Any solar power plant works on the basics of solar energy. But there are various types of solar power plants. If you want to switch to Solar but are skeptical about which type you should invest in, we are here to help you. There are three types of solar power plants. These types are determined based on their functioning though the technology used in each is the same. The following are the types of solar power plants;

On-grid Solar Power Plant

The on-grid solar power plant, as the name suggests, is connected to the grid. It is the most commonly installed solar power plant used by residential and commercial and industrial consumers. An on-grid power plant does not require solar battery. As it is connected to the grid, the extra energy hence produced goes to the grid. This extra energy is measured through a utility meter and these units are deducted from your electricity bill or paid depending upon the state laws you reside in. This whole process is known as net metering. Ongrid Solar System When you get lower generation through your panels, you can take electricity from the grid and the credits you saved earlier will benefit you now. This power plant requires lowest maintenance and is cheaper than the other two. Plus, it has a higher efficiency rate as it is connected to the grid and it can be upgraded to a hybrid power plant if needed later.

Off-grid Solar Power Plant

The off-grid solar power plant works as an independent source of electricity. This solar power plant consists of an external battery that stores the extra energy. This means you must get a battery with enough capacity to meet your requirements. The off-grid power plant does not connect to the grid. Hence, you cannot get net-metering benefits through this power plant. But, the best part about getting an off-grid solar power plant is zero to minimal power cuts. Offgrid Solar System Due to the high cost of batteries, the off-grid solar power plant is quite expensive. This power plant is the most suitable for people living in remote areas. It also works well in areas that have regular power shortages from the grid. The backup battery power comes in handy at such areas. Plus, the off-grid solar power plant is also suitable for locations having low sunlight.

Hybrid Solar Power Plant

The hybrid solar power plant works as an amalgamation of on-grid as well as off-grid solar power plants. This means your solar power plant consists of a grid connection along with a battery bank. This power plant comprises a different inverter. The inverter first diverts power to the battery and home appliances. Once the battery is fully charged, then if there is any extra energy, it is sent to the grid. Offgrid Solar System This power plant is more applicable in areas where they have inconsistent grid supply as this system will generate power even when the grid is not working. Once after installing this power plant, you need not worry about any power blackouts as you rely on two sources for supply. Yet, if you’re skeptical about any of these and require detailed technical information regarding it, Pixon can help you further to decide which solution will be the best for you. We offer free technical consultation. Pixon provides you with all three solutions!

Solar energy does not work like any other conventional mode of energy. The renewable energy has a certain pattern that makes it unique. Firstly, it completely relies upon the Sun which makes it a clean and green option. But, it also becomes a crucial deciding factor as you get limited hours for energy generation. Secondly, you’ll need to calculate the amount of energy you consume. With this, you get a cost estimation for your solar project. And finally, you need to run a check on your roof suitability and the weather in your location.

Installing solar panels can become a change in your lifestyle. It makes your house sustainable and going 100% solar makes you independent for your energy needs. Plus, it can reduce your electricity bills. Plus, in the past decade, the prices of solar have declined at a huge rate between 2013 and 2021, solar panel prices have fallen 71%. On top of it, the government is also offering various incentives to promote this renewable source of energy for a greener environment.

To run your home completely on Solar is absolutely possible but the challenges vary in different households. Every house has different number of appliances as well as different usages. If you have an AC, TV as well as you cook your food in the oven, your energy consumption would be more and hence, you’ll need more solar system capacity. But this does not mean you’ll require another source of electricity. To ease your process, you need to calculate your energy requirement through monthly bills to determine your goal. Pixon offers you an easy way to calculate your solar requirements through Pixon Solar Calculator.

Cut down your usage

It is obvious, you’ll need to generate as much power as you use. So to lessen your cost of solar, you can trim your usage. You can use energy efficient appliances like investing in LED lights instead of conventional bulbs. Whenever you buy a new appliance make sure you get energy efficient appliances. Put full loads in your washers. You can dry your clothes out in the sun in summer. Even small habits like turning off unnecessary lights or plugging out devices when not in use reflect in your electricity bill.

