6 things you need to do before installing solar power for your home

Looking to heat water and light all or parts of your home by solar power? Here is what you need to know before you start.


1. Reduce your usage/Increase efficiency

Mini solar panels to help you build your own solar products.

Mini solar panels to help you build your own solar products.

The first thing to do before going solar is to see if there are ways to optimize/reduce your energy consumption. Check for all conventional equipment in your home and see what you could make more efficient or reduce. CFLs are 4 times more efficient and last 10 times as long as an incandescent bulb, so replacing regular lamps with CFLs and LEDs can bring huge energy savings. Check if you are using energy-star rated equipment. These might cost more in the beginning but will pay for themselves in a few years compared to equipment that has no energy rating. Reducing your energy consumption makes it easier to go off the grid and convert your energy source to solar power.

2. Check on how much space you have

Check how much sq ft space you have and in what direction before you buy equipment. Pic courtesy: Alexlittle.net

Check how much sq ft space you have and in what direction before you buy equipment. Pic courtesy: Alexlittle.net

The amount of space you have in your home fundamentally decides how much you can go solar in your house. Find out how many sq.ft of roof/balcony area you have in order to install a solar panel. It is optimal for solar panels to face South so that they get sunlight throughout the day. Solar Panels usually come in standard 250Wp (Watt Peak) to 300Wp panels for larger home installations. Even some medium to large installation use multiple 74Wp or 100Wp panels. It depends on the installer, the space availability and the system design.

3. Measure how much electricity you use everyday

A 3000Wp of solar panels, charged through the day, can provide about 8000 Watts of power, subtracting inefficiencies. A typical Solar Cell provides around 0.5 Volts and around 36 and 72 Solar Cells make up a typical solar panel which implies 12 and 24 Volts. With one panel, you can choose a combination you want to power – all fans or all lights or just the kitchen. The first step is to study your electricity bill. Always go for genuine suppliers. A regular 2/3BHK household using a microwave, will need about 15,000 Watts of power everyday.

The India Solar Homes from Bridge to India can estimate your solar power cost by looking at your State, your last month’s electricity bill, power backups you have and reliable power you get. The Bijli Bachao site helps you analyze your electricity bill. It also has information about equipment and power used, so get an approximate usage per room and by device before you plan your solar lighting in your home. Anu Solar has a comprehensive water heating/lighting/power backup calculator.

4. How much will you pay for the sun?

Though solar power can cut down your electricity bills, it does require some installation cost and initial investment. Figure out how much you can spend and plan your solar implementation accordingly. The cost of solar varies from Rs.40,000 to Rs.6,00,000 depending upon how much of the energy you would like to generate from solar. You can calculate your cost by following method (simplistic way of arriving at approximate)

Calculate your approximate load (in watts) for a day
Divide it by 3 (avg. no of hours of sun)
Multiply by Rs. 110

Eg: For 1800 Watts a day, you need solar panels that can produce 600 Watts. The cost will be 66,000 for this installation.

5. Servicing and maintenance

A typical solar setup has a solar panel, charge controller, inverter/battery and the equipment.

A typical solar setup has a solar panel, charge controller, inverter/battery and the equipment.

The life of a solar panel is 25 years. Solar panels have no moving parts or electronics and require practically no maintenance throughout its life of 25 years or so. While buying, ensure you are picking up reliable equipment from genuine certified suppliers. Question the dealer about how they have built the structure of the panel and what is the guarantee.

6. Get a good battery

A typical solar power installation has 4 components: the solar panels, the charge controller (to convert DC to AC), battery charger (for storage) and the actual equipment.

Make sure you buy your battery from a known brand and it is kept at an airy space otherwise t will get heated up and the life will get reduced.

myecoday offers a wide variety of solar products for your day to day needs.

myecoday offers a wide variety of solar products for your day to day needs.

Information put together by The Alternative with the help of Ifthikar Javed of myecoday.com. If you have further queries, write in to us at editor@thealternative.in with Green Homes in the title.

The Greenprint Your Home series on The Alternative brings together news, views, analysis, expert opinion, photospreads, product reviews, DIYs and much more to help you go green with your dwelling. This series is supported by of ZED Habitats – the largest green  residential developer in India today, and a leader in pioneering building technologies and management systems.


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. more

Discuss this article on Facebook

  • Very informative article, people should know this first before jumping on buying Solar, its better to know what you need to know first before you end up regretting because of your lack of knowledge..

