approach: Effective utilization of critical assets via condition monitoring Customer engagement: Customer participation in energy conservation New service offerings: Timebased pricing, Identifying energyhungry devices One of our customers, SunElectric, was facing prolonged downtime on its power grid network owing to time consuming process in detecting faults.  To overcome the challenge, they required a highly scalable and robust IoT solution and so they decided to evaluate the WebNMS PowerGrid Monitoring solution that provides remote fault indication with bi-directional

communication. The result was amazing - outages  dropped  by 75% and the time taken to detect the fault reduced by over 90%.

Q

.How can M2M solutions help the renewable industry where the power generation is unpredictable and the generated power must be stored and moved around the grid? With the concern of climate change, there has been a steep rise in cleaner energy sources in the recent years. Traditional maintenance approaches, including scheduled and corrective maintenance have disadvantages in terms of (1) expensive operating cost, (2) time lost, and (3) downtime/ loss of production. For renewable energy sector WebNMS technology brings sophisticated solutions for some of its key issues in plant monitoring, fault management, maintenance and performance monitoring. WebNMS’s solutions Solar Farm Monitoring and Windmill Monitoring focuses on remote monitoring providing real-time visibility of asset performance, energy production/consumption, and predictive maintenance requirements.

Q

.What makes IoT the next big thing, when its key ingredients like network connectivity, cloud, security, and infrastructure have existed for decades? The convergence of IoT, cloud, network connectivity, sensors, and security are marking the difference today. The network connectivity, connected people and the interaction was just people to people. Whereas, the IoT connects machine -to-machine and machine- to- people creating endless IoT applications across industry verticals, all in real-time. The true business value of connected objects resides in analyzing the data. In the recent years, the IoT adoption is accelerating with advancements in mobile,

big data, and predictive analytics  solutions. Secondly,  the massive  IoT  deployments have brought down the cost of sensors fueling IoT market.

Q

.The M2M/ IoT  industry is nascent in India, what are the challenges for adoption of IoT solutions in India? How are you overcoming these challenges? Globally  IoT  market  is likely to show a strong growth with number of B2B IoT connections rising from 1.2B in 2014 to 5.4 B connections, according to ABI Research. Though early  IoT  adopters are seeing measurable benefits from  IoT  deployments there exists a gap between the perceived IoT readiness and reality. In India, consumers overlook long-term business value and are generally not willing to pay higher upfront investment for IoT services/devices.  Since there is no history of full-fledged IoT deployment in India to compare and contrast against the business benefits, implementation costs, return on investment (ROI), and other factors. We are coping these challenges with niche IoT applications and innovative pricing models. We also allow customers to configure their IoT application in smaller installations for a particular time frame to impart confidence. It is also important to establish a healthy and vibrant IoT ecosystem in India to drive massive adoption of IoT.

Q

.By when do you expect the IoT Industry to realize its full potential in India? Currently the  IoT  ecosystem is highly fragmented in India. We hope the Smart City Project will bring together diverse stakeholders of the IoT value chain comprising hardware manufacturers, sensor vendors, software platform

»

47 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


INTERVIEW FACE 2 FACE vendor, SIs, and CSPs. Also the government’s emphasis on strengthening the infrastructure –roadways, railway, and power will in turn boost investments in technology infrastructure and speed up IoT adoption. We are witnessing pilot IoT projects in India in industries like healthcare, utilities, agriculture, manufacturing and many others.

Q

.What role can IoT solutions play in realizing the dream of 100 smart cities in India? What are the opportunities that you are looking at in this space? The Smart City market is progressing, and it will be the next big thing in India. IoT will play an integral role in linking diverse networks of the city viz healthcare, transport, and utility. Implementing a sustainable smart infrastructure demands a highly flexible IoT framework. The sheer volume of assets fosters a number of technical challenges,

staring from the integration of physical infrastructure (roadways, buildings, power grid, and water system), gateways (sensors, actuators), and communication (broadband, standards & protocol). We look forward to play a vital role in providing large-scale IoT deployments in smart city projects and industrial applications.