Increase the efficiency of your panels

The first choice you make is to invest in a more efficient panel. There are various types of panels such as Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline and others. Their efficiency and prices change accordingly. The next thing to focus on is the direction and the spot you place panels in. Your panels must not be under any shade. Ironically, high temperatures can also lower the efficiency. To avoid this, there must be sufficient gap for air transition which will keep off overheating of the panels. Plus, you can also clean the solar panels over a course of time as dust and dirt affect the efficiency too.

But, hey it is not necessary!

You can also rely on solar batteries or inverters for your electric consumption. The net metering concept helps you save a lot on your electricity bill even if you cannot go 100% solar. You can start with investing in Solar and focus on increasing its efficiency step by step. Perhaps, get an on-grid connection! Either way you’re also doing social good. Going solar has health as well as environmental benefits.

It is okay if you cannot fully rely on solar energy but even if you cover 70% of your electricity needs, you will contribute some part to a greener environment.

Pixon takes care of all these factors to help you achieve maximum power and efficiency through solar panels. We also provide O&M services. Reach us out to get the best technical solution for your solar needs.

Every home is a different story. The number of appliances used differs in every household. Although, the simplest answer to the question goes as easy as a YES. There are numerous other factors that need to be considered. Take a quick look:

Calculate Your Electric Consumption

To know how much solar power you require, it is a must to ascertain your current consumption. On an average, an electrified Indian residence consumes 250-270 (units) kWh/month. To find out your monthly consumption, take a look at your electricity bills. Now divide this amount by 30 and later by 24 to find out your hourly power requirement.

This is the amount of energy that you want to generate through Solar panels if you want to operate entirely on Solar.

Calculate the Size of the Solar System You’ll Require

The next step is to discover the duration of sunlight you receive on your roof. If you live at a location that encounters more hours of peak sunlight, you will need smaller size system. Divide your monthly consumption by the average hours of sunlight you receive every day multiplied by 30 to get the monthly sunlight hours. The final number is the size of system you require. Moreover, you must always consider a 25% flux as solar energy generation depends upon the sun fully and as a result, it can fluctuate as per the weather.

Let’s take an example for a house that requires 400 units/month and gets 5 hours of sunlight every day.

400 / (5*30) = 2.6 kW solar system

Calculate the Number of Panels You’ll Require

Solar panels come in a varied range from 100 watts to 400 watts. There are multiple varieties of solar modules based on quality and efficiency. Your main concern before buying solar modules should be the efficiency of solar modules that you invest in. Now, the number of panels you require can be calculated by dividing the production of energy by your solar system by the wattage of the panel you want to select. Multiply the size of your system by 1000 to convert it into watts.

Let us take our previous example again and say we chose a panel with a capacity of 200 watts;(2.6*1000) / 200 = 13 panels

This gives you the number of panels you require under the standard terms. But there are various other factors that affect the efficiency of the panels such as the direction they are placed in, space at your rooftop, the circulation of wind and rest. Do not stress out! We are here to your rescue. Pixon provides EPC services that determines the needs and setup requirements taking into consideration the space available on your property, strength of your roof, and other geographical and electrical aspects.

To save you from all these efforts, we offer a solar calculatorwhich helps you to figure out which system is the most beneficial for you to install and gives you a brief cost estimation too.

Yet, if you are a bit baffled, you can always invest in a battery to store the extra energy or choose an on-grid solar system. Anyhow, going solar is the best alternative to other conventional energies.

The Covid-19 pandemic made people around the world to have their blues in 2020. Yet, it served as a blessing in disguise for it taught us to stop running in hustle and pause to reflect on self. The primary preaching was to plan and care for these three prospects of our living:

  • MONEY: you may need it anytime, anywhere and the lack of it may control you to a considerable extent.
  • ENVIRONMENT: nature’s serenity sets you calm. Keep minimal. If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.
  • BODY: it is your true partner for life. Health should be the first priority – from both physical and mental conscience.

Going Solar would help you implement these lessons in all the three aforementioned prospects. And here we refer to Solar as not the solar water heaters but the solar electricity generating PV systems.

