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India with high Solar irradiation has considerable potential to generate solar energy. By the end of February 2022, India installed over 50GW of solar PV projects; out of which more than 40GW solar PV capacity was installed in the past seven years. Recently, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) set a new target of achieving 450 GW of renewable energy (RE) installed capacity by 2030, out of which nearly 280 GW will be Solar PV. Currently India’s solar tariff is falling in the range of INR2/Kwh which is one of the lowest across the world. The low tariff has put pressure on the whole ecosystem of the Indian solar sector to deliver low cost, long-term functional solar PV projects.
In light of low tariffs to ensure financial viability of solar power production in the long term, cleaning of solar modules becomes paramount. Proper, timely and less water intensive cleaning practices can lead to increased profit margins for solar PV project owners, developers/IPPs. Nowadays, water procurement is a considerable operational burden as solar power plants are usually located in arid regions with acute water shortage.
India has a high daily average soiling rate of 0.5%/day. In such a scenario the solar PV modules require a minimum of two cycles of module cleaning in a month. Over the past two decades, the country has started facing water shortage issues and this is making solar PV module cleaning a costly task. A major chunk of India’s installed solar PV capacity lies in arid, dry regions and water cost is an issue that each developer must face.
According to a market research, “Water consumption in the solar sector is much lower in comparison to thermal power plants – an average 0.1m3/Mwh as against 2.2m3/Mwh for thermal plants.”
Estimated average water usage in the Indian Solar sector : 3 liter /module/cycle.
Assuming a 1MW solar PV project with 330Wp module, developers need to clean 3030 modules twice every month.
Thus estimated annual water needed for a 1MW solar PV project is : [(no of modules)X(liter/module/cycle)X(no of cleaning cycle)X 12 month] i.e. 2,18,160 liter/MW/Year or 218 m3/MW/year.
Present demand of cleaning water for the Solar sector :
|Present Installed Capacity (GW)||Present Cleaning Water Demand (bcm/year)|
Cleaning water demand projection in next 3 to 5 years :
MNRE has extended the target of Solar installation to 280GW by 2030.
|India’s PresentInstalled SolarCapacity (GW)(Feb 2022)||ExpectedDemand As PerMNRE’s 100 GWtarget by April2022||FY2023 (GW)||FY2024 (GW)||FY2025 (GW)||FY2030 (GW)|
|Present WaterDemand(Millionm3/year)||Expected WaterDemand byApril 2022(Millionm3/year)||FY 2023(Millionm3/year)||FY 2024(Millionm3/year)||FY 2025(Millionm3/year)||FY 2030(Millionm3/year)|
Source : MNRE. FirstVIEW Research
Water Availability and Sources :
The bulk of water (60%) used for module cleaning is sourced from groundwater table through borewells while the
the remaining (40%) comes from surface water sources such as rivers, canals & lakes. Groundwater is preferred by most developers and O&M contractors as it is almost free and operationally most suitable. There may be additional costs for water treatment if water quality is unsuitable for module cleaning use. But, this also leads to depletion of groundwater table and in the long run can have drastic implications on the project as well as communities living nearby.
Water quality : Total dissolved solids >500PPM. Sources of water for Solar power plants : Surface water 40% and Groundwater 60%.If surface water is used, procurement responsibility is almost always outsourced to a vendor, who supplies water through tankers. In this case the cost of cleaning rises to more than 50% per year depending upon location, source and quality of water. Higher costs are observed in dry states of Rajasthan & parts of Gujarat. Using surface water substantially affects project economics since cleaning accounts for a significant 30-40% of total O&M cost and 15-25% if groundwater is used.
Technologies For Mitigating Water Use :
In view of the increasing challenges in procuring water , rising costs and also cleaning hard stain or chemical dust deposition on modules, developers have begun to actively manage their water consumption by using chemical agents with cleaning water. They are trying to reduce the consumption by using new technologies, improve procurement options and manage community impact through local engagement initiatives.
One of the major suppliers of chemical cleaning agents is SOLARIO.
They are a group of companies from INDIA, working in INDIA and abroad. They are channel partners of parent company Daulat Enterprises. They have been manufacturers of chemicals for the last 3 decades. Our key areas are super cleaners. They are a group of engineers working together and developing new products as per the requirement of the industries. They have a presence in all states of the country and we have teams in all these states to serve the industries with our solutions. They have an R&D department which is always working on new projects. They believe in tailor-made products and providing specific solutions to our clients as per the requirement.
Their Flagship Product SPERESIK :
SPERESIK is a product which is developed for solar industries for Solar Module Dust Cleaning .It is organic in nature. It is environmentally friendly. It is human and animal friendly. It is a concentrated product which works in dilution with water.
SPERESIK has a range of product categories. For every different industry they have a specific solution.
They have a range of products for following industrial issues like:
Oil and chimney dust deposits, Industrial area dust deposits , Cement dust deposits, Metal dust deposits, Agro industries deposits like rice mills , solvent plants, chips factory, Rubber industrial deposits , Water Scales deposits , Acid fumes dust, Salt deposits in coastal areas, Plywood industrial deposits, Limestone Deposits, Mines Dust deposits, Bird droppings and bee droppings, Trees natural gum and plants waste depositions etc.
How SPERESIK is different from other products :
SPERESIK is an organic product which is made from natural plant extracts and does not contain any harmful chemicals like hard acids like HCL , hazardous chemicals like caustic soda , Ammonia , Bleaching agents , and carbonates. It is aluminum friendly , glass friendly , human friendly , animal friendly and biodegradable in nature. It is for the first time in India that we are providing such an organic product in a make in India banner.
One of the esteemed customers named MP Birla Cement ciamed SPERESIK -4G & 4R product which they have been using for last two years for their solar module cleaning in cement factory premises was found satisfactory & also user friendly.
SOLARIO’s stake in the Indian Solar Industry :
Their solar module cleaning products have successfully completed 7 years with various leading industries and have encountered no issues. They are working on more than 1500 roof top locations and more than 200 ground mounted solar installations in the country with many leading companies of the solar industry and have received their appreciation. Many companies have gone under ANNUAL RATE CONTRACT with their company for this product.
Economics of SPERESIK :
SPERESIK is a product which needs water dilution before using it. It works in higher dilution with water than any other product of the industry. Once the plant is clean after using SPERESIK, SOLARIO provides a different range which is applied with water cleaning and protects dust from forming on the modules. It works in the ratio of 1 :5 to 1: 100 with water. As per the company’s claim,the most important is that by using it ,modules will be protected for the entire 25 years without getting damaged from any chemical. Also, It will save the chemical due to its high dilution and labor cost while using it on a regular basis.
Business Models Of SOLARIO :
They have different types of Clients-
Direct Companies: B2C business model., O&M Companies: (Operation & Maintenance companies) (They don’t disclose their client base) (B2C business model) , EPC Companies: Engineering Procurement & Commissioning company. (They don’t disclose their client base) (B2C business model), Independent Contractors (They don’t disclose their client base) (B2C business model).
They 90% direct clients & 10% through B2B local vendors and dealers in their portfolio.
Average price range for SOLARIO chemical solution for solar module cleaning is Rs 600/ltr.
Dilution ratio of SOLARIO products for different soils like Level1 dust (bird dropping) is1:10, Level 2 dust (Cement dust) 1:3 to 1:8 , Level 3 dust (Lime dust, Hard water stain etc) 1:5 to 1:10.