Q

.Where do you see WebNMS 3 to 5 years from now? WebNMS  has been an early mover in B2B  IoT  application development platform market with feature-rich and developer friendly tools.  With strong focus on R&D, we are constantly adding built-in functions and toolkits to enhance the developer and enduser experience. We have plans to develop a dynamic ecosystem around our platform that will enable innovative IoT applications to be built across industry verti-

cals. Like how Android dominates the mobile OS space, similarly we are working towards a model that will expedite IoT adoption by enabling WebNMS  IoT  Platform as a powerful development framework. With the boom in  smartphone market, currently we are concentrating on developing nextgeneration IoT applications delivered via  smartphones.    Smartphones preloaded with dozens of sensors will act as a sensor hub to capture the real-time data (ranging from temperature, humidity, pressure, vibration, light intensity, and more) and in turn control objects triggered through rules. In the coming years, we will also be focusing on partnership with telecos as they are keen to whitelabel WebNMS IoT Platform/solutions to their own customers ■

SmartEnergy Complete Renewable Energy Intelligence

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48 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

 www.supersmartenergy.com


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IN FOCUS

O

ne key factor of reducing the costs of photovoltaic systems is to increase the reliability and the service life time of the PV modules. To increase the reliability and the service life of PV modules one has to understand the challenges involved. For this reason, this article brings to you review of most common PV module failures and the different methods used to identify these failures.

PV Module Failure A PV module failure is an effect that (1) degrades the module power which is not reversed by normal operation or (2) creates a safety issue. A purely cosmetic issue which does not have the consequences of (1) or (2) is not considered as a PV module failure. A PV module failure is relevant for the warranty when it occurs under conditions the module normally experiences. A problem that is caused by mishandling or by the local environment is not considered to be a “failure”. On the one hand, soiling of the module or a failure due to lightning are not considered to be PV module failures. On the other hand, defects due to heavy snow load are considered as module failure if the module is specified for heavy snow load.

PV module failures excluded by definition

There may be module defects sons. Examples of these types of which originate directly from its failures are discussed below. production. These defects may be the reason for some modules Authored by: Filippo Zingariello Clamping not performing as well as possible, but as long as the defect is not A relatively often seen failure relevant to safety and the power in the field is glass breakage of rating on the label takes account frameless PV modules caused by of the power loss caused by the clamps. Glass/glass modules imperfect production, this defect are more sensitive to glass breakis no module failure if the defect age. The origin of the failure is, does not accelerate power loss or on the one hand, at the planning cause safety issues in the future. and installation stage either (a) Moderate crystal defects in mul- poor clamp 13 geometry for the ticrystalline solar cells or striation module, e.g. sharp edges, (b) too rings in monocrystalline solar cells short and too narrow clamps or are examples. (c) the positions of the clamps on the module not being chosen in Furthermore, there are proaccordance with the manufacturduction-induced features that er’s manual. The second origin, may appear to a layperson as a which induces glass breakage failure. These are also no failures. could be excessively-tightened Light-induced power degradation screws during the mounting phase in crystalline silicon modules due or badly-positioned clamps. to the well-known boron-oxygen complex is defined as no module Glass breakage leads to loss failure, because the manufacturer of performance in time due to has to take this effect into account cell and electrical circuit corrofor the power rating of the PV sion caused by the penetration module as it is defined in stand- of oxygen and water vapour into ard EN 50380. It is a PV module the PV module. Major problems failure if the manufacturer has not caused by glass breakage are taken this effect into account for electrical safety issues. Firstly, the the power rating. insulation of the modules is no longer guaranteed, in particular in wet conditions. Secondly, glass Important PV module breakage causes hot spots, which failures due to external lead to overheating of the module.

causes

Some failures are typically difficult to define as a PV module failure or as a failure of the contractor, of the installer or the system designer or even for other rea-

50 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

Transport installation

and

Transport and installation are the first critical stages in a PV module’s  www.supersmartenergy.com

»


