“A prominent position in the T&M industry…”

Established in 2006, Testo India Pvt. Ltd. is a 100% subsidiary of Testo SE & Co. KGaA. In an exclusive interview with Electrical India, Parag Yelegaonkar, General Manager – Govt. Business, from the company fields questions from Abegail D’mello. Excerpts...

Tell us in brief about your company. Assess the electrical sector from your perspective–distribution transformers, smart grid applications, transmission lines, power cables, storage, motors, and cables? Could you provide an estimate regarding market worth for the above?

Testo India Pvt. Ltd. is a 100% subsidiary of Testo SE & Co KGaA, which is a world leader in design, development and manufacturing of electronic portable test and measuring instruments and is backed by more than 60 years of measurement engineering experience. Testo India has shown phenomenal growth over the last 14 years with new products and innovations getting added to the basket year after year, extending our reach throughout the nation, increasing our support and services in every aspect. With its head office in Pune, & a PAN India sales and channel partner network, Testo India now enjoys a prominent position in Test & Measurement industry. We also have an established state-of-the-art, NABL accredited service & calibration lab located at Pune.

Regarding the electrical sector, transformers, smart grid operations, transmission lines, etc, if you look at India’s next five-year power plan, the focus will slightly shift from generation to supply i.e., distribution of power. This is in view of the surplus from thermal power generation capacities that our country has built over the years, coupled with moderate demand and rising share of renewable energy, India will now witness a marked shift towards efficient supply and optimum generation classification mix, which mainly is thermal, hydro and nuclear power. Hence, the market for electrical assets like transformers,  transmission lines, switch yards, storage, motors and cables continue to rise linearly. From Testo standpoint, we play a major role in helping power utility to enhance the efficiencies by keeping the asset availability to maximum and reduce the losses. Our instruments like thermo-vision cameras, electrical instruments & data loggers are used in predictive & preventive maintenance, condition and health monitoring of the major electrical equipment that are mentioned above & also climate monitoring respectively.

Do you see an upward trend regarding the market demand for these solutions? What are the factors influencing the uptake for such solutions?

As the industry grows power demand rises and we also witness the sharp increase in distribution network capacity building and hence the demand for the Test & Measuring T&M Instruments will also grow in the same proportion due to the increase in the application areas. Also these measuring instruments are smart & intuitive, which gives you higher efficiency & helps in reducing the down time of any facility. Being said that, there definitely are several factors that play an important role in the inclusion of such solutions in the day to day operation of the electrical & power sector. The more people & users get to know about these solutions the better, along with proper trainings. Then there are government policies, operation of the plant and project execution pace, which are also vital aspects influencing the uptake for such solutions in government and private utilities

How has the electrical industry evolved in India? What is the wide range of opportunities for the sector across the value chain?

Energy, today, is considered crucial to achieve India’s development ambitions, to support an expanding economy, to bring electricity to rural areas, to fulfill the demand and to develop the infrastructure needed to meet the demands. India’s energy consumption has almost doubled since 2000 and the potential for further rapid growth is enormous. From potential of installed generation capacity to the limitations in distribution of power, the present and the future aspiration of this sector is worth analyzing. Which ultimately confirms that there is a lot of opportunities along with some areas of improvement in this sector across the value chain.

Could you highlight the impact of the following on the electrical sector: the growing demand for energy in India, network extension, upgradation, a reduction in energy intensity, the unbundling of supply services, and the growth of cross-border trade that presents opportunities in the industry? How is the Indian industry fairing in these?

Given the huge opportunity for growth in the power sector, an overall huge investment could potentially come in over the next decade. The paradigm shifts in the Indian energy sector will increasingly influence and shape the Indian and global energy economy. This includes power generation, renewable energy, oil and gas and electric mobility. It is quite evident that, the network must grow and expand. Up gradation and retrofits will be required in each value chain elements. India has already taken a leap in CBT and it will continue moving forward as the global energy economy is also showing upward trend.

Do we need to emphasize on Research and Development to obtain global quality standards? Can India’s domestic market and industry add to its prospects of emerging as a prime producer of energy?

Of course, there is need of continual efforts in R&D to meet global quality standard, which will help in raising our standards and quality. Looking at the domestic market, Total prime energy consumption in India is amongst the highest in the world. Due to high energy & power demands, there is a continuous increase in the energy production, transmission and distribution as well. Several schemes implemented by the government regarding electrification and power distribution also contribute to the growth of the segment. Not only that, increased demand for renewable energy usage has boosted the solar & wind power plants in the nation. Very evident that energy sector is pivotal in India and in the coming days the growth will be exponential, which could turn out to be crucial in emerging as a prime producer of energy in each classification.

