Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Categories

What is a Solar Power System and how it works?

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy as it utilizes the radiant energy coming from the sun. This is done by converting sunlight into electricity using solar panels. The main components of a Solar power system are:
  • Solar Panels or Modules: It absorbs the sun’s rays since the solar panels are made of semi-conducting materials such as silicone. Solar panels consist of a group of small cells made from semiconductor material. When the sun’s light falls on the modules, it excites the electrons, thereby creating direct current (DC).
  • Solar Inverter: The DC electricity goes into an inverter that converts it into alternating current (AC). We use AC power for running our household or office or factory equipment.
  • Storage Battery: If the requirement is to store solar power and consume it during the night time (when sun light is not available) then solar energy can be stored in batteries for later consumption.

What is the difference between Solar PV and Solar Thermal systems?

The Sun’s energy, coming to our earth through its rays, is in the form of ‘light’ and ‘heat’. A Solar Photovoltaic system uses the light from rays and converts it into electricity, which can be used to run our electrical equipment or charge batteries. A Solar Thermal system uses the heat radiations of the sun where a solar collector captures this heat or thermal energy and uses it to heat water, oil or air.

Which Solar technology is best suit for me?

Both Solar PV and Solar Thermal are suitable for you. However, to run electrical and electronic equipment like lights, fans, TVs, computers, etc., Solar PV system can be used whereas, if you require a solution for water heating in your bathrooms or kitchens etc., a solar thermal is more suitable.

Does a Solar Power system produce uniform power output throughout the day?

Since Solar PV works on the basis of the intensity of light rays it gets from sun, your solar system typically starts working at around 6 AM in the morning and goes to sleep at about 6 or 7 PM in the evening. As the intensity of sun rays increases, the energy output increases gradually and peaks at around noon and then gradually decreases as the Sun starts setting. However, running of your electrical equipment is not impacted as the solar energy produced is integrated either with your existing electrical connection or with your batteries, through Solar inverters. Moreover, if your Solar PV system is designed well, all your electrical equipment is completely safe.

What about solar during rainy season?

Solar PV system needs light to generate electricity. If Sunlight is low, as on a cloudy day, the solar system still generates electricity but the power generation is lower. However, this may not create any disruptions for you. If you have a grid-connected Solar PV system, electricity will be automatically sourced from the grid in case Solar system generates less power. In case of an off-grid system with battery backup, energy will be sourced from the storage battery.

Do I need a full time attendant for my Solar PV system?

When you are not at home, your solar system continues to work and run any equipment that may be kept switched on such as refrigerators, security systems, etc. In case your energy consumption is less than the solar system’s generation, the excess energy will be fed to the grid. To avail this feature, you should opt for Net Metering.

What are the important factors to be considered before planning to go solar?

When planning to go solar, it is important to consider:

 

  • How much of your energy needs can be fulfilled using solar power?
  • How much savings you will get by adopting solar power?
  • How much shadow-free space (land or roof) is available?

 

Every Solar system is customized based on the conditions of your roof or land available at your premises. Therefore, you need a perfect assessment of your energy requirements and site conditions which would directly impact your savings.

How much area/space is required for my Solar system?

A 1 kW rooftop system generally requires approx. 10 Sq. meters (110 square feet) area. Based on the space availability, you can fulfill your electricity requirement through solar.

You can increase your system size anytime if your energy needs increases in future.

How much electricity can be generated from my solar system?

Energy generation through solar system depends upon several factors like location, orientation of roof/ land, shadowing objects, solar system quality and quality of installation etc. Considering all of the above factors, when full sunlight is available, 1 kW solar system generates 4.0 to 4.25 units (kWh) as average of total annual generation. Based on your installed capacity, you can easily calculate the generation of your solar system. For more information check our Solar Calculator.

Can my solar system be my only energy source?

Yes, if batteries are used. But practically, if grid power is available, then you are recommended to use on grid solar system. Solar system can be integrated with your existing power sources (like grid power, inverter, diesel generator, etc.) where the first priority is automatically given to the solar power to be consumed first by default. However, if you are using Solar power for night time usage or in a remote location where grid power is not available, it is quite common to use Solar systems with battery-backup.

Should I get my existing sanctioned load reduced if I decide to go solar?

Since, the solar power is available only during the day time. Therefore, it is recommended not to reduce your existing sanctioned load. Our Solar Calculator shows you exact savings potential considering all such factors.

How to know my monthly savings by going solar?

