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Solar Products in India – Guide on Solar Energy Panels, Lanterns,Lights,Heating Equipment Suppliers

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Solar Products in IndiaSolar Products in India are set to grow at a tremendous rate in the future driven by the declining costs of solar power and the increasing price of fossil fuel energy products.Already we are seeing massive power cuts across the country due to shortage of coal.Beside this,the prices of electricity has increased tremendously as well and is approaching seriously high levels due the increasing price of coal and gas.This has made it inevitable that people will turn  towards solar products which are not only becoming cheaper but are also greener.Solar Products comes in a wide variety and range from almost all electrical home appliances.You can solar air conditioners,solar fans,solar toys etc.The main uses of solar products however are those in generating electric power .These are known as solar panels and poised to become ubiquitous in the days to come.The day is not far off when almost every house in India will have solar panels on their roofs to generate cheap electric power.Beside this solar lanterns are already replacing expensive and polluting kerosene lamps in poor households.Solar Lighting is also increasing particularly in those areas where the electricity power grid cannot reach.Solar Heaters have become extremely popular in southern India as solar water heaters are much cheaper than normal electricity powered water heaters.Though Solar Cookers have not caught on in a big way,there are also very cost effective and clean.Below is listed out the main solar products sold in India along-with their suppliers

Solar Panels

Solar Panels in India are available in both the crystalline and thin film varieties.Note Solar Panels in India are mostly imported though there are some domestic panel producers as well.India imports Thin Film Solar Panels and also imports the raw material for making silicon solar panels (polysilicon).The solar panels available in India are on par with what is available in the international markets and the pricing is similar as well.The JNNSM Phase 2 of the government mandates that solar panels and solar cells be made in India though thin film solar panels are exempted (good thing too since there are no thin film panel factories in India)

Domestic Solar Cell/Module Producers

  • Moser Baer – This is primarily a Solar Panel Production Company which has recently made a big bet to get into the Power Production Space as well.Moser Baer Projects Private in which the Blackstone Group made a $300 million bet  has plans of a 20:80 mix of Green and Dirty Power.
  • Tata Power / Tata BP Solar - The biggest private utility in India has big plans for Clean Energy as well.Its subsidiary Tata BP Solar is one of the biggest producers of solar panels and cells in the country.The company has huge plans in wind,solar and geothermal energy.It has also invested in a geothermal energy project in Indonesia..
  • Solar Semiconductor - A Producer of Solar Power Modules and Cells. It has some operations in Solar Installation as well.
  • The following  companies are similar to Solar Semiconductor in having a small capacity to produce silicon based solar cells or solar panels or both.
  • IndoSolar
  • Topsun Solar
  • Titan Energy
  • PLG Power
  • Maharishi Solar
  • Kotak Urja
  • Photon Energy Systems
  • Lanco Solar – A major private utility in India.Has bagged a JNNSM bid to build a big solar thermal plant.Also getting into production of poly,wafers,cell and modules based on c0Si Technology.

Domestic Government owned Solar Producers

  1. BHEL – BHEL which is India’s largest Capital Good makers is the other company with the big solar ambitions.BHEL has strong capabilities in the field of making electricity generating equipment.Extending these capabilities in the field of solar power generation is a natural extension.
  2. BEL – This is another state owned company established by the Indian Government to meet the specialised electronic needs of the Indian defence services.  The company produces consumer products like  , Solar Powered LED-Based Traffic Signal Lights.Tying up with BHEL to set up a big solar equipment producing facility.

