Various Types of Rooftop Solar Panel Systems and Cost Involved

The cost of any rooftop solar panel system may depend largely on its purpose as to support during power failure or to feed power into the grid. While considering solar, there are a lot of incentives and subsidies too available, which lighten the cost part.

While planning to install solar, it should also be noted that all types of PV systems should match to the voltage from any other sources and therefore such a system needed to be integrated with the grid, battery, or a generator.

Solar Panels

Different types of rooftop PV systems

There are three major rooftop solar PV systems in common use as;

  • Grid-tied – These types of rooftop solar systems are basically designed to upload the power to a grid to assist with the load. Such systems may not generate power during the time of power failure as the inverter will block the system from sending power into the grid to avoid electrocuting the utility personnel who do any repairing on the grid.
  • Grid-interactive – These types of systems work in conjunction with battery backup or diesel generator to support during power failure.
  • Off-grid system – It doesn’t work with the grid and it only gets connected to a battery backup for off-grid application

The differences between these systems are based on the inverter and batteries used. Various vendors use various terminology to denote such systems, so the buyers need to identify the exact function to find one fitting to your needs.

Cost of rooftop solar

While considering the cost of solar panels in Gawler, the manufacturers and in turn buyers are getting highly benefited through Accelerated Depreciation (AD), which is a tax deduction of up to 80% on rooftop solar PV systems. This can offer significant benefits to the solar plant owners to gain sufficient profit against which the depreciation can be charged. Adding to this, it is also a reassuring fact that the project cost for rooftop solar installation may reduce in future as the price of PV modules is witnessing a substantial decrease over the recent years.

Even though there is a decrease in PV modules price, this sums to only half of the cost of the project. It should be noted that the price of the other components has not decreased in line with the PV module price decline. So, we cannot expect a huge reduction in the total project cost. The price of solar systems offered by different vendors may also vary. There are several reasons for this variation in price as;

  • Tiers – The products by Tier I manufacturers will be more expensive than Tier II and III as the performance and reliability are higher.
  • Meeting standards and certifications – Products that meet the set quality standards can be more expensive; however, these will only get qualified for subsidies.
  • Warranty – The final price of the solar PV systems can largely depend on the warranties offered by providers. The standard warranty for PV panels is basically a 5-year manufacturer warranty. The allied systems like inverters, cables, mounting structures, junction boxes, etc. come with 1-year standard manufacturer warranty.

Solar Electric Panel Buying Guide – Choose the Best

Solar panels or photovoltaic (PV) panels are in high demand now as it can generate the electrical power needed for your home or other energy needs. As the other conventional energy resources are drying out, people are turning to more natural and everlasting source of energy, the sun, to meet their increasing power consumption needs.

When you are getting on to purchase a solar electrical system, make sure that you check out all available packages which companies offer and the subsidies by the governments. In light of the loan programs, which the solar service providers offer and the tax benefits by the state, you may be able to get PV power at a far reduced price than actual.

The cost factor

Let’s see an example; a photovoltaic solar panel which can provide electricity for the entire home by meeting the fire and electric compliance requirements is eligible to get a tax rebate of up to 30%, say around $500 for a 0.5 kW solar power system. However, many of such programs are for the residences only, not for large-scale plants.

However, don’t jump into any kind of random programs while shopping for the photovoltaic cell system, but keep the following considerations in mind to get the best purchase.

  • Power output

How much is that your home needs? If you can get a break down of your daily power usage from the electricity bill, it is easy to determine how much wattage you need to generate from your PV array to meet the needs. During the peak hours when sun delivers the best, the output may range anywhere from 40 watts to 200 watts from an ideal solar systems. The difference is based on the technology, size of the panel, and cells used etc.

  • Cost per Wattage

Another effective way to calculate the cost of purchasing photovoltaic cells is to consider the dollars-per-watt cost ratio. A round estimate can be like, if you purchase the PV modules which are priced at $4 to $5 per wattage means that the system can deliver a maximum output of 100 Watts if you spend $400 to $500. Using this method, you can roughly calculate how much you need to shell out to lit up your home fully.

  • Insolation

It is insolation (not insulation) which measures the total amount of sunshine directly falls on to each square meter of the solar panel per day. This is generally measured in kilowatts and will help determine how much energy you expect the PV array to produce daily.

