What Things Should I Know to Put Solar Panels in My House
When we talk about the feasibility of solar energy, in a sunny state like India it would be rather unwise to not make the best of nature’s bounty. Be it cumulative long term savings on your bills or lowering your carbon footprints to help protect the environment, rooftop solar panels are gaining general populace’s interest. You must have already heard a lot about the benefits of having solar panels on your rooftops and want to know whether this investment is meant for you or not. Here are a few things to know before you get your home equipped with rooftop solar panels.
– Is your roof suitable for rooftop solar panels?
Before considering the usefulness, efficiency and cost of installing rooftop solar panels, one needs to know if solar energy will work for them. Due to any reason if your roof is covered with shade or doesn’t get enough sunlight, obviously the solar panels won’t generate substantial solar energy without direct sunlight for at least a couple of hours. If you are yet to buy yourself a home and wish to go green, watch out for properties that don’t stand in the endless shades of skyscrapers.
To make the best out of your rooftop solar panels it is even favourable for Indians (people living in the northern hemisphere) if the rooftop is facing a bit towards south, east or west.
– How much will you be saving on your utility bills?
If for any reason solar energy isn’t helping you save on your electricity bills then again, it’s not for you. Charges per unit of power in every state are different and if one belongs to a region with cheaper tariffs why would they want to make a hefty investment on something that won’t even recover its cost in a long while. The greater the per unit cost of electricity of electricity providers the greater the saving. Typically for a 10-12 Rs per unit tariff one may save upto 8 Rs per unit.
– Is your house leased or owned?
For a rented house it will obviously be a big mistake to get it solar equipped as a tenant because you don’t know whether you will be able to get your investment back in long term savings on the bills. In that case, You could inform the owner about the benefits of solar power and ask them to get the house solar energy equipped.
If it’s your own house, buy the best product you can after comparing a few quotes from different brands. Don’t just get the one your friend recently bought for their home. Don’t give into high pressure sales tactics. Don’t rush after some pseudo European brand that you have been seeing ads of lately. Chasing after brands based on their manufacturing country would be a mistake, as 6 of the top 10 solar panel manufacturing companies in the world based on global market share (in 2019) belong to China. India too ranks in the top 10 manufacturing countries. Some other countries in the list include- the US, Japan, Germany and India.
– Compare Specs and Warranty
Once you have narrowed down to a few choices compare the spec sheets of the panels. One should rather go for efficiency over saving a few thousand rupees in case of solar panels. Solar panel warranty in Indian markets can range from 10 years to 25 years. Solar panels are made to withstand all kinds of weather and can even last about 30 years. So why go for a 10 year warranty when a reputable brand is offering you much more. If you have to live in a rented house for a while and you still want to choose solar energy, you could get some cheap panels with 10 years of warranty but try to buy the best inverter you can. Inverter warranty is separate. Typical inverter warranties range from 5 to 10 years which can be upgraded to 25 years in some cases.
– Type of panels
In Solar as in real estate space matters a lot. If your roof doesn’t have enough space for large panels but you still need the same efficiency, you could go for monocrystalline panels over the cheaper and bit less efficient polycrystalline variants. If you have all the space but don’t want to spend too much for any reason you could go for thin film panels that are cheaper than even polycrystalline panels but also less efficient. Ideally solar panels with high efficiency that occupy less space are recommended.
– Solar panel certifications
If you live on the coast side you must check the salt, mist, corrosion resistance on the product. And when living in the snowy mountains one must go for the solar panels with increased load capacity. With advancements in technology there are now quite a few certifications and specs for a PV system. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of India had issued guidelines in 2019 regarding BIS standards that are applicable for components of solar systems. Depending on your geographical location and your requirements you can opt for the appropriate solar panels of your liking.