Innovative Solutions Solar Energy

Revamping your Roofs and Open Spaces

COVID – 19 has made our lives change in numerous ways. We are slowly getting acquainted with the ‘New Normal’. Amidst the lockdown, to stay on the safer side, the preference to stay indoors has increased. We are becoming homebound, now more than ever.  This has made it essential to revamp your roofs & open spaces of your homes. The ‘Work from home’ culture has initiated the need to have homes that breathe positivity. With families staying indoor, there’s a need to revamp our thoughts on how we look at our interactive spaces. The residential sector has entered a dual role in catering to both housing, as well as workplace needs. The pandemic has been an eye-opener about how we cherish being outside. Balconies, backyards, and green spaces have become the new highlights of our homes.

Roofs = Open space

Roofs are an important construction element. For many decades they were being used as a sheltering element. But in the current times, they too can be optimally utilised for something more appealing and aesthetic.  Our open spaces can be optimized by making them active spaces. Before the pandemic, the usage of roofs was for catering to domestic purposes. Now is the time, we can make these spaces actively open for interactions and family times.  

So, here are a few ideas through which you can revamp your roofs and open spaces 

Garden on roofs & open spaces

What benefits do rooftop gardening give a resident?  According to researchers, rooftop garden benefits your psychological growth. With a variety of plants and shrubs available in the market, one can choose a wide range of species for your green roof. Even the planters and pots are now available in different materials and variety. They also add up to the aesthetics of a space and make your green roof more pronounced.  Depending on the size of the balcony or open space you can mark your green areas. Plants can be a good option to recreate your roof space. They can even act as informal spaces for working while at home. A coffee table or a basic dining table to accommodate the members can make these spaces more optimized for use. For having an informal vibe, you can add bean bags or high raised cushions.

Indoor – Outdoor 

Outdoors within a household can be great spaces to unwind during the rainy and winter season. But during the summers, it can be discomforting. A balance of indoors and outdoors can be maintained by adding partitions for air buffers. A glass partition which allows a semi-closure between the indoors and outdoors can be a good idea.

Add Accessories 

It could be artworks, sculptures, hanging pieces, stone pieces, or paintings. They add a dynamic feature to the outdoors and give an inviting vibe to the entire space. Sculptures with flowing water can be a meditative experience for the residents as they tend to have a positive impact on our psych.

Be space smart! 

We are heading towards the microgeneration; our house has now started getting more and more compact. The key here is to use our open spaces smartly. Many innovative furniture with inbuilt storage is available in the markets. These furniture elements can save space and even make the existing space dynamic.   Instead of having planters and greens placed horizontally, you can go vertical by adding steps to your roofs. It allows a varied experience for your balcony or open spaces. Vertical gardening and farming are the new trends in rooftop gardening that many households are adapting. It allows your open space to have a soothing effect by using the verticality of a zone making the horizontal space available more for spatial use.

Soft Lighting 

Lighting plays a vital role in defining the mood of a space. In open spaces or roofs, bright light can create a sense of uneasiness. The key is to have soft lighting that allows the space to be lit adequately without being too harsh. As open spaces need to be centric more towards having an informal vibe, having the right lights is always important.   The lights needn’t just be about their illuminance but also their shape and design. Hanging lights are good for dining or seating areas for amplifying the rooftop gardens. The area for the planters can have spotlights or mild downlights to have a calm tone to the greens in the evenings. The lighting above the seating space can be slightly brighter and more pronounced as compared to the other spaces to define the centric activity. The light should be just adequate for you to read and look at the stars.

Colour Palette 

The Colour palette plays a vital role in interior decoration and gives many rooftop garden benefits by adding dynamicity to space. The consistency to stick to the colour palette is where the balance of the entire blend takes place. While designing your roof spaces, make sure that you stay put on the colour palette that was beforehand. While getting every element, check if they belong to the same thread.    The palette of your rooftop garden needs to be consistent with your home. As in the end, they both are the same part of a whole. 

