Residential solar Rooftop Solar

Complete Guide About Rooftop Solar System for Home

35 min read | By admin

Millions of homes in both urban and rural India have idle rooftops that receive plenty of sunlight during the day. These are ideal for capturing the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity. Why keep rooftop idle when you can generate your own power/ energy from the roof.

This article is curated to act as a go-to guide for solar plant prospects who need to know everything related to rooftop solar panel systems in India. Read on to get answers to questions like what rooftop solar systems are, how much solar roof panels cost and more.

What is A Solar Rooftop System? 

Solar rooftop panels as part of solar power systems are installed on the roofs of commercial, industrial and residential buildings. They capture the energy from sunlight and convert it into usable electrical energy. This helps in generating a clean, environmentally-friendly form of energy, emitting no pollution or harmful gases.

Contrary to popular belief, harnessing the sun’s power isn’t very complex, and anyone with an idel rooftop can generate their own solar power. Using rooftop solar at homes can help homeowners harness electricity from the sunlight and convert it into electricity for their daily household needs. When photons–lightning energy–hit the rooftop solar panel, the photons are converted to electrons of direct current (DC) electricity. Electricity safety devices can be supplied with direct current electricity. Rooftop solar panels are also equipped with inverters, which convert direct current electricity into alternating current (AC), used by various devices and home appliances such as computers, televisions, and even washing machines.

How does Rooftop Solar Panels for Home work?

Rooftop solar panels rely on inbuilt solar cells to harness solar energy and convert it to electricity. It’s a small, square-shaped semiconductor made of conductive materials like silicon. When sunlight strikes solar cells on a solar panel, it causes a chemical reaction that releases electrons, resulting in the generation of electric current in the form of DC. The majority of rooftop solar panel cells are photovoltaic cells, also found in small appliances such as calculators.

A photovoltaic (PV) cell, or solar cell, is the main functional part of any rooftop solar panel. Photovoltaic cells are of three types:

Photovoltaic cells are of three typesSingle-crystal cells: These solar cells are made in the form of long cylinders that are cut into hexagonal or round wafers. This type of solar cell operates at higher power, making them more expensive than other types of photovoltaic cells. Installing single-crystal cell modules can increase the efficiency of your home by up to 30%. This type of solar panel accounts for almost 29% of the global solar panel market.

Polycrystalline cells: These PV cells are made from molten silicon ingots that are then sliced into small squares. The cost of roof solar panel manufacturing having this type of cell is lower, but its efficiency is up to 15% lower than that of single-crystal cells. Because the squares are small, they can be easily packed closely together to increase energy production.

Amorphous silicon: With this type of solar cell, silicon is sprayed in thin films on the glass or metal surface, making the production of such solar cells the least expensive of the three. However, it results in very low efficiency of about 5%.

What are the Main Components of a Rooftop Solar System?

A complete solar panel system, also known as a solar energy system, is made up of four key components:

Components of a Rooftop Solar System

  • Solar panel: A board-like structure with grids that is commonly seen on rooftops. It is the most important component responsible for converting solar energy into electricity.
  • Solar inverter: An electrical device that converts the solar panel’s direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
  • Solar battery: It stores the energy generated by the sun and uses it when the grid turns off.
  • Module mounting stand: It is a simple metal structure usually made of galvanised iron. It secures the panels at a specific angle and keeps them from being blown away by the wind.

Apart from the above components, a typical solar panel installation process also requires the following accessories:

  • DC wire: A PVC coated wire in two configurations: less than 3kW and a cable tray of 3kW and over.
  • AC wire: This connects the inverter to the grid and the home power load.
  • DCDB: It protects the panels from the DC side. It is a small solar protection device that is installed between a solar panel and a solar inverter. 
  • ACDB: It handles the alternating current. It is a small solar device that is installed between the solar inverter and your home load.
  • MC4 connectors: single-contact electrical connectors commonly used for connecting solar panels with each other.
  • Lightning Arrester (LA): This device protects solar panels and connected appliances from sudden power surges due to lightning strikes. It is compatible with both off-grid and grid-tied solar inverters.
  • Earthing kit: 1 to 3 kW: It is done via two earthing. The first is for the inverter, and the second is for the LA(Local Earth). Over 3kW: It is held together by three earthing rods. The extra one here is for PV modules.

Benefits of Rooftop Solar Panels

Besides the fact that large-scale installations account for nearly 87 per cent of solar power generation in India, the adoption of solar rooftop panels by households is also rising. Between 2013 and 2022, the installed capacity of the solar rooftop increased from 117 MW to 6645 MW as of Mar 2022. Taking this enormous growth into account, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has set a target of 40 GW of rooftop solar power by 2022 through its National Solar Mission of India. There are several reasons why the Indian government is adamant about upscaling solar panel installation throughout the country.

