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Category: Rooftop solar

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5 Quick Tips On How To Keep Your Solar Panels Clean

5 Quick Tips On How To Keep Your Solar Panels Clean

The only maintenance required for the solar panels at your location is routine cleaning to minimize dust buildup and the resulting shadow, which would reduce solar effectiveness.

Many people think cleaning solar panels will be difficult. Additionally, it is presumable that maintaining a panel will take a lot of your time and effort.

We, at SunEdison, in this article are here to help you dispel that myth.

The simplest approach to determine whether your solar panels require cleaning or maintenance is to monitor their energy output. It might be a good idea to check on them whether there is a sharp decline or a gradual decline over time. The dirt accumulation could reduce solar panel production by 5% or more. Dust and haze may further reduce output, by up to 20%, if you reside close to a highway or airport.

Quick Tips to keep your solar panels efficient:

  • The most effective way to wash solar panels is with a hose or a bucket of warm water. Essentially, in the same manner, you would wash your car at home.
  • Be careful about using harsh soaps & detergents as some soaps can leave a film or residue that not only leaves a mark but also attracts dirt to stick to the surface and manifest longer.
  • Never use an abrasive sponge or soap for your solar panel rooftop cleaning as it may hamper the anti-reflective coating and scratch the glass. Both these conditions will render the panels void of their warranty. The best way to clean solar panels is by using a soft rag or non-abrasive sponge.
  • Clean solar panels when they are moist or wet to ensure any dirt or residue stuck on them can be wiped off easily.
  • It is important not to use harsh materials when cleaning solar panels as they could cause damage. 
  • Running a hose along with the panels for dirt removal on a regular basis would be highly beneficial.
  • Avoid extremely high-pressure water sprayers when washing off your solar panels. A high-pressure attachment discharging water at pressures greater than 35 bar can damage the solar panels.
  • Stains which solidify and stick to the panel e.g. bird droppings, need to be removed at the earliest.
  • Do not overclean your solar panel system. Unless there is a significant amount of dust in your area, a weekly cleaning should suffice.
  • The best time for cleaning the panels is early morning or late evening. During peak hours, not only are the panels too hot, but you may also lose a significant generation.

Tips: Before cleaning solar panels:

  1. Avoid solar panels cleaning during bad weather conditions.
  2. Verify that the roof can support the weight of the person cleaning the panels.
  3. Before ascending the roof, it’s crucial to follow all safety precautions; check that your shoes have adequate grip, wear a helmet,  etc.

For any further queries or information on solar panel cleaning and recommendations from experts, you can reach out to us at SunEdison.

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How Can Installing Commercial Solar Panels Save Your Business Money?

How Can Installing Commercial Solar Panels Save Your Business Money?

Is your business planning to make the switch to renewable energy and set an example for sustainability and innovation for all your clients and employees?

We understand that it can be challenging to make the transformation to renewable energy, but it’s crucial for the environment and your bottom line. You wonder whether or not it is really worth the investment for your business and how it will pay in the long term.

That’s why we are here.

In this article, we will help you figure out just how much returns and savings you can expect using solar panels. We will also touch upon the payback period and the different financing options available to you.

How do Solar Panels Save Businesses Money?

The cost of solar panels has dropped significantly in recent years, making it a much more viable option for businesses looking to invest in renewable energy. Not only that, but businesses can also take advantage of government incentives that are designed to promote solar power adoption.

1. Energy Independence

What if you are catering to a very important international client on a highly time-sensitive project and suddenly the power goes off?

Unfortunately, we are well aware that power cuts in India are expected compared to the developed counterparts and some power cuts can last hours or even days!

Even the slightest delay in business processes can throw the entire project’s schedule out of order and cause a massive loss in revenue. This is where solar panels can be a lifesaver for your business, as they allow you to power your operations without relying on the grid.

Solar panels give you the energy independence you need to keep your business running smoothly without disruptions.

