Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Plaguarism - Beware of the disease

I travelled to Dubai, last week, there were too many of these customers, who thought it right to give me advice on what to do, Dubai is a great city and has enough sunshine to make solar work, I had projects ranging from 25kW to 100kW.  There was certain client, Ahmed, who seemed to be suggesting that I needed to give a concrete proposal to make things happen, I was amiable and open to discussion.  The first thing that seemed striking to me was that there was nothing in his conversation that suggested he knew anything about renewables, it was just the lure of money that he was holding on to.  When I questioned him about the specifications of the systems that he wanted he was vague and non committal.  Initially I was very open with him and gave him all the information that he required, as a matter of fact, to the extent the design that I mentioned in one of my previous posts, which I will briefly touch upon in this post below, was also passed on to him  :

I    SCP - Mini Home

1. Design
A home consumes 81 w * 3 hrs = 243 whrs/day
243/5.5 = 45 whr/day = ideal array size
45/0.72 = 62.5 W PV
243 Whrs/day (Avg daily load) / 0.9 Inv Eff
= 270 Wh/day
270 Wh/day / 24 DC system volts = 11.25 Avg AH/day
(11.25 x 1.11 battery temp multiplier x 2 days
autonomy) /0.5 Battery DOD
=60 Total System AH
Charge Controller
15 Amps
81 W total AC load = min inverter continuous watt
Inverter size 240 VAC 100W
2. Final Specs
PV 100W
LMLA battery 24 v, 60 AH
Charge Controller 15 Amps
Available Energy/day Whrs 250
Inverter Capacity 600 VA
Autonomy 2 days
Price : Rs 50,000 ex india
3. Load as given below
15w x 2nos, 11w x 3nos, 9w x 2nos running for 3
hours per day

Obviously, this was a huge step for me, to give my research to somebody who knew very little about Solar.  Ahmed seemed happy on receiving the design specifications but still non committal, I sat with him for over two hours, where various people from his team looked up the specs and asked me to design for a 5kW and then a 25kW system.  It was akin to a classroom where I was handing out my learning to people for free and after a while I stopped liking it.  My ire must have been obvious, as his tone suddenly changed and he got more aggressive.  Sitting right there in front of me, he started to call other suppliers and started to ask for prices for my design.  Now I am a reasonable man, but these seemed way out of line.  My designs were being handed out for free.  I got up immediately and pulled the sheets away from his hands.  
I had entertained this mans request for over 6 months, giving him documents pertaining to ISO certifications, Company Balance Sheets and now design specifications and he had the nerves to call a competitor with my design sheets.  I took the sheets of paper and fortunately there had been no photocopy of this, walked out of the office.  I knew I had invested a lot of time and money on Ahmed, yet there was no way I was going to bow down to this kind of common thievery.  I walked out of the office, thinking of what I was going to do, the Dubai trip seemed like a waste, money was inconsequential, my mind today was feeling let down, more depressing than the Middle East heat.  I walked into a Aircon cab and walked in to the Aircon Hotel all in a daze.
Took the lift up to the room and sat in the room thinking about the next step.  I could call back home and speak to Amit, a good friend of mine and ask for advice, or I could call Mustafa and discuss further details of the project or I could just sit and brood.  There was inactivity everywhere in my mind, it wasn't thinking, till I spoke to Amit, he cleared my mind and told me what to do :
1.  Write an SMS asking for a re-meet.
2.  A mail is preferred but in any case don't go without fixing an appointment.
3.  Postpone your return for another day either way.
So, here I am in Dubai, waiting another day and looking to meet Ahmed again, this time in a better frame of mind to handle the situation.  We all do what we have to do, and some decisions we regret and try and make up for it.
Life is about second chances, when you get one, grab it


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