Foreign Solar Panel Producers

  1. Suntech – Suntech was  the world’s biggest producer of solar panels in 2010 and was one the first companies to set up operations in China.Its example was followed by a host of other Chinese companies.Suntech has been slow to expand compared to the fast growing small companies in China and has lost marketshare to them.It has started to vertically integrate in order to meet the low cost challenge from Trina and Yingli.Suntech makes one of the best quality Solar Panels in China.
  2. Trina Solar - Trina Solar is one of the lowest cost manufacturers of Solar Panels in the World right now and also sells it at a very low price.This is the reason that the company in a span of few short years has managed to acquire a substantial  global marketshare.The prices the solar panels being sold are around $340 per 200 watt module.Trina Solar.Like Yingli and Suntech,Trina Solar Panels are one the best quality in China
  3. First Solar – First Solar is the only Solar Thin Film Manufacturer in the world and a benchmark for other thin film companies thinking of making it big.The company was promoted by Wal-Mart promoters and has seen remarkable growth in the last few.This US based company uses Cadmium Tellurium (Cd-Te) Technology and  is the lowest cost panel producer in the world today if you don’t include any penalty for low efficiency.Even if you penalize the Cd-Te Technology for its lower efficiency vis-a-vis the higher efficiency crystalline technology,First Solar is clearly the leader with a core cost of 74c/watt.The company has a roadmap of  reducing the cost to 52c/watt by 2014 and given its track record it seems quite achievable.There is little doubt about First Solar’s ability to survive and flourish due to its massive first mover advantage

Solar Cookers

India has installed the world’s largest solar cooker at a cost of $280,000 system at Shridi subsidized by the Indian government, which generates 3,500 kg of steam every day to make food for 20,000 people.However despite attempts made by the government to make this solar product popular lack of follow on effort has made it efforts go waste

Solar Cooker Problems in India

Solar Cookers in India have faced trouble in adoption because of the following reasons such as

  1. Slow Cooking and inability to cook outside of sunshine hours – Not all people will deal with such inconvenience which requires change if habits.Problem can be solved with a fossil fuel cooker in addition but that adds to the costs
  2. Low Sunlight Places - Access to sunlight may be difficult in some Regions
  3. Lack of Knowledge – Millions of citizens depend on kerosene and wood for cooking which is not only expensive but also leads to pollution.Lack of knowledge and trying something new are major hurdles.
  4. High Initial Cost – Indian income levels are quite low which makes buying solar cookers with even a $30 cost is unaffordable to most of the poor.The rich do not prefere solar cookers anyway

Advantages of Solar Cooker

Solar Cookers are one of the most useful solar products but the lack of knowledge has not led to its widespread adoption.It is particularly useful in poor sunny countries like India where people are forced to burn high cost high polluting fuel for their cooking purposes.Solar Cookers have the following advantages.

  1. Easy to Make - Solar Cookers do not require state of the art hitech factores or expensive equipment to make.They are relatively easy to build
  2. No Fuel Costs – Solar Cookers only requires sunlight for operation.Save immensely on Gas Costs over its lifetime
  3. Easy Operation – Solar Cookers are not hard to operate.Working with wood is quite difficult.There are problem in gathering and burning which is avoided with Solar Cookers
  4. Long Life - Solar Cookers have a long life of around 15-20 years
  5. Multiple Cooking Possible – Solar Cookers can cook multiple items at one go and  produces food which is healthy and not infested with any coal or gas residues.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar Water Heaters are one of the most successful solar products which have managed to proliferate without government subsidies needed for other solar products like solar panels etc..The payback period for solar heaters is quite short and  it substitutes the need for electricity needed to run power guzzling water heaters in residential and commercial establishments.The other reasons for the success of solar water heaters is that they are relatively easy to build and install making them quite popular.

Solar Water Heater Types and Prices

There are two types of solar water heaters that are sold in India -

a) Flat Plate Collectors (FPC) based Solar Water Heaters The solar radiation is absorbed by Flat Plate Collectors which consist of an  insulated outer metallic box covered on the top with glass sheet. Inside there are blackened metallic absorber (selectively coated) sheets with built in channels or riser tubes to carry water. The absorber absorbs the solar radiation and transfers the heat to the flowing water. There are 60 BIS approved manufacturers of Solar Flat Plate Collectors.

b) Evacuated Tube Collectors (ETC) based Solar Water Heaters Evacuated Tube Collector is made of double layer borosilicate glass tubes evacuated for providing insulation. The outer wall of the inner tube is coated with
selective absorbing material. This helps absorption of solar radiation and transfers the heat to the water which flows through the inner tube. There are 44 MNRE approved ETC based solar water heating suppliers.