Testo Instrumentation

Tell us about your company’s recent projects, any case studies you would like to share with us? Statistical/ market related data?

Recently we have executed several important projects in T&M for Power Grid, State Generation and Transmission utilities and NTPC. In fact, Power Utilities is one of the largest sectors that we cater to in the market. We have also provided our solutions in several solar plants like the Karnataka Solar Power having 1000 MW + installations and also to Sterling and Wilsons, Renew Power, AP-GENCO, MSEDCL Dhule – Sakri 125MW Solar Power Plant.

Talking specifically about our products, our Thermal Imagers are already operational at various power plants. Right from the beginning i.e., installation phase thermal imagers can be used for setting up benchmark parameters & for all kinds of troubleshooting jobs. Consider the power generation phase of the power plant–where a small lapse in preventive and predictive maintenance can lead to highly unsafe conditions. Most importantly, in power T&D segment like, the electrical connection points and insulators for overhead power lines in substations or the overhead power lines in high-voltage systems, switch yards and transmission lines must be regularly checked for routine maintenance for thermal anomalies detection purposes. For inaccessible locations testing & checking can be done by thermal inspection as a predictive maintenance tool from a safe distance, without endangering the user or without needing a shut down the entire power transmission network. Testo India provides testo 885 and testo 890 high end thermal imagers that, can be used to conduct thermal inspections in transmission lines up to 765KV voltage level, using a super telephoto lens with correspondingly high resolution, conveniently from
the ground.

What in your opinion has the influence been of the COVID-19 pandemic on the electrical industry sector regarding output and utilitie?

We cannot deny the fact that the industry is affected to a considerable extent due to Covid-19 epidemic and we might even witness the prolonged effects & slowdown for next one year or so. Many important projects in renewable energy and transmission network capacity building have suffered due to unavailability of manpower, potential threat of viral spread & an overall slowdown in manufacturing too. Utilities have also felt the heat of this pandemic equally, resulting in lower growth rate. We expect that soon things get back on track & we start working on the progress plan.

How are government policies influencing the energy sector? What are the policies that would be an enabler to the industry if adopted on a government and national level?

Government policies plays very important role in growth and pace of the electrical industry and energy sector. There is a broad portfolio of policies and provisions led by the government in regards to the energy sector & efficiency management like regulation, market transformation, monetary policies, awareness program etc, including both national and sub-national policies and program. With favourable policies as regards to implying the higher duties on imports, giving concessions in GST and local taxes on electrical equipment for conventional and renewable power industry the expected growth and pace can be achieved. Hence, the policies not only at national level but at state level also need to be effectively implemented for the growth in the domain across value chain of the energy sector.

On the technical side, in what direction are we headed? What are we seeing with regard to technological innovation? What are the trends?

In terms of technology, we have been on a progressive path & things look in proper shape. Also, the latest advancements are coming in the forms of smart operation, which is also the current trend accompanied by the digitization of the working system along with the increasing in critical application areas. So there is a need and a larger scope to adopt the latest technologies in generation, transmission, and distribution network. We need to adopt the advanced methods in each sector right from the product development to manufacturing of electrical goods and services. Awareness, proper trainings, reducing losses must be a matter of concern for the stakeholders in the process of adoption of new techniques. Similarly, SMART grids and digitization needs to be addressed at management level for respective verticals in the energy sector.

Any company-side developments you would like to comment on?

Yes, we at Testo are emphasizing on developing more SMART solution for the Industry to improve efficiency and availability that allows the industry to monitor the health of the equipment or an electrical asset. Consider our latest and most advanced solutions for instance, our Electrical Instruments are very distinct and unique in their features. They are excellent instruments to inspect the electrical components and circuit failure threats. Along with that they ensure longevity and efficiency of various power electronic components that control and regulate the flow of electrical energy. The unique Clamp meters and Multi meters are intuitive, can measure several parameters in a single component. Testo clamp meter can even be connected to thermal imagers via Bluetooth, which can instantly display electrical parameters along with thermal profiles. Our new range of Thermal Imagers with smart phone integration designed to deliver networked thermography are mostly used for predictive and preventive maintenance in electric and power sector. These electrical instruments & thermal imagers are the best solution for trouble shooting in power sector.

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