Benefits of Rooftop Solar Panels

Following are some of the benefits of solar rooftop system:

  • Cost savings:

The most significant advantage of installing a rooftop solar panel for home is the cost savings. Rooftop solar tariff rates are 17 per cent and 27 per cent lower than industrial and commercial tariff rates, respectively. Rooftop solar installations are also achieving grid parity in many Indian residential sectors. Rooftop solar installations can even help building owners save money on their electricity bills. Rooftop panels provide electricity to buildings, allowing them to purchase less electricity from the grid and save money on energy costs.

  • Secure investment:

Electricity prices are known to fluctuate from time to time. As a result, calculating the cost of electricity for a given period is difficult. When it comes to electricity that is generated by solar rooftops, however, the price of power generated can be easily calculated. One can even calculate the cost of generating electricity for the next ten years. In this sense, it is a safe investment.

  • Increases access to energy:

Despite the fact that India’s power shortage is rapidly shrinking, many people in rural and urban areas continue to have an insufficient and unreliable supply of electricity. These people must rely on alternatives such as diesel generators. These alternatives are hazardous to one’s health and environment, and their operating costs are also high. In such cases, solar energy serves as a cost-effective, reliable source of electricity. Rooftop solar panels are environmentally friendly because they use the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Furthermore, their operating costs are consistent.

  • Reduces carbon footprints:

Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, which reduces carbon footprints. As a result, they pose fewer environmental pollution risks than traditional energy sources. They run silently and emit fewer harmful gases than generators. It is also an effective source of energy generation in the fight against climate change. As a result, rooftop solar is ideal for lowering carbon footprints.

  • Low maintenance cost:

The fact that rooftop solar panels require very little maintenance is a major factor that emphasises their importance. They have a service life of more than 20 years if properly maintained.

Types of Rooftop Solar Systems 

Rooftop solar PV systems are classified into three types:

  1. Grid-tied: These rooftop solar systems are primarily intended to feed generated power back into the grid while you withdraw power as per your domestic consumption from the grid. During a power outage, the inverter shuts down the system, preventing power from being sent into the grid and avoiding the risk of electrocuting utility workers who are working to repair the grid.
  2. Grid-interactive: This system works with either a battery backup or a diesel generator to support the load even when the power goes out.
  3. Off-grid: As the name suggests, this solar power system is not made to work with the grid, rather, it is designed to work only with a battery backup or diesel generator in off-grid applications.

How to choose the Best Rooftop Solar System

How do you pick the best rooftop solar system for your home? Consider the following factors to make the best decision:

Certifications: Just as you would not buy an uncertified or untested electronic device for your home, make sure you follow the same logic when selecting a solar panel. Choose a product that is BIS or Bureau of Indian Standards (formerly ISI or Indian Standards Institution) certified. Installing rooftop solar systems for your home is a significant investment that will last for a long time, so make sure you go with a reputable brand.

Inverter efficiency: A power inverter converts the direct current (DC) current generated by solar panels to alternating current (AC) current, used to power your home. The greater the inverter efficiency, the greater the power output and savings. Consider the inverter efficiency of the solar panels you’re thinking about buying, as this directly impacts how quickly the system will become profitable for you.

Type of panels: To choose the right type of solar panels, consider the space available on your rooftop. There are currently two types available: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient and take up less space, but they are also more expensive. Still, both are distinct, and the best option will depend on the amount of space you have available and your budget. Make sure you ask about both before deciding on one for your home.

Cost: When it comes to solar panels, cheap is not always the best option. If you notice a significant price difference, look into other factors such as warranty periods, installation, and equipment quality. Inferior quality components may save you money in the short term, but their cost will add up and affect efficiency and reliability in the long term.

Subsidy For Rooftop Solar System

To encourage the use of solar energy, the Indian government provides subsidies to those who install rooftop solar panels in-home or commercial properties. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the government pays the installer 30% of the installation cost as a subsidy.

The Indian government is aiming for a total capacity of 40 GW from rooftop solar (RTS) projects by 2022, 4 GW by grid-tied rooftop solar systems. The solar subsidy adds significantly to the long list of their green energy option benefits. If you’ve been hesitant to go solar because of the high initial investment, the prices of solar power systems for homes in India after subsidy are worth considering.

