ipanelKlean – An automatic and waterless Solar Panel cleaning system
Suchin Jain, an IIT, Delhi and IIM, Ahmedabad alumni, and an ex-navy officer, took a dive into the sea of startups in the year 2014. Having spent his life in the Naval services, he did find entrepreneurship a lot different but that didn’t deter him from taking the plunge. his passion of developing technological innovations.
The bootstrapped startup, Inoviea based in Noida, UP, started initially as a consulting company. However, Suchin’s passion for innovation and his engineering mind continuously worked on innovating new technologies that could solve some nagging problems. In the year 2015, Suchin decided to focus on developing niche and indigenous solutions in solar and since then he claims to have grown 100 percent year-on-year for the last five years and is maintaining a turnover of Rs 1-1.2 crore every year.
India’s first E-boat developed by Inoviea
Soon, Inoviea developed the first E-boat of the Country which was launched by honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 01 May 2016. It was a diesel powered boat being converted to a solar charged Electric-boat within a span of just eight days, to reduce water pollution on Assi Ghat in river Ganga at Varanasi. He also developed a Touchless Intelligent Disinfection Gate to fight Covid-19. The startup also won $500 from a Facebook competition, and was also incubated at Nexus, a collaboration between the American Embassy, New Delhi, and ACIR to support entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology in America and India.
ipanelKlean, an automatic and waterless solar panel cleaning system
Inoviea’s latest innovation is ipanelKlean, an automatic and waterless solar panel cleaning system. “This state-of-the-art patented engineering solution doubles the benefits of investment in rooftop solar power plants. It increases power generation anywhere from 30% to 100% and reduction in payback period by upto 40%”. The automatic cleaning solution helps save one billion litres of water per GW (gigawatt) annually. This solution can also save 1,700 tonnes of CO2 per GW every day”, says Suchin.
Today, most solar power plants are performing way below their installed capacities due to many reasons such as dust deposition, degradation of solar panels, their structures and rooftop structures. Due to constant use of water for cleaning, use of brush causes aberrations on panel surfaces that decreases their yield year on year. Moreover, it’s difficult to clean solar panels which are installed on high-rise roofs. It also poses life-risks to cleaning manpower due to possibilities of electrocution from high-voltage DC and falling from roof-tops.
“We are using a combined system of slippery coating and compressed air to keep the solar panels clean from dust. The entire process is done without water or human interventions automatically, and that too multiple times in a day. The solution can be installed in both existing and new solar panels. The coating over the panels does not allow dust to stick to the panels, and the air compressors installed across the solar panel helps in blowing away the dust”, he adds.
Accolades and Awards
The technology has won numerous accolades and awards. Named among top 5 technologies making India green during World IP (Full form of IP) day event. Green listed with Gomassive.in and Amplus solar. Selected by Capitaland Sustainability X Challenge, Singapore among top 10 technologies among 270 participants from 30 countries. Selected by Ministry of Science & technology and Ministry of Electronics for BIG-17 grant and international patent grant. Shortlisted by a leading government solar panel manufacturer as Technology partner. The startup is presently incubated at Nexus, the startup hub of US govt at American Embassy New Delhi.
The company is currently looking to raise its Seed round of funding, aimed at setting up its own manufacturing unit to ramp up its production and capture the entire Indian market. Apart from this, the company is also looking to foster joint ventures abroad by licensing the technology.
As a Naval Architect, Suchin was primarily a warship designer, who undertook structural design analysis of indigenous aircraft carrier ‘Vikrant’, been part of modernization of INS Vikramaditya, undertaken design, construction and repair of numerous other naval warships and submarine projects during 26 years’ of his career in Indian Navy that positioned him in Technical leadership role.
“Transition from a whole life defense guy to an entrepreneur was not easy. Economic scenario, market changes, global slowdown and later corona shown me roller-coaster of the startup world that led me to focus on collaborative work culture and eventually convert my office into a vibrant Co-working space focused on innovation. My startup journey has been helping me find my mojo” adds Jain.