Is my building suitable for installing PV panels?
- The PV system must be well exposed to the south orientation.
- There must be no obstruction to the access of the sun’s rays from the buildings or the trees
or any other barriers.
- The roof should support the weight of the panels and the mounting structure.
- You should have enough unshaded area for installing PV panels (10-12 m²) for 1 kWp.
- You should have a reading of the building’s electrical loads and know the category you are in.
What should be the size of my PV system?
The size of the system depends on several factors: how much electricity you use, how much money are you willing to invest and the available unshaded area. You should also consider if you want solar energy to meet all your energy needs or just a portion of them.
How much does the system cost?
The price of 1 kW for On-Grid System ranges from (16,000-20,000 L.E).
How long does the system last?
Generally, the life span of PV modules lasts up to 25 years and the inverters life span ranges from 7-10 years.
What happens if it’s raining or cloudy?
The panels can still produce electricity if it’s cloudy, but the production will not be the same as it is when the sun is shining. A permanent shade caused by a tree could seriously damage your panels.
How much noise is generated from the PV system?
There is no noise generated from the PV system as the inverters are relatively quiet and the noise produced from it is similar to the refrigerator’s sound, and it’s usually installed in the basement.
What are the necessary wirings for the building?
Most wirings are on the rooftop as there are wiring between the panels and between the combiner box and the inverter.
What is the payback period for PV projects?
Current Payback period varies between 5.7 and 10 years
How can I maintain the PV system?
- Have your system cleaned at least once every two weeks.
- Visually inspect your system’s cabling for any cracks or breaks in the cabling throughout your system that could cause it to generate less electricity.
- Check the readings on your system’s inverter, if you notice that your system is producing less energy, especially on clear sunny days, then it’s likely that your system is in need of some maintenance
How much panels do I need?
For example if you have:
5 lamps (60 watts) working for 12 hours
1 Washing machine (2000 watts) working for one hour
1 refrigerator (200 watts) working for 24 hours
- For calculating your daily consumption use this equation:
(no. of electrical appliances x capacity of each appliance x working hours)= (12×60)×5 + 2000×1 +200×24=10400 Wh which is 10.4 kWh( kilowatt-hours)daily.
For calculating the number of PV panels, take into consideration the percentage loss of the power due to passing by electrical components such as the inverter as its efficiency is 95% (5%of electricity is lost) as well as the cables etc.. And the loss factor ranges from 20 to 30%.Add the percentage of energy loss (ex: 20%) to the energy needed by the building
So the energy needed to be produced by the panels: 10.4 + (10.4×20%) =12.5 kWh daily
For calculating the number of panels that you will need:
No. of panels= Overall capacity÷ (sun peak hours× capacity per panel), Considering the panel’s capacity is for example 250 watt and the sun peak hours are 5 so the number of the panels=12500/(250×5)=10 panels.