Home News Technical Articles Interviews Cover Story Orders & Contracts
Power Generation
Green Energy

Efficient power supply systems are the key to national growth

Venugopal Pillai ,  Friday, January 25, 2013, 16:53 Hrs  [IST]

Subhash C. Gupta— Subhash C. Gupta, Managing Director, Standard Capacitors

Standard Capacitors has been serving the industry for over three decades with energy-efficiency products like PFC capacitors, automatic power factor correction panels, APFC relays, energy storage capacitors, HT capacitors, etc. Subhash C. Gupta gives keen insights into the capacitor industry and sees how India’s energy-efficiency consciousness is bound to drive up demand. Apart from expounding on key industry challenges, he shares his view on China’s role in the global electrical equipment industry. An interview by Venugopal Pillai.

Standard Capacitors has been in the business for over 30 years now. Tell us in brief how the company’s product range has grown over these years.
Yes, Standard Capacitors has been in business for over 36 years now. We have grown from a humble beginning to gain respectable place in capacitor business. We have diversified in real time power factor correction systems, medium voltage capacitor installations and MV APFC systems. We undertake turnkey jobs for power factor correction in all voltages ranges and KVAr ratings.

Automatic power factor correction (APFC) systems are gaining important as they help in achieving power factor of “unity”. Tell us about the growing role of APFC systems and how Standard Capacitors plans to capture an increasing market share.
In last few years there has been increase of non-linear loads like variable speed drives, UPS and computers in many industrial and office electrical network. These non-linear loads generate current and voltage harmonics. PF improvement in these conditions become difficult as capacitors get overloaded because of harmonics and their application also may result in resonance conditions, making the condition worse.

There is often felt a need of a very reliable PF correction capacitor that shall not only withstand high RMS current but also offer long operational life under sustained harmonics overloads.

We are in line with the latest trends in this industry. Automatic power factor correction is our specialization. We have adopted real time power factor correction technology for faster correction of power factor, especially in industries where load is fast changing, as contactor-based switching system cannot keep pace with changing load. Besides, zero switching with thyristor based power factor correction systems ensures longer life of capacitors and switching equipment.

It is felt in industry circles that the government should provide subsidy to those electricity consumers that maintain a high power factor. What is your view?
In fact, almost all electric supply establishments are offering incentives for higher power factor. By way of reduction in maximum demand charges and rebate for crossing the upper limit of power factor right up to unity power factor. Also billing is done on KVAHr basis which prompts customers to maintain high power factor so as to keep the number of units consumed at low level.

What are the challenges faced by Indian capacitor manufacturers and what remedial measures could the government adopt?
Competition is on the rise as capacitors manufacturers cut prices to retain market share. Although the market is growing, so are the challenges. Companies that want to survive in the marketplace must begin to employ new competitive strategies to stay ahead.

An efficient power supply system is a key requirement for a nation‘s economic growth and good quality life of its citizens. Assured availability of quality power at a reasonable cost will not only act as a catalyst in the socio-economic development of the country, but also enhance the global competitiveness of the industrial sector. It will also lead to enhanced employment generation and per capita income levels. Rapid development of a robust and healthy domestic electrical equipment industry, supporting he complete value chain in power generation, transmission and distribution, is not only crucial for the economy, but is also of strategic importance for India.

The capacitor industry has a diversified, mature, and established manufacturing base, which has the potential to meet the current as well as future domestic and export demands based on the power sector‘s growth projections. However, increasing challenges from the supply and demand side and international competition has started to impact the health of this important industry. The current scenario has necessitated that the government develop a well-defined, robust plan to support the long-term growth of this industry.

What is your view about competition from China?
We are not all racing to learn Mandarin yet, but most, if not all, working-age adults in the Western world and many developing nations, know enough to keep an eye on news about and from China. For executives in all industry segments, China is the elephant in the room! It must be factored into any decisions about the future of their enterprise.

If any segment of the global economy can afford to ignore China’s gargantuan role, it’s not electrical! Over the last two decades, the industry has steadily and tightly yoked itself to the Asian nation. In the last five years alone, China has set numerous records in high-tech market share. It has become the world’s biggest consumer of semiconductor products and a wide range of power equipment including capacitors. By the way, it is just getting warmed up. As its middle class expands over the next decade— barring any geopolitical disruptions—China will overtake the western world and become the leading market for electrical equipments and a range of other goods.

Tell us about your export business.
At present we do not have an export market but we will venture in to it shortly.

Standard CapacitorsWe loosely understand that the use of motor-based consumer appliances can cause “reactive” power leading to inefficiency in power consumption. Please explain this phenomenon in brief and the role of capacitors in remedying the situation.
Motors work because of a linkage between the sinusoidal magnetic flux in the stator with the flux induced in the rotor. Synchronous machines use DC voltage to excite a fixed magnetic flux that locks in with the varying stator flux and applies a torque to the machine shaft. Induction motors have no exciter on their rotors; they have conducting bars arranged like a "squirrel cage" that circulate current induced by the stator flux that also establishes a flux for the rotor and a torque on the shaft. Induction machines by their nature have "lagging" power factors. All but the largest motors are induction machines. All the motors in home appliances, like washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc, are induction motors. Single-phase induction motors cannot start up by themselves; they need two stator fluxes with a phase angle between them (the angle between phases on a three-phase system is 120 degrees). The capacitor is tied in series with a second starter winding.

The capacitor shifts the phase angle in that winding enough to provide the torque to get the motor rolling, and is often opened after started. So this capacitor is not used for power factor correction. Thus the domestic appliance motors do contribute to fall in power factor. But since the household are charged on the basis of KWHr (and not KVAHr), improvement of power factor by installation shunt capacitors will not help in saving of electricity bills. At the most some single phase capacitor can be installed at the main circuit to improve voltage regulation.

In a general sense, what would be the growth drivers for the Indian power capacitor industry in the years to come?
Almost all the electricity authorities have now made it compulsory to install LT power capacitors in the case of all industrial loads. This implies that for every induction motor, LT power capacitor is a must. Due to massive rural electrification and use of electric pumps in irrigation and industrial purposes the motor load is increasing day by day and so is the demand for power capacitors.

Please tell us your company’s growth plans.
We intend to develop our business in the MV capacitor range with the inclusion of MV APFC panels, switched capacitor banks, and real-time power factor control panels.

In a broad sense, do you think that as a nation India has the technological ability to make sophisticated capacitors?
India has capability to make sophisticated capacitors. Department of Heavy Industry has decided to develop a 10-year Mission Plan (2012-22) for the Indian electrical equipment industry. The Mission Plan will have recommended interventions aimed at enhancing the technical strengths of the industry. Its objective is to develop a strategic plan of action, with full participation of the stakeholders, to remove obstacles in the growth path of the industry. Given this scenario, many capacitor manufacturers will come forward to invest in growth of specialized capacitors to decrease dependence on import of certain types of capacitors.
Post Your RemarkYOUR REMARK
* Email :    
  Website :  



© 2017 Electrical Monitor. All Rights Reserved.