A billion dollar opportunity for solar powering existing UPS install base

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$300bn was invested in solar energy globally last year. 97.5% of this went into grid-connected solar systems, mostly utility-scale systems above 10kW range, 2.4% of the investments went into off-grid systems below 100W. There is an eerie silence is solar deployments in the 100W to 10kW range with only 0.1% of investments going there. This was a very interesting number which intrigued us and piqued our curiosity. Grid-tie systems are costly on a per watt basis below 10kW and battery-based systems are costly due to the replacement cost of batteries above 100W. We found that the LCOE is not attractive to the user for either type of systems and hence the eerie silence in investments in solar energy between the 100W to 10kW range.

We found that 280mn battery-based systems exist between 300W and 25kW in the form of Uninterrupted Power Supplies(UPS). We wanted to develop a product that can convert the existing install base of UPS systems to solar power at the lowest CAPEX cost for the customer and iCON was born. 

The flagship product of NyQuest , iCON, is a cloud-connected intelligent solar-energy management system, which converts existing UPS systems to solar power. NyQuest aims to convert 3% of the global install base of UPS systems into solar-powered systems through its intelligent conversion boxes. Converting 3% of 280 million UPS systems even with 1kW solar modules is a $4 billion opportunity.

We found that different customers use energy at different times of the day and week, “One size fits all” strategy will not work to optimize solar utilization and backup availability. Hence, we introduced algorithms to learn the energy usage pattern and the system was programmed to behave as per the customer need. Currently, we have a machine-learning system which can predict the usage load pattern and the system decides when to store the energy from solar or when to power the load from solar power or the utility grid. We are launching iCON in Q1 FY20-21. 

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