Mounting structures are the backbone of a solar power plant as they provide support to modules. These support structures raise solar panels at appropriate angles to ensure that they receive maximum solar irradiation. Without these, solar panels are not able to capture the required quantum of solar radiation for optimum solar generation. Proper alignment and arrangement of mounting structures are one of the key indicators of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors’ competency. Despite that, mounting structures do not get the same attention that modules or inverters do. In fact, many EPC contractors continue to deploy substandard mounting structures that cannot withstand harsh environmental conditions.
Materials and types
A good mounting structure can not only bear the weight of solar modules, but can also withstand extreme weather conditions like storms and floods. A variety of materials ranging from wood to polymers have been used to create strong and durable mounting structures for solar panels. Stainless steel has been the popular choice in most cases. Given the plant location and life cycle, stainless steel has traditionally been the most cost-effective option. However, recent trends show an increased utilization of aluminum in hot dip galvanised state along with steel for better protection against rust formation.
Primarily, there are two types of mounting structures depending on the tilt of solar panels. Fixed tilt structures are installed at a fixed angle linked to the latitude of the place, facing south in the northern hemisphere. Seasonal tilt structures can be adjusted seasonally allowing panels to capture optimum sunlight. While most solar plants have fixed or seasonal tilt structures, many installations also use tracker solutions to change the orientation of solar panel as per the season and time of day to optimum energy. However, the high additional upfront costs associated with trackers have somewhat limited their uptake. Technology innovations in the mounting structure space are focused on changing the structure to optimize costs. For instance, mounting structures with rails provide durability and support to modules while rail-less mounting structures can reduce the installations cost to some extent owing to low labour requirement.
Mounting structure design varies in different solar plants based on the project’s location, application, terrain and environment considerations. Thus, different mounting structures are used for ground-mounted, rooftop, canal-top and floating solar plants. Even among ground-mounted plants, the design of mounting structures can differ on the basis of land technology, soil type and other weather-related parameters. The complexity increases in rooftop solar plants as rooftops can be flat, inclined or corrugated, made of concrete construction or metal shed.
The mounting structure market is a highly fragmented market with over 60 suppliers of solar mounting structures active in the Indian market as of end 2018-19. According to Mercom India, the 10 leading mounting structure companies in India accounted for 65 per cent of the total market share in 2018-19, while 50 or sol suppliers accounted for remaining 35 per cent. Of the 10 leading companies, three companies shipped over 500 MW of products while two shipped about 1 GW of mounting structure.
With unprecedented growth witnessed in the solar power segment, the major of the steel giants around the world have started supplying mounting structures. JSW Steel Coated Products Limited is one such example. A 100 per cent subsidiary of JSW Steel, it is an established name in the solar mounting structure space. Pennar Industries, a market leader in the solar mounting structure business, also has steel products division. The company derives over 30 per cent of its business from the solar mounting structure division. SNS Corporation and Ganges Internationale are two other leading players in the mounting structure space. Other large players in the mounting structure space Include Tata International, Jakson, Loom Solar, Neuvosol, Metalkraft, Strolar, and Solar Mounting System Solutions.
As per industry estimates, module mounting structures account for 9-15 per cent of the total cost of a solar power plant, depending on the size of the plant. In smaller plants, mounting structures make up about 9 per cent of the total project cost, while their share increase on large plants. Hence, module mounting structures can cost anywhere between Rs 3. 60 per Wp and Rs 6 per Wp for a 1 MW solar power plant of Rs 40 million.
Given the rapid increase in solar power deployment across all applications, there is an incremental demand for related equipment at cost-effective prices. Thus, the market for mounting structures is also expected to expand in the coming years. In fact, the rooftop solar segment is likely to reach a market size of Rs 40 billion – Rs 140 billion by the end of 2024-25.
In sum, the demand for mounting structures of all types and sizes is set to witness a surge. That said, a high degree of innovation will be required, both in structural design and materials used, to make mounting structures available at cost-competitive prices.
Top 10 leading mounting structure companies in India
Let’s take a look here is the list of top 10 leading mounting structure companies in India.
1. Tata International
Tata International Limited [TIL] is a global trading and distribution company with a network of offices and subsidiaries spanning more than 39 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. As a member of the reputed business conglomerate the Tata Group, we pride ourselves in upholding the highest ethical standards in the way we conduct our businesses. Supported by a 7000+ strong employee base, we are strongly driven by customer centricity, and have, over the years, formed strategic alliances and partnerships with market leaders that have reinforced our role as preferred partners in international trade and business.
