In the third article of our series covering all you need to know about rooftop solar systems, we will focus on the installation process. This quick guide will help you understand the process, the components involved, the approximate money and the time required for setting up a rooftop solar system.
This article provides a snapshot of the entire series of events and a rough estimate of the system’s capacity required for a household.
Components of a rooftop solar system
The average capacity of rooftop systems installed at home ranges from 1 kW to 10 kW depending on the availability of ideal roof space and is the permissible capacity allowed by the distribution company (DISCOM). Most DISCOMs only allow 80% of the sanctioned load. That is, to install a 5 kW system, you need to have a sanctioned load of not less than 6 kW. Your electricity bills have the details of the sanctioned load mentioned in them.
Speaking to Mercom India, Prateek Agarwal, co-founder and director of Solar91 Clean Private Limited, said, “The various components that go into the making of a rooftop system are modules, string inverters, module mounting structure, cables, conduits, earthing electrodes, lightning arrestor, earthing strips, and civil foundations.”
The cost of the rooftop solar systems largely depends on the price of modules and inverters used. An advanced technology module will cost more but is also of premium quality, lasts longer, generates more energy in constrained roof spaces and requires low maintenance. When it comes to inverters, micro-inverters cost more than string inverters but have several advantages, particularly in partially shaded conditions. We will discuss the technology differentiators in another series.
The installation of a rooftop system mainly involves getting a no-objection certificate from the DISCOMs, setting up the structure and modules, cabling, inverter installation, and finally getting a net metering or gross metering connection. The whole process could take two to four months to be completed, and your installer handles most of it.
The average cost of a system
The cost of a 1 kW rooftop solar system ranges from ₹45,000 (~$612) to ₹85,000 (~$1,156), excluding the cost of batteries. We are assuming the rooftop solar systems are connected to the grid, and the power is not stored in batteries.
A 5 kW system could cost in the range of ₹225,000 (~$3,061) to ₹425,000 (~$5,782), excluding GST. There could be other costs involved, including constructing an elevated structure or strengthening the roofs where necessary. The system’s price varies on the brand the consumer chooses. It also depends on the quality of solar panels, inverters, mounting structures, and other equipment used for the system. So, if the consumer wants to go for a cost-effective model, it would cost them around ₹225,000 (~$3,061) – ₹325,000 (~$4,396).
These systems are assets that last for more than 20 years, and the quality of the components used plays a significant role in the performance and maintenance of the system. A 5 kW system produces nearly 20 kWh of electricity on a good day and 600 kWh a month, earning ₹3,300 ($45) per month if we consider a tariff of ₹5.50 ($0.075)/kWh. On average a rooftop solar system’s cost can be recovered in 5-6 years.
Speaking to Mercom, Shaili Yadav, Business Head of HomeScape Solar (a residential arm of Amplus Solar), said, “The total expenditure involved in installing a solar system includes system design and equipment cost, which accounts for 75% of the investment, whereas installation and commissioning accounts for 10% of the total cost. Regulatory approvals will cost you 5% of the total investment, while annual maintenance will account for 10%.”
This Diwali, you could gift yourself a rooftop solar system and contribute to a clean and green environment.
Contact us by filling out this form if you are planning to install a rooftop solar system for your home.
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.