Before we decide on the benefits of going solar for warehouses, let us discuss the deciding factors and how favorable are they for warehouses.
- Roof space: They have a whole lot of unused but accessible rooftop space. But the type of roof may be different for different warehouses. It could range from flat concrete roofs to sloped asbestos roof. A plastic or asbestos roof could add costs to the installation process.
- Type of load: Unlike industry and commercial organizations, warehouses do not have a large power requirement. Most of the electrical load covers lighting and refrigeration.
- Timing: They consume significant quantities of energy on a daily basis mostly during the day. A battery-backed grid-interactive solar plant that only supplies specific loads such as lighting could be employed, but can support these loads without interruption even at night.
Why should warehouses go solar?
- Source of income generation: Warehouses have a lot of empty rooftop space that remains unutilized. Like any business, they want to utilize it as a source of income generation. Excess electricity that is generated can be exported to the grid. In places where government supported schemes for solar installations such as net metering, are present, warehouse facilities can generate a lot of income from generating solar electricity which can used for further investments.
- Energy security –Rooftop solar plants can deliver power during load-shedding, ensuring that critical loads are always running
- Cost-effective – Rooftop solar power has a levelised cost of Rs. 4.5-5/kWh (or less), considerably lower than diesel power at Rs. 18/kWh (or more). Additionally, your energy cost is now fixed for the next 25 years, unlike diesel power which keeps increasing
- Reliable – A solar power plant has no moving parts, ensuring reliable power over 25 years
- Minimal maintenance – A solar plant requires very little maintenance from the energy consumer.
- Flexible configurations – Solar panels can be installed on different kinds of roofs, including covered parking areas, as long as the structure can bear the weight of the panels. They are also highly scalable, with rooftop plants ranging in capacity from less than 1 kW to more than 1 MW
- High roofs: The presence of high roofs in the case of warehouses can prove to be a added concern as far as maintenance of solar panels is concerned. This necessitates the need for specialized equipment to perform maintenance.
A combination of extensive unused rooftop space and need for generating alternative sources of income makes warehouses ideal for solar installations. Rooftop solar power can meet up to 20% of a warehouse’s electricity requirements.
When estimating the load to be supported by solar it is important to consider the extent to which that particular load is used during the daytime when solar power is generated. For e.g., lighting load during daytime may be very low especially if the warehouse makes extensive use of natural lighting.
- What Permits Do I Need for My Rooftop Solar System?
- Do I Need Insurance for My Rooftop Solar Power System?
- How Should I Choose the Best Installer for My Rooftop Solar Plant?
- What is the Expected Lifetime of Rooftop Solar Power Plants?
- What should I Look for While Choosing Key Components of My Rooftop Solar Power Plant?
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