You Can Continue To Pay Your Utility Bill Forever, Or You May Choose To Become Your Own Utility With Solar PV… Instead!

Electricity generated by solar panels is referred to as PHOTOVOLTAIC energy. This tongue twisting word is often shortened to “PV,” and thus we refer to a solar system that generates electricity as a PV system.

Q. What is a PV system?

A. PV technology produces electricity directly from electrons freed by the interaction of sunlight with a solar panel made of semiconductor material. The power provided is direct current (DC) electricity. The basic building block is known as a cell. Many cells put together are known as a module, and many modules assembled together form an array. A PV system will consist of an array of modules generating DC electricity, an inverter, and sometimes battery storage back up with charge controller.

Q. What is an inverter?

A. There are two kinds of electricity, DC and AC. Homes that are connected to utility power use AC electricity. Flashlights, small radios and automobiles use DC electricity. In order for you to be able to use solar to operate the appliances in your home, an inverter will convert PV power from DC to AC. Inverters can be further classified as units that use batteries (UPS) and those that use the utility grid as power storage (Grid-tied). Inverters are now required to possess meters that will indicate their performance and some manufacturer’s supply remote display units that can be mounted inside the home. It is important to check on your inverter regularly to become acquainted with its operation and performance.

Q. How much electricity will a system produce?

A. The amount of power produced will depend upon how large the system is. In India the average residential customer purchases 5,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. There is enough sunshine falling upon on the average home to produce this and a system can be designed to offset all electrical needs. The cost to accomplish a 100% system may be prohibitive and sometimes it makes more sense to simply reduce or ‘shave’ your consumption. Some utilities use tiered rates when they charge for consumption which means that the more energy you use the higher is the cost per kilo-watt-hour. The most economically feasible size is usually between 50% and 75% of your annual household needs.

Q. Just how big is a typical system?

A. Typical residential Solar PV systems range in size from fifty to six hundred square feet. A system composed of the very highest efficiency polycrystalline cells will produce 1kW per hour for every 60 square feet. Less efficient polycrystalline cells will require 90 to 130 square feet while thin-film systems need the largest area of all – sometimes as much as 300 square feet to generate 1 kilowatt.

Q. Are there tax credits or any other incentives to go solar?

A. Accelerated depreciation deductions of upto 80% are provided by Government of India significantly reduce the final cost of a system used for commercial applications.

Q. Are there any other incentives or programs available to help me afford a solar energy system?

A. It depends upon where you live. For a comprehensive list of incentives, rules and regulations affecting solar energy contact our sales team.

Q. How much do I save?

A. The savings will depend on the size of your solar system and the amount of electricity you would normally have consumed. A 2kW PV system which is replacing electricity at 5.50 INR a kWh might save INR16000.00 per year.

Q. How long does it take for a PV system to pay for itself?

A. It is more instructive to think of solar as an investment that yields an annual return, much as a bank savings account provides interest. A solar PV system may generate savings that would equal an annual Return on Investment (ROI) of 7% to 15% per year at today’s electric rates. These savings is not taxed as would be the interest earned from a bank savings account. Thus you would have to find a bank account or investment yielding 14% to 28% to equal the return on a solar electric system. No matter what ROI your system would generate, this is ultimately a choice about how you will be buying your power – not whether or not you will be paying for it!



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