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SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Volume IV, Issue V

Pages 80


ISSN 2348-5027

Complete Solar and Renewable Energy Intelligence

SmartEnergy Complete Renewable Energy Intelligence

Editor Santosh Khadtare

Associate Editor Anisha Ganguli EDITORIAL ADVISER Pragya Sharma Editorial Coordinator Varsha

Graphic Designer D. Vaidya Advertising & Marketing Head- Marketing & Business Development Sapna K

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 necessarily 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 Printed, published and edited by Santosh Khadtare on behalf of Genesis Info-Media, published at 509, Pushp Plaza, above Snehanjali Showroom, 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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Editor's Note Dear Readers, As I sit to pen the editorial for the Sept/Oct 2017 edition of Smart Energy, you all must be busy getting ready for Asia’s largest and most influential renewable energy event the Renewable Energy India Expo. The 11th edition of the expo is taking place from 20th to 22nd Sept 2017 at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, India. Over the years REI has grown in quality, of visitors and exhibitors, and is the only show of international stature focused on solar and renewable energy that takes place in India. It would be interesting to see the latest offering and products on display at the exhibition by prominent Indian and global players, the latest technology developments and the future drivers of growth for the industry. It would be interested to see if the India market follows the global trends and see product launches in modules and inverters that we have seen in international expos like the Solar International and Intersolar Munich. At the same time we will take stock of the impact of the recent developments like- the Chinese module manufacturers reneging on their contractual obligation, numerous states renegotiating tariffs for operational solar projects, and the renewed demands for anti dumping duty on imported solar equipments- on the growth of the solar sector in India. As you get ready for 11th REI, we too have worked hard in bringing to you a very special edition of Smart Energy magazine that carries interesting articles written by eminent scholars, leaders and experts from the industry. This edition brings to you a cover story that focuses on the Rooftop Solar sector in India. We also bring to you the edited excerpts from interaction with influential leaders those who have set benchmarks with the nature and quality of work they are doing in the solar and renewable energy sector. Overall this edition of Smart Energy Magazine is packed with powerful stuff to keep you engaged. So not wasting much of your time I take this opportunity to invite you to visit our stall at the 11th REI. To remind you REI is taking place from 20th to 22nd Sept 2017 at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, India. Enjoy reading and yes don’t forget to give your feedback to me at Santosh K Editor Like SmartEnergy on Facebook @




32 FACE 2 FACE Vasan Ramasubramaniyam MD & CEO, Prettl India Pvt. Ltd.

The Indian Rooftop Solar Saga



EXCLUSIVE Dr. Gundu Sabde

India- A Hot Booming Market for Solar Authored By: Rajesh Singh

MD, RelyOn Solar Private Limited

AVP, RenewSys India Pvt. Ltd.

34. TECH REVIEW Future Forecast for Solar Plant Output Authored By: Milind Upadhye & Chinmay Upadhye, Kaihatsu Techno Centre Pvt. Ltd.

58 IN CONVERSATION Mukesh Gupta Co-founder & Managing Director, Micromax Energy Ltd.



Analysis of Solar Plant PID Solutions


Authored By: Liu Zhigang, Shanghai Zhiwei Environmental Technology Co., Ltd.

62. ROOFTOP SOLAR The Energy Pyramid & DSM: The Catalyst For The Indian Rooftop Solar Sector Authored By: Tahnoon, Manager - Business Development, Atomberg Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

68. SPOTLIGHT Leading I-V Curve Tracer For Pv Modules Authored By: Isothermal Technology Pvt. ltd.

REGULARS 08. News & Views 18. To the Point

6 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Country Head Sales &Marketing (Transformers & Solar Solutions), Electrotherm (India) Ltd.

48. FEATURED An exclusive conversation with the Co-founders of Sunshot Technologies Private Limited

20. PRODUCTS & SERVICES 71. IN FOCUS: JinkoSolar 72. VIEW POINT: Ultra Low Bids and Great Race to the Bottom


News & Views RK Singh is the new Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister The government has named former bureaucrat Raj Kumar Singh as Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the ministry of power and new and renewable energy following the cabinet reshuffle. Singh is a Member of Parliament since May 2014. He is a 1975 batch Bihar cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and former Home Secretary of

India. Former Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who has been elevated to cabinet rank and named as the new minister of railways, will retain the ministry of coal. Singh was among the nine new faces which were inducted in the Cabinet 

No Ambiguity on MNRE notifies new guidelines for 5% GST On Solar tariff-based competitive bidding of Equipment, Says solar power Power Minister In an effort to of the PPA. This has clearances and the Amidst reports that there is still lack of clarity on the 5 per cent goods and services tax (GST) levy on solar equipment, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal has reiterated that there is no ambiguity as the government is very clear on the issue. "There is no question of ambiguity on this. It has been made very clear that 5 per cent GST will be applicable on solar equipment. If they (equipment makers) still have issues with it, it is very sad and we cannot do anything," said minister Goyal. The industry has claimed that though the government has said GST would be applied to solar modules at a concessional rate of 5 per cent; there is still no clarity on whether it will be extended to other equipment as well. "The Goods and Services Tax was introduced to bring in more clarity and transparency in the system. I think our stand is very clear in this," he said. Goyal further said the ambitious plan of increasing solar capacity to 100 GW by 2020 and promoting solar products would boost small and medium enterprises 

8 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

enhance transparency and profitability, and subsequently making solar power more affordable in the days to come, the MNRE has released new guidelines for tariff based competitive bidding of solar power. The guidelines have been chalked out for tariff-based competitive bidding process for procurement of power from grid connected solar PV power projects, prioritizing consumer interests by providing affordable power, the Ministry has said in a press release. The government has kept the minimum power purchase agreement (PPA) tenure at 25 years to ensure lower tariffs, from the scheduled commissioning date, with the prohibition of unilateral termination or amendment

incentivised early commissioning and part commissioning of projects, the Ministry has claimed.

MNRE has also provisioned a payment security mechanism through instruments like Letter of Credit (LC), Payment Security Fund, State Guarantee, in order to tackle the risk of generator's revenue getting blocked due to delayed payment or non- payment by the procurers. Additionally, the Ministry has said that, "In the event of any default, payment or otherwise, consequences have been clearly defined to ensure optimal risk sharing between the developer and procurer". It further said, "Issues related to land, connectivity,

extension in case of delay, have also been streamlined". MNRE has also emphasized on e-bidding, quantifiable in both power (MW) and energy (kWh) terms, aiming to improve transparency, the release stated. To increase transparency and fairness in the procurement process, the guidelines will provide standardisation and uniformity in processes and a risk-sharing framework between various stakeholders involved in the solar PV power procurement, which will in turn help in reducing off-taker risk, thereby encouraging investments, enhancing bankability of the projects and improving profitability for the investors 

 .

News & Views A Rude Awakening for Indian solar developers as Chinese firms renege on India contracts In what has come as a shock to India’s solar power developers, Chinese module manufacturers are reneging on their contracts and are demanding an upward price revision to supply the equipment already contracted for.

that we have a firm deadline and that the failure to meet it will result in penalties on us, so they have resorted to this strategy,” alleged a New Delhi-based CEO of a firm that has been actively participating in India’s solar auctions, asking not to be identified.

Any price increase will impact the internal rate of return (IRR) from such projects, many of which have already signed power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Module prices have firmed up with China extending the feedin tariff regime—which ensures a fixed price for power producers— for the third quarter, and with US developers placing advance orders to shore up cell and module supplies amid demands for a cap in prices of cheap imports into the US.

Some Chinese suppliers have sought an increase of around 6 cents per watt in module prices in a market which they dominate. Module prices are currently around 37 cents per watt. Modules account for nearly 60% of a solar power project’s total cost. “Many Chinese manufacturers are going back on their contracts. They are completely reneging on the contracts signed with Indian developers,” said Hero Future Energies chief executive officer (CEO) Sunil Jain. “We did a contract in June for a delivery in August. The Chinese have come for renegotiation seeking a price increase. The Chinese manufacturers are aware

“The new Chinese offer is either to accept the new prices or cancel the contract. One can’t work like this,” added a top functionary at the second firm who also didn’t want to be named. Major Chinese solar module manufacturers include Trina Solar Ltd, Jinko Solar, JA Solar Holdings, ET Solar, Chint Solar and GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. “Developers have been complaining about Chinese manufacturers increasing their prices.

Since the tariffs have already been discovered and the PPAs signed they may have to take a hit on their IRRs,” said a person involved in devising and running India’s solar park bid process. A Mytrah Energy spokesperson said in an emailed response: “We wouldn’t like to name names due to obvious reasons but it is fair to say that we have witnessed toptier and very large suppliers as well as smaller suppliers reneging contracts in a fairly casual manner.” This comes at a time when states are now looking to renege on their off take commitments for projects awarded at a comparatively higher tariff triggering concerns that it will precipitate a crisis in the Indian green energy space which has been attracting investors in droves. “There can be blips in terms of supply and demand. So one must think about one’s procurement strategy with suppliers having long-term goals rather than ones with transactional approach,” said Inderpreet Wadhwa, founder and CEO of Azure Power ■

Solar power capacity crosses 13GW mark; AP, Raj top chart The country’s installed solar power capacity has crossed 13 GW mark with states of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu emerging as leading green energy producers. Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have crossed the solar installed capacity of 1 GW, as on July 31, 2017, Union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha.

10 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

“As on July, 31, 2017, the cumulative solar energy capacity installed is 13,652 MW while the same at the end of 2014-15 was 3,743.97 MW,” Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Mines Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Andhra Pradesh tops the chart with 2,048 MW followed by Rajasthan (2,022 MW), Tamil Nadu (1,697.32 MW) and Telangana (1609.27 MW).

The minister further stated that the Government of India has revised the National Solar Mission target of grid connected solar power projects from 20 GW to 100 GW by 2022. The same is sought to be achieved through rooftop solar projects (40 GW) and ground mounted solar projects (60 GW), the minister added ■


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News & Views Mahindra Susten launches India’s first Mobile PV Testing Lab Mahindra Susten, one of India’s largest and most trusted solar EPC Company, has announced the launch of India’s first Mobile PV laboratory for testing of the Solar PV modules on site. The mobile PV lab, developed inhouse, has an innovative design, which combines all the key tests required for PV modules in a compact lab. This solution will make world-class testing facilities available to solar asset developers, EPCs and the O&M operators at the location of their own plant. PV modules account for 70% of the capex for a Solar PV plant, and under performance of the modules can be the single largest reason why an asset owner’s (lenders) financial model and actual cash flows may not match. Early detection can lead to immediate control of losses or redressal. The role of the PV testing lab is critical across the life cycle of the Solar PV plant, right from construction to the end of life. The Susten Diagnostics fleet, are operated by the O&M and Analytics division

Vikram Solar opens its office in Shanghai Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd. recently announced the opening of a new office at Yan’an W Road HongQiao, Shanghai, China. This decision has been taken with a view to accommodate growth and leverage the region’s technology talent pool. In addition to the corporate headquarters in West Bengal, and branch offices across India, the company has international offices in Germany, USA, and Singapore 

12 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

of Mahindra Susten, which is was also adjudged Gold award winner “O&M Contractor of the Year” – Utility Scale, RE Assets, 2017. Speaking about the launch, Mr. Basant Jain, CEO, Mahindra Susten, stated, “We at Mahindra Susten, are key endorsers of Government of India’s vision to transform India’s energy mix and to make it independent of fossil fuels not just in terms of MW Capacity installed but more in terms of contribution in the MW-hours generated. In our quest to help the nation get more out of their PV assets and adding to India’s power generation, we have invested in India’s first ever mobile PV testing laboratory”. There are various stages at which the Mobile PV solution can be implemented: Pre-construction: Testing the landed delivery of module containers on-site for any damages during manufacturing, transportation or unloading. This could be used to eliminate faulty mod-

ules, in addition they can be also used to claim warranty for damaged modules or even transport insurance. During construction: On-site testing of the connected modules on the Tables to identify any damages during installation or on-field PV module movement. The same can be used to levy LD on the installers and to identify damaged modules early-on. During O&M: The combination of the on-field IV Curve tracing, Thermography, EL test and the Flash testing, enables conclusive detection of any under-performance of the modules. Hence, allowing for replacement of the degraded modules immediately and at the same time claiming warranty – giving higher returns both in terms of performance as well as spares. The availability of the Lab on-site ensure not only a higher sampling rate, but also gives immediate results without the need of any efforts to pack, transport or send the modules anywhere else ■

IBC SOLAR Signs Contract With SECI Over 20 MW Solar Plant in India IBC SOLAR AG, a global leader in photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage, has signed PPA for a 20 MW AC solar plant with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The project was part of a 270 MW AC PV tender in the state of Odisha and assigned to IBC SOLAR through a competitive auc-

tion process during 2016. The PV system is planned to be put into operation by late 2017. "We are pleased to announce the signing of the PPA with SECI, a company of the Government of India, and are confident to realise this project in the state of Odisha within the stipulated timeframe and according

to our global quality standards. The confidence expressed by lenders in IBC SOLAR helps to further scale up our business in India," Mr. Shailendra Bebortha, Managing Director of IBC SOLAR Projects India Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBC SOLAR Energy, commented ■


SUGI Invites you to visit us at REI Exhibition Hall No:9, Booth No: 9.111

News & Views JinkoSolar Recognized for Solar Excellence at RISE 2017 Conference in India JinkoSolar Co., Ltd., a global leader in the PV industry, today announced that it was presented with the Solar Innovation & Excellence Award at the ‘Roadmap for Innovations in Solar Energy’ (RISE) 2017 conference. The event was organized by the Mission Energy Foundation on 20th & 21st July 2017 at Hotel Taj Vivanta in New Delhi, India. The award recognizes companies honoring them for their innovative products and solutions for better development of India’s solar industry in the years to come ahead. JinkoSolar’s Marketing Specialist for India, Tanushree Mukherjee, received the token of appreciation from the Director General

of Mission Energy Foundation, Mr. Ashwinkumar at the award ceremony held on 21st July 2017. Sharing a few words at the ceremony, Tanushree said ‘JinkoSolar is delighted to receive this award for its performance in the India market. We are currently working with the top IPPs, developers and EPCs and see heavy demand for Jinko products in the region. As the world’s no. 1 PV manufacturer, our commitment to bring

the greatest value to our customers is firm and we will uphold the highest standards of product quality, reliability and service for our customers here in India.’ ■

Enphase Energy Expands in India with New Account Manager and Distribution Partners Enphase Energy, Inc., a global energy technology company and the world’s leading supplier of solar micro inverters, announced that the Company has appointed a strategic account manager in India, added Sun-AP Ecopower and Redington as new distribution partners and established a direct presence in Chennai to manage future growth in India. Enphase has invested in a direct presence in Chennai with the appointment of Venkata Mukundarajan as its strategic account manager for India. Mukundarajan will be responsible for driving distribution partnerships, supporting business development and expanding the preference for Enphase micro inverters amongst installers. “India is powering the growth of solar with its ambitious targets for clean energy and it is one of the most exciting markets in Asia

14 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

for Enphase,” said Nathan Dunn, managing director of Enphase Asia-Pacific, “The demand for high quality and smart rooftop solar creates significant opportunities for us to expand in India. We are delighted to have Venkata join our team, and to be working with Redington and Sun-AP Ecopower. Together, they will help us cement our growth ambitions in this important region.” “Customers are willing to invest in quality solar products, and Enphase’s micro inverter technology continues to lead the solar industry, said Pradeep Srikanthan, vice president, Solar Equipment Group of Redington. “Redington is pleased to be representing Enphase as part of our commitment towards distributing quality and technologically advanced solar products through our network of more than 500 channel partners in India.”