SPECIAL FEATURE life. The glass cover of some PV modules may break or cells in the laminate may break due to vibrations and shocks. In the former case it is easy to attribute the glass breakage to the transportation or installation. This is clearly no PV module failure. However, the cause of cell breakage is much more difficult to decide. Visually it cannot be seen and in many cases it cannot be detected by a power rating of the PV module directly after occurrence of the cell breakage. Only an electroluminescence image or a lock-in thermography image can reveal the damage. Some typical situations leading to cell cracks but not necessarily to glass breakage are: 1. A PV module falling over. 2. An insufficiently rigid pallet touching the lowest PV module in the stack during transportation. 3. Too tight transport corners in the transport stack. During destacking of the top module of the stack the second uppermost module is also lifted and suddenly drops down. 4. Someone steps on the PV module. 5. Even in well-designed transport containers, the cells of PV modules may crack during “normal” transport. It is especially difficult to decide who is responsible in case no. 5. Currently there is no definition of what a PV module must be able to withstand during transport.

Quick connector failure The quick connector electrically connects solar modules to each other, to fuse boxes, to extension cables, combiner boxes and to the inverter. This element is very important for the safety and reliable power generation of the system. However, there is very little literature on the reliability of quick connectors available in the PV community. In most cases problems caused by the quick connector are not considered a PV module fail-

ure. Typical failures are caused by using not exactly fitting quick connectors of different types or inaccurately crimped quick connectors to connect PV modules to extension cables, the fuse box, combiner box or the inverter at the installation site. Ill-fitting or not well-crimped quick connectors may cause a total power loss in a whole string. In even worse cases, they can cause electric arcs and thus fires. In many cases, the quick connectors are much closer to flammable material such as wooden roof beams or heat-insulation materials than the PV module laminate. A statistical review of fire sources in 75 PV systems, which caught fire, shows that the chance of the quick connector causing the fire (29%) is nearly as high as for the rest of the module (34%) or other parts of the PV system (37%). Despite the safety relevance of quick connectors there is, as yet, no standardised quick connector. Quite the reverse - there are many very similar-looking and even apparently fitting quick connectors on the market, which must not be combined. Currently, only a draft version of an international PV connector standard IEC62852 exists, while a European standard for PV connectors, EN 50521, has been available since 2008, based on the more general IEC 61984.

Lightning A defective bypass diode caused by a lightning strike is caused by an external source, for which the module is not designed. However, this effect has often been found and may cause subsequent safety failures, but the PV module is not the source of the failure. Typical induced defects caused by a lightning strike are open-circuit bypass diodes or a mechanically broken PV module directly hit by the lightning strike. Both defect types may cause hot spots as subsequent failures.

52 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

Basics of measurement methods used to identify failures Visual inspection The most effective and quickest method to find failures and defects in a PV module is the visual inspection. Visual inspection of a PV module is performed before and after the module has been subjected to environmental, electrical, or mechanical stress testing in the laboratory. Stress tests are usually used to evaluate module designs in the pre-phase of production, production quality, and lifetime of the modules. The most common stress tests are: thermal cycling, humidityfreeze cycling, damp heat exposure, UV irradiation, mechanical loading, hail impact, outdoor exposure, and thermal stress. To approach the visual inspection of the PV module it can be divided in its parts and each PV module part is inspected and documented separately with the relative defects. Visual inspection is a powerful tool to identify causes of failures of PV modules or to identify problems that could cause failures in the future. Visual inspection is quite effective for identifying hot spots (burn marks), delamination, encapsulant yellowing, back sheet blistering, junction box failure, and many others.

Thermography under steady state conditions There are basically three different types of thermography methods to detect failures in PV modules. The most common and easiest to apply technique is the thermography under steady state conditions. Thermography or infrared (IR) imaging is a non-destructive measurement technique, which provides fast, real-time, and two-dimensional distributions of characteristic features of PV mod-

