FAQ

How big a solar energy system do I need?

The maximum size of the system you can install depends on the amount of appropriate roof and/or ground space available and how much you want to spend. Most of our installations are sized for optimum savings, rather than maximum size.

Also ask yourself, do you want the system to supply your complete energy usage or to supplant a portion of your higher cost energy usage? You can contact OM SOLAR system designer/installer to determine what type of system would suit your needs.

Can I really reduce my electric bill to ZERO?

Yes! While you may still have to pay a minimal connection fee to stay connected to the electrical grid BUT you can reduce your net electricity costs to ZERO per month. Ask us how by requesting a solar panel estimate.

How much do solar panels cost?

The cost of solar panels has decreased significantly in the past few years, and there are also many programs in place to help homeowners get the system in place. The cost of a solar panel system depends on many factors, especially the size of the system. More panels mean a higher cost, but also more energy produced. Because each home has different energy needs, the best way to find out the cost of a solar power system is to get a professional estimate.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels are made up of many solar cells that have been joined together. These cells are made using materials that have a photoelectric effect, which means that they produce electricity when they’re struck by photons (i.e., light). Solar cells capture the electricity produced when the photoelectric materials are hit by sunlight, and send that electricity to an inverter. This inverter then transforms the electricity from direct current (DC) into a form that can be used in your home: alternating current electricity (AC). In most cases, the system also includes batteries, which store excess power until you need it.

What solar incentives are available?

OM SOLAR helps you obtain the maximum subsidy credit or benefits of accelerated depreciation for your solar installation. We handle all the necessary applications for local and other state solar incentives. Not only does this simplify the process for you, it also ensures that you don’t miss any incentives. We can even find other incentives that you and other solar installers may not know about.

Do I need any permission to install solar panels in India?

In most cases, yes, you do. Your OM SOLAR family will takes care of this for you. Installing solar panels in Indian communities is easier when you have OM SOLAR navigating the permission process for you.

How much energy do solar panels produce?

Your home’s solar energy production can vary based on the size of your system and its location. To get an accurate estimate, request for a FREE solar consultation.

How many solar panels do I need for my house?

It depends on your current energy bills are and your energy goals. Most residential solar installations are between 2 kW and 10 kW. A typical solar panel installation provides around 80% of the household’s energy. Ask your OM SOLAR about your requirements.

How much roof space do solar panels require?

Solar panels are modular, meaning that your system can be scaled to fit your roof. Generally, each kW of PV takes up about 100 square feet of roof space. A typical 5kW system, for example, would require 500 square feet of roof space. Ask your OM SOLAR engineer to find out the optimum size that can be customized as per available space on roof.

How long do solar panels last?

The solar panels we install are high-quality panels with a life expectancy of more than 30 years. We guarantee the power output for the first 25 years of operation.

The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed and maintained properly. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system installation.

What kind of solar panel maintenance is required?

PV panel maintenance is amazingly simple. Many homeowners wish to clean solar panels regularly, but other than that, no routine maintenance of solar panels is necessary.

Do solar panels break easily?

No. Our solar panels are extremely rugged. Panels that we install are made from tempered, shatterproof glass. They’re engineered to withstand hailstorms with one-inch hail striking at more 50 mph. Plus, these durable PV panels can survive snow loads up to 112psf.

Do solar panel systems work on rainy days?

Yes, your home solar system provides some power on rainy or overcast days. However, you might not get maximum output. On days when the sun isn’t shining, the electric grid will provide reliable electricity to your home.

Are photovoltaic systems difficult to operate?

Not at all! Once installed, your solar PV system works automatically. You get reliable electricity and incredible convenience and ease-of-use.

Can I mount solar panels on the ground?

Yes, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic systems are ideal for many homeowners. Consult with your OM SOLAR to discuss your options.

Can I install a solar system myself?

We do not recommend installing yourself solar energy system. As it require a licensed electrician to connect your PV system to the grid. Do-it-yourself can result in serious expenses and risks.

The expert solar installers at OM SOLAR will make sure your system is well designed and qualifies for the maximum possible rebates and other incentives.

Do solar panels take more energy to manufacture than they produce?

No, this is a common misconception. A typical solar installation will provide an energy payback in 3 years-to-4 years.

Will my home solar panels provide backup power if the power goes out?

In most cases, the answer is no. As Grid Tied solar PV installations are usually connected to the grid, which means that if the power grid goes down, you’ll lose electric power, too. In this type of situation you can take the help of battery banks and switchable inverters available for backup power; however, these systems will cost extra. Ask your OM SOLAR for details.

What is photovoltaics (solar electricity) or "PV"?

