SOLARIC ventures into export market
Solar Intercontinental Limited (SOLARIC), a local renewable energy company, has begun exporting solar home system converters, special light bulbs and Nano solar systems.
The products are being exported to India, Nepal and Tanzania.
SOLARIC is engaged in manufacturing and marketing of various types of solar energy related products.
This is for the first time, the company has recently signed an agreement to set up Nano solar systems at 1,500 branches of India’s leading Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd (IDFC).
Besides, the SOLARIC is now penetrating into the markets of Nepal and Tanzania with its products.
“We have recently started exporting our products to the markets of India, Nepal and Tanzania,” SOLARIC owner and managing director Didar Islam told Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
“We will also start installing full-fledged Nano solar systems at 1,500 branches of IDFC from this month. We have already installed 40 Nano systems,” he added.
Didar Islam said SOLARIC partnered with E-Hands energy in India to serve the need of the IDFC to power all 1,500 rural branches with the innovative Nano solution which is a 3KW system to offer enough energy to run a small rural bank.
He said SOLARIC has also partnered with REX solar in Tanzania under a joint venture and is now exporting 1,000 3G-SHS per month for rural Tanzania market.
On May 25, 2011, SOLARIC started its commercial operations. It develops and manufactures third generation solar home systems, backup systems and Nano grid systems.
These systems allow rural, off-grid populations to access reliable, affordable technology in their homes and business.
Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) Bangladesh Ventures Ltd, provided 20% of financing to the project.
SOLARIC has maintained a steady growth of revenue since the commercial operations began in 2011 and reached $6.6m in revenue in only three years. Now the company expects to almost double the figure earning $11m this year.
SEAF pulled out its investment in April this year as SOLARIC no longer needed their fund.
The present Solar Home System (SHS), mostly provided by the IDCOL network, is comprised of a few lights with 12V energy capacity.
SOLARIC’s technology enables the users to scale up the capacity of the existing system with a small added cost.
The company uses its patented technology “Solar Optimiser” to convert low voltage DC (12V) into standard 120-220V with “Zero” static loss.
As a result, the users can use any standard appliance such as light, fan and TV.
This new system known as 3G-SHS is rapidly gaining popularity because of its comparatively low cost, rich values and high quality.
Didar Islam said he had developed the solar converters with a handful of Bangladeshi engineers.
The company also plans to assemble LED bulbs and energy-efficient fans at the plant located in the neighbourhood of Bhatara in the capital.
SOLARIC has developed two kinds of solar home systems: the third generation
SHS, which allows the use of standard appliances, costing between Tk12,000 and Tk35,000, and the Nano grid systems priced at Tk8 lakh per unit.
The third generation SHS reduces system costs and provides maintenance-free operation, making it commercially viable and mitigating the need for subsidy or any grant for the solar system to be disseminated in the off-grid areas.
In the Nano-Grid system, a basic 1.5 to 3 kilowatts peak PV system is installed in a small cluster of households within a short radius of each other (ideally 230-250 metres) and power is distributed among the households from the system.
The Nano-Grid is a community sharing system where one system supports 50 homes and irrigation pumps.
The manufacturing facility has a present production capacity of 15,000 units per month.
By December 2014, SOLARIC has sold nearly 163,000 units of solar home systems and made $9.8m in sales revenue with double digit growth per month.
Moreover, the company has already installed 40 Nano-Grids in the country and is currently installing 10 Nano-Grids per month, which is a small solar power generation system cheaper than kerosene or diesel generators through pre-paid digital metres.