Take a quick look on how going solar:

Saves Your Money

We all have certainly faced the hikes in our Electricity Bills due to increase in tariff rates and the coal prices. The pandemic put a lot of light on electricity bills and the hype created on it by the celebrities. In metro cities, the average tariff rate has touched Rs.9.00/unit. However, the average costing per solar unit is Rs.3.50. Thus, it is strongly recommended to opt for solar electricity if you live in an area with high tariff rates. With solar electricity, you can set your bills to ZERO from the first month of installation itself. Thus, it adds to your monthly savings, which can be invested in some financial scheme to reap more benefits.

Saves Your Environment

The global lockdown marked the improved air and water quality for several polluted cities of the world. For instance, Delhi’s air quality figures showed 50% improvement on the 4th day of the pandemic itself. The solar electricity is the CLEAN & GREEN electricity that generates power without any noise or combustion. It also does not require any continuous raw material inputs. A 1 kW of solar power saves: – 77kg coal from being burnt – 397 l of water consumption – 136 kg of CO2 from being released in the environment Thus, it effectively combats air, water and noise pollution. Going solar has helped industries also combat carbon emissions and thus gain and trade with their Carbon credits. Hence, adding an economical aspect to it.

Saves Your Body

The lockdown also marked maximum suicidal deaths. The mental health took the fore. The physical immunity building became a topmost priority. Made certain, the lack of money or even withdrawal (a medical condition) can trouble our minds. A polluted environment affects our body health causing diseases and other disorders. Usage of solar reduces pollution and contributes to improved air and water quality that would keep our body healthy intact. The additional monthly savings can also be a boon to mental health.

Summing up

The global lockdown of the pandemic 2020 did bring in light, the improved air and water quality around the world. Let us try to sustain this as we head towards 2021. Opting for solar electricity shall certainly save our environment, our money and thus improve our physical and mental being.To install your own power plant at your terrace and reap the aforementioned benefits: Go solar with PIXON. You can take free technical consultation from an expert. We are just a phone call away.

We can install solar panels on any kind of roof. Nevertheless, it is better to test the roof for several parameters to ensure that the roof is fit to withstand the solar installation load.

To determine the suitability of the roof for solar PV system installation, following factors are considered:

Ownership

It might be a hurdle to get solar incentives in case you don’t own the roof you want to install the solar onto. However, you can explain the benefits a solar PV system may reap to your landlord.

Shading on Roof

The shading on roof would be a certain checkpoint to be marked to install solar PV system. The roofs surrounded by high buildings, trees or other objects that cast shadow on the roof throughout the day are not ideal for solar PV system. Partial or minor shading areas can be certainly addressed. The key thing to consider is that solar PV systems shall generate adequate electricity in the peak hours of the day, with ample sunlight and no shading conditions.

Age

Solar panels last for 27-30 years. Thus, it is better to ensure that the age of roof is not very old and should not need any kind of maintenance in this span of time. In all, the roof should be fit to avoid any uninstallation and re-installation process.

Material

It does not really matter what material your roof is, to install the solar PV system. All thanks to the continuous innovation in solar panels and its mounting equipment. As of now, the market has mounting equipment for rooftops like seam metal, clay tile, asphalt and rubber. However, it is not recommended to mount a PV system on lightweight materials like wood.

Space

On average, 1 kW of solar system requires 100 sq. ft. of roof space. Solar panels come in fixed rectangular sizes. A house may require minimum 5-10 panels for sufficient generation. Thus, having adequate rooftop space is must. All the parameters like vents, chimney, dormers, etc. and the overall shape of the roof shall play considerable role in the rooftop space availability.

Orientation

The roofs facing towards the south receive ample of sunlight and are preferable. For places in the southern hemisphere, the rooftop should be facing towards to north to receive ample sunlight. Thus, solar panels facing the North-south orientation are preferable. However, with technology, the east-west facing roofs can also have designed PV systems that can receive and generate enough sunlight and electricity respectively.

