Thursday, 26 October 2017

Net Metering - Eligibility and Limitations

In my last post I had tried to explain what net metering was all about and how the billing mechanism is followed. Continuing with the same, I shall now try to cover as to who all are eligible for installing a net metering system and what are the terms and conditions. I shall try and explain using the policy being followed in Maharashtra State of India as an example.

Generally, everybody who is a client of a DISCOM (Distribution Company) or utility company which is offering net metering is eligible for the scheme. However, is Gujarat state of India, it is categorically mentioned that the applicant should be the owner of the rooftop. Also, the DISCOMs put a minimum and maximum limit on the size of plant that can be installed under the net-metering scheme. This limitation may have been put in place either due to infrastructure constraints or to minimise any losses to the DISCOM. Why? Well, if seen from the DISCOM's perspective, a person who opts for net metering is reducing what he/ she buys from the DISCOM (reducing their revenue while still using their infrastructure) and forces the DISCOM to buy power from an additional source.
Coming to the example of Maharashtra. Here, any person who is a client of the DISCOM is eligible to install a rooftop solar system with a net metering facility. By client, it means that the energy bill generated by the DISCOM should have this person's name mentioned on it. Anyone interested in installing such a system needs to apply to the DISCOM and get into a Power Purchase Agreement post approval of the application. The service is offered on a first come first serve basis.

So what are the limitations? Well, the rooftop solar plant capacity should not exceed the sanctioned load of the premises. Additionally, 40% of the capacity of the transformer supplying energy to the premises should not be exceeded. For example let your sanctioned load be10 KW and the transformed capacity be 200 KW. So as per rule 1 you can install a rooftop solar plant of capacity 10 KWp with net metering.

Now, this transformer would be supplying to a number of premises. Hence cumulative net metering load on the transformer should not exceed 80 KW (40% of 200 KW). Now if say other premises have already installed net metering worth 75 KW, then as per Rule 2, you can install a rooftop solar plant of capacity 5 KWp only even when your sanctioned load is 10 KWp.

Additionally, there are further limitations, if you have a single phase connection, the plant size cannot exceed 8 KWp. If you have a 3 phase 415 V connection the maximum plant size can be either 80 KWp or 150 KWp based on whether you are a rural or urban consumer. For industries with 11KVA connections, the plant size can vary from 80 KWp to 1000 KVA depending on your location.

If you are looking for installing a rooftop solar system, write to us at or CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Net Metering – Mechanism of Billing

Net metering is being pushed by the Government of India as a means to promote installation of rooftop solar power plants in India. So, what exactly is net metering?

Net metering is a system in which a rooftop solar power plant is connected to the grid through a net meter. This solar power plant is permitted to feed energy into the grid when the consumption at the premises where it is installed is less than the power being generated. Let, for example, there be a factory which consumes 500 KW of power for eight hours in a day. If this plant has installed an 80 KWp solar power plant which generates electricity for five hours in a day; it will consume all the power generated by the solar plant and draw some more energy from the grid. However, on a Sunday or any other holiday, when the plant is shut down, it will still generate 80 KW of power for five hours but not consume it. In net metering, this factory is permitted to feed this energy into the grid through a net meter.

A net meter is a two-way meter which measure the amount of energy being drawn by the factory as well as the amount of energy it is feeding into the grid. The billing is done on the net energy consumed by the factory.

Billed Energy = Energy consumed (units) - Energy fed into the grid (units)

This way, the factory is saving not only by consuming the power generated by the solar plant but also by feeding energy into the grid.

So how is the billing actually done?

Every DISCOM has a billing period and a settlement period. The settlement period is the financial year while the billing period would be usually one month or in some cases even two months. The adjustment in the net metering is done as follows:-

Billing Period. During the billing period, the DISCOM calculates the net energy consumed by the consumer based on the formula mentioned above. The bill is then generated for the number of units consumed. If the number of units generated and fed into the grid is more than the energy consumed, then the excess units are carried forward to the next billing period and so on.

Settlement Period. At the end of the financial years, the DISCOM determines the net units consumed by the consumer and bills him for that as per the tariff. However, in case the number of units fed into the grid is more than the energy consumed by the consumer, then the DISCOM pays the consumer for the excess energy fed into the grid. The rate for buying this energy is determined by the state Electricity Regulatory Commission based on the Annual Average Purchase Price for the DISCOM.

Who all can install a net metering system? Are there any limitations on the system size that can be installed? I shall cover all these issues in my next post.

