Friday, April 12, 2024

The Latest Market Dynamics & Trends in the Power Supplies Segment in India

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With the erratic supply of electricity in India, voltage fluctuations, and other interruptions, it is essential to have a good UPS system in place to protect equipment from getting damaged, save data and prevent bad disruptions.

The three major types of UPS system configurations are online double conversionline-interactive and offline (also called standby and battery backup). These UPS systems are defined by how power moves through the unit.

Online Double Conversion: The grid suppliedAC power, during transmission and distribution, is subject to voltage sags, spikes and sometimes complete failures that may interrupt computer operations, cause data loss and damage equipment. The double conversion UPS system converts the incoming AC power to direct current (DC) and then back to AC. This AC-DC/DC-AC design ensures an increased degree of isolation of the load from the irregularities on the main supply. When it comes to safeguarding critical IT loads, only the online double conversion technology protects fully against all these power problems, providing the highest levels of security for networks.

Line-Interactive: Line-interactive UPS systems provide both power conditioning and battery backup. This technology is particularly effective in areas where outages are rare, but power fluctuations are common. Line-interactive UPS systems support a wide range of input voltage fluctuations before switching to battery backup. Beyond battery backup, line-interactive UPS provides far better control over power fluctuations then offline systems. The critical advantage of line-interactive UPS is the voltage boost circuitry and the range of input voltage that that UPS accepts. The wider the range, the more total protection you will have.

Offline/Standby/Battery Backup: Offline UPS, also called standby UPS or battery backup, is a cost-effective choice. Better offline UPS systems switch to battery fast enough to prevent power anomalies and ride out short outages. An offline UPS protects against most spikes, but doesn’t maintain perfect power during minor sags and surges. The key to offline UPS quality is the range of power the unit will accept before switching to battery backup. The wider the range, the less the drain on the battery and the more the backup time available when the power shuts off. The more times the UPS switches to battery backup, the shorter the battery life. Offline UPS technology will protect from most power spikes by clamping down on excess voltage and help ride out more than 90% of all outages. An offline UPS system passes utility AC power straight through the unit, past a transfer switch, to the output point where the protected load is connected.

Below we are giving the opinions and insights of some leading power solutions providers on the latest technology and market trends in the power solutions segment.

Current product-lines of different power solutions brands and how they fared in 2023

A UPS brand’s reputation depends on the strength and variety of its product-line, quality and reliability of its products.

Mr. Sushil Virmani, Managing Director, Best Power Equipments India Pvt Ltd (Brand Name: BPE) “Our performance over the past couple of years has been exceptional, observing a remarkable 25% revenue rise and 100% rise in profit. These achievements underscore our strategic success while focusing on the sectors like data centers, healthcare, education, IT, telecom, and industry installations. The government’s foremost priority is to ensure the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to the masses, with a special emphasis on bolstering infrastructure. Additionally, a key focus extends beyond the manufacturing sector to the rapidly expanding realm of digital infrastructure in India. This includes the burgeoning banking sector and data centers, both of which are experiencing remarkable growth. In 2023, we showcased our product-line of advanced solutions like the 1-3 kVA and 6 kVA Modular Series at the 12th Southern India Information Technology Fair.”