Solar Water Heater Manufacturers in India

Tata BP Solar – One of the biggest producers of Solar Panels in India,this Tata Group  Company sells Solar Water Heaters under the Vajra,Zing and Hotmax Nova Brands

Venus- The company sells solar water heaters in 100 and 200 liters  capacity.The price for the lowest SWH starts from Rs 18,800 ( $400) which is not expensive

Note there are more than 100 manufacturers of Solar Water Heater Manufacturers that have been accredited by MNRE .Note there are no dominant solar water heater companies in India as the market is heavily fragmented.Provides a great opportunity for a company to come and win over the market through good quality and cost.Read more here

Solar Lighting

While most of the subsidies for solar energy in India are going to large solar farms,Solar Lighting is also growing steadily without any support.This is due to the fact that Solar Lighting saves on electricity costs and is also environment friendly.Solar Lighting in India is gaining traction not only in the upper income segments but also at the bottom of the pyramid.Solar Lighting is also gaining acceptance in use  in gardens where they can capture sunlight in the morning and light the gardens in the night using the stored energy.

Types of Solar Lighting in India

1) Solar Lamps/Lanterns

Solar Lamps or Solar Lanterns have seen astounding growth in India driven mainly by the lack of access to electricity and the high costs of Kerosene or gas lamps.Note Solar Lamps have been so successful in India mainly due to their economic utility rather than their Green Characteristics.Note 100,000 Indian villages do not yet have electricity which means that the productivity comes to a complete stop in the dark.Note Kerosene a dirty oil refined product is the main source of energy for millions of Indian citizens.Kerosene is a health hazard resulting in accidental fires and causing a lot of smoke which can lead to various respiratory diseases.The Kerosene is given in limited quantities and is not sufficient to Light the Darkness for a month or more.The advent of Solar LED Lamps has been a godsend solution to this problem.

2) Solar home lighting systems – Solar home lighting system consists of the Solar Panels, Mounting structure, battery, battery box, Solar charge-controller, luminaries, cables and switches .The Solar Lighting Fixtures have inbuilt DC to AC inverter converters.Solar Lighting Home Systems can also run TVs and Fans though running of Solar Air Conditionersis not possible because of high wattage requirements.

3) Solar Street Lighting - Solar Street Lighting System is a lighting system for the illumination of streets & squares and cross roads located in areas that are not connected to the power grid.The standalone solar street lighting system comprises of a Solar Panel ,Lead acid battery for Energy Storage, Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) as light source, suitable electronics and hard-ware like pole, battery box  for fixing of these sub system.The system is controlled by a controller with automatic ON/OFF time switch, which control the light from dusk till morning or other setting time.Note high end Solar Street Ligthing can consist of LED Lamps instead of CFLs.

4) Solar LED Lighting -  The falling prices of LEDs has made it possible to couple these two green technologies together .Solar LED Lighting can be used anywhere as a replacement for normal Solar Lighting which used CFLs.

Solar Lighting Suppliers

Selco India SELCO Solar Pvt. Ltd, a social enterprise established in 1995.SELCO employsabout 170 employees in Karnataka and Gujarat spread across 25 energy service centers. Selco sells most Solar Products alongwith Financing Packages as well.

D.light Design – D.Light Design was started with the socially responsible goal of bringing light affordably to millions of poor.Its flagship product is S250 which is a dual purpose solar light and mobile charger. Its b It provides 10 times more light than a kerosene lantern.

It also charges the most popular mobile phones on the market. It keeps personal mobile phones fully charged even when AC power is unavailable or inconvenient.

Tata BP Solar - This Tata Company has one of the biggest and oldest solar panel manufacturing operations in the country.Tata BP Solar also manufactures a wide variety of Solar Product which includes different types of Solar Sodium,Solar CFL and Solar LED Lamps .Tata BP Solar is perhaps the best solar lighting provider in India given the brandname and inhouse manufacturing of solar components.It has a range of Solar Lighting Solutions based on LED and non LED lights.