What do we mean by photovoltaics? The word itself helps to explain how photovoltaic (PV) or solar electric technologies work. First used in about 1890, the word has two parts: photo, a stem derived from the Greek phos, which means light, and volt, a measurement unit named for Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), a pioneer in the study of electricity. So, photovoltaics could literally be translated as light-electricity. And that's just what photovoltaic materials and devices do; they convert light energy to electricity, as Edmond Becquerel and others discovered in the 18th Century.

How can we get electricity from the sun?

When certain semiconducting materials, such as certain kinds of silicon, are exposed to sunlight, they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. It is the basic physical process in which a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts sunlight to electricity.

Sunlight is made up of photons, or particles of solar energy. Photons contain various amounts of energy, corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. When this happens, the energy of the photon is transferred to an electron in an atom of the PV cell (which is actually a semiconductor).

With its newfound energy, the electron escapes from its normal position in an atom of the semiconductor material and becomes part of the current in an electrical circuit. By leaving its position, the electron causes a hole to form. Special electrical properties of the PV cell—a built-in electric field—provide the voltage needed to drive the current through an external load (such as a light bulb).

What are the components of a photovoltaic (PV) system?

A PV system is made up of different components. These include PV modules (groups of PV cells), which are commonly called PV panels; one or more batteries; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system and when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.

What's the difference between PV and other solar energy technologies?

There are four main types of solar energy technologies:

  • Photovoltaic (PV) systems, which convert sunlight directly to electricity by means of PV cells made of semiconductor materials.
  • Concentrating solar power (CSP) systems, which concentrate the sun's energy using reflective devices such as troughs or mirror panels to produce heat that is then used to generate electricity.
  • Solar water heating systems, which contain a solar collector that faces the sun and either heats water directly or heats a "working fluid" that, in turn, is used to heat water.
  • Transpired solar collectors, or "solar walls," which use solar energy to preheat ventilation air for a building.

Can I use photovoltaics (PV) to power my home?

PV can be used to power your entire home's electrical systems, including lights, cooling systems, and appliances. PV systems today can be blended easily into both traditional and nontraditional homes. The most common practice is to mount modules onto a south-facing roof or wall.

Can I use photovoltaics (PV) to power my business?

PV systems can be blended into virtually every conceivable structure for commercial buildings. You will find PV being used outdoors for security lighting as well as in structures that serve as covers for parking lots and bus shelters, generating power at the same time.

How do I know if I have enough sunlight for PV?

A photovoltaic (PV) system needs unobstructed access to the sun's rays for most or all of the day. Shading on the system can significantly reduce energy output. Climate is not really a concern, because PV systems are relatively unaffected by severe weather. In fact, some PV modules actually work better in colder weather. Most PV modules are angled to catch the sun's rays, so any snow that collects on them usually melts quickly. There is enough sunlight to make solar energy systems useful and effective nearly everywhere in India.

How much land is required to setup a 1MW solar power generation Unit?

The land required for a 1 MW power plant setup is around 4.5-5 acres for crystalline technology and around 6.5-7.5 acres for Thin-Film technology. This is only a rough benchmark and may vary based on technology and efficiency of panels.

What is the annual energy generated from a 1 MW Solar Power plant?

The usual benchmark for energy generated from a 1 MW Solar Power plant is considered as 1.5 Million units. This is only a benchmark and should not be considered as the actual output for a given location. The amount of actual energy generated from a Solar Power Plant in an year depends on both internal and external factors. External factors which are beyond the control of a Solar developer can include the following:

  • Number of sunny days
  • Solar Irradiation
  • Day Temperatures
  • Air Mass

The output also depends on the following internal factors all of which are within the control of a Solar Developer:

  • Plant Location
  • Usage of Solar Tracking systems
  • Quality of equipment used
  • Workmanship of the EPC contractor
  • O&M activities

What are the various modes under which we can setup a Solar Power plant?

The various modes under which a Solar Power plant can be setup depends on the specific requirement. All the following are valid modes and the costs for each kind of system varies based on various factors:

  • Off-Grid Captive Consumption for domestic premises
  • Off-Grid Captive Consumption for commercial premises
  • Grid Connected (Net Metered) Captive Consumption for domestic premises
  • Grid Connected (Net Metered) Captive Consumption for commercial premises
  • Sale of Power generated to local Distribution Company (DISCOM)
  • Sale of Power generated to 3rd Party consumer (Industry or Commercial entity)

What size Solar Power plant is required for domestic or commercial use?

Identifying the Solar Power plant size for your domestic or commercial premises depends on the following factors:

  • Wattage of appliances to be run on Solar
  • Monthly energy consumption from these appliances
  • Energy Backup or Days of Autonomy required
  • Roof space available for plant setup

Based on these factors, the power plant sizing can be accordingly done at your end.