Mr. R K Bansal, Founder & MD, Uniline Energy System Pvt Ltd (Brand: Uniline), “Uniline did well in the FY 2023-24 recording an approximate growth of 35% and we are expecting a similar growth in FY 2024-25. Recently, we launched lithium-ion based online UPS, modular UPS and sine wave line interactive UPS. All these products are doing really well. With over 18 branch offices and a strong network of channel partners & dealers all across India, we are one of the fastest-growing organization which caters to a wide spectrum of clientele that includes nation-wide computer installation projects, industrial automation projects, off-grid & on-grid solar projects, banking, aviation and healthcare sector, R&D & and various government departments. We have customers all across India. We are also supplying customized Made in India UPS systems to the Indian defence service departments.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava, Director – Medium/Large AC Power Offering (India), Vertiv Energy Pvt Ltd (Brand Name: Vertiv), “Vertiv provides comprehensive and customized power solutions that cover all the aspects of power infrastructure, from uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems of various types (monolithic &modular) and capacities, to power distribution units (PDU), busway systems, energy storage solutions, monitoring systems, and integrated solutions (Adaptive Power Train). We cater to the diverse and demanding power needs of mission-critical facilities, ensuring uninterrupted and optimal performance. For the year 2023, we received ‘The Most Reliable Power Management Solutions of the Year” award at the 14th Data Centre Summit and Awards by UBS Forums.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal, Regional Managing Director, Socomec Innovative Power Solutions Pvt Ltd (Brand Name: SOCOMEC), “We take pride in providing a comprehensive suite of products, solutions, and connected services tailored to meet the diverse needs of our customers and the dynamic demands of the market. In addition to our extensive lineup of Modular UPS, single-phase UPS, three-phase UPS, static transfer system, industrial and transformer-based UPS, as well as UPS for special applications, we also offer cutting-edge connected services which encompass remote troubleshooting capabilities, ensuring swift and efficient resolution of any operational issues that may arise. By leveraging advanced monitoring and diagnostic tools, our customers can benefit from proactive support and real-time insights, maximizing uptime and enhancing overall system reliability. As an industry leader, Socomec offers three levels of protection according to criticality. We have benched them as Ultimate, Superior and Prime. ‘Ultimate’ ensures fault-tolerant power without compromise, featuring a fully redundant architecture for maximum availability, minimum Mean Time to Repair (MTTR), and risk-free maintenance. ‘Superior’ follows with unrivaled power performance, offering best-in-class and certified performance to optimize usage and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). ‘Prime’ delivers trustworthy power, providing reliable and cost-effective protection to ensure operational continuity. The year 2023 had been fantastic for us. We achieved strong business growth, compared to 2022. This is because of the exciting orders we got from the data centre, healthcare, industry, energy, buildings and infrastructure sectors. Our team has dedicatedly leveraged all our expertise, reputation and image to secure significant orders, demonstrating our commitment to delivering exceptional service and solutions to our valued customers.”

The target segments of the brands for their power solutions

A brand needs to clearly define its target market and then promotion strategies to reach those segments to get the best results.

Mr. Sushil Virmani of BPE, “BPE’s power solutions target a wide spectrum of industries, encompassing consumers, corporations, and government sectors. For consumers, we offer reliable home UPS systems tailored to meet household power needs. Our solutions for corporations are versatile, catering to data centers, industrial automation, and IT/ITES requirements.  Collaborating closely with government entities, we provide power solutions for critical applications in healthcare, education, and public infrastructure. This diversifying approach allows us to address the unique power challenges faced by each segment, reinforcing our commitment to delivering tailored solutions.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava of Vertiv, “Vertiv is a leader in delivering reliable and efficient power supply solutions for data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial facilities, supporting applications in various industries, with a special focus on colo (colocation data center), IT/ITESS, manufacturing, and INFRA. These sectors are poised to witness tremendous growth in the coming years, thanks to the rapid adoption of digital technologies, cloud services, e-commerce, UPI payment platforms, and supportive government policies (such as Make in India, Digital India, Data protection and Privacy bill, and Atmanirbar Bharat). We are committed to offering our clients innovative power solutions to meet their current and future needs.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal of SOCOMEC, “As a globally renowned specialist in Low Voltage Power switching, monitoring and power conversion products, Socomec focuses on data centres, healthcare, infrastructure, commercial & industrial buildings, energy and industry sectors. Our team is dedicated to managing power and safeguarding people, equipment and installations. Our round-the-clock expert services help customers get the most of the products. We work tirelessly to live up to the expectations of the end-users.”

The current and expected trends in the power solutions market

The size and growth of power solutions market growth depends on factors such as the quality of the power supplied, the density of industries and corporates and their power demands and annual increase in the number of industries.

