Here are some frequently asked questions about
basics of solar energy PV system
How does solar work?
Solar PV system consists of two main parts – Solar Panel & Inverter.
Panels are heart of the system. When placed in sunlight, they generate electricity. The inverter converts this in to usable AC power to run various equipment and appliances.
Inverter is the brain of the system. It automatically synchronizes with the grid. It ensures solar is used as priority over supplied utility power.
Parts of Solar PV system
Solar system consists of the following
1. Solar Panel
3. Mounting Structure
4. Balance of System – Cables – DC & AC, Electrical Fixtures – MCB, RCCB, Surge Protection etc
5. Batteries (only for regions with significant load shedding)
What is the life of solar power system?
Solar panels come with 25 years’ warranty. Inverter warranties are 5-10 years. The mounting structures have 10+ years warranty. Solar PV system is designed for long term operation. You will benefit for at least two decades.
Does solar panel work during monsoon/rains?
Yes. Solar panels need light (not direct sunlight) for it to function.
The system will produce even during monsoon season.
Although the amount of production will be lower than say summer months.
We take this in to account in our modeling.
Example: Countries like Netherlands where it rains throughout the year have successfully installed Solar systems.
What is the maintenance cost of solar electricity system?
Solar PV systems are easy to maintain. All you need is regular cleaning of panels to remove any dust or particulate matter deposits. Nothing else is required.
What is a solar grid tied system?
What we generally offer to customers is a Grid-Tied system. This works in conjunction with grid power. This does not require any batteries.
The inverter output is connected downstream of meter. Therefore the electricity generated by solar reduces the consumption from supplied utility (MSEB for example) power.
For these systems loads are not a limitation. It is possible to run any equipment as surge currents are drawn from the grid supply.
What is solar off-grid system?
Off-grid systems are suitable for places facing significant power cuts. Here batteries are used to store energy to be used in case of unavailability of power.
The system has to be designed considering connected loads and their surge requirement. This typically poses limitation on the size and type of equipment which can be run.
What is solar power net metering? What about electricity requirement during night? How does it work then?
Net metering is an arrangement between the Consumer and the Utility Company where any excess power produced by solar can be exported to the grid. The number of units exported are given as credit. This can be offset when electricity is consumed sometime else (for example in the night).
This has allowed for maximum utilization of Solar Production, even during the days when direct consumption is very low (holidays, etc.).
Net metering arrangement allows credit to be carried forward each month. Only if your production is more than consumption over the period of 1 financial year, you will get compensated by MSEB or utility company.
How much space is required for solar panel installation?
Roughly speaking 1kW of system requires around 100 sq. feet of space. The exact area can be determined only after site survey and shadow assessment.
What is the cost of solar power system?
Cost depends on various factors, for which if you can provide us your electricity bill and let us survey your building, we can give you an estimate based upon that.
What is the payback period for solar installation?
Typically it takes around 3-5 years to recover your money back depending on your tariff. After than you can enjoy the benefits of the system for next 20 years.
What do you need for giving a quotation for solar energy?
We only need a (i) Copy of electricity bill and, (ii) Address for Site Survey.
Is there financing available? Or Solar Finance
We can arrange for loan for solar project. Final approval of course depends on your balance sheet and credit rating.
Interest rate – 11-12%. Read about EMI and PPA finance options for solar.
How long does it take to install solar PV system?
The time for system installation depends on complexity and size of project. This is anywhere from a day to few weeks, depending upon the size and complexity of the project.