Srinivas Kumar, CEO and founder, Sun-AP Ecopower said, “Sun-AP Ecopower is pleased to distribute Enphase microinverters in India. We believe there is potential for Enphase to grow as our partners firmly believe there is a market for a smart microinverters that are simple and quick to install.” Enphase microinverters offer the most advanced inverter technology on the market with higher production, greater reliability and intelligence. Installers can get better performance and smarter insights with Enphase micro inverters as they are simple to install, designed for flexibility and lead the industry with their reliability. With Enphase micro inverters, installers can reduce their installation and maintenance costs and bring greater value to their customers 


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NO EITHER / OR. No matter, whether rooftop or groundmounted installations. Whether centralized or decentralized plant designs. Whether commercial or utility-scale projects. Our competitive and proven solutions offer you flexibility for your projects. YOUR CONTACT: Prettl India Pvt Ltd. Mr. Vasan Ramasubramaniyam Bangalore-560095 | Karnataka | India Mobile: +91 9845005204 E-Mail:

News & Views ABB India achieves 5GW milestone for solar inverters Azure Power, a leading inde ABB India has achieved the 5 gigawatt milestone for solar inverters. From schools to airports, canal tops and mega solar plants, ABB's solar inverters power solar installations across the country. According to market reports, India is set to become the third largest solar market in 2017, and is expected to touch about 5 per cent of the global solar capacity. Azure Power and ABB India's senior leadership were present at an event to mark the 5GW milestone journey supported by ABB customers in India.

Amplus installs 2 MW solar rooftop project at Greater Noida Expo Centre Amplus EnergySolutions announced in a company release that it has completed construction of 2 MW solar rooftop plant for India Expo Centre Mart at Greater Noida. "This plant spanning across 35,000 sqm of roof, consists of 7,860 Trina PV modules of 320 Wp each and 33 of SMA inverters," the statement further added. The project was completed in around 8 months and was declared for commercial use on May 31, 2017. India Expo Centre & Mart is slated to use the generated solar energy to meet up to 50 per cent of its varying energy needs. Gurgaonbased Amplus will own, operate and maintain the project for a period of 25 years. "This plant will bring total savings of INR 380 Million over project lifetime of 25 years," Rakesh Kumar, Chairman at India Expo Centre & Mart, said 

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The event took place at ABB's solar inverter factory in Bengaluru. Inverters are the heart of solar installations and ABB pioneered inverter production in the country in 2012. Last year, ABB India doubled its solar inverter manufacturing capacity in India. In 2015 it doubled its solar inverter installed base to 2GW in a span of five months. ABB's end-to-end portfolio for solar energy, including solar inverters, powers about 50 per cent of the solar projects in the country ■

Engie, Everest in talks for solarready roof business in India French energy group Engie is reportedly discussing solar-ready roofs collaboration with India’s building solutions company Everest Industries Ltd. The partners would focus on solar-ready roofs whose design, load and angle make them perfect for solar rooftop installations. Manish Sanghi, managing director at Everest, confirmed in a statement released that the company has launched a solar roofing business and is in talks with potential partners 

Arinsun Clean Energy to develop 250MW solar park in MP Actis Energy Fundbacked Arinsun Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Solenergi Power (SPPL), will develop a 250-megawatts (Mw) solar park at a cost of $200 million. International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to back the project, which will be located at the 750-Mw Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh. The solar park is located across five villages, namely, Badwar, Barsaita Desh, Barsaita Pahad, Etar Pahad and Ramnagar Pahad under Gurh Tehsil in Rewa District, Madhya Pradesh. The solar park is equally divided into three units, each of which will have a 250-Mw solar power plant.

SPPL has won project development rights for Unit III of the park. The estimated project cost is around $200 million. The proposed IFC investment involves providing an IFC A loan, subscribing to non-convertible debentures (NCDs) of up to $50 million and mobilisation of a loan of up to $100 million from other lenders. Proceeds from the IFC investment will be used by the company for the construction of the Project. The solar park is being developed by Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMSL), a joint venture between state-owned Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam (MPUVNL) and Solar Energy Corpora-

tion of India (SECI). The project is expected to be commissioned by December 2018. The off-takers for the project will be Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company (MPPMCL) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The Government of Madhya Pradesh appointed IFC as the lead transaction advisor. IFC's role includes advising on a robust project structure, identifying, recommending and helping in implementing solutions for key commercial, legal, regulatory, technical and system operations, and designing a transparent auction process 


EMMVEE Photovoltaic Power Pvt. Ltd celebrates 25 years in solar and reaches 0.5 GW solar module production capacity milestone Emmvee Photovoltaic Power Private Limited has completed its 25 years of excellent service in solar thermal products and solar PV module manufacturing. Emmvee has managed its unique position in the industry by delivering seamless product quality and innovation in the field of solar product manufacturing. Over 25 years of excellent service, Emmvee has acquired immense expertise in high quality and large volume production of products related to solar photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies. Emmvee has always been in the forefront of technology adaptation in the manufacturing of its products. Emmvee is the first company in India to install high speed stringer and multi-stack laminators of European origin. The company at the moment produces solar photovoltaic modules for on grid and off grid applications. The modules produced by the company have been very well accepted by many companies in India and abroad as a preferred choice for their projects. Emmvee also very active in EPC space of large solar photovoltaic based power projects. The company has a great deal of experience in developing and commission many power projects in Europe. The company owns and operates 4 power plants in Germany.

is also in the forefront in using Green power to meet the electricity needs of its manufacturing facility. It has its own 1MW power plant installed on the roof of its manufacturing facility. Speaking on the occasion, D.V. Manjunatha, Founder and Managing Director, Emmvee Group said “Emmvee is committed to meet our existing and prospective customers emerging needs in the field of Solar Technology. Emmvee has a state-of-the-art

fully automated manufacturing facility is situated in Bengaluru city. Emmvee has at present 0.5 GW per year solar module manufacturing capacity and has plans to expand as per the market development and needs in future ■

In India too, the company has successfully completed power projects aggregating to a total capacity of 100MW as on date, which also includes roof top projects. Many reputed developers like BHEL, Tata Power, NTPC, Amplus, IC India and many more have used the modules produced by Emmvee in their projects and are extremely satisfied with the products. The company


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

To the Point NATIONAL Govt. to hold second edition of RE-Invest in Dec this year After postponing the mega renewable energy event RE-Invest three times in last two years, the Central government has finally decided to hold it in Greater Noida in December this year. The first Global RE-Invest was held in New Delhi from February 15 to17 in 2015. The Centre had then decided that this would be an annual event. But then, the second edition was postponed from February, 2016 to November, 2016. Later, the government announced that the second edition has been postponed again from November, 2016 to February, 2017 and that it will be organised in Gandhinagar.

Wind power tariff drops to a new low of Rs. 3.42/unit The cost of wind power in Tamil Nadu has fallen to 3.42 per unit, the lowest in the country. The price now is 4 paise lower than that quoted in the Union renewable power ministry's wind power tender bid. ReGen Power Tech quoted the lowest bid at Rs.3.42 /Unit for a capacity of 200MW.

BDL to set up 5-MW solar PV unit in Telangana BDL, the public sector company, will set up a 5-MW solar photovoltaic power project at it Bhanur missile production unit in Telangana. The Union Minister for Defence and Finance, Arun Jaitley, had formally launched the Rs. 29-crore plant. It will have a payback period of 4.3 years on the capital cost.

Websol to expand PV cell capacity to 250 MW Indian solar cell maker Websol Energy System Ltd has placed orders to expand its photovoltaic (PV) cell line manufacturing

18 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

plant to 250 MW from 200 MW currently.

Veer Energy to develop 10 MW Hybrid Power Project in Maharashtra Veer Energy and Infrastructure announced in a statement released that it has received a letter of interest from Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA), Pune, opinion on the installation of a solar or hybrid project at its existing wind projects.

NSEF seeks more time for solar projects in UP The National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) has written to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking extension of time line to commission select solar power projects claiming that laxity by state agencies is to blame for the delay. Earlier last month, Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) had cancelled power purchase agreements (PPAs) with a few firms for delay in commissioning projects as per schedule.

Hinduja National Power looks to acquire Kiran Energy assets Hinduja National Power Corp. Ltd, part of the diversified Hinduja Group, is the latest company to express interest in acquiring the assets of Kiran Energy Solar Power Pvt. Ltd. It has been reported that Hinduja National Power has initiated discussions to acquire ownership of Kiran Energy, from private equity funds. PE funds Argonaut Ventures, New Silk Route (NSR) and Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) India own nearly 80% of the Mumbai-based firm while founder Ardeshir Contractor and Alan Rosling, a former Tata Sons executive director, and a few others own the rest. Accord-

ing to some reports the deal size could be $100-150 million (Rs6401,000 crore).

State Owned Heavy Engineering enters solar module production Indian state-owned Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited (HEC), one of India’s largest industrial conglomerates, is seeking providers of PV technology and solar manufacturers to create a joint venture for the construction of a solar module factory at an unspecified location in India. The company has issued an expression of interest for the project, in which it says the vertically integrated factory, which will also produce wafers and solar cells, will have an initial capacity of 50 MW and that it will be raised to 150 MW in two years.

Rays Power Infra successfully commissions 5 MW solar PV Leading Solar Energy company, Rays Power Infra announced completion of a 5 MW solar PV project for one of their most prestigious client Aryavaan Renewable Energy Private Ltd. The project execution work was started in October 2016 while the project was commissioned in February 2017.

Premier Solar commissions 200 MW facility in Telangana Premier Solar has commissioned its 200 MW automated solar module manufacturing facility in Sangareddy district of Telangana, taking its capacity up to 375 MW and plans to expand capacity further to over one GW. An integrated solar power sector player, the company has forayed into value added innovative solar products, including solar hybrid vehicles ■


Sept / Oct 2017 SmartEnergy   

Products & Services

DEIF’s Solar Solutions


cross the world, the need to make the energy portfolio environmental friendly is a pressing need. Among the renewable sources, Solar power is gaining momentum in India with the push given by government and the abundant solar potential in India. The increasing demand is driving down the cost of solar energy which is attracting more and more investment in this sector.

Remote Gateway

Local monitoring AGI 400

Remote monitoring

Display Mains Mains

Mains breaker

SunSpec/ DEIF proprietary AGC-4 Display 2

Display 2

Busbar CANbus

While the investment and increasing of Solar share in the energy sources is fully justified, it is also equally important to have efficient controls that will enable solar penetration to maximum possible extent including the possibility of exporting the excess power back to the grid. Challenge with solar In a contemporary system, solar power can only be utilised as long as the utility supply is available. In the absence of utility, solar power can no longer deliver the power and the diesel generators come in to deliver the backup power. The Solar systems are not geared up to supply power along with the diesel or gas genset as the load sharing between the two groups is a challenge. This leads to burning the fuel (diesel/gas) for the genset to take the entire load for the duration for which the utility is absent, in spite of solar power

DEIF’s Automatic Sustainable Controller

20 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Genset breaker 2



AGC-4 Genset breaker 1

ASC Display

Display 3



Genset breaker 3

Inverter breaker 4

Automatic Sustainable Controller, ASC Modbus RTU

Solar Inverter Diesel Genset 1

Diesel Genset 2

Diesel Genset 3

source being available. DEIF’s answer challenge



DEIF with its experience and expertise in the field of power generation control solutions; has come up with an innovative solution to this challenge. DEIF introduces the Automatic Sustainable Controller (ASC), a solution that provides integrated solution for systems with utility, diesel and solar power source. The system provides an interface between the diesel/gas genset and solar, with or without presence of utility power - a solution that enables you to share the load between solar PV cell and diesel/ gas genset with maximum solar penetration, thus resulting in maximised savings even during utility failure. DEIF solutions being costeffective balance your economy and conserve the environment as they are highly efficient. A solar system consists of series of PV cells connected to their respective inverters. DEIF’s solar controller is connected to the master inverter or central control point of the group of inverters and interconnected among Utility and Genset Controllers through CAN

bus communication. DEIF’s solar controller serves as an interface between Solar source and the diesel genset controllers/Utility Power, namely Advanced Genset Controllers (AGC), over the CAN bus to adjust power output to meet the load requirement with solar system taking the maximum load share. When the utility fails, Genset start up to provide the reference and provide minimum load that will let it run efficiently and let the solar meet the rest of the demand. If the solar power output decreases due to bad sunlight, the deficit will be met by diesel/gas genset through the intelligent interface, thus ensuring reliable supply of power in all conditions. If the export of power from Solar is not demanded then the Automatic Sustainable Controller will restrict the solar generation to the desired limit. How much can you save? To get a glimpse of what you would be your minimal saving after installing DEIF’s solution, let us consider a simple real life example. On an average, considering power loss of up to 20 hours per week implies that in a year you can have almost 1000 hours of lack of utility


power. Considering that the diesel consumption normally is of 125 litres per hour (500 KW at full load) and assuming 1.5 $/litre as cost of diesel, for 1000 hours of no utility power, 187.5 $/hour is the cost for running a diesel genset for one hour. For 1000 hours you would spend 1, 87,500 $ and for running 2 genset, the total spending will be 3, 75,000 $ on fuel cost alone. In addition to this, the cost for handling the fuel, managing resources, maintenance of genset, gas emissions, and environmental setbacks add to the overheads. On the other hand, DEIF’s solar solution enables you to use solar power even in the absence of utility with high solar penetration. Say with a 60 % solar penetration you can run just one genset and save on fuel cost of the other in the period of utility failure which implies a saving of 1, 87,500 $. Using solar for the additional period of the year can make that period also further green and help maximize the project’s overall return on investment. DEIF’s solar solution will thus prove to be a boon to India’s evolving solar sector ■ Contact us: For further information or any other questions you may have, don’t hesitate to contact us on (+91) 22 4245 2000 or please feel free to write us at We look forward to working with you. About DEIF Established in Denmark in 1933, today the DEIF Group is a global market leader in green, safe and reliable control solutions for decentralised power production on land or at sea. In simple terms, we make sure power is always available. Privately owned by the founder’s son, the DEIF Group is staffed by more than 650 employees and represented in 50+ key markets in all regions of the world. All production facilities are located at the Danish HQ in Skive and a stunning 20% of our employees work in R&D identifying new environmentally friendly ways of increasing overall performance, reducing maintenance intervals and fuel consumption for the world’s power generating industries. Altogether, we call it: POWER EFFICIENCY.


