State Bank of India signs for 300 solar-powered ATMs

State Bank of India signs for 300 solar-powered ATMs

State Bank of India (SBI) is rolling out over 300 solar-powered ATMs from local vendor Vortex Engineering at rural and semi-urban sites across the country.

SBI has signed for 545 machines, of which over 300 will solar-powered Gramateller Duo ATMs - developed in collaboration with IIT Madras - in the first large-scale deployment of its kind in the country.

The vendor says a conventional cash machine consumes about 1000 watts of power and requires an air-conditioned environment, adding another 1500 watts. This means a normal ATM consumes about 1800 units of power every month.

In contrast, Vortex claims that its machines consume less than 100 watts of power and do not require air conditioning, thus using up less than 72 units per month. The saving of 1728 units per month represents a cash benefit of Rs 1,20,000 a year.

In addition, compared to conventional ATM installations, Vortex's machines reduce CO2 emissions by at least 18,500 kg per year.

V Vijay Babu, CEO, Vortex Engineering, says: "With an ATM penetration of about 0.04 per 1000 people in India, there is a huge need for Rural ATMs. With this solar innovation becoming a viable option, Vortex looks forward to revolutionising the Rural ATM market."

Comments: (3)

Keith Appleyard
Keith Appleyard - available for hire - Bromley 12 March, 2010, 14:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Its pretty dark here now as I type this in Brighton at 2pm because its raining. How dark does it get in India during the monsoon season - don't want to be denied funds just because its gone dark - and what about after at night-time if the ATM hasn't stored up enough power - what if it cuts out just as its registered the debit and its about to dispense funds or return your card?

Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto 12 March, 2010, 16:00Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Looks like it has a built in battery back-up that will last four hours and can be plugged in to the mains as well (although as the solar option is being pushed as an alternative to unreliable grid power in rural areas, this seems a bit odd).

Link to Vortex page:

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 March, 2010, 17:15Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The solar power option is provided as a backup for areas with erratic grid supply. Most of India gets at least 5 hours of good solar insolation round the year. In these 5 hours, the ATM operates on solar power and also charges the batteries for another 8 hours of operation.

The back-up can also be charged from grid when solar power is not available.

When neither solar not grid is available and battery is low on charge (not sufficient to complete another transaction) the ATMs shut down gracefully (no transactions will get cut off midway or after debit)