You will see significant savings in your monthly electricity bills once installed solar power system. However, multiple factors i.e. your location, consumer category and energy consumption pattern may vary the savings figures. Basically, higher grid tariff and quantity of energy consumption during the day, means more savings with Solar power.

What is the durability and reliability of Solar Systems?

Solar photovoltaic is a proven and reliable technology. A Solar system that is designed, installed, and maintained using precise engineering, will perform for 25 years or even more. The Solar Inverters may need a replacement once during the lifetime of the system. Moreover, since there are no moving parts, there is NIL wear and tear.

Do Inframitra serve any guarantees or warranties on solar systems?

The Solar PV modules are backed by manufacturer’s guarantee of 25 years or more. Know more about Solar PV system guarantees & warranties.

What about degradation and performance of Solar panels during life time of my Solar system?

It is usual to see a very small degradation in energy output with time as an integral part of the solar module technology. Generally, annual degradation of modules is in the range of 0.3% to 0.5%. However, in the first year, this degradation will be slightly higher.

Our Solar calculator uses special formulas to accurately estimate your customized solar energy potential for lifetime.

What is the meaning of CAPEX, OPEX and RESCO/ PPA model of Solar systems?

The CAPEX, OPEX and RESCO/PPA are different models of buying solar energy. Below mentioned are the meanings:

CAPEX: CAPEX means Capital Expenditure. Under the CAPEX model, you are required to pay the total cost of the solar system as upfront cost. In this case, you will own the solar system and makes you eligible to get accelerated depreciation benefits.

OPEX, RESCO/ PPA: OPEX or RESCO stands for Operational Expenditure. By adopting OPEX model, you will not buy the solar system but the solar energy produced by the solar system. The solar system in this mode is installed and owned by the solar installer or a third party and you are required to sign a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for purchasing the electricity from the solar system at a specified rate for a certain number of years at a tariff usually lower than the grid tariff. These agreements are usually signed for 15 to 25 years.

Out of CAPEX, OPEX and RESCO/ PPA models, which is the best financial model for buying Solar systems?

CAPEX model is considered the best model of buying solar from the cost perspective, followed by OPEX/RESCO/PPA. Under PPA, the Solar PV installation cost is borne by the installer and you only pay for the per unit cost of electricity that you consume and therefore the Levelized cost of solar energy is higher in PPA than in CAPEX.

Also, additional benefits of Accelerated depreciation and relaxation in taxes can only be availed in CAPEX, because availing these benefits requires ownership of the solar system.

What do you mean by the Feed-in tariff?

A Feed-in tariff is the rate at which you sell the electricity generated by your solar system to the grid either via net-metering or gross metering. The tariff differs across consumer categories. This tariff is often referred to as net feed-in tariff in case of net-metering and gross feed-in tariff in case of gross metering.

What is the meaning of Solar tariff?

Solar tariff is the rate at which you purchase the electricity from the installer/owner of a solar system under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This protects you from any grid tariff hikes in the near future. However, the solar tariff may be subject to an increase depending on the terms and conditions of the signed agreement. To get an estimate of solar tariff that you may be required to pay under PPA, you can use our Solar Calculator.

What is the meaning of Gross-metering?

Under Gross metering system, entire energy generated by your solar system is exported to the grid at a certain tariff. In this case, the energy generated from your system is not consumed by you in any capacity.

In case of net-metering, the power generated by the solar system is first used for self-consumption and if there is any surplus energy, it is transferred to the grid in exchange for compensation. Gross metering suits those property owners who have idle space and don’t need to generate solar power for their own consumption.

What is major difference between solar power when compared with diesel generator and conventional Inverter?

Diesel Generators (DG sets) are one of highly expensive means of electricity generation and are extremely hazardous to the environment. And the cost of energy from home inverters is also considered as very high. The cost of power from a typical DG set in a housing society is Rs. 20 – 22/ unit (kWh), while from a typical home inverter it is Rs. 12-15/ unit (kWh). Compared to these, solar power is quite cheaper and cleaner source of energy.

What are available buying and financing options for solar systems?

Below are generally used solar buying and solar financing options:

Buying Solar system under CAPEX Mode: You purchase the Solar system by paying the 100% cost of the solar system upfront to the installer. This allows you to get the best deal as you would be saving any additional cost such as interest rates.

Buying a Solar System using a Solar Loan: You purchase a Solar system by getting a solar loan from any public or private financial institutions to pay the 100% cost of the solar system to your solar installer. Under this model, you buy the solar system at the CAPEX cost but you are required to pay off the loan including an agreed interest rate.

