Until now, the Indian solar thermal market has been dominated by flat plate collectors (FPCs). FPCs have several advantages, with the main being robust and long-lasting. In a price-sensitive market such as the Indian one, however, vacuum tube collectors (VTCs) have gained a foothold over the last years because the systems are 30% to 40% cheaper if the glass tubes are imported from China. Although there is no official data available, VTCs are said to have reached a 35% share in the Indian market. In the fiscal year 2011/2012, market volume reached a newly installed collector area of 1 million m² (see interview with Tarun Kapoor). The photo shows flat plate collectors on high-rise, residential buildings in western India.
Photo: Kaushal Solar
The new absorber production unit at Austrian collector and tank manufacturer Tisun has turned out to be a success: Since October 2011, the Pulsspeed Bender forms the meander pipe, while welding it simultaneously to the absorber plate - and then soldering it to the manifolds. The machine delivered by Austrian machinery supplier DTEC GmbH even pulls in the working material by itself. The system, which produces an absorber every three minutes, consists of different stations for cutting the absorber plate, drilling holes in the manifold pipes, soldering the pipe register and testing the pressure levels of the completed absorber. The heart of the absorber production line is the station, which in one single step, bends the pipe and welds it to the plate. Photo: DTEC/Tisun