Solar Revolution in Bangalore Apartments

Solar Energy In India
As of today, India generates a sum total of 275912 MW of energy from installed power plants. Out of this, 4061 MW is contributed by solar power systems. With plans for expansion in place, this number is expected to shoot up significantly.

In Karnataka, BESCOM has invited applications from consumers and commercial folks alike to sign up for partaking in the solar power revolution.

If you have decided to invest in a solar plant for your apartment, we congratulate you on that. Sustainable energy is the need of the hour and we should take it as our responsibility to not harm the environment any more than necessary.

The Bangalore Apartment Federation (BAF) is working to launch a city-wide solar rooftop initiative. Within one-and-a-half to two years, the hope is to have 1,000 apartments using rooftop solar panels.

“We are working on a larger proposal that will make this process feasible. We are doing a lot of background work in collaboration with the Karnataka Government’s energy department for the same. In the meantime, we are holding sessions with apartment owners on why we need to do this, the capital investment and regulatory aspects,” says Srikanth Narasimhan, general secretary of BAF, adding that the proposal is 70 per cent complete.

While thousands of Bengalureans are already conscious of the benefits of solar rooftops, it is the financial investment and permissions needed from authorities that are hindrances. “There is a fair bit of capital investment required. We are considering an Opex model, where the vendor will invest initially for the set-up, and charge the apartment on a monthly basis. This way, apartment owners need not worry about the initial investment,” Srikanth says.

He further adds, “There are many procedures involved for apartments to get permission from BESCOM and other agencies. Right now, it takes up to seven months for residents to get approval for installing solar roof tops. We are working to make this process easier as well.”

The State Government issued a notification on August 27 stating that units generating less than one megawatt do not need inspection before commissioning by a chief electrical inspector. This cuts down the process by two months for apartments.

Rooftop Solar – Does it make sense for Residences?

Solar Mango, a solar energy consulting firm has an interesting study on this.

A solar PV plant costs approximately Rs. 1 Lakh per kW with installation without batteries or subsidies, and will last 25 years 1 kW of solar plant generates about 4 kWh of electricity per day on average over a year The inverter is the only major component likely to need replacement.

If you are considering solar to save on your EB bills, we recommend evaluating solar only if your residential EB tariff is Rs. 5.00/kWh or greater, subject to state specific incentive schemes that can lower the cost of solar.

As solar plants generate power during the day when most residents are not at home, the plant has to sized carefully for daytime load rather than peak load which is usually experienced only at night.

Solar PV plants can be installed in apartment buildings provided installing solar panels on the common rooftop is permitted.

A solar water heater is a better choice for heating water than a solar PV plant

Karnataka helps India double Q1 solar additions

As per Renewables Now, India commissioned 3.77 GW of utility-scale solar power capacity in the first quarter of 2018, doubling the previous quarter’s figure, mainly thanks to significant additions in Karnataka state, Bridge to India said Thursday.

Karnataka was home to almost three quarters of all capacity put online in the period. This happened as delayed projects with contracts secured in two major tenders, for 1,200 MW and 920 MW, reached completion in the state. Also, there was a rush in the first quarter to wrap up open access projects before the programme’s end in March, Bridge to India noted.

The consultancy expects total solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in India this year to stand at just 6.3 GW, down by 25% from 2017, but it sees a better 2019 with roughly 8 GW of capacity additions.

HHV partners with RV College of Engineering on solar research project

HHV Develops a sophisticated dual process thin film deposition system.

BANGALORE based Hind High Vacuum Co. Pvt Ltd (HHV), announced that it has partnered with RV College of Engineering, Bangalore (RVCE) on a solar research project. HHV has successfully developed and commissioned a sophisticated dual process thin film deposition system at the research centre in RVCE.

Thin film technology and the R&D group of HHV has been working together with the college on this project to develop high performance thin film coatings for solar thermal application, as a part of the project titled “Development of multilayer coatings for enhanced solar thermal absorption at high temperature” sanctioned by Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Established in 1965 at Bangalore to develop Indian self-reliance in high vacuum technology, HHV has now grown into a leading global player involved in the design, development and manufacture of off-the-shelf and customized equipment and products based on Vacuum Science & Technology.