Buying only solar power under RESCO/PPA Model: You purchase only the solar energy produced by the solar system. A solar power provider will own the Solar system installed on your rooftop or land. You will only pay for the generated electricity at an agreed tariff as per PPA. This PPA usually requires a long-term buying commitment and financial guarantees from your side. This mode of buying solar is generally available to only commercial and industrial power consumers.

Which one is better – Buying a Solar power in CAPEX mode or buying solar power in OPEX/RESCO mode?

Buying a solar power system is more beneficial compared to buying solar power from point of Return on Investment (ROI). Buying solar power system makes you owner of the solar system and it adds to the property value of your building. Also, Return on Investment is achieved within a period of 3 – 4 years. Afterwards, the power generated by your solar system is available to you for free. The ownership of the solar system also makes you eligible for benefits of accelerated depreciation and tax redemptions which is a great financial benefit for commercial and industrial power consumers.

In case you choose to buy solar power, you are relieved from upfront cost of the solar system. This reduces the cost of adopting solar power initially as you need to pay only per unit cost of solar power that you consumed. However, in the long run, i.e. 20-25 years, overall savings by buying a solar system surpasses compared to buying solar power. This also takes away the accelerated depreciation and tax redemption benefits that you could have availed if you had owned the solar system.

You can know the estimated cost that you will have to incur in buying a solar system or buying a solar power by running our Solar Calculator.

Is there any Loan or Financing option available for solar PV systems?

You have below mentioned options that you can go for in order to avail a solar loan for your solar PV system:

Solar loan from Bank: There are various banks which offer solar loans to consumers. Most of these come with attractive interest rates and require low collaterals.

Solar loan from NBFCs: At Inframitra, we have partnered with various NBFCs to help our consumers avail solar loans from NBFCs under one roof.

What if I need to relocate to another place along with my rooftop Solar System?

Solar PV systems can be easily dismantled and moved. However, slight expenses may need to be incurred on account of minor renovation of roof, reinstallation of solar system at new location etc.

If your solar system is under the RESCO (PPA) model, then transferring rights of the solar system will depend on the contract that you have signed with the solar system owner/installer.

Insurance and the warranty benefits of your solar system might also be affected by relocating your solar system.

What is the concept of net metering?

Net metering allows you to sell surplus (unconsumed) solar power generated by your solar system to your local grid. This ensures that you maximize your savings from solar. Click here for more information on Net metering application process. It can only be availed with on-grid and hybrid solar systems. The availability of net-metering varies from state to state and depends on the solar policy of your state.

Do I need to replace my existing meter for implementation of net metering?

Yes, your existing energy meter will be replaced with a bidirectional energy meter as per the process of your local DISCOM at a nominal charge. Your system installer will help you with the process.

What is the meaning of DISCOM?

A government operated or its authorized Power distribution company is known as DISCOM in commercial terminology.

What is the cost of solar system?

Solar system cost varys with the size of the system. On an average, an on-grid system of a size up to 10kWp costs Rs. 50-75/Wp, between 10 – 100 kWp costs Rs. 35-50/Wp and above 100KWp costs Rs. 33-35/Wp systems. For utility-scale solar projects, costs can be even lower than Rs. 33/Wp. However, for off-grid systems with battery backup cost goes up significantly and lies between Rs.110 -130/ Wp. To determine the system size and cost most relevant to you, check our Solar Calculator Now!

If I buy solar energy under RESCO model, what will be the price?

If you just buy solar power from a solar power company, the per unit cost will be higher compared to the cost in CAPEX mode as the developer will add his expenses, profit margin, interest on investments and cost of risk, etc. over and above the cost of the Solar system.

However, this cost will be lower than grid tariff but higher than calculated levelised cost under CAPEX model.

Therefore your cost per unit of power under the RESCO model will always be significantly higher than the cost per unit when you own the Solar PV system.

Do I need to get my Solar PV system insured?

Solar systems are highly reliable if designed with precise engineering. Also, the major components of a Solar PV system are backed by the manufacturer’s guarantees & warranties. However, since solar system adds value to property that you own, it is generally advisable to buy an insurance cover.

How can I get Insurance for my solar PV system?

Now a day, major insurance companies provide insurance policies to insure your Solar system. These policies usually insure your solar system from the threats of fire and burglary, machinery breakdown and other natural calamities as per the details of the policy.

