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10 steps to installing solar on your rooftop

10 min read | By admin

If you have been wondering about installing solar panels, then there’s no better time than now to do so. The price of solar panels, and hence solar PV systems has significantly decreased. Getting solar panels for house nowadays is a lot economical and convenient than before. 

How can you install a solar plant on your rooftop?

Here are ten simple steps for the installation of a solar photovoltaic system on your rooftop: 

1) Evaluate your options 

There are a few points to remember and take account of before installing solar panels on homes. 

  • Do you have space for installing solar panels on your rooftop? How much is it? 
  • Will the sun shine bright on your space during hours of daylight? 
  • Is your roof structurally strong enough to support solar panels and their structure weight?  
  • How much of the area is covered by shade? 
  • What type of solar panel for the house you would like to install (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, bifacial, PERC)? 

2) Load calculation and energy audit 

How much energy does your home consume? 

Now that you’ve weighed your choices, the next move is to determine how much electricity you would require after installing a solar plant at your home. Calculate the following with the help of our simple DIY calculation guide

  1. Solar System Capacity 
  2. Area requirement for Your Solar System 
  3. Payback Period for Your Solar System

Estimate how much electricity the solar panel for house needs to generate with the help of an energy audit. Energy audits, in general, helps you to: 

  • Reduce your monthly energy bill by doing away with excessive use 
  • Decide how much solar energy you require 
  • Meet a crucial condition for some tax credits, rebates, and loans

3) Grid-Connected vs Off-Grid vs Hybrid 

A grid-connected system is a type of installation where solar panels are linked to the electrical grid. Solar energy thus produced is used. If your solar plant does not produce enough electricity to satisfy the consumption requirements, the difference will be automatically sourced from the grid.  An off-grid system is not linked to the power grid. Hence, battery storage is necessary. A hybrid system integrates solar and battery storage in one, and are now accessible in various setups and forms. 

4) Estimate your budget 

After calculating and determining what kind of solution suits your optimal rooftop solar design specifications, you can quickly estimate how much the process of installing a solar panel at the house would cost you with the help of solar calculators available on the MNRE website. Make sure to consider maintenance costs, warranty, and the lifetime of the system. 

5) Choose your solar developer 

Once you have your budget fixed, it is time to identify a trustworthy solar company. We would advise you to do your research for the solar company you want to get a solar plant from because it is a product for a lifetime, and you would not want to run everywhere in case of a breakdown. Do check product warranties. HomeScape by Amplus is a trusted brand from the house of the PETRONAS group brought to you by a creative group of solar designers and experts. HomeScape provides you 25 years performance warranty* along with the product insurance to protect you from any anomaly in the plant in the future.

6) Site Survey 

The site survey is required for a solar developer to evaluate: 

  • Best photovoltaic location 
  • Obstacles (if any shading)  
  • Size of the central electrical panel inside the household 
  • Places suitable for installation of the electrical elements 
  • State of the Rooftop (structurally sound or not) 
  • Square footage suitable for positioning module

To assess your home, the executives from a solar company will take a note of the following points: 

  • Overall roof size 
  • Slope angle  
  • Chimney and vents 
  • Compass orientation of the rooftop slope 
  • Roof thickness 
  • Strong trees or other blockages in or around the residential property

7) Receive your proposal  

After finishing your site survey and measuring the average kilowatt-hour consumption of the building, you will receive a proposal from your solar company. Evaluate and pick a solar plant that suits your requirements, both technically and economically.

8) Documentation and permits 

Like every significant financial move, there is a lot of documentation involved with rooftop solar panels for the house. For on-grid networks, permits are needed, when you would like to opt for net metering or gross metering. Typically, permits differ from state to state and depend on the form and scale of construction of solar panels. HomeScape takes care of all the documentation processes making it hassle-free for customers. Regardless, it is still a smart thing to know and understand what is happening with your solar power plant.

9) Installation 

Solar Panels: The solar developer will begin by preparing the rooftop. It would make sure that the panels are fixed correctly. Electrical Wiring: The solar company then installs electrical wiring, which would connect to your electrical panel and main power system.