    • Mohan Singh Sudan

      Every one wants to share his theoretical knowledge to impress and exploit the viewer but none has offered any practical solution to solve these problems of harnessing solar energy by providing training program showing actual assembly line of manufacturing process solar cells and solar panels to the interested people. Can some can offer this practical training to the interested persons ?

      MOhansingh.sudan@gmail.com

      • thiruppathi raja

        3kw

  • Anvesh Yerragunta

    thank you alternative..for throwing some light on the topic

  • Mitesh Dhanani

    As I am having a 12 v solar panel but the company has not given any information regarding wiring as just a wire is been attached + and – no other specification how to attach the wiring to charge mobile and start lights

  • selvakumar

    Hi, want to buy solar water heaters in Chennai upsbatteryplus is the best choice to knoe more visit http://www.upsbatteryplus.in

  • Jalu Sakti

    It really is true that the amount of space you have is an important thing to check before you buy solar panels. It would be such a shame to purchase more than you have room for and then have to sell the extra back, somehow. I didn’t know that it’s best for solar panels to face south — does that change at all depending on where you live in the world? We are looking to get some solar panels on our new home, but we are still in the process of figuring out the things you talked about.
    http://renogy.com/products/kits/cabin-home/

  • Anshuman Shrivastava

    Dear All ,

    The solar power purchase Agreement (PPA) is an alternative to financing and owning the system. It offers you an opportunity to install solar power at your facility without paying upfront costs or worrying about system operation and maintenance . Some times referred to as a “OPEX/BOOT/Third Party owned Model” . This approach lets you focus on your core mission ,while solar experts manage your energy system . For 15 to 20 years , you enjoy predictable ,pre set electricity prices and power from solar system that is a source of pride for your organisation .

    Power purchase agreement are a well -established contract mechanism . Many large corporate ,such as Anand group, SKF and reliance and institution such as airports use these agreement for buying solar electricity . Those familiar with the power industry will find a Solar PPA is much like traditional “Power Purchase agreement ” a common contract between utilities and large centralized energy plants .

    Because Solar PPA represent a good investment opportunity ,major investment firms such as Standard Chartard, Yes bank provide financing to these project .

    Benefits for Investor as per current government regulation–

    1)10- Year tax holiday{Section 80(IA)}

    2)Income tax benefit through accelerated depreciation{Sec(32)&Sec(32iiaa)- Investor can use this to substantially reduce tax burden in the first few years of the project up to 100% of the project cost ( 80% accelerated depreciation and 20% additional depreciation )

    3) Concessional custom duty on imports .

    4) Approximate ROI 20%

    How can you become consumer – Your organisation contracts with us ,we are responsible for investor arrangement (Financing) , designing ,installing , monitoring and maintaining of project . you do not pay for the installation ,but instead buy the electricity the system generates at discounted rate just as you now pay your utilities for electricity from large central power plant .

    Todays solar technology is highly reliable , safe and backed by strong equipment warranties based on solid field testing data .

    You can call me or write me on below details
    Regards
    Anshuman Shrivastava
    09028012464

  • ANSHUMAN SHRIVASTAVA

    Dear Team ,

    This is the right time for industrial and commercial consumer to go solar since government has capped accelerated depreciation benefit from 80% to 40% .

    What is the benefit of accelerated depreciation?

    Due to accelerated depreciation cost of plant goes down substantially (by 30 to 40%) .Although the price of pv system is decreasing( around 7-8% every year) but still it will take another 2 to 3 years for touching the cost what consumer gets in this financial year due to Accelerated Depreciation .

    While waiting consumer looses his saving portion and pays high energy cost ( Grid tariff is increasing 3-5% every year )

    Kindly contact for more details
    Regards
    Anshuman Shrivasyava
    09028012464

  • Chethy

    Looks good for homes. WE have installed same in our homemaid company below.
    http://www.homemaid.in

  • Jio Newz Media

    Very good info if any one wants the prices list of different solar companies then visit our solar site http://www.jionewz.com/2017/06/tata-solar-panel-price-list.html

  • Jio Newz Media

    Very good info for more info visit http://www.jionewz.com

  • Sunil

    Nice Post ! thanks for sharing, To buy UPS, Inverters and Exide batteries at lowest price kindly visit, https://www.srinivasapowersolutions.in