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Category: Solar Knowledge

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Why do we need a shadow-free area for solar installation?

Why do we need a shadow-free area for solar installation?

You must have read this line before: “A shadow-free area is required to install the solar panels at your location.”

Before installing the solar panel at your place, the installer might have checked for the shadow-free area at your location. Also, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) reported that for a one kWp solar plant, an area of about 10 square meters shadow-free area is required.

But, as a consumer, you might wonder, “why this shadow-free area plays such an important role in solar panel installation?”

To answer this in simple terms the output of the solar plants gets deteriorated when a shadow falls on the panel.

The solar radiation incident on the solar panel is converted into useful electrical energy using the photovoltaic principle. What this means is that the output of a solar plant depends on the solar radiation intensity. So, even a slight shadow on one string can affect the entire solar plant’s output efficiency.

In this article, you will learn how shadows affect your solar power plant and some lesser-known tips to avoid shadows.

How Does Shadow Impact A Solar Power Plant?

Lower Output Energy

The primary impact of shadows on a solar power plant is the reduction in its output energy. The drop in energy output increases with the increase in the size of the shadow.

The output of the solar panels gets considerably reduced when a shadow from a nearby object falls on it. In terms of shadowing, one can look at the solar panels as pieces of pipes and the water flowing as solar output, while shading can be viewed as stone or any other obstruction to water flow, as shown in the below figure. A stone clogged in a pipe will block the flow of water, in the same way, a shadow on a panel will prevent the solar radiation from reaching the panel.

The strings in the solar panels are arranged in a series or parallel fashion. In the case of series connections, partial shading reduces output by 50%, while in parallel connections, the output is reduced by 90%. This can be prevented by carefully installing the solar panels in a shadow-free area where the nearby objects do not cast shadows on the solar panels.

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If the hotspot stays for a longer duration crossing its threshold limit, the particular string may cause the solder joints in the module to melt, thus destroying the busbar and eventually the solar cell. 

Approval of Net Metering Bills

Solar net metering consents consumers to produce, borrow and sell electricity to the connected utility grid.

So far, 19 Indian states have approved the net metering policy. The policy gives consumers the right to receive compensation for the extra solar power they generate and send to the grid. This way, they can offset their electricity bill or even earn revenue from their rooftop solar panels.

The cast of shadows on the solar panel will not only affect its output and lifespan but can also impede the approval of net metering.

Warranty Issues

Manufacturers recommend that modules only be installed in shadow-free areas to guarantee their warranty. Therefore, modules installed in shadows cannot be claimed by the supplier.

Best Tips to Avoid Casting of Shadows on Solar Panels

Check Your Surroundings Before Installation

Make sure to check the surroundings of your house or commercial building before installing solar panels. Look out for trees, buildings, high-voltage grids and other objects that may cast a shadow on your solar panels during certain times of the day.

You should check the shadows cast by these objects at different times of the year to get an estimate of how much they will impact your solar panels’ output.

To further future proof your installation, do your due diligence on upcoming buildings in your locality and figure out how and why they would affect your solar panels.

Go for an Elevated Design Structure

In the rooftops of houses, the solar panels are usually installed at a height of around 1.5 to 2 meters. However, you can increase this height to 4 meters or more to avoid casting shadows on your solar panels.

This will also protect your solar panels from animals, birds and other objects that may fall on them and cause damage.

Frequently Clean the Solar Panels

Frequently cleaning your solar panels is important to maintain their efficiency. However, you should also regularly check the condition of your solar panels and look out for any signs of damage. If you notice that a shadow is starting to fall on one of your solar panels, you can quickly adjust its position to avoid any decrease in output.

Ensure Sufficient Distance Between Solar Panels to Avoid Overlapping

You can also increase the distance between your solar panels to reduce the chances of one panel casting a shadow on another. This will maximize the amount of sunlight that each panel receives and help you get the most out of your solar installation.

Install Modules at an Angle

Installing your solar panels at an angle will help you avoid casting shadows on them. This is because the sun’s rays will hit the panels directly, and the shadows will be cast behind the panels.You can use special brackets to angle your them.

What If You Can't Avoid Shadows On Your Solar Panels?

In this situation one can take the below-mentioned steps to optimize the solar output:
  1. If one cannot remove the objects placed on the roof, one can wisely place the components as placement of components can reduce the impact of shadow on the panels at least during peak sun hours.
  2. One can get rid of the partial shadow impact by using a microinverter (these inverters come with a maximum power point tracker). As each microinverter has an MPPT, and as they are connected in parallel, each solar panel will operate at its optimum point even during partial shading conditions without impacting other panels.
  3. Another option is to use a power optimizer to improve the solar panel efficiency when one cannot prevent shadows from falling on the panel.  