1 kW solar system

10) Warranty and maintenance 

Generally, solar plant for houses come with a twenty-five years warranty. The company would offer ten years for 90 percent and the following fifteen years for 80 percent performance. The inverters usually come with a five-year warranty which can be extended by AMC, if required.

our solar plant does not require that much upkeep but taking care of a few aspects is necessary. Cleaning the photovoltaic panels is crucial for an efficient generation. Periodic cleaning of the modules (once in fifteen days) with wet cloth or wiper stick is sufficient for the best performance of the system. In conclusion, when you are familiar with the steps of installing a solar photovoltaic system, the whole process becomes much easier. The installation of the solar panels for houses is not very difficult, nor is it incredibly costly.

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How To Measure Electricity Savings Using Solar Calculator

9 min read | By admin

As electricity prices continue to rise, and awareness about climate change increases, there is a significant number of people looking to make the switch to renewable resources of electricity, that also increases their overall savings. One of the more practical approaches to these concerns has been the use of solar energy for home, an option the Indian climate is ideal for. With the advent of newer technologies that involve the use of solar panels, you no longer have to rely on clear sunny skies. Solar panels for homes now capture heat and convert the same into electric power.

There have been numerous government initiatives to encourage the transition to solar energy. For example, in Tamil Nadu, the government offers solar panels in home at subsidised rates, which reduces the initial investment that goes into installing solar panels on roof. Once a household has used the amount of electricity it requires for its needs; the excess energy will transfer back to the electric grid, for which they will be compensated. With schemes like these, it is truly a win-win situation for both the consumer and the government.

Making the switch to solar energy

To help you decide on whether you want to take the plunge into solar energy, you can use a solar calculator to measure your electricity savings. The state-run Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides a solar calculator that residential consumers can use. The calculator works in a simple manner. You can calculate your savings based on the area of the rooftop you currently have or the solar panel capacity you want to install. Here are a couple of options as to how you can get an estimate of savings based on your budget:

Based on your rooftop area

Under this option, the solar calculator prompts you to enter the area you have in square meters or square feet. You can then specify how much of that area is available for the installation of solar panels. Select which state you live in and the residential option. The calculator will automatically input the cost of electricity; this is customisable, and you can change this number. The calculator then calculates how much solar energy you will be able to generate per month, the total cost for installing the solar plant along with the subsidised rate, and your savings per month, year, and also for a lifetime.

Based on the solar panel capacity

The second option you have is to calculate your savings based on the solar panel capacity. On your electricity bill, you can find how much electric energy your house consumes per month. After you input this value, the calculator will then display the estimated investment you will have to make to reach your goal, and the savings you will make with a solar plant of your desired size.

Based on your budget

The last option is based on your budget. Enter your budget amount into the specified field and then select which state you reside in. The calculator will show you how much electricity the system will generate and the amount you save.

What next?

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy also allows you to apply for solar photovoltaic installation which will be connected to the grid. This gives you the opportunity to help reduce your carbon footprint along with helping you save more on electricity. The ministry has an installation application form that has to be approved before making an installation. In this application form, you will have to specify the category you want to use solar energy for. Once you choose domestic, you will have to provide your details, including your address, and contact information. You will also have to specify the size of the power plant suitable for your building using their solar calculator. Consumers are given a choice between three business models to choose from, for their Solar Voltaic (SV) installation, mentioned below:

  • CAPEX- Here the consumer pays for the SV installation entirely upfront. This system is ideal for industries and commercial usage and can be used to calm tax benefits.
  • RESCO- Under this model, a third party invests in the installation of the SV system. The consumer does not have to invest anything. The investor and the consumer come to an agreement on the tariff for the power generated, which will span over a timeline between 15-25 years.
  • Rooftop Renting- This option allows you to lease your rooftops to generate an additional source of income.

You can choose who you would like to install the SV system. This includes State Nodal Agencies, the Solar Corporation of India, which is run by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, government agencies, and channel partners. You could also create your own tender and give the job to someone you pick. The last step is to submit your form, after which you will receive updates via email or phone about a solar system that will suit your needs and financial ability.

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DIY Calculation Guide for 1 kW Solar System

7 min read | By HomeScape Team

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.

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