How to Install Solar Power at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

A happy home is a home that doesn’t pay for electricity  – we’re not kidding! Installing a solar panel for home gives us the leisure to generate electricity using sunlight. And it’s a no-brainer that solar power is free. Tempting, is it not?

Now, you might be willing to buy and install one at your home right now. But, it’s important to know the pulse of things and then decide what’s right for you.

This guide is for all people who want to explore solar: how to install solar panels, whether or not you can do it on your own, what size is the right size, and so much more.

If these questions have been bothering you as well, hang out with us. By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the answers you need. 

Research, research, and research about solar modules!

This is the first thing that any beginner willing to install a solar panel for the home should do. Researching the technology used to make solar modules (panels) is quintessential. Why?

Well, because the efficiency of different panels differs. 

The two types of solar panels that are used for rooftop installations at homes and housing societies are polycrystalline solar panels and monocrystalline solar panels. 

Out of the two, mono panels are more expensive than poly but their efficiency is between 19-20%. On the other hand, the efficiency of poly panels is 16-17%; hence, they’re a little more affordable. 

Our verdict would always be to install a monocrystalline solar panel for the home. Besides, if the subsidy was your inspiration behind installing poly panels, then the government is now offering a subsidy on the installation of mono-perc solar panels too. 

Because the annual degradation rate of mono panels is a lot less than poly panels and they also work better during the rainy season, it’s wiser to invest in mono panels.

Know your power consumption and sanctioned load

If you consume 800 units a month but install a solar panel for a home that cannot produce 800 units of electricity, it will be a wasted investment. Let us walk you through a very simple calculation now. 

  • 1 kW solar panel for home produces 4 units of electricity a day on average. This means, if your power consumption is 120 units a month or less, then a 1 kW solar system will be an ideal choice.
  • If it’s 800 units that’s your monthly power consumption, you will require a 7 KW solar system (that can produce about 840 units of electricity a month). 

In order to install a solar panel for a home that can cover your power requirements, you need to know the consumption. The next step would be the sanctioned load. 

If your sanctioned load is lower than the system’s capacity, no matter if you need a 7 KW solar system, you can’t install it legally unless you get the load increased. 

The basics about the rooftop condition and space available

Now, now – a 1 KW solar system requires 100 sq. feet of area for installation. But that’s not all. The area should be shadow free. Solar panels have PV cells.

When direct sunlight falls on these cells, they convert it into electricity. If any shadow falls on the panels between 9 AM to 4 PM, the power generation will be less. 

Hence, the area on the rooftop should be shadow free. 

  • The panels should face southwards because that’s where the maximum sunlight falls in India.  
  • Also, the tilt angle of the panels should be such that it stays nearly perpendicular to the sun between 11 AM to 2 PM at least. 
  • If it’s South India, the tilt of the solar panel for the home should be 10 degrees ideally.
  • If it’s North India, the tilt angle of the solar panel for the home should be more than 20 degrees. 

The subsidy available on solar panels 

Next in the line is the big question of the subsidy available on a solar panel for a home. Did you know that earlier the state-wise subsidy was provided for the installation of on-grid rooftop solar systems? But, very recently, PM Narendra Modi launched a National Portal for Rooftop Solar. 

Under this new subsidy scheme for solar panels for homes, a fixed subsidy is offered. We have a rate card at your disposal for better understanding. 

Here are the conditions that have to be met in order to be eligible for a subsidy: 

  • Only homeowners and housing societies get a subsidy; commercial establishments do not qualify. 
  • A solar subsidy for residential customers is capped at 10 KW.
  • A solar subsidy for housing societies is capped at 500 KW.
  • The solar panel for the home should be made in India and approved by the ALMM.
  • The solar system should be a rooftop on-grid solar system.

The choice of a solar vendor

Here’s the thing – you could be doing everything correctly, but, in the end, trusting any XYZ vendor will affect things badly. 

Only impaneled solar vendors are authorized by the state to carry out the installation of a solar panel for the home. Besides, not all solar vendors offer the same class of services. 

Very rarely you’ll come across vendors that will go above and beyond to offer the best-in-class services. Look for the following features when choosing a vendor:

  • Zero-cost EMI services 
  • Quick loan approval
  • Prefabricated mounting structures
  • After installation services 

You cannot, and should not, carry out a solar installation on your own. The web might be full of DIY videos on how to install a solar panel for your home yourself, but everything you see and read on the web isn’t correct. 

Conclusion

We hope we’ve walked you through the basics of solar installation that every beginner should be aware of. 

On a parting note, we’d also like to make you aware of the fact that the government will offer a subsidy on the installation of a solar panel for the home only till its target is met: subsidy will not be provided after 4 GW of solar electricity will be generated through the installation of solar panels at homes across India. 

Hence, this is probably the best time to install a solar panel for your home and get the financial help that the government is offering to speed up the mass adoption of solar.

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