Solar Panel for Homes: Power Calculation and Needs

Investing in solar power is the rising trend in India. This is because of the huge number of power outages and the need for continuous power supply at our homes and offices. The initial cost of the solar power grid is significant but thereafter the price of power becomes cheap. This will pay back the investment in a couple of years. The life of a solar panel is more than 20 years.

Cost of investment in solar power

You can buy small solar panel online India at many places on the internet. A polycrystalline solar panel having a power rating of 150 Watt (12V) will cost about 4750 INR. The average Indian household uses 886.39 units of electric power. So, the monthly need is 73.87 units. This makes the daily need 2.468 units.

Let us say that you have seven hours of sunlight. So, the capacity of the solar panels must equal 2.468/7 = 352.6 Wh. If you use the biggest panel rated at 120 watts, you will need three panels. The panel size is five and a half feet (residential) to six and a half feet (commercial) by three and a quarter feet. To put up these three panels, you need 18 square feet (residential) and 22 square feet (commercial) space on your rooftop.

It is possible to get this much of space on the rooftop. But, the possibility of continuous exposure to the sunlight for seven hours may not always be possible. You can check the specifications of the solar panel online to see if there are any brands that offer something more.

Running air conditioners and heaters

These days many of the houses run the air conditioner and the heaters using the solar grid power. For running 1 tonne air conditioner (assume efficiency factor of 0,8), we need 1.65 kVA power capacity. For 2 tonne, you need 3 kVA of power. The average amount of electricity used in an hour is about 1.5 to 2 units. Suppose you use a 1kW solar panel, it produces 5-7 units of power per day. This power will get used up in 5 hours of continuous operation of the air conditioner.

More investment needed

This is only to get an idea. If you will use many other appliances, then you must add up their individual power consumption also. When the power consumption increases, the size of the battery needed also increases. So, the initial investment will increase. To have an operational solar power grid, you must also have a switching device and a control mechanism. This prevents the battery from becoming overcharged. It switches the power grid from the normal supply to the solar grid and back when the power supply gets interrupted. The annual expense for running 1 Ton AC for 4-5 hours each day will work out to 31,500 to 36,500 INR.

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