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Products & Services

REFU is the Right Partner For You


ith more than 50 years experience in power electronics and more than 250.000 inverters in the field worldwide, we provide you German engineering, reliable devices, simple processing and customized service.

plant, while maintenance costs are minimized, thanks to the passive natural convection cooling system. R E FU s o l 40K/46K – the largest of its kind

No matter what environmental conditions Try it out - you REFUsol 40K/46K will be convinced solar inverters by the quality of are always the our solutions. right choice. The largest passiveR E FU s o l cooled solar 08…23K – the inverters proREFUsol 08…23K all-rounder vides maximum power even in the toughNo matter whether small est environment. Take advantage or large solar plants, rooftop or of the possible DC/AC overloading ground-mounted - the proven of up to 150% for reducing the REFUsol 08...23K solar inverters number of inverters to only 22 can be used in various applicainverters/MW. tions. They are extremely lightweight and can therefore be No matter which devices you installed easily and quickly. The choose – you can keep an eye on patented UltraEta® topology gets your yields free of charge with our the maximum yield out of your cloud-based monitoring portal

REFUsol 40K/46K REFUlog  Don’t hesitate and get back to us for your offer today Harpreet-Singh Dhir Key Account Manager- ASIA Marktstraße 185 72793 Pfullingen, Germany Mobile: +49 151 440 492 55 Direct line: +49 7121 707 152 Email:

PROINSO partners with OMRON to launch TURNSOLE, the fully-integrated single axis solar tracking system


ROINSO the leading global distributor and integrator of solar PV components, has partnered with the Japanese conglomerate OMRON to develop a fully integrated solar tracking system. Leveraging significant combined experience in tracker development and power electronics, TURNSOLE Powered by OMRON ensures an optimized performance focused on longevity and reliability. TURNSOLE Powered by OMRON, is fully integrated, using world-class solar PV components (modules, inverters, BOS) with horizontal single axis solar tracker at its

22 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

core. TURNSOLE offers up to 25% increase in energy production (compared to fixed structure installations), while reducing installation and maintenance costs. With PROINSO’s Qualified Installer Network offered to customers as an added-value service, TURNSOLE Powered by OMRON is the

ultimate plug-and-play tracking

» 

Products & Services system. Product benefits: ii ROBUST & RELIABLE: Optimized performance with unrivalled longevity and reliability; ii INCREASED YIELD: equipped with adaptive back-tracking and +-110 degrees of rotation, TURNSOLE increases project yield by up to 25% (compared to fixed-structures);

ii ONE-STOP-SHOP SOLUTION: fully-integrated using world-class solar PV components, including high-efficiency modules, best-performing string inverters and BOS; ii REDUCED INSTALLATION COSTS: installation is simplified, while the product requires minimum maintenance, reducing your overall operating costs; ii FIT FOR ALL TERRAINS: thanks to its optimised design featuring

40 panels in a single row, TURNSOLE is suitable even for the most complicated shaped terrains; ii GLOBAL INSTALLATION & SERVICE: tap into our network of over 2,500 Qualified Installers to secure hassle-free commissioning of your tracking system. For more information about TURNSOLE, please visit the web page 

“PROINSO recognized the benefits of setting up manufacturing operations in India and two-years ago relocated its structures manufacturing in line with PM Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” plan. The tracker market is expected to exceed USD 7 billion by 2023 with a CAGR of over 17%, so there is a tremendous opportunity in this market segment. We are confident that our unrivalled global distribution and Qualified Installer Network coupled with strategic partnerships will help us reach a primary position in this PV market segment by 2020.” Kunal Chandra, PROINSO’s Managing Director

MECO “4000 Count TRMS Digital Clampmeter”


690Auto is a 3¾ Digit 4000 Counts, Current Range up to 600A AC & DC, Auto / Manual Ranging Digital Clampmeter having Voltage Range up to 600V AC & DC and with Jaw Opening size of 30mm. Basic accuracy for DC Voltage is ±0.5%rdg + 8dgt and for AC Voltage ±1.2%rdg + 4dgt, for DC Current ±1.5%rdg + 5dgt and for AC Current ± 1.75% rdg + 5dgt. In addition it has special features like Auto Power Off, Resistance, Frequency, Duty Cycle, Diode Test, Audible Continuity, Rel. Zero, Data Hold etc 

MECO “TRMS Digital Multimeter”


ECO introduced new 6600 Count TRMS Digital Multimeter, Models: 666TRMS.

666TRMS is a 6600 Counts Auto & Manual Ranging Digital Multimeter having AC & DC Voltage Range upto 1000V, and Current Range upto 20A AC & DC, Basic accuracy for DC Voltage ±1.0%rdg + 4dgt, for AC Voltage ±1.0%rdg + 5dgt, for DC Current ±1.0%rdg + 2dgt, and for AC Current ±1.5%rdg + 5dgt. It has special features like Auto Power Off, Resistance, Capacitance, Frequency, Duty Cycle, Temperature, Diode Test, Audible Continuity and Data Hold  For details please visit our website: You can also contact: Mr. Prashant Thakkar (Manager – Battery & Solar Product) Email Id: Mobile No: +91 9867 266 639

24 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017


Products & Services

Fronius inverters: At the Heart of Every PV System


ronius inverters are efficient and reliable and form the indispensable heart of every photovoltaic system. Power categories ranging from 1.5 to 27.0 kW guarantee suitability for virtually any system size – from a family home to a large-scale system. FRONIUS GALVO: The futureproof inverter for small self-consumption systems With power categories ranging from 1.5 to 3.1 kW, the Fronius Galvo is perfect for households – and is especially suitable for self-consumption systems. The integrated energy management relay allows the self-consumption component to be maximized. A host of other smart features make the Fronius Galvo one of the most future-proof inverters in its class: for example, the integrated data logging, the simple connection to the internet by WLAN, or the plug-in card technology for retrofitting additional functions. Fronius Primo: The communicative inverter for optimized energy management The Fronius Primo in power categories from 3.0 to 8.2 kW perfectly completes the new SnapINverter generation. This single-phase,

transformerless device is the ideal inverter for private households. Its innovative SuperFlex Design provides maximum flexibility in system design, while the SnapINverter mounting system makes installation and maintenance easier than ever before. The communication package included as standard, with WLAN, energy management, several interfaces and much more besides, makes the Fronius Primo a communicative inverter for owner-occupiers. FRONIUS ECO: The compact project inverter for maximum yields The three-phase Fronius Eco in power categories 25.0 and 27.0 kW perfectly meets all the requirements of large-scale installations. Thanks to its light weight and SnapINverter mounting system, this transformerless device can be installed quickly and easily either indoors or outdoors. This inverter range is setting new standards with its IP 66 protection class. Furthermore, thanks to its integrated double fuse holders and optional overvoltage protection, string col-

lection boxes are no longer necessary. Fronius Symo: Maximum flexibility for the applications of tomorrow Boasting power categories ranging from 3.0 to 20.0 kW, the transformerless Fronius Symo is the three-phase inverter for systems of every size. Owing to the SuperFlex Design, the Fronius Symo is the perfect answer to irregularly shaped or multi-oriented roofs. The standard interface to the Internet via WLAN or Ethernet and the ease of integration of thirdp a r t y components make t h e Fronius Symo one o f the most communicative inverters on the market. Furthermore, the meter interface permits dynamic feed-in management and a clear visualization of the consumption overview ■

Fronius India Private Limited, head quartered in Chakan, Pune, is a leading supplier of solar inverters, welding equipment and battery charging systems in India. The parent company, Fronius International GmbH, is the second largest supplier of solar inverters in Europe. Whether welding technology, photovoltaics or battery charging technology − Fronius aims to be the innovation leader. Fronius India is committed towards providing world class energy solutions to their customers. With their vision for “24HRS OF SUN” they are able to efficiently leverage the renewable energy for several applications with their advanced solar inverters. The company helps their customers to achieve their energy goals and at the same time make their responsible contribution towards the environment count.

26 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017



SOLAR DC CABLES Electron Beam Cross-linked UV Rays and Ozone Resistant Rated for 1.8 KV DC Operation Max. Operating temp. 120 C Cable Life > 25 years Meeting TUV 2pfg 1169/08.2007, EN 50618 & UL 4703 requirements

We also offer EBXL Polymer solution for: Automotive (T3/T4 ISO & JASO compliant) Railways Windmill Appliance applications (Complying to UL standards)



Works: A-35, Ichchhapore GIDC, Surat Hazira Road, Ichchhapore, Surat- 394510, Gujarat, India Tel: +91 261 2977040/ 8469500548/8141415658/ Web: Email:

Products & Services

BIG SUN's iPV Tracker builds further & stronger momentum


aiwan based PV solution provider, BIG SUN Group has recently synergized its innovative iPV Tracker, a Dual axis tracker, with a bifacial module resulting up to a 100% power generation gain over a conventional fixed tilt system.

Moreover, to eliminate any shading induced from the module mounting frame, Summer Luo, the Chairman of BIG SUN, also the inventor of iPV Tracker, has redesigned the rear supporting frame so as to match exactly to the frame dimension of any module. In addition, the iPV Tracker is tall enough to have the sunlight reflected and absorbed onto the rear side of the bifacial module. These features have enabled the realization of the benefits of bifacial modules, especially in snow season.

On the rear side of the bifacial module power generator, iPV tracker's unique 360 degree, universal axis design with a slim cable drawn driving mechanism, has much reduced the shading impact from the sizable Linear actuator and slewing drive employed by the conventional dual axis trackers.

The iPV Tracker is the only robust dual axis tracker that can fully accommodate extreme weather

with special features as "Wind Resistant", "Snow Removal", "Dust Removal", "Flood Avoidance" and "Back Tracking". The patented back tracking mechanism has enabled the iPV Tracker a more dense installation yielding 15-50% more on land utilization. Another innovative energy monitoring system, iPVita, designed by BIG SUN, can furnish power generation status, environmental sensor feedback (irradiance, wind speed, temperature), operation efficiency and remote control, at just a click away on your mobile device ■



fficient and cost-effective LED bollards with rotationally symmetrical illumination for ground surfaces. The photometric design of these luminaires is based on LED integrated with K-Lite’s precision reflector module. Consistent implementation of a new technological developments combined with the highest technical and structural quality have resulted in these state of art luminaires. These luminaires are characterised by their high luminous efficiency, extremely long service life and the uniformity of the degree of illuminance. These luminaires are available in Ø100 and Ø166, three different heights to suit the installation site. Their sturdy construction makes them especially suitable for areas in which considerable robustness is required to ensure vandal proof service. Application : For the illumination of footpaths, entrance areas, driveway, private and public areas. K-Lite Advantages: Powerful

28 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Design Powerful light ii Extruded aluminium alloy housing through homogenization for durability and thermal management. ii Stainless Steel hardware used for long life and for easy of maintenance. ii Silicon EPDM gasket used for IP ratings and conforming to the safety and reliability requirements of the products. ii UV stabilized, non yellowing polycarbonate diffusers for better light transmission, vandal resistant and UV stabilisation.

ii Finished with 60 micron thick polyester based powder coating for uniform deposition and excellent finish. ii CREE / OSRAM / NICHIA make LEDs, which are internationally recognized brands with higher lumen output are used for better illumination and longevity  CONTACT: K-LITE INDUSTRIES Tel : 044-26257710, 48581950, Fax: 044-26257866 Mobile : 95000 79797, 95000 85511/ E-mail : Website : 


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 


India- A Hot Booming Market for Solar Authored by

Rajesh Singh, AVP, RenewSys India Pvt. Ltd.

Why would one say so? Let us look at a few facts related to the Indian solar sector. Today, India is the third largest consumer of electricity in the world with a yearly consumption of around 1,100 TWh, after United States in the first position and China in the second. In Indian context, the growth in the consumption is assured when one looks at the projected population growth, change in peoples’ life style and potential for rapid urbanisation. India is still considered amongst the countries having lowest per capita consumption of electricity at 1000 kWh in comparison to 15,000 for USA and 4,000 for China. The industry experts expect the yearly average consumption growth to be over 4% in the country. India is still an electricity deficient country with an average deficit of 6.4% for last six years; though the shortage was narrowed down to below 3% during the year 2014-2015. As per the Power Ministry report as on Aug 2017, India has 330 GW total installed

30 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

capacity of power generation. This includes 31% share of renewable energy. Going by the estimated demand, India needs to install between 4 - 5 times more capacities in next 20 years to fulfil the increasing demand. Obviously, the thermal power plants could not be the leading options from the viewpoints of unclear supply base for coal, gas and oils coupled with environmental reasons. To meet the energy demand going forward, solar power is the only sustainable, economic and proven option the country has today. Fueled by huge demand and a favourable business environment provided by the central and state governments, the segment has witnessed an average growth of 36% over last 5 years. Few important steps taken by the government to accelerate the growth are NSM 100 GW by 2022, ‘Make-in-India’ and Start-up India programs. As on June 17, the total installed capacity of solar power in the country has been reported at 13.2 GW, which makes just 4% to total installations. The country still has a huge potential of growth in the solar sector. The country is expecting over 8.5 GW of installation in year 2017 itself, a 75% growth over 2016. As on June 2017, the global installation of solar power was 300 GW and an average growth of 34% y-o-y. Indian

solar industry is growing over twice the rate globally. Indian solar industry has unique advantages. It has the highest potential market, good solar irradiation, lower cost of manufacturing, sufficient barren land for installation and politically stable and supportive government. This brings enormous opportunities to the domestic and international players to participate. Many big companies overseas have already announced investments in India either by settingup green filed projects or through M&A. However, India needs to work harder to establish a robust network involving developers, government authorities and financial institutions to work in synergy. India also needs to acquire leadership role in technology, knowledge and skill developments to support industry from lab to fab. Lack of quality benchmarking and screening standards and infrastructure in the country encourages subprime suppliers to supply quality compromised materials. Whilst the reverse auctions may be the most transparent and the best method to discover the right price, the aggressive biddings by companies leads to extremely low price per Wp. This puts bidders under tremendous cost cutting pressure and hence the quality compromise 


Face 2 Face

 Vasan Ramasubramaniyam MD & CEO, Prettl India Pvt. Ltd.

"We have ambitious target over next 3 years with our new product, which we plan to introduce in the coming years"


.To begin with, could you elaborate on the ‘Think Global. Act Local’ philosophy of Prettl Group with respect to the products you market for the solar and renewable industry in India? REFU Sol Inverters has been developed on a standard platform, but we can applicate it to different countries/ continents based on the local condition. This is our strength and USP. We have Ultra Eta 5 level topology, built into our Inverters, which makes it easy to adapt it to different countries - voltage, temperature, frequency etc which will vary

32 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

from country to country. Our Philosophy of Think global and Act Local is addressed in the form of adaptability from Base platform.


REFUsol 08…23K the all-rounder

.How do you look at the events from 2013 when REFUsol was acquired by AE till 2016 when Prettl started marketing REFUsol inverters in India? While I cannot much talk about the events in India since way back 2013 as I have no much detail information, but I can say re-entry back in India since late 2015, is lot more challenging than what we


had expected - in particular to get back the customer confidence on REFU‘s continuity in Indian Market after AE exit. Also I can firmly inform that, we are here to stay for good, as we have now an established Prettl Organization in India with a manufacturing facility, and there need no concern on our effort to bring new technology nor new products in the renewable energy sector – including ESS (Energy Storage Solution)


.During the period, from 2013 till 2016, what has changed for REFUsol as a brand from customer’s point of view and as a product from manufacturer’s point of you? The technology has never changed from our original platform as we have been supplying parts/components to AE for local assembly and testing. Product code has been the same as the REFU technology was no different than to now .


.India is ranked fourth globally for solar capacity additions, against this backdrop what is your current share in the market and the future prospects that you are looking at? REFU Sol re-entered barely a year ago and we are confident to get our customer confidence on our product – primarily in the area of performance and technology – for a higher yield – which will ultimately result in bigger market share – we also plan to have the 'Make in India' drive of GOI, to our REFU Sol inverters.



.How do you access the market for hybrid solutions in India? What are their advantages that make them suitable for Indian markets? With our Philosophy of Think Global. Act local, we have standard Hybrid solution including storage solution with which we can adapt to Indian market environment.


We have plans to move and support the 'Makein-India' initiative with our REFU Sol inverters


.Do you see REFUdrive contributing to the GoI ambitious electrical mobility plan and to what extend? Yes we have product, which are under testing with major OEMs and we are sure with Smart city concept our plans to move ahead will be successful and the in built

technology will ensure high level of satisfaction to Indian customers .


.When it comes to inverters, what are the technologies that are likely to drive future growth? Our technology has been developed over many decades and we are on continuous upgradation path - in the area like improving performance and higher energy yield with Low Capex and OPEX – e.g Containerisation of String inverter with centralised layout of inverters.


.Share your views on PRETTL contributing to the PM’s ‘Make-in-India’ drive? This move of GoI on Make in India – is a very good initiative. We also have plans to move and support the initiative with our REFU Sol inverters.

