Monday, 6 October 2014

Solar Energy PV Project India - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Solar Energy PV Project India - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
This article focuses on Solar Energy Projects FAQs which are generally asked by Investors or Customers interested in Solar Energy Project. These FAQs have been collected over a period of 7 years based on Customer feedback, queries, discussions and meetings related to Photo Voltaic (PV) Solar Power in Indian context. This is in continuation to a more basic FAQ list that we released in 2012. Same could be seen here - What is Solar Energy? Solar Energy FAQs

What would happen to our existing power supply system?
PV Solar project is integrated and synchronized with your existing power supply system. This ensures seamless integration and operation. When the Sun is available during the day, Solar system generates maximum possible power and the balance of the power is met through your existing power supply which could be SEB Grid / CPP / D.G. or a combination. A separate metering system indicates the kWh generated from PV Solar.

PV Solar, due to it's inherent nature, works during the daytime. During night time your existing power supply would take over the load requirements, till next morning when the Sun rises and PV Solar starts generating power again. This smooth transition is ensured by an intelligent system in the PCU (Power Conditioning Unit).

Would PV Solar be able to take up all kinds of loads i.e. motor loads, compressors, pumps etc. or only lighting loads?
Since PV Solar is synchronized with your existing power system it can handle any kind of load - subject to appropriate design. Primarily a PV Solar system can cater to 10% to 30% of the total load requirement at a site. This is subject to site conditions and loading pattern. In majority of the cases PV Solar can handle complex motor loads such as Compressors, Pumps etc. in addition to the lighting load.

If however PV Solar system is used for dedicated load such as Pumping applications then PV Solar needs to be appropriately sized and designed to handle the starting current requirement for the pump. There are alternate solutions available as well.

How would PV Solar power generation be impacted by cloudy conditions?
PV Solar works on the principle of photo voltaic effect which relies on light energy of the Sun. The light could be either direct or diffused. The output is maximum when the direct light falls on the PV panels. However some type of PV cells such as thin-film work nearly equally well under diffused light conditions as well.

Depending on the site conditions, locations, radiation details etc. the technology needs to be chosen and then the system needs to be designed inline with these factors. The expected / projected output of a well-designed system will not result in much deviation as all the weather conditions are factored in at design stage.

Can we reduce our demand (kVA / MVA) by going for PV Solar?
PV Solar is generally recommended for a part of your power requirement and not intended to completely replace the existing power supply. Hence depending on loading pattern and site conditions we will generally never replace 100% of your power by PV Solar.

In India many States still do not have net-metering available. In case net-metering is available in your State, we could look at PV Solar as a significant power source. In this case the demand could be reduced.

[Another interesting article - Top 3 Business Reasons to go Solar]

What would happen to generated power from PV Solar during holidays, shutdowns, breakdowns etc.?
PV Solar system would generate power whenever the Sun is available. If for some reason the power is not consumed at site then the same could be used to supply to grid where net-metering is available. Alternatively there could be a conditional PPA with the grid to supply power during such occurrences. If that is also not possible then batteries could be charged up during such days, if available.

What is the typical life of PV Solar project?
The major components in a PV Solar project are PV panels / modules, PCU, Structures, DC / AC Cabling, Electrical Accessories etc.

The heart of the system i.e. PV modules come with a life of 25 to 30 years with appropriate manufacturer warranties in place. PCU has a life of 10 to 15 years with manufacturer warranty with an extension possible. The structures are made from galvanized steel which are known to resist harsh weather conditions.

How do the PV panels perform over a period of time?
The PV modules are subject to harsh weather conditions including extreme heat, rain, snow (in Europe), extreme winter etc.

Considering the above and as per Standard Test Conditions, PV module manufacturers give an output warranty of 90% of rated output for first 15 years and 80% of rated output for the period between 16th year to 25th year. These numbers may however vary from one manufacturer to another but are typically true for Solar Energy projects in India.

If you have any queries with relation to Solar Power Generation, you may post it in the comment section below or mail us on

We also execute Solar Energy PV Power Projects with 100% financing i.e. BOO or BOOT basis for Industrial Plants and Commercial Facilities. To know more about Solar BOOT model please visit