Different types of Solar systems and Ownership Models
As an industry, solar is growing at a fast pace in India, even if effect of GST on the industry is yet to be seen. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance Report for 2016 our solar sector has had an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 59% in the last four fiscal years. According to the latest figures our total solar power generation capacity has increased from 2.5GW in 2014 to 12.28GW by April,2017. However, solar power market in India is dominated by utility-scale segment. In India total overall, rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) stands at around 10–12% of our total solar capacity, which is far smaller in percentage than other major PV markets such as the US (46%), Germany (73%), China (18%) and Australia (97%). The reasons behind this are lack of familiarity with the process, perception that large upfront capital investment is required, difficulty in getting approvals and insufficient knowledge of the financial incentives and attractive returns on investment etc.
So, today this write-up will acquaint you with different types of rooftop solar PV systems that can be installed on your rooftop. Based on grid availability one can go with three types of system. These are Grid-connected, Off-grid and Hybrid system.
Types of Solar systems:
- Grid-connected or On-grid system: Grid system is also called On-grid system. As the name suggests, the availability of grid is necessary to install this system. In this system, the solar panels installed on the rooftop are connected to the main grid. Its main priority is set to meet the daily demands. So, it has three working scenarios, first, when the generated solar power is equal to the demand it simply meets the demand. In this case it doesn’t feed any power into the grid. Second scenario, when the power generation is unable to fulfill the demand it draws the required energy from the grid and meets the demand. Third scenario, when the power is generated in excess of demand, it feeds that power back to the grid. This process of feeding excess power back to the grid is done via Net-metering facility. It is done with the approval of your local energy Distribution Company (DISCOM). The only drawback with this system is that it supplies power to the connected load only when grid is active and has energy. This system stops working In case of grid failure. However, this is necessary to avoid any mishappenings during the maintenance of the grid. This system is best suited in the areas with grid availability.
- Off-grid system: This system is set-up independent of state grid. In this case the output from inverter are connected to the main load and the the battery backup system simultaneously. Its working is very simple, when the power is generated in excess of demand it charges the battery attached to the system. This stored power can be used later when power generation is less or during nights when no electricity is generated. The drawback with this system is that since it doesn’t have any connectivity with the grid it cannot draw power from the grid when power generation is less. This system is less-efficient than on-grid system as it requires battery which is very expensive and only has a life-cycle of 5 years.
- Hybrid system: Those who want to enjoy the benefits of both the systems can go for this as it is a combination of on-grid and off-grid systems. The excess power can be fed back to the grid or can be used to charge the battery. When power is less it can draw power from the grid or from the battery bank. In case of grid failure it can utilize the power stored in the battery. However, this system is not very popular in India.
If you have limited finance at your disposal or want to save big. Don’t Worry… There are two ownership models which will take care of your worries. These models are CAPEX and RESCO. CAPEX stands for Capital Exchange while RESCO stands for Renewable Energy Service Company.
In CAPEX model the consumer makes a one-time payment and owns the system. In this model consumer is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the solar system as well. There are numerous bank financing schemes availables for the individuals/groups/organisations. If you’ve a residential property then you’re eligible for 30 per cent subsidy from Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
The second model is RESCO. This model is suitable for those who only want to buy the solar power, in that case you have to lease out your rooftop/ground area to a third party who in turn will provide you solar power at a pre-decided rate mentioned in the contract.
Still can’t decide which system or ownership model to go with and have doubts.
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This content has been originally published here: https://www.itsmysun.com/how-solar-energy-produced-solar-system-types/