Is it worth installing solar panels in homes to power all electrical equipment?

The consumption of electrical appliances has increased in our daily lives which have raised fuel expenses for the home. Renewable resources like solar power are one of the best-proven alternatives to cut down the monthly electrical bills. The government has introduced subsidized schemes to help homeowners install solar panels in homes.

During the last 5 years, increased demand for solar panels in India has made the cost cheaper. 

Solar panels absorb sunlight and generate electricity to power home appliances. These are fixed in the roofs or backyard of the homes. If the panels are fixed neatly on the roof then you will feel the difference in your monthly electric bills.

How the Solar Panel Works?

Solar panels works when the sunlight strikes on the panels fixed on the roof. The panels then convert energy to direct current(DC) electricity which is then fed to the inverter. The inverter will then convert DC to AC which powers the electrical appliances. The detailed working of solar panels are as follows:

  • Solar Panels collects sunlight: Every solar panel has photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells (PV) help in the conversion of sunlight into electricity; so PV cells absorb the sun’s energy and it will be converted into the direct current (DC).
  • Inverters convert solar power into electricity: For the entire system, the solar panels have a single inverter. Inverters will convert DC electricity into alternating current(AC).
  • Solar electricity is consumed: Solar energy runs through the net meter which is a solar incentive that stores the energy in the grid. if the solar panel doesn’t produce enough energy then no need to worry because you’re still connected to the traditional power companies via grid.
  • Leftover solar electricity goes back to the grid: It is always important to be connected with the power grid since solar panels generate electricity only when the sun is up, but you also want to use electricity during the night time so it should be connected to the power grid.

Relevant Factors to be Considered

Estimation of current

  • Take the highest monthly bill from your past bill records. This estimates the number of units of electricity consumed in that month.
  • Then dividing the number of units with the number of days in the month, you will get your daily consumption. For example: consider the bill of February 2018, if the unit of consumption is 450 units, then the daily consumption will be 15 units equivalent to 15 units of energy per day.
  • 1 unit = 1 kWh which refers to the usage of about 1000 watts in an hour. 

Number of solar panels required in a home

  •  A home consumes 15 units in a day which is equivalent to 15 kWh.
  • In 1 hour, the solar panel must generate 15000 watts of power. 
  • If a panel generates 3kWh per day, then 5 solar panels should be needed to generate 15 kWh.

Space Required for solar Panels

Space for the solar panels should be determined according to the number of solar panels required. This is usually fixed on the rooftop or backyard where adequate sunlight is received. If a home needs 5 solar panels then the area required will be 17.6*5=88 square feet, which most homes can accommodate.

Cost Analysis

The cost of the solar panels will be based on the type and size of the solar panel. Two types of solar power plants are available: off-grid and on-grid. Off-grid connections are stand-alone connections which are not connected to the main grid. In this case, the generated solar energy is stored in the batteries and these batteries will convert DC power into AC power by an inverter. The on-grid connection is always connected to the main grid. There are no batteries but only have inverters.

If 1kW off-grid system generates 4-5 units then the cost will vary between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.25 lakh. Similarly, if 1 kW on-grid system generates 4-5 units then the cost will vary between Rs 75,000 and Rs 90,000.  

Solar Panels are an excellent alternative for power generation and help pay back the initial cost of installation through low fuel bills within the first 5 years of operation. 

 

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