Frequently Asked Questions

The Global Solar Movement...

What do you mean by solar energy and how it is used ?

1. What are the financial benefits of solar energy ?

        When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.

2. What are the environmental benefits of solar energy ?

        Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.

3. How do I find out how much I pay for electricity ?

        The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity (and how much electricity you use per month) is to take a look at your utility electricity bill. Review EnergySage’s guide to reading your electricity bill to find out exactly what to look for.

4. What is net metering ?

        Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. Net metering policies differ from state to state – from Massachusetts to California to Hawaii – so make sure to do your homework ahead of time.

5. How does solar impact my property values ?

        Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.

How do solar panels work for my home ?

6. How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work ?

        Solar panels absorb the sun's energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.

7. Do my solar panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining ?

        The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in a cloudy city.

8. What happens if there is snow on solar panels ?

        Solar panels convert sunshine into power, so if your panels are covered in snow they can’t produce electricity. Snow generally isn’t heavy enough to cause structural issues with your panels, and since most panels are tilted at an angle the snow will slide off. If snow does accumulate, your panels are easy to clean.

9. Can I go off grid with solar panels ?

        When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need, and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use. It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy system that includes battery storage, but it will cost significantly more and is unnecessary for the majority of homeowners.

10. Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels ?

        Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.

11. Do solar panels work in a blackout ?

        If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.

12. How much will solar panel maintenance cost ?

        Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the 25 to 35 years that they will generate power. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, most equipment manufacturers include warranties, although warranty terms depend on the company.

General grid connect solar power FAQ

13. What is a grid connect solar power system ?

        Grid connect systems, often located in built up areas, supply solar electricity through an inverter directly to the household and to the electricity grid if the system is providing more energy than the house needs. When power is supplied to the mains grid, the home owner usually receives a credit or a payment for that electricity. This is called a feed in tariff.

14. What can affect the amount of solar energy received ?

        The strength of the solar energy (radiation) available depends on the time of year, the time of day, and the latitude of the generation point. The amount of energy generated can be further affected by the amount of dust and water vapour in the air, the amount of cloud cover and any shading of the solar panels and the quality of the solar modules. You can learn more about solar radiation levels for your area in our solar power system builder.

15. Does roof orientation really matter ?

        Most certainly. For example, a system with solar panels facing in a southerly direction will generate far less than one with a northerly aspect. However, east/west installations can be a good option depending on the installation scenario.

16. How much does a grid connect solar power setup cost ?

        Prices vary according to size and location – CLICK HERE to fill the enquiry form to determine the cost.

17. What is a feed in tariff and how much will I get paid ?

        A feed-in tariff is whereby a grid connect system owner is paid for the electricity their system generates by a utility or government agency. There are two different types of tariffs, gross and net. A gross feed-in tariff pays a premium on all electricity produced whereas a net feed in tariff only pays on surplus energy created by the system.

18. What size system will I need to run my home ?

        That entirely depends Upon various factors such as appliances in your house, your energy usage pattern, geographical location, etc.
       Typically, a normal 1BHK household will start with 1.5 KW as the ‘entry point’ load – with appliances such as a refrigerator, a washing machine, tube lights, etc.
       For a 3 BHK household with a microwave oven, 2-3 AC’s in addition to the above appliances, the energy requirement will go up to around 2-4 KW.
       For an independent house with a water pump to fill the overhead water-tank, in addition to above appliances, the energy requirement will go up to 5-7.5 KW.
       There are illustrative examples and individual energy needs to be studied in detail to arrive at the design load for the specific household.

19. Is my building suitable for a solar power system ?

        Several aspects will need to be evaluated to determine if your home is a good solar site, such as orientation, space available, shadows on the space available and your current electricity usage. The best site will be one with adequate north-facing roofs that have no shade. Variations on that will cut into the productivity of the system.

20. How long will my grid connect solar power system last ?

        The life of Solar modules that have been tested in the field showing small reductions in power output after 20 years, mostly because the glass surface becomes a bit dull and reflects more light. All our solar panels carry an output warranty of 25 years.

21. What type of warranty is supplied with the system ?

1. Solar Panels: minimum 10 year product warranty and 25 year performance guarantee.
2. Inverter: 5 – 10 year warranty.
3. Mounting System: 10-year product warranty (manufacturer)
4. Workmanship: 5 year warranty on workmanship (installer)

22. Should I choose monocrystalline, thin film or polycrystalline solar panels ?

        Between monocrystalline and polycrystalline there isn’t a lot of difference except that a polycrystalline panel is slightly larger than the equivalent wattage in monocrystalline. Thin film panels are larger again and the extra space can take up valuable rooftop real estate in terms of adding extra panels at a later date.

23. What can affect the costs of installing a grid connect system ?

        A base installation rate includes the grid connect system being installed on a pitched metal roof facing north with appropriate surface area available. Additional costs will be incurred for a flat or tiled roof; any equipment upgrades and extended warranties.

24. Can I insure my grid connect system ?

        Most insurers will allow you to include the system under your home and contents insurance, but please check with your insurance company first.

25. If my energy requirements increase, can I upgrade the system ?

        Yes. Additional solar panels can be added at any time to increase generating capability but you might have to upgrade to a larger inverter. Alternatively you could purchase a larger inverter when installing the system initially and then plan to add some extra solar panels later.

26. What happens on cloudy days ?

        In a grid connect system, as you are still tied to the mains power supply, any deficit will come from the mains grid.

27. How reliable will my system be ?

        As the Solar Power systems are designed to Indian Standards, the reliability of components and consistency of power supply will be more than adequate for the loads specified.

Carbon dioxide emissions and climate change ?

28. How much of a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions will I achieve ?

        Using a comparison to a car, Suppose in India car travels 20 000 km per annum, which is equivalent to 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide discharge annually. A 2kw grid connected system will prevent 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide being generated through coal fired power generation – so it’s the equivalent of taking a car off the road each year.

29. Is there any maintenance involved ?

        With an grid connected system, there is very little maintenance required. Electronic components should be maintenance free. Solar Power systems come with complete instructions for maintenance.

30. Will I need a new switchboard and/or meter ?

        In order to install a grid connected solar power system at your premises, you will need to have a compatible switchboard and meter.

Installation Details

31. Where do you place the inverter ?

        Usually the inverter is placed alongside the fuse box. The inverter is silent and has a display to show the electricity generated and other data options such as total electricity generated since installation, are available.

32. How much roof space is needed ?

        1.0 KW system needs approximately 10m2, a 1.5KW system needs approximately 15m2 and so forth.

33. What is the weight of the solar system on the roof

        The system weighs approximately 27 kilograms per square meter (a 1KW system is approximately 10 square meters).