To put things into perspective, suppose your solar vendor recommends a grid-connected unit with a capacity of up to 3 kWp for your energy needs. Then in that particular scenario, based on the benchmark cost of your home’s first solar plant, you will be eligible for a 40% subsidy (also known as Central Financial Assistance). Moreover, there is a 20% subsidy for units larger than 3 kWp and up to 10 kWp. However, the benchmark cost varies by state, and the subsidy rates also fluctuate based on the state’s solar policy. As a result, it’s critical to work with an experienced solar company to ensure that you take advantage of government-provided financial assistance and lower the total cost of solar panels for your home.

FAQs

We hope that the above sections of this article helped you in understanding how rooftop solar panels work and what benefits you will get from having a solar rooftop system in your house. Following are answers to some other popular queries that people have when they dwell deeper into considering a rooftop solar panel for their home:

How much does rooftop solar cost in India?

A 1 kW rooftop solar system costs between Rs 55,000 to Rs 85,000, excluding batteries. This is starting range for a simple rooftop solar system that will cover up your terrace. The more customizations you ask, the more dear it will become. Subsidy is 40% of benchmark cost for 1-3 KW system and 20% for every KW of solar system till 10 KW. We will assume that the rooftop solar systems are connected to the grid and that the energy is not stored in batteries.

Is rooftop solar worth the cost in India?

When compared to traditional methods of producing electricity, solar panels have a significant advantage. They have the potential to provide a long-term sustainable energy solution for many of our daily needs. Rooftop solar panels, according to studies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well while lowering electricity costs for you.

What is a rooftop solar subsidy scheme?

Under this scheme, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will provide a 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW of solar panel capacity and a 20% subsidy for capacity above 3 kW and up to 10 kW of solar panel capacity. The residential consumer must pay the cost of the rooftop solar plant by reducing the Ministry’s subsidy amount given to the solar energy company at the prescribed rate.

Is 1 kW enough to run a house?

According to solar power system experts, one kilowatt (kw) of the solar system is sufficient for an average family of three to four people with only requirement of running a couple of tubelights, charger and fans. However, for a larger family or to run an air conditioner at home, a 3-5 kW solar system will be required at least.

Can we run AC on a solar panel?

Air conditioners can be run on both on-grid and off-grid solar systems. The only difference is that in off-grid systems, you can run your appliances even when there is no electricity, whereas, in on-grid systems, this is not possible.

What is the maintenance cost of roof solar panels in India?

The maintenance cost of a solar power system depends on the type of roof solar panel you opt for. Suppose you plan to install a solar on-grid system. In that case, the maintenance cost is negligible because it is a battery-free system, and all other components such as solar panels, solar inverters, distribution boxes, AC, and DC cable can easily last 15 – 20 years with little maintenance.

Why are solar panels not popular?

There is still very less awareness about the many benefits of rooftop solar power for homes. Not many people know that the prices have come down to a level where it is not very easy to install a rooftop solar system for your house. In addition to solar subsidy, which have made solar rooftop even more affordable for homeowners. 

Is rooftop solar viable for Indian homes?

India is in an ideal geographical location, so it receives plenty of sunlight (almost 300 sunny days with clear skies each year in India). As a result, rooftop solar systems are ideal for use in India because they convert sunlight into electricity.

Is there any subsidy on solar panels in India?

Yes, the Indian government offers tax benefits to people who install rooftop solar panels for  commercial & industrial use. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the government pays the residential solar customers a subsidy of 40% of the installation cost.

How much does a 5kW solar system cost in India?

A 5KW rooftop solar system can cost anywhere between Rs 2,65,000 to Rs 4,25,000 for a roof mounted solar rooftop system. If you are looking to continue using your rooftop even after you install a rooftop solar system, you should be ready to shell out some extra money as the solar energy company will provide a heighted system to install your solar panels at a min. height of 2.2 metres from the terrace. Contact us to request a site visit from HomeScape by Amplus Solar and get your solar proposal.

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How does the Simplified Rooftop Scheme by MNRE impact you?

8 min read | By admin

Switching to Solar has become simpler with the new rooftop solar installation scheme update by MNRE.

In the recent announcement, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has simplified solar transition for residential consumers with a revamped solar subsidy scheme. So far, households could only take advantage of subsidy schemes for rooftop solar in India, when the system was installed by MNRE-authorized vendors.

However, the new simplified procedure will give residential solar consumers the liberty to put up their rooftop solar plant by themselves or through any solar expert of their choice and directly receive subsidy credit in their accounts in just a month. This positive development is expected to spur growth in rooftop solar adoption, as more and more household customers realize improved financial viability and affordability of solar under this program.