Su-Kam to provide technology support for Rural Electrification Corporation’s solar training programmes

Su-Kam Power will provide technology support for a solar electrical training programme offered by the Rural Electrification Corporation, a Government of India enterprise.

The training will be conducted at engineering and ITI colleges for students belonging to economically backward regions of the country, in addition to their curriculum. The program will be rolled out in a phased manner in other colleges in the country with the first step being taken at DAV college, Mahindergarh, a statement from the company said.

“In line with a significant component of the 12th Five Year Plan which emphasises on generation and absorption of trained manpower in various areas, the Rural Electrification Corporation, a Government of India enterprise, has initiated a solar electrical training programme as part of their corporate social responsibility,” the statement said.

The programme spanning from August 2013 to December 2013 is being implemented by Advit Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Gurgaon, with Su-Kam Power Systems providing technology support.
This programme is being initiated in order to meet the demand for trained manpower in the aggressively growing Indian solar market. It will span over a period of five months and is expected to churn out 200 qualified engineers and technicians who are well versed with the technicalities as well as the economics of solar photovoltaic power systems.

During the course of the training, candidates will undergo classroom training as well as hands-on solar workshops. The sessions will be designed and conducted by professionals working in the solar industry. The equipment and devices for hands-on training have been sponsored by Su-Kam Power Systems Limited.


Su-Kam Power Systems Limited, the leading player in the power back-up industry in India, unveiled Su-Kam Brainy – a complete solar package for home usage and Solar Power Conditioning Unit.

One of the main attractions was “Brainy” – a complete solar package for home usage that operates on both Solar as well as Grid Power. It enables a common user to install the complete solar system at his home and utilize the solar energy generated from the panel to charge the battery and reduce his consumption from grid power. Su-Kam is providing the complete package to the end user which consist of 850 VA UPS with in-built solar charge controller, solar panel and a trolley

Solar Power Conditioning Unit is an integrated Solar System which runs both on Solar and Grid power and is mainly for medium to large consumption. It consists of solar charge controller and inverter that enable users to charge the battery bank for the inverter either through grid power or solar power. Solar Charge Controllers are required for monitoring and controlling the charging of battery bank connected to the PV modules.

Apart from this, the other main attractions were the complete range of solar products for diverse requirements of customer’s need right from the small solar powered Home lighting solutions, MPPT based Solar Charge controller, High Capacity & High frequency Solar Inverters, Grid Interactive Solar Inverter, Solar Series Batteries, a remote monitoring software to control, monitor and operate solar power solutions in remote areas.

Apart from Solar Products, Su-Kam plans to focus more on big Solar Projects both in rooftop and centralized street lighting solutions, similar to what we have done at Assam Rifles, Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency, Assam State Electricity board, to name a few.

The solar industry has a growing share in the global energy market. According to a report, grid-connected solar systems should increase to about 42 GW in 2012, reflecting a double digit compounded annual growth rate.

The Indian Solar Energy sector has been growing rapidly, in the past few years, majorly due to Governments initiatives such as tax exemptions and subsidies. Due to technical potential of 5,000 trillion kWh per year to minimize the operating cost, Solar Power is considered to be the best suited energy source for India. Today the Solar power has an installed capacity of 1000 MW which is about less than 0.1% usage, currently total installed renewable energy stands at 13,242.41 MW as per MNRE.

Speaking on Su-Kam’s commitment to the Solar sector Mr. Kunwer Sachdev, Managing Director, Su-Kam said, “With theSolar products market in India constantly evolving, the user requirements and needs are also constantly changing. Hence it is very important to understand the market acceptance of the product before launching them. Going forward, Solar would also be a key focus area for Su-Kam with a large number of investments already ear-marked for development and manufacturing facility of Solar products. Su-Kam already has an exhaustive range of solar products available in the market covering wide range of sectors such as: Residential Bungalows, Industries, Hospitals, Banks, Commercial Establishments, Telecom, Rural Areas, Corporate offices, State and Central Govt. offices and institutions. We plan to invest Rs. 200 Cr in the sector over the next 3 years.”

“Alternatives like Solar and Wind energy and hybrid systems can address the challenge of power unavailability in semi-urban, rural and remote areas. Renewable energy will not only cut down the operational expenditure by 15-20% but also address problems that arise due to power crisis. The subsidy provided by the government for Solar Power Providers will offer major benefits to key market players,” added Mr. Sachdev.

