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Amara Raja Batteries to enter solar and motive power markets

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 13:04 -- Laura Varriale
Amara Raja Batteries

India's Amara Raja Batteries (Amara) is to expand into the solar and motive power markets and plans to open a second manufacturing plant in Chitoor, India.

Amara aims to target the solar storage market with its lead-acid batteries. Its motive power batteries are aimed to be supplied to a wide variety of electric powered transportation systems, including the railway market.

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Ador Digatron India appoints director for Pune facility

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 10:42 -- Laura Varriale
Somnath Singha, director of Ador Digatron

Ador Powertron and Digatron Power Electronics have hired Somnath Singha as director for the companies’s Indo-German joint venture (JV) Ador Digatron India in Pune, India.

Singha has worked for critical power supplier Emerson and was, before joining the JV, CEO of Adino Telecom where he restructured the company. He has more than 20 years of experience in the uninterruptible power supplier and battery industry.

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Bangladesh government forced to increase rental power

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:47 -- Laura Varriale
Bangladesh electricity shortage

The Bangladeshi government has increased its dependence on rental power, because India has not supplied enough power to meet the country’s electricity demand.

Bangladesh bought high-cost oil-fired rental and quick-rental power to prevent power shortages.

"Indian authority is supplying electricity less than our grid capacity,” said Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Abduhu Ruhullah.

India is contracted to provide 500MW of power to Bangladesh, but has only supplied 402MW of electricity during daytime peak hours and 368MW during the evening peak time. But a BPDB statistic shows that since the start of the cross-border transmission in October 2013, India rarely supplied over 450MW and has an average supply of 400MW.

Transmission and system losses cause an electricity loss of 6%. "We can get a maximum of 470MW from India due to bottlenecks to the existing transmission system," said Ruhullah.

Also technical glitches in power plants and overhauling power plants prompted the Bangladeshi government to buy power from the open market. The country generates 6,200MW, but has a demand of 7,500MW.

The contract between India and Bangladesh runs for 25 years. The state-owned BPDB is purchasing the electricity from Indian National Thermal Power Corporation.

Panasonic to build lead-acid battery plant in India

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 16:03 -- Laura Varriale
Panasonic battery

Japanese electronics maker Panasonic is to set up a lead-acid battery plant in India and plans to make the country a regional hub.

The batteries shall be used mainly in the automotive industry and data centres. The costs for the plant are estimated at Rs200 crores ($36m). Panasonic is currently deciding on a location, which offers either tax concessions or is closer to the company’s automotive customers. The target is to start production by 2016.

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India’s UPS market to grow by 12% per year

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:03 -- Tildy Bayar
India’s UPS market to grow by 12% per year

Revenues from India’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS) market are forecast to grow twofold by the end of 2018, according to new analysis.

In a new report, India UPS Market Forecast & Opportunities, analysis firm Research & Markets predicts a compound annual growth rate of around 12% between 2013 and 2018.

Key market drivers identified in the report include, of course, the nation’s growing power demand coupled with its recent disabling blackouts, although the relative severity of regional power shortages are driving UPS demand locally rather than across the board.  In a measure of the market’s attractiveness, foreign players are buying up Indian companies in order to access their distribution networks and value chains.

Analysts say India’s home UPS market (600VA to 1kVA) has traditionally sold at least one UPS for every three desktop computers, but its growth has been slowed by the increasing popularity of laptop computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, which do not need constant power. According to the report, both domestic and foreign UPS firms are focused on introducing new products to combat this drain and capitalise on potential new markets.

In its latest market report, IMS Research estimated Indian UPS revenues at $630m in 2013 and predicted revenues of $834m by 2016, with expected growth of 6.3% this year.

IMS also said growth in the commercial segment will make up for the slowed home market.

DC technology could make India’s blackouts a thing of the past

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:55 -- Tildy Bayar
DC technology could make India’s blackouts a thing of the past

A new direct current (DC) technology from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) is being tested in four south Indian states. If successful, researchers say it could eliminate the country’s disabling power cuts.

The so-called ‘uninterrupted direct current’ (UDC) will provide a minimum of 100W per household per day, even at peak demand times and when grid power is cut.

It works by separating alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) to power different home appliances. A low-voltage AC line from a substation is converted to DC power by a home device. The current is fed into its own meter and through to lights, fans and other low-power devices like mobile chargers and televisions. The remainder of the building is run on AC power, which is metered separately.   

According to the researchers, the resulting amount of DC power is too low to be shut down, except to repair technical faults. Thus, instead of a blackout, a region could have a brownout, with minimal power remaining.

A UDC unit will cost around Rs1000 ($16.7). Consumers will also need to buy LED light bulbs and fans that run on DC power. Homeowners can also connect a solar panel to the device.   

"I think it's a very simple idea but real huge gains are possible,” said electrical engineering professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala, a member of the prime minister's Science Advisory Council and one of the project’s researchers.  “So I think if we do it right, India has a game changer technology.”


Socomec to manufacture UPS in India

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:35 -- Ruth Williams
Socomec will increase production at its Gurgaon site to include UPS systems

Socomec Innovative Power Solutions, the Indian branch of Socomec Group, has begun manufacturing UPS systems at its plant in Gurgaon, India.

The company previously imported the entire UPS systems, but now builds them domestically from imported components. The next stage is to manufacture transformers locally and reduce costs further.

The production site had been used for changeover switches, switch accessories and other low-voltage equipment. The newly added manufacturing line has the capacity to output 500 units per year.

India tightens battery disposal rules

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 14:44 -- Ruth Williams
Battery recycling in India

The Indian central pollution control board (CPCB) has told lead-acid battery manufacturers to set up collection points, individually or jointly, for used batteries from consumers or dealers.

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Battery University in Silicon Valley

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

San Jose State University will be offering courses specifically designed for students who want to work with battery technology.

The University is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CalCharge to offer the professional programme of education at the University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, which feeds more graduate engineers into the Silicon Valley workforce than any other university.

California has over 40 battery-related companies working on energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and the renewable energy storage sector.

The courses are offered in response to changing workplace demands in the high tech battery industry.


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