MNRE: The New Simplified Rooftop Scheme

The MNRE’s new simplified rooftop scheme will make solar more accessible, as the government rolls out conducive policies and regulatory frameworks. Individual solar buyers will have the freedom to select equipment like solar panels and inverters from the list of manufacturers. You won’t need to seek approval for your home solar system from the empaneled partners and can choose any rooftop solar company in India to install your solar system unit. This will give a level playing field to all the solar providers, as customers would choose providers based on their credibility.

After installing solar panels, the beneficiary just needs to notify their local DISCOM (distribution company) about the installation, to initiate the subsidy disbursement process. Another significant change is that the buyer will directly receive the subsidy payout within 30 days from installation in their own accounts rather than the installers’, which was the case earlier.

How to Claim Rooftop Solar Subsidy in India

The new simplified procedure will require the beneficiaries to register themselves on the national portal, which is expected to be launched within 6-8 weeks. The same portal will be used for the online tracking and approval of these applications. The ministry also plans to have a similar portal to operate at the DISCOM level and be linked to the national portal.

Under this revised mechanism, a household beneficiary who wishes to switch to solar electricity will apply on the national portal. The beneficiary will provide relevant information about the intended rooftop solar plant installation and bank account details to receive the subsidy amount.

The completed application will be pushed to the concerned local DISCOM and shown on the respective DISCOM portal. The DISCOM will evaluate the technical feasibility of the solar installation and issue approval within 15 working days.

After approval, you can select the rooftop solar panel installation vendor of your choice. However, you must select solar PV modules that meet the DCR (domestic content requirement), and the manufacturers should be enlisted under ALMM (approved list of models and manufacturers). Likewise, go for a J3IS-certified inverter.

The approved application also sets a deadline by which the installation must be completed, or the application will be cancelled. Consumers will then have to re-apply via the same process.

After the installation, the beneficiary applies for net metering via the national portal. The concerned DISCOM handling your application ensures the installation of net metering wherein the liability of procuring the net meter will befall upon the DISCOM company or the beneficiary himself. The related announcements will also be updated on the portal.

Lastly, the DISCOM officer will prepare a commission and inspection report, visible on both portals. A positive report will allow the transfer of the subsidy amount to your account.

The Right Time to Get Rooftop Solar

The MNRE aims to ensure solar efficiency, quality, and ongoing post-installation service for all consumers adopting solar under the new program. To that end, a set of standards and specifications will regulate rooftop solar panel systems for homes. The program will also define the format of agreement binding upon the beneficiary and the vendor. It will outline provisions, among other terms and conditions, to ensure that the rooftop solar (RTS) plant installed ticks off all safety and performance standards and mandates the solar installation companies to maintain the installed system for at least 5 years or more as specified in the agreement.

The ministry will also ensure stringent application process monitoring and define a grievance redressal mechanism to resolve customer complaints.

Under the new rooftop solar program, the government is subsidizing solar and also ensuring that you get the best value for the investment that you are going to make. Trust HomeScape by Amplus Solar to help you get the full benefit of the simplified rooftop solar scheme. As a leading residential rooftop solar company in India, we have the best rooftop solution composed of top-quality panels bi-facial solar modules, invertors, and other components.

Contact us for a consultation today.

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Traditional Electricity Vs Solar Power in Indian Homes

12 min read | By admin

Consumers can’t differentiate between traditional electricity or solar power as far as functionality is concerned. But, the modern, aware and conscious consumer today is concerned about where their electricity is coming from. It is well known today that renewable energy, especially solar energy, is superior to coal-based electricity in terms of the impact each has on the environment.

But, how do they compete with each other on other performance parameters such as energy cost, support from government, installation cost etc. to name a few. Electricity produced by your residential rooftop solar works well for you and for the environment. While there has been a steady increase in homeowners switching to green energy, primarily solar, some are still weighing the pros and cons of it. 

The residential solar installation offers long-term benefits with little to almost no commitment from homeowners. By educating ourselves about all these benefits solar power offers, a more informed decision can be made.

Is solar power the right choice for Indian homes? Let’s deep and dive and conclude.

Comparison: Solar Power vs Traditional Electricity in Terms of Electricity Tariff (Cost per Unit)

Electricity costs, over the years, have seen major surges due to the fluctuating fuel costs (coal and natural gas), and import restrictions. On an average, per unit of cost of electricity in India is between ₹4-6  if the monthly domestic consumption is between 101–200 units. But, it varies significantly from state to state and if your consumption is higher. 

Owning a rooftop solar PV system can help protect your home against these fluctuations in electricity tariffs. This also lowers your monthly electricity bill by up to 90%*. Moreover, the average cost of a rooftop solar structure design and installation is between ₹40,000-60,000 per kWp, which drops even lower after subsidy and accelerated depreciation savings. Considering its remarkable lifespan of over 25 years, you basically get electricity free for life, once you recover your investment cost.