Karnataka has a high renewable energy potential, reports World Institute of Sustainable Energy

Studies conducted by the World Institute of Sustainable Energy(WISE), Pune, a UK government funded organisation working in the renewable energy area, has reported that Karnataka has a high renewable energy (RE) potential. The potential is for more than 28 GW, of which only 3.45 GW has been tapped till November 2011.

Karnataka’s RE base of 3.45 GW includes 1,929 MW of wind, 86 MW of biomass, 782 MW of bagasse co-generation, 646 MW of small hydro and 9 MW of solar. Wind offers the maximum potential, with an untapped capacity of 11 GW. The huge untapped RE potential also creates an investment opportunity.

Significant potential also exists for solar, small hydro, bagasse co-generation and biomass sectors. Under the state’s RE Policy, it is estimated that by 2014, there will be a generation of 6,600 MW of renewable electricity. The Renewable Purchase Specification in the state is for of 7%-10%.

Turning waste into power

Just when Bangalore is staring at a sea of garbage piling on its streets, one Bangalorean has shown how waste can be effectively converted into fuel. And he has done it in Malaysia, which has successfully adapted his technology.

KS Sivaprasad holds the patent for developing the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Power System — a technology that converts mixed garbage to fuel to finally produce power. Today, he is director (technical advisor) of Core Competencies, a Malaysian firm which provides electricity to 2 lakh people there. The plant daily converts 700 tonnes of garbage to 8.9MW of power.

Sivaprasad, a resident of Madiwala, has just one regret — despite the huge success rate in other parts of the globe, no one in India and Bangalore in particular has approached him to utilize this technology
“This is green power. We obtain this after removing all the pollutants, including heavy metals, from the mixed garbage. All we require is a plot of land to station this plant,” Sivaprasad said.

It all started in the 1970s when US was looking to generate alternative fuel from municipal waste in the wake of the oil crisis. “That’s when the idea struck me and I developed this technology in India,” said Sivaprasad, who set up a plant in Madiwala then. The biggest global recognition for RDF came in 1995 when he participated in a UN conference in Bangkok.
He made a presentation and got a call from the Malaysian company which wanted to introduce this technology there. In 2006, they started work on building the plant and by 2009, the plant started power generation. He is working on a second plant which will treat up to 1,000 tonnes of garbage.
How power is generated

Segregation is done in several steps at the plant Non-combustible matter is segregated and moisture content reduced by drying it Recyclable matter (like plastic) and hard material like bricks or stone are removed next Kitchen waste sent for composting Combustible matter that remains is fuel taken to boiler to generate steam Steam is fed to the turbine to generate power Pollution abatement system incorporated in boiler, which produces clean energy From 1,000 tonnes of garbage, about 400 tonnes of green fuel is finally obtained.

Set up rooftop solar panels and get paid

Install a solar panel on your rooftop to generate energy and sell it to the distribution company through the grid for money.

To encourage green energy, the Centre is planning a programme under which it will provide incentives, either financial or through a subsidy, to home owners installing a rooftop solar panel for own energy consumption, and who will sell the extra power to the grid during daytime.

The programme also contains a proposal in which a building owner can rent his rooftop to investors to set up a solar power plant.

The plan, which is still in a preliminary stage, says the electricity distribution companies can buy the power from households, either by paying money to the seller or giving subsidy in the seller’s electricity bill.

To introduce the system in India, which is prevalent in many European countries including Germany, there is a need to modify the current Electricity Act as well as develop locally suited technology, Union Minister of Power K C Venugopal told Deccan Herald.

Delhi to be first

The Delhi government is likely to be the first to implement the scheme as the government has started working on the issue. As per the Delhi Government’s proposed policy, residents can get solar power plants installed on their rooftops by signing a power purchase agreement with the company supplying power in their respective areas.

The cost of setting up such a plant in an area of 200 square metres will be between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 9 lakh.

According to the policy, house owners can either lease out their roofs to a developer, who will then set up the unit, or pay 30 per cent of the cost of installation.

The remaining 70 per cent will be financed through banks. The cost of generating each unit of power from the rooftop plant will be Rs 17.50 which the owner of the rooftop can sell to any of the power supplying companies.