 www.supersmartenergy.com


ules. It can be used as a contactless method for diagnosing some thermal and electrical failures in PV modules. The measurements can be performed during normal operation for both individual PV modules and as a scan of large scale systems. It has to be assured that the measurement is done under steady state conditions of the PV module. The thermography measurements show temperature differences induced by an external current or by applying light to the PV module. During measurements in the dark, there is no light applied to the module but external current is supplied in the forward direction. In order to avoid thermal damage to thin-film modules it must be ensured that the shortcircuit current of the modules is not exceeded by more than 30%. For more precise defect detection, thermography imaging is performed under illumination of the PV module and the temperature distribution of various load conditions have to be compared: short circuit, open-circuit, and at maximum power point. Illuminated (outdoor) thermography measurements should be performed on a sunny cloudless day, with min. 700W/m2 irradiation at the module array. Ideally the ambient temperature as well as the wind speed is low. The angle of view should be set as close as possible to 90° but not less than 60° to the module glass plane. The operator should be aware of reflections, e.g. buildings in the neighbourhood, clouds or self radiation of operator or camera. For correct temperature measurement the camera must be set to the correct ambient temperature and the emissivity values for the surface inspected. Typical emissivity values are 0.85 for the glass and 0.95 for the polymer backsheet, respectively, if the angle of view is within 90°-60° (glass) and 90°-45° (polymer). Measurements from the backsheet side, when possible, are more accurate than

from the glass side.

Electroluminescence The PV test module is supplied by a DC current to stimulate radiative recombination in the solar cells. This electroluminescence (EL) emission is detected by commercially available silicon charged coupled device (CCD) camera. EL imaging is done in a dark environment because the amount of infrared radiation near 1150 nm emitted by the solar module is low compared to the radiation emitted by the background lighting. Using EL imaging, it is especially possible to detect cell cracks in photovoltaic modules. Cell cracks appear as dark lines on the solar cell in the EL image. Especially in multi crystalline solar cells, crystallographic defects typically also appear as dark lines. Therefore the detection of cell cracks by EL imaging has not been automated successfully yet. Hence, cell cracks are detected by a person with training in how to recognize cell cracks in photovoltaic cells and modules.

UV fluorescence The UV fluorescence (FL) of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) was used for the first time to analyze the discolouration of photovoltaic (PV) modules by Pern et al. in 1997 [Pern97]. Due to exposure of EVA to sunlight, especially the UV spectrum, molecules in the encapsulation decompose to form lumophores. Schlothauer et al. used EL images to identify the cell cracks in a cell of a PV module and correlate them with the UV fluorescence image. The fluorescent degradation product was found to change to a non fluorescent product along the edges of and the cracks in the solar cells, when they are oxidized by oxygen diffused through the back sheet to the EVA front layer of the module [Pern96]. This effect is called photobleaching and can be used to determine the number, position

and orientation of cell cracks in PV modules, even in a dark outdoor environment.

Conclusions PV modules may degrade or fail in many ways. While the types of failures are highly dependent on the design (or failure of the design) of the PV module and on the environment in which the module is deployed, statistical evaluation of what has been reported can help understand some of the most common failures. Modules that have failed and been returned to the manufacturer are not the only thing to be considered; modules are usually observed to degrade slowly in the field. In most cases, the researchers observed that this decrease in short-circuit current is associated with discolouration and/or delamination of the encapsulant material. Thus, both statistics on returns of modules and statistics on slow degradation appear to be correlated with mechanisms that can be observed visually. If the visual inspection tool becomes widely adopted, a variety of data mining and analysis techniques may prove useful for understanding module degradation and failure. The current review of failure mechanisms shows that the origin and the power loss assessment of some important PV module failures is not yet clear or the community is stuck in the question of how to test for a specific failure. Furthermore, despite the fact that a defective bypass diode or a defective cell interconnects ribbon in the PV module might lead to a fire, there is very little work done to detect these defects in an easy and reliable way in the system. But, there are currently groups working on those topics to overcome these challenges. Therefore, it is imperative to continue the review of failure of PV Modules to better understand the process and the come up with solutions ■

