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Solar energy takes advantage of the sun’s rays to generate electricity. It is an infinitely renewable resource and unique for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and consistent manner. Above all its FREE.
In layman terms, photovoltaic cells are comprised of a semiconductor material such as silicon. Added to the silicon are the elements phosphorous and boron which create conductivity within the cell and activate the movement of electrons. The electrons move across the cell when activated by the sunlight’s energy into the electrical circuit hooked up to the solar panel.
There are 2 main categories: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. The third popular type is Thin Film or Amorphous Thin Film. The main difference is their efficiency to generate electricity in different weather conditions.
Which solar panel type best suits my needs – Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline or Amorphous thin film?
– Good power-to-size ratio: efficiency typically within the range of 135-170 Watts per m2 (15-17%, with notable exceptions).
– Outstanding performance in cooler conditions.
– Some leading units now have over 18% conversion efficiency.
– Previously the most commonly used technology in the world, with over 50 years of technological development.
– Excellent life span / longevity. Usually come with a 25yr warranty.
– Good efficiency: typically 120-150 Watts per m2 (14-16%, with notable exceptions).
– Generally speaking, marginally less expensive to produce than monocrystalline.
– Slightly better performance in hotter conditions (lower heat derating coefficient)
– Excellent life span / longevity. Usually come with 25yr warranty.
NB: Monocrystalline solar panels are not necessarily ‘better ‘ or more efficient than polycrystalline, as many regions in Pakistan has hot weather and yearly yield come very very close to each other.
Amorphous Thin Film
– Low conversion efficiency: typically 60-80 Watts/m2 (6-8%, with notable exceptions).
– Expected lifespan is less than crystalline panels.
– Optimal efficiency in hot weather, less effective in cooler conditions.
– 3-6 month ‘breaking in’ period where long term output is exceeded.
– Requires 2-3 times more panels and surface area for same output as crystalline.
– Ideal for example for remote hot areas of Pakistan, where conditions are hot and vacant space abounds.
Building integrated photovoltaic materials are Amorphous Thin Film panels, a PV arrays that are integrated into the building material itself, primarily windows, roof tiles, or walls. Solar panels work well for retrofits or remodels while BIPV are appropriate for new construction or a major renovation.
A 2kW solar electric system will cost approximately 2 lac PKR. That total includes the cost for all components – solar panels, panel mounts, and inverter – and labor associated with installation. It does not however, reflect all the avoided costs, such as the tax breaks and the credits received through net metering which is about to be launched by NEPRA (Government of Pakistan)
Of course this is a relative question. It depends, in part, on how much electricity you use and how efficient the appliances are that you operate. Solar system is expected to generate excess electricity in the summer (it’s not about heat, in summers days are long) which can potentially offset the energy you use from the grid in the winter. A combination of energy efficient appliances and light bulbs can help reduce your homes energy bill by over two-thirds.
Solar photovoltaic panels require little maintenance – Occasionally it is recommended to wash or dust. It is, however, important to place panels where they will remain clear of shade and debris. Thus you will have to wipe them off if too much dust or leaves fall on them.
Similarly Solar hot water collection arrays don’t need much attention either. It does help to periodically use a window wash brush, biodegradable soap, and water to clean the tubes.
Solar installation professionals can help you determine the type and size of system most suited for your needs. The thumb rule is, if you have more of daytime use, invest on the PV Panels and if you have more of tight time use invest into batteries. The other golden rule is if you want a Solar system for your home use, target the load that you require throughout the year, do not target seasonal loads. Meaning you might end up investing in larger solar system which will produce optimal energy which will not be used during winter season when energy demand is less and extra energy will go waste. (Please note after net metering policy implemented by NEPRA, it will not go wasted and will be returned to grid).
Although GreenCloud work in parallel with certified installers all over Pakistan, there will be little or no need to seeking out professionals. At the time of installation our installer will guide you for the maintenance and troubleshooting that you need require during operations. However you can check if the installers is available in your area through phone of our website.
Our certified installers can take the guess work out of installing a solar power system. Whether you are considering solar photovoltaic or solar hot water. GreenCloud Certified professional can help you determine the type and size of system that will work best and guide you through the process.
Planning, configuring, and doing any custom ordering for your solar energy system can take up to 10 to 15 days. However, the installation process itself can typically be completed in only a few days time, in many cases even less. Depending on area of installation the process can be more then 4 weeks.
Green Cloud saves you time, money, and headaches by offering the best solar power products in the country. Green Cloud only works with experienced solar professionals with a track record of satisfied customers. We encourage you to look around our site for all the information you need on Green Cloud installation.
In bright sunlight, a square foot of a conventional photovoltaic panel will yield 10 watts of power. That’s a helpful rule of thumb for calculating a rough estimate of how much area you might need. For example, a 1000 watt system may need 100 – 200 square feet of area, depending on the type of PV module used.
Unfortunately shading a photovoltaic system dramatically decreases its output. Just shading the bottom row of wafers alone amounts to an 80% reduction in efficiency. So don’t let any shade ruin your array!
The location of your home and the local climate will play into where you place and how you install your solar electric or solar hot water system. Wind speeds, heavy snow loads, and salt water can all affect a solar array. Understanding how those inputs effect performance will determine the types of mounts or how the arrays are angled. Our certified Professionals in your area is likely to have complete knowledgeable about your local conditions and can help you design the system accordingly and that will work well for you.