In India, solar energy is still new. The National Solar Mission (NSM) was launched by the Government of India in 2010 as one of its primary projects to promote sustainable ecological growth while also addressing the country’s energy security. Solar energy in India has expanded 33 times in the last 10 years, from 1.2 GW in 2012 to 40 GW in 2021, making it one of the fastest-growing businesses in the country.
Solar power, on the other hand, is still a relatively new concept among mainstream customers, which presents a problem. Solar panels for your roof are similar to automobile purchases in terms of pricing and product involvement, but there is a catch. Because the number of people who have acquired solar panels is still very small, the purchasing procedure is unclear to suspicious, price-conscious potential purchasers in India. Customers that have owned a solar system for the duration of its existence are extremely rarer. Furthermore, because solar panels are often rated for a 25-year lifespan, making a mistake during the purchasing process can leave you with buyers remorse for a very long time. Various incentives and subsidies, each with its own set of circumstances, further complicate the decision-making process.
As solar costs have decreased, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many of our clients and address the most common queries and concerns. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from those customers.
Ask Yourself These Questions About Your Terrace’s Eligibility:
Is my roof capable of bearing the additional weight of a solar system?
Most of the time, if your roof is made of RCC, it is more than adequate. The weight of a typical solar system with a mounting framework is approximately 10-20 kilograms per square meter. However, it is still advisable to get your roof inspected by an expert.
Is there anything that casts a long shadow on my roof throughout the day?
Solar panels must be installed in such a way that they do not cast any shadows during the day to generate maximum power. Because India is located in the northern hemisphere, solar panels should face south. Regardless, make certain that these issues are addressed during the site survey. Many solar companies provide a free site assessment.
What about the effects of wind? Is it weatherproof?
Inquire with your developer about the maximum wind load that their solar buildings can sustain without uprooting solar panels. It should be matched to the current wind load in your area. Make sure your solar power system can withstand severe weather such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, hail, and other natural disasters. If these things happen, your solar panels may be destroyed. If these occurrences are common in your location, make sure that your insurance policy includes coverage for natural disasters.
Also Read: Solar System Installation, And Maintenance: Avoid Common Mistakes
Search for The Solar Developer Carefully
Investing in a solar energy system for your home is a once-in-a-lifetime investment. It serves as a home renovation item as well as a source of clean energy. As a result, it’s even more critical that you seek the best-in-class solar developers. A developer you believe will be there for the long haul is also something to think about. Everything that doesn’t work throughout the warranty period should be fixed by the developer.
Examine Whether Grid Connectivity is Required
You must decide whether you want a grid-tied connection with net metering or an independent solar plant with rechargeable battery storage, in addition to the structure of your roof and solar developer. If you have a grid-tied connection with net metering, it is very convenient and cost-effective. Batteries, while providing freedom from power interruptions, are currently expensive and may not provide the favorable return on investment and short payback period that you seek. Check the banking period (the cycle in which the utility provider balances your power generated vs. power imported back to the grid), costs, approvals, documents, and so on when acquiring a grid-tied connection. Make certain that the developer you hire handles all of the necessary approvals for a net-metered connection.
Solar systems are made up of a variety of components, including solar panels, inverters, mounting structures, and electrical components, all of which are made by different firms. As a result, there are various warranties available for solar panels, other equipment, and installation.
Solar panels often come with a product warranty that covers manufacturing defects for ten years and a performance warranty from the manufacturer that guarantees a particular amount of power generation for around 25 years.
The developer assembles all of the components of a solar system and provides a 5- to 10-year guarantee on the installation. This warranty should always be taken into account when choosing a developer. It covers the replacement and repair of damaged parts.
In addition, depending on the type of inverter utilized, the inverter comes with a warranty. An inverter is usually covered by a 5- to 10-year manufacturer’s guarantee.
Check for Product Insurance
It is critical to have the proper insurance in place to cover any damage to electrical or mechanical equipment that occurs during the installation. Inquire with your developer about product insurance as part of the proposal. This is something that many developers include in their proposals. Many possible issues that may arise during the installation of your solar panels may go unnoticed until they occur. In such cases, insurance will safeguard you.
Check for Subsidies in Your State
Also Read: State-Wise Solar Subsidy in India 2021
The government is making a concerted effort to entice citizens to invest in solar energy. As a result, when you put a solar system on your roof, the federal and state governments cover a portion of the cost. Homeowners can only get a DISCOM subsidy if they install solar panels from an impaneled solar developer. As a result, double-check that the developer you choose has been approved by the state utility company (DISCOM). This information is available on the DISCOM website.
In general, a subsidy of 40% of the benchmark price is provided for systems with a capacity of up to 3kWp, and a subsidy of 20% of the benchmark price is offered for systems with a capacity of 4-10kWp.
Check for The Maintenance Packages
Solar panels require regular maintenance to be functioning and in good working order. Before the installation begins, make sure you ask your solar developer about these maintenance requirements. Your solar plant may not last for its whole lifetime if you are unable to meet those maintenance needs on your own. Even warranties will not be able to compensate for your lack of upkeep. You can inquire about Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMCs) with your developer and arrange a package deal that includes preventive maintenance and periodic cleaning of solar panels.
Rooftop solar panels for residential power generation are becoming more popular since they are a renewable source of energy that the government is aggressively supporting, but they require careful planning and research before you decide to invest in a solar plant. You can have a chance at a lifelong supply of free electricity with minimal recurrent expenses if you use this checklist.