Get yourself a Metaphorical Money Plant 

It is the most crucial part of making a house. We spend a massive amount of finances on our homes to make our vision into reality. It is important to have a pre-determined idea of the budget and the costing. Sometimes we even tend to go overboard while planning our budget. In such situations having a pre-planned system can be a good solution.   Also, while making the house, we need to think about its running cost. In such scenarios, opting for sustainable ideas is always a great solution.   Our roofs are left dormant to do their basic function of sheltering us.   But what if they could do more?  What if we could have roofs that become our asset and give us our assured returns?  What if our roofs could save our electricity bills and at the same time beautify our homes?  For this, having an Atrium, HomeScape’s flagship Solar Pergola is the ideal option. An Atrium is a wooden solar pergola that acts as a shade to your open gardens or balconies. While doing this, it also produces solar energy that can be effectively used in our households. So the roof now is no more a stagnant system but an active energy-producing powerhouse. This can act as a unique rooftop garden idea.  So, these are the ideas through which you can revamp your roof and open space to form an actively used set-up. These ideas are easily adaptable and have an impactful effect on your open spaces. These areas not only help in getting beautiful open spaces but they also reduce our mental strains. They also tend to increase your productivity. Your open spaces are the best way to have a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Rooftop Solar Solar Energy

Why I chose HomeScape to get Solar Rooftop for my home

In the last couple of years, India has seen tremendous growth in solar rooftop installations across the residential and commercial segment. Although most of it can be attributed to the commercial and industrial segment, residential is also gaining the attention of the homeowners across India and they are more and more opting for residential solar systems. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of clean electricity generated by solar panels. Earlier during summers, power cuts used to bring the cities to a meltdown. But now, with expansion in the grid electricity network and installation of a rooftop solar system, power cuts got reduced by 30% in major cities. But, still India is a power deficit country, and we can’t rely on just grid-connected power to light our homes.

The question is, how as a homeowner, you can reap the benefits of a solar rooftop system. We talked to a few of the HomeScape customers and got a firsthand review of a HomeScape residential solar rooftop and how it changed their lives. By now, you must already be knowing about the advantages of solar power, now we are here to give you a sneak peek into our customers’ homes who are not only saving on their electricity bills but also getting additional benefits from HomeScape solar that none of the other solar rooftop players offer. Here are the top 3 additional benefits of installing HomeScape solar rooftop system that you don’t get from any other residential solar systems:

Beautify your homes along with savings in electricity bills

Atrium, the flagship HomeScape Solar is an elevated rooftop solar plant with Wood-Clad Pergola structure. Every atrium is custom-designed to enhance the beauty of your terraces. The premium looking wooden finish gives it an elegant look that makes it visually appealing even from a distance. That’s not it, if you are installing a ‘Grid Connected Solar System’ without a battery, you can observe up to 90% savings on your electricity bills. The electricity produced during the day is consumed for your daily usage and excess load is transferred to the grid. Hence, most of the daily electricity requirements are met by clean solar energy.

beautiful homescape solar rooftops

Enjoy high ROI and quality time spent with family

Typical risk-free investments in India (Fixed Deposits etc.) return around 8%-9% per year. A 10kW standard rooftop home solar system (Terra) returns up to 30% per year on the investment while Atrium returns up to 18%. With a life of 25+ years, a solar plant gives better returns than any risk-free investment available with us. Combine this with the possibility of spending quality time with family and friends. HomeScape Atrium gives you a lounge-like ambiance within the comfort of your homes and you can spend hours chilling under our aesthetically designed HomeScape pergolas.

HomeScape Powers your Dreams

Elevated Solar Rooftops insulates your roof from direct heat & give you an added seating space

Our elevated home solar systems provide better shade during the day, which reduces the heating of RCC roofs during the sunny days. The rooms tend to remain cooler which ultimately, leads to less electricity consumption. Also, the pergola gives an added seating space on your roof which you can utilize for gardening, kids project and recreation area.

Installing solar panels on roof
In nutshell, HomeScape Solar rooftops are not only power producers but also adds to the overall quality of our customer’s lives, thus making their lives richer and better. If you are looking for a rooftop solar plant that not only gives you savings to power your dreams but also other benefits as mentioned above, you know where to go!  Get HomeScaped!



