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About Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India has launched the Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme that provides a subsidy for installing rooftop solar systems. The programme is being implemented through electricity distribution companies and provides a subsidy for the household owner and Group Housing Societies to set up solar systems on the rooftop of their residence/residential campus. 40% subsidy will be provided for installing a rooftop solar system of up to 3kW capacity; 20% subsidy is available for installing a rooftop solar system beyond 3kW and up to 10kW capacity; 20% subsidy will be provided for Group Housing Societies/Residential Welfare Associations for installations up to 500 kW (at 10 kW per house) for common facilities. Click Here to study the Operational Guidelines on implementation of Phase – II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme. Note: Subsidy benefit from MNRE is available for the residential sector only. Read more

Metering configurations for Rooftop Solar Power Plants

There are two common types of metering arrangements available for solar PV Installations. net-metering gross metering Selection of the metering configuration that best suits the consumer depends upon on the purpose of solar PV system installation and state regulations. General utility metering arrangement A general utility metering arrangement caters electricity supplied through the utility grid to a consumer via power distribution lines. The utility installs an energy meter to monitor and record the consumption i.e. the amount of electricity imported by the consumer. Net metering Net metering is a utility billing mechanism that allows the consumer to export the surplus solar generation from grid-connected solar PV system into the utility grid. This arrangement changes the consumer interaction with the utility from a one-way relationship to a two-way relationship. With net metering, the consumer not only imports the electricity from the grid but also gains the ability to export the electricity to the grid which is recorded by a bi-directional energy meter installed by the utility. A solar PV system can often generate more electricity than one consumes during daylight hours. This combination of high output and low usage results in surplus power. With net metering, the consumer can export this surplus electricity during daytime to the utility grid and consume the electricity when solar system is not generating. Therefore, with the net-metering arrangement, a consumer is only billed for the “net” energy used, i.e. the difference between the energy produced by the solar PV power system and the energy consumed over the […] Read more

What are the benefits of Net Metering?

Net metering is a special metering and billing agreement between power utilities and their consumers, which facilitates the connection of renewable energy-generating systems to the discoms’ network. It allows consumers to export surplus power to the grid and helps reduce their electricity bills. The most important benefit of net metering to consumers is the reduction in the amount spent each year on energy. The consumer can even make money if the production is more than the consumption and the electricity distribution utility company pays the consumer for that excess energy at a predefined rate. The other benefits of net metering are: The system is easy to install. It enables consumers to get real value for the energy they produce, without having to install an expensive battery storage system. Banking of surplus solar with the grid through export The power generated from the solar system can be utilised during the peak hours which results in decongestion of the grid. It encourages consumers to play an active role in alternative energy production, which both protects the environment and helps preserve natural energy resources Read more

What is the role of lightning arrestor in solar PV systems?

Lightning can strike anywhere at any time without warning & it can be destructive even when if it does not strike directly. The energy released by a lightning discharge is one of the most common causes of fire. Therefore, personal and fire protection is of utmost importance in case of a lightning strike to the building. Lightning arrestors are designed to absorb voltage spikes caused by electrical storms, and effectively allow the surge to bypass power wiring and the PV system. Read more

What are PV module hot spots, its causes and effects?

Hot spots are areas of high temperature that affect only one zone of the solar panel and resulting in a localized decrease in efficiency, and therefore, lower output power and accelerated material degradation in the area affected by the high temperature. Hot spots are not visible to human eyes and are detected and verified using infrared measurement technique. Above image shows of a solar panel showing a hot spot developed due to bird droppings Causes and its effects The reasons for the appearance of hot spots are multiple and can be classified into functional or operational. Defect severity and remediation actions also vary widely as a result. Functional reasons Cell mismatch: It occurs when cells of different current are connected in series. Cell damage: It occurs during manufacture, due to the fact that the silicon cell will be subjected to a stressful process during rolling, handling and transportation. Operational reasons Seasonal shadows: When cells are completely or partially shaded for a long period of time, it results in increased temperature in the shaded cell and further creates hot spots. The loss in power output due to a hot spot in solar panels is not directly correlated with the area of the panel that is shadowed. Even a small shade can have a significant impact on the output power of the module. Soiling or dirt accumulation: Solar panels become dirty from dust, suspended sand, dirt and other contaminating impurities if not cleaned periodically during their service life. The dust accumulated on the […] Read more

What are solar DC cables?

Solar DC cables interconnect solar panels to the combiner boxes to inverter. The DC cables are usually two-core cables, a current-carrying live red wire and a negative blue wire, both are typically surrounded by an insulation layer. DC cables are generally made of copper conductors which provides more flexibility. As the life of the solar plant is expected to be more than 25 years, DC cables should be capable to withstand high temperatures, UV radiations, fire risk, expose to water etc. Read more

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