53 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


PRODUCT REVIEW

‘K-LITE’ surface mounted Polar Lighting Pole

K-LITE’ surface mounted Polar Lighting Pole, integrated with LED Lighting Module is an exclusive choice of designers for city beauti¬cation lighting blended with architectural appeal. It is designed for a complete range of contemporary designs with single arm, double arm, L-arm, V-Arm, Square arm and Parallel arm. The pole is engineered to meet the adverse conditions and the pole sections are duly welded using special grooving techniques and high end MIG/ TIG welding process. The control box is

integral and built-in with service door, locking arrangement and safety chain. The galvanized pole is coated with epoxy zinc phosphate primer and ¬finished using environmentally stable polyurethane based paint. The pole is supplied with necessary foundation hardwares for normal soil condition. The Polar Lighting Pole lighting arms are integrated with the LED modular lighting system, which is environmental friendly under green lighting category. The LED lighting offers more lumens with lesser power consumption The luminaire is IP 68 protected and the various models were evaluated by an extensive research and understanding of illumination requirements for urban spaces. Choice of drivers for LED takes into consideration the harmonic

distortion level (not exceeding 10 %) power factor greater than 0.9 and surge protection. The LED modules are individually rated 42 watts. The control gear tray is prewired with terminal connectors, MCB and loop-in loop-out arrangement and located in the control box, integral with the pole ■ For more details visit our website : www.klite.in For all enquiries, Contact sales@ klite.in Phone +91-9500079797 / 044 26257710

SKF Wireless MicroVibe

T

he SKF Wireless MicroVibe, in conjunction with an Android™ tablet or smartphone*, provides the functionality needed for portable vibration monitoring. This versatile, easy-to-use wireless tool identifies problems and assesses a machine's condition safely, quickly and easily. The vibration assessment tool is suitable for analyzing rotating equipment. Portable, compact and lightweight, this tool offers reliable and fast wireless (WiFi) data collection. Power without complexity As a handy "quick-check" solution, based on the Android™ platform, the SKF Wireless MicroVibe is simple to use. Built-in automatic functions virtually eliminate setup, while analytical displays

and automatic judgment of machine vibration readings help users identify machine problems on the spot. The SKF Wireless MicroVibe offers added functionality, including a software program to extract, save, edit and display collected data. It is ideal for small route data collection. Data may be uploaded to the desktop computer for further analysis and trending using the data management software. Once uploaded, vibration data, overall trends and spectra can be stored, trended, graphically displayed and even exported to a spreadsheet. Features ›› Cost-effective, compact and

54 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

lightweight ›› Quickly identify problems ›› Expert judgment criteria based on ISO vibration severity standard and SKF bearing condition evaluation ›› Judgment call of the overall vibration measurements results in an alert or danger ›› FFT spectrum analysis which help analyse root cause of vibration ›› Multi-point automation for faster data collection ›› Standard vibration measurements (enveloped acceleration, acceleration, velocity and displacement), collected simultaneously ›› Store and recall measurements for trending and analysis

 www.supersmartenergy.com


›› Data management software enables user to transfer machinery vibration data to a computer for trending and further analysis ›› Reliable wireless data collection

(WiFi) from a safe distance Industries ›› Pulp and Paper

›› ›› ›› ››

Food and Beverage Traditional Power Machine tools Oil & Gas ■

Delta’s Smart and Modular Battery Energy Storage System (Flex E3) Delta, a global leader in power and thermal management solutions announced launch of its smart Battery Energy Storage System (Flex E3) at Hannover Messe 2015 with its highly integrated and flexible architecture that offers homeowners and small businesses enhanced returns on renewable energy investments. Delta’s core competencies in high-efficiency power electronics, building automation and in-house component integration enable its Flex E3 to offer energy efficiency of >96% and a smart-grid controller platform for optimal-cost energy storage and consumption. Delta’s energy storage solution is an essential part of smart-gridcapable platforms for medium and small power installations in homes and small businesses as it is equipped with an intelligent controller that enables smart and constant interaction between renewable energy systems (solar PV, wind turbines and biogas power generators), the electricity grid and its embedded battery infrastructure in order to store energy at the

lowest costs possible and even allow to sell electricity back to the grid in certain scenarios. Delta Flex E3 provides a variety of system architectures for diverse customer needs with a single system offering storage capacity from 2.9 kWh to 3.7 kWh or with three systems in parallel offering up to 11.0 kWh depending on the selection of lead-acid or lithiumion batteries. The system also features: ›› Delta’s own AC inverters which offer >96% energy conversion efficiency and nominal continuous power output of 2.34 kW for a single system or up to 7.0 kW for a 3 systems in parallel configuration.