Jakson Group is a leading energy and engineering solutions company offering a range of products and services that help customers effectively meet their energy needs in a safe and sustainable manner. The company is driven by its core values of building enduring relationships and its vision to be a trendsetter in energy solutions. Our integrated energy and engineering solutions portfolio ensure our customers remain at the forefront, now and into the future.
3. Loom Solar
Loom Solar is India’s premium solar brand store headquartered in Faridabad, Haryana. It sells solar products online across India with promised delivery within 3 days. It is ISO 9001-2015 certified company and also recognized as Startup by Government of India.
Metalkraft is one of the leading Manufacturer of Cold Roll Formed Sections, focused on building tomorrow’s enterprise. Metalkraft enables clients all over the Country with outperform on competition and stay ahead of the manufacturing curve. With more than 114Crores (FY’ 2012-13) revenues and 250+ loyal, dedicated and Highly skilled work force, Metalkraft provides enterprises with strategic insights on what lies ahead. With continuous enhancement and customer focus, Metalkraft is building a Bigger& Better Tomorrow in Engineering Industry.
Strolar specializes in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of photovoltaic racking solutions. Since its foundation Strolar has released a wide range of high-quality and innovative mounting systems. We provide roof and ground mounting solutions for residential, agriculture, industrial, government, commercial, and utility grade projects. Our mission is to promote renewable energy solutions making solar installations simple.
Nuevosol Energy is a Mounting Systems Solution provider for Solar Photovoltaic Plants, offering turnkey services of Design, Supply and Installation. Nuevosol Energy is a front-runner providing optimized solutions for mounting systems, with more than 2500 MW of experience in turnkey deployment. We have been trusted by the hi-flyers of the solar world, and our prestigious clientele includes international giants like Azure Power, Acme, juwi Renewables, Lanco, Solaire Direct, EMMVEE.
7. SNS Corporation
Infused with the vision to provide service of the highest scale in the infrastructure industry, SNS Corporation set off on its journey in 2007. Rest assured, it has been an enthrallingly evolving journey replete with varied technological inventions, designs and advancements. Various project-specific tower structures for telecom & transmission companies, structures for sub-stations, towers for transmission-lines, crash barriers for highways, cable trays, step-ladders, earthing conductors, clamps, grills, cold-formed channels, pre-engineered buildings and Module Mounting Structures for solar installations make a bulky portfolio for the company.
8. Ganges Internationale
Ganges Internationale Pvt Ltd (GIPL) was born in 1991 with a vision to bring commitment, trust and confidence in order to have an enviable client retention record. As part our services, we provide end to end engineering and consultancy solutions. GIPL takes pride on being one of the supreme manufacturers and supplier of towers for telecommunications, windmills, power transmission & distribution and railway electrification all under one roof but this is not where we limit our services. We also specialise in solar panel mounting and are recognised for our most economic, expatiate customised and affordable fabricated and galvanized metallic structures for solar panel mounting. Since its inception, the company has procured the respect and regard for paving its way successfully in serving its clients with dedicated indigenous solutions at low cost globally.
9. JSW Steel
Amongst the leading conglomerates in India, JSW Group is a $14 billion company. It is an integral part of the O. P. Jindal Group, and has been a part of major projects that have played a key role in India’s growth.
Ranked among India’s top business houses, JSW’s innovative and sustainable ideas cater to the core sectors of Steel, Energy, Cement and Infrastructure. The Group continues to strive for excellence with its strength, differentiated product mix, state-of-the-art technology, excellence in execution and focus on sustainability.
10. Pennar Industries
Pennar Industries Limited is one of the leading engineering organizations in India well known for its expertise in providing engineered products & services. An epitome of quality, precision, and perfection, Pennar is driven by an unrelenting desire to excel with experience spanning over three decades.
Choosing a solar mounting structure (1 Panel Stand, 2 Panels Stand, 3 Panels Stand & 4 Panels Stand) is a challenging option because there are plenty of companies available in the market. It is essential for every buyer to understand the features & quality before buying the product. The brands mentioned above are safe to buy because they have a lot of brand value and support options.