There are several apprehensions about Solar power in the market today, Lets examine these apprehensions in detail to find out if they are really true
Solar Power does not Work
It is true that many customers have had a bad experience with solar in the past due to scam artists trying to make a quick profit on Solar craze couple of years ago, cheap imported solar panels were sold for unrealistic prices and they stopped working after an year or two, this has really left a bad taste for many customers
It is important to check for warranty period offered by manufacturers of various components of a solar plant, not just solar panels, Insist on getting only components from MNRE approved manufacturers as these components are tested and certified by MNRE
Solar Power is costly
While this is partly true, there is a good reason for this perception, majority of the small and medium sized solar plants in India are off-grid, which requires storage(battery) of generated electricity before it can be consumed, storage usually adds up-to 40% of solar plant cost, when you combine solar generation and storage costs, Solar power becomes an expensive proposition
Solar power has reached grid parity(is equal to or less than grid supplied power) in India, As of today Solar Power can be generated at ₹6.5/Unit(kWh) by any one even from a small 100W Solar Plant
As explained earlier when a storage solution is added to solar plant, cost increases by 40%, Combined with a storage solution, anyone can generate solar power at ₹9.5/Unit(kWh) today
While ₹9.5 per Unit(kWh) is expensive for several customers, it is a cheap and reliable alternative for customers who depend on a diesel generator for back-up, it usually costs ₹21 to generate 1 Unit(kWh) of power from a diesel generator(DG)
It does not mean that Solar power is off limit for India’s masses, there are several solar solutions available in market today which are cheaper than traditional alternatives such as kerosene lamps/lanterns or candles as a backup lighting source during power cuts
Solar Lanterns are very affordable and robust, they are a good and cheap alternative to traditional lanterns, they come in all sizes and shapes, you can buy a solar lantern from us starting at ₹1,200. Some of the expensive models include a mobile charger these are usually in the range of ₹2,000 to ₹2,500, these are a perfect solution residential customers for backup power source during power cuts, and as a lighting source for street vendors, road side food carts and stalls
Solar Home Lighting Systems are little bit more expensive they usually cost in the range of ₹5,000 to ₹10,000, depending on the wattage(size) and capacity(storage) of these systems, they can light up one or more rooms, they can run a small DC fan for few hours, all of them come with a mobile charger, Some of them have 12V output with laptop adapters, you could charge your laptop directly via DC current, this is a perfect solution for middle class families and small businesses
NABARD offers up-to 40% subsidy on both Solar Lanterns and Solar Home Lighting Systems
Solar Power is not Reliable
This is no longer true, with drastic decrease in solar panel and storage costs, Solar power has become a very reliable source of power, it is possible to live off-the grid with Solar power if you are in a rural area with out any electricity
You could run heavy AC loads such as AC’s, 5 HP motors on solar power today, many solar inverters available today have intelligence built into them, they can power your home on solar energy when sun is available and switch back to grid power during evening and night times, now power cuts are a thing of the past, thanks to solar power and storage technologies.
You can live off the grid and only use grid as a backup solution, in a few years grid will become irrelevant, unless utility companies change their business models, they will have to eventually transform themselves into distributed power collection system/network
Solar power can’t be added to UPS
There are several solutions available in market today which enable you to integrate your existing UPS and battery bank to a solar plant, Solar charge converter is a brand new technology based on intelligent microprocessor control and Digital Signal Processing(DSP)
Solar converter ensures that your batteries are always charged with power generated by solar panels with out consuming power from the grid.
As power generated by solar panels is fluctuating, Solar converter adjusts the AC grid consumption, and there by consuming solar generated power completely and minimizing grid power usage.
If you have an existing UPS system or an inverter with battery bank, you can easily attach rooftop solar system to your existing setup using a Solar converter
If you have any other concerns/issues with solar power, please let us know, we will add additional sections to this article addressing those concerns/issues
As always your feedback will be appreciated, please feel free to add comments and share your thoughts