2. Reduced Operating Costs

Solar panels can help you save significant money on your monthly electricity bills. This is because solar power is a free source of energy that can be used to offset the cost of grid electricity.

In fact, once you have installed solar panels, your business will be able to produce its own electricity and sell any excess back to the grid. This way, you can further offset your energy costs and even make a profit!

3. Government Incentives

The Government of India offers a number of incentives and subsidies to encourage businesses to switch to renewable energy.

Some of these incentives include tax breaks, accelerated depreciation, and preferential tariffs. As a result, installing solar panels can help you save a lot of money on your taxes.

4. Greater Capital Efficiency

If your business has small cash reserves, then you may be thinking that investing in solar panels is not a wise use of your money.

However, it is important to remember that solar panels can be financed through a number of different methods, such as no-cost EMI, MSME loans, solar loans, and more. This means that you can install solar panels with little or no upfront cost.

What’s more, solar panels have a very long lifespan and require very little maintenance, which makes them a very efficient use of capital.

5. Improved Sustainability

As a business, it is important to be aware of the growing trend of sustainability. More and more consumers are interested in doing business with companies that are environmentally responsible.

By installing solar panels, you can show your clients and employees that you are committed to reducing your carbon footprint. This can help to improve your brand image and give you a competitive edge.

6. Better Use of Large Cash Reserves

Dormant cash depreciates in value due to inflation, which can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Investing in solar panels is a great way to generate a return on your idle cash reserves and protect yourself from the effects of inflation.

Solar panels can offer returns greater than typically fixed deposits that most banking partners provide, and they also offer the added benefit of being environmentally friendly. You can check this for yourself using our solar calculator.

What is the Payback Period for Solar Panels?

The payback period is the amount of time it takes for your solar panels to pay for themselves. For example, suppose it takes 5 years for your solar panels to produce enough energy to offset their cost. In that case, the payback period is 5 years.

This period can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the cost of the solar panels, the amount of sunlight they receive, and the government subsidies under the National Solar Scheme available. However, as the cost of solar panels has been falling, the payback period has been getting shorter and shorter.

In India, the average payback period for solar panels is around 8 to 11 years. This means that you will start seeing a return on your investment within 11 years. However, this number can go down with high-efficiency solar panels from SunEdison, better solar panel protection, and timely maintenance.

Some factors that are leading to lower payback periods for solar panels:

  • Falling prices of solar panels
  • Rising costs of non-renewable energy
  • Increasing efficiency of solar panels

How Much Money Can Solar Panels Save?

The amount of money that solar panels can save businesses depends on a number of factors, including the size of the installation, the amount of sunlight it receives, and the local electricity rates.

However, on average, businesses can expect to save around 20%* on their electricity costs after installing solar panels. This number can go up to 50%* if the business takes advantage of government incentives.

Conclusion

There are a number of reasons why businesses should switch to renewable energy, such as solar panels.

Solar panels offer a number of benefits, including lower electricity costs, improved sustainability, and better use of large cash reserves. If you are considering making the switch to solar, then be sure to check out our solar calculator to see how much you could save.

Solar panels have become increasingly popular in recent years as the cost of renewable energy.

 

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How to Protect Your Solar Panels Against Birds, Falling Trees, and Other Hazards

How to Protect Your Solar Panels Against Birds, Falling Trees, and Other Hazards?

You have just made a sizable investment in installing solar panels for your home or office in the hopes that these provide better returns than fixed deposits and empower you to lead a greener lifestyle. That’s wonderful.

But what if the unpredictable natural elements outside cause damage to your precious solar panels? Your returns would diminish, and the payback period would increase.

That is why it is vital to protect your solar panels against birds, falling trees, and other hazards out there.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways you can safeguard your solar panels.

1. Use Bird Spikes

One way to protect your solar panels is by using bird spikes. Bird spikes are metal or plastic points that are installed on the surface of buildings or structures to prevent birds from landing or perching.

