The demand for UPS systems and inverters continues to rise due to persistent power shortages and outages in the country. The latest systems in the market boast of greater efficiency, smaller footprints and power saving features
By Kritika Pandey
The Indian UPS system and inverter market is gaining momentum, as these devices have become a necessity in almost every modern set-up.
Data centres, server farms, hotels, hospitals, MNCs and media houses are some of the many users of UPS systems. The Indian UPS market is therefore expected to witness an upsurge in the coming years.
Regular power shortage in metros and in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities has also led to people opting for these power backup machines.
In the last five years, there have been massive technological advancements in the country and India is also on the path of economic growth. Trade relations with many countries have improved, which has helped us in accessing their technologies and markets, and vice-versa. The UPS industry has evolved the world over and today, space-friendly smaller units rule the markets.
How do UPS manufacturers source their components?
Manufacturers tie up with the component makers, depending upon what components and prices they offer. Since the technology is growing rapidly, one has to keep a keen eye on the latest, as well as what services the market offers. There is stiff competition in the UPS system and inverter market. And with solar inverters, the technological advancements have gone up a notch.
The demand in the Indian inverter/UPS market has increased due to constant power shortages, and a strong push from the government to accelerate the National Solar Mission. The usage of UPS systems will increase when solar inverters become more reliable for backup power.
Solar energy is expected to be the main factor driving the increase in demand for UPS systems/inverters.
An important emerging technology is net metering and its integration with sine wave inverters/UPS systems, coupled with communication and software technologies in the smart-grid re-integration domain. This will be done by developing and deploying decentralised solar rooftop energy generators for residential, commercial and various industrial applications, of both off-grid, on-grid and hybrid types with storage systems that will depend on the available cheap mix of energy resources. Technological developments are happening on the energy efficiency side as energy conservation is the burning issue of the day.
“The demand for industrial UPS systems/inverters has been growing gradually as users of specific machines, especially in the SME sector, are installing need based backup solutions. Microtek has a range of multi-inverters/high-end inverters and online UPS systems catering to all types of requirements from small machines to sensitive equipment. Microtek has introduced the IPS (Intelli Power Saving) technology in all its inverters and UPS systems, which saves electricity compared to others,” says Manoj Jain, vice president, Microtek.
Challenges faced by the sector
UPS manufacturers face many challenges related to machinery, raw materials, skilled manpower and land to build manufacturing plants, which makes it difficult to set these up in different locations. Also, lack of the easy availability of electricity and water are a major deterrent to the smooth running of manufacturing units. Most of the companies use machines and raw materials imported from European countries, which increases the overall costs. Also, the taxes on imported components are high, which reduces profit margins. Not having skilled manpower also plays spoilsport.
In future, the key focus areas will be mission-critical industrial applications in refineries, petrochemicals, power generation, steel and metals, process industries as well as critical data processing applications. Solar backup systems will drive solar energy usage at large. And installation of backup power systems in dams and plants would require exhaustive set-ups.
In the coming days, the efficiency of UPS systems will increase, sizes will reduce, costs will come down, and the devices will become more user friendly so that people can connect to and control their power backup systems from their residence, mobiles, etc. Solar UPS systems will work on both AC (i.e., grid) as well as DC (solar) power. The developments in the solar power domain are currently a bit slow because of the massive involvement of the government.
However, the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government is going to give a boost to industrialisation as well to start-ups in the SME sector, offering vast opportunities in the power backup sector.
India is a developing economy and our industrial base is increasing constantly. The per capita income of Indians has gone up, improving lifestyles. In this scenario, with increasing power cuts, domestic consumers will drive the trend of increased UPS system and inverter adoption.
Manoj Jain, vice president, Microtek
- Chargers: High frequency PFC controller;
- MOSFET based DSP controller PFC;
- Inverters: Pure sine wave; Square wave; AVR; Solar inverter;
- Online UPS: IGBT controller PFC with dsPIC; without PFC;
- PCU: Hybrid; Grid-tied; Buck topology based;
- Hi-frequency UPS systems: Double conversion; PFC controlled
- Solar technology: PWM; rMPPT”