Albeit India has seen significant growth in solar industry but as a contributor we feel that lack of application oriented approach and low government support to indigenous technological advancements are major hindrances in matching the potential today, believes Sanjeev Dakshini, Chairman, Raydean Industries, the Jaipur-headquartered solar module mounting structures (MMS) manufacturer. In conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Saur Energy International, Dakshini shared his views on various issues which the solar module mounting structures sector is currently dealing with along with his company’s further expansion plans in the renewable energy segment. Here’re the excerpts from that exclusive interview published in the Saur Energy International Magazine’s April 2019 edition:
Q. Kindly tell our readers about Raydean Industries and its various business segments.
Raydean industries is a well known manufacturer of solar module mounting structures (MMS). It specializes in solar water pumping systems MMS, solar drinking water structures, solar rooftop MMS & solar ground Mounted MMS. It has recently forayed into solar off grid DC systems and has also started manufacturing solar high mast lighting systems.
Q. Do you have a record of total installations done by Raydean. Any plans for further expansion into newer areas?
Raydean has till date supplied more than 1,25,000 Solar pumping MMS, 450 MW solar rooftop MMS. Yes, we are undergoing expansion into new technology related to fields like smart drives for solar water pumping systems and indigenously developed semi automatic tracking structures, which we intend to manufacture at a very prudent cost.
Q. As a firm focused on mounting solutions, considered the lowest technology aspect of solar installations, do you feel it is underrated?
We would definitely defer here MMS is touted as only a fabricated iron and steel structure whereas all the specifications call for a sturdy engineered product which can stand the long warranted SPV modules on the ground. Everyone tends to forget that the warranty taken on SPV modules is 20-25 years normally, that also requires that the structure they are mounted on has the MTBF. It cannot just be another fabricated shop product, it has to be a properly engineered product. That is why Raydean which is focussed solely on manufacturing solar MMS has succeeded in making a name for itself in this so called lowest technology aspect of solar installations.
Q. Kindly tell us something about your client base.
We are proud to have all the major names in this solar industry today in India as our clients, but we must state here that apart from these big names we cater to customised requirements of a huge number of enterprises which contribute to a very sizeable installations across the country. We take pride in servicing each and every customer irrespective of their size and requirements. For the sake of mentioning here RAYDEAN today caters to more than 400 regular customers apart from many one-offs.
Q. In your view, what are the top three hindrances in the growth of solar industry in India?
Albeit India has seen significant growth in solar industry but as a contributor we feel that lack of application oriented approach and low government support to indigenous technological advancements are major hindrances in matching the potential today.
Q. Have the techniques involved in mounting technologies evolved in the past decade?
Certainly yes, although even today at times we have to fight the myth “ heavier is better” when it comes to mounting technologies but evolution of new machines and alloy materials has definitely changed the mounting technologies significantly over the decade.
Q. We have seen various initiatives at State and even Central level, where an attempt has been made to keep the land allocated for solar panels in use for agriculture, by raising the height of the installations. Do you feel it is practical? What is the impact on costing if one does this?
We at RAYDEAN did it way back in 2011 while executing a very sizable off grid project down south where available land mass was limited. We take pride that those installations did set some examples for this approach. The higher cost against the benefits accrued in long term are negligible. This approach must be encouraged more and more.
Q. How do you feel about the rooftop potential for solar, from your company perspective and overall?
If we look at some examples from Europe, especially countries like Germany we are tempted to feel that potential of rooftop solar in huge country like ours is massive, but there is a downside, like a few states recently discouraged net metering facilities such instances are not going to help rooftop solar in future. Speaking of RAYDEAN we view it as a very significant contributor to our total growth.