Checklist For Rooftops & Everything You Need Before Installing a Solar Rooftop System
India is one of the leading generators of solar energy in the world owing to its ideal geographical location. The country receives tropical sunlight and has clear skies for up to 300 days every year.
Though there are different ways of harnessing solar energy, rooftop solar panels are becoming popular these days due to their low installation cost and other cost-saving benefits.
Installing a rooftop solar system requires solar panels which are an assembly of photovoltaic cells (solar cells), an inverter, AC/DC switches, and an electrical conduit. Rooftop solar panels can be easily mounted on the roof of buildings to harness solar energy. However, you need to consider certain things before installing a rooftop solar panel in order to leverage its benefits to the fullest.
A checklist for solar rooftops free the mind from having to remember the steps that need to be completed and worrying about the possibility of forgetting to do something.
A checklist for solar rooftops can save time. Having the requirements or checklist for solar rooftops written simply and in order makes them easy to follow and is likely to result in fewer errors, therefore avoiding time wasted needing to fix issues. They also help avoid the “what-should-I-do-next” indecisiveness.
So here we have a checklist for Solar rooftop installation ready already!
Which type of solar panel is suitable?
There are two types of rooftop solar panels popular in India – monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. A monocrystalline solar panel is made of a single crystal of silicon while a polycrystalline solar panel is made of multiple crystals of silicon. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages. It is believed that monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient as the electrons inside a cell are free to move as they are made up of a single crystal.
However, the efficiency of a solar panel may vary depending upon its make and model and therefore every solar panel must be inspected individually to ascertain its efficiency.
Solar rooftops typically have a performance warranty of 25 years. The warranty should always be taken into consideration while making such investments.
The installation is also covered with a warranty of 2-10 years. It covers repair and replacement of defective parts. Furthermore, the inverter also comes with a warranty based on the type of inverter used. An inverter is generally covered by a warranty of 5 to 10 years.
Strength, Condition and Slope of the roof
Rooftop solar panels are installed on the roof and come with a service life of 20-25 years. However, before installation, the condition of the roof should be inspected thoroughly. There is no point in installing a rooftop solar panel first and then dismantling it after some years for repairing the roof. In this way, you’ll have to pay extra for dismantling and re-installation. Furthermore, you also need to inspect whether your roof has enough space to support the installation. It should also be shade-less so that maximum sunlight can be trapped during the daytime.
The slope of a roof plays a major role in determining the efficiency of solar panels. Furthermore, the slope is also necessary to facilitate the drainage of water during the rainy season. Ideally, a north facing roof is preferable as rooftop solar panels installed in such a roof will generate the maximum amount of electricity.
Additionally, the inclination of the roof should be in the range of 10 to 30 degrees to allow proper drainage of rainwater and removal of debris. However, this isn’t a hard and fast condition, it’s just an ideal one.
Undoubtedly, solar panels increase the weight on the roof. So, in order to avoid any dangerous situations such as a collapse followed by monetary loss, you must determine the weight that your roof can withstand. A professional will inspect the roof and even determine if there is any need for providing additional support.
Shading and Direction
The performance of PV panels is affected by the shading effect of surrounding trees and buildings, passing clouds basically anything that casts a shadow on to the panels. The sunlight converted into energy by the PV panels shall depend on the amount and duration of the shadow falling on it. Lesser the shadow, more the energy!
Solar panels should ideally face the South direction for maximum power generation. The reason behind it is that when the sun moves from east to west, you get maximum exposure when you face southwards. Irrespective of which part of the year it is, inclination will always be towards the south. Hence for the optimum harnessing of sunlight, the solar PV panels should ideally face south. However, this is not a mandatory requirement or checklist for solar rooftop.
The cost of solar installation varies according to the type of installation, equipment and solar panels. Usually, it ranges from ₹40,000 to ₹6,00,000. But this seemingly large installation investment saves a lot of money (and the planet) in the long run as it cuts electricity bills and reduces carbon footprints. So, before installing a rooftop solar panel, you should set a budget for the installation. Then, you can choose the equipment catering to your needs and budget. Ideally, it would be advisable to opt for mid-range products.
Material and workmanship play an important role in the installation of a solar rooftop solution. A mounting structure is a critical component of a rooftop solar power system and ideally should be developed or approved by a structural engineer.
The weight of the PV system and the mounting structure need to be designed according to the wind loads in the location. Readymade mounting structures pre-certified for certain wind speeds are readily available in the market and may be incorporated into the design. Galvanized iron (GI) or aluminum are the most common materials used for mounting PV panels. In the case of GI structures, the quality of galvanization is crucial for ensuring a rust-free life.
Cleaning and Maintenance
India is a country where dust tends to accumulate very quickly on the panels hampering optimum generation. Solar Panels have to be cleaned at least once every week. Periodic inspection of the individual components of the system is very important to attain maximum output. A timely intervention can prevent the threat of diminished output or downtime or a safety hazard.
Read why solar rooftops are top-notch solutions to produce energy. Learn about its comparison with other electricity sources.
Contact us to hire the Sun now! Reach out to us for the best advice on your solar needs. SolarSquare Energy would love to advice you.