Spikes are a physical barrier that will not only keep birds away but also prevent them from causing any damage to your solar panels. They are an effective solution for keeping birds away from solar panels, as well as windows, signs, chimneys, and other areas where they might cause damage.

You can find bird spikes at most hardware stores or online.

2. Cover Your Solar Panels with Mesh

Another way to keep birds away from your solar panels is to cover them with a mesh that is installed on the panel’s frame. This will create a physical barrier that will make it difficult for birds to land on or perch on your solar panels.

The mesh will also prevent small animals and insects from getting into the solar panel and causing damage.

3. Install Guards on Your Solar Panels

While small twigs and branches will not affect your solar panels much, falling trees and large branches are serious hazards that can cause extensive damage. So, suppose you live in an area where falling trees are common. In that case, you should consider installing guards on your solar panels.

The guards will help to redirect or deflect the impact of falling trees and branches and prevent them from causing any damage to your solar panels.

These guards can be made of metal or plastic and will protect your solar panels from being hit by falling tree branches. They can be easily installed on the solar panel’s frame and will not interfere with its functioning.

4. Install Your Panels on Steep Slopes

Depending on where you live and how much sunlight your area receives, you could consider installing your solar panels on steep slopes. This will make it difficult for animals and birds to access your solar panels and cause damage.

If small twigs or tree branches fall on your panels accidentally, the steep slope will help move them away and push them down to the ground.

Note that there are other considerations for positioning your solar panels. Ideally, you would want to position them such that they attract the most significant amount of sunlight.

It is important to note that installing solar panels on steep slopes can be tricky and should only be attempted by experienced professionals.

5. Install Bird Scaring Devices

If you want to prevent birds from roosting or nesting on your solar panels, then you can install bird scaring devices. These devices make use of sound, light, or movement to scare birds away.

There are a variety of bird scaring devices available on the market, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Some bird scaring devices make use of ultrasonic sound waves to deter birds. These devices emit high-pitched sound waves that cannot be heard by humans but are very effective at deterring birds.

Other birds scaring devices make use of flashing lights or reflective surfaces to scare birds away. These devices can be solar-powered or battery-operated and can be easily installed on the frame of the solar panel.

Still, other bird-scaring devices make use of movement to scare birds away. These devices can be wind-powered or battery-operated, and easily installed on the solar panel’s frame.

6. Clearing Any Blockades or Direct Fall Risks

If there are any trees near your solar panels that could fall and damage your panels, then you should remove them. You should also clear away any debris, such as leaves and branches, that could fall on your panels and damage them.

We would not advise you to cut off trees. Instead, just trim them slightly so your panels are out of danger. If that is not possible, do not worry. At SunEdison, we have the experience of installing solar panels in tricky places.

You should also take steps to protect your solar panels from fire hazards. This can be done by clearing any flammable materials around your panels, such as dead leaves and branches, around your panels. You can also install a fire sprinkler system near your panels to help extinguish any fires that may occur.

Conclusion

There are a variety of ways that you can protect your solar panels from birds, falling trees, and other hazards. By taking the time to properly install and maintain your solar panels, you can help ensure that they will continue to generate electricity for years to come.

If you have any questions about protecting your solar panels, or if you need help installing them, then please contact SunEdison. We would be more than happy to assist you.

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The Benefits of Solar Power for Your Indian Home – Adopt A Greener Lifestyle

The Benefits of Solar Power for Your Indian Home - Adopt A Greener Lifestyle

Solar power is one of the most efficient and clean sources of energy that is available today. It is a renewable resource that can be used to generate electricity for your home, business, or community.

There are many benefits to using solar power, including reducing your carbon footprint, saving money on your energy bills, and providing a backup power source during power outages.

1. Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

One of the biggest benefits of solar power is that it helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases trap heat and cause the Earth’s temperature to rise, which can lead to global climate change.

