Viz-A-Viz with S. K. SINGH, National Head (Solar), HPL Electric & Power Ltd

Q. Please tell our readers more about HPL and its products & services.

S. K. SINGH

S. K. SINGH, National Head (Solar), HPL Electric & Power Ltd

HPL Electric & Power Limited (HPL) is an established player in the electrical equipment industry. Since 1957 onwards, the company has become well known brand in the switchgear manufacturing. HPL’s product range is divided into four verticals namely – Metering Solutions, Switchgears, Lighting Equipment and Wires & Cables.  Last year, the company had also entered into the Solar vertical.

In solar division, HPL is having an expertise in the manufacturing of junction boxes for the BOS. In a Solar Power Plant “Balance of Systems” OR BOS refers to the components of the power plant other than solar photovoltaic modules. Apart from inverter and battery bank the term BOS refer to components like cables, junction boxes, distribution boxes, solar meters etc.

BOS is effectively the heart of any solar power system and can affect the cost a lot. It is due to BOS that we can increase efficiency, control cost and modernize our solar PV system.

Now, HPL had started the manufacturing of all types of junction boxes such as master junction box, array junction box, DC distribution board, AJP etc. Moreover, first time in India HPL had started the manufacturing of junction box with net meter in single box. This product becomes quite successful in the market.

HPL is procuring all required certifications as per the MNRE norms such as for solar cables, generation boxes etc. Being a DISCOM, HPL generally apply for approvals in different states such as net metering is already approved from the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI).

Q. How important is BOS in a solar Photovoltaic project?

From last one year, in BOS HPL is providing awareness to the people about the importance and use of proper BOS and all kinds of junction boxes.

Earlier, people use two-in-one YPIN production because there is thundering zone in various parts of the country. So, HPL always design according to the requirement and local conditions as we have to see that where it is necessary to put SPD or MCD and sometimes we can also design for all the BOS.

So, as per the MNRE norms, solar cable should be XLPO means zero hallogen and cross linking. The cable produced at our production facility is tested less than -80 degree temperature and other than copper cable, copper tinning is also important. Besides, it is not necessary that if we do tinning of 20 microns for Delhi then the same can be used for BHUJ also, as it is near the sea and more oxidation happens there. So we will have to increase the tinning accordingly.

HPL is using advanced tinning process and also the sheeting above the cable is with zero halogen cross linking. The company’s both the sheeting layers are proper XLPO. The normal identification between the solar cable and normal cable is that you can mold the cable completely and then if the white spots develop on it then this means plastic is mixed in it and if it is XLPO than the original colour of the cable remains as it is.

For example – recently, in Noida, there was a non-grid system of 20 KW in which HPL had replaced the traditional cable from the

DC cable and it results in additional power generation of 1 unit per day. In Rajasthan also, many of the big power plants are mulling to change their entire cabling system.

As an HPL brand we are supplying our solar segment offerings in different states such as – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, North East, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc and the company is mulling to further expand its presence across the country.

Q. How is Solar LED Lighting Market in India for HPL?

In LED lighting space, HPL is manufacturing solar LED street lights from 7 W to 40 W. In order to increase the battery life, the company has started three stages dimming along with Dust to dawn. The benefit of three stage dimming is that a 40 AH battery can also be used for solar street lighting in place of 75 AH battery.

Till now, HPL has worked with Tata in its Andhra projects and in Tata Housing’s Sri Lanka project. The company has also worked with EAZY solar and NTPC in their solar street lighting projects.

Q. Can you tell us what will be your growth strategy for your cable business in India in the next three years? What kind of market share do you eye by the end of 1920 financial year in India?

In solar cable business, there is around Rs 500 crore per month market in India and the company has already partnered with big EPC players to enter into this market segment in the current financial year. With solar cable, HPL is also providing AC parts for example the we are also providing 35 mm 4 core for big projects of 50 KW and above for solar installation.

At HPL you will be getting all types of cables including the company’s proven DC cables. Nowadays, most of the DC cables installed in India are of HPL brand like Jio telecom tower etc.

In Jammu & Kashmir, HPL has already bagged projects from the state government in roof top space. The company has secured an order of Rs 4 crore approx and it has already started its execution. The company’s strength in it is that around 8% of the product is it’s own manufacturing and along with it HPL have it’s subsidybased solar installation program i.e. for individuals 30% subsidy and for government and educational institutions it is 40% subsidy program.

Moreover, there is an upcoming tender called ‘Saubhagya’. Under this project, HPL will provide LED battens in un-electrified village households across the country.

Q. Please tell us about your R&D infrastructure compared to your competitors?

In solar, the company is having its own R&D set-up for junction boxes. For testing these junction boxes, HPL has its in-house complete system methods to test on 1000 Volt DC. The company’s products are up to the mark on the back of its strict QC parameters.

Q. How do you see the government’s role in promoting manufacturing in India?

HPL in all its pre-bids in which it is appearing sells its products according to the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. As UP government has announced its rooftop policy but it has yet to be implemented. Once, the execution of the policy gets started HPL will play a big role in it. Nowadays, for solar BOS the biggest market is Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) because in J&K the market potential for all the items is of around Rs 100 crore per month since March.

Further, the same program is going to be implemented in Orissa also. However, in Orissa, OREDA which is the nodal agency for Saubhagya scheme is performing slowly due to elections in the state. So the government has approved DISCOM ‘Shishu’ to apply for Saubhagya tender. So, in coming years, there is quiet a big scope in Orissa after J&K, and then in Rajasthan also a large scale program is coming. Recently, the Africa lighting program has concluded. Now, the company is preparing for the world’s biggest solar program i.e.

Asia lighting which will be started with UN funding. Meanwhile, the range of products the company offers includes – DC LED bulbs, LED batten for lighting, junction boxes for small standalone rooftop installations, solar cables etc.

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