›› Remote monitoring and management through its communication capabilities that support Ethernet, RS-485, CAN bus interfaces. Compatible with the monitoring software SOLIVIA Monitor (and its smartphone live app) for Delta’s PV inverters. ›› Built-in customized energy management modes for different customer requirements ■

Chemtrols Solar launches a range of High Quality & Innovative Solar LED Products Chemtrols Solar, one of India’s leading Solar companies, recently launched a range of portable LED based Solar Lamps and phone chargers, under the brand ‘Solarway’. The innovative Solarway range of products stand out for their

design, quality & innovativeness. All of the products are childsafe and non-hazardous with Lithium-ion or Alkaline batteries making these extremely lightweight. These are portable, easy to handle, simple to operate, and offer long-duration lighting after

a single charge cycle, rendering it ideal for overnight outings, treks and for emergency and disaster relief applications. In addition to providing power, all Solarway products also have ports that enable easy charging of mobile

» May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 55 


PRODUCT REVIEW phones.

tive colours.

The premium lantern in this range provide 20 hours of continuous, reliable, trouble-free lighting, and in addition, comes with dedicated phone charging ports to charge two phones at a time, including a smart phone. The unit incorporates a FM radio as well and a detachable light for additional floor or ceiling lighting.

‘Solarway’ range of products are available in prices ranging from Rs. 749/- to Rs. 2949 and come with a 1 year warranty. These products are available on all popular e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart & Snapdeal. A network of dealers ensure easy availability of the Solarway range and provide prompt after-sales service, if required.

Another unique product, the Homework light, promises to make it easier for students to continue uninterrupted study, even during Power cuts. This product also comes in a range of attrac-

Chemtrols Solar brings with it, the world class experience of endto-end EPC services for multiple MW scale Solar PV power projects in India ■

RED Corner Commissioning Status of Grid Connected Solar Power Projects during 2014-15 Sr. No.

State/UT

Total MNRE Projects MW

State Policy MW

RPO MW

REC Scheme MW

Pvt. Initiative (Roof top) MW

CPSUs MW

Total Commissioned Capacity (MW) as on 31-03-15

1

Andhra Pradesh

50

44.5

0

21.75

0.52

10

126.77

2

Arunachal Pradesh

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

Chhattisgarh

0

0

0

0

0.5

0

0.5

4

Gujarat

20

10

0

0

51

0

81

5

Haryana

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

Jharkhand

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

Karnataka

0

30

10

0

3.22

0

46.22

8

Kerala

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

9

Madhya Pradesh

180

10

0

0

0

15

205

10

Maharashtra

10

1

50

10.57

8.43

0

80

11

Orissa

0

0

0

2

0.26

0

2.26

12

Punjab

1.5

167

0

0

0.25

0

168.75

13

Rajasthan

190

5.6

0

33.25

0

0

228.85

14

Tamil Nadu

0

15

0

29.2

9.92

0

54.12

15

Telangana

0

33.25

0

21.9

6.1

0

61.25

16

Tripura

0

0

0

5

0

0

5

17

Uttar Pradesh

0

40

0

0

2.16

0

42.16

18

Uttarakhand

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

19

West Bengal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

20

Andaman & Nicobar

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

21

Delhi

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

22

Lakshadweep

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

23

Puducherry

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

24

Chandigarh

2.5

0

0

0

0

0

2.5

25

Others

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

454

359.35

60

123.67

82.36

25

1104.38

Total


EVENTS WATCH Event: Saudi Power

Event: Cleantech India

Date: 11- 13 May 2015

Date: 2- 3 Sept 2015

Venue: Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre

Venue: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Contact: alexis.sworder@ informa.com/ Tel: +971 (0) 4 407 2763

Contact: +91 22 6144 5900

Event: GulfSol 2015 Event: Smart Cities India 2015 Date: 20- 22 May 2015 Venue: Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Contact: sanjayb@eigroup. inmedia.com/ Tel: +91 11 4279 5000

Date: 14-16 Sept 2015 Venue: Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE Contact: David Jones, + 44 (0) 208 638 0619, David@bowheadmedia.com

