Where to install solar panels?
The multiple benefits offered by solar , most importantly cost savings are the reason why rooftop solar panels and systems are on the rise in India. The favourable weather conditions in India- 3 days of sunlight and clear skies- make it ideal for solar installations to power your home. Depending on other conditions, such as the state where you live, you can also benefit from the many benefits and schemes introduced by the Government. This article provides step by step answers to the questions you may have – “how to install solar panels at home yourself?”, “what is the cost for solar panel installation?”, “is a rooftop solar system the only option?”, etc.
How much area is required and how does it work?
Solar panel/system installation at home works best when you have space for rooftop solar. Typically, with as little as 100 sq. feet of space, a 1kW solar system can be installed.
Is rooftop solar the only option? - Since solar requires direct sunlight, rooftop solar is the only option for homes, instead of the balcony, exterior walls of the house or some space near the house on the ground. However, rooftop solar works with both flat and sloping roofs.
What if I live in an apartment building?
Apartment buildings also have the option of going solar. However, since it requires use of the rooftop, which is under joint ownership of residents, it is used to power the common areas such as lifts, security lights, water pumps ,the lobby,etc. Since these costs are jointly incurred by all residents, going solar still guarantees savings and is an ideal long term investment.
How do I know if my rooftop is suitable for solar panels?
Solar is compatible with the majority of rooftop materials The table below provides more information.
Composite, wood, cement, tile, slate, cedar, clay tile, flat RCC roof, metal sheet
Asbestos, cement sheet
Even if your roof has other objects (e.g. water tanks), designers can work around that. It is also important that your roof be strong enough to support the weight of the solar panels as taking them off for maintenance of the roof later can be uneconomical.
How does solar work at night or when there is no sunlight?
Almost all households have fluctuating demand for energy- highest in the morning and in the evening. During such times, the house will have to draw power from the grid to meet the full demand. However, during other times of the day when energy generated is greater than energy consumed, that excess energy can be sold off to the grid, using net metering, and that amount gets automatically deducted from your electricity bill. At the same time, solar helps improve access to energy. In many areas in India, people have unreliable access to power from the grid. In such cases, using solar eliminates the need for diesel generators acts as a reliable source of energy.