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Old 06-25-16, 02:30 AM   #1
nupur
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Default Rooftop Solar Panel Installation

Hello Folks,

I need a bit of an advice from a well qualified personnel. I am thinking of installing rooftop solar panel at my home and save a few bucks on the electricity bill. I want to know how to proceed on this? I've been told to visit websites like Helical Power to get a pre-feasibility analysis. I also want an opinion from a qualified personnel that will the cost of setting it up be covered by the amount of money I save on my bills? if so, how?

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Old 06-25-16, 09:12 PM   #2
DEnd
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Before solar you need to do consumption reduction. Hire a home energy auditor to come and evaluate your house. They should do a blower door test as well as thermal imaging to find where your air leaks are etc... As well as recommend any insulation upgrades you may need. Air leakage and your behavior are the leading drivers of energy consumption. After that reducing demand by technological means (insulation, light bulbs more efficient appliances) allows those savings to go even further.

Your location says you are in India, so I have absolutely no idea who to contact over there. My first thought is to hunt down someone with a Ph.D. in HVAC (refrigeration engineering) and see if they know someone who does residential work.
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Old 06-26-16, 01:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DEnd View Post
Before solar you need to do consumption reduction. Hire a home energy auditor to come and evaluate your house. They should do a blower door test as well as thermal imaging to find where your air leaks are etc... As well as recommend any insulation upgrades you may need. Air leakage and your behavior are the leading drivers of energy consumption. After that reducing demand by technological means (insulation, light bulbs more efficient appliances) allows those savings to go even further.

Your location says you are in India, so I have absolutely no idea who to contact over there. My first thought is to hunt down someone with a Ph.D. in HVAC (refrigeration engineering) and see if they know someone who does residential work.

Yes, I have been told to carry out the process. I have also been told that apart from saving on my electricity bills, I can sell the electricity if feasible. If that can cover my costs on setting up the solar panels and give me good returns, I might as well should go ahead with it.
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Old 06-26-16, 03:29 PM   #4
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Its almost always cheaper to save power than to generate it unless solar power generation pay out is being subsidized by tax payer money.
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Old 06-26-16, 07:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nupur View Post
Yes, I have been told to carry out the process. I have also been told that apart from saving on my electricity bills, I can sell the electricity if feasible. If that can cover my costs on setting up the solar panels and give me good returns, I might as well should go ahead with it.
On a commercial scale in the correct regulatory environment you can get good returns from solar production. On the residential side however the best returns come from consumption reduction, then solar generation. Usage cost more than generation (this is how electric companies make money). Ultimately clean renewables are the least expensive form of energy generation, but that includes all costs (environmental, health, economic, etc...). Much of those costs aren't shared by energy producers. What this means is that renewable generation at best will always cost more than the cheapest fossil fuel (in the US this is natural gas), at least until energy storage comes down something like 100 times in price.

That said if you want to get the best returns possible using a tool like the BEopt software ( https://beopt.nrel.gov/ ) can help you ensure you are spending your money in the right places. BEopt is really meant for the US market, so I'm not sure how useful it would be in India (your climate and market conditions are very different). It can also be difficult to use, incorrect inputs mean incorrect results (garbage in = garbage out). My best advice is to hunt down someone in India with a PhD in Heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning or Building Science and see if they have any suggestions.

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