Electrical World

Solar Panels for the Rooftop of your Home [ Are Tesla Solar Panels good? ]

Solar Panels for the Rooftop of your Home | Harness the Energy of Sun !

Rooftop Solar System

With the ever changing world and pollution increasing day by day the need of the hour is a proper collective approach to minimize our dependency on the fossil fuels to generate electricity thus comes rooftop solar system into the picture so as to reduce our carbon footprints and reduce the release of harmful gasses into the atmosphere which is damaging our ozone layer.

One of the collective approach in this area could be that each house and buildings whether residential or commercial take an initiative to install rooftop solar system so as to generate electricity for own consumption or to feed back to the grid and take advantage of the various schemes and benefits offered by the government.

So why Rooftop Solar System?

In grid connected rooftop, the power generated from the solar panel is DC which is then converted into AC through power conditioning unit and is then wither used for our consumption or fed to the electrical grid of either 33kV/11kV or of 440V/220V depending upon the location of building and the legal requirements which govern that area.

Rooftop Solar System and distribution
 Systems of this kind generate power during the day which is used by the captive loads inside the building while the excess power is fed back to the grid. Also in a scenario when the power generated by the solar system is not sufficient enough then the loads are served by drawing power from the grid.


What are the benefits of Rooftop Solar System?

  • Vacant roof top space can be used more effectively
  • Doesn’t require lot of time to develop
  • Transmission and distribution losses are less
  • Improvement in the tail-end grid voltages and reduction of system congestion;
  • Loss mitigation by utilization of distribution network as a source of storage through net metering;
  • We can achieve energy as well as ecological security by reduction of carbon footprints.
  • As per few studies about 60 million tonnes of CO2 can be reduced to be released in to the atmosphere per year over its life cycle
  • Additional benefit could be better management of peak loads especially during day time by the utility.
  • Its interesting to note since the power consumption and generation is co-located there would be minimum technical losses.
  • What are the types of metering arrangement in a rooftop solar system?

    It is important to note that the way electricity is billed strongly influences the profitability of a solar rooftop system. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the final user makes the most of the metering system to take advantage of the investment made.

    Net Metering

    In this kind of metering system, a single meter which is bi directional records the power consumed from the distribution grid at the same time records the power produced by the rooftop solar system as well.  Thus it allows the final user to credit the amount of energy it produced at it’s premises and is also a recommended option by most of the utilities worldwide and comes under the smart grid.

    smart grids and solar system

    Gross Metering

    how gross metering works

    This kind of metering us generally preferred by rooftop owners or third party investors who will like to sell all the energy produced to the utility by either using their own roof or of another party. This is also known as feed in metering where the full power generated by the system is exported to the grid and is separately recorded through a ‘feed-in-meter’. By doing so investors enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the utility. It is interesting to note that only grid-connected PV systems can be gross-metered.



    Business Model

    In a rooftop solar panel system two types of business models are possible :

    CAPEX : Capital expenditures are provided by the rooftop owner

    RESCO : Capital expenditure are covered by third party

    CAPEX Model

    This is one of the most common type of business model adopted by most of the end users. In this model the consumers purchases the solar system, by making 100% of the payment upfront.

    Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) Model

    In this kind of arrangement a RESCO developer finances, installs, operates and maintains the plant. In this case the RESCO signs an agreement with the rooftop owner and the rooftop owner can consume the electricity produced as per the decided rate with the RESCO on a monthly basis till the tenure of the agreement.

    Solar Panels for Home: Sales, Prices and Comparison !

    With ever increasing energy demand and electricity bill skyrocketing you are probably all confused how to go all solar and to save some precious bucks. In this article we shall help you to buy the best solar panels for your home which will not only be easy on your pocket but also give you high return in the long run.But before we get into all technical details first let’s try to understand some basic fundamentals around solar panels which will give us some basic knowledge.