Mounting the solar array

Even you buy the best, the tilt of the solar array also is important based on the geographical specifications of your area to ensure maximum efficiency. There are various types of solar array mounting systems for home purpose and picking the right one is critical to ensure the best ROI.

You may feel installing the PV modules simply flat on the roof to be aesthetically pleasing, but this may significantly reduce the power generation during the low-light hours or rainy days. Don’t doubt whether PV cells can work at rain, it can, but generates only lesser energy. Now, there are advanced mounting stands too which can automatically turn and adjust the tilt to track the sun across the sky.

Looking to Power up Your Boat with Solar Energy? Know How to Install the Panels

Basically, solar panels are anything which make use of the thermal energy from sun to create electricity. The business name of a solar panel is photovoltaic panel, which is a flat panel to directly receive emissions of the sun. The surface of these panels needed to be at 90-degree incline from the rays of the sun to best absorb sun’s energy. Very similar to the process of plants receiving energy from sun to process it through photosynthesis, photovoltaic cells function to process solar energy into electricity.

As soon as the rays of the sun hits the solar cells, it is transferred to a silicon semiconductor and the power is changed to direct current (DC), which passes through the wires and reaches the storage battery.

Fixing solar panels on to your vessel

There are various types of solar panel mounting rails, but majority of them are meant for roof and ground mounting. The boaters used to make their own mounts fitting to the size of their vessel; however, there are customised mounts available now of various sizes to be fitted on to boats. With the option to do online purchase, you can get such mounts from various stores matching to all type of Mount Gambier solar panels and variety of vessels.

Solar panel types

The most popular type of solar panel used in yachting is either amorphous thin-film cells or multicrystalline. The multicrystalline panels are the oldest kind, which are the strongest too. With adequate size and paired with ideal batteries, multicrystalline panels are best to operate larger loads like refrigeration in the boats.

When compared to multicrystalline, the amorphous thin film panels are just about 50% effective. But, these are lightweight and come in a various forms, which can be folded or rolled. It can also change shape based on the contour of the boat’s top. They don’t offer adequate yield for a considerable load, but can be simply be used for charging a light battery bank etc.

Power of solar panels

Usually, the power of solar panels is measured by wattage. You can get various solar panels to be used on boats ranging from 10 watts to 200 watts or larger. We can calculate it in such a way that a 200-watt solar panel produces about 200 x 5 hrs of sunlight = 1000 watts/day.

You need to calculate the power consumption of your boat at the first point to decide which panel to choose and the size. For example, if you need to have 3 lights which draws 2 amps each to be switched on 4 hours at night, the power consumption would be 3 x 2 x 4 = 24 AH/day. The other major considerations to make while you calculate the amps hours in a boat at anchor are likely;

  • Refrigeration
  • Sanitation System
  • Freezer
  • Fresh Water Pump
  • Electric Toilet
  • Stereo etc.

With all the above facts known, always ensure that you purchase the best available solar panels to be installed onto your boat. Also get the installation done by experts in order to ensure proper fixation and adequate tilt of the panels to harvest maximum energy by ensuring endurance.

Basic Info and Proper Insight on Choosing the Best Solar Panels

If you are looking forward to buying a solar system as a whole or trying to buy in parts to assemble it by your own, one need to purchase the best solar panels. There are plenty of selections in terms of solar panels now, which leave the buyers in dilemma on which to choose. Some comes with a subsidy whereas some others are the latest lightweight models. Here, we will have an overview of solar panels and with purchase tips.

Function of solar panels

You can search in the Google for the “world’s best solar panels”, but in fact there is no such thing to be considered as a one-size fit for all purposes. The best product varies on the basis of whether you want to light up the entire house or want to make use of it to charge your car battery. You need to also know that producing hot water with the help of a solar heater is a totally different affair than generating electricity from solar energy.

On checking out for the real function of solar panels, these are photovoltaic cells which converts the short-wave radiation from parts of sunlight to electric power. Solar panels consist of interconnected solar cells, which are adequately protected by a solid material. The surface of solar panel is kept transparent and the block of solar panel is adequately framed.

