How does a solar Photovoltaic (PV) power work?
Sunlight (light, not heat) on photovoltaic modules produce direct current (DC) electricity which is converted to alternating current (AC) by a device called an inverter, which is then wired into your main service panel where it feeds your internal power grid.
What are the main components of a solar power system?
Solar modules (panels) and inverters are the main components of a solar power system and they constitute 70% of project cost.
How much area is required to install a rooftop solar system?
1 kWp solar system requires approximately 10 sq. m (or 100 sq. ft) of shadow free area. Therefore, one 1 MWp (1000 kWp) solar system would require 10,000 sq. m / 1,00,000 sq. ft / 3 acres of shadow free area.
What is the cost of a 1 MW solar system?
1 MWp (1000 kWp) solar system would cost around 5-6 crores, including all components, installation and commissioning, delivery and taxes.
What is the installation and commissioning period for a 1 MW solar power plant?
1 MWp (1000 kWp) solar plant would require 3-6 months for installation and commissioning, and typically only 30-45 days of actual work at the site.
Do we need to take any precaution for wind loads?
Yes, wind load is considered. The wind load will depend upon the exact location. The installer should consider IS standards for the specific location. But solar power plants can be designed for any wind load.
What maintenance is required for a solar power plant?
Solar photovoltaic panels have no moving parts, and therefore require little maintenance, which will include module cleaning with water every 2-4 weeks and preventive electrical maintenance every 3 months.
How much electricity will be generated by a 1 MW (1000 kWp) solar plant in one year?
A 1 MW plant will generate around 15 lac units in the first year. The exact power generated will be subject to location of the solar power plant.
Will the energy produced degrade every year?
Yes, the power produced will degrade at 0.5 -0.8 % each year. In the 25th year, the solar system will still produce 80-90% of the energy produced in the 1st year.
What will be the average life of the solar panels?
The solar panels have a warranty for a period of 25 years, however, the projected life is longer.
How does it integrate into the building system?
The evacuation of solar power happens in the LT room, in most cases at 415 V.
What is the difference between solar plant installation on a rooftop versus ground mounting?
Metal rooftop solar system requires 20% lesser area than RCC rooftop solar or ground mount systems. Rooftop solar helps to reduce ambient room temperature by around 2 degree Celsius. Otherwise, both systems are equivalent.
Does the cost vary for installations on rooftop versus ground mount?
The cost of both systems are approximately the same on a per Watt peak (Wp) basis.
Does the installation time vary for rooftop installations versus ground mount?
Both the systems will need a period of 3-6 months for installation and commissioning.
How are solar panels mounted on metal rooftops?
Solar panels will be mounted on high-quality aluminum structures, which will be fixed onto the roof sheets.
Is it possible to mount solar panels without drilling holes in the rooftop?
Yes, if the roof sheets belong to the standing seam segment, then solar panels can be installed without penetrating the roof. If not, then penetration is necessary, although precautions are taken to prevent leakage. Installation on RCC roofs does not require any penetration.
Where will inverters be erected?
For installations greater than 1 MW in size, typically, central inverters are used, and these will be set up in a separate room, called the control room. For smaller installations, string inverters are used, and these are erected on the roof or on the factory floor.
Will a roof mounted system damage my roof's warranty?
It will not, as the roofs aren't tampered. Just as screws are used to fix the roof sheets, we use screws to fix the modules.
Will the cost/KWh reduce if the cost of solar panels fall?
Yes. Since 60-70% of cost depends on the solar panel, if there is a fall in the panel cost it, in turn, will reduce CapEx requirement, and this benefit can be passed to the client. But if the cost of other components such as aluminum structures, copper wires which are steadily rising is considered, then the total project cost is more or less stable.
What is the price of solar PV panels now?
It depends on the demand-supply model based on global economics. While in India most of the modules are imported, the import duty increases the cost of PV panels, along with the various applicable taxes. So, it’s difficult to predict any cost.
What is likely to happen to solar panel prices in the coming years?
Solar panel prices have declined significantly in the past 5-10 years. This has resulted from a combination of incremental technology improvements, the move to large-scale manufacturing in China, and an overcapacity in the market from 2007 to 2015. However, in mid-2017, module prices had stabilized but have now started increasing as a result of surging demand and various import duties that are levied on them due to geopolitical trade issues worldwide.