Bosch builds large-scale solar thermal plant in India

The solar collectors are mounted on an elevated frame structure. This leaves space for the existing supply installations. (Photo: Bosch)
The solar collectors are mounted on an elevated frame structure. This leaves space for the existing supply installations. (Photo: Bosch)

The heating technology company Bosch Thermotechnik has installed a 208-m² solar thermal plant at a hotel in India. The type of substructure used is particularly interesting.

Bosch is not new on the Indian market. The company has also already installed several large-scale plants on the subcontinent. However, this is the first time a system has been installed on a hotel. For some time now, 100 collectors with a total thermal output of 150 kW have been producing more than half of the domestic hot water needs at the Novotel Bengaluru Techpark in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

Installation without restrictions

A good third of the hotel roof is covered by the solar thermal system. In order to optimise solar yield, not only are the collectors elevated and installed at an angle; the entire substructure is built on stilts. This design allowed the project partners to install the system as a second installation layer on top of existing supply lines on the roof. During the installation phase, it was possible to continue to use the existing supply infrastructure without any restrictions while still optimally using the available space for the collectors.

The solar heat is delivered via a 6,000-litre buffer tank to the 215 hotel rooms, the restaurant kitchen and the hotel's laundry facilities as required. During the first few months, the plant covered more than half of the hot water requirements in normal operation.

payback period of two years

Given the current diesel price of 52 Indian Rupees (INR) as well as the continued good solar yields, Bosch Thermotechnik expects the payback period of the solar system for the operator Novotel to be approximately four years. Since the plant was funded by the German Energy Agency (dena) as part of the Export Initiative Renewable Energies, the payback period of this plant will actually only be about two years.

In addition, Bosch's local partners, such as installers and planners, are allowed to use the plant for training and information events on a regular basis.

Jan Gesthuizen

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