Purchasing solar panels

Before purchasing any solar panel, ensure that you take a close look at the specification sheet. It can give a clear idea about the major details of that particular solar module and its specifications to help you choose the best solar panel. To interpret the technical data mentioned, you need to have some basic knowledge of the following concepts;

  • Type of semiconductor used

Various types of semiconductors used in solar cells include;

    • Monocrystalline silicon cells (c-Si) with an efficiency of 20%
    • Polycrystalline silicon cells (mc-Si) with an efficiency of 16%
    • Flat-film amorphous silicon cells (a-Si) with efficiency of 5% to 7%
    • Microcrystalline silicon cells (µc-Si) along with a-Si cells efficiency up to 10%
    • Gallium-Arsenik cells (GaAs) with efficiency of 10 to 40%
    • Cadmium-Tellur cells (CdTe) with efficiency of 10 to 40%
    • Chalkopyrite cells (CIS, CIGS) with efficiency from 10 to over 40%.

It is expected that the panels containing organic cells may be the best in future as they can be made at a lower cost. However, as of now the efficiency of such panels is low with a maximum yield of 10% and the life expectancy is also short as 5000 hours. They are ideal now for portable electric devices, but researches are ongoing to enhance its capabilities. The other considerations are;

  • Efficiency of solar modules – Not just the individual cells, but ensure the efficiency of the entire solar panel block on the basis of high minimum warranted power rating.
  • Power rating of solar modules – It is the wattage of a particular solar module. What you need to check is the warranted minimum power stated in Peak Watt (Wp).
  • Operational voltage – Open circuit voltage usually rated in Volts (V) is the maximum voltage solar cells can produce while not connected to a load.

Some other considerations to make are the temperature operating range (TOR), dimensions of the panel, warranty etc.

A Comprehensive Guide for Solar Panel Installation at Your Home

This guide is aimed to walk through the entire process of installing solar PV on a residential property. The installation projects may include a team of three to four including a project manager, roofers, and electrician.

How long it takes?

The basic installations can be completed in a day or two. However, sometimes the fixation may take longer on particular roofs with slate or other fragile material. The professional installers will keep disruption to your daily activities to a minimum. Let’s explore the installation components and process in a bit more detail.

  • Solar panels

Solar panels are made up of individual cells covered with a reflective glass and packed in an aluminium frame. The average weight of solar panels may vary from 15 kg to 30 kg depending on the size. Panels are of various sizes, a standard mono-crystalline 250W panel of 1.6-m x 1-m size may weigh around 19 kg.

  • Roof anchors

Stainless steel hooks are screwed on to the roof rafters, which form the base for solar mounting system. The roof anchors will go hidden underneath the panel after installation.

  • Mounting frame

Mountain frames are made of two parallel aluminium bars for each row of solar panels. The rails are attached to roof anchors and get locked to ensure no movement when panels are mounted on top of it with clamps.

  • Clamps

Clamps are used to hold the panels tightly on to the frame. End-clamps and mid-clamps are usually used for this purpose. End clamps fix the last row on to the frame while mid clamps are fixed between two panels by ensuring equal spacing, usually 200 mm apart.

Installation steps

  • Step #1 – Erecting the scaffold

Scaffolding is erected to offer a sturdy working platform for the roofers and safety rails are fixed which run along the roof edges.

  • Step #2 – Fitting roof anchors

After taking proper measurements, roof anchors are screwed on to the rafters. Need to double check after fixing that the frame will sit straight.

  • Step #3 – Attaching the frame

Next, the aluminium bars which form the frame are locked on to the anchors. Ensure each bar is straight and all of them stay parallel.

  • Step #4 – Installing panels

With all bars fixed in place, the panels needed to be clamped on to the frame. In whichever easiest way possible, the panels can be fixed by columns or rows.

  • Step #5 – Wiring the panels

Connect the panels based on the system’s voltage, power, amperage, shading on the roof, and positioning of panels.

  • Step #6 – Connecting panels to inverter

To finish the system connection, we need to install DC wiring from the panels to the home system.

  • Step #7 – Inside the home

An electrician need to work on getting the inverter connected to the main electricity supply of the home. Before finishing the connection, one needs to install a small consumer unit and generation meter too. The power needed to be cut off to do this.

  • Step #8 – Commissioning the system

Once the whole wiring is completed, you can then switch on the inverter and commission the solar system to start enjoying free electricity.