“Topsun’s Mehsana facility has three integrated lines with cumulative capacity of 100Mw production line. Opportunity for manufacturing is ample with the ambitious plans of GOI but in my opinion better to opt for other BOC (balance of components) instead of modules manufacturing including cells Indian industry can compete globally and support GW scale domestic requirements.”
Please give us an overview of Topsun Energy’s India operations and product offerings?
Topsun Energy Ltd. Solar PV roots are way back to 1995 nurturing niche products lighting systems and off-gird power plants. In 2007 as a forward integration ventured in to solar PV modules manufacturing with a plant capacity of 10Mw mostly for in house system integration. In the first year of commercial production we have taken major leap entering in to Bangladesh Market with IDCOL approval meeting the Market requirements of Rural electrification program through some of the Major NGOs, till date we have our presence in RE & SIPS programs of IDCOL major embarkment we have provided technical support and system solution for 20Hp rating solar pump for community irrigation.
Today Topsun plant capacity rose to echelon of 10 fold with PAN India presence. Two decades of standing in Solar PV Topsun with mixed business portfolio of Government projects, having PAN india Business associates and presence in Bangladesh, NEPAL, Middle East we have steady growth rate of 60% year on year.
Topsun’s product offerings Poly & Mono crystalline Modules, integrated Insulated Glass to Glass modules and Regular BIPV as a manufacturing scope, systems integration core competency , Rooftop Power plants, Solar pumps and Alternate energy integrated systems for Telecom, DG Hybrid distributed power systems.
Topsun have manufacturing facilities in Gandhinagar & Mehsana, what kind of opportunity do you see in solar manufacturing for an Indian company?
Topsun’s Mehsana facility has three integrated lines with cumulative capacity of 100Mw production line. Opportunity for manufacturing is ample with the ambitious plans of GOI but in my opinion better to opt for other BOC ( balance of components) instead of modules manufacturing including cells Indian industry can compete globally and support GW scale domestic requirements.
How the company plans to enhance existing technology and involve new technology in solar products and solutions and explore new market segments through like-minded partners in India and across the world?
Enhancing the existing technology under consideration Topsun is always in the fore front to upgrade the technology and new solutions as a result we have introduced bifacial modules and solar PVGU an Integrated glass to glass Insulated PV unit for building envelopes.
What technological advances have Topsun recently been focusing on in the solar industry and what drives the company to bring innovation in the industry?
If we talk about PV module Technological advances mostly confined to cell oriented and are not cost effective in comparison with regular crystalline modules, which is on the verge of grid parity, all other cell advanced technologies are prone for specific processing infrastructure,industry stake holders will have eagle-eye on viability and reliability against most adopted and proven technology. in this context mostly our focus would be diversified applications and storage systems which is current focus of the Industry.
What percent of modules is exported from the two manufacturing plants and what is the current efficiency of your modules that are being shipped?
About 20-30% exported current POLY efficiency is >16% Mono modules efficiency > 18%.
Please share about the production quality management that the company follows and tests that are performed to check the quality?
At the outset I would like to say Topsun is only company in India assessed for insurance risk assessment of manufacturing facility by CEA ( Clean Energy Associates Ltd & SQS ( Solar Quality Services) for Financial management & performance and quality Standards respectively. with out blarneying we have certain in house test facilities for critical parameters to comply QE & QA of raw materials and for End product and in line Quality checks before and after EL inspection for Cell imperfections and Micro cracks detection. the processing and testing equipments are CE certified and AAA rating.
In brief apart from ISO & IEC, modules comply with BSNL TSEC approvals RDSO type approval under progress.
With 20 years of experience in developing and producing photovoltaic modules, Topsun is one of the market and technology leaders. How have you seen the market changing and how do you compete with the low quality manufacturers?
I have seen the Industry since 1993, major phase shit took during 2004 with German Initiative 1 million roof top program that time only India has few players in the industry exporting major of their produce to Europe and Indian domestic requirement was majorly for Rural electrification program, and PV module price was about $4 /wp with currency exchange rate of Rs.45.00. at a module maximum power rating of 180wp. 2007 recision major hit for European Industry and at the same time China & India had sprouts of new module Assemblers, China domestic internal competition and over capacity production braced for steep fall of the price. Indian domestic players are largely confined to module production in spite of having lucrative business lines in BOC of Modules.
competition with low quality manufacturers is presence in every industry, solar domestic market potential has diversified applications to address and who has technical competency and manage the infrastructure will pave for sustainable path. Topsun has always strived to develop new applications right now our focus is on insulated glass PV for green building applications and Bifacial PV modules more suitable for rooftop power plants.
What type of strategy do you follow to educate your consumers about the quality that Topsun offers?
Above all accreditations & Product certifications, we invite most of the customers to witness the in line process quality and test facilities available before they start journey with us. In any case consumers mostly dependent on referrals, we educate on system BOQ component level compliances to standards.
On the EPC front , what kind of technical due diligence is done before you start operation of the project (s)?
Phase -1 preliminary project requirements
- Pre financial Due Diligence
- Key technology components ( PV modules Inverter BOS )
- verification of plant Key data( Size of the site installable capacity)
Phase-2 yield projections
- Irradiation data site based at best available sources
- Plant Design system constituents
- Actual characteristics of key components based on (temp, soiling ) output.
- Annual Electricity production
- The P50 – P90 evaluation is a probabilistic approach. PV syst simulation data
Last year tea maker Wagh Bakri Group installed rooftop solar plant at its manufacturing facility in Dholka. According to report German-made solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels were supplied by Topsun Energy for the project. Please share reason(s) for supply of German-made SPV panels instead of the one manufactured by the company itself.
The cells were of German make not panel when we have state of the art facility why we import EU panels. some misinterpretation.
Couple of years back Topsun Energy Ltd and Dutch water innovator Water Systems Manufacturer signed a MoU to offer water storage system in India. How has the partnership worked out so far and what are the upcoming projects?
Yes we are progressing some pilot projects are installed the details are available on website. http://www.dutchwatersolutionsindia.com/
1500v solar modules are already available in some markets, do you see the demand for these modules to rise in India soon?
In REI 2016 Expo we have exhibited the 1500v product, simple dictum, direct relation of Voltage & current propagates the advantages of reduction in the overall plant BOS;
In present1000v system max22 module per string (22 x250wp= 5.5Kwp) can be accommodated, with 1500v system we can increase the modules to 30 Nos per string (32X250wp= 8Kwp) with this topology we can opt for higher rating inverters for given plant capacity, which results in reduced current carrying capacity of cables and DC disconnectors and communication cables so on. Not all brand of Inverts are compatible as on date for 1500 volts system with MPPT window range.