Rooftop Solar Solar Energy

DIY Calculation Guide for 1 kW Solar System

The size of a residential solar system is defined by its peak power. e.g. a 1 kW solar system can produce 1 kW of power per hour on sunny days. kWh stands for kilowatt-hour1 unit of electricity implies 1 kW generated/ utilized in an hour. You need to install at least 3-4 solar panels based on watt peak in an array for the 1 kW solar system. 10kW solar systems are a great investment for homes with high levels of electricity consumption or businesses with relatively small electricity needs. You can calculate your plant size, area requirement and payback period by our DIY guide.

Calculate Solar System Capacity

The first thing to do is to find out how many units of electricity you are consuming on an average monthly. If you’re using 1400 kWh per month, let’s consider an average of 6 hours of sunlight per day, this implies you would need 1400 / 6×30 = 7.7 kW at least every hour, i.e. ~ an 8-10 kW system. If you have an idea of the available area on your rooftop, you can also check out our Solar Calculator. Let’s understand this by an example. A “10 kW solar system” means an array of solar panels that produce 10 kW for every hour of direct sunlight. So, a 10 kW system, in a location with 4 hours of direct sunlight, makes 40 kWh per day. Assuming 300 sunny days in a year, a 10kw system will generate 14,000 kWh annually which is equivalent to planting 450+ Teak trees and total savings of Rs 45 Lakhs over the lifetime.

Calculate Area requirement for Your Solar System

Parameters which determine the size of the Plant are as follows:

  • Monthly Average Bill Peak load in summers & throughout the year
  • Sanctioned Load
  • Rooftop area or shade-free area

All these points are needed to be analyzed properly as the policies and guidelines of Govt vary state by state e.g. Policies for availing subsidy and Net Metering is different for different states. In Delhi, you can install a system equal to that of the sanctioned load. If you have a sanctioned load of 10 kW, you can install a system up to 10 kW. Similarly, in some states, the maximum capacity of the solar plant allowed is 90 % of the sanctioned load. For estimation purpose, 70% of rooftop area can be used for the panel’s installation. Certain solar panels in the market can use as high as 90% of rooftop area but have a much higher cost. As a thumb rule, you require 10 sq meter area for a 1 kW solar system capacity.  Shading is another important factor which decides the positioning and size of the plant. The system should be facing south with a certain degree on the panels. For more details, you may refer to this video. You should look for a maximum area without shade for your solar system to work efficiently.

Calculate Payback Period for Your Solar System

Solar Energy is a renewable source of energy that is revolutionizing the way we generate power. Not just that it is a clean source of energy, but it’s a great investment that adds value to your property with a shelf life of 25 years and it is aesthetically beautiful. The total no. of years (time) by which the initial amount of money invested for the system will be recovered from the savings made is known as the payback period of a solar system. Let’s take an example – If you have invested Rs 5 Lakhs for a solar system that gives you savings of Rs 1 Lakh annually, this implies, in 5 years’ time, the profits have paid back your original investment. You can check exact savings in INR from the solar calculator, as explained before. Solar panel price in general ranges between Rs12,000 –  Rs18,000 based on the type of solar panel and capacity in watts. The solar systems come with a warranty of 25 years. So, while calculating the ROI, the remaining 20 years gives you a profit of 18 – 20 Lakhs considering its shrinkage in performance annually. If we consider the Inflation of 5% in grid tariff annually, (Cost per unit going up to let’s say 5%) we make lifetime savings around Rs 45 Lakhs.

Rooftop Solar

Role of Solar in Fighting Climate Change

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan OBE, the first man in history to walk to both the North and South Poles. The threat here refers to Climate Change, which is inevitable.

Climate Change: Introduction

As per Wikipedia, Climate change occurs when changes in Earth’s climate system result in new weather patterns that last for at least a few decades, and maybe for millions of years. In simple terms, a relatively permanent change in earth’s climatic conditions is termed as Climate Change. Earth’s climate is determined largely by the incoming solar radiation and radiation lost in space. Factors causing climate change are either internal on which we have no control or external which are man-made. Nature has its own mechanism of dealing with factors that can cause climate change, but off lately, for past 20-30 years, humans have interfered with the atmosphere to such an extent that climate change has become inevitable. The most important factor responsible for climate change is the rise in the ambient temperature of the atmosphere. But what’s causing this rise is 100% anthropogenic in nature. Incoming radiation is getting trapped into the atmosphere due to the rise of concentration of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases majorly, CO2, CH4, Nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, ozone, etc. are released due to various human activities like electricity and heat production, transportation, agriculture, construction, etc.