Subsidy Schemes

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is promoting residential solar installations by providing subsidies. A rooftop solar PV system and its installation costs approximately ₹40,000-60,000 per kWp. Another ₹25,000 per kwp will be added to this cost if you decide to use a battery storage solar hybrid system. 

The government offers a subsidy of up to 40%* (up to 3 KWp) on the benchmark cost of residential rooftop solar. Furthermore, accelerated depreciation of 80% is also available under the Income Tax Act. As a result, ₹28,000 per kWp would be the approximate cost of a typical rooftop solar PV system after adjusting for subsidy. However, remember that solar benchmark costs vary from state to state and so does the subsidy offered.

Installation Cost

For a domestic consumer, who wasn’t paying anything earlier for the installation in case of traditional electricity, they have to incur an upfront investment, which is the cost of owning a solar power system for their homes. So, definitely they are bound to find Solar power for homes capital-intensive at the onset. Homeowners have to pay a significant upfront cost of buying and installing residential solar equipment in their homes. The solar panels consume the largest share of the overall rooftop solar system. Other equipment needed for a residential solar system includes an inverter, a bi-directional meter for net-metering system, electrical cables, and module mounting structure. Depending on your preference, your solar power installer may also suggest that you buy storage batteries and a monitoring system.

However, this cost is counterbalanced as you start receiving savings in your electricity bill from day 1, and these savings will continue for the entirety of your system’s useful life, which is over 25 years. Moreover, you will also earn electricity credits if you transfer excess energy to the government grid at the end of the billing cycle.

Impact on Environment

Unlike coal-powered electricity that releases toxic visible emissions, solar power generation is a clean and green energy source which is good for the environment. India’s rapidly increasing need for energy is met mostly by coal and this has resulted in growing carbon emissions. However, as efforts are made to boost power generation activities from renewable sources, the carbon emissions will slowly but steadily decline. India has already pledged to go carbon neutral by 2070. 

By decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels, solar is contributing to a healthier environment. Every home that decides to go solar can aid in reductions of carbon emission in the country, which is as good as planting numerous trees.

Maintenance

The biggest advantage of going solar is the continuous savings in electricity bills for at least 25 years after installation. Many rooftop solar companies in India provide comprehensive annual maintenance packages for homeowners to provide regular maintenance to their solar system. As the solar system customers are the owners of their system, there is certain regular maintenance which is necessary for optimum generation of solar power from their solar systems. 

The advanced rooftop solar structure design is highly potent and durable to withstand harsh climate conditions. The day-to-day solar maintenance is almost non-existent. You are only required to do standard cleaning once a month to ensure there is no dust or debris deposited on the smooth glass surface of your solar panels which is crucial for efficient solar power generation.

Independence in Case of Off-grid (solar plus battery solution)

If you don’t connect your residential rooftop solar system to the grid (also called an off-grid solar system), your house won’t be impacted by power outages. You’ll likely have to get a higher generation capacity system suitable for your maximum consumption that can power your home and still produce a surplus to be stored as backup on your battery storage. This will be used during night hours or on days when energy production is not optimum due to weather conditions.

Is solar power cheaper than grid electricity?

Solar equipment prices have declined sharply over the last 2 decades. The installation of rooftop solar PV systems in India is increasing as government subsidies make solar more affordable for many homeowners. 

From a homeowner’s perspective, solar PV is considered competitive when the per-unit cost of solar electricity generated is less than or equal to the per-unit tariff of grid electricity. This is called grid parity. With governments support, both off-grid and rooftop segments are expected to become an economically viable alternative as they achieve price parity with traditional electricity tariffs.

Expert residential rooftop solar providers can answer all your doubts related to solar. HomeScape is one of the top rooftop solar companies in India and has enabled many homeowners to switch to solar. We specialise in on-grid and off-grid solar power systems and provide our customers, an end-to-end solar solution. 

Our residential rooftop solar systems are safe, aesthetically pleasing and built to last for more than 25 years. We further ensure complete protection by offering 25 years of performance warranty of your solar system. We also help you monitor the health of your entire solar plant by offering a smart remote monitoring system through a customer app. It gives you a real time solar energy generation, energy used, and money saved, as well as show your environmental contribution. 

Contact us for a solar consultation today.

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Innovations in solar energy for personal use

Did you know that there are T-Shirts that activate in sunlight? Although they don’t have any solar-related components, just a special dye and treatment displays the design only in the sun.

