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A solar cell absorbs visible light and converts it into electricity. Solar panels consist of many such solar cells connected together. When sunlight falls on these panels, each solar cell produces a small amount of electricity. The combination produces enough energy that can be used for various applications. Since these panels use light to produce energy, they are called photovoltaic panels.
India produces most of its electricity by burning coal. By switching to solar you will
A 2-ton air conditioner working for an hour requires one kg of coal. If you have a 1 kW rooftop solar system, you’ll prevent 3.5 kg coal from being burnt every single day.
1kW rooftop solar system costs about Rs. 55,000. This system typically generates 5.5 units of electricity every day.
If you pay 7 rupees for every unit, this system will save you about Rs. 14,000 (5.5 * 365 * 7) in electricity costs per year.
You can not only afford to go solar, you will earn profits.
This depends on what you intend to run, the amount of space available on your rooftop and the kind of system you buy.
There are two types of solar systems – one uses batteries to store energy (off-grid). The other feeds excess energy back to the electrical grid (on-grid).
If you plan to have an off-grid system, an average Indian household would require a solar system rated at 2kW. This is sufficient to keep your fans, lights and laptops running from sunset to sunrise. This size won’t power heavy appliances like refrigerators, washing machine, air conditioners.
If you have an on-grid system, the size would depend on how much solar energy you want to generate since the excess can be fed back to the grid.
Your solar system size will be limited by the amount of roof space you have. Approximately 100 square feet of area is required for a 1kW system.
We all consume electricity from the grid and pay for the consumed units.
If your solar system produces more units of electricity than you consume, you can sell this excess electricity to the grid. This excess can be carried forward and adjusted in your next billing cycle. This is called net-metering.
Consider the following electricity consumption scenario to understand net-metering
Units produced by the solar system: 300
Units consumed by the house: 200
Excess units (sold to the grid): 100
Bill for June: Zero (with a credit of 100 units)
Units produced by the solar system: 300
Units consumed by the house: 700
Units required from the grid: 400
Previous unit balance: 100
Bill for July: You pay for 300 units.
Solar panels produce power as long as there is light. The amount of power generated depends on the light intensity. On a cloudy day, your system will produce lesser electricity than on a bright sunny day.
India has a lot of sunshine hours per day. Installing a solar panel will definitely benefit you in the long term.
If you have an electrical connection, NO, you may not require batteries. The solar inverter will use all the electricity produced by the solar panels before using electricity from the grid.
If your area witnesses many hours of power-cut daily and you want to have a backup system, then you may want to use batteries.
You need to know that batteries add significant cost to a system and require replacement every 5-6 years.
Only the amount it would take to clean the solar panels. So essentially the solar panel maintenance cost is NIL. Panels are highly durable and are warranted up to 25 years.
The Government offers 30% capital subsidy to residents who use rooftop solar. This subsidy is applicable only to the solar panels manufactured in India. Other components of a solar system like inverter, battery, charge controller, etc. are not eligible for subsidy.
Subsidy policy varies by state. Only government approved solar distributors are eligible for subsidy.
In a net-metering arrangement, your electricity tariff (in case you consume more than you produce) may be subsidised.
These policies are subject to change. Please enquire at the time of purchase.
You have already read that a solar system generates Rs. 14,000 per annum of electricity. These systems can easily last 15 years.
A property fitted with a solar system directly has a higher value because of the financial benefits provided by the system.
Rooftop solar means you own the solar system, pay for its installation and maintenance and use the electricity (or sell it to the grid). This involves significant upfront cost.
Shared solar is a system which is paid for by many individuals (like residents in a high rise apartment). People pool money and install the solar plant. The benefits an individual gets is generally in proportion to the amount of money invested.