Absorber Coating: a Rising Industry in India

 India’s coating industry” India's coating industry has shown impressive growth rates over the last ten years. Just one manufacturer of selective coating dominated the industry a decade ago: Solchrome, who had obtained the technology from Canada. Today, 8 manufacturers are using the Nalsun technology developed by the NAL.
Source: own research

Almost 93 % of today's coating for flat plate collector manufacturing in India is relying on the Nalsun technology developed by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) in Bangalore in 1988. It uses a black chromium nano-thin coating and conforms to BIS 12933 with an emittance < 20 % and an absorptance > 95 %. The big advantages of this coating technology are the low investment and operating costs. As it is a black chromium bath with room temperature, Nalsun allows, besides the lower power costs, also considerable savings in terms of cooling costs. The absence of a nickel undercoat reduces the number of processing steps further, thereby contributing to lower operation costs. A machine with a coating capacity of 5,000 m2 requires an investment of only US$ 20,000.

Until April 2009, the technology was made accessible to 26 entrepreneurs. Eight of the solar coating manufacturers have already used it successfully – among them the three biggest ones, SpaceAge, Maharaja Techno Chrome and Midas India (see table below). The coating manufacturers questioned produced a total of 319,261 m2 throughout the Indian fiscal year from April 2008 to March 2009. They are fairly optimistic about the future development and want to increase their production output this fiscal year, by, on average, 55 % until April 2010. These findings are the conclusions of a market survey carried out by the solarthermalworld.org correspondent Jaideep Malaviya, who is based in Pune, India.

 

Name of the Company Starting Year Type of absorber Produced surface area m2 2008-09 Planned Production m22009-10 Website
Space-Age Electro Technology(India) Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore 2000 Cu\Al 120,000 170,000 www.spaceagesolar.com
Maharaja Techno Chromes, Bangalore 2000-2001 Cu\Al 60,000 100,000 www.maharajasolar.com
Midas India, Bangalore 2001 Cu 50,000 50,000 rajabrahamss@rediffmail.com
Sudarshan Saur Shakti, Aurangabad 2002  Cu 30,400 45,000 www.sudarshansaur.com
Solchrome System India Ltd, Parwanoo 1988 Cu 22,066 35,000 www.Solchrome.com
Rashmi Industries, Bangalore 2000 Cu 15,295 18,500 www.rashmisolar.com
Bhagyanagar India Ltd., Hyderabad 2006 Cu 12,600 55,000 www.surana.com
Vardhishnu Engineers Pvt. Ltd., Pune 2006 Cu 8,900 20,000 www.vardhsihnu.net
Total amount of coated material 319,261 493,500 www.vardhsihnu.net

Table: Production output of black chrome selective coating manufacturers in India, using the Nalsun technology
Source: own research

 

This text was written by Jaideep Malaviya, an Indian journalist and solar thermal expert. info@malaviya.in

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