Saturday, May 18, 2024

Power Electronics in Solar Industry to Soon Hit the Mainstream

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Talking about an upcoming field in the solar sector, Reddy says, “The world is working on LED lighting with solar power. This is a right combination for the power-saving LEDs. Engineers need to work further to develop efficient LED driving methods. A young designer, when given a free hand, can always make miracles in the field.”

A graduate or a student with true dedication and enthusiasm for engineering can come from any institute. “For us, we have no such preferences—we are open to all. We have an internship program for undergraduate engineering students who may wish to pursue a career in renewable energy in general and solar PV systems in specific. They can by all means contact us and, based on their drive, we may like to offer them an internship opportunity in our company,” says Shankar.

On a similar note, Reddy says, “I very particularly see the talent, technologies he has worked in, his versatility, adaptability and ability to develop new concepts. An individual with a diploma or masters in engineering may differ in pay but, when it comes to designing the product, I treat them equal. Engineers from IITs/NITs could work in many domains but the solar is still an infant and cannot carry them.”

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Pay package
Going by the data provided by, package for fresher ranges from Rs. 120,000 to Rs. 180,000 per annum, and experienced professionals get around Rs. 300,000 to Rs. 420,000 per annum. The top roles for jobs are in the engineering and IT sectors, with Bengaluru being a hub of current job demand for junior and mid-level profiles, with starting salaries up to
Rs. 500,000.

However, Advait Kumar informs us that this scale is not fixed everywhere. “It is important to understand that each engineering discipline is very different, and packages for freshers in engineering depend upon a candidate’s area of concentration and level of education. I would say that for a fresher the package can range anywhere from Rs. 150,000 to
Rs. 500,000 per annum.”

Commenting on the pay package, Reddy says, “When it comes to me, I would prefer to take fresh diploma holders and fresh engineers with a pay pack of Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 15,000 per month as a start off in R&D. I believe in training them to the field requirements of designs right from the conceptualisation to the completely shaped product. This helps me in making my design engineers professionally ready to handle new requirements single handedly.”

Skills expected by the industry
Basically, the engineers must be strong in power electronics. A fresh engineer should be well versed with electric circuits (network analysis) and solid-state electronics, and knowledge of advanced power semiconductor devices such as IGBTs, power MOSFETs and UJTs is most beneficial.

A fresher should have an exposure to basic designs of power supplies and power controllers. Understanding of DC-DC converters and recent trends in power conversion is a must. A regular update of the kind of PWM controllers’ availability, and an understanding of new concepts in power switches could be of added advantage.

Similarly, knowledge in concepts of charging algorithms of different types of batteries will take him to a right place in R&D.

Reddy says, “I suggest experienced graduates to concentrate on power distribution, SCADA and electromechanical designs of the domain. As of today, most of the companies are importing the solar tracking systems. This is a simple application and can be indigenously developed.”

He further adds, “Experienced engineers need to work on upgradation of imported ones with respect to basic functions, features, sustainability to climatic conditions and cost control. And, finally, they should be versatile for the adoption of technologies needed to cater to the product.”

“Having the knowledge of electromagnetic compatibility and associated methods to combat it will help in staying compliant with industry standards, which becomes essential while dealing with high-frequency switching power circuits,” informs Shankar.

With ever-rising fuel costs, changing climatic conditions and an ever-growing demand for electricity, renewable energy resources like solar power are becoming an increasingly valuable part of the world’s energy mix.

By utilising our expertise in power electronics, India needs to constantly strive and innovate to develop solutions such as solar inverters, low-voltage and grid-connection products as well as PV power plants that can efficiently transform the sun’s energy into reliable power.

Talking about power conditioning units (PCUs), Deyan says, “It holds great potential in the coming few decades for the Indian solar industry, and that is why we make so much investment and R&D into this. It is a combination of MPPT charge controller and pure sinewave inverter.”


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