By generating your own electricity with solar panels, you can significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that you are emitting into the atmosphere.

2. Saving Money on Your Energy Bills

Non-renewable sources of energy are continuing to deplete at an accelerated rate. This is leading to an increase in the price of electricity, as utilities pass on the cost of their increasingly expensive fuel to consumers.

According to Statista, the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour nearly doubled from 2009 to 2020.

Solar power can help you to insulate yourself from these rising energy costs. Once you have installed solar panels, the only cost you will have is the initial investment and the cost of maintenance. The electricity that your solar panels generate is free.

In addition, many utility companies offer net metering programs, which credit you for the excess electricity that your solar panels generate. This can further reduce your energy costs.

3. Providing a Backup Power Source

In the modern day and age, a reliable and unhindered power source is of paramount importance. However, power outages have become increasingly common as the demand for electricity continues to increase while the grid remains the same.

Solar power can provide a reliable backup power source for your home or business. If there is a power outage, your solar panels will continue to generate electricity, providing you with the power you need to keep your lights on and your appliances running.

Solar power can also provide a backup power source during power outages. If the grid goes down, your solar panels will continue to generate electricity, providing you with a reliable source of power.

4. Increasing the Value of Your Home

For most Indians, owning a home is an investment and commitment of a lifetime. It is a very emotional attachment and also the most expensive purchase that anyone makes.

So, maintaining the house in a way that will not only hold its value in the long run but appreciate it is of utmost importance.

Installing solar panels in your home can increase its value by up to 4 percent, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This increase in value is due to the fact that solar panels are seen as a valuable home improvement that can save homeowners money on their energy bills.

5. Suitable for Indian climate

Unlike many parts of the world, most Indian homes do not have a lot of space to install solar panels on their roofs. However, this does not mean that solar power is not an option for Indian homes.

On the bright side (pun intended), India is closer to the equator and receives ample sunlight and UV to supercharge your solar panels quickly and efficiently.

At SunEdison, we offer rooftop solar panel solutions that will be installed in a manner that takes minimal space while capturing maximum sunlight for greater power.

6. Secure Investment with Attractive Returns

Most investments come with some level of risk. From mutual funds to real estate, there is always the potential for loss.

For many Indians, fixed deposits are the go-to for zero-risk investment. Unfortunately, the returns offered by banks on fixed deposits are meagre and do not keep up with inflation.

Solar power is an attractive investment option for several reasons.

It offers high returns: The average return on investment for solar power is over 8%, with a payback period of just eight years (approximately).

It is a secure investment: Solar panels have a lifespan of 25 years or more. This means that once you have installed solar panels, you can expect to generate electricity for many years to come.

It is a green investment: Solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy. This means that you can feel good about investing in solar power, knowing that you are helping to protect the environment.

If all of this sounds too good to be true, check it for yourself using our solar calculator. Just enter your details and see how much you could save by switching to solar power.

Conclusion

Solar power is an excellent option for Indian homeowners for many reasons. It is cost-effective, increases the value of your home, provides a reliable backup power source, and is a secure investment with attractive returns.

If you are considering solar power for your home, contact SunEdison today. We will be happy to help you find the best solar solution for your needs.

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Top 5 Things You Should Consider Before Opting for Solar

Top 5 Things You Should Consider Before Opting for Solar

5 factors you should know before installing solar panels at your place:

Using solar energy is the most eco-friendly and sustainable way to reduce your ever-increasing energy bill.
But many consumers come across this prominent question “What to consider while buying solar panels?” or “What are the things to consider before installing solar panels at your location?”

Here in this article, we have tried to answer this question. 

Choosing a solar panel that will match your requirements and support your roof’s durability is an important decision since solar panels are going to be on your roof for 25 to 30 years.

  1. Types of solar energy systems-

    When it comes to the thinking of installing solar panels  the energy requirement and location become crucial tasks. 
    In key urban cities where there are minimal power cuts, an on-grid solar energy system is most suited which is connected to the power grid system and is the most common type used in residential applications.