If you want to get a solar rooftop system installed, write to or click here.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Sell In Australia

The main aim of defining specifications and regulations is to ensure safety and consistent quality. Safety becomes important more so when we are dealing with electrical equipment, because poor quality electrical equipment can lead to fatality due to electrocution or fire which may be caused due to a short circuit. Specifications and regulations differ from country to country because of different approaches to safety. Hence, if one wants to sell in a particular country, it becomes essential that we adhere to the specifications and regulations of the intended market. Whether our products meet the specifications of a country or not is determined through obtaining a certification to that effect in the desired country.

 Getting certification is like crossing through a labyrinth of rules, regulations and measures. If you do not understand the specifications and regulations or the philosophy behind them, it becomes exhausting. For example, getting certification for selling your products in Australia requires that we understand the applicable legislation, standards, required test reports and accreditation of labs for testing the product for a territory, required registrations with local regulators for the product for a territory and the list of documentations required as part of Technical files.

This is followed by obtaining the the design requirements that need to be met to successfully clear all the tests and certifications for the product . Undertaking testing of the products to ensure that the standards are met. At times, once the product has been certified, it may need to be registered with the local regulator. For getting the certification and regulatory approval, technical construction files are required to be prepared in specific formats that are understood by the regulator.

There are a large number of Medium and Small Scale companies in India with fantastic products and with a dream to export them. However, these companies get bogged down when it comes to obtaining the requisite certification and regulatory registrations. In all such cases it always helps if you have some one in the target market helping you out. But it will be even more convenient if a company in India could help you get these certifications without you needing to travel to the target country.
Adler Technoserve offers such services where in we have our resident consultant in Australia who would assist the MSMEs in the following:-
  • Determining initial scope of work.
  • Determine the design requirements.
  • Documentation verification.
  • Testing.
  • Registration.
  • Developing the Technical Construction Files.
The MSMEs in India need to only interact with our team in Pune who would be glad to meet you and understand your requirements. And all this at very reasonable rates.The best part is, if you have an Australian certification, the same are valid and acceptable in EU also.
So if you have any of the following products in your line up and you want to export them to Australia, New Zealand or EU, please send your query to us at -
  • Luminaires (lighting systems).
  • Fans.
  • External Power Supplies.
  • Switches and Relays.
  • Electrical eclosures.
  • Couplers.
  • Cables.
  • Residual current devices.
  • Diode based laser cutting devices.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Harnessing New Technologies for Maintenance

In manufacturing industry, maintenance is a routine activity carried out to ensure that the plant continues to work efficiently and smoothly. This is essential to ensure planned production. Any breakdown of the plant will lead to losses in the form of loss of work in progress which were mounted and loss of time required for repairs. Also, the planned production schedule goes haywire creating problems down stream for the sales/ marketing and after sales teams. It may also impinge on customer goodwill in form of delayed deliveries and affected customer schedules.

These issues are addressed by planning the stoppage in production in the form of scheduled maintenance activity. A scheduled shut down allows a planned stoppage of production and hence all downstream activities can be planned keeping the planned shut down in mind. However, the Planned Preventive Maintenance is an expensive means of maintenance as it works more on fear than logic. The OEM of the machinery decides, based on his design limitations, when the plant has to be stopped for inspection. Also, based on the designer's confidence, it decides when various components have to be changed. The fear of failure forces the maintainer to follow the schedule and change components based on time and running hours irrespective of whether the component/ assembly needs to be changed or not. In effect, we end up maintaining and inspecting a system which does not need to be maintained/ inspected and changing components that do not need to be changed at that moment of time. Then there is the added cost of additional inspections, when not required. Hence planned maintenance leads to additional costs.

Then we moved on to condition based maintenance. Here the condition of the machinery is monitored closely and maintenance activities are planned for only those components that show a need for maintenance in the form of deteriorated performance. However, though a number of scientific techniques are used to monitor the equipment and come to a decision on whether maintenance is required or not, a lot of time the assessment is subjective. Fears of the assessors play on, though in the subconscious. We can still not predict accurately when we need to stop the plant for maintenance. Also the time period between the prediction and the actual stoppage is short and hence the advantages of a properly planned shut down are lost.

So, has the advances in technology placed us in a position where we can predict the maintenance requirement with a sufficiently large advance notice to allow a proper planned shut down? An optimised solution for maintenance. I sure think, yes. The advances in M2M communication, data analytic, sensor technology, cloud storage and Internet of Things (IoT) have thrown such opportunities at us. Can we leverage them to optimise our plant maintenance process? I think yes.

If you are interested in such maintenance related issues or if you are a maintenance professional or if you are a part of the senior management concerned with the operations, efficiency and hence the resultant effect on the balance sheet, you may like to attend a workshop on "Advanced Techniques and Technologies for Optimised Maintenance". Where do you have such a workshop? Well, Adler Technoserve Pvt Ltd is conducting such a workshop at Pune on 28 Mar 17. You can gather the details as well as register for the workshop at