But it is advisable to choose a location where no neighboring objects cast a shadow on the panel to ensure the long run of the solar panel with an optimum ROI.  

Our design team identifies the best location with an appropriate design structure in order to maximize the return on the installed plant. For any info contact us. Our technical team will be happy to assist you with the best possible solution.

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How to Install Solar Panels for Free Electricity in 6 Simple Steps?

How to Install Solar Panels for Free Electricity in 6 Simple Steps?

One of the biggest myths about solar panel installation is that it is a tedious and long process. Not to mention expensive. But the fact is installing solar panels is a simple and easy task but surely it requires a skilled installer to install the solar panel at your location.

While researching frequently asked questions, there were innumerable ones we came across on:

  • Time 
  • Money 
  • Customer Service 

This article is aimed to break that myth for you. We’d like to take you through a step-by-step guide that will shed light on the processes involved at every stage. Right from the time, a potential customer reaches out to us, up until the post-installation service too. 

What Are the Prerequisites for Solar Panel Installation at Your Location? 

As a customer, before going for solar installation and its design one must check the below points:

  1. The amount of electricity required
  2. The shadow-free area available on your rooftop
  3. The peak sunshine hour in your area
  4. Type of solar panel suited for your location as per your design requirement
  5. One must also check the available government incentives for the particular location. 

Once we have identified the above factor, the next task is to design the solar plant and its installation.

Installation of a solar energy system requires skilled labour to avoid any damage to the solar panel and increase the efficiency and lifespan of your solar energy system installed.

As a customer, this might seem a lot and a tedious task but don’t worry, we at SunEdison take care of this analysis and provide you with the best design solution.

To begin with, our website SunEdison.in has something called a ‘SunEdison Solar Calculator’ wherein you enter some of the details asked and we tell you how much energy can be saved if you switch to a solar plant.

And then, of course, we also have a detailed form that you can fill out on the website to get an estimated quote. This is to ensure you are given an average cost to bear in mind before the installation.

6 Steps to Install Solar Panels

Stepping right into the step-by-step guide, here are the quick 6 stages you’ll be taken through, right from the time you reach out to us, up until the installation is complete.

1. Consultation

For all those of you who think solar panel installation would be a long process and there are chances, you may change your mind about it amid the entire process, this step is the most crucial one for you. To save your  time and energy, we offer a free consultation wherein you will be informed:

  • What your initial costs are 
  • What kind of electricity will you be consuming 
  • What amount you’d be saving in your ROI

2. Site Survey 

Post the consultation, once you decide to go ahead with us, a site visit will be organized by our team. This step is basically to visit your property in person or virtually, take a look at the space and ensure there is sufficient area for solar panels to be installed that isn’t covered by a tree shade or any obstruction. Post the site visit our team will design an installation that is most suited to your space, bearing in mind the rooftop accessibility, your preference, and other criteria.

3. Financing

For the ones who are worried about the expense of rooftop panel installation, this is a stage that should calm your nerves. If you require financing, we will help and guide you through the loan process. With SunEdison, you can easily avail the financing option at an affordable EMI rate. All you need is to click the link and go to the “apply option” and relax. We will provide you with the best possible financing option.

4. Permits & Installation

This stage is where the permits and installation happens. Now, right from the time, the financing bit is cleared, you will be notified via email and text on:

  • When the panels are packed from our warehouse
  • Shipped to your address and 
  • Being delivered to you

Once the panels reach your property, you will have the feasibility to select an exact date and time for the installation process to take place. Our team will arrive at the requested date and time and have the panels installed. The installation will be done within a day or so. 

Depending on the jurisdiction, installation of a solar PV system may require an electrical permit, net metering approval, a building permit, zoning approval or some combination of these.” Post the installation, we will take care of all the permits and approval documents that are required to get your system up and running as soon as possible.

5. Commissioning 

This is the final stage where after all the approvals and net metering connection, the solar plant is connected to the grid and ready to use.

6. Sunedison App

Moreover, SunEdison is available to customers post-installation too, if required. With our easy remote tracking application, you can track information at your fingertips and get in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns.

The remote monitoring system helps you to track the following information:

  1. Real-time performance of your solar plant
  2. Identify irregularities
  3. Data storage 
  4. Track savings accurately

The onboarding kit we provide you with will have:

  • Do’s & Don’ts 
  • A cleaning guide to ensure your panels are as good as new years from now 
  • Details on warranty 
  • Our contact information 

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, in 6 steps you can now have your solar panels installed without worrying about facing any surprises. We hope we were able to break your myth about the time, effort, and money involved in installing a solar panel system. 

For more information, please visit our website www.sunedison.in

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Ways to Save on Energy Bills

Reducing electricity bills and saving as much as possible is a common concern for most residents in India. Especially in cities like Delhi, surviving the heat during summers is close to impossible without an air conditioner.