    Types of Solar Panel

    For home applications we have three different types of solar panels :

    Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono-SI)

    This are some of the most highly efficient solar panels available in the market with an estimated efficiency of 20% which are optimized for commercial as well as household use along with that they also offer high life-time value as well. But as with anything else with high efficiency comes high cost as well. Yes, these types of panels are also some of the most expensive solar panels in the market.

    solar panel for home

    A little bit more about Monocrystalline Solar Panels, they are made of monocrystalline silicon are the purest one and can be easily recognized with their uniform dark look and rounded edges. It is because of this purity of the silicon that it has the highest efficiency as stated above. In addition to this they have a very high power output interestingly they occupy less space and last the longest therefore it’s no surprise they are also the most expensive of the bunch. Another advantage with this kind of solar panels is that they seem to be slightly less affected by high temperatures as compare to poly crystalline panels.

    Polycrystalline Solar Panels (Pi-Si)

    This types of solar panels are lower on costs providing an efficiency of about 15%. Though they are lower on cost aspect but they are sensitive to high temperatures, they have lower lifespan and also they give slightly less space efficiency.

    You can very easily recognize Polycrystalline Solar Panels because these panels have squares and the angles are not cut in addition to this they have a blue, speckled look to them. They are made using raw silicon which is melted and as compared to monocrystalline panels this process is much faster and cheaper at the same time.

    mono and poly solar panels

    The above process does contribute to lower prices but then it has a lower efficacy, lower space efficiency and on top of that shorter lifespan as well. And to make matters even worse they are easily affected by hot temperatures to a great degree.

    But on the other hand the differences between mono- and polycrystalline are not that great too and the choice will strongly depend on situation. Even though mono panels provide a higher space efficiency  at a higher price but the power output of both the panels is more or less the same.



    Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels (A-SI)

    With an efficiency of only 7-10% they definitely some of the cheapest solar panels in the market which are relatively easy to produce and are flexible. The disadvantage with Amporphouse Silicon Solar Panels are they have shorter warranties and lifespan as compared to its other two counterparts.

    Let’s try to understand why they are cheapest by  definitely not a good choice for our home. They are manufactures by placing multiple layers films of photo voltaic material onto a substrate. They are easiest to produce  because they need very less material as compared to the other two. But the other advantage of this panels are they that it’s flexible thus opening lot of opportunities for other applications and they are not affected by high temperatures. The only problem with them is that they occupy lot of space making them unsuitable for home application also they offer some of the shortest warranties because of their life span.

    solar panels on roof

    If you are not sure what Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell (A-Si) panels look like, just check your pocket calculator. They use triple layers technology which is one of the best thin film variety. Just to make you understand how thin these panels are the boast somewhere around 1 micrometer of thickness which is one millionth of a meter!



    How to buy solar panels for home?

    Now that we have understood the three main types of solar panels available in the market along with it’s pros and cons. Let’s have a look at what all parameters do we have to check before making a decision.

    Output Power

    output power of solar panels

    How much power does your home needs? If the your electricity bills breaks down your 24 hours consumption then you can easily determine how many watts solar panel would be required in order to generate enough power for your home. It’s during the peak hours of the day, when the sun is at the highest point in the sky that the PV sells operate most efficiently and the power generation can vary anywhere between 40 watts all the way to 200 watts depending upon the size of the system installed. The difference generally comes in the technology, size  and price of the cells.

    Insolation

    It is a term used in the solar industry to measure that amount of direct sunlight which falls on a square meter per day and it helps us determine how much energy can be expected with our PV arrays.

    Mounting Solar Arrays

    We have several mounting system available in the market and picking the right one is essential for getting most out of our investment. Though the most aesthetically pleasing approach would be to install the solar panel flat on the roof but it will greatly affect the power output of the PV arrays especially during low-light, cloudy and rainy days therefore mounting the panels will definitively be more practical especially if the roof of the house is flat or usual.

    solar panel in backyard

    Some mounting modules also come solar trackers which help the panel to keep it included with the sun for maximum efficiency.