The plants will be set up using the solar photo-voltaic technology as they can be easily mounted on rooftops, said an official in the Power Ministry.

The Centre which aims to produce 10,000 MW of solar energy in the 12th five year plan ( 2012-2017) with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore, has already set up 61 solar energy monitoring units across the country.

The government has started collecting radiation data from these monitoring centres and accordingly it will encourage setting up solar plants, he said.

While Gujarat and Rajasthan are ahead with installed capacity of 3,000 MW and 1,000 MW solar energy, the Centre wants other states to follow suit.

Power is money

* A house owner can install solar panel on the rooftop to meet his power needs

* He can then sell the extra power generated to distribution companies

* The owner can also rent out the space for setting up a solar power plant

* In return, discoms will either pay in cash or give subsidy in the seller’s electricity bill

As reported by – Ajith Athrady, October 14, 2012, New Delhi, DHNS:

Philips India to export solar LED street lights

Consumer electronics firm Philips will export solar LED street lights, which it has developed in India, to neighbouring nations within next one year.

The company’s Indian arm, Philips Electronics India, is currently executing a project for installing 19,000 solar LED street lights in Tamil Nadu in association with Tata Power Solar and Su-kam.

“Solar is a very efficient mode of energy. The technology for solar LED street lights were developed in India and for India,” Philips Electronics India President (Lighting India) Nirupam Sahay told PTI.
The company has designed and developed the technology at its R&D centre at Noida keeping in mind the rural market, which has a big potential as electrification has not yet touched large number of villages across the country, he added.

“We are just executing about 19,000 such street lights in Tamil Nadu and we are talking to more state governments on this front. These lights have big scope in cities also,” he said without sharing details.
When asked if the company would be interested to supply the technology to Philips’ operations in other nations, Sahay said: “We are a global company. We (Indian operations) handle Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Within next one year, solar LED technology will go out of India, first to the neighbouring countries and later to other parts of the world.”

He, however, declined to share details such as which would be the first export market for this technology.
Elaborating the technology, Sahay said the company develops and manufactures the electronics and LED lights.

“We do not make the panels and batteries. For these, we have worked with Tata Power Solar and Su-kam for the Tamil Nadu project,” he added.

The technology helps the company with options to connect each light post with a single battery or a set of street lights can be run from a centrally controlled solar panel and battery, Sahay said.

On whether the company would continue the relationship with its current partners, he said it would depend on the nature of the future project and customer.

When asked about the company’s revenue expectation from the LED division, he declined to comment saying India is moving towards “white solar street lights”.

“The entire Indian lighting market is estimated to be Rs 9,000 crore and we enjoy 30 per cent share of it. We are in the premium segment,” Sahay said.

Solar power will achieve grid parity by end of the 12th Plan in 2017

Power produced by solar plants will be sold at the same price as that from conventional sources like coal by 2017, a power ministry official said.

“Solar power is very close to achieving grid parity. It will achieve grid parity by end of the 12th Plan in 2017,” Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary in the new and renewable energy ministry, announced at a conference here on the Indian power industry.

“Consequent to the launch of the government’s solar mission in 2010, we see large volumes (of electricity) coming into the sector and we’ve seen prices come down drastically,” Kapoor said.

Outlining the sequence of fall in tariffs, Kapoor informed the conference that from an initial tariff of Rs.17 per kilowatt (kw) hour fixed by the regulator, subsequent tenders had yielded lower average tariffs, and the last tender floated had fetched the tariff of Rs7.49 per kw hour.

“Odisha did a tender and got a tariff of Rs.7 per kw hour to be constant for the next 25 years. This tariff is fixed for 25 years and is better than that from coal, for instance, where new coal based plants using imported coal would charge Rs.5-6 and domestic coal fired ones would charge Rs.3-4. Then as fuel costs rise, tariffs would also go up.”

Kapoor explained that the objective of the solar mission was to increase electricity volumes from solar energy, thereby bringing down prices and demonstrate that solar power is a very good alternative.

“Solar power plants can be set up anywhere (in India) as the insulation is pretty good almost everywhere. The investment required for 20,000 MW capacity would be around Rs. 200,000 crore,” Kapoor said.