REFUsol 40K/46K The largest of its kind

We now have an established Prettl Organization in India with a manufacturing facility, and there need no concern on our effort to bring new technology or new products in the renewable energy sector.


.Where do you see PRETTL in India in the next 3 to 5 years? Your contribution in the growth of the solar market in India? We have ambitious target over next 3 years with our new product, which we have plans to introduce in the coming years – these new products will of course have value for money to the investors 


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Tech Review

Future Forecast for Solar Plant Output Authored by: Milind Upadhye & Chinmay Upadhye, Kaihatsu Techno Centre Pvt Ltd.


ith the huge increase in air pollution, and the rise in temperature due to global warming, it is obvious that fossil fuels are not a sustainable energy source, and with depletion of easily accessible fossil fuel sources, neither are they the most profitable which has lead to a huge push towards renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, drastically increasing the number of renewable energy plants. This has revealed some problems which were not encountered in conventional thermal/fossil fuel. Predicting future outputs of the power plant is one of them. For a conventional power plant, the output can be systematically controlled by varying the amount of fuel fed into the plant. Solar, Wind and hydro form the most used renewable energy sources. While the energy output of a Hydro power plant can be predicted with minimal difficulty by varying the volume of water fed to turbines, it is very difficult to even approximate the output of a windmill due to immense variation in wind strength per hour. Solar power plants have a similar problem. The problem of predictability is a lot more important than it seems. The local electricity board needs to balance the load of electricity i.e. distribute the demand

34 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

between all available power plants. Knowing the energy output of the future allows the board to make advance preparations and allows for smoother balancing of the load. This allows lowering of all transmission losses and allows for a better and more ripple free grid. The other downside of not having a predictive energy output is that scheduling the maintenance of the plant becomes a gamble. Knowing when to schedule a maintenance is very important and if incorrectly scheduled, can lead to large losses and minimal benefit. Proper documentation and daily reports are essential services to be provided to the client. Most Solar Power plants use Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) for this purpose. SCADA also performs the role of loss analysis, diagnostics, control of the plant, etc. making it one of the most important component of the plant. Traditional SCADA do not employ weather forecast and do not have any way to predict what the output of the plant will be the next day. This is because the energy output of solar PV modules is given in its datasheet with a set of conditions. The conditions typically include ideal temperatures, ideal humidity, ideal solar radiation etc. If we take the example of the module, then module data

sheet specifies that a module will produce fix output power of say 300 W when the solar radiation is 1,000 Watt at 25 degree centigrade. It is almost impossible to find any of these conditions in the field and with so many parameters to estimate, it becomes very difficult to predict. The amount of energy produced by a Solar PV cell is directly proportional to amount of solar radiation received by the module. Typically the value of solar radiation is given as average radiation received in that area over a month. The actual received radiation may vary by a wide margin for just a few days and even then the average for that month may remain the same. Obviously this leads to major problems in finding the output of the module for the next day. Majority of the solar radiation incident on the part covered by clouds is either absorbed by the clouds or reflected out and hence reduces energy output of the power plant. Thus the first step for predicting available solar radiation is finding how much radiation is blocked by cloud coverage. To achieve this the best available free resource is the weather data coverage at the Airport Information Centre. It houses the cloud coverage report of the next day. The prediction is given in the form a fraction of cloud coverage. For


example if the report indicates that the coverage is 1/10, it indicates that one tenth of the entire sky will be covered in clouds. Obviously small discrepancies may exist, however due to how vast the sky is, the fraction given by the report is fairly accurate. To then find the output of a 300W module, we need to calculate the fraction of the sky without clouds i.e (1−110)=910.This gives an estimate of how much area is free of clouds. Next this fraction is used as a modifier to the original energy generated by the module i.e find its product with the total power of the module. 300×910=270 The coverage given by the Airport Information Centre is free for public use. Thus an approximation can be easily made without a loss of funds. If an even more realistic prediction is needed, the cloud coverage prediction can be

made more precise by requesting an accurate report from weather sites, however it will not be free for public use. Thus depending on the client’s requirement, the prediction can be improved, making this method very flexible. The airport information system is updated every 4 hours so, the weather prediction can be corrected to that extend. Due to how widespread airports are in today's date, the coverage report can be found of virtually any area. If the plant is far from the airport, the three point method can be used Building this functionality in a SCADA itself allows the software to generate daily reports along with the next day's predicted energy output. Proper utilisation of this method in a SCADA system allows building of sophisticated models of the behaviour of the solar plant for the future, giving a set refer-

ence to engineers and convenience to the clients. This also allows for easier access to funding since investors will be secure with a prediction of when they will get their return on investment. Kaihatsu offers ‘’Pristine”’, a SCADA employed for solar plants. Apart from all other standard functions of solar SCADA, Pristine does give the generation prediction based on weather data. The weather data can be from free source or paid source. It generates daily reports on the power generation and updates daily on the mobile app which is provided to the client, along with the predicted energy output of the next day. It has been tested and used in many plants in India as well as the same software has been installed at worldwide locations like Malaysia, Germany, Republic of Senegal (Africa) 


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 


 Dr. Gundu Sabde MD, RelyOn Solar Private Limited

"We are currently working on technologies to make 24 hours power supply with Renewable Energy possible"


.With solar strongly emerging as an alternate source of energy, what role do you envision RelyOn Solar to play in the future growth of the solar industry in India? RelyOn solar being a technology company we would like to bring series of new innovative products in the market in order to enable large-scale adaptation of solar power. There is very high percentage of solar components imported today and therefore there is a great opportunity to increase domestic content through technology and innovation.

36 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017


.Within a short period of time RelyOn Solar has become a name to reckon with in the solar industry, to what do you attribute your success to? Our strong Customer focus and high quality installations have attributes to our success in this industry. We are known, as a technology company providing customized solutions according to the client needs. Within a short period of time we have build an organization of high caliber.


.How has the strong focus on R&D helped RelyOn Solar develop unique solutions for different applications? Could you elaborate with some unique applications? RelyOn solar power plants are known for highest power generation per kWp basis. RelyOn solar Leakage proof solar solutions create space rather than consuming space. We made solar system work when there was no net metering through reverse power control and DG synchro-

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Exclusive nization. Our Petrol pump applications that we have developed has resulted into 700+ application across country and we are one of the few companies working on 24 hour solution with solar power.


.How does the single axis tracker launched by RelyOn address the challenges of high upfront and maintenance cost, optimal utilization of resource, installation complications and safety that are associated with solar tracker technology? Good tracker technologies in-fact is less complicated and robust such that the maintenance required is minimum. This is especially the case with RelyOn Solar’s single axis tracker with frictionless bearing and gearbox design that is meant to provide more that 25 years of life. The tracker developed inhouse by RelyOn solar reduces the levelised cost of power generation by 6 to 8 percent for the clients. Our Single axis tracker requires approx 10% additional land space however a generation enhancement of 16-20% makes the addition land requirement worthwhile.


.What has been the initial feedback from the customers on the single axis tracker? In addition to the above features, what really sets RelyOn Solar’s single axis tracker apart from the competitors? Customers are looking at reduction in levelised cost of power generation such that they can be successful in competitive bidding. RelyOn single axis tracker is a row tracker with 120 panels installed on single tracker unit as com-


pared to industry average of 60 solar panels installed on a single tracker unit. This differentiates us from the competition. Further the customer is benefited with unique tracker algorithm developed inhouse to increase the generation. Adaptation of tracker is increasing recently and we expect over 20% of utility plants to be build with trackers over the next two years.


.What according to you are the major challenges for the solar technology? With RelyOn’s strong R&D focus, are you working on addressing any of these challenges? As the renewable content increases grid instability will be a major issue. RelyOn is working on 24 hours renewable solutions which includes not only adaption of advanced storage but also integration of differs renewable sources in order to minimize the storage requirement for 24 hours supply of renewable power.


.With government targeting 40GW from rooftop installations, what according to you are the major challenges in achieving this target and how to overcome them? Financing of rooftop solar project is a major hurdle. Banks have not yet warmed up and they are not providing easy financing schemes. This will change over the years but I think NBFC will come forward and grab the financial opportunity in this sector.


.You have recently been awarded as India’s Most

We have established a niche for ourselves with a loyal customer base that recognizes and distinguishes our services in this competitive market.

38 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Promising brand 2017. Can you shed some light on this? The award was conferred by the World Consulting & Research Corporation (WCRC), world’s leading brand equity research and consulting firm. Each year they reveal ‘Asia’s Most Promising Brands & leaders’, a list showcasing the most promising brands and leaders from various Asian Countries that have started from scratch and have made an exceptional contribution to their respective industries and Asian economy. This year we were also invited to the event that was held in Bangkok and we are delighted to have received this Award in the solar category. It is an Honor that the industry is considering to be pioneers in the solar industry and have reckoned RelyOn Solar’s position as an innovative quality solar power system installer. Within a short span of 7 years, we have established a niche for ourselves with a loyal customer base that recognizes and distinguishes our services in this competitive market. Most of our new business comes from referrals, which show the power of our loyal customers.


.Kindly enlighten our readers with the rooftop project RelyOn solar commissioned in UAE? What makes this project special? Last year we commissioned the first of its kind rooftop solar project with large scale Li-Ion Battery Storage in UAE. The 220 kW rooftop installation with a 600 kWh battery storage is in Al Jurf Area of Ajman where there is no grid availability, and for many years the factory was running 24 hours on diesel generators which made the cost of electricity very high. The client wanted to reduce their energy costs and our solution was the Off-Grid solar power system battery for storage. The batteries have 15 years of life and substantially lower losses than conven-

» 

tional batteries. The system can provide 16-hour backup to run the plant even during evening and night hours. Our Technical team also developed customized DG and solar synchronization capable system with feature of charging the Lithium ion batteries through DG in case Solar is not available. In case of an excess load, the system is flexible enough to run in a hybrid mode sharing the total load between rooftop solar, battery and generator power, allowing complete flexibility and optimal running cost. It is also flexible enough to allow interface with the grid in future as and when it becomes available. The advanced batteries ensure long life, minimum maintenance, and reduced space requirements Not only manufacturing units, but remote home systems, gas stations, bus stops, small island places and many such locations where grid may not be available can go for such solution. This project represents future of energy; it demonstrates that energy independence is not a dream even in the remotest of locations.


.What is your outlook on the competitive Indian solar industry? Is the growing competitive landscape a threat to your growth? Right now the industry is bursting with new startups trying to make it big in the Solar Market. Solar Industry with its growth potential has become a highly lucrative market; everyone wants a piece of the solar pie. The intense competition is overwhelming but it doesn’t become a threat for RelyOn Solar. We do face competition in terms of our EPC business but we don’t just represent EPC business. RelyOn has many more services and products to its offering. We manufacture solar components and work continuously on new technologies and innovations to make solar more adaptable and useful. At our core, we have devel-

RelyOn single axis tracker is a row tracker with 120 panels installed on single tracker unit as compared to industry average of 60 solar panels installed on a single tracker unit


oped a strong research culture to stay at the forefront of transforming the country’s energy landscape. We don’t consider other solar companies to be competing with us but rather as a business prospect for RelyOn Solar. We are in process of establishing ourselves as the backbone of solar Industry where we would act as a support mechanism for the market as a whole. We want to establish an ecosystem for energy business in India that simplifies the complicated energy system that we have right now.


.With solar market continuously growing are you considering expanding your operation? Yes, currently we have operations across 12 states in India and overseas operation in the Middle East and Africa. We are working on expanding our reach in India through franchise launch. We plan to appoint Solar Franchises across India with one franchise per district. It gives us the benefit of rapid expansion and to franchise an opportunity to start a solar business with an established leader. Overseas, Africa and the Middle East are a big market for us and we plan to start our operations across this region.


.Franchising in Solar seems a unique concept. Can you shed some more light on it? No one thinks of franchising in Solar especially for EPC contracting since the process is not standardized with projects ranging from kW to MW scale. The industry is established on differentiating from competition

and to standardize the process seems unthinkable. What we planned is appointing franchise for smaller systems from 1kWp to 10kWp. Since the system size is finalized we can have standardized processes and structure with minimum customization. RelyOn Solar will train the franchise and provide all the support necessary for them to start the business. The franchises are selected based on their entrepreneurship skills and their knowledge and only one franchise per district is appointed. If the franchisee receives orders for systems greater than 10kWp they refer the client to RelyOn team who then take care of the Solar Power System installation.


.What are your plans for future? Are you looking at manufacturing any other product/s? Yes, we are currently working on technologies to make 24 hours renewable power availability possible some of the products include the Advanced battery pack, lithium ion batteries and battery management systems. Other than that we work continuously on products and technologies to make solar more mainstream and replace conventional energy. For example, we are developing an Automated panel cleaning systems, which will make maintenance of solar power system easier. We believe that solar energy is the solution to the energy problem we face today from no grid connectivity to grids that produce energy at the cost of environment. Solar has the potential to fulfill all our energy requirements and we work towards achieving this dream 


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Technical Feature

Analysis of Solar Plant PID Solutions Authored by: Liu Zhigang , Shanghai Zhiwei Environmental Technology Co., Ltd.

Comparison of solar plant PID solutions NDG Method and advantage

40 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Solar String Inverter



To avoid PID ultimately, it needs to adopt a method to prevent ions gathering on the solar cell surface in the solar system. Mainstream technology of PID solutions are negative direct grounding(NDG), negative indirect grounding(NIG), negative virtual grounding(NVG), reverse voltage(RV) at night, ect.

The method is connecting PVwith earth through fuse. (as in figure 1)


(Potential Induced Degradation) of solar plant is one of the main reasons that cause yield reducing. PID gets more and more attention now. Improving silicon wafer quality, optimizing cell manufacturing technology(diffusion technology and anti-reflection coating preparation technology), improving encapsulating material (EVA, back sheet, glass and silica gel) and other methods are adopted to improve solar module’s anti-PID performance. But these methods can only slow down PID effect, and can’t solve PID ultimately. Besides, these measures lead to loss of solar cell’s efficiency and increasing of LCOE.



Fig. 1

This method has no power consumption and costs low. After NDG, the voltage to the earth of every position in the string is above 0V. It can avoid positive ions gathering on the solar cell surface and prevent PID (as in figure 2). 1000

Potential (V)


Middle Point

0 PVPV+ Fig. 2 Position of the String

Disadvantages of NDG method (Figure 3) Disadvantage 1: When system resistance R1 is large enough,

system is very safe. But as the system running, system resistance R1 becomes smaller. So, the leakage current in the fuse from positive to negative easily leads to fuse damaging. At last, system lose the anti-PID function Disadvantage 2: After NDG, the plus voltage is 2 times of normal voltage. System voltage resistance grade must be improved to keep it long-term safe and steady working. Otherwise, some devices would get damaged because of low insulating grade. So, system design or rebuild of NDG must improve the system voltage resistance grade. Disadvantage 3: Since negative connected directly to earth, the negative and positive ions would enter system conductor with the effect of potential, which would corrode metal device and reduce service life of conductor. Disadvantage 4: When the wire covering is broken or system or other part voltage resistance grade is low, it may lead to partial current gaining suddenly, thus causing electric shock damage or fire accident. Limitations of NDG method


Limitation1: Because negative voltage is almost zero after NDG, this method has not obvious recovery effect for already PID modules. If adopting changing the negative and positive side method, the cost will be very high.

Requirement of NDG method It needs to add leakage current monitoring method to avoid leakage current of some other part except the negative. NIG

Electric Shock

When wire covering is broken or system insulation grad is low

earth directly.

