Sona Koyo Steering, Automobile parts manufacturing, Chennai

General Information

Description of the company
The M/s. Sona Group was founded in 1987 to manufacture components for the automotive industry. Today it is a USD 800 million multi-national – with over 16 plants across India, 3 plants in Germany and 1 plant in the US. The group also has a strategic position in Fuji Autotec, Europe - which has subsidiaries in Brazil, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Starting with a “Manufacture to Print” organisation, the group today boasts having created its own IPR particularly in the areas of power-steering for off highway applications and precision forging.
Type of Industry
Automobile parts manufacturing - steering and driveline components for the automotive original equipment manufacturers.
Location of the company and the solar plant

The SWHS is installed at:

Bangalore Highway
Sriperumbudur 602 105
Kanchipuram Dist
Tamil Nadu

Contact Person Name
Mr. G. Rakesh
Phone No.
044 3717000
Heat demanding processes

The vehicle steering components before being painted, undergo hot water wash at a temperature of 60°C -75°C, commonly referred to as “seven-stage” process.

The plant is operated 16 hours a day (2 shift) and 6 days a week and around 300 days in a year.

Conventional heat supply
A fire tube boiler is used to generate steam at 100-110°C and a pressure of 6 to 7 kg/cm2.
Conventional fuel used
Diesel oil.
Motivation to use solar thermal energy
In order to cut down the fuel cost, the management decided to go for a solar thermal system.

Description of the solar thermal system

Type of solar plant

An ETC based Industrial Solar Water Heating System with 438 sq. m aperture area used for washing purposes.The gross area is 455 sq. m.

Year of installation
The SWHS system was commissioned in the year 2012.
Solar collector field

Each collector/module is of 6kW thermal capacity with 12.5 sq. m aperture area. There are 80 tubes and one manifold of 1000 Liters capacity in each collector. Total number of modules installed are 35. The aperture area of solar ETC collectors is 438 sq.m.

Water storage

There is no storage tank in the solar collector circuit.

The solar system will only be working during the solar hours and all the energy generated is transferred to the process, without any storage.

Hydraulics Scheme and operation of system

During production the automotive components – steering systems, undergo a hot water wash to remove oil, dust, rust, etc. The hot water is required at average temperatures of 75°C mainly for washing purposes. The process tanks are heated by indirect heating.

Sona Koyo Hydraulic Scheme
Supplier/ manufacturer of the solar system

The solar system was designed, delivered and commissioned by:

M/s. Solar Hitech Geysers
No. 4, Sri Krishna, Behind Bhima
Jyothi L. I. C. Colony,
West of Chord Road
Bengaluru - 560 079,
Karnataka , India


The plant has been installed in RESCO mode (opex model) by Aspiration Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Mr Manoharan. K
Head - Solar Thermal

Data recorded
The plant maintains the records for boiler feed input water and diesel oil consumption. Logbook records are available since the SWH plant is in operation. There is a remote monitoring installed by the RESCO company.

Energy balance

Heat demand
Diesel oil consumption is 120 litre per day. This translates to heat requirement is on an average 1248 kWh per day and 4 lakh kWh per year.
Solar radiation-on site

The site receives an average annual solar insolation of 5.23 kWh/m2/day which means 1909 kWh/m2/year on horizontal surface.

On collectors with an inclination of 30° the irradiation is about 0.99 * 1909 kWh/(m2*year) = 1889 kWh/(m2*year).

Location: Longitude: 79.93 E & Latitude: 12.94 N
Source: NASA Surface meteorology and Meteonorm

Useful solar energy delivery
The solar thermal energy produced is 1260 kWh/day. (from the RESCO company data)
Fuel saved by solar energy
On an average 120 litres/day are saved. (from RESCO company data)
Emissions saved
The CO2 emissions saved by the solar system are of about 97 ton CO2 per annum.(from RESCO company data)


Investment costs

The project is commissioned with an overall investment of Rs. 51. 5 lakh (exclusive of taxes).

This corresponds to Rs. 11,300 per m2 collector gross area.

Central government subsidy of Rs. 13.65 lakh
Economics of the solar system

Rs 16.2 lakh (as per RESCO company data)

Simple payback period is 2 years 4 months considering subsidy and 3 years 2 months without considering subsidy.


Operation experience
Operation of the system is good.
Statement of the owner
Owner of the system is highly satisfied of the existing solar system because of huge saving in the production process.
Statement of the supplier/manufacturer
Supplier is very happy about the operation of the system.