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iPLON GmbH, Germany, in association with Energy Alternatives India (EAI), conducted a two day training workshop on the 20th and 21st of July 21, 2011 at The Raintree Hotel, Chennai. The workshop titled “Solar Photovoltaic Systems – Design and Engineering” covered a wide range of topics related to Solar PV power plants with emphasis on monitoring systems.

The event was anchored by Sebastian Duerr from iPLON GmbH. Sebastian Duerr is the Director of iPLON with a strong engineering and business background. With proven experience of more than a decade in regional, nationwide and European-wide projects in the spatial development and renewable energy technology domain, his key responsibilities include idea evaluation, idea management, business case development, proposal management, consulting small and medium-sized companies, development of maintenance schemes and after-sales services for medium and large scale solar PV installations (rooftop to solar farms). Sebastian was ably supported by Jan Kadathukalam, the Business Manager of iPLON India.

Sebastian and Jan covered the topics listed below in extensive detail over two days.

  • INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS
    • Introduction to Solar Energy and PV Systems
    • PV Systems Grid-Tie vs. Off-grid
    • Inverters – String inverters Vs. Central inverters
    • Online sizing and performance tools
  • SYSTEM DESIGN
    • Solar Site Survey and analysis
    • Site factors that affect performance
    • Sizing the PV System, using manual and online tools
  • PROJECT ROLLOUT
    • Typical issues
  • SYSTEM OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
    • Maintenance and Troubleshooting
    • Performance Monitoring and Safety (AC & DC)
  • TYPICAL MAINTENANCE ISSUES RELATED TO
    • Cables and connectors
    • Fuses Inverters
    • Grid
    • Construction
    • System Damages

Sebastian, with his technical know-how provided insights on the functioning of the Solar Plant Monitoring developed by iPLON while Jan explained about the IT systems that support the delivery of the data collected by the monitoring systems to the end user. The delivery of the content was animated and engrossing and involved several highly stimulating discussions with some of the other attendees.

The event was graced by over 30 dignitaries from some of the leading EPCs, Project Developers and Academia in India. Some of them include:

Project Developers

  • MEMCSunedison – is a global leader in the manufacture and sale of wafers and related products to the semiconductor and solar industries. MEMC’s products are the building blocks for the $1 trillion electronics and the $35 billion solar cell and module markets. Through its SunEdison subsidiary, MEMC is also a developer of solar power projects and is a leading solar energy services provider.
  • B&G – having recently commissioned and synchronized with the grid a 1MW Solar PV plant at Komal village in Tamil Nadu. This is the first plant developed in India under the JNNSM approved by the IREDA, MNRE and the Govt. of India. They were gracious enough to talk about the project, detailing technical information, problems faced during construction, operational activities etc.
  • CCCL – Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited (CCCL) is an ISO-certified company with a turnover of around Rs. 18.41 billion. It has a significant presence in India, with offices in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Trivandrum. They recently signed a PPA with NVVN in connection with setting up of a 5MW Solar PV Power Project under the JNNSM Phase I Batch I at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.

EPCs/System Integrators

  • Enfinity – develops projects in sun and wind energy for end-consumers, investors and companies and has built a large international experience. Enfinity has a strategic collaboration agreement with the Indian conglomerate Videcon Industries to develop large scale Indian projects in solar energy.
  • L&T – provides turnkey construction of power plants including civil, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation works. Recently, they partnered with Sharp to provide turnkey Solar EPC-targets 100MW in 12 months and turnover of Rs 13 billion.
  • Sterling and Wilson – provides EPC solutions for building Solar Power Plants based on Photovoltaic (PV) technology (Grid Connected as well as off Grid) and Concentrated Solar Power–Thermal(CSP). This vertical also provides solutions for providing power from other renewable sources like wind and biomass.
  • Soltech Equipments India – is a solar energy product manufacturing company located in Chennai. Soltech has its presence in South East Asian Countries, U.K. Europe, U.A.E etc. for solar energy application system.
  • Aspiration Energy – founded by co-founders of Aspire Systems, a Chennai based IT firm- is one of the pioneering solar System Integrators. The company was involved in establishing a 5.5 KW Photovoltaic Solar Project in Metecno India Limited.
  • KCP Solar – is one of the leading manufacturers of solar products and solar solution provider having its manufacturing facility, promotions and project implementation team which consciously take care of quality of the product at every step of workflow right from concept to delivery.
  • Solkar Industries Limited – a leading provider of solar products and also a System Integrator.
  • Usolar – is in the business of providing clean and renewable energy solutions to institutional and retail customers to help them reduce their energy costs, polluting emissions and carbon footprint. Additionally, they provide Solar Solutions to the residential sector.

Other Services

  • CREW Energy India Pvt. Ltd – a leading company in bulk material handling system industry(with focus on Thermal power projects and Ports)
  • Rensol – company based in Chennai primarily involved in setting up solar water heaters and other PV systems. The firm has also ventured into solar PV tracking systems.
  • Easy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. – is a speciality product supplier that works with Pharmaceutical, Aerospace and Electronics companies throughout India
  • A&D Cosmic Power Pvt Ltd -is pioneer in creating solar power plant with active support of Tamilnadu Government enterprises, TANSIDCO, ELCOT and SIPCOT.

Academia

  • Anna University – Institute for Energy Studies (IES), a department in Anna Univeristy was established as an autonomous centre in the year 1999 by integrating 3 centers of excellence including the Centre for New & Renewable Sources of Energy. Research scholars from the premier university were in attendance.
  • Coimbatore Institute of Technology – a leading university from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, they are involved in extensive research in the renewable energy sector having procured grants from the Government.

The event was graciously covered by our media partners from

  • Hindu Business Line – a leading financial newspaper and a part of The Hindu, the largest daily in India were also in attendance, covering the event.
  • Panchabuta – aims to bring to the global audience, the latest news, articles, features and featured companies in the renewable energy and clean tech area in India.

EAI thanks all the participants for making the event a success. Special thanks to Mr. Vineeth Vijayaraghavan of Panchabuta.

The presentations shown at the event along with other related documents would soon be available on this website. Please watch this space for details on availability.

(With inputs from Hari M)