Method and advantage

Solar String




PV+ Insulating Resistance R1



Resistor R2


Leakage Current

Earth Fig. 4 Fig. 3

Limitation2: The NDG earth method can only be used in system with isolation transformer. Otherwise, it would happen that the grid connecting to

The method is to connect a resistor R2 in series between negative and the earth (Figure 4). This method has no power consumption and costs

» Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 41 

Technical Feature big. (Figure 6)

The disadvantages of NVG

Disadvantage 3: Positive potential is too high, and the system insulating grade needs to improve.

Disadvantage 1: Positive potential is too high, and the system insulating grade needs to improve.

Disadvantage 4: It has the risk of electric shock because of low system insulating grade.

Disadvantage 2: If the trans-


Disadvantage 5: The ions in earth are apt to immigrating to the conductor surface and erode the circuit.

1800 -------------------------------------


1000 -------------------------------------

Potential (V)

Middle Point

Fig. 5

PVPV+ Position of the String



940 -------------------------------------


Potential (V)

String 1

It needs to add leakage current monitoring method. NVG

The method is to connect an equivalent grounded module to the AC side of inverter.(as in figure 7) The equivalent grounded module can detect the voltage between inverter DC side and the earth. It adjusts the potential of DC PV- above zero by adjusting the voltage UN. It is not only making the potential between module and earth above zero (figure 2), but also avoid the risk of NDG.


-900 PVFig. 8

Position of String

former is connected with several inverters at the same time, the potential of each string’ PV- is different due to the different insulating condition of each inverter. For example, string 1’s potential of PV – to earth is -900V, while string 2’s potential of PV – to earth is -100V (figure 8).



Position of String

Potential (V)




Solar String


Fig. 6

Middle Point




42 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017





L1 L2 L3 N


Solar String


4) If R1 >>R2, the potential distribution in the string is similar with origin design. But as the running time become longer, R1 will become smaller. If R2>>R1, the minus potential of PV- will be very high. And the risk of PID is very


Solar String


-900 PV-

String 1

Middle Point

100 ------------------------------------0 ------------------------------------R1<R2 -60

String 2

100 ------------------------------------0

Requirement of NIG

The method of NVG and its advantages


0 -60

Limitation 2: It cannot apply in system without isolation transformer.

900 -------------------------------------

Improving String Potential

Disadvantage 2: The potential of PV- to earth has close relationship with insulating resistance R1 of PV+ and resistance R2. (Figure

Limitation 1: The method cannot apply in the PID happened solar plant.

String 2


Disadvantage 1: It cannot solve PID completely. Closer to the negative, the anti-PID effect is worse. The modules in the negative side will also occur PID because of their negative potential condition. In addition, as the voltage of negative side modules degradation, more and more solar modules become minus potential, and more and more modules run the risk of PID.


low. But it needs to add special insulating resistance monitoring device. After NIG, the potential of PV- is low (as in figure 5), and its absolute value is lower than the potential of positive (taking -60V as an example). So it can avoid the happening of PID as possible.


Equivalent grounded module


Fig. 7

V Earth



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For More Information Contact: Sugi Systems & Controls No. 35, 28th Cross, 9th Main , Industrial Layout, Banashankari 2nd Stage, Bangalore - 560070 Phone : +91 80 26713777 , 29741777


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergyâ&#x20AC;&#x201A;

Technical Feature

Limitations Limitation 1: The method cannot apply in the PID happened solar plant.

port, it’s difficult to judge the insulating condition of modules. If the DC+ insulating resistance R1 of one module is too low (as in figure 10), while DC- insulating resistance R2 is low, the current would break through outside circuit, causing the system generation loss. If R1

Insulating Gasket

Solar Module Fig. 11


grounded module has power consumption. The method of isolating the modules and earth The method and its advantages Add aging-resistant insulating gasket between modules and the support (figure 9).

The disadvantages of isolating the modules and earth Disadvantage 1: After the gasket isolating the modules and sup-

44 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

and R2 are very low, the current would become very high, which can burn down the module and cause electrical shock accident. Disadvantage 2: In the case of lightning, large charges gather outside of the module and can’t release in time. It has the risk of fire or electrical shock. (Figure 11) The method of applying voltage at night The method and its advantages The method is to connect a voltage-emitting device between inverter electrode and the earth (figure 12).The device can emit voltage to solar modules at night

Middle Point Day 0 -----------------------------------

-500 PVPV+ Fig. 13 Position of the String

minus, which is apt to happening PID. At night, the device emits plus voltage between string and earth. And all the modules in a string’s potential to earth is plus. So the PID modules get recovered. If installing ANTIPID at the beginning of the solar plant’s construction, the device would prevent the modules from PID problem. ANTIPID can apply in system both with isolation transformer and without insolated transformer. It can apply in new solar plant to prevent PID or in old solar plant to recover. It can connect with several inverters at the same time. Installing ANTIPID doesn’t need to adjust system’s insulat-

Solar String

} } }

After the gasket isolating the modu l e s a n d R1 s u p port, DG t h e inner module has no fixed R2 voltage to the DG module frame. Fig. 10 It prevents the ions from gathering on the cell surface and avoid the PID.



Solar Module

Limitation 3: The equivalent

Fig. 9

The potential figure is as in figure 13 (Take emitting plus voltage as example). In the daytime, the potential of PV- to earth is Night 500 _________________________

Limitation 2: It cannot apply in system without isolation transformer.

Insulating Gasket

with the control of string voltage and time, making the positive ions gathered on the cell surface immigrating away from the cell surface.

Potential (V)

The voltage of PV- needs to lift 900V to meet the string 1’s potential to earth above zero. So the string 2’potential to earth is up to 1800V, which is far beyond the solar system’s voltage grade.


Inverter ~


Solar String



Solar String


PV+ PVFig. 12


ing grade. It’s easy to install and operate. Limitations Limitation 1: ANTIPID has power consumption at night. Its annual power consumption is 20kWh for 100 kW or smaller system. Its annual power consumption is 60 kWh for 500kW system. The power consumption can ignore compared with yield improved.

the world are showed in figure 16. The highest improving rate is 18.4%. The average improving rate is 10.56%, obviously improving benefit of solar plant. PID preventing effect If not installing ANTIPID in the solar plant’s construction period, modules’ power may decline to 30% of its initial power in 3 years.

If installing ANTIPID in the solar plant’s construction period, the PID would be avoided completely, and annual declining power would be less than 1%. The declining power of modules would be less than 20% in 25 years’ running time.


Limitation 2: ANTIPID can’t avoid the system’s power loss (<0.1%)of the first day because it cures at night. Effect of ANTIPID Recovery effect of voltage If voltage declines to 15% of module initial voltage, it can recover to about 90% of its initial voltage in one month. If voltage declines to 70% of module initial voltage, it can recover to about 100% of its initial voltage in one month.(figure 14) Recovery effect of power If power declines to 30% of module initial power, it can recover to about 80% of its initial power in two months. If power declines to 70% of module initial power, it can recover to about 90% of its initial power in two months. (figure 15) Recovery effect of yield The recovery effects of yield after ANTIPID used of 16 typical regions in


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Technical Feature Installed ANTIPID device on the 2# inverter during its construction time in a solar plant, while 1# inverter didn’t install ANTIPID. After 1 year, compare two inverters’ yield ratio in the same month. The yield of 1# inverter decreases to 94% of the last year yield. While the yield of 2# inverter is nearly the same as last year. The 1# inverter lost about 6% yield than that of 2# inverter.

Conclusion Solar plant PID solutions include NDG, NIG, NVG, RV at night and so on. ANTIPID emit voltage at night to cure PID. It can apply in system both with or without isolation transformer. It can apply in new solar plant to prevent PID or old solar plant to cure PID. It can connect with several inverters

The relationship between power recovery effect and time or emitting voltage

110.0% 100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0%

400V 600V

60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0%

800V 1000V 400V 600V 800V

00.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0%

Time/ week


400V 600V

Time/ week

Fig. 14

Yield improving rate (%)

The ratio of module and its initial power

The ratio of module voltage and its initial voltage

The relationship of voltage recovery effect and time or emitting voltage

at the same time. When installing ANTIPID, it doesn’t need to adjust system insulating grade and inverter’s structure. ANTIPID has the function of insulating detecting. Installation and using is easy and costs low. ANTIPID has obvious advantage compared with other methods 

800V 1000V

400V 600V

800V 1000V

Fig. 15

20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1




Fig. 16

46 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017













Solar Plant



Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 


When it comes to maximizing the potential of your rooftop or extracting more value from the solar power plant installed at your premises, Sunshot Technologies is the name to reckon with. Promoted by alumni of IIM-Ahmedabad, with engineering background Sunshot Technologies assists consumers in adopting solar power through customized solutions. In a candid conversation Co-founders of Sunshot Technologies Rahul Dasari, Indrajeet Dudile and Anshumaan Bhatnagar reveal the secret behind their success, the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategy and future plans and the challenges for the growth of the rooftop sector in India.


.Within a short period of time Sunshot Technologies has become a name to reckon with in the rooftop space, how do you view your success and to what do you attribute your success to? The entire credit goes to our customers and our team members. The founders of the company, Rahul Dasari, Indrajeet Dudile and Anshumaan Bharnagar started with this venture in 2010. We have worked extensively in wind energy, renewable energy regulations, sustainability and carbon mitigation domains and served

48â&#x20AC;&#x201A;SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

various stake holders like power consumers, banks, electricity regulatory commissions and government bodies. Gaining from experience and industry network, 2013 onwards, we made a strong pivot towards rooftop solar business. Today the team is of 75+ members, spread across India. We are based in Pune and have offices in Mumbai, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, and Faridabad. We have installed more than 16 MW of rooftop (on-site) solar power plants across 90+ locations in the country. We got an opportunity to work

with the best brands. We are also able to delight them; the testimony to the fact is that we have got multiple repeat businesses with them. At the same time, we have kept customers and technology at heart. We have been able to exactly understand what the customers want and provide solutions accordingly. We are innovating a lot of things with the help of technology to simplify the installation process, make it safer, improve quality and make the operation and maintenance more simplified and robust. We have been able to differentiate ourselves in the


cluttered rooftop EPC business.


.When you say ‘Let the sun power you’, what value proposition do you give to your customer and what role does Sunshot Technologies play in it? We specialise in rooftop solar installations. We also call it onsite solar. We usually tell our customers that any vacant area in an industrial or a commercial space – rooftop of the facility, be it a RCC roof or metal sheet, or a parking area, rooftop cafeteria, vacant land etc. can be used to generate economic value. When we say, ‘Let the sun power you’, we mean that the sun is shining on your premises and this unused space can be used to generate valuable power through the sun. We have realised that for large spaces like hotels, more than 30% of the total cost is the cost

happens in 2-3 years. Sunshot provides complete endto-end services, from site analysis, design, installation, commissioning, arranging of financing and operation and maintenance of solar power plants.


.Shed some light on Sunshot’s proprietary in-house cloud-based online monitoring and control technology with its key benefits? Our SCADA system has the following features: Access to Sunshot’s proprietary web and hardware based data monitoring and control system for the solar PV plant. The web based tool allows you to view solar power plant performance in real time from any location with access to the internet. Sunshot’s proprietary controllers


.You have executed rooftop projects of various sizes for different customers, which one was the most challenging, the challenging part in it and how did you overcome the challenges? The most challenging projects have been installations at Mumbai International Airport and Cognizant Technology Solutions. Mumbai International Airport is an extremely high security zone. Also, it is one of the busiest airports in India. Utmost care was taken about the safety and security measures while installing the solar power plant. Being a Brownfield airport, there is no much vacant land to install solar. We did thorough analysis of all the roofs. We have installed solar on various roof kinds – RCC roof, GI Sheet, Kalzip roof, multi-levelcar-park, etc. Another issue at the airport was that the solar panels

"We want Sunshot to be at the cutting edge of rooftop solar and emerge as one of the most reputed brand name in the rooftop solar segment" of power, that can be knocked off through solar. Our value preposition is to customise solar power plant as per the available roof. The installation is like a plug-andplay system. There are no power losses because of transmission. The solar plants also synchronise with diesel generator sets during power failure through EB and thus save on diesel consumption too. We are also able to provide power consumption analytics through our cloud based IoT system that is completely designed in-house. The system communicates with the customer’s existing electrical system to fetch power consumption values through EB meter, diesel generator set meter, UPS, etc. along with solar power and this can be viewed on Sunshot’s common dashboard. The payback of the solar power plant usually

to seamlessly synchronize the solar power plant with Electricity Board (EB/DISCOM) connection, Diesel Generator (DG) and various battery technologies. A common dashboard that has displays power consumption through various sources like DISCOM power, DG sets, batteries/UPS system along with solar power. This system allows us to monitor the system performance and ensure the proper operation. Daily, monthly or yearly generation reports can be downloaded in any of the format (pdf, xls, csv). The system also sends out error notification and daily report e-mails. For predictive maintenance, the notification and alert mechanism is incorporated in the system.

should not create a flashover for the aircrafts that are taking off or landing. Such factors were considered while selecting the modules. The solar plant has been installed in multiple phases. Modules and Inverters of various makes are installed at the site. All modules have been connected to Sunshot’s common online monitoring and control system. We have been able to produce a unified energy management dashboard At the Chennai facility of Cognizant, we have installed a multi-level-carpark on the 9 storey building. It is the largest rooftop car park. We have used 120 tonnes of steel and is designed to withstand a wind speed of more than 180 Km/hr. It

» 49 

Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Featured withstood cyclone ‘Vardha’. Nothing happened to the system structures. A bit of the plant was spoilt only because flying objects/debris came and fell on the system. The construction is a civil marvel.


.How do you at Sunshot Technologies look at the target of 40GW from rooftop solar, what are the hurdles and the support that you are looking at from the government in making this target reality? The 40 GW rooftop solar is a very ambitions target to achieve. India is almost touching 1000 MW installations in the rooftop space and there is still immense potential. The government is doing its part but more support is required. We are seeing that various discoms are not supporting to net metering system. Even if the policies are in place, we see that net metering applications are not being honoured. To make this target a reality we need to find out measures to increase manufacturing capacity of solar components as we are largely dependent on foreign markets for its requirement. Apart from this, procedure for getting benefits like subsidy, customs duty concession need to be simplified. RPO fulfilment to be mandated an should be allowed through rooftop solar projects.


.In addition to rooftop solar are there any other opportunities that Sunshot Technologies is looking at from the point of future growth? Apart from rooftop solar, Sunshot is looking at moving towards integration with storage technologies. Storage technology basically allows one to consume power anywhere and at any time. This is a major challenge is that solar power is available only for a limited time during the day. In the current arrangement, the power is consumed as it is generated. Storage technology will help in

50 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

opening of several applications that can work using green power.


.Within the rooftop space what according to you are the segments that are likely to drive future growth? In context to high tariff rates of EB power, we are currently catering to industrial and commercial power consumers. These are usually the highest power consuming entities. Also, they have large vacant rooftops. In this sector, we feel we still have just scratched the surface. We need to go deeper in the segment and hence our focus is going to be installations in this sector. A lot of good finance options are also required and hence focus is also on tying up with various finance institutions for seamless installation of solar power plants.


.What sets a genuine rooftop system installer apart and from a customer’s point of view what are the things that he needs to take in to account while selecting a rooftop installer? Firstly, one should have a look for the kind of projects that have been executed and the way the systems are performing. Solar is a nascent market. There are a very few companies who have been doing rooftop solar installations since 2013. Sunshot has installed solar plants on a variety of rooftops – RCC, metal sheets, curved rooftops, parking areas, rooftop cafeterias, etc. Secondly, one can gauge the system installer by the customers for whom the installations have been done. Sunshot has worked with the best companies in respective sectors. The testimony to the fact is that we have got repeat orders with most of these customers like Mumbai airport, Persistent systems, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Whirlpool etc. We have also received appreciation letters from these customers.