Why should I purchase a PV system?

Why should I purchase a PV system? People decide to buy solar energy systems for a variety of reasons. For example, Some individuals buy solar products to preserve the Earth's finite fossil-fuel resources and to reduce air pollution. Others would rather spend their money on an energy-producing improvement to their property than send their money to a utility. Some people like the security of reducing the amount of electricity they buy from their utility, because it makes them less vulnerable to future increases in the price of electricity. If it's designed correctly, a solar system might be able to provide power during a utility power outage, thereby adding power reliability to your home. Finally, some individuals live in areas where the cost of extending power lines to their home is more expensive than buying a solar energy system.

What is net metering? Is net metering available where I live and work?

Net metering is a policy that allows homeowners to receive the full retail value for the electricity that their solar energy system produces. The term net metering refers to the method of accounting for the photovoltaic (PV) system's electricity production. Net metering allows homeowners with PV systems to use any excess electricity they produce to offset their electric bill. As the homeowner's PV system produces electricity, the kilowatts are first used for any electric appliances in the home. If the PV system produces more electricity than the homeowner needs, the extra kilowatts are fed into the utility grid. ________________________________________

SOLAR THERMAL

How does a solar water-heating system work?

Every solar water-heating system features a solar collector that faces the sun to absorb the sun's heat energy. This collector can either heat water directly or heat a "working fluid" that's then used to heat the water. In active solar water-heating systems, a pumping mechanism moves heated water through the building. In passive solar water-heating systems, the water moves by natural convection. In almost all cases, solar water-heating systems work in tandem with conventional gas or electric water-heating systems; the conventional systems operate as needed to ensure a reliable supply of heated water.

There are many types of solar water heaters. Each has strengths to recommend it for specific climates and water conditions. Solar system professionals can help you select the most appropriate system for your area and your needs.

Can a solar water heater replace an electric or gas water heater?

Not completely. Conventional electric or gas water heating systems are still necessary as a supplement to the solar water heating system, largely because the sun might not shine in a particular area for several days at a time. However, because solar water heaters are designed provide hot water directly to the tank of a gas or electric water heater, they reduce the need for the water heater to run on conventional fuels. And this in turn reduces your gas or electric bill. Depending on where you live, solar water heaters can provide up to 80% of your home's annual water-heating needs.

Can I use a solar water-heating system to heat my swimming pool?

Using a solar system to heat a swimming pool is the most common use for solar energy now a today. Solar pool-heating systems increase an unheated pool's water temperature by 10 degrees or more, and they can extend the swimming season by two to three months.

What are the benefits of using solar energy to heat water in my home?

First, the fuel is free! Once you recover the higher initial costs of a solar system through reduced or avoided energy costs (that is, lower utility bills), your solar system will require expenditures only for maintenance. And when you include the cost of a solar water heater in a mortgage on a new home, the system often provides a positive monthly cash flow from the first day of ownership.

Second, solar water heaters and other solar technology applications do not pollute. They do not add to the carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other air pollutants and wastes produced by most of today's power plants, even those that run on natural gas. And they allow you to burn less natural gas in your home, as well.

How much does a solar water-heating system cost?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question. The cost of a solar system depends on a number of factors, such as the size of the system and the particular system manufacturer, retailer, and installer. However, any solar rebates and other incentives available in your area will reduce that total cost.

For solar water heaters and space heaters, you will also be taking into consideration the price of the fuel used to back up the system. In most cases, you will have to add in the cost of supplemental natural gas or electricity to get a fairly accurate estimate of how much you can expect to pay for a solar system.

How much money will a solar water-heating system save on my utility bill?

It is difficult to say how much you will save with a solar system. That depends on several factors, including how much you already pay your local utility for electricity or natural gas. You can ask OM SOLAR power systems professional how much heat your new system will produce on an annual basis and then subtract that number from your current annual consumption—the total amount of electricity and gas you use—to get an idea of how much you will save. Data on your current annual consumption should be available from your utility.

What is the process for installation of Grid connected Solar Rooftop PV System and to avail CFA in UP?

Apply for Allocation of CFA to UPNEDA’s District Project Office on Project Proposal Form for Grid connected Rooftop System available on MNRE site www.mnre.gov.in .