Mr. Sushil Virmani of BPE,  “The current growth trajectory of the power solutions market is substantial, driven by the increasing demand for continuous, quality power across industries. Anticipating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.28% during 2018–2023, we expect this trend to persist in the coming two years. Factors such as technological advancements, the expansion of IT sectors, and the growing need for reliable power in critical applications across various industries will contribute to the market’s sustained growth. Moreover, as the economy continues to grow, it is crucial to augment infrastructure development. The focus on manufacturing, coupled with efforts to fortify digital infrastructure, demands a comprehensive approach to ensure sustained progress. Notably, the emphasis on semiconductor components such as silicon carbide, IGBTs, and features like self-diagnostics becomes pivotal. Despite a commendable 14% growth in products related to these segments, addressing the low high-density aspect is imperative to foster the production of advanced and highly efficient semiconductor components. This, in turn, will contribute significantly to the overall robustness of the nation’s economic and technological landscape.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava of Vertiv, “According to Omdia Report, the UPS market industry is poised for a phenomenal growth in the next two years, driven by the increasing demand for uninterrupted and quality power supply across various domains. The Interim Budget for 2024-2025, unveiled by the Honorable Finance Minister, has unveiled several initiatives that could further accelerate the UPS market sales growth in India. Some of these initiatives are:  1. A significant hike of 11.1% in the capital expenditure outlay for the next year, which would spur the demand for power backup solutions in diverse sectors, such as infrastructure, manufacturing, defence, and railways; and 2. A substantial allocation of funds for boosting the port and shipping sector, green energy, and urban infrastructure, which would necessitate reliable and efficient power supply solutions, especially in the context of renewable energy integration and smart city development.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal of SOCOMEC, “The power solutions market is evolving rapidly due to the growing industrialization and infrastructure development.  Market liberalization and emerging economies are driving the demand for electricity. Technological innovations, regulatory changes and shifting consumer preferences are other key factors driving the demand further on. Investments in the power solutions market are made in a big way, thanks to the need to reduce energy consumption and also, from the increased awareness about energy efficiency. There is a huge demand for sustainable and reliable power solutions which ensure real-time monitoring and aid optimization of power assets and operations. Socomec products fit the bill perfectly and that explains our steady growth in the Indian market. I expect the power solutions market to grow with a CAGR 8% in the next two years, as there is a tremendous expansion of data centers, infrastructure development, industries, energy and commercial buildings in India. There is a growing need for reliable power backup solutions to ensure continuous operations and also minimize disruptions caused by power outages. Undoubtedly, the government’s initiatives like the ‘Make in India’ campaign are also fuelling the growth.”

The latest innovations in the power solutions segment

A UPS brand should keep up with the latest technologies that give the best power output, minimized the wastage of power during conversion and the materials used should be safe for the environment.

Mr. Sushil Virmani of BPE, “Our recent innovations include state-of-the-art Modular UPS systems ranging from 300kW to 1000kW. These systems, parallelable and scalable up to 8 MW, feature cutting-edge lithium-ion battery technology for high availability, reliability, and efficiency. Emphasizing these innovations demonstrates our commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry. By providing solutions that cater to the evolving needs of our customers, we establish ourselves as pioneers in delivering cutting-edge and reliable power solutions. The government’s foremost priority is to ensure the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to the masses, with a particular emphasis on bolstering infrastructure. Additionally, a key focus extends beyond the manufacturing sector to the rapidly expanding realm of digital infrastructure in India. This includes the burgeoning banking sector and data centers, both of which are experiencing remarkable growth.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava of Vertiv, “Vertiv has launched silicon carbide-based converters that deliver an unmatched double conversion efficiency of up to 97.5% and further enhances efficiency up to 98.8% in dynamic online mode in select UPS systems. They offer operational cost savings of UPS and its associated upstream distribution, versus less efficient UPS options. We have also unveiled new technologies such as a grid interactive UPS, alternative battery chemistries, and microgrid support with a battery energy storage system (BESS) that can leverage alternative energy sources, which can play a vital role in supporting the electric grid while generating new revenue streams for the operator.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal of SOCOMEC, “Recent innovations in the power backup solutions include the adoption of lithium-ion batteries for higher energy density and faster recharge times. Further, modular UPS systems with innovative designs offer scalability and efficiency improvements, while integration with renewable energy sources enhances sustainability. Edge computing helps to meet evolving requirements like data security, analytics, maintaining control of mission-critical applications, IoT development programmes and augmented reality experience. Advanced monitoring and analytics enable remote performance tracking and predictive maintenance. The remote troubleshooting technology simplifies UPS system monitoring and automation. Socomec experts connect to the UPS system, run remote tests and diagnostics – all with zero transport-related carbon emissions. These innovations in power backup solutions meets the evolving needs for reliable, efficient, and sustainable power protection solutions, and drive the transition towards a more resilient energy future.”

The challenges in the power solutions market in India

Adapting to the latest challenges, meeting the standards set by the governments, fluctuations in prices, and growing competition are some of the challenges a power solutions provides should deal with.

