Kakatiya Energy Systems to Play Bigger Role in Smart City Projects Interview

Several state governments, municipal corporations, and gram panchayats across India have increasingly opted for energy-efficient outdoor lighting systems, including LED lamps and solar lanterns. As recently as May this year, the Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (Himurja) invited bids to supply and install 20,000 solar street lighting systems in various villages, gram panchayats, and other agencies in the state.

In 2020, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a government entity under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power (MoP), floated a tender for the design, manufacture, testing, and supply of 1.9 million LED streetlights in Telangana gram panchayats and other states.

Hyderabad-based Kakatiya Energy Systems Private Limited (KES) has been at the forefront of developing patented sensing technology for outdoor lighting automation. It specializes in manufacturing lighting controls using advanced and innovative patented technologies that offer energy conservation.

Kakatiya has introduced automatic sensor-based electrical switches that are immune to artificial lights under the brand Nature Switch. The company claims a savings of 55 million units of electricity globally with its Nature Switch systems.


Mercom spoke with P R Lakshmana Rao, CEO, Kakatiya Energy, to discuss the company’s energy-efficient lighting products and plans for the future.

  1. How is Kakatiya Energy addressing energy efficiency through lighting systems?

Through its brand Nature Switch, Kakatiya offers innovative control systems for lighting applications. Nature Switch offers attention-free operation and automatically adapts to dynamic lighting conditions on the field using patented sensing technology. Nature Switch protects lighting systems from high and low voltages, significantly reducing energy and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. So, our products not only save energy with automatic switching but promote energy efficiency with many more value-added features.

Our products offer attention-free operation and adapt automatically to the lighting conditions on the field. They come in IP 65 enclosures, offer protection from High-Low Voltages, and require no maintenance. As a result, we are improving efficiency, saving electricity, and reducing costs. We offer products to eliminate wastages in the use of lighting while meeting the planned objectives.

  1. Are your products used mainly in outdoor/public lighting systems? Do you have products designed for use in homes/indoors?

While our products are used for outdoor lighting primarily, we also offer many solutions for indoor applications. Customers use our products Nature Switch – Wireless, Nature Switch – ATM, for controlling air conditioners apart from lighting, minimizing electricity consumption significantly daily.

We also offer the Nature Switch – IoT (Internet of Things) series, which offers real-time smart control and state-of-the-art data analytics for automation of lighting, air conditions, motors, or any other electrical item.

  1. What kind of energy and cost savings can users of Kakatiya’s products expect?

As per internationally published reports, automatic control systems are proven to save up to 20% of electricity. While this is the direct energy saving resulting from automation, there are other benefits, including a reduction in fuel, workforce, and administrative costs involving the O&M of the application. The indirect advantages concerning O&M activities are significantly higher.

Our users can expect a significant reduction in O&M costs. Our products offer an attractive payback period and help in saving electricity.

  1. Can you talk about the patent your company has received for infrared light-sensing technology? 

Nature Switch is designed to perform automatic switching ON-OFF functions as per ambient sunlight level. The precision of measuring sunlight level determines the switching times and, ultimately, the product’s energy efficiency. We are proud to claim that our sensing technology can differentiate between natural sunlight and artificial light, giving it the unique ability to perform the most efficient switching while meeting human visibility requirements. Nature switch thus does not get affected by light from vehicles, buildings, or other artificial sources during its operation, thus providing ideal automation.

  1. Does Kakatiya manufacture products other than lighting control systems?

Our RAKSHA HEADLAMP RELAY comes with a complete wiring harness suitable for any four-wheeler offering the needed protection and millions of switching cycles using solid-state technology for the first time in headlamp switching.

We designed NATURE SWITCH-ATM to control signages and air conditioners automatically in an ATM. The automation is enabled using advanced infrared sensing and microcontroller-based logic to control all varieties of air conditioners, which are switched ON/OFF based on the need for attention-free operation. It reduces manual costs, saves power bills, and pays for itself.

We also offer products for IoT applications in sectors like Elevator Control, Motor Control, Aircon Control, and Fire Detection. We have teams capable of designing systems based on GSM/GPRS/RF/LORA/LORAWAN/Wifi/Bluetooth communication technologies for IoT applications.

  1. Which public utilities are using Kakatiya’s products in India?

Our products control over 1 million streetlamps every day across multiple countries. Amongst Indian public utilities – Indian Railways, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) widely use the Nature Switch series.

Smart, IoT-enabled Nature Switches enable more than 150 municipalities across India with smart, online control & monitoring with real-time energy analytics. Some of the cities include Noida, Hyderabad, Surat, Gandhinagar, and Visakhapatnam.

  1. How did you indigenously develop these products? Can you tell us about your growth story in brief?

Kakatiya Energy Systems, incorporated in 1999, is a specialist in manufacturing lighting controls using advanced technology to offer energy conservation and automation. Our approach involves developing products based on a zero-base concept and adopting new manufacturing methods, offering unique and new products to the customer.

We have a team of dedicated staff who have been associated with the company from its inception. The company’s development and manufacturing teams regularly interact so that the design objectives are practical and are realized fully in manufacturing.

  1. What are the company’s plans for the next five years? 

Being an Energy Service Company (ESCO), we wish to play an increasingly prominent role in offering project services to many upcoming Smart City projects. We intend to expand our footprint in international markets. We have also launched individual LED lamp dimming control popularly known in the lighting industry circles as ILM with remote connectivity.

 

Image credit: Kakatiya Energy Systems