Such innovations have always created a buzz and sometimes even helped the product succeed in the market. Solar energy for individual use has also witnessed multiple innovations across product categories.

Solar powered gadgets

Solar-powered calculators and watches are among the first handheld consumer devices to run on solar power. Since then, we have witnessed that almost all appliances used at home can be powered by solar. Everyday gadgets such as solar-powered power banks, security cameras, security locks, laptop keyboards, speakers, garden lights, and many more gradually started appearing in the market.

On the other hand, the use of solar energy in the residential segment has undergone a stark shift from the early days of solar cookers and solar water heaters to the present day where solar energy can be used to power an entire house.

ROOFTOP SPACE:

As per India RE Navigator, residential solar currently accounts for 14% of the total rooftop solar installations in India, which is dominated by Commercial and Industrial segments. With solar for home requiring rooftop space which is not abundantly available, considering the high-rise in urban cities, it is thus necessary to innovate to address this issue. In the U.S, Tesla has come up with a solar-roof, an alternative to the traditional tiled-roofs serving a dual purpose of the roof as well as getting the benefits of solar without the need for additional space. Although this is best suited for individual homes, it addressed the concern of allocating some additional shade-free space.

WINDOW SOLAR CHARGER:

Another interesting innovation is by a startup named Grouphug Solar, which has come up with a modified version of mobile chargers. Their window solar charger can just be hung on any window with incident sunlight and used to charge their mobile phones. Although it won’t power the entire house, it is a way to bring solar to people who otherwise cannot access it. In order to serve the commercial segment, they even launched custom solar panels  where they have installed quirky designs suited to the vibe of the place. One such design is what they call as the SOLARCAT. 

Solarcat

FUTURE OF SOLAR:

With Design Thinking principles encouraging the adoption of Human-Centered approach to problem-solving, the world has seen multiple innovations supported by ingenious designs. It is now the time for solar to reach every individual in one manner or the other with the help of such schools of thought. It helps people make a conscious effort to contribute positively to the environment and at the same time benefit out of it, which allows them to understand the discourse on sustainability and its power to influence their livelihoods. This ideology is based on Julian B. Rotter’s 1954 concept of Locus of Control which mentions how a high Internal Locus of Control (the belief that the action that I take as an individual affects the society) can help solve a lot of problems in the world. Solar is here to stay and only needs nudges to be adopted by the larger population.

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Can you run a house completely on Solar Power?

8 min read | By admin

An answer to the question, whether you can run a house completely on solar power is yes! Especially in a country like India where we receive abundant sunshine throughout the year, it is convenient and beneficial to have residential solar systems.

Going completely solar you can reap good benefits but there can also be some potential drawbacks which are inadvertently attached to it. The best part about generating electricity through solar power is that it is completely free! The initial investment involves setting up the solar system can be a bit high depending upon your requirement. Solar power is quite efficient and is also free of pollution. But you must also consider the chances of foul weather that might cause a problem to your plans.

TYPES OF SOLAR SYSTEM:

There are two types of solar systems namely off-grid solar system and on-grid solar systems.

Off-grid solar systems:

Off-grid solar systems are the ones that work independently off the grid and have batteries which can store the solar power generated by the system. The system consists of batteries, solar panels, grid box, charge controller, mounting structures, and balance of the system. But there is always a chance of an extended bad weather condition might cause problems for your electricity supply.

On-grid solar system:

In On-grid solar system, if your system produces more power than is required, then the surplus can be fed back into the main electrical grid with the help of solar net metering and you can get credited for the same. Similarly, you can also use the traditional grid provided power during the situations when your system is not producing enough power.

UNDERSTANDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE:

While planning to run your house completely on the solar power, you need to also understand the financial and mental investment required. The infrastructure and working of a solar system are slightly complicated and hence the calculations involved should be precise. With the help of careful routing of a home’s plumbing, you can get hot water heated by the sun and since it is pumped through the house, the heat dissipated can be used to control the temperature of the house. The heat generated in this manner would also not add up to the home’s electric consumption. Although it might be a challenge to execute, in the year 2007, a successful experiment had shown how to heat and cool the house using a solar radiant heat system!

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

Before finalizing to go completely solar, the first point to be considered is whether your house gets enough sunlight throughout the year to produce enough electricity. If your requirement is to run an 800-watt load for your home or less than 800-watt then 1kW solar panel is perfect for you. The solar panel installation requires 100 square feet of shade free roof space and to run the load, the first priority would be given to the solar system and second priority would be the grid or batteries. 1kW solar panel price in India for home depends upon the type of solar system.

