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What You Need to Know about Installing a Solar Energy System in India

August 28, 2018

India, along with China and USA, is pushing for solar power big time. Today, Solar power is the need of the hour. To avert power crisis, alternative sources of enery are also being constantly researched. Solar innovations are also making a hedaway along with water and wind energy, to find solutions to the impending crisis that seem inevitable. However, that one energy source that everyone is trying to tap into and promote usage of, is the power of the Sun. Sunlight as a power is green, perennial and enough to negate the usage of any other fossil fuel sources.

So if you plan on installing a solar energy system at your workplace or home, here are a few pointers that must be aware of :

Is Your Roof Ideal?

Roof-Ideal

The pre requisite for any Solar panels installation or for any solar energy system installation, are:

  • Available Sunlight;
  • Enough rooftop space; and
  • A strong and well inclined rooftop

Since Solar panels tap energy from the Sun, before you go ahead with a solar panel installation, make sure that your rooftop received enough Sunlight and is not shaded. However, in case you do have a rooftop that is shaded, you will need to make sure that is taken care of. Additionally, Solar Panels are also bulky. A strong roof top therefore, is a must, least it crumbles.

Understand Your Usage

Before you go all out with Solar panel installation, you must understand that Solar panels do not work at nights. Though research is ongoing to trap visible light, for now however it’s just the solar panels. You will therefore have to plan on rationing your electricity usage, to last you through the night, if you are completely dependent on solar energy. In India, a solar cell averages an output of 0.5 volts. You will have to work out your electricity consumption since a solar panel is usually made up of around 36 or 72 cells. While calculating, do consider, if you need the solar panel to power the entire house or only some specific needs like the water heater.

Understand Why You Need A Solar Powered Installation

Solar installations serve two ways : To generate electricity and to heat water or air (thermal power). In India, the usage is usually for both. Depending on what you want to use the solar power for, the product and installation will vary.

Which Solar Panel Should You Install

Solar-Panel

The solar panels in India come in two coloured tinges: Blue tinged and black tinged. The   difference lies in the makeup of the panel. One of the panels is  mono crystalline (blue tinged) and the other one is poly crystalline (black tinged). Both of them have their advantages.

The basic difference between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline panels lie in the silicon extract used in the solar cell composition. Monocrytalline panels have single and larger crystals in the panel whereas polycrystalline panels have many crystals.

This leads to a difference in efficiency output also. The single mono crystals are larger in size and are around 10% to 15% more efficient in their output. This also means that the monocrystalline solar products are a little on the higher side costwise too.

However the decisive factor for installing a solar power system, should not necessarily be money. Both of the mentioned solar panels have different pre requisites. The deciding factors in choosing the right solar panel depends on location, design parameters, labour costs and utility rate structures. Polycrystalline panels are ideal for larger spaces, whereas Monocrystalline are perfect for small terraces and spaces. However, since the latter panels are low in temperature coefficient, they perform better as the Sunlight gets stronger in the day.

Solar Installations Come With Warranty

A solar power system lasts for about 25 years on an average. However, these panels also need maintenance. Being exposed to sunlight, also means that they are exposed to the assaults of wind and dust. Any hindrance or obstacle in the form of a layer of dust too, might interfere with the sunlight reception for the panel or may spoil it.

Hence being aware about the warranty periods on solar products is essential.  Though they vary on the basis of the products, the standard warranty offered by the market on solar modules is around 10 years. The warrantee on performance is for 25 years, usually.

Know The Price Along With The Long Term Benefits

Installation of a solar power system may cost anything in between INR. 40,000/- to INR 6 lac in India. Steeply priced at the first sight, solar systems help you save on electricity bills in the long run.

There are a few other aspects that might interest you, to understand why is India pushing for installation and usage of Solar energy usage.

Government Support For Solar Energy

With the Indian government intent on making Solar energy a viable source of power, it is good to know a few facts about where do we stand with this intent. Indian government has resolved to make India, renewable energy efficient, through its National Solar mission. This mission is ambitious with an intended  installation of 177 GW by 2022. This is a huge task and breaks down to installation of around 100 GW for that kind of power to generate. Of course, this is a cumulative of the all the renewable sources put together. Solar power is expected to contribute to 40GW via grid connected solar PV rooftop.

Brief Overview: Laws And Policies

Laws and Policies in India have been framed year after year to make renewable energy usage attractive, especially solar energy. Relaxations have been given on taxes, while making exemptions along with offering  subsidies. In fact, a big step was taken when  the government targeted project developers to adopt solar energy. They were exempted from any kind of taxes, from all the earnings they made from these projects, for the first 10 years. They were also given the liberty of claiming 80% on solar products, on accelerated depreciation. Economic reforms were also made with taxes levied on imports of coal and other fossil power sources.

Solar Power Pricing: As It Stands Today

Solar power bid as of 2017 stood at INR 3.15/- as compared to INR 12.16/- in 2010. Falling prices of solar photovoltaic electricity have now made solar power the cheapest form of energy. In fact, available information estimates solar powered electricity to be 18% lower than the coal powered one.

Government of India, has lowered tariff on Solar PV power price to INR 2.71/- kwh in May 2018. In fact installation of rooftop Solar panels have also witnessed a fall in tariff to INR 3.64/ if the components are 100% locally made.

Solar power today is the cheapest form of power.

Why Is Solar Energy Viable For India

Call it nature’s bounty or our geographical location, of the 365 days in a year, India receives 300 days of clear weather on an average. We also receive about 5000 kilowatt hours of sunshine, annually. This strength can be understood from the fact that this power, is more than the energy output of fossil fuels for a year.

India’s Solar Interest: Tracing Back Time

Historically, India has been keen on leveraging on Solar power systems since 1981. Commission of Alternate Sources of Energy (CASE) has been a part of the Department of science and technology since, which in 1992 became the Ministry of New and Renewable energy.

In fact the 1970 oil crisis lead to the formation of Solar photovoltaic programme in India. The aim of this programme was solely to encourage research, analyze and plan production and to promote solutions via solar power.

As of today in 2018, Solar installation in India is being completed in phases. Eight Indian states are already underway to being Solar power efficient. It is now being quoted as the next big thing, which will do away with the need for fossil fuel altogether, in the near future.

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