Mr. Sushil Virmani of BPE, “While the power solutions market in India presents significant opportunities, it is not without its challenges. Continuous innovation is imperative to keep pace with rapidly evolving technologies. Ensuring the availability of skilled manpower is crucial, and addressing environmental concerns related to power storage remains a challenge. Additionally, navigating market dynamics and adapting to regulatory frameworks require constant vigilance and adaptability to stay competitive and compliant.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava of Vertiv, “Our major customers are focused on sustainability, decarbonization, and power availability as some of the essential factors in designing their power infrastructure. Moreover, the datacenter physical infrastructure has evolved from being a marginal commodity to a vital asset that can deliver remarkable competitive advantage if built to be as flexible, scalable, reliable, available, and efficient as possible. When building the power infrastructure, which must synchronize with the entire infrastructure, datacentre operators are striving to be as lean and reliable as possible in minimizing single points of failure and redundancy while also being efficient as possible in terms of operating cost and utilization.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal of SOCOMEC, “The power solutions market is an ever-changing dynamic market. There are rapid supply chain disruptions and price volatility. On the technical front, there is a pressing need to continuously adapt to the advancements. The solutions that we provide have to be reliable, efficient and must lead to minimal energy consumption. All our solutions have to address environmental concerns and must ensure zero carbon footprint. It is important to balance power demand with sustainability and reliability. The UPS market in India confronts challenges including power grid instability, cost sensitivity, and rapid technological changes. India’s unreliable power grid necessitates robust UPS systems, but price competition prevails due to cost-conscious businesses. Technological advancements and evolving customer demands require continuous innovation and investment. Despite a push for eco-friendly solutions, adoption may be slow due to higher initial costs. Limited infrastructure in remote areas inhibits UPS deployment, while ensuring quality amidst a market influx presents another challenge. Government regulations add complexity and cost to compliance. Addressing these challenges requires collaboration among stakeholders to drive innovation, improve infrastructure, and ensure the availability of reliable and affordable UPS solutions across India.”

The USPs different power solutions brands

Brand positioning plays a key role in the success of a brand. Brand positioning can include the market segments it wants to target, and image it projects for itself.

Mr. Sushil Virmani of BPE, “Our Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) focus on our state-of-the-art Modular UPS systems, emphasizing scalability, parallelability, and the integration of lithium-ion battery technology. These innovations showcase our commitment to providing mission-critical power solutions with high availability, reliability, and efficiency. As a brand, we position ourselves as an industry leader dedicated to delivering cutting-edge and reliable power solutions. The recognition with ‘The Editor’s Choice Award’ for the most efficient UPS Solutions Brand in 2022 further solidifies our position as innovators in the field.”

Mr. R K Bansal of Uniline, “Our USPs include great quality, strong R&D and Made in India products. We are very optimistic about the expanding market opportunities and the growth of our brand.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava of Vertiv, “Vertiv is a pioneer and leader in the UPS industry in India. We have recently unveiled our next generation modular UPS platform, i.e. Vertiv Liebert APM2, a state-of-the-art high-density UPS that offers unparalleled and groundbreaking features for mission-critical applications. Powered by the latest generation three-level Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) topology in conjunction with silicon carbide converter, it achieves a double conversion efficiency of up to 97.5% that guarantees significant operational cost savings, lowering both the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and the environmental impact. We have also introduced the Vertiv Liebert AF4, active harmonic filters powered by ANN technology, engineered to address the rising importance of power quality in the facility electrical distribution system. The Liebert AF4 is based on high-speed IGBT technology, connected in parallel with the load, and transforms power quality management in manufacturing/ datacenter facility environments.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal of SOCOMEC, “Our recently launched Delphys XL 1000 & 1200 kVA/KW UPS, engineered in Europe and manufactured in India, demonstrates our commitment to meeting the evolving data center needs. The Delphys XL UPS series provides 99.1% efficiency via Smart Conversion Mode. Its compact design optimizes energy use, while cold-extractible power bricks reduce MTTR, crucial for minimizing downtime. With fault-tolerant design offering double conversion mode redundancy up to 80% of the rated power, it’s a critical asset for Tier III & IV data centres, ensuring continuous power supply and mitigating disruptions. The new MODULYS XM comprises a 50 kW power module and optimized set of fully equipped systems – MODULYS XM, for 250 kW + 50 kW redundancy and MODULYS XM, for 600 kW + 50 kW redundancy. MODULYS XM’s 50 kW power modules have proven reliability of more than 1,000,000 hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures), which is at least 4 times longer than the best market standards. MODULYS XM is designed with a life expectancy of 20 years making it a ‘Forever Young’ product.”

The supply chain models and how the brands educate and motivate their channel partners

Partners and the model of the supply chain play a crucial role in making the products available to the users at the shortest possible time and also in education the end user and clearing their queries. So educating the partners and motivating them plays a crucial in promoting a brand’s image and improving sales.