Since adopting solar needs a considerable investment and you will reap its returns over a period of 25 years, it is therefore important that you insure your solar system. In this regard, to help our customers, Inframitra offers comprehensive service and maintenance packages to our clients at very nominal price. These packages include insurance of solar system, warranty, breakdown maintenance, preventive maintenance, regular cleaning, system performance monitoring support etc. to our clients. With the help of these packages, our clients can keep their solar investment safe for the complete 25 years of their solar journey.

To know more about these packages and to get your solar system insured you can get in touch with our Customer Care Team at info@inframitra.in or +91-175-518-1800

Is solar power cheaper than my local grid power?

Yes, solar power is cheaper than grid power. Moreover, solar is a one time investment while grid tariff keeps increasing periodically. Therefore, by adopting solar power today, you are ensuring a fixed energy price for the next 25 years.

What is major difference between solar power when compared with diesel generator and conventional Inverter?

Diesel Generators (DG sets) are one of highly expensive means of electricity generation and are extremely hazardous to the environment. And the cost of energy from home inverters is also considered as very high. The cost of power from a typical DG set in a housing society is Rs. 20 – 22/ unit (kWh), while from a typical home inverter it is Rs. 12-15/ unit (kWh). Compared to these, solar power is quite cheaper and cleaner source of energy.

When Should I buy solar?

For every consumer who uses electricity, the answer is Go Green Now!

 

Solar system reduces your electricity bills and with present scenario of reduced capital cost of solar systems, the Levelized Cost of Solar electricity is lower than the grid tariff.

 

Delaying your decision will lead to a monetary loss because you will be paying what you could have saved.

How to check return on investment (ROI) and payback period of my solar power system?

The payback period means the time period required to recover your initial investment in the solar system from the savings it earns. The higher your savings on power bills from solar means the faster recovery of your initial investment. Generally, commercial & industrial consumers should expect payback in 3 – 5 years and residential consumers should expect payback in 5 – 6 years. Once the initial cost of your system is paid back, the energy generated by it for the next 18 – 22 years is absolutely free. Run our Solar Calculator to check your ROI now.

How much time it will take to install a solar PV system in my premises?

Depending on your system size and site conditions, it may take about 2 week to 4 weeks to install a smaller solar system and about 4 to 8 weeks for larger systems. Where, the actual installation time is much lower as more than half of the time is spent on off-site activities such as design, engineering, procurement, etc. There may be variations to these timelines on account of natural calamities, access to the site etc.

What should I do to get my premises ready for a solar installation?

Nothing, just ensure that there is clear access to the site for movement of material and manpower and that your site is clear from any unwanted materials or obstructions. Our solar installation team may need access to power & water.

What are the important things to keep in mind during Solar system installation?

At Inframitra, we follow highly precised operating procedures and quality standards. So, you don’t have to worry about supervision.

However, it is recommended to:

  • Ask for layout drawing, user manuals of key components along with bill of material (BOM).
  • Ensure that the quantity of delivered material is as per BOM and is free from any kind of damages and is kept at a safe place.

What will be the yearly maintenance cost for my solar system?

The maintenance cost is almost nil. Only cleaning of solar modules is required time to time for optimum performance of the system along with basic preventive and corrective maintenance. However, battery backed off grid systems may have higher maintenance costs on account of battery replacement every 3-5 years. This is strongly recommended to monitor your data logger regularly to ensure high generation and low maintenance cost. Usually, the annual maintenance costs for smaller Solar power systems is about 2% of the initial system cost, and for larger systems is about 1% of the initial cost.

What is the maintenance procedure for a Solar system?

Below are the major aspects to maintain your solar power system;

 

  1. Regularly monitor your system’s performance through the data logger.

 

  1. Clean your solar panels for minimum 12 times in a year.

 

  1. It is also advised to have your installer conduct at least two visits in a year to check the general health of your system for preventive and corrective maintenance.

 

In this regard, to help our customers, Inframitra offers comprehensive service and maintenance packages to our clients at very nominal price. These packages include insurance of solar system, warranty, breakdown maintenance, preventive maintenance, regular cleaning, system performance monitoring support etc. to our clients. With the help of these packages, our clients can keep their solar investment safe for the complete 25 years of their solar journey.

 

To know more about these packages and to get your solar system insured you can get in touch with our Customer Care Team at info@inframitra.in or +91-175-518-1800

What type of permits & approvals required to install a solar PV system?

