Feb 1 2013 | Focus

The solar industry has a growing share in the global energy market

Founded in 1998, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd is the leader in power back-up solutions and has retained its position of leadership for years. With a market share of more than 40%, Su-Kam products have set benchmarking standards for the industry. Su-Kam offers highly advanced technology in power solutions to support sectors like IT, banking & finance, health, telecom, automation, metro rails, defence, railways etc.

"Su-Kam has a 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, Solar Inverters, Grid Interactive Solar Inverter, Solar power conditioning units, Solar Series Batteries, solar charge controller, a monitoring software for its solar charge controllers and Solar PCU monitoring."

Kunwer Sachdev, Managing Director, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, product offerings in the renewable energy space, industry response, acquisition planned, demand expected in CY2013, R&D spend and recommendation to solve power shortage in India. Edited Excerpts...


Could you tell us about your company, mission and objectives?
Founded in 1998, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd is the leader in power back-up solutions and has retained its position of leadership for years. With a market share of more than 40%, Su-Kam products have set benchmarking standards for the industry. Su-Kam offers highly advanced technology in power solutions to support sectors like IT, banking & finance, health, telecom, automation, metro rails, defence, railways etc. Backed by our world class technology, robust manufacturing facility, round the clock service and a wide distribution network, we are confident of offering a powerful solution for diverse industries.

Su-Kam products are driven by customer requirements and have evolved over a period of time based on the feedback from the users, service people and the gap in the market. Going forward, Solar would 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.

What are your activities and achievements so far in the renewable energy space?
Su-Kam has a 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, Solar Inverters, Grid Interactive Solar Inverter, Solar power conditioning units, Solar Series Batteries, solar charge controller, a monitoring software for its solar charge controllers and Solar PCU monitoring.

We have recently launched “Brainy” - a solar hybrid UPS for the house hold application 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. Su-kam is currently working on MPPT based off grid solutions, remote monitoring software for Solar PCU and charge controllers, Grid tie inverters etc. Apart from Solar Products, we plan 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. 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.

How many manufacturing units do you have in India and what’s your production capacity?
We have following manufacturing units in India: 1) Inverter, UPS and Home UPS manufacturing facility at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. Here 2, 50,000 units of power back-up systems can be manufactured every month, with capacities ranging from 100 VA to 5.0 KVA. The product range includes Inverters, UPS Systems, Solar Inverters, Solar PCU and Power Conditioning Systems. The plant was set up in 2004 and has won the ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 14001: 2004 certifications. 2) Power transformer manufacturing facility at Bhatolikalan, near Baddi. This facility was set up in 2009, so that transformers needed in the manufacture of UPS and Home UPS Systems could be produced in-house. 3) Manufacturing facility at Katha, Baddi was established in 2007. This state-of-the-art manufacturing facility has won accolades from every visitor, producing Lead Acid, Sealed Maintenance Free, Automotive, Jumbo and Tall Tubular batteries with the highest quality standards. The plant manufactures 80,000 batteries every month, of capacities ranging from 20 AH to 200 AH. The facility was established in 2007 and its products reach both domestic and global markets. 4) Tubular battery manufacturing facility at Baddi. This plant has been setting industry standards ever since it was set up in 2006. Its installed capacity is 25,000 units per month, with the battery capacities ranging from 150 AH to 180 AH. These truly advanced tubular batteries are ideal for Inverters, UPS Systems and Home UPS Systems for both domestic and industrial power back-up requirements. 5) High capacity power back-up and solar systems manufacturing facilities at Gurgaon. Located in the industrial hub of Gurgaon, a satellite town of New Delhi, this plant specializes in manufacturing high capacity power back-up systems, ranging from 2.5 to 100 KVA. The plant manufactures 30,000 units per month, with a product range that includes UPS
Systems, Home UPS Systems, Inverters, Solar Inverters, online UPS, Telecom Systems, and Solar PCUs.

What’s your take on the need for R&D spend to come out with innovative products? How much do you spend on R&D in percentage terms?
From its very inception, the company has invested significantly in R&D. With a dedicated team of 40 highly experienced people, its R&D unit has grown from strength to strength. Winner of several awards such as Powerbrand, Superbrand, National Award for Quality Products, Su-kam is the only power back-up company to have earned remarkable recognition from the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Govt. of India for its contribution to technology. Su- Kam is known for its sustained R&D effort. Su-Kam is the only company in the sector whose R&D Unit is recognized by the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Government of India. The company was awarded the ELCINAEFY Award for Excellence in Research & Development for the year 2009-10. Su-kam is credited with the largest number of patents filed for technology and design and has over 70 patents, 141 Copyrights and 53 trademarks to its credit. With nearly 2 technology patents filed every month, we expect to file an impressive 100 technology patents by the year end. Su-kam has been awarded coveted certifications from the most stringent certifying organizations globally, some of which are CE, UL, ISO 9000:2001 and ISO 14001:2004.

Are you targeting any acquisition to make it big in the solar sphere?
We are planning to acquire a solar firm as well as enhance capacity of our existing plants to start manufacture solar powered inverters. We plan to invest 200 crores in the next 3 years in the solar segment.

What kind of demand do you expect for your solar products in CY2013?
We are expecting to close at INR 100 crore from solar segment in this financial year.

Whom do you target for your solar products?
All the EPC and IIP as well as many industrial, commercial & individual consumers are our target customers.

What’s your recommendation for solving the growing power shortage in India?
With a view to the present energy crisis and the ever increasing difference between the generation and consumption of energy, solar energy is going to play a major role in fulfilling the gap in the energy sector. The government is also placing lot of emphasis to the new and renewable energy resources to reduce the dependency on the fossil fuels. 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 globally, reflecting a double digit compounded annual growth rate. The Indian Solar Energy sector has been growing rapidly in the past few years, mainly 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 1300 MW which is about less than 0.1% usage, currently total installed renewable energy stands at 13, 500 MW as per MNRE.

The market is diversifying with the introduction of solar related products and solar integrated systems. 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.

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