Tilt& Angle

The solar panels are installedat a certain angle to withstand wind-load and snow-load and avoid the water and snow accumulation on it. On dormers, the angle can be modified to install the panels. However, steeper slopes require more time, energy and resources for installation and shall incur more cost for it. The flat roofs is not a problem, just that the tilting of panels requires more space and resources.

Summing Up

In all, if your owned roof experiences ample of sunlight without shading; has strong roof structure and sufficient roof space, all the other parameters can be worked out in parallel with the financial analysis.

However, you can take free technical consultation from PIXON to check this parameter by an expert for your solar decision. Reach out to the PIXON team and schedule your visit today.

Where you live plays a significant role for your suitability to go Solar. Two major aspects should be checked on the list to install solar PV system and reap its benefits.

Shading on the roof

The first and foremost checkpoint is to check if you live in a place that receives enough sunlight for about 280-300 days in a year. Places in equatorial belt are most ideal for solar installations.

However, solar PV systems efficiently generate electricity in sunny areas with low temperatures. Hilly regions can be an ideal example that get direct sunlight and got average annual temperatures ranging around 18-20 deg. C.

The other primary factor is if your roof gets ample of sunlight throughout the day, without much shading. Solar PV systems need adequate sunlight in peak hours to generate sufficient amount of electricity. The roofs surrounded by high buildings, trees or other objects that cast shadow on the roof throughout the day are not ideal for installation of the solar PV system. Partial shading can be addressed but not complete shading throughout the day.

Thus, it wont be preferable to proceed any further in such a case. However, you can take free technical consultation from PIXON to check this parameter by an expert for your solar decision.

Investment Analysis

It is ideal to make solar investment only if it shall provide a sound and calculated ROI in specific time and other profit aspects. This depends on your locality’s tariff rate. If your state charges you insanely for Rs.6.5/unit or more, you should certainly consider going solar to save your money. As the solar electricity costs you about Rs.1.50/unit. It is not advisable for states that offer about Rs.3.50 as tariff rates for the same reason.

The solar rebates and other incentives that your government provides in your area also plays a significant role in your financial savings and solar benefits.

Summing Up

In all, if you live in a sunny country and you have to pay high electricity tariff rates, you are just at the right place to add to your savings with solar investment. However, you can take free technical consultation from PIXON to check this parameter by an expert for your solar decision.

Residential Rooftop Solar: Installation Time & Process you need to know

Going Solar? Well-done! With one huge investment you are taking off your money from your electricity bills for almost 25 years or even more. You’ve raised your house valuation and contributed to the global climate sustainability.

Now begins the tedious process of getting the setup done. It will be a journey that can take a lot of parameter analysis and time investment, akin to that of buying a car. Just like you consider the car’s seating capacity, engineering features, salient features, maintenance and service charges, warranty period; you would’ve to invest your time and get through the parameter analysis of solar panels. Just like you go for test drives for different cars, and consider which fits your comfort as well as budget; you wouldn’t get test samples but would’ve to analyse your average unit consumption by reading the bill and put an x kW setup that suits your requirements and budget. The key is not to hush, but be patient; just like when we are to buy a car. After all, it is a huge amount with a significant percentage of ROI.

Find a Solar Installer (1 week – 1 month)

Finding a solar installer – the prime step is akin to deciding which automobile dealer you would like to buy the car from, based on the aforementioned example.

What do they do?

Solar installers are people who provide EPC services to set up solar power over your rooftop and deal with all the documents and processes involved. They shall investigate your house-roof location, the angle, and unit consumption pattern based on your previous electricity bills of the house. They shall help you decide the capacity of the solar setup your house shall need based on all electrical appliances used and provide an estimated cost.

What you get to know from it?

The first thing you get the clarity on is the prime factor – if your location is fit for going solar or not? The other steps won’t be a concern if this fails to pass. You get to know the installation capacity to be put up on your rooftop with an estimated quote. You get clarity on the solar setup charges and other additional charges of installation and labour.

