C&I Project (Rooftop) of the Year: Orb Energy’s Rooftop Solar Project in Karnataka
The award was declared at the recent Mercom India Solar Summit 2021
There were seven award categories in the Mercom India Solar Awards 2021, and winners were chosen based on project innovation, challenges overcome, uniqueness, and impact on the community, economy, and the environment.
The Mercom India team sifted through a flood of nominations over weeks. Companies from across the world with projects developed solely in India were allowed to send in applications. Nominations were also accepted from participant and third-party vendors and suppliers. A panel of Mercom experts selected the winners.
Orb Energy’s 3 MW project installed on a single roof is one of the biggest single rooftop solar projects. It was installed for a client, Klene Paks Limited, engaged in the manufacture of woven bags in Karnataka.
K.Thyagaraju, Vice-President, Technical & PV Projects, received the award.
The project incorporated all safety measures to undertake quality maintenance needed to enable the client to derive optimum output from the plant. Its remote monitoring system helps the client keep a tab on the system’s performance remotely, leading to a substantial reduction in electricity bills.
The grid-connected photovoltaic system was completely designed, installed, and commissioned by Orb Energy within six months.
The project’s main challenge was the roof’s stability, which had to bear the weight of over 9,000 solar panels and structures weighing around 200 tons. After a detailed study of the roof’s design and its load-bearing beams, Orb’s installation team started installing the solar panels using the purlins effectively. Purlins are the key load bearers of the roof.
Since the client opted for captive consumption, the large amount of electricity generated from solar had to be regulated, especially during holidays when there was less load. The system was designed to take care of 80% of the load consumption. The special controlling unit installed near the inverters reduced the output of energy generated from solar through the inverter, thereby avoiding excess power being fed to the grid.
Catwalks or pathways were built for each array of solar modules for easy maintenance of solar modules. Plumbing points were designed and installed to run the water so that the service team can clean all the modules effectively to get maximum output.
BR Gururaj, Vice-President, IT & Communications, said that the award was a ‘ringing endorsement’ of the project. “The recognition encourages companies to get more innovative and competitive,” he said, hoping that the Mercom awards would be a recurring event.
Orb Energy provides a range of solar energy solutions to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. It focuses particularly on the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) as they are a largely under-served market segment.
In January 2018, FMO, the Netherlands Development Finance Company, provided $4 million (~₹254 million) in equity funding to Orb Energy to expand its in-house finance facility of rooftop solar projects for SMEs in India and Kenya.
Image credit: Orb Energy