Event: 9th REI 2015 Date: 23-25 Sept 2015

Event: Solar South 2015 Date: 19-21 June 2015 Venue: Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai, TN Contact: +91 44 2250 1985 / 86 / 87 / 88

Date: 18- 20 August, 2015 Venue: China Import & Export Complex, China

Date: 08-09 Dec 2015 Venue: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India Contact: Shraddha Malik, +91 (0) 11 2690 1659, MalikS@mdindia.com

Event: ESI 2015 Date: 8- 9 Dec 2015 Venue: Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India Contact: Shradha MalikS@md-india.com

Malik/

Venue: India Expo Centre, Noida, India Contact: Rajneesh Khattar, +91 98717 26762, rajneesh.khattar@ ubm.com

Event: Intersolar India 2015 Date: 18-20 Nov 2015

Event: PV Guangzhou 2015

Event: 3rd International Conference & Exhibition on Energy Storage & Microgrids in India

Event: Enerasia 2015 Date: 18-20 Dec 2015 Venue: GMDC Ahmedabad

Ground,

Contact: Enerasia Marketing Office, +91 79 27496737, 27494266, booking@enerasia.in

Venue: Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, India Contact: Swapna Kulkarni, +91 22 4255 4729, swapna.kulkarni@ mmi-india.in

Contact: Eve Cheng/ grand.ev@ grahw.com

Event: Light India International 2015 Event: 6th WRETC

Date: 27-30 Nov 2015

Date: 21 to 23 Aug 2015

Venue: Milon Mela Kolkata, India

Venue: Expo and Convention Centre, Manekshaw Centre, Delhi, India

Contact: 91 33 22252656 / 22252472/ info@Lii.co.in

Contact: Punit Singh/ punit. nagi@ee-foundation.org

57 

May/ June 2015 SmartEnergy 


ADVERTISERS INDEX Electrotherm (India) Ltd.

5

Electrotherm Solar Ltd.

7

Enerasia 2015

27

Energy Storage India

43

Exide Industries Ltd.

IFC

Gangadan Energy Pvt.Ltd.

BC

Gulfsol 2015

35

Intersolar India 2015

19

K-Lite Industries

17

LII 2015

51

Middle East Electricity

49

MTekpro Technologies Pvt.Ltd.

9

MTekpro Technologies Pvt.Ltd.

13

REI Expo 2015

23

Smart Cities India 2015

IBC

Solar Middle East

39

Solar South 2015

25

Soltech Equipments

58 SmartEnergy May/ June 2015

3

 www.supersmartenergy.com


GANGADAN DEVELOPING INDIA’S FIRST, MULTIJUNCTION CELL TECHNOLOGY BASED SOLAR PARK WITH 40% EFFICIENCY

Private bankable PPA available GANGADAN SOLAR PARK (2 X 50 MW) )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

ADVANTAGE “GANGADAN SOLAR PARK” • ))))))) ))))) )))))))))) z)))) d )) d )))d)) )))) d))) ))))) ))))) ))))))))

• d)) )O d)) ))))))) )))) ))))))))) d )) ))))))

• ))))))) ))) )))))) )) )q))))

• U)))))) ))))ff)

• A)))))))))) )))))) ))d ))))))))))) (d))) )) ))) )))) )))) • d) ()) ) )B))))) )) ))d ))))))) )) )))))) )))))) )))))

• )))))))))) ))))) )))))))) )))) )))) • B))))))) ))A )))) ))) )))))))) )))))))))) • )) ) d O))))))) & ))))))))))) ))))))) • ))))) ))))))) ))))))))) )) )))))

• CD)dC))))) C)))))) ))))))) )))) ))))) )) ))))))))) )))))))

• )))))))) )))))))))) ))))) ))))))))) )))))) )))))) )) ))))))) ))))

• ))C C)))))))) ))) )) )))))))))

• ))))))))) )))))))))))))) ))))))))) )))) )) ))))) ))))))))) )))) dd) )VA )))) & )))) )))))) )))))))) ))))) ))))))))) ))))) ))) ))))))))

• d))d))))))) )) ))))))) )) ))) ))))))))))) )))))))))

Gangadan Energy Private Limited dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

Smart Energy May June 2015 lr  
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