Thirdly, one needs to have a check on the bill of material that is being used, the installer’s engineering standards. These play a vital role in the plant to perform for 25 years. Lastly, having an online monitoring and control system adds up to hassle free operation and maintenance of solar plants. Sunshot has created an in-house online monitoring and controlling system that helps in reducing plant downtime and maximise solar generation.


.What role do you envision Sunshot Technologies to play in the solar sector in India and where do you see Sunshot Technologies 3 to 5 years from now? Sunshot and its founders are already a part of various solar initiatives of the country. We are working with various industrial bodies like CII, Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture, Madras Chamber of Commerce, etc. We are also one of the founding members of Distributed Solar power alliance where we are trying to highlight the initiatives we should take to make solar more palatable in the country. We want Sunshot to be at the cutting edge of rooftop solar, pushing the envelope, setting design, installation and O&M standards in the industry and we see that in the next 3-5 years from now, we emerge as one of the most reputed brand name in the rooftop solar segment. We at Sunshot are extremely passionate and believe in educating about solar. We are called upon to be speaker by various educational institutions, and for various events to speak about solar and its benefits 



Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Cover Story


ROOFTOP SOLAR SAGA Delhi Metro: A shining example of widespread adoption of rooftop solar. The Metro boosts of 31 rooftop solar facilities across stations, depots, receiving sub-stations and residential colonies of DMRC. The UNFCCC has already registered the Metro in two categories for promoting clean development mechanism and earning carbon credits. (Image credit: DMRC)

52â&#x20AC;&#x201A;SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017


PM Narendra Modi has envisioned India fulfilling its energy needs of up to 175GW from renewable resource by 2022. Of this, 100 GW would be solar powered. 40 GW of this would be generated using rooftop solar. Though the importance of rooftop solar in achieving the targeted growth of 100GW is underlined the actual implementation of rooftop solar is taking place at a much slower pace. In this article writer Sneha Shah takes stock of the recent developments in the rooftop sector. The emergence of airports, railways, ports, institutions and government buildings as energy generation centres using rooftop solar technology. The writer also reviews the need of specific policy initiatives and incentives in order to draw new investment in the sector.


ith prices of solar energy systems reaching record lows in India, India is increasingly looking at the solar option to cut its dependence on thermal power and diesel consumption. The country has a very ambitious target of installing 100 GW of solar power by 2022, out of which 40 GW is expected to come from rooftop solar projects. There are numerous advantages of installing solar on your rooftops. Falling prices of solar power has made it very competitive with grid connected electricity prices, especially for residential customers with a high consumption of electricity. It provides security from future escalation of electricity prices as rooftop solar price is fixed for 25 years. It is also beneficial for the government as rooftop solar leads to savings in new investments in power transmission as well as lower transmission and distribution losses as compared to the large solar farms. Rooftop solar energy also allows a larger number of people to benefit from solar energy rather than a few large developers. Rooftop solar makes more sense in cities and urban areas where availability of land is a challenge given the high prices.

Measures taken by Indian Government

to promote Rooftop Solar in India: The Indian government has taken various steps to promote rooftop solar in India. The biggest incentive is the 30% capital subsidy offered by the MNRE for rooftop installations by government departments and institutions. Loans for rooftop solar energy have also been made part of the priority sector lending for banks which will help increase the flow of credit towards the sector. Major public sector owned banks such as State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank have also secured hundreds of millions of dollars from multilateral institutions such as ADB and World Bank specifically for financing rooftop solar projects in the country. Besides the above support, the Indian government has also enacted a number of soft measures to support the growth of this sector. An online facility to aid the installation of solar rooftop systems has been developed. Anyone who is interested can apply through the website and service providers would then contact the concerned person. The link is available on the website of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. A Solar Rooftop Calculator has also been developed for analysing the feasibility of grid connected solar rooftop projects across India. A host of state incentives and schemes are also available on top

of the central government incentives. The net-metering scheme has been rolled out in all States/ UTs. About 20 states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh have come out with the solar policy supporting grid connected rooftop systems. Governments in various states are also pushing rooftop solar installation through various measures. For example, the Haryana government has mandated solar plants in all government, private educational institutes, universities and offices having a connected load of 30 kW and for all private hospitals, industrial and commercial establishments having a connected load of 50 kW. An Achievement linked incentive scheme was also launched by the MNRE in May 2016, which promises an incentive to states/ UT ministries for achieving their targets. All major government controlled sectors such as Railways, airports, hospitals, educational institutions, government buildings of central/state/ PSUs are being encouraged to install of rooftop solar. In addition, the Ministry is also promoting solar rooftops in the smart cities. Despite the concerted push by the government, rooftop solar has failed to gain enough momentum in India. As of December 2016,



Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergyâ&#x20AC;&#x201A;

Cover Story solar rooftop installations had just crossed 1 GW mark across India. This is quite low compared to the overall solar capacity which has crossed the 10 GW plus mark.

Major Issues of Rooftop Solar in India Given the land constraints and high prices of land in India, the rooftop solar model should have been very successful in the country. However, the rooftop model has not been very successful in India owing to following major reasons: ii Difficulty in accessing finance by small businesses and residential customers ii Weak rooftop structure with less available area for panel installation ii India’s weak enforcement of contracts that is major hurdle in the PPA model ii Subsidized electricity given to lower slab residential customers and agricultural sector ii High cross subsidy charges has hindering the purchase of solar power by industrial establishments through the open access route. ii Lack of quality enforcement of rooftop solar systems. Other than these, bureaucratic red tape and lack of awareness (about financial incentives and ROI) are the other major bottlenecks in the adaptation of rooftop solar in India. Despite all its challenges, rooftop solar is growing in India though not at a rapid pace as expected. The falling solar prices have made the overall dynamics of installing solar very attractive. Various government-run institutions in India have been rapidly switching over to solar (partly) and are already reaping benefits. Major infrastructure sector like

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Despite its advantages rooftop solar is still to see massive adoption to really contribute towards the 100GW target Metro rail projects, railways, airports, Jal boards, shipping, sports stadiums, oil companies, factories etc. are also coming forward for installation of grid connected solar rooftop plants. So far, 3,044 MW solar rooftop systems have been sanctioned/ approved and 506 MW have already been installed in residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. According to data by MNRE, annual financial savings of INR 830 crore can be achieved by about 50 ministries, if they install rooftop solar systems.

Rooftop Solar in The Indian Transport industry Using solar power makes a lot of sense in the Indian transportation industry since their power consumption requirement is large and they are responsible for large GHG emissions. The Indian transportation industry has started to use solar energy to meet its power requirements. Rooftop Solar at Airports The Airport Authority of India manages 125 airports across the country. According to a MoU signed between the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI),

AAI has plans to construct solar power plants on most airports to meet its power requirements. Any excess power will be supplied to the grid. With airports going solar, a major part of the overhead cost in the form of power bills can be minimized. AAI will install solar plants on roof top surfaces as large areas are available at airports. Solarizing the air ports will thus utilize the vast empty lands (buffer zones) and solar resource. AAI has plans to solarize the airports in India and is ready to invest in these solar plants from its own budget, along with private developers. The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is the first airport in the world to run completely on solar power. The Cochin airport which is the fourth largest in terms of international traffic in India has installed an array of 46,000 solar panels spread across 45 acres of land. It is powering the energy needs of the airport and also selling extra power produced to the Kerala state. The commissioning was done by the German company Bosch Ltd. and Renesola modules along with ABB inverters were used. The airport already has a huge 15 MW solar energy capacity which is supplying power for most of its usage. This will further increase by 40% as the authority is planning to install solar panels on 225,000 square 

feet of its carports as well as some of the ground spaces. Following the success of Cochin Airport project, the Ministry of Airports have directed all major Indian airports to install solar power plants. The solar power plant on Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport leads to a saving of over INR 2 crore per year. Vikram Solar was the EPC player at Kolkata’s airport, where the firm’s ELDORA series modules have been installed. The airport is planning to increase its capacity to 15 MW from just 2 MW currently, which will guarantee bigger savings. Other than the Cochin and Kolkata airports, Delhi International Airport Limited also runs on solar power. GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd which has already commissioned a 5MW solar power plant plans to increase capacity to 30 MW by 2022. The Chandigarh airport is the most eco-friendly airport in the country with a 200 kW solar rooftop power plant. Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport also plans to become the largest solar-producing airport in India, with a generation capacity of 14.6 MW. Other airports running/ planning to run on solar power include Chennai, Madurai, Bhopal, Indore, Raipur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jodhpur, Amritsar, Varanasi etc. are also planning to go solar. Rooftop Solar in Indian Railways The Indian railways have already solarized so many railway stations in India. Railways have done a commendable job by the installation of solar module on the roof of the railway coaches which is one of the first such innovations globally. A trial run was conducted on a non-AC coach of the Indian Railway with solar panels on ~40 square meters of rooftop area powering a large part of the coach’s lighting, ventilation and other requirements.

The Indian Railways is also looking at installing solar panels on railway stations, railway buildings, and empty land. It is planning to generate 1 GW solar power in the next five years. A 100 kW solar power plant has been planned to be installed at the CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai) Railway Station, which has an energy requirement of 640 units of electricity per day. The annual savings are estimated to be INR 23 lakh, with per unit tariff at INR 12. The Katra railway station in Jammu & Kashmir has installed a 1 MW solar power plant, which is saving ~INR 1 crore in power bills annually. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has already installed nine new solar power generation facilities on different stations and the depot of the Badarpur – Faridabad Metro corridor. Solar power generated from Madhya Pradesh’s 750 MW Solar Power Plant at Rewa will be used to power these metro trains in Delhi. This plant is estimated to be the world’s largest till date. The Indian Railways has plans to deploy as much as 5000 MW of solar energy by 2025. It is also purchasing cheaper power by setting up solar panel systems at its offices and on top of railway stations. The Railways is now trying out a new scheme to increase renewable energy procurement by planning to install 4.5 kW of flexible solar panels on the roofs of train coaches. These panels are used because of their extremely light weight thus saving any damage to the roof. These solar panels will generate electricity and power the lights and AC in the coaches. The plan is to run 250 coaches with these solar panel systems. About six coaches will be tried initially and after the performance for two months, it will be rolled out across the country. Recently, Mumbai has decided to use solar energy to power two of the most important means of transport in the city. The first one

is the Bandra-Worli Sea link and the other one is the upcoming Mumbai Metro Rail. The city will use solar energy to power two of the most important means of transport in Mumbai. Solar panels will be used for lighting and also for running air conditioners at these sites. Maharashtra is amongst the top five states in India with the largest solar installations. The bridge (Bandra-Worli Sea Link or Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link is a 5.6 km long bridge) will be illuminated using solar panels at both ends of the sea link. A total of as much as 60% of the total electricity expense which is currently more than INR 1 crore annually is expected to be cut down. The power from these solar panels will light up 50 street lights on both sides of the sea link including office, toll booths. Similarly, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has plans to use solar energy at the sub-stations where Rooftop solar technology will be used to supply power the metro and also the sub-stations.

Solar In Warships


Solar energy will be used to power Indian warships. INS Sarvekshak which is a hydrographic survey ship of the Indian Navy will be fitted with 18 flexible solar panels which will generate about 5.4 kW energy to power lights, communication equipment, battery charging and air conditioning. The anti-rust panels are capable of refracting the light from all different angles onto the cells

Solar on Famous Indian Buildings and Heritage Structures The Municipal Corporation of South Delhi is planning on going solar. A MoU was signed with SECI, for installing rooftop solar with a combined capacity of 10 MW


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 


Cover Story on 440 buildings. The project will be launched under achievement linked incentive scheme, wherein the corporation would be entitled to a subsidy of 25%. A total of 20 MW of solar installation is planned with 10 MW coming from the rooftops and the remaining 10 MW from the ground installations. The power generated from the rooftops will be used by the municipal corporation and that from the ground installations would be sold to the Discoms. Solar energy has also attracted the spiritual gurus in India as several Indian temples and ashrams have also installed rooftop solar for their energy needs. If there is a commitment of 1 MW of solar capacity from each of these ashrams, that could be a great step towards the country’s solar target. Mumbai’s famous Siddhivinayak temple has installed a 20 kW solar rooftop project (comprising more than 70 panels) which helped in reducing their monthly electricity bill by 30%. The Lotus Temple in Delhi also has a 120 kW solar plant in place, which will help displace nearly 120 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually and generate 45,600 units. The spiritual Guru and founder of ‘Art of Living’ had launched the International Interfaith Solar Alliance during cultural fest held in March 2016. Another spiritual center the Radha Soami Dera, in Amritsar became the proud owner of world’s largest single rooftop solar plant, spread across 82 acres. The plant has a generation capacity of 19.5 MW, enough to meet the needs of 8,000 households. Many more temples in India are getting solarized. Seven temples in Tiruchi, Perambalur and Pudukottai districts of Tamil Nadu have been using power generated by solar energy during the day, which has already started to save money on their electricity bills. A leading mall in Mumbai, Viviana Mall became the first mall to install power plant on a large scale. The mall will now generate

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91,000 units per month through solar energy, which will entail a saving of 30% on its electricity bills. Green residents of a housing complex in Kandivli recently installed 65 kW rooftop solar system, which entailed a total saving of nearly INR 2 lakhs on their electricity bills per month. More than 200 panels were installed which generates around 260-280 units per day, sufficient for the 230 families residing in the complex. The society has reduced their overall dependence on the grid by 60%.

Challenges in Using Rooftop Solar Plants Other than the numerous challenges faced by rooftop solar in India, there are some application specific issues which can hinder its usage in transportation industry. For example, there have been concerns regarding material strength and rusting of solar structures. Solar glare is another concern especially for pilots. But India is marching with all its might, especially in adaptation of rooftop solar in areas under government control. Solar mounting structures are developed using high grade rust-free and resistant materials that can last for 20 to 25 years. Most of the leading manufacturing companies offer a 25-year warranty with 100% replacement. Technological advancements have also led to reduction in the reflective index of panels, which has reduced the problem of solar glare to a large extent.

Conclusion The Indian solar energy industry is one of the fastest growing energy industries in the world right now with massive expansion taking place due to falling prices and strong government support. While the ground mounted large utility space remains quite healthy, the rooftop solar segment has failed to take off. The myriad problems in the Indian power industry, as well as the lack of contractual enforcement, are the key impediments facing the segment. India has a very ambitious 40 GW rooftop solar target by 2022 which implies a 40% share for distributed energy, however; its success has been very limited with only 10% of the total solar installations coming from rooftop capacity. The problems are daunting with net metering policies remaining mostly on paper and availing subsidies and loans is extremely tough too. Most of the capacity developed so far has come from government sponsored tenders while the private market has failed to achieve its potential. The economics of the rooftop solar segment remain quite attractive that the industry is growing at almost a 100% CAGR despite these issues. Rooftop solar is economically cheaper for a large segment of the Indian population now but the problems of the net metering and financing are holding it back  

SUGI Invites you to visit us at REI Exhibition Hall No:9, Booth No: 9.111

For More Information Contact: Sugi Systems & Controls No. 35, 28th Cross, 9th Main , Industrial Layout , Banashankari 2nd Stage, Bangalore – 560070 Phone : +91 80 26713777 , 29741777


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

In Conversation

 Mukesh Gupta

Co-founder & Managing Director, Micromax Energy Ltd.

"We want to be a complete solar solution Company banking on cost effective innovation"


.Please share your journey so far from an innovator to a successful entrepreneur? I began my journey from a humble background. My education started from a simple school in Delhi and finally I completed my Graduation in electronics engineering & Masters in Instrument Technology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

the power segment. I cofounded Su-Kam Inverter in 1996 as Technical Director. This venture taught me various valuable lessons that I used in all my later endeavours.