Hiramut Energies  manufactures and exports Solar Energy Products,  under the brand name of “Sun-Ray”. and is  based in Gujarat.They sell Solar Cooker, Solar Home System, Solar Led Lantern, Solar Led Street Light, and Solar Water Heating System.

Neutech Solar Systems is mainly focused on solar water heaters but is also sells solar street lighting systems

Anu Solar started 1979 and has a manufacturing unit for Solar Water Heating Systems and Solar Photovoltaic Systems .They sell solar lighting systems for streets and residential purposes.

Deepa Solar Lighting Systems has been around for 10 years.The company also sells a wide variety of solar products like solar fans,solar street lights,solar lamps,solar garden lights etc.

Tilak International is a manufacturer of LED signals, solar charge controllers, solar lighting system, solar home lighting system, solar street lighting system .

Aditya Energy Systems established in the year 2000, is a  manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic lighting systems.Aditya Energy Systems manufactures solar lighting systems of various capacities ranging from few watts to kilowatts catering to domestic and international customer requirements

Luminous Power Technologies Limited/Schneider Electric has LED (light emitting diode) based Solar Lighting Solution The energy efficient LED based design of this new product with a single light output is at par with 11 watts CFL. ging between 11 to 12 hrs.

Solar Lanterns

Solar Lamps or Solar Lanterns have seen astounding growth in India driven mainly by the lack of access to electricity and the high costs of Kerosene or gas lamps.Note Solar Lamps have been so successful in India mainly due to their economic utility rather than their Green Characteristics.Note 100,000 Indian villages do not yet have electricity which means that the productivity comes to a complete stop in the dark.Poor schoolchildren cannot study in the dark and people cannot work in the night either.Note Kerosene a dirty oil refined product is the main source of energy for millions of Indian citizens.Kerosene is a health hazard resulting in accidental fires and causing a lot of smoke which can lead to various respiratory diseases

Solar Lamps Government Subsidies

Solar Lamps were also promoted by the Indian government specifically MNRE which brought out various schemes such as distributing free solar lamps to girls,subsidies on solar lamps in the form of captial subsidies etc.However Government has not managed to consistently give incentives and did not put enough efforts.The government stood to gain a lot as it would have saved money from kerosene subsidies.

Solar Lamps Financing

 Note Solar Lamps for poor customers in India needs financing as these customer earn around $2 a day which mean the cost of a Solar Lamp which can cost around $20 is too high for them.Some companies have tied up with banks to provide micro loans to customers in order to get their products financed.

Solar Lamp Manufacturers in India

Selco India SELCO Solar Pvt. Ltd, a social enterprise established in 1995.SELCO employsabout 170 employees in Karnataka and Gujarat spread across 25 energy service centers. Selco sells most Solar Products alongwith Financing Packages as well.

D.light Design – D.Light Design was started with the socially responsible goal of bringing light affordably to millions of poor.Its flagship product is S250 which is a dual purpose solar light and mobile charger. Its b It provides 10 times more light than a kerosene lantern.

It also charges the most popular mobile phones on the market. It keeps personal mobile phones fully charged even when AC power is unavailable or inconvenient.

Tata BP Solar - This Tata Company has one of the biggest and oldest solar panel manufacturing operations in the country.Tata BP Solar also manufactures a wide variety of Solar Product which includes different types of Solar Sodium,Solar CFL and Solar LED Lamps .

Note the above are the major solar lamp manufacturers which have had a big impact though Tata BP Solar is more of a commercial solar panel seller.There are a number of small solar lamp manufacturers as well as resellers in India who buy from cheap Chinese vendors and sell it in India.

PG

Abhishek Shah

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3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. balvinder

    good evening sir,
    i balvinder from haryana have a naturally ventilled poly house and for winter season i want some solar system to controlled climate in cold days,.

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