• Solar thermal system installed at Sunil Healthcare, Alwar

Industrial Solar Water Heating system in pharmaceutical industry

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Indian pharmaceutical industry is ranked third in the world in terms of production volume and 14th in terms of domestic consumption value and is among the most highly organised sectors.

The pharma industry produces multiple products in the form of tablets, capsules, ointments, liquids, powder, etc. The sector needs uninterrupted and extensive energy flow in the manufacturing units for the production process. Manufacturing processes are energy intensive and the requirement of thermal and electrical energy varies depending on the product and process. According to an estimate the heat load accounts for 20% of the total energy consumption and hence there is an enormous potential of using solar thermal energy in process.

Sunil Health Care is the second largest capsule shell manufacturing industry in the country is located in Alwar, Rajasthan and utilised hot water for capsule manufacturing process. Rajasthan is endowed with around 330 clear sunny days and annual Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) of 5.5 – 6.0 kWh/m2/day. The company requires about 6,500 litres of distilled water at temperature of 75°C for the manufacturing of capsule shells. The industry used grid electricity for generation of 6,500 liters of hot water at 75°C; diesel fired hot water generator used as a backup during grid failures.

To reduce the dependency on the grid and to minimise the diesel consumption an industrial solar water heating system based on Flat Plate Collector technology was installed at the roof of the industry. The solar water heating system is spread on the roof area 11,760 m2 and was provided with two storage tanks, one for collecting hot water and other as a storage. The second tank was used as a buffer to address cloudy weather conditions. For immediate heating requirement six electrical heaters were placed in the second tank. The use of flat plate collectors could save 150 tons of CO2 per annum. 

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Summary

  • ComSolar supported Sunil healthcare (a pharmaceutical industry) in selecting suitable solar thermal technology, its provider and quality check of the installation
  • It is a successful demonstration of solar water heating system in pharmaceutical industry
  • Solar water heating system is capable of generating 6,500 liters of hot water at 60 oC
  • Operation of diesel based hot water generator capable of generating 2,500 liters capacity per day is avoided

Additional Information

The system is based on forced circulation with minimal electrical requirement 

  • Seventy flat plate collectors are installed to generate 6,500 liters of hot water
  • Subsidy of Rs 6,000 per 100 liters of system was availed by the company from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy