BENGALURU: Infosys is using a bit of its own technology to come up with standards for its future solar installations as the technology firm aims to build 170 MW of solar capacity over the next four years to bring down its dependence on the grid power to zero.
A signatory to the global RE 100 campaign with a goal of getting 100 per cent electricity from renewables, Infosys finds regulatory gaps in India for solar installations even as the country targets about 1 lakh MW of capacity by 2022 involving an investment of Rs 6 lakh crore.
“We have stringent specifications for the auto industry, but sadly, the government has not notified any for the solar industry. This is the situation in spite of large sums of money being spent on solar projects,” Infosys Executive Vice President Ramadas Kamath told ET.
The tech firm has set up labs to gather real-time field-level data. “We are using the data from our own rooftop lab in Electronic City, Bengaluru and MW-scale lab in Pocharam, Hyderabad, to lay down specifications for our future projects,” he added. Infosys has 42.33 million sq ft area across 13 campuses in India, and is developing another 6.5 million sq ft area.
The Indian market, according to Infosys Regional Manager (Infrastructure) Ramesh Rame Gowda , is flooded with all kinds of photovoltaic (PV) modules. “We don’t have firm guidelines in India in areas like factory inspections, raw material selections, testing standards updated with latest experiences in the field,” he said.
According to a last year’s study by IIT-Bombay, the modules installed in small scale in the past two years have faced mo re degradation than the modules installed five years ago. “The rising demand for modules and falling tariffs could be driving down the quality of PV modules landing in India,” Gowda said.
How a solar module has performed in lab conditions in Europe or China is no guarantee that it will perform in the same way in an Indian region.
“There is an urgent need for India to have own standards and compliances with respect to photovoltaic modules and in verters to meet specific weather conditions,” he said.
Infosys is using instrumentation technology to gather and crunch data such as solar intensity, soiling loss, DCAC conversion, data from weather monitoring stations, sun tracking etc, to get more power conversion at the panels.
In the last seven years, while Infosys increased its absolute infrastructure by 150 per cent, the absolute power consumption during this period has risen only 13 per cent because of initiatives such as retrofits, new designs, and other innovations, according to Kamath.
While an Infosys employee consumed 297 units per month at the campus in India in 2007-08, the same dropped to 150 per employee per month in 2015-16. “We want to further bring this down by 25 per cent in four years. Our 450-acre Hyderabad SEZ has recorded the lowest consumption of 100 units per employee per month,” he said.
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