Solar Rooftop System Buying Guide

In most of the cities, today, if you happen to carryout a drone survey, the images of black and grey squares dotting the landscape of the buildings top, would be too difficult to ignore. Solar Rooftop plants have become very common. City residents have increasingly adopted the same and have gone out of the way to accommodate them on to their rooftops. The steep decline in the module prices has also been a key factor. Recently announced benchmark rates for grid connected solar rooftop systems, by MNRE for the year 2020-21, up to 3 kW are in the range of Rs 42-47 per Watt while for the ratings up to 500 kW, the benchmark rates are Rs 36 per Watt. The steep reduction in the prices of Solar Rooftop over last 3 years have been mind boggling.

So if you are smitten by the solar bug and are thinking of installing the Solar Rooftop plant, do consider going through the list of following key points:-

Checkout the area at your rooftop that you can comfortably surrender

PVWatts is an excellent tool from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), USA , to workout the monthly output from the plant. It’s a very simple and easy to use tool and can give results, in jiffy. While, SPIN, solar roof top price calculator from MNRE, gives you the details in terms of Indian perspective. Once you have decided about the rating of the solar rooftop plant, SPIN gives you the tentative cost of actual installation and EMI options available.

How to Choose Key Component

The two most important components of Solar plant is its Solar PV Modules and Inverter. Together they constitute about 60% of the total cost.

The typical cost breakup of a solar rooftop plant is

Component/PartCost in Rs per Watt
Solar PV Module20
Mounting Structure4
Electrical items2.5
Services and Installation7
Typical Breakup of a Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Plant.

Now having scientifically decided about the orientation and Azimuth angle, the most important decision which can affect the solar PV plant cost is the selection of Module. Higher efficiency modules means higher price. If the area available at the rooftop is not a constraint, then ideally you should go in for lower efficiency modules which are comparatively quite cheaper. They may cover more area but overall they may turn out to be cheaper. But as you may not be well versed with the intricacies of a solar rooftop plant, it is well advised to hire a design and engineering consultant who can give you regarding consultancy and provide installation services as well.

Solar Rooftop

Installation Guide

If you have hired a consultant for the work, you can leave every worry for him to address. But there are many YouTube videos on how the solar PV plants can be installed. Try browsing through them before you actually go for it.

Solar Roof Top Financing Options

Solar projects can either be installed on RESCO mode where the installer commits the fund and installs the plant on your behalf. The installer then bills based on power generated. Billing is either on monthly basis or on quarterly basis.

The other option is the CAPEX mode where the funding is arranged by owner and installation companies gets paid for the services rendered. For small systems like Solar Rooftops, CAPEX is preferred and for large systems generally RESCO is preferred.

Module Types and Indian Manufacturers

MNRE list of Solar PV Module manufacturers is the most authentic source of information. Nowadays solar PV modules are also available on Amazon and other E-Commerce portals.

Good time to go in for Solar Rooftop installation was yesterday. And the next best time is now. Go ahead and embrace solar in a big way. Turn your house in to energy producer rather than a consumer.

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