    Solar Panels Prices in the Solar Market

    The prices range varies with the type, make and the power output of the panels. Our team of experts will recommend you the best of the panels for your home while considering all the facts in mind. Also the recommendation shall be from Amazon so that it’s easier for you to procure and get it delivered it to your home:

    Renogy 100W Solar Panel

    Combines two 50W solar panels, a perfect off-grid product !

    $

    239.58

    Monocrystalline Solar Panels
    • Total power output is 100W
    • Solar type is Monocrystalline Solar Panel 
    • Comes with a build-in stand
    • Easy to use and extremely user friendly. Can be carried in a suitcase for outdoor utilization while camping. 
    • Weighs only 28.1 pounds
    • Dimensions 69.1x6.1x50.5 inches
    MIGHTY MAX 100w sOLAR PANEL

    Highly Efficient Solar Panel !

    $

    94.95

    Polycrystalline Solar Panels
    • Total power output is 100W
    • Solar type is Polycrystalline Solar Panel
    • Pre drilled holes on the back of the panel for fast mounting and securing
    • Strong aluminum frame to withstand a heavier snow load and high wind
    • Weighs only 19 pounds
    • Dimensions 40x27x1.4 inches


    Tesla Solar Rooftop System 

    Now let’s talk about the latest development in the rooftop solar system : Tesla’s innovative solar rooftop solution !

    So the first announcement made about the tesla solar rooftop tiles was back in October 2016 and have after a wait for almost 18 months they are finally here in the consumer market along with its other products like the electric cars Tesla is has home battery also known as Powerwall.

    tesla solar 3 types

    So what inspired Tesla to come up with a rooftop solar system idea?

    It is interesting to note that the technology for solar roof tiles also called as solar shingles came out in 1970s itself. Several companies have tried their best to make a solar medium that will look and at the same time like a traditional roof over the house.

    While building this solar rooftop system Tesla didn’t invent anything new but their products have taken the aesthetics to a whole new level just how they have done with their electric cars. 



    Price comparison: Is it worth it?

    It is undoubtedly a premium product of Tesla which is constructed with thin layers of quartz and are impossible to break. While the cost of installation of this tiles may vary depending on the location and other factors, Tesla confirms that their solar rooftop tiles will sell around for a price of $21.85 per square foot which as compared to regular roofing is obviously very high since costs only $1-2 per square foot.

    So a house with rooftop area of let say 2500 square foot will cost somewhere around $54,000. This huge upfront cost is one of the reason why installations have been slow on the other hand Tesla claims that the solar rooftop tiles will last a lifetime whereas the traditional asphalt shingles will last only 10-20 years.

    tesla solar on the roof of the house

    How is Tesla solar panel roof different?

    They are very different from our traditional solar panels because every tile contains a solar cell which means they not only look like, function as a traditional rooftop tiles but also produce electricity!

    It is unique because it doesn’t look like your traditional solar panel installation. Every solar cell is invisibly embedded in to each tile, these tiles when installed together like how we do it for a traditional roof not only produces electricity but also acts like a roof.

    At the same time, it is their unique technology which they used which helps it to collect almost 98% of the solar energy as compared to the traditional solar panel. The unique type of louvered glass tile works more or less like the same way as window blinds which reflects sunlight to appear opaque while still absorbing the rays if the sun.

    The electricity produced can then be used to power your home and maybe to charge up your Powerwall battery if you choose to solar energy for later use.

    tesla solar neat and clean


    What are the advantages of Tesla solar roof tiles?

    Even though the upfront cost is quite high, they are several advantages to installing Tesla solar tiles on your roof:

    • Aesthetically, the Tesla solar tiles out shines the traditional solar arrays since they are no bulky frames, visible wiring and junction boxes. The tiles look like any other roof tiles which helps to significantly increase your home value.
    • Thought the price is a little high, but it’s important to note that the product will pay for itself
    •  Since the design of the tiles are almost indestructible, Tesla offers to replace their tiles without any questions asked as long as you own the home and without any time limits.
    tesla solar are the best

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