  • UPNEDA’s Project Office forwards the application to Head office (Details District Project officers available on UPNEDA website www.upneda.org)
  • UPNEDA Head office issues allocation of CFA
  • Submit on prescribed form with application fees for NOC for Netmetering feasibility and connectivity permission to Local Discom SDO office
  • Permission availed select the firm for installation or deposit the beneficiary share in UPNEDA’s office if the system is to be installed through UPNEDA .
  • If System more than 10 KW apply and seek Chief electrical Inspector General clearance (CEIG)
  • System installed with Bidirectional meter by the utility.
  • Submitthe documents to Project office UPNEDA .UPNEDA office will verify and forward for release of Subsidy to Beneficiary to Head office .
  • Subsidy transferred directly to Beneficiaries accounts.

What are the Documents to be submitted for availing CFA.

  • 1.Joint Commissioning Certificate (Signed by Project officer, Firm, and Beneficiary)
  • 2.Bill/Invoice received from Firm
  • 3.Photo of Plant
  • 4.Photo of Beneficiary
  • 5.Details of System Installed
  • (I) Make of Solar Panels, Wattage of Solar Panels used, Serial No of Panels in Excel Sheet
    (II) Make of Invertors, Rating of Invertor used, Serial No of Invertor in Excel Sheet
  • 6.Electricity Bill
  • 7.Net Metering proof
  • 8.Adhar Card and PAN card Copy.
  • 9.Beneficiary Bank Details for RTGS.

What are the available possible categories for solar rooftop? For whom CFA is applicable for grid connected Solar Rooftop Power Plants ?

CFA are available only for following categories.

  • 1. All type of residential buildings
  • 2. Institutional : School health institutions including medical colleges & hospitals, universities, educational institutions etc.[including those registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 and the Indian Trust Act 1882.
  • 3.Social Sector Community centres, Welfare homes, old age homes, orphanages, common service centres, common workshops for artisans or craftsman, facilities for use of community. Trusts/ NGO voluntary organization /training institutions, any other establishments for common public use etc. [including those registered under the Societies Registration Act under the societies Registration act 1860 and the Indian Trust Act 1882.1

NO CFA is available for

  • (a) Private Industrial and commercial Profit making establishments, which claim, accelerated depreciation.
  • (i) Companies registered under the Company Act 1956/2013 other than registered under Section 25/8
  • (ii) Company/firms registered with Central/state government authority (SIDC, DIC)
  • (iii) Company. registered under Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) act 2008 iv) Partnerships firm registered under Partnerships Act 1932
  • (iv) Shops and establishment Act f) Multi state cooperative society Act
  • (v) SSI (Small Scale Industries) h) Proprietorship Firms
  • (b) Government/Govt aided/SemiGovt/PSU organisations /Institutions.

How the consumer will be compensated for excess electricity injected in Grid by the Rooftop solar PV system installed?

  • In case of electricity injected in the Grid exceeds the electricity consumed by the consumer in the billing period ( Monthly electricity bill ) ,such excess injected electricity shall be carried forward to the next billing period as electricity credit and may be utilised to net electricity injected or consumed in future billing periods but within the settlement period (-from 1st of April in an English calendar year and ending with the 31st of the March of next year ) .At the end of settlement period any electricity credits ,which remain unadjusted ,shall be paid at the applicable rate of by the distribution licensee.
    • Is any provision for availaing loans for solar rooftop systems available?

      • Department of Financial services has instructed to all Public Sector Banks to encourage home loan/ home improvement loan seekers to install rooftop solar PV plants and include cost of system in their home loan proposals. So far, nine PSBs namely Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, State Bank of India, Dena Bank , Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank have given instructions to extend loan for Grid Interactive Rooftop Solar PV Plants as home loan/ home improvement loan.
        • In case of grid failure, is there any chance for shocks to the person who is repairing?

          • In case the grid fails, the solar power has to be fully utilized or stopped immediately feeding to the grid so as to safe-guard any grid person/technician from getting shock (electrocuted) while working on the grid for maintenance etc. This feature is termed as ‘Islanding Protection’
            • What are the grid connectivity levels for such systems?

              • The Projects under these guidelines fall within two broad categories i.e.(a) the projects connected to HT voltage at distribution network (i.e.11KV and above ) (b) the projects connected to LT voltage i.e. 400/415/440 volts (3-phase) as the case may be or 230 volts (1-phase). Accordingly, the projects may be under the following two categories.

              Category 1: Projects connected at HT level (i.e.11KV and above ) of distribution network

              The Projects with proposed installed capacity above 50 kW and upto 500 kW and connected at 11KV and above shall fall with in this category. The projects will have to follow appropriate technical connectivity standards in this regard.

              Category 2: Projects connected at LT level (400 Volts-3 phase or 230 Volts-1 phase)

              The Projects with proposed installed capacity of 50 KW and less than 50kW and connected of the grid at LT level (400/ 415/ 440 volts for 3-phase or 230V for1-phase) ________________________________________

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