My professional career started with HCL in 1986 and then I joined Shyam Telecom, which is today’s MTS Group. There as the Head, R&D, I got great exposure to understand affordable telecom technologies through a visit in Taiwan.

In 2001, I joined Microtek and developed an inverter. In just six months, I build up this new segment and within the next two years of time, Microtek stopped all previous operations and continued only with the inverter. It was a great confidence builder for me. After this success, I informed the company about my intention to go into solar space once my target in the inverter space is met. But, it was not accepted by Microtek due to some strategic reason.

After that I decided to venture in

At that point of time my idea was

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totally futuristic as renewable energy sector was quite nascent in India, in Europe too, talks were more on the line of renewable power generation, but certainly not on storage. I would share my idea on storing the solar energy during the day and feeding it to the grid to be supplied during night to investors. While many were impressed, there were several hurdles. For example, technology was very expensive in those days. The generation cost was very high and importantly commercial viability wasn’t clear to businessmen. So, in 2007 along with four professors at IIT Delhi, I started, SUNURJA, a company to develop 

commercially viable solar technologies. Rather than producing energy, we were keener on storing energy in a battery from the Sun. In 2010, I discussed with Mr Rajesh Agarwal, Chairman, Micromax Group about the idea of investing in the solar space and got his full support and encouragement. And, Micromax Energy was formed.


.Where does Micromax Energy stand in the Indian power segment? We started with products related to solar Power generation & Solar system design. We recently signed a contract for the development of Indigenous Solar Inverter technology to work in sync with varied Indian power grid conditions. Micromax energy main focus will be on energy sector weather it is an energy generation or energy saving or energy storage. As far as the team of Micromax Energy is concerned, the engineers are from the energy sector with a vast experience of more than 25 years. We have worked from the designing of the inverters to the end product. We understand the electronics and the power solutions for India. Present solutions available in India are with solar inverter, which are designed for stable grid conditions & are imported with the technology developed according to the need of developed countries where the grid conditions are very stable. India Grid power condition are very unstable & hence these inverters are more likely to enter into disconnect mode even when the solar power is available & cause loss of energy generation. We understood this gap and started developing an indigenous design that will not cause the loss of Energy Generation even in Indian unstable Grid conditions. We found that in the Indian solar power sector needs a serious focus on product side as 60% of the solar panels are imported and as far as inverters are concerned, there is no Indian manufacturing

company & design available to work in 100% sync with Indian unstable grid conditions. Therefore, we decided to fill this gap and developed new ranges of solar and energy saving solutions which are cost effective as well as completely in sync with Indian grid condition. Our vision at Micromax Energy is to be a complete solar solutions company.


.Why are the solutions offered by Micromax Energy unique with respect to the other solar solutions available in the Indian market? In the solar business, all solutions can be bucketed under two broad categories – firstly, energy generation and distribution and secondly, energy storage for backup. At present, we focus on the second category. Energy storage solutions have been evolved a lot in the past decade. I would like to categorize the storage solutions under different generations considering the evolution path. India being a country with the shortage of power, simple inverters are in use for the last 15 years. Here batteries get charged through grid power and stored power is used as backup during power cut situations to ensure continuous supply. This off grid solution or the first generation solution is mainly used at residential premises. The conversion efficiency of this kind of inverters is generally in the range of 60- 80%, Hence , the cost of power used during power cut through this back up increases almost two times of the normal electricity cost. There is also an extra energy load on the grid for power requirement to charge the battery further creating more shortage in electricity. The second generation solution or off grid solar inverter technology successfully addresses the power cost and grid overload related issues. In off grid solar inverters, batteries get charged through

solar energy and acts as source of free power back up. This in turn, saves energy costs and ensures ensure no overload on the grid to charge the battery. This solution is quite effective for residential and office premises. However, the second generation solutions are not capable enough to suffice the 24X7 huge load requirements in commercial or industrial entities. Therefore, the third generation or on grid solar solution comes into play. On grid solar solution also use solar energy as the free source of backup power and ensures uninterrupted power supply due to grid connectivity. Here, the extra energy produced through the solar system is sold to the grid through “Net Metering’ system. These on grid solar solutions can be paralleled up to megawatt scale for production of electricity. This in turn, works as a source of income generation for consumers. This solution is applicable for residential, offices, commercial and industrial spaces. Presently, government is also promoting on grid solution due to its effectiveness. In India when people talk about solar, they mostly mention about this generation. However, this on grid solution works in sync with electricity fed into the system. It needs round the clock electricity and works only when electricity is available from the power distribution company. This does not support at the time of power failure. Therefore, needs the back up of a small generator. Moreover, the ‘Net Metering’ system is not always profitable for power distribution companies. It may lead to a situation where the user may sell solar power to grid without buying any power from grid but the entire system needs to be maintained by the power distribution company. Considering the limitations of the third generation solution, a new ‘hybrid solution’, i.e – online

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Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

In Conversation solar system with storage facility has been introduced in the global market. This is the fourth generation solution. In this system the user can store the additional solar energy generated at his end for his own use. But the provision of selling extra energy to the grid is dwindling as it is not always profitable for power distribution companies. This solution is already facing such problems in Ukrainian and European countries. Just like most of the leading power solution firms, Micromax energy offers solutions which fall under the first to fourth generations. Moreover, considering the typical power shortage and cost sensitive situations in the Indian market, we have introduced two new generations of solutions which are quite unique but cost effective. We work on next generation technology on storage along with solar to provide a complete solar power house without any grid connectivity. This fifth generation or ‘Hybrid plus’ solution is an improvised version of the second generation off grid solar inverters. This grid independent competitive solar solution is ideal for the Indian conditions and saves cost as it uses solar power as the source of free power backup. This highly scalable solution is applicable for residential spaces, offices, commercial spaces, industrial usage etc. However, cost of this solution is also much lower than the previous two generations as there is no need for maintaining an online system. We also think a step ahead to address energy and cost saving

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needs of entities which have no space for solar panel installation or no power failure condition. We have introduced the sixth generation solution or Smart Energy Storage and Saving System (ESSS) for such cases. This revolutionary solution works both with and without solar as it can store energy both from solar and grid. In commercial spaces, power tariff is different in the different period of time. Smart ESSS stores power from grid during the hours of low tariff and utilise the same during the peak tariff hours. This in turn lowers the total power cost of the user. Secondly the fixed charge for the peak load is very high at any commercial space though the peak load is required only for a very short span of time. Therefore, it incurs an unnecessary cost on the user and also the power distribution company has to be prepared with that extra load which usually remains unutilised. Smart ESSS takes away worries of peak load demands as it is taken care by the internal storage. This, in turn, saves cost for both consumers and power distribution companies. This solution is ideal for offices, banks, commercial, industrial and residential applications. With this vast portfolio of solutions, Micromax is far ahead of the other power solution firms present both in the Indian as well as Global market. Along with the inverter, we are also working on the motor for agriculture purposes. My vision is to position ourselves as a complete solar solutions company. I am sure that we will be able to

achieve it soon.


.How do you envision the growth of Micromax Energy? Energy demand in India is increasing at a brisk pace, while the supply, though growing, is not able to keep up. Considering the ever increasing difference between the generation and consumption of energy, solar energy is going to play a major role in fulfilling the needs of the energy sector. Therefore, solar power, despite the initial challenges in the sector, offers huge opportunities. The Government has set a target of 100 Giga watts by 2022. At Micromax energy, our aim is that at least 10% of this installation should be done using our solar products or technology that we have developed or will be developing. If everything goes well, next year we wish to be among the Top 5 players in the solar industry. We are also developing a design & support team to help the EPC or channel partner to generate higher energy outputs with the same cost, improved ruggedness & reliability. We are in process of finalizing the contract with various institutes & reputed designed houses for joint development of solar product with innovation & will apply patents also. Customer invests in the solar power segment and expects to get maximum return on investment (ROI). Micromax energy will focus to provide, develop, design & give support to their customer to achieve maximum ROI 


Energy Rooftop Storage Solar



he Energy pyramid and its sustainable flow process will prevent you from overspending and over producing energy as a result. This is the most sustainable practice to be followed by any solar system integrator.  The energy pyramid teaches us to start the process with the ‘low hanging fruit’, from conserving the energy as a voluntarily measure and then into next level of replacing the inefficient or less efficient equipment’s with super energy efficient ones. The final stage of the pyramid is where one drives for the Rooftop solar power plant, following the Energy pyramid ensures savings for long term and results in cutting down of the power bills somewhere between 25-65% irrespective of their tariff. Energy Conservation

Authored by: By Tahnoon, Manager- Business Development, Atomberg Technologies Pvt. Ltd. amount of energy we use. Energy conservation is only part of the solution, especially in a growing economy. As India adopts and implements the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) 2017 we should realize the importance of investing in energy efficiency. This brings us to the next step in the energy pyramid. Energy Efficiency

Although adopting energy con-

Turn power on/off without getting up from your place

Control speed of fan with smart remote

Turn on sleep mode with AC for extra comfort

Turn’s off the fan after set number of hours

Energy Efficiency

The first step is very simple – consume a little less. By Explaining Energy Efficiency insulating our homes, through the concept of Demand offices more effecSide Managetively, designing ment (DSM) more energy-effiw o u l d RENEWABLE ENERGY (top of the pyramid comprises the cient buildings and be more solar, wind, wave, biomass, adopting simple, appropriate hydel energy) practical steps for today’s such as having ecosystem. daylight, Demand ENERGY EFFICIENCY (Replacing the existing electrcial laods with smart LEDs, Side ManEnergy Efficient appliances such Gorilla agement as smart LED lights, GORILLA fans, we (DSM) is fans-28W, other EEDs) c a n the mechreduce anism of ENERGY CONSERVATION t h e reducing or (This includes the pratices like shifting of turning off the lights, fans, other major electric loads energy conwhen not in use) sumption through efficiency. Energy Pyramid This is the

62 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

concept of using or retrofitting homes, institutions, industries from inefficient or less efficient electrical appliances to Super Energy Efficient appliances. One such example is for ceiling fans is the super energy efficient Gorilla fan which consumes only 28W and is also the India’s most energy efficient fan.

servation practices makes a great difference, installing energy efficient products is a huge leap. For example, turning the lights on and off as a standard practice may save 5% to 10% energy on the lighting bill.  However, switching from incandescent light/CFLs to smart LED lights & also EE fans can save up to 65%. With these two practices combined the average commercial, institutional customers will only be using 5% to 10% of the energy compared to before. Only then will these homes, institutions be ready for the next step, energy production through renewable systems like solar and wind, etc. Energy Generation through rooftop solar power plants 

It would be the wrong decision to directly opt for a solar system by only by analyzing the power bills and the connected loads. After solar installation one may find that the power bill is only saving a small percentage in the bills say (5 – 15%). But whereas applying the DSM mechanism, reducing the load at demand side and then opting for a solar power system would fetch a savings from 25-65%. This is the best practice which is also suggested by experts and Energy auditors. Consider a household with 4000Watts of load opts to put a rooftop solar power system; the following would be advantage with and without DSM mechanism. (Only considering the light loads) This extrapolation makes one understand the importance for the reducing load and opt for rooftop solar system. The similar case is applicable for Institutions,

Industries, Commercial sectors where the DSM approach makes a huge difference. Henceforth the DSM mechanism directly or indirectly enables to reduce the power bill and also it reduces the capital cost of solar installation. Conclusion The goal of achieving sustainability will become a reality nation-

Before opting the DSM mechanism, load as follows o CFL & tube lights – 36W o Fans – 75W After reducing the loads wit Energy Efficient appliances, load could be reduced to o LED lights – 9W & 18W o Fans – 28W

wide as awareness peaks and the Energy pyramid is aligned with the solar installations. To achieve the National Solar Mission target of 40 GW rooftop solar power, one should understand and take the Energy pyramid seriously and thereby need to implement DSM measures and then finally go of rooftop solar 

Preferred solar capacity could have been 4kW with capital cost of 3Lacs

After reducing the load, preferred solar capacity shall be reduced to 2.5kW with capital cost of 1.87Lacs


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Expert Insight

 Sanjib Mitra

Country Head Sales & Marketing (Transformers & Solar Solutions), Electrotherm (India) Ltd.

"Transformer sizing is very important in terms of overall economy as well as reliability of operation of a solar PV plant"


.Could you elaborate on the importance of transformer sizing when planning a solar PV plant? Transformers are used in solar PV plants to step up the output voltage of inverters thus playing a very important role in deciding the overall system configuration. Inverter Duty Transformer sizing in Solar Power Plant actually depends on the Inverter, which is sourced from Inverter manufacturers in India or abroad. As solar PV plants are getting MW and GW in sizes the requirements of larger inverters are growing

64 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

in the market. Keeping with the demand a lot of reputed international manufacturers have started manufacturing higher capacity inverters in turn increasing the demand for higher sizing transformers. The specific advantage of using a higher sizing transformer is that it reduces the overall cable circuit cost in the electrical power circuit. In fact the overall electrical BOP cost comes down due to less number of HV circuit. The integration of power circuits helps cost reduction by 7 to 8 % on a typical 100 MW plant. The market has already observed stable source

of 2 to 2.5 MW Central Inverters which if used twice per Transformers, can reduce lot of HV equipment. Transformer sizing is very important in terms of overall economy as well as reliability of operation. Indian EPC companies and Builders are gradually moving towards higher size Transformers of 4000 kVA to 6 MVA.


.Tell us more about the solar inverter duty transformer that Electrotherm manufactures? What makes it an ideal choice for solar pv plants?


We are manufacturing Solar Inverter duty Transformers since last 8 Years. We are probably one of the very few Indian companies that have commercially launched and established 2 CCA design in Solar Inverter Duty Transformers. 2 CCA designs are preferable over 1 CCA designs because mechanically 1 CCA design becomes unstable after a particular capacity. For the last 3 to 4 years the average Transformer size has gone up due to continuous success and technology up gradation within the high capacity Inverter industry. The sizes of Central Inverters earlier were limited up to 1 MW, which has recently increased 2.5 folds helping more consolidation of loads per Transformers. Each Inverter is now able to handle excess currents as compared to earlier size of 1 MW max. The Transformer Industry has also designed Transformer size up to 10 MVA capacities, making it suitable for connecting to 4 such large Inverters.


.How does a Solar Power House help EPC contractor overcome the challenge of commissioning the project in record time? Solar Powerhouse is an integral approach in terms of complete DC to AC conversion. In a Solar Power House, the Central inverters are connected to Transformers up to capacity of 4 MW AC. The Transformers HT side is then connected to the next compartment through busduct or cable for connection to HV switchgear. Several electrical main circuit and aux circuits including SCADA controls and battery bank are terminated


and tested at factory before despatch to site. This reduces the site integration cost and time helping the project developers to commission the project in minimum time. Solar Power House being a plug and play model comes completely wired and integrated with equipments that are already tested making the integration of the device with the project at the site very easy.


.What sets apart the Solar Power House manufactured by Electrotherm from similar product available in the market? Similar products available in market are either short in terms of capacity or in terms of efficient integration. Because we have technical expertise to address right from DC side of the Inverter circuit up to the HT VCB and Bushing connection in the field, we naturally stand apart in the crowd. The integrated test facility to check all protection and controls circuits with full load capacity is an added advantage in our case. Due to design and manufacturing superiority, we march ahead of others in terms of reliability and product quality. Our expertise in understanding the O&M also helps our customers to receive user friendly and easy to go equipment. Main circuit, Aux circuits and all other devices are well placed in the compact compartments and nicely segregated in terms of fault attending and monitoring purpose. The shortage of site experience is another fundamental which the other manufacturers lose which has emerged out to be one of the main reasons

We are at present holding a respected market position in terms of quality and market share which we hope to continue and grow in near future.

of their failures at the site. Competency in developing and designing of solar Power House is a key fundamental.