    If the location is a tier 2 city where power cuts are common, a hybrid solar energy system (combination of on-grid and off-grid) would be a good option to opt for, thus ensuring a reduction in electricity bills and also catering for energy during power cuts as well.

    If the location is an isolated one with no grid connection, then an off-grid system is the best option. In an off-grid system, energy is stored in the battery during the daytime when the solar panel generates electricity, and the battery supplies power during nighttime (or cloudy weather).

  2. Rooftop feasibility-  To get maximum sunlight on the panels, the rooftop needs to be free from shadows. Trees, tank towers, and headrooms cast shadows over your solar panels which will hamper their performance. Hence, keep the solar panels clean from dirt and leaves to ensure maximum efficiency and keep nearby plants trimmed. Do not make any alterations to your roof which will cast shadows on the solar panels or damage the electrical connections or physically affect the solar panels. If the rooftop is used occasionally, opt for a high-rise elevated design structure which will provide more space.

  3. Modular technology- When going for solar installation, choosing the right type of solar panel is a crucial task to ensure the long life of the solar plant. Solar panels are responsible for converting solar radiation into the required electrical energy.
    Solar photovoltaic panels are generally available as full/half-cut monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.
    For residential users, monocrystalline solar panels are the most preferred ones. 

    It’s a wise decision to go for the pro variant (half-cut mono/poly solar panel), as it offers higher efficiency compared to the conventional solar panel in the same size and area.
    In the market, one can find different types and brands of solar panels, and choosing the right type and brand of solar panels is a vital task.

    (Tip: Don’t just go by the brand name or buy the panel which your neighbor might have brought as the type of solar panel varies with the individual energy and space requirement)

  4. Manufacturer & Installer Solar panel typically is a long-term investment, with a lifespan of a minimum of 25 years. Servicing and maintenance will be done for the panels to ensure optimum performance and efficiency. Hence, it is essential to choose a well-established installer, who provides long-term customer service and a warranty.
  5. CertificationQuality certification and standards for Solar PV systems are essential for safe, high-performing, and long-lasting systems. It is also imperative to put in place an efficient and rigorous monitoring mechanism, and adherence to these standards. Hence, all components of a Solar PV system/ plant must conform to the relevant standards and certifications.

Once you’ve carefully paid attention to these factors, you can make an informed decision to approach the solar installer of your choice. 

With SunEdison, you can get this installed in 6 Simple Steps!

For more information on our products and services, please visit our SunEdison website.

More information on solar energy and its benefits can be found on SunEdison’s blog section.

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National Portal for Rooftop Solar

National Portal for Rooftop Solar

Reimagining the Solar Subsidy Programme of India

1. What is the most effective tool for successful implementation of decentralized solar in India?

2. How can India fastrack its pace to achieve the 40GW rooftop solar target by December 2022?

3. Is solar rooftop popular enough among the Indian households?

And the list of questions continues…

To solve for these and help scale rooftop solar among residential customers, the government of India has taken a historic step by reimagining the entire Solar Subsidy Program.

“Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on July 30th, 2022, launched the New and Simplified Programme for Rooftop Solar Phase II under which a national solar portal has been created through which any Indian consumer can apply for solar net metering and subsidy.”

In the words of our Prime Minister, “Bijli Bachaana, Desh Sajaana!”.Let’s look at how we can save electricity for a decorated future of our country.

A brief overview of why we need this policy at all.

To popularize rooftop solar amongst homeowners and achieve the set target, residential consumers are offered financial assistance in the form of subsidies for which the state electricity utilities/DISCOMs had been appointed as implementation agencies. Under the grid-connected Rooftop Solar Subsidy Programme, residential consumers were eligible to avail a capital subsidy of 20/40% for system sizes up to 10kW. The subsidy was disbursed via state DISCOMs/state nodal agencies through periodic empanelment tenders where rate discovery was also done. Final price of the system was determined by reverse L1 rate bidding.

