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Solar Knowledge Zone

What Solar Energy is All About?

This section discusses the basics of solar energy and provides the complete list of solar energy applications

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Solar Business Opportunities

This section guides how small businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from the solar energy revolution.

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Solar for Your Sector
This section discusses solar solutions customised for specific industrial and commercial sectors. Each page analyses the characteristics and constraints of each sector, and the critical parameters to be considered when designing appropriate solar solutions.
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Rooftop Solar for Industrial Consumers

This section provides answers to the questions that we frequently encounter from industrial and commercial energy consumers.

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Rooftop Solar for Residential Consumers
This section addresses many of the common concerns surrounding residential rooftop solar power and help residential consumers decide on a solar plant.
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Solar Mango Global News Android App

The Solar Mango Global News app is an automated aggregation of news snippets on solar energy and solar power from over 20 leading solar related publications and blogs.

This simple app gives you the most important solar news items from around the world, every day. It will be useful for everyone connected with the solar energy industry, as they get to know the global solar highlights in just a few minutes.

Simple options within the app further improves your reading experience. Use the Favorites option to mark the news you wish to refer to later. Use the search box and share options to search for news and share interesting news with your contacts.

Is rooftop solar power cheaper than diesel/grid power?

Rooftop solar power is much cheaper than power from diesel generators. Solar PV generates power at a cost of about Rs. 4.5-5/KWh while diesel generates power at about Rs. 16/KWh.Whether solar is more expensive than grid power depends on your current tariff. Solar power is not cheaper than grid power for many consumers but in some cases, such as consumers paying a commercial tariff, solar power may be cheaper than grid power.Read more

Can rooftop solar PV replace diesel entirely?

Whether solar power can replace your diesel consumption entirely depends on a number of factors such as the nature and timing of the load, the extent of load shedding, the area of roof available, etc. Some of the factors that constrain the supply of rooftop solar power include
o Solar power is generated only during the daytime on non-rainy days
o Solar power may not handle the heavy starting currents required by heavy machinery
o The output of the solar plant varies as the sun moves across the sky, and as clouds move across the sun
o Limited roof area constrains the capacity of solar PV plant that can be installed
Due to these reasons many energy consumers find that rooftop solar power may not support their entire load all the time. Solar power ideally acts in conjunction with diesel generators, taking up part of the load and saving, but not eliminating, the diesel expenditure.Read more

How much electricity does a rooftop solar PV system generate?

The amount of electricity generated by a rooftop solar PV plant depends on the location, orientation of the roof, panel efficiency, and ambient temperature. As a rule of thumb, a 1 kWp plant will generate about 4 kWh (units) of electricity a day on average in a year.Read more

What are the Warranties and Certifications I should look for in my rooftop PV system?

Solar panels typically have 5-year manufacturer’s warranty with additional performance warranty of 90% of rated power output for first 10 years, and 80% of rated power output for the next 15 years. Other system components (inverters, mounting structures, batteries, junction boxes, etc.) typically have 1-year manufacturer’s warranty extendable to 5 years.
Each component of the plant should conform to various IEC (international) or IS (Indian) standards.
Panels should conform to IEC 61215/IS 14286 for design qualification and type approval, IEC 61730 for safety, and IEC 61701/IS 61701 for salt mist corrosion (for use in coastal areas).Read more

Does rooftop solar PV generate power during a power failure?

Not all rooftop solar plants generate power during a power failure; only some do. The difference lies in the inverter and the functionality it supports. Grid-interactive and hybrid inverters supply electricity even during a power failure while grid-tied and off-grid inverters don’t.Read more

How much does a rooftop solar PV system cost?

A rooftop solar PV system costs approximately Rs.1,00,000 per kWp (Kilowatt Peak) including installation charges but without batteries. The cost breakup for a 1 kWp system is given belowRead more

How much roof area do I require to install a rooftop solar PV system?

The area required by a rooftop PV plant depends on the extent of shade-free space available and solar panel efficiency. A solar PV system typically requires 100-130 SF (about 12 m2) of shade free roof area per kW of capacity at current crystalline panel efficiency levels.Read more

What are the various components of a rooftop solar system?

A rooftop solar PV system primarily comprises of Solar PV Modules (panels), Inverters, and Mounting Structures. If battery backup is required Batteries and Charge Controllers would also be integrated with the system.Read more

What is the capacity of the solar power system I require for my facility?

The capacity of the rooftop solar plant you require to power your facility should be calculated keeping in mind your requirements, your constraints, and the amount of sunlight available. Rooftop space is the most likely constraint that will limit the size of your solar plant. If the size of the plant is not sufficient to power your entire facility, you can choose between powering light loads, powering critical loads, and using a solar-diesel hybrid.Read more

Do I have to build my own plant or can I just buy solar power?

There are 3 alternatives to building your own rooftop solar plant
a) 3rd Party Sale – Where a solar IPP sells power to the energy consumer using grid infrastructure to deliver the power. Many charges are applicable in addition to the cost of power
b) Group Captive – Where a group of energy consumers or a plant developer and consumers jointly own a power plant. Charges are similar to 3rd Party Sale except cross-subsidy charges are not applicable
c) BOO(T) – Under the Build Own Operate (Transfer) model the solar system provider bears the investment of installing the plant on the consumer’s rooftop, and the consumer only pays for power generated by the plant. This model has the least charges over the cost of powerRead more

What are the various policies and regulations (subsidies, incentives, permissions) that I should consider for my rooftop solar systems?

There are various solar policies that incentivise rooftop solar in India. Central government schemes include 80% accelerated depreciation, capital subsidy of 30% and more based on location, and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Some states have further incentives under their own solar policies.
Permissions primarily deal with ensuring the grid isn’t congested by receiving approval from local power distribution authorities.Read more