.How do you plan to achieve the target of supplying transformers worth 1200 MW solar capacity in the next 2 years? The segments those are likely to help in achieving the target? We are at currently doing more than 1000 MW. The unit size has gone up, so we are making 15 to 20 Transformers per 100 MW as compared to earlier 40 Transformers for the same size plant. The Inverter supply should be smooth which will help developers to complete projects much faster.


.With solar capacity likely to double to 18GW this year, how do you see the sector contributing to the overall growth of the company? As far as Solar Sector is concerned, we are focussing more on higher size Transformers and thus are able to comply to the growing market demand. Process control in Transformer manufacturing has been one of the key drivers in our facility; in fact this is a fundamental strength with our Brand. Till now we are able to respond to market Capacity and are able to grow in the sector while maintaining quality and timely delivery of products. We are able to honour commitments made to our customers in terms of commissioning schedule.


.How do you see the transformer technology changing over the next few years? How will this technology changes benefit the solar industry? Technology has always been the key driver in the manufacturing of engineering goods. Transformers are no exception. However it is not much applicable to Solar Inverter



Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Expert Insight Duty Transformers. The process has more or less remained same in the last 10 years. Till now, in India, we are following conventional manufacturing process as this is highly reliable and field tested. Of course; It is worth to mention here that some manufacturers are trying to develop Transformers using different raw material and using some modern process to cut down manufacturing cycle time to meet growing demand, however the technology is in the state of development and it will take time to meet the technical requirement of end product.

Solar Power House being a plug and play model comes completely wired and integrated with equipments that are already tested making the integration of the device with the project at the site very easy.


facture, supply, installing of Converter Duty Transformers required for Steel and Aluminium industry. There are high current Transformers with special cooling facility and works with several other electromechanical equipment for Heat Treatment and other requirement

.In addition to the inverter duty transformer and solar power house, what are the other products manufactured by Electrotherm? We are a leader in special duty Transformers since inception. We are pioneer in design, manu-


of heavy engineering and process industry


.What role do you envision Electrotherm playing in the solar industry? Your vision for Electrotherm in the solar industry? The Central and Renewable energy ministry planning for 2 GW per annum solar energy additions in India is a challenging objective and now that market is promising, we expect same pace to continue till 2022. We are well equipped to respond to the market demand in terms of technology and capacity utilisation. We are at present holding a respected market position in terms of quality and market share which we hope to continue and grow in near future 

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Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

Spot Light



here are many applications for I-V curve tracing, here are a few examples:

Pre-installation Testing the modules prior to installation saves time in the long run… It also gives you an indication of the power output prior to installation so you can monitor the LID effect (light induced degradation) This gives piece of mind to your clients and saves you money and time on trouble shooting at a later date.

Commissioning Taking an I-V curve of an array at the commissioning stage gives us a bench mark for future comparisons. It also helps the commissioning team to diagnose issues before going off site, saving return visits. The PV200 from Seaward can perform all required solar PV commissioning tests included in IEC 61829 and IEC62446.

Ongoing Operation and Maintenance Here we are able to quickly trouble shoot loss in generation by interpreting the I-V curve of an array. We can also test at a string level to identify issues on a modular level, saving a lot of time.

68 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

No need to wait till you get back to the office to send a report… email them directly from the field in an instant with the Seaward PV Mobile App. The PV200 Solarlink Test Kit is an all in one tool that can perform all commissioning test requirements of the IEC 62446:2016. It holds the secret to making PV testing more efficient, easier and safer. Solarlink connectivity between the PV200 tester and Solar Survey 200R irradiance meter, allows irradiance, module and ambient temperature results from the 200R to be transmitted over a wireless link and be recorded in real time in the PV200.

function of the current (I) and voltage (V) characteristics. Measuring the relationship between current and voltage whilst varying the electrical load connected to the PV cell or module from open circuit to short circuit produces a characteristic current vs voltage (I-V) curve as shown below. The points where the curve meets the current and voltage axis are the short circuit current Is/c and open circuit voltage Vo/c respectively.

This is very important in I-V curve tracing where accuracy of irradiance data, including changes in irradiance during the test, is so important.

Power is the product of voltage and current and so the power vs voltage curve shown can be generated from the measured voltage and current data.

The PV200 tester is the only hand held PV electrical test instrument on the market offering short circuit current, open circuit voltage, insulation resistance, earth continuity and I-V Curve Tracing functionality.

The power vs voltage curve shows the point at which the power is a maximum (Pmax). The corresponding maximum power point Mpp is shown on the I-V curve.

I-V Curve Tracer for the health of your PV Module The electrical power produced by a solar PV cell or module is a

Loading the PV module such that the current is Impp and voltage is Vmpp will operate the PV module at the maximum power point ( Mpp) and result in the maximum power generation.


Current vs Voltage (I-V) Curve


Use I-V Curve technology for maintaining your power plant


............................. Pmax Is/c Impp ............................................................................ Mpp

Solar module datasheets show I-V curves that give an indication of the maximum power output of the module at Standard Test Conditions (STC). This reading is taken in the PV manufacturing plant under laboratory conditions.


By using a handheld I-V curve tracer and intelligent software, we can transpose the I-V curves we take in the field to STC levels. We then compare these curves to get an indication of the plant’s predicted performance VS it’s actual performance.

number of units all over India to companies like BHEL, Azure Power, ACME Cleantech , Anchor Electricals, Vikram Solar, Renew Power, NTPC etc.

Portability is key here. As PV engineers we must be able to work quickly in the field. Therefore it is best to use a robust handheld instrument.

It’s an extremely portable, lightweight and battery operated unit which can be easily carried in the bag pack. Please see below the picture of PV200.

We have already supplied a

All the commissioning tests,



irradiance, temperature and I-V characteristics can be recorded at the press of a button. In case, you require more details please see below our contact details: W: E: T: +91-9810339072/011-64691012 

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Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

70 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017


In Focus

JinkoSolar leads the way in Quality Solar Module Manufacturing


inkoSolar, as the world’s no. 1 module manufacturer, is highly focused on Quality and believes that quality makes all the difference. Throughout the last decade, the company has made concerted efforts to uplift the quality of its products by posing stringent standards. Only a reliable, sustainable, and financially healthy company can deliver its promise and cover over a 25-year service life warranty. For years, JinkoSolar has been one of the most profitable solar PV manufacturers worldwide and offers its customers with the added advantage of great and consistent performance of its products owing to very detailed and minute testing of its products as well as having obtained all necessary certifications. Speaking about the importance of Quality at JinkoSolar, Mr. Donald Leo, Managing Director, Asia South, said, “JinkoSolar is synonymous with quality. The company follows every step carefully to maintain the quality that is promised to the customer and enhance its reliability. I think this what differentiates us in the market and is the driving force behind heavy demand for our products globally.” Here is what sets JinkoSolar apart: › UL certified in-house testing facilities, brilliant methodology, efficient processes, highly skilled staff as well as participation in all international authorized thirdparty quality certification pro-

grams ensure JinkoSolars’ tests are credible and underpin the promise made in the guarantee. › JinkoSolar provides the client with the panfile + IAM behaviour to enhance our position versus our competi“JinkoSolar is synonymous tors. 52 with quality. The company steps an organizational follows every step carefully to conlevel throughout maintain the quality that is tinuall areas of the promised to the customer and o u s company. enhance its reliability. I think a n d this what differentiates › Awarded Best rouus in the market” Performer in t i n e Photon Lab Module quality Donald Leo, Managing Director Test for consecutive inspecAsia South, JinkoSolar years. tion in production, in-line › First Company to pass as monitoring throughPID-Free under 85°C/85% RH, and out the entire supply chain, 100 % › First company to withstand a electroluminescence test for each PID-Free test under 65°C/85% RH cell and module, barcode ID Qualfor 1000 hrs. One of the lowest ity traceable system in place. defect and claim rates in the › In JinkoSolar, the Quality Con- industry. trol VP reports directly to the As India’s demand for quality company CEO to ensure that modules goes up, JinkoSolar will products surpass quality and remain committed to the market productivity standards, avoiding by providing its best-in-class prodcommunication loss in between ucts to its customers here  levels Approximately 1500 QC and QA professionals oversee a strict quality-control and inspection process. Furthermore, overall theme of “Quality” is applied


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

View Point


GREAT RACE TO THE BOTTOM Authored by: By Animesh Damani Managing Partner, Artha Energy Resources

This has resulted in the capital cost for Solar Power Projects dropping over 15% per year. ii However, despite the fall in capital costs are these record low bids feasible? ii Will quality be comprimsed? ii Will they generate a respectable

Crystalline module prices

Sharp fall due to declin in demand from China & overcapacity in Manufacturing








72 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Avg price for 2016-17 is US$0.43

Mar 17

Avg price for 2015-16 is US$0.56

Mar 16

Avg price for 2014-15 is US$0.62

Mar 15


Avg price for 2013-14 is US$0.70

Mar 14


Avg price for 2012-13 is US$0.73

Mar 13


Mar 12

Over the past few years the price of generating solar power has drastically reduced from INR 15 per unit to INR 2.44 per

ation infrastructure, inverters/ power conditioning units as well as civil work.

Avg price for 2017-18 (E) is US$0.30

Source: Crisil Research

world looked in awe unit. This has been enabled priand the Indian govern- marily through a 50% cost reducment rejoiced the recently discov- tion in solar module prices from ered record low bid of INR 2.44 per $0.73 cents a watt to $0.43 cents unit for solar energy at the Bhadla a watt in 2016-17.For this financial Phase III auction. Everywhere in year, module prices are expected the media, this record low bid has at an average of $0.30 a watt. been highlighted. Charts and com- Soft commodity prices, capacity parisons with cost of Thermal and additions, technological improveNuclear energy have been drawn ment and material substitution and talks of even lower bids of has resulted in a commensurate INR 1.5 per unit has been doing drop of 50% over the last 5 years rounds. The exuberance gener- for mounting structures, evacuated by reverse bidding in the ($/ Watt) solar space Decline led by is alarming. significant 1 It makes us overcapacity 0.9 0.87 question the Uptick in demand supporting prices sustainability 0.8 0.71 of the projects 0.7 0.70 built on such 0.66 0.6 0.63 low tariffs.

Mar 18



return for its investors? ii Will they turn into the next NPA’s? The answer to these questions will be known in time to come. Until then, we can try to make sense of these bids and hope to answer these questions through some hard facts.



Capital Cost per MW

352 Lakhs






4 lakhs per MW (3% Escalation)

Case Study: SECI Bhadla Phase III auction

PPA Rate


Insurance Expenses

40,000 per MW

Record low bids were discovered at INR 2.44 per unit and INR 2.45 per unit respectively.

Inverter replacement cost

8% Project Return

(every 12 years)

At such a low tariff, even after using the most aggressive financial model, this project yields a posttax project IRR of 8%. While accounting for aggressive reduction in capital costs, I have not accounted for working capital requirements, admin expensesand grid curtailment. It is interesting to note that despitethe low tariffs of these projects they have not been awarded a MUST-RUN status by the government. Hence, it will be at the mercy of the Merit Order Dispatch system, a big bone of contention that every renewable energy company has had with

Cost of Debt

(2% Escalation) 6% of project cost 8% (100 basis points above 10YR GOI Bond Yield) Project IRR pre-tax


Project IRR post-Tax


the DISCOMS. The Assumption of 352 lakhs per MW is extremely aggressive as I have considered record low A grade panel prices of $0.25 cents a watt. In addition, a minimum 20% cost-reduction in Civil & General works,


Manufacturer of Solar Structures


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

View Point 15% Annual reduction in Capital cost for Solar PV



1400 1200









400 200 0 2011-12






Capital Cost (lakhs/ MW)

Mounting Structure, Power Conditioning Unit, Cables & Transformers, pre-operative expenses& IDC has been considered given the volume discounts, economies of scale and lower finance costs for these projects. Moreover, degradation at 0.7% is also aggressive given the heat and climatic conditions at Bhadla. Item

Price per MW (Lakhs)

Solar Modules ($0.25 a


Taking our analysis a little further, we looked at scenario wherein this project would generate a pre-tax project IRR of 16%. The capital cost would have to be brought down to 260 lakhs a MW or a whooping 50% when compared to the CERC Benchmark Capital Cost per MW of Solar Project PV of March 2016. Item


watt, INR 16.02 a watt)

Capital Cost per MW

260 Lakhs

Land & Infrastructure



Cost (As per Bid Document)



Civil & General Works



4 lakhs per MW

Mounting Structure


2.44 40,000 per MW


(3% Escalation)

Power Conditioning Unit


PPA Rate

Cables & Transformers


Insurance Expenses

Pre-operative expenses


(2% Escalation)

and IDC

Inverter replacement cost

Success Charges

(every 12 years)


Cost of Debt

(As per RFS) Total

8% (100 basis points above 10YR GOI Bond Yield)


50% Implied Cost Reduction The aggression in my capital cost if further exacerbated when compared to the CERC Benchmark Capital Cost of Solar Project PV from March 2016 and KERC Benchmark Capital Cost of Solar Project PV from April 2017.

6% of project cost

Project IRR pre-tax


Project IRR post-Tax


Concerns Comprise on Quality

There is an implied cost reduction of 50% and 25% when compared to the CERC Benchmark Capital Cost per MW of Solar Project PV from March 2016 and KERC Benchmark Capital Cost per MW of Solar Project PVfrom April 2017.

The only method to even attain a capital cost of INR 352 lakhs per MW will be through ultra-aggressive cost reductions. Such cost reductions are not possible without affecting the quality of the materials and workmanship. Thereby also putting into doubt whether these projects will last their useful life of 25 years.

Record Low Capital Cost of 260 Lakhs per MW

Risk of Variability and NPAs

74â&#x20AC;&#x201A;SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017


The best-case scenario of the project IRR is 8% and that the possibility of reaching an IRR 16% is impossible, it should be noted that such tariffs are financially unviable given the current technology and pricing. There are many variables that can adversely affect the project. Should there be even a 2% drop in CUF to 20%, the IRR drops by 2% to 6%. Assuming a realistic interest cost of 9.5% and a 10% upward revision in project cost would make the project yielding negative IRR to its owners. Hence, banks need to be watchful while lending to these projects. The probability of turn into NPA’s is highly likely.

Comparison of Capital Cost in lakhs/ MW 600



440 352

400 300 200 100 0

CERC Benchmark March 16

Taking all into account, such bids are not a race to grid parity. They place the entire ecosystem at larger risk in the likely event that these projects do not yield a respectable return or last their useful. It’s a race to the bottom 

KERC Benchmark Assumed April 2017 Capital Cost Capital Cost in lakhs/ MW

About the Author: Animesh Damani - Managing Partner at Artha Energy Resources is spearheading the next wave of growth at Artha Energy Resources since its inception as a partner. He holds a B.Sc from Babson College, Boston with specialization in Entrepreneurship. He comes from the Hospitality industry with 5 years of experience.

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Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 


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76 SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017


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SmartEnergy Sept/ Oct 2017

Volume IV, Issue V

Pages 80


ISSN 2348-5027


Complete Solar and Renewable Energy Intelligence

ii A global leader in the solar PV industry ii World’s largest PV Module Manufacturer ii 6.5GW of Solar Modules capacity as of Dec 31, 2016 To find out more, please see:


Sept/ Oct 2017 SmartEnergy 

unik power LIGHT YOUR LIFE


E P. M E R S E N .C O M E P. M E R S E N . C O M E P. M E R S E N . C O M

SE Sept-Oct 2017 edition  

This is the REI 2017 Special edition of Smart Energy Magazine. This edition brings special articles written by scholars and leaders from the...