The different types of 1kW solar systems include:

1. On-Grid Solar System:

Also known as grid-tied system as it connects with the grid electricity system. The solar system with 1kW capacity produces 4-6 units per day on an average. Solar net-metering is installed which reads how much electricity you are using and the balance which can be exported to the grid. All the adjustments are made in your upcoming bills by the government.

2. Off-Grid Solar System:

Off-grid solar system or stand-alone power system is also known as a solar battery-based system. This system has a battery as a backup which helps you store the solar power which can be used during power cuts when the sunlight is not available.

3. Hybrid Solar System:

Hybrid solar system is designed to have the functions of both the off-grid solar system and on-grid solar system. Basically, a hybrid solar system has three sources to run its load – solar energy, battery storage, and grid electricity. The best part about a hybrid solar system is that it stays connected with the government electricity grid and has batteries as a backup. It is most suitable for people living in areas that witness more power cuts, due to frequent rainfalls. The approximate cost of 1kW solar panel with battery storage in India ranges anywhere between Rs.80,000 to Rs. 1,50,000, including installation. While calculating the price also check whether you are eligible for the government subsidy ranging from 10% to 40%.

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Personal Guide to Install Solar at Home: Part 2 – System Type and Budgeting

10 min read | By admin

In the first instalment of our ‘Personal Guide to Installing Solar at Home’ series, we covered the initial steps needed to Go Solar. We delved on how to weigh your choices and check how much energy your home consumes, to help with the solar system installation process. Here is the second part of the five-part series on your personal guide to installing solar at home.

Nearly any roof is appropriate for solar use with emerging technologies, barring any restrictions the infrastructure imposes. It’s a matter of which solar technology better suits the home. In the second article, we will cover the type of solar panel installation you could choose from, and metrics for determining your budget.

Step 3: Grid-Connected vs Off-Grid vs Hybrid

Grid-Connected Systems

On-grid or grid-connected solar installations are the most popular and commonly deployed in residences. These systems do not require batteries and are connected to the public electricity grid, using either solar inverters or micro-inverters. Any surplus solar energy you produce is added to the electricity grid. The electricity exported is compensated by a feed-in tariff (FiT) or credits. If the photovoltaic panels do not generate enough electricity to meet your consumption needs, the difference will be sourced automatically from the grid.

Advantages

1) Virtual battery

The electric power grid is indeed a battery in many respects, with little need for upgrades or repairs and comparatively better efficiency values. In other words, with traditional battery systems, more electricity gets lost.

2) Save money with the help of net-metering

Most of the times, photovoltaic systems produce more electricity than you can use. House owners could transfer this extra electricity into the power grid with the help of net metering, rather than storing it in batteries. Net metering is a process for billing which credits owners of solar energy systems for the electricity they contribute to the grid.

For instance, a residential homeowner has a photovoltaic system on his rooftop, during the daytime, the system produces more power than his home requires.In that case, the electricity meter will operate backwards if the home is net-metered. It offers a credit against what energy is used at nighttime or other times where the electricity consumption of the home exceeds the output of the system. Then, the customer is charged only for the use of ‘net’ electricity. From a financial perspective, without net metering, rooftop solar costs will be less feasible. Some utilities are dedicated to purchasing power from customers at the same price they sell it.

Off-Grid Systems

An off-grid system is not linked to the electricity grid. Hence, battery storage is necessary.

Advantages

1) Access to electricity

In some locations, where there is no access to the grid, off-grid solar panels can be a better option, rather than extending power lines. Through off-grid solar systems, residents who live in places disconnected from the grid can save money. These systems make it possible that consumers do not have to pay extra to connect to the grid. It offers individuals the right to live anywhere and being able to generate and manage electricity.

2) Self-sufficient electricity production

Without any notice, power outages can spring up. Losing control means going without electricity, which can be a short-term problem and an exceedingly frustrating long-term interruption. A power failure can always be over as soon as it occurs, but the lack of energy will often last longer. Many times, depending on the origin of the outages and the amount of time it takes to resume service, it can continue for a day or even weeks.

Power failures in the utility grid do not harm off-grid solar installations.   As these devices store electricity and are still ready for future crises, off-grid solar energy systems are useful during blackout scenarios. In the wake of any possible incidents, a household with an off-grid solar photovoltaic system could continue to have electricity.

Hybrid Systems

Hybrid solar systems incorporate the best solar technologies from grid-tied and off-grid. These systems can be represented either as off-grid solar with utility backup capacity, or grid-tied solar with additional storage of batteries.

Advantages

1) Less costly compared to off-grid solar systems

Hybrid solar structures are less costly than off-grid systems since you do not need a backup generator. The battery bank’s power can be downsized.

