The Centre’s push towards rooftop solar power generation installations has generated much interest among home-owners. But the lack of guidelines or ‘cheatsheets’ for these projects has left consumers in the dark, deterring them from opting for it.
VV Kamath, Managing Director, Fronius India, said: “Installing a solar photo voltaic system is like buying a home. We must keep in mind that it has to last at least 25 years. The decision to utilise PV power from one’s own roof may need serious consideration for any consumer (home owner) to justify a long-term investment.”
Since the PV systems have to survive for a long period, the product and components must have a design that has a project life of at least 25 years. “Another point to be considered is that the components and parts used in the PV projects must have the flexibility so that they can be altered to suit the future requirements,” pointed out Kamath. “Sometimes, changes in the regulations also lead to different laws and compliances on the product’s performance.”
Wear and tear
Rooftop solar set-ups in India are also prone to wear and tear, given the erratic climate conditions in the country. This makes it more important to opt for products with a certain degree of certification. “Consumers should ask if the product can perform at the same level under extreme environmental conditions. The environmental conditions should not hamper the benchmark performance levels of the product. Therefore it’s important for the product to have undergone rigorous endurance tests determined by international and local regulatory bodies such as the Bureau of India standards,” said Kamath.
The products depend on solar inverters that channel the generated energy into the power grid or to the household. “The product should be ‘surge protected’ to guard it from direct and indirect stroke,” added Kamath. “Direct strokes or lightening strokes and indirect strokes are related to sudden system breakdowns. The inverter should also be able to handle complexities like tackling shading losses, uneven roofs, insufficient sizes of PV roof and overloading possibilities on the inverters.”