As energy becomes a much-debated issue given the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels to generate it, many people are options for alternatives. One such common alternative is solar panels. Technology is increasingly being democratised, making access to many different technologies easier. Solar panels, over the past few years, have exploded onto the scene.
About the Bill
So much so that a country like ours that is always lagging with laws and legislation provided people with the option for smart metering a few years ago. Under the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) rules there is the option for net metering. This means if one is generating solar power inside their house they can send the extra energy back into the grid via a smart meter. Which will then be credited into the next month’s bill.
A sunny disposition makes Pakistan ideal for solar panels to be installed. A system that is simple with many different companies producing options for the equipment needed. The options range from affordable to very expensive.
Setup Solar Panel
To set up a system one needs solar panels, a charge controller, an inverter and batteries. The solar panels gather and convert sunlight into energy. A charge controller manages the power making sure your batteries do not over charge and get damaged. An inverter is needed if you need to convert your DC power into AC power to be able to use it. The batteries will store the power one needs, similar to a UPS system.
Batteries have also been specified for this purpose. Tubular batteries perform better for solar power, these are manufactured in Pakistan as well, by a few different local brands. Some of the known ones include Osaka and Phoneix. For the net metering option, you would need a smart meter at your premises if one is not already installed.
Best Solar panels are made by many brands but some of the affordable brands include JinkoSolar, Canadian Solar and Trina Solar. The panel sizes vary, but this generally does not affect power output. The power output of a smaller panel can be the same as a larger one, depending on how it was constructed. Given roofs in urban areas do not have as much space brands tend to take that into account for the panel size.
One has to put the panels facing South in Pakistan, so they receive the most amount of sun. These panels are greatly affected by the amount of sunlight, even a little cloud cover can reduce capacity by a large margin. Solar panel technology has yet to improve to a degree where that has a lesser effect. Still Pakistan is an ideal environment for solar energy to be installed in the home or office.
Power of Solar Panel
How much power one needs their solar panel setup to produce is very individual, some people use a lot more power. A system set up well enough can handle all one’s needs, even the ACs in summer. Which goes to show how well it can work, if set up right.
The initial investment is a decent amount but the payback is worth the investment, as after a certain period the system would pay for itself and also pay your electric bill if it was large enough.