It is always good to take a viewpoint of multiple vendors, and come to a conclusion. This entire process of setting up visits and getting reviews might take you a week or even a month. It depends on vendors’ and your time availability and your choice of installer. Any referrals from friends, family or neighbours can be time savvy and cherry on the cake.

Some installers like PIXON , that have their own manufacturing units for solar modules hold better expertise and provide handy insights for your solar PV system.

Engineering Site Assessment (1-2 weeks)

After the site has been assessed by your Solar Service provider, an expert engineer is supposed to visit your site to get into the details and provide the installation assurance and safety measures.

What do they do?

The Engineer would’ve already considered the azimuth, direction of roof, shading on the roof and other future aspects that might affect the Solar Panel setup and its efficiency. The engineer also inspects the life and quality of your rooftop and whether it can withstand the solar setup in the long run of about 25-30 years. All minute details like shading factors, angles, increasing height and others are considered, to give a final design approval in compliance with long-term safety and efficiency.

What you get to know from it?

You get to know if your roof is strong and fit enough to go green with Solar Power installation. There is no point investing so much that it can be a trouble in the next few years for all.

This process can take about 1-2 weeks based on the engineer’s availability.

Design Approval & Quotation Finalisation (1 day – 1 week)

Based on all engineering assessments; the solar panel installation plan, area on rooftop, height elation if any, and other design parameters are approved.

What do they do?

Based on the design, the installer shall be able to give a final quote. The varying charge section can be defined with tentative time the setup shall take to get installed. On approval, they provide for the list of documents you would have to submit for the entire process.

What you get to know from it?

You can get your final quote and schedule of the solar installation process. You can decide to stick to your service provider, negotiate or switch it based on your experience of the process.

This entire process takes in account the experience of both, the engineer and the solar installation vendor. Thus, it can take a day to one week for your design approval and quote finalisation process.

Pulling Government Permits & Incentives (1 week – 1 month)

Government has laid a lot of grants and tax benefits to foster the solar power installation setup. This helps them to combat import demands of fossil fuels and meet the rising electricity needs of the growing nation. Whichever country you are in the world, Solar is the sustainable and trending go-to-go solution. Moreover, you have to seek the government approval for the installation process.

What do they do?

Your installation service provider shall do this paper work for you. Based on your locality, you shall get access to available schemes and eligibility-based incentives.

What you get to know from it?

You get to know of your eligibility for government subsidies and schemes.

This might take a few days to a few months based on the government body and rapport the vendor holds with them.

Order Panels & Schedule Installations (1 day – 1 week)

Generally, the installers do keep relevant stock of PV panels that are used in rooftop solar. Unless, you’ve decided to adopt high-tech panels or some other variety or brand.

What do they do?

They shall order the panels, in case they don’t stock it or are out of stock. They also pull up sleeves to schedule installation timeline and bring in their electrician and non-electrician labour.

What you get to know from it?

You get to know when your setup panels and other equipment arrive.

If your panels are being imported from any other country, this can take even longer, say about a month. Otherwise, panels can arrive in a day or a week’s time.

Using PIXON modules can be a savage of time with its spacious and smart warehouses that keep the stock ready for instant delivery and dispatch. With manufacturing unit situated in Gujarat and dealers spreading across India, makes the company proceedings more feasible within your vicinity. Moreover, the PIXON modules are engineered with excellence, quality and high yield capacity.

Installation Process (1 day – 1 week)

Generally, the installers do keep relevant stock of PV panels that are used in rooftop solar. Unless, you’ve decided to adopt high-tech panels or some other variety or brand.

What do they do?

The Non- electrician labour looks after the roof alterations, altitude elevation, and other design parameters related to solar panel setup. The electrician labour shall carry out the wiring of the panels with DC-AC inverter, power- meter and or solar battery.

What you get to know from it?

Your time investment to go solar was worth it and you would be relieved to pay electricity bills for a few years.

It seems a lot of work but happens really quickly with the well-trained team. The total installation time for a standard 3-kilowatt solar system of about 20 solar panels is usually somewhere between 1 and 3 days.

