A solar PV (Photovoltaic) system absorbs the sun’s irradiation and converts it into electricity. When the sun rays hit the solar panels, it generates DC (direct current) power. The DC energy passes through an inverter to become the AC (alternating current) power which becomes electricity that lights up the connected load.
Solar cells in the PV mounted on your roof top convert sunlight directly into DC power. A component called an inverter converts this DC power into AC power that can be used in your home. The system is interconnected with your utility connection. During the day, if your solar system produces more electricity than your home is using, your utility connection may allow net metering or the crediting of your utility account for the excess power generated being returned to the grid. Your utility would provide power as usual at night and during the day when your electricity demand exceeds that produced by your solar system.
There are three different types of solar PV systems.
- Grid-Connected: On-grid or grid-tie solar systems are by far the most common and widely used by homes and businesses. An on-grid system will use the energy produced from the solar panels during the day and will switch to the grid electricity during the night. These systems do not need batteries and use solar inverters and are connected to the utility grid. Any excess solar power that you generate is exported to the Utility grid per the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Alternative & Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations, 2015.
- Off-Grid: An off-grid solar system means that you are not connected in any way to the grid. To achieve this, however, there is a need to purchase backup battery systems, which can be expensive, bulky, and are not very environment friendly. The battery systems will be charged during the day from the energy produced by the panels and will be used during nighttime.
- Hybrid solar system: A hybrid solar system refers to a combination of solar and energy storage while also being connected to the grid.
When you install a solar PV system on your premises, you can save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future.
The most obvious financial benefit of solar power is that it can lower your utility bills. It’s a simple equation, actually. Any power you produce yourself through your solar panels is power that you don’t have to purchase from the utility. When your system produces more power than you’re using, that power is sent back into the grid in exchange for an energy credit as a result your total investment on solar system can be paid back with 3 to 5 years, having ROI under warranty period is huge plus.
No, the On-Grid Solar system will be working under net metering regime where you can net off your energy costs annually, but it will not provide complete reliance on Solar. To be totally independent of the utility, a system which also includes a backup solution usually provided in the form of batteries is required. Currently, these are very expensive and bulky.
The installed solar PV system does not produce any greenhouse gas in generating electricity (solar panels production cause greenhouse gases). This makes solar PV system one of the cleanest sources of power generation.
Ensuring a cleaner and more sustainable future for generations to come is priceless. Solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy on the planet. With warranties available for up to 25-years and an active production life as high as 40-50 years, your clean energy solar investment is one that will benefit your children and grandchildren alike.
The cost of maintaining the solar PV system will vary as per the environmental conditions and will be evaluated at the time of installation. As a rough benchmark, the consumer may assume Rs 0.5/kWh generated from the solar PV system e.g. if the solar system is generating about 1500 units, then the monthly cleaning cost would be around Rs 750 for the month.
For residential system it will only require regular cleaning of panels, how can I maintain my solar PV system myself?
The solar PV system can be cleaned using clean water and a non-abrasive sponge. Non-chemical-based shampoo can be used once a month. The panels require a periodic light cleaning to make sure dirt, leaves, and other debris are not obstructing the sun’s rays.
To get the optimal output from your solar PV system it is advised to clean your solar panels at least once every week.
In normal conditions, where there isn’t too much dust or dirt, cleaning is carried out on a fortnightly basis. However, in dusty areas such as Karachi, the cleaning frequency is increased to twice a week.
Yes, though the system will produce less electricity. Under a light overcast sky, panels might produce about half as much as under full sun. The solar PV system doesn’t need sunshine, per se, to generate electricity as much as they need direct unobstructed access to the Sun’s UV rays.
Why should I choose K-Solar for my solar PV system needs?
K-solar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of K-Electric Limited (KE) which comes with 100+ years of experience in the power sector. K-Solar has developed partnerships with leading suppliers of solar equipment which allows it to offer the best-in-class solutions to its customers. K-solar will also be offering its customers the option of a Smart Solar & Energy Monitoring system.
At K-Solar, the idea is to provide the customers with a one window solution for all their solar needs by providing, robust, quick, and quality installations. K-Solar will be building on KE’s customer-centric approach and providing round-the-clock services to its customers. K-Solar will also be building on the strong financial grounds of KE.
What will come with my solar PV system? What are the warranties that K-Solar offers its customers?
|Solar modules||(Replacement)/ 25 Years (Performance)|
|Solar Invertor||10 Years (Replacement)|
|Solar Structure||10 Years (Maintenance)|
|Workmanship (Miscellaneous plant equipment)||2 years|
Solar energy generation will depend on the size of your system, solar irradiance in your location, and various environmental variables that influence the efficiency of the solar PV system.
Please refer to the K-Solar calculator for specific details.
For a thumb rule: 10kW On-Grid system will produce around 1100kWH on a monthly basis
Space requirements will differ from roof to roof depending on obstructions and shading due to adjacent buildings or trees etc. The definitive space requirement can only be provided after a physical survey of the roof.
To keep roof area usable, elevated/semi-elevated solar mounting structure could be chosen, which costs 10-15% more than standard roof mount structure.
You can either sale your system to the new owner or you can shift the complete solar PV system to the new place under minimal amount. However, you have to reapply for net metering at your new premises
Yes, you can install the system at the rented property and you can also shift the solar PV system any time to any other premise. However, your net-metering application will have to be signed by the owner of the house as per NEPRA regulations
The on grid solar system is tied to your local utility’s grid. This is the most common system that is used in residential settings. In the case of load shedding, maintenance, and grid faults, their system will not be protecting the customer from power outages. Customers looking to protect themselves against these should consider a battery backed system. However, these systems are currently very expensive (1.5X of the price of a system without a battery) and require battery replacement every 5 years which make them unfeasible from a financial perspective.
To install a solar system, the customer needs to have the title of the property. The owner of the rented property can install the solar system on behalf of the tenant especially in processing net-metering cases
The customer can avail State Bank of Pakistan’s renewable finance scheme which is available to customers installing solar PV systems of up to 1 MW. This financing is being offered by various commercial banks at 6% and requires an upfront payment of minimum 20% from the customers. The bank will review the application process and approve the financing if all conditions are met. More details can be found at the SBP website.