Solar Power System for Housing Societies: Key Considerations by Insolergy
Fed up with rising energy prices in urban spaces, housing society residents in India are now turning to their rooftops.
Of late, many residential societies in India have been investing in various forms of solar energy to cut their maintenance costs, in addition to doing their bit towards keeping their environment green. Typically for a housing society, the capital invested in solar power plant is recovered within 3 to 5 years.
Installing Solar System for Housing Society
One of the most attractive features of solar power is that after a one-time payment, the cost of running the system is virtually Nil (monthly cleaning of panels turns out to be insignificant). But to achieve the expected returns, the solar electric system must be properly designed, skilfully installed and duly maintained.
Let’s take a look at the important aspects of solar system installation for housing societies.
1. What loads to transfer to solar in an apartment building?
Residential societies (multi-storey buildings) usually solarize their common areas instead of supplying solar energy to individual apartments. This is usually due to available roof-space and the fact that one single larger solar plant has better economics than many smaller individual solar plants adding up to the same size.
Outdoor lighting is the most common utility of common area powered by solar energy in societies. Other common areas or utilities include:
- Corridors and lobbies
- Parking lots
- Water pump/Water motor
- Central heating/cooling
A common question is can solar panels work at night or with low sunshine. This is addressed by implementing Net Metering. The net metering allows for export of excess energy generated during day time by Solar, to be exported into the grid against which the consumer gets credit – so it can be used during night or days with low sunshine. Insolergy has helped many happy consumers to implement Solar Power plant with net-metering.
Did you know?
A recent study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), found that residential societies using diesel generators can reduce power costs substantially by replacing them with rooftop solar power systems. The study recommends mandatory installation of solar rooftops for all upcoming residential societies.
2. How to get a solar installation quote for the society?
Insolergy considers and evaluates following factors during the site survey:
- Is the solar installation project technically feasible and economically viable?
- Assess type and condition of your roof
- Determine shadow free area available for panel installation
- Decide interconnection of Solar system to existing electrical setup
- Identify suitable location for placing system components
There are a plenty of solar power companies in the Indian market that are fine to share a solar system quote just by looking at the electricity bill and some images of the rooftop. In fact, Insolergy has also made an online solar calculator available, but that tool is aimed at providing preliminary estimate of system size and expected savings. A detailed site survey is important to create the system design and prepare the final quote.
3. What are the key considerations during solar panel installation for the housing society?
Key phases in the lifecycle of installation of Rooftop Solar Power Plant include System Design & Engineering, Construction of the Plant, Quality Check, Commissioning, Handover to Customer, and Post-installation Operation & Maintenance Services.
Considerations for solar power installation for a residential building
Key considerations related to installation made by Insolergy team are:
- Installation of online Real time monitoring to track system performance
- Proper access to panels for maintenance
- Minimum noise footprint to avoid any disturbance for residents
- Proper workmanship to ensure zero damage to the building or assets
- Use of optimum quality equipment to achieve high system performance
- Application for solar subsidy before the installation begins to initiate the approval process.
- Meeting eligibility criteria for solar energy loans
How much time does it take to start generating solar power?
Solar panel installation process can take anytime between a few days to a fortnight, depending on the complexities involved. In most cases, the solar PV system is ready to start generating power from the day it is installed.
4. Who maintains the solar power system for the residential complex?
Like the society’s elevator, the solar power system also requires professional maintenance and cannot be effectively managed by any individual or group of residents.
Solar companies provide Annual Maintenance Contract or AMC to housing society for regular maintenance of the solar power system. Insolergy, for instance, performs quarterly inspection, does the required troubleshooting and generates the quarterly production report.
Insolergy also provides Workmanship Warranty to cover any unlikely event of downtime due to workmanship related issues.
Going Solar, Simplified With Insolergy