Few questions; few answers (3) – FAQs on Roof Top Solar PV Plants

  1. Capacity of the power plant

Solar PV power plants are specified in KWp, not KW.  KWp means Kilowatt Peak.  Please read this link for more information.

So a quote for 100KWp does not guarantee that you will get 100 units of electricity per hour. Typically a 100 KWp plant will produce 1,50,000 to 1,80,000 Units of electricity per year. The actual generation every month, week, day and hour will depend on various factors and location.

2. What are the parameters that affect actual generation?

Actual delivery of energy will depend on the following parameters:

  • Sunshine intensity:  The variation of sun’s intensity in your location. The history of this data is available for your specific location (latitude and longitude). You can look for it in MNRE’s database.
  • Angle of the sun to the installed base.  We normally propose fixed tilt installation – which means modules are fixed at an angle and sunshine incident angle on the module will vary by the day.
  • Ambient Temperature : Change in Ambient temperature affects the solar cell temperature and in turn that it will affect the power generated. You can look at the solar module specification to know the power de-rating for various cell temperatures.

3. What happens when the solar energy generated is more than what we need or if it is less than what we need?

Solar energy is infirm power, and that is why, we either sync it to the Electricity Grid or have a battery back up or Sync it to a DG set. For Industrial applications, we sync with grid or DG.

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When the solar power generated from the plant is less than what is required by your load, the additional required energy will be drawn from either grid or DG for supplying the load. If it is more than what is required, it can be fed back to the Grid, provided you have a net meter connection.

4. Can Sunshades and porticos be used for mounting solar panels in addition to roof tops?

In theory, Yes. But feasibility needs to be studied by an engineer during preliminary assessment.

5. Can the Solar plant be synchronised with Grid Power and DG Power?

Yes , it can be synchronised. Check the specifications of the invertor – it should mention that it is sync-able to both DG and Grid.

6. Can AEPL do a turnkey project from design, engineering and supply to mounting on roof top, installation and commissioning, including the electrical circuit for power evacuation?

Yes. The detailed scope of work will be detailed in the commercial contract. Drawings will be submitted for customer’s approval.

7. Can AEPL take care of the CEIG approval and also organize Net Metering facility?

Yes. There will be a liaising fee for the same.

8. Do we need Lightning arresters in addition to what we already have in the building?

If the condition of the existing arresters are OK, then additional arresters may not be required. This will be ascertained during execution.

9. Who will do the Earth pit for the Solar Plant?

Separate chemical earthing up to 5ft as per standard design norms will be constructed by us as part of our execution scope.

10. Will the mounting of Solar Panels, damage the roof / weathering course? Will it load the roof?

No damage will be caused because of mounting Solar panels. The additional weight of Solar panels will be within the load bearing capability of concrete and metal roofs. If customer uses Asbestos roofing or if the roof is damaged in some places, the same needs to be replaced / repaired by customer.

The structural details of the mounting arrangement will be submitted for customer’s approval before commencement of the project.

In case of concrete roofs, there are 2 basic approaches:

Penetrative fixing of modules:

In this case, sufficient care is taken in finishing the rooftop back after competing the foundation to ensure that the resultant surface is equal or better than the original surface.

Dead weight: 

If you are very strict that there should be no perforations, then we need to go for concrete legs which will function as weights to hold the module and structure.  We can design optimally, based on your requirements.

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11. Are there are any Safety Standards for Solar Power Plant?

Yes there are published safety standards for roof top solar power plants. AEPL will ensure that the supply and installation follows all the safety standards applicable.

12. Will you guarantee the no. of units produced or the efficiency of Solar Plant?

Yes we can guarantee the no. of units produced per year per KWp installed. This guaranteed generation will vary from location to location. The exact guarantee figure will be incorporated in the commercial contract.

In any case since the contract is based on price per KWH, if the plant produces less, the revenue is less.  Which means, there is an in-built guarantee and incentive for us to produce the most.

13. Can the Solar Panel withstand wind, rain and seismic conditions?

Yes, the design takes care of all these conditions, as relevant to the city / location of installation. The structural engineering and drawings on roof top installation will be submitted for customer’s approval. This can be further validated by the customer with the help of a suitable architect  / expert.

14. What are the warranty terms?

Solar PV Modules are covered under a 20 year manufacturer warranty with performance warranty with the following terms:

90% minimum rated performance in 10 years
80% minimum rated performance in next 15 years.

Inverters are covered with a 5 years warranty with the following terms:

As per the Manufacturer

All other structures, electrical wiring and other components are covered by 1 year warranty.

15. Do you offer AMC?

Yes. Please refer to our Warranty and AMC terms below:

  • Quarterly inspection of Solar Panels,Inverters,protection circuit, cabling junction boxes,means of isolation and earthing for 5 years, 4 Visits for the entire system
  • Staff will be trained for cleaning as to provide a dust free environment for solar system
  • The AMC would include complete replacement of breakers, fuses and relays if they are damaged.

16. Do we need permanent access to the roof top?

Access required during construction and commissioning could be temporary. However, periodic dust cleaning of panels is necessary for better generation. So the solar panels should be easily accessible even after commissioning. The additional structures if any for accessing the panels have to be included in the design.

17. What are the specifications for Output power (like Voltage range, frequency range, power factor , THDi etc.,)

This will depend on the inverter model and specifications, which can be found in the data sheet enclosed with the proposal.

18. What are the documentations provided?

User Manual and Maintenance Manual will be provided

– Ramkumar

Advisor & Head, Marketing

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