Image Ref.: GHG Platform India[1]

Out of this, Energy Sector is the Largest contributor to GHG Emissions in India followed by industry, agriculture, forestry, land use. The current concentration of CO2 is 415ppm. This has a direct correlation with the global temperature rise from the pre-industrial era.

Image ref.: Climate Central[2]

Image ref.: The report, Trend Analysis of GHG Emissions of India, Sept. 2017[3]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C showed how keeping temperature increases below 2°C would reduce the risks to human well-being, ecosystems and sustainable development. At the current rate of emissions, the global temperature rise will reach 1.5°C warming between 2030 and 2052. Within the energy sector, about 77 percent comes from electricity generation, mainly due to the current fuel-mix within domestic installed capacities. After the Industrial Revolution, the energy was considered to be the driver of growth of an economy. India is expected to be one of the fastest-growing economies of the world soon. But every time, economic growth and GHG emissions need not move together.

Decoupling Economic growth with Emissions

One of the most effective ways to decouple economic growth and emissions growth is by changing the energy mix of the country. The current energy mix is dominated by coal, although this figure is reducing year – on – year. Fossil fuel-based electricity generation is 56% whereas renewable energy sources contribute just about 22%. Out of which, Solar energy contributes about 8% of the total installed capacity of India.

Image Ref.: Wikipedia[4]

Govt of India has laid down National Electricity Plan to check emissions growth by adopting cleaner technologies, no further addition of the fossil-based power plants, commitment to producing 40% electricity by non-fossil fuel-based plants and resource and energy efficiency by 2030.

Solar Energy as a solution for avoiding Climate Change?

Solar energy alone cannot avoid climate change, in fact, the rate at which emissions are growing on this earth, even after the Paris Accord, 2015, there is no scope that global rise in temperature isn’t going to happen, but what we can do is prolong it. Delay the effects of climate change by checking upon the rate at which emissions are growing. As stated earlier, adoption to cleaner energy practices sure has the potential to contain emissions if not abate it. Empirically speaking, 1 KWh of electricity generation produces about 0.9 KG CO2 eq. as per the current energy mix of India. This metrics is also called Carbon Intensity and is used to measure emissions per unit of power produced. The carbon intensity of grid power varies between locations, from around 900 gCO2eq/kWh in India to around 500 gCO2eq/kWh in the UK and lesser in countries of Europe and Nordic regions. The amount of emissions thus avoided also depend upon the technology as well the place where solar power is going to be produced as the irradiation potential is different geographically. This quantity is influenced by the solar plant installed (typically 1000-2000 kWh/Wp/year, depending on location) and the system lifetime which is typically 25 years. The resulting values are in the range 20 to 40 gCO2/kWh for solar power generation in Europe, to 80 gCO2/kWh in a coal-dominated economy, such as China, India, etc. Hence, with increasing solar power generation in the mix, GHG emissions can be controlled and so is the global rise in temperature. In simple words, Fossil Fuel + Power Plant = Energy + Emissions ——–(1) Conventional power plants take coal, oil, gas as a fuel to generate electricity, but we get emissions as a by-product. Sun + Power Plant = Energy ——————————-(2) Renewable power plants like solar, wind use sunlight, wind respectively to generate electricity, and there are no by-products. Poor/ Under-developed country + Energy = Economic Growth You can replace the “Energy” from either 1 or 2, What do you think you would choose?

How can you make a difference?

We all are consumers of electricity, but we hardly care from where it is coming from. In India, as we have seen before, 56% of electricity is still coming from thermal power plants which are coal-based. So, let’s take small steps to reduce emissions. Instead of consumers, become “prosumers”, and produce your own electricity for your house. If you own a house or have a terrace which can be utilized for a solar power plant, do it. Your contribution may be small, but there are millions of houses in our country which if get power from the sun, will make a difference in the emissions, and in turn, will help fight climate change.   [1] [2] [3] [4]

Rooftop Solar Solar Energy

Off-Grid vs On-Grid Solar Power System

With the increasing cost of electricity and power, a number of businesses and homeowners are shifting to the solar power system. Solar Power is the key for clean energy; everyday sun gives far more energy than we need to power everything on earth and it won’t run out anytime soon. A solar power system converts sunlight to electricity with the use of solar panels placed either on the rooftop or flat surface. Are you also planning to get a solar power system installed on your roof? To get it installed, we need to understand the key differences between on-grid and off-grid solar power system for home.