Pulling-Up Solar Switch (2 weeks – 2 months)

After all the setup is ready-to-use, there comes a county inspection step in between you pulling-up your solar switch to go solar.

What do they do?

A government engineer or electrician comes for final inspection of all the wiring done with respect to your solar setup and the utility grid. Your installer shall do the scheduling and paper work for the same.

What you get to know from it?

All the installation and wiring do meet the pre-set permit standards and safety measures. Your time investment, and execution process turns out to be successful. All the patience was worth the wait.

The time this phase depends on the type of solar power installation you’ve opted for. If it’s off-grid, as in, off the electricity grid, you can pull-up your solar setup after proper wiring check. But if your setup is hybrid or on-grid, that is, if it has an electricity grid associated, the engineer inspection and permit is must and shall take time based on your locality and county. It can range from a few days to a few weeks depending on the queue.

It is advisable to initiate your solar installation process in off-season time, that is, mostly winters to avoid the permit queue or delay from service-provider’s end.

Summing up the Solar Installation Time Tread

The entire process might sound a big-deal and tiring mess to tackle with, but it is all worth your time and money. For it gives about 20-30% of ROI over a period of 25 years. The entire process may take a few weeks to a month if all the permits are passed quickly and the system is supportive. The real task lies in the service provider you zero-down to, for your solar power installation process. If that’s done well, the other things go pretty smoothly, without much of a time delay.

Equipment needed for Setup

  • Solar panels
  • Mounting Structure
  • Inverter
  • Electrical Panel with switches & circuit breakers
  • DC & AC Electric cables
  • Power Meter

With all the technology, we can finally have an electricity power plant on top of the house. All the required equipment, to setup a Solar PV System at top of your house or for acre-spread power station are as discussed further.

1. Solar Panels

Solar panels are electronic devices that convert light energy of thesun into electricity. Used in satellites for decades, solar panels are now made viable economically for masses to adopt and use it. All the solar panels fit into three major categories:

  • Mono-crystalline
  • Poly-crystalline
  • Thin-film

Mono-crystalline Panels

Overview

Made from single silicon cells, Mono-panels are ideal for premium market that seek long-lasting power efficient PV system like solar farms.

Pros
  • Have highest efficiency rates of up to 22 % with output power range of 350 – 380 Watts.
  • Space-efficient.
  • High temperature variation tolerance.
Cons
  • High-cost.

Polycrystalline Panels

Overview

Made from multiple silicon cells, poly-panels are ideal for residential setups and cost conducive applications.

Pros
  • Reaching the efficiency standards of Mono panels with power range 315 – 345 Watts.
  • Simple and cost-friendly manufacturing process.
Cons
  • Require more space.
  • Efficiency range in 14-16 %.
  • Temperature fluctuations shall affect the output.

Thin Film Panels

Overview

Most ideal for specific applications only like electronic powering circuits, home-light applications, etc.

Pros
  • Simple and cost-friendly manufacturing process.
  • Very flexible.
  • Less affected by shade and temperature changes.
Cons
  • Require more space and safety measures.
  • Have less life-span and efficiency (in range of 6-10 %).

Moreover, the thin films have lost their space in PV systems and are preferably used in solar products like lamps, portable chargers etc. The mono and poly panels have widespread use and are getting more efficient with all the research and advancements each day.

2. Mounting Structure

Generally made of steel or aluminium, mounting structures are needed for panels’ installation as a support structure for following reasons:

  • Raise from the ground to provide space for cabling.
  • Combat water clogging.
  • Tilt panels at an optimal angle to receive maximum sunlight.

Lightweight, cost-efficient and low or no maintenance structures are preferable.

There are three major types of mounting structures: Single pole, Rooftop Mounting/Double Pole, Tin Shade.

Single Pole

Easiest and straightforward type of solar installation.

Need a lot of un-used space.

Ideal for limited commercial and agricultural installations.

Rooftop Mounting or Double Pole

Used anywhere in yard, field, or residential rooftops.

Needs dedicated space.

The height can be raised to use the space below.

Tin Shade

These mounting structures are ideal for slanting rooftops.A variety of construct designs options are available based on the roof material and type.

