Put Your Lights On: Illuminating Homes Across India with iLUMY

By Vivek Chakraverty 6 Min Read

The ambitious plans of the Indian government

Two years back in December 2015, the Indian government unveiled its ambitious plans with regards to renewable power just in time for the Paris Climate Change Summit. The government announced that it had set for itself a target of 175 GW power coming from renewable sources by the year 2022. The government expects 100 GW to come from solar energy and 75 GW for other sources of renewable energy. In the 100 GW, solar power bracket comes 500 MW from new micro and mini solar power grids. This is the niche that Doorastha Analytics operates in.

Where Doorastha comes in

In 2016 Atanu Mukerji, Suneel Gupta, Shyamal Datta and Amitabh Singhal forged an alliance to create Doorastha Analytics. Currently, the company is in the government-sponsored incubator, Electropreneur Park located in New Delhi. The company has set sights on solving the problems faced by rural electricity users. Such users are often found to have no access to gensets or to microgrids powered by solar energy.

A comprehensive and cost effective solution

A single microgrid powered by renewable sources usually serve about 40 to 100 end users or customers. The company has observed as Amitabh noted, that present solutions monitoring performance are usually geared towards the larger set of projects in renewable that have considerable budgets. In order to address the issue, Doorastha Analytics has come up with iLUMY. iLUMY is solar power grid monitoring solution built keeping in mind small operators of micro or mini-grids. It seeks to improve both the revenue output as well as the performance of such grids and scores on both the counts of comprehensiveness and cost effectiveness.

The iLUMY solution

The iLUMY solution is composed of IoT enabled and wireless routers, meters, and grid controllers. There is a mobile app along with an internet based module. This module keeps a tab on the consumption of energy as well as pre-load consumption energy units. This will facilitate the system of having timely warnings about the number of energy units left for consumption. This will, in turn, enable the end customer to activate more energy units for consumption in the prepaid model. The idea is as nicely put forth by Amitabh: ”The end customer develops trust and this eliminates billing disputes because he can monitor his usage 24/7 and pay for what he consumes.”

Lighting new areas for people

Doorastha is keen on forging partnerships with entrepreneurs belonging to the rural areas under the Build, Operate & Maintain model. It is trying to meet the needs of rural electrification with solar microgrids. The solar microgrids are considered to be a better alternative to power coming from diesel generators which is both expensive and not in plentiful supply in village homes and other rural markets. Doorastha also has plans for its own micro/mini-grids powered by solar energy. These grids will have the iLUMY Network Intelligence setup embedded within itself. In fact, the company has already set up its first microgrid in an UP district.

The iLUMY plan

“Once we reach a certain scale with micro-grids we will use it as a pivot to set up mini-grids, which are higher capacity plants than microgrids. Over a period of time, with our ilUMY Network Intelligence platform, we should create an industry-standard analytics Platform as a Service for the burgeoning Solar Micro/Mini Grids industry sector,” Amitabh has said to Yourstory.

The current stage

The initial iLUMY avatar is ready for the market and is in the process of being launched. Following versions coming out subsequently will receive upgrades. The promising venture has been awarded a grant of Rs. 3 lakh so that they can purchase equipment by Electropreneur Park. Doorastha is upbeat about its prospects and expects that it will be able to raise the required funds soon enough.

The revenue model

Doorastha intends to set up a large number of micro-grids powered by solar energy to start. It will then charge for the energy in a pay-as-you-go model. This is to be the primary revenue source for Doorastha. It also intends to get additional revenue by providing the iLUMY solution to the operators, owners, and investors of other grids.

The takeaway

According to Amitabh, the innovative iLUMY solution gave birth to the whole concept of Doorastha. iLUMY is comprised of both software and hardware components and utilizes wireless and IoT tech to deliver on its promise. “The iLUMY solution will be abreast with the developments in the technologies it uses, and focusing on what the customer needs, our solution will keep on evolving to keep pace with the latest trends and stay ahead of the curve,” Amitabh adds.

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