Mr. Sushil Virmani of BPE, “Our supply chain model is meticulously designed for efficiency, ensuring timely delivery and robust support for our channel partners. We go beyond mere transactions and prioritize comprehensive education and motivation for our partners through tailored training programs. These programs equip our partners with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively promote and sell our products. Recognizing the invaluable role of our partners, we foster a collaborative relationship, aligning our strategies to ensure mutual success.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava of Vertiv, “Vertiv has two major go-to-market models – enterprise business partners (channel) and direct key account customers such as hyperscale data centres. To inspire and empower our enterprise business partners, we launched a unique monthly Master Class Program to equip their teams with the best practices and strategies of product and solution positioning. We also offer exclusive incentive schemes for our enterprise business partners and collaborate with them in co-events for enhancing their market presence and reputation.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal of SOCOMEC, “Socomec’s commercial supply chain model prioritizes transparency and accountability, governed by a clear set of standards and practices to benefit all stakeholders. Our customer-centric approach not only surpasses expectations but also fosters lasting engagement with our brand. Key elements of our supply chain strategy include Demand Planning, Agile Manufacturing, Collaborative Planning, Efficient Transportation, Transparency, Customization, Sustainability, and Continuous Improvement. We maintain a culture of innovation, regularly optimizing processes and technology to stay ahead of competitors and deliver superior value to our customers. Collaborative planning with suppliers enhances efficiency, supported by clear communication to build trust and elevate the customer experience. Through extensive training, technical and marketing support, incentive schemes, and recognition initiatives, we empower our partners, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to their success.”

The future plans of brands in terms of new products and plans

Each brand has its own plans regarding the products and models they want to launch and foresees where it wants to be in the coming years.

Mr. Sushil Virmani of BPE, “In 2024, we are poised to launch advanced power solutions that align seamlessly with the evolving needs of our customers. While specific details are proprietary at this stage, we envision introducing systems that not only enhance efficiency, reliability, and sustainability but also redefine industry benchmarks. Looking ahead to our three-year goal, we aim to solidify our position as a global leader in power solutions. This involves expanding our footprint, introducing cutting-edge technologies, and remaining at the forefront of innovation, making a substantial impact on the global power solutions market.”

Mr. R K Bansal of Uniline, “In the coming months, we are coming up with solar UPS which is a trending concept at present. There is a good demand for UPS systems in the market with the number of offices and data centers increasing. We do not face any serious challenges.”

Mr. Vikas Srivastava of Vertiv, “In the CY2024, we are working to support customers with a modular, high capacity UPS that allows scalability for future growth, as well as a mid-capacity UPS that will offer high efficiency and a compact footprint. Our product innovations are designed to address trending challenges, helping us to strengthen our leadership position and market share.”

Mr. Meenu Singhal of SOCOMEC, “Socomec is deeply committed to customers and business partners in India, reflecting our strategic focus on fostering long-term relationships and driving mutual success over the next three years. As we continue to innovate and expand, our dedicated investments in R&D underscore our unwavering commitment to understanding and meeting the evolving needs of our customers. By allocating 8% of our group turnover to R&D, we ensure that our products remain at the forefront of technological advancements in the dynamic power management sector. Furthermore, our recent investment of EURO 5 million in the Indian market demonstrates our confidence in the region’s potential for growth and development. Through the establishment of a unified business entity known as Greater India, encompassing Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, we are expanding our footprint to unlock new opportunities for collaboration and expansion. This strategic move not only strengthens our manufacturing capabilities but also reinforces our commitment to nurturing strong partnerships across diverse industries. As Socomec India embarks on this journey of expansion and innovation, we are dedicated to empowering our people and partners, driving sustainable growth, and doubling our revenue in these regions within the next three years. Together, we will seize the opportunities ahead and continue to deliver state-of-the-art solutions that drive progress and prosperity for all stakeholders involved.”

In a nutshell

There are three basic uninterruptible power supply (UPS) technologies that have their place in protecting today’s distributed IT infrastructure especially on the network edge. Each technology has its advantages and each may be necessary for configuring cost effective power protection, especially in complex systems. Selecting a UPS for your particular application requires an examination of a number of factors. The load size, nature, location and criticality of the equipment to be protected are key, as well budgetary considerations, when choosing a UPS for power backup.

More Special Report: NCN Magazine

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