Weight balancing and roof strength are considerable parameters for choice of mounting construct.

  • Standard Rails
  • Rail-less
  • Shared-Rails
  • Non-penetrating System for weight balance.

Ballasts

Systems onunused flat roofs are ballasted at an optimal angle by using simple ballast structures.

These can be steel, aluminium or plastic and polymerized structures.

The type of mounting structure one should prefer for a given PV system moreover depends on the site of installation and its pre and post installation usage.

Aluminium Triangular Structure

3. Inverters

There are three major types of solar inverters: central inverters, power optimizer-based systems, and micro-inverters.

String Inverters

Ideal for roofs:
  • Straight and continuous rooftops
  • Constant sunshine throughout the day
How does it work?

A single central inverter will efficiently convert the DC electricity produced by panels to AC electricity. In case of huge power plants, the panels are connected into string-sets to a string inverter, which are further connected to a single central inverter.

Pros
  • The inverter can be placed in-house thus preventing it from harsh weather conditions like heat, snow, rains, etc.
  • Might need low maintenance.
Cons
  • The inverters do not provide panel-level optimization. The string of solar panels can produce as much electricity as its least efficient panel. Thus, even if there is break-down or shading in one panel, the entire system output goes down.
  • The DC current has to travel all the way to the inverter. Loose connections might cause arcing and lead to fire outbreak.
Costing

Central and string inverters are a least expensive inverter option.

Micro-inverters

Ideal for roofs:
  • complex rooftops
  • rooftops that experience partial or complete shading during the day
How does it work?

A micro-inverter converts the electricity from DC to AC right at the panel. Which means, each panel has its own micro-inverter attached to it.

Pros
  • Cancel out the negative impact of partial or complete shading.
  • Provides for maximum efficiency of the system setup.
  • Monitoring performance of individual panels is feasible.
  • Reduced risk of arcing as DC current path is short and thus, less chances of fire.
Cons
  • The inverters are to be connected to each panel of the setup, thus cost increases significantly.
  • The circuit setup is prone to fluctuating whether conditions, thus, the functionality might go down post 5-6 years.
Costing

Since we need a micro-inverter with each panel, the costing is ought to be higher based on the PV system size. However, the prices are certainly decreasing with tech advancements and demand.

Power Optimized Inverters

Ideal for roofs:
  • complex rooftops
  • rooftops that experience partial or complete shading during the day
How does it work?

Power Optimized inverters working is similar to that of micro-inverters. The only difference is that they condition the DC electricity and send it to String or Central Inverter. It is a more cost-efficient option than micro-inverter.

Pros
  • Cancel out the negative impact of partial or complete shading.
  • Provides for maximum efficiency of the system setup.
Cons
  • The DC current has to travel all the way to the inverter. Loose connections might cause arcing and lead to fire outbreak.
Costing

The power optimizers are additional components for each panel apart from the string inverter. These are costliest of all the inverters but certainly worth for the system efficiency enhancement.

However, the efficiency and warranty should be key considerable parameters while choosing an optimal inverter for your solar system.

4. Electrical Panel with Switches & Circuit Breakers

The electrical panel with switches and circuit breakers are used to protect all the electronic equipment against various electrical faults and hazards like:

  • Earth faults
  • Short-circuit
  • Over-current
  • Over-voltage

The requirement may vary based on the PV system capacity. There might be PV designs wherein, we would just not need the system at all.

5. DC & AC Electric Cables

AC current flows through outer surface due to ‘Skin Effect’. AC cable needs Multi-stranded Copper or Aluminium Conductor bunch for their efficient flow of current.

Whereas DC current flows throughout the whole cross section diameter of conductor. So DC cable needs Single Strand.

The quantity of required cables may vary based on the inverter setup you choose for your PV system, as discussed before.

6. Power Meter

The use of meters in this case differs from State to State.

Some states may require only one meter that reads the ‘net’ energy consumed by the system owner.

However, few other states may require two meters – one to measure solar energy generation and the second to measure the units consumed from the utility grid.