2) Smart solar has a bright future

Hybrid solar systems have started opening for many exciting developments. New inverters allow residents to reap the benefits of differences in the utility electricity prices throughout the day with the help of the battery storage systems.

Step 4: Determine your Budget

Think about the following points while budgeting for your solar system:

  • Like we stated in the first part of this guide series, you might have to estimate the load and determine the type of system that suits your requirements. After doing this, you would be able to estimate how much the installation of a solar system at your home would cost you.
  • Calculate your earnings and your expenditures, your expectations and your preferences, and determine the amount of money that you should potentially set together for your residential investment which can give you returns upto 30% with a payback period of 4-5 years.
  • Other than your personal goals, your professional solar contractor will help you assess what your project might look like. Reach out to HomeScape to help you with all your solar installation needs.

In conclusion, the second part of our personal guide series talked about the type of systems you could get (Grid-Connected vs Off-Grid vs Hybrid) and the points you should keep in mind while budgeting for your solar system. Since 2010, the cost of photovoltaic solar energy has reduced by 82 per cent. So, this would be the right time to consider purchasing a rooftop solar system. Watch out this space for the next part of our blog series on your Personal Guide to Installing Solar at Home.

Read about Part-1 of the Five-part series – https://homescape.solar/personal-guide-to-install-solar-at-home-part-1-system-type/

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COVID-19 Safety Practices in Installation of Residential Solar Systems

7 min read | By admin

COVID-19 has changed the process of working in industrial, institutional, government, private and all other sectors. Working remotely is the “New-Normal” since the pandemic started. With the pandemic at bay, the government of India has released the lockdown in various working sectors including the energy sector. Due to increasing time spent at home, a large number of homeowners are opting for residential rooftop solar to reduce their electricity bills and to utilize their terraces to spend time. The installation process of residential solar systems is now done with complete precaution and in a hygienic manner as recommended by various health organizations.

MAINTAINING HYGIENE WHILE INSTALLING RESIDENTIAL SOLAR PANEL:

The Initial Stage:

For installing solar panels on the roof of your home, the first step would be to conduct a complete survey of the roof. Contactless site visits are made to conduct surveys of residential solar systems. At HomeScape, digital meters are used to measure the dimensions of the rooftop instead of measuring tapes, making it a contactless site visit.

installing solar panels on the roof

The Second Stage:

In the second stage, the residential solar system is designed remotely and the products are delivered to the site of the residential solar system installation. All the products are sanitized, safely packed and sent to the location. Till this stage, there is no physical contact and interaction with customers. HomeScape uses its own dedicated truck for delivering the items and ensures high level of safety and hygiene during transportation.

delivery of equipments

Third Stage:

After the product delivery, the engineers and technicians assigned to the installation, visit the location. All employees of HomeScape are trained to maintain social distancing and hygiene.

installing solar panels on the roof

MAINTAINING HYGIENE DURING SOLAR INSTALLATION:

These are some guidelines that has to be followed while installing solar panels on the roof, during the installation process.

  1. The team members have to mandatorily wear N-95 masks, throughout the installation period.
  2. The members should wear gloves and commit to all the necessary protective gears for the installation.
  3. The members should carry sanitizers and sanitize their hands frequently avoiding unnecessary interaction with the customers.
  4. The equipment used in the installation process should be sanitized regularly.
  5. All the members should go through medical tests to carry out their work.
  6. Any member who is sick should not continue his /her work installing the residential solar system. They should home quarantine for at least 14 days to ensure safety of other crew members.
  7. The crew members should avoid unnecessary conversations with other crew members.
  8. The members of the team should maintain 6ft distance from each other.
  9. The members should  bring his/her own belongings (bottles, lunchbox) if needed and avoid borrowing things from other team members.
  10. The employees should follow the basic health hygiene, as advised by the W.H.O and other Federal Health Organizations.

AFTER INSTALLATION OF RESIDENTIAL SOLAR SYSTEMS:

After installing the solar panels, the residential solar system is connected to the grid .Details of generation of energy and the import and export are monitored on HomeScape Monitoring app. The documentation process regarding the liaisoning with the DISCOMS is done completely online eliminating the fear of virus through the physical documents.

homescape monitoring app
The company encourages Work-From-Home and only the necessary team members are allowed to work offline. However, there are certain situations that require human intervention while installing solar panels on the roof. Accordingly, the engineers and technicians are trained well to take precautionary measures. The customer has no chances of getting affected by the virus. The need of the hour is to follow the guidelines laid down by the government to ensure safety and protection. With all the operations resuming gradually, it is very important that we abide to the guidelines, stay in our own bubble and help in reducing the intensity of the situation.

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