However, there were several implementation challenges owing to which many consumers have not been able to take advantage of the subsidy scheme. A summary of the key challenges that led to slower growth in residential solar segment despite the very attractive capital subsidy scheme is given below:

  1. Subsidy disbursement capped at the price of the system discovered through solar rooftop tenders/MNRE benchmark rates (whichever is lower): Solar rooftop tenders led to the discovery of extremely low selling prices for the rooftop solar systems due to various reasons. One such reason was the capping of rooftop solar system rates by the rates determined by MNRE as benchmark rates for various system sizes. The rates determined by MNRE did not represent the current system costs as these were fixed for around a year while the costs of materials in a system kept increasing in the same period. Thus, vendors quoted very low selling prices and indulged in malpractices such as invoicing customers separately outside the tender rates. All the above also led to high occurrences of poor-quality systems getting installed and many projects not being completed to the awarded capacity.
  2. Lack of Consumer Choice: As with other “consumer products”, residential rooftops should also be offered with an array of features for the customer to choose from. For example – string inverter versus microinverter, height of the system, rooftop can be designed as a Pergola to make the terrace space useful and aesthetic, water proofing of the rooftop system so that the space can even be used in rains, use of Solar Tiles, etc.

To solve the above problems, National Solar Portal has come as a game-changer for the residential sector. Let’s look at the “How” of it…

Let’s first look at the details of the policy:

  1. Under the national simplified subsidy scheme, subsidy amounts have been fixed by the government as per the following slabs which are standard across all states and UTs of India.
    a
  2. The CFA/subsidy will be released after clearance by the inspecting authority (DISCOM) on successful commissioning and installation of the metering system as per specified procedure.
  3. The CFA/subsidy would be calculated based on total solar module capacity/ solar inverter capacity/ capacity approved by DISCOM, whichever is lower.
  4. DISCOMs need not invite tenders, discover rates, and empanel vendors. In addition to this, the vendors need not wait for the release of subsidy from the Ministry, rather they can get the full amount from the consumer as the consumer will be getting subsidy directly into his bank account.

A revolutionary step for the solar industry and its stakeholders…

  1. The scheme is a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme wherein consumers will get the subsidy credited to their bank account within 30 days after installation and commissioning of their rooftop solar system.
  2. Some of the benefits of this scheme include hassle free online applications, freedom to consumers to choose any solar company which is empaneled in their DISCOM under the DBT scheme, track the progress of application on the national solar portal in real time, direct disbursement of subsidy to consumer’s account within 30 days of installation and commissioning of solar system, provision of 5 years of after-sales and maintenance services to their consumers by the solar company, etc.
  3. Special focus by the government to protect the interests of the consumers. A vendor will have to get registered at the DISCOM and maintain the rooftop solar system for at least 5 years.
  4. The new scheme offers enhanced choices for the customers with the removal of ceiling rate for the selling price. Customers can now customize their rooftop solar solutions and opt for better quality components.
  5. Simplification of getting empanelment and working under subsidy schemes for the solar companies:
    a) Any solar company can now pay Rs. 2.5 Lac Bank Guarantee to get registered in a DISCOM. With this, the company gets eligible to install subsidized rooftop solar systems for consumers in that DISCOM under the National Subsidy Scheme.
    b)  Vendors will also get access to provide their information and rates on the National Portal so that any consumer willing to install rooftop solar can contact them and get the rooftop solar installed through mutually agreed rates.

A glorious moment for the Indian Solar Industry for achieving a public policy tool that will:

  1. Accelerate market driven growth for the solar industry.
  2. Improve consumer choice.
  3. Ensure better quality and performance of the solar systems installed.

It is, thus, the Aladdin’s magic lamp for the solar industry- with more solar companies willing to get empaneled, states will be able to meet their allocation targets and consumers will get better and enhanced choices.