According to reports, ABB India Limited is aiming to penetrate into rural market with its Solar Pump Drive, which is capable of replacing the conventional water pumps that are run by diesel or electricity.
The pump would make irrigation cheaper for the farmers in the dry-land areas. According to company official, so far 200 installations have been made in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
“We have received encouraging response from the users of these pumps. The solar pumps reduce use of costly diesel. Also, such pumps are ideal for the remote off-grid areas, where there is no electricity. We expect our sales to grow by 20-25 per cent over the next couple of years,” Ajay Kawadikar, vice-president, Country Solar ISI Manager, ABB India Ltd told Business Line.
The Discrete Automation and Motion division of ABB India Limited, had launched the Solar Pump Drive product about six months back.
The solar pump market has big potential in the rural areas. Already multinational majors like Schneider Electric, Toshiba besides some unorganised Chinese companies are also engaged into solar water pumps.
The pumps come in two categories single-phase and three-phase motors, which would run with the power generated from the solar panels. The company assembles the pumps at its base in Bangalore. “We have enough capacity to meet growing demand.”
“We make the entire product chain required for the solar pumps except the panels and cables etc. Due to our commitment for maintenance and services vendors prefer ABB over any other products,” said Kawadikar adding that a farmer can recover the cost of the unit from two crop cycles.
On an average a solar pump unit would cost around Rs 4 lakh including the solar panels. However, the units are eligible for subsidy from the central and state governments which works out to be around 50 per cent.
Kawadikar noted that the Solar Pumps are more useful in the regions where there is greater requirement of irrigation. Already, the company has made installation in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. These installations are mainly in the regions, where crops like cotton, maize, soybean and oilseeds are taken.
“India has over 300 sunny days a year. Hence, such product will help farmers maximize the benefits of solar power, while reducing dependency on the grid. Also, it is useful for remote areas, which are not grid-connected or where power availability is capital intensive,” he said.