On-grid Solar Power System

On-grid Solar/Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems generate power using solar energy from sunlight and feed it directly to the house and grid. On-grid solar systems generate energy only when there the electricity grid is working and is directly connected to the grid. These systems send excess power generated by the solar power system to the electricity grid with the help of net metering and consumers get compensated for the extra power generated. In the case when there is not enough sunlight to meet your household needs, the system runs on the power supplied by the grid. These are the most cost-effective and simplest systems to install. Such systems will pay for themselves by offsetting the bills in 4-6 years. The biggest disadvantage of an on-grid system is that it does not provide power when there is no supply from the grid (no electricity). On-grid solar systems generally need solar panels along with a mounting system, solar cables and MC4 connectors, grid-tied solar inverter and monitor, AC and DC safety isolator switches, and grounding earth cables and clamps.

Advantages of going with Grid-Tied Solar Power System:

  • The on-grid solar power system will reduce the electricity bills and would also help in payback with respect to the extra units fed to the grid with the help of net metering (depends on State Solar Policies)
  • On-Grid Solar Power system fully utilizes the solar in first priority and the remaining power is taken from the grid
  • The lifespan of an on-grid solar power system is of 25 Years. You can use it for a long period without any damage and without changing the equipment.
  • This system will reduce the carbon footprint, thus help our environment grow pollution-free.
  • There is no need for expensive batteries to store the electricity.
  • The on-grid solar power system has a payback period of around 5 years. After that, you get free power for more than 20 years.

Grid-tied Solar Power System comes with few limitations which could hamper the generation:

  • After the sun sets, a grid-tied system is unable to generate energy as it directly connected to the grid and has no backup.
  • In an area where the electricity cut off is frequent, a grid-tied system is not successful as it’s not able to generate the optimum amount of energy.
  • In the case of grid failure, your system is shut down and any energy generated is wasted.

Off-Grid Solar Power System

Off-Grid Solar Power Systems do not need to be connected to mains power. An off-grid system is not connected to the electricity grid and therefore requires battery storage to provide electricity on days when the solar panels generate less electricity than is required, e.g. at night time or on cloudy days. The idea is that at times when the system provides more electricity than required the surplus can be used to recharge the batteries. However, the cost of the battery makes an off-grid power system much costlier than the grid-tied system, so its recommended in the remote areas far from the electricity grid or an area which has frequent electricity cut-off. As there is no connection with the electricity grid, the excess power generated is fed back to the battery bank. Once the battery back up consumes units to its full capacity, it stops receiving units from the solar power system. So, if you’re still contemplating whether or not you should buy an off-grid solar system, take the following benefits and limitation into consideration:

  • Access to Electricity No Matter What

Some areas are prone to blackouts, while others don’t have access to electricity at all.. Since you aren’t connected to the grid, you can have peace of mind knowing everything will operate as intended.

  • Your home becomes energy sufficient

Back in the day, when we did not have access to the grid, there was no option to generate and save energy. With the off-grid system, we can have electricity 24/7, with the help of battery back up. Having sufficient energy to your home adds a layer of security. Moreover, you will never be affected by power failures because you have a standalone source at home. However, having battery back up will add cost to the solar power system by 40% which will increase the payback period. Also, batteries need to be replaced in around 5 years, adding a recurring cost to the system.

What should I choose?

Choosing between an on-grid and an off-grid solar system fundamentally comes down to whether or not you have access to the grid. If you don’t have access to the grid or there is continuous electricity cut off in your area, Off-Grid System is the only and best option for you. However, if you have access to electricity Grid, installing an on-grid system is preferred. This is because of the net metering system with grid-tied which offers more efficiency and unlimited storage of energy through the grid. You get benefitted from DISCOMs through net-metering which brings down the PAYBACK period and this makes your investment a smart investment. You can see Net-Metering for more information.

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