However, there are no such approvals or permits required if you are going to install off grid Solar system or grid connected system for self consumption. But, for net metering and gross metering system, few permits and approvals are required as listed below;
  1. Approval from local grid office (DISCOM) for grid connectivity.
  1. For larger solar power systems (size may vary from state to state), approval from CEIG(Chief electrical inspector to the government of state).
For detailed process click here.

Will my Solar installer assist me in getting required permits and approval?

At Inframitra, to take optimum care of the comfort of our customers and to assist them for a hassle-free liaisoning experience, we always appoint a “SOLAR MITRA” (a dedicated customer relations officer).

To know more about the process, you can get in touch with our Customer Care Team at info@inframitra.in or +91-175-518-1800

What are the steps to buy a Solar system?

  • Check your building potential along with cost estimate and savings using our Solar Calculator.
  • Get your site visit done and receive our best optimized techno-commercial proposal.
  • Examine and compare our quotation and select your companion for your Solar journey.
  • Finalize the terms (pricing, guarantees, etc.) and the order with the selected solar company and start your solar journey.

How to evaluate solar quotations?

While quoting for your Solar power system, variety of parameters are being considered by different Solar power providers i.e. system size, makes of major components, energy generation potential, etc.

While comparing quotations, typically, one should consider some of the most critical parameters like price of the system, equipment makes & specifications, guarantees & warranties, after sales services, terms of payment and last but not least the Experience and potential of the solar company and its key management roles etc.

Which type of Solar system is suitable for my requirement?

There are multiple factors affecting your decision to choose type of your Solar system like your energy consumption during day Vs night time, quantum and schedule of power cuts/outage and connectivity with grid power (in case of rural areas). You can choose between on-grid and off-grid Solar power systems.

What is on-grid and an off-grid Solar system?

On Grid: An on-grid system is connected in syncronisation with your existing grid power supply system. The solar energy generated is primarily consumed, and if the solar panels are not generating sufficient energy in line with your required consumption, the short fall of energy is automatically sourced from the grid supplied power.

 

Off Grid: An off-grid system is battery backed Solar power system. There no interconnection with grid power supply. Solar energy generated is used to runs your appliances during day time and any access energy generated by your solar system is used to charge batteries. If the solar panels are not generating sufficient energy in line with your required consumption, the short fall of energy is automatically sourced from the battery backup. Stored energy from batteries can be utilized at night time.

How to ensure efficient performance of my Solar system?

It is recommended that you install a data logger- a device used to monitor data, along with your Solar power system. This helps to keep a regular check on your system performance. This device will allow you to compare the actual with the estimated performance on a daily, monthly and annual basis.

What is data logger?

A data logger is an electronic device that enables you and your installer/ O&M contractor to regularly monitor your Solar system’s performance on a real time basis on your mobile phone or laptop. This device indicates parameters like daily, monthly & yearly basis energy generation, plant performance ratio, etc. and can send alerts in case of any faults or low generation. The device can also be configured to send you regular performance reports through SMS and emails.

What are the standard performance measures for a Solar plant?

Quality of performance by your solar power system i.e. the energy generation depends on the quality of your system, the availability of sunlight across the days and the quality of maintenance. Performance Ratio (PR) represents the quality of your system, whereas, Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) is the overall performance of your solar system considering both the quality as well as the solar irradiation. For example, if the quality and the Performance Ratio of your solar system is low, irrespective of high solar irradiation, your CUF (generation) will be low. To know more about this topic from our experts, click here.

What is the unit for measurement of electricity?

Electricity is measured in kWh (Kilo Watt Hour). Which means amount of electricity consumed by an 1000 Watts electrical appliance while running for one hour.

 

Your electricity bill mentions the kWh (Units) consumed by you in your billing cycle.

How to differentiate in kW & kWp in case of Solar Power?

KWp is the rated power of any solar equipment as mentioned on its name plate. Where as the actual output power is called as kW.

However, under practical weather conditions, the power output of any solar system will be lower than the rated power as mentioned on its nameplate.

What is the difference between kW and kVA?

Both are the units of power, kW is actual power whereas kVA is the apparent power and are applied in case of AC (Alternating Current) equipments. In other words, kVA is the rated power of any electrical equipment and kW is the actual output power of that electrical equipment.

However, practically, the actual power (kW) output of any electrical eqpment will always be lower than its apparent or rated power due to some unavoidable internal losses i.e. internal resistances etc. Generally the difference between actual power and apparent power of an equipment represents its efficiency.

What are the factors affecting solar power generation?

The following factors should be kept in mind to ensure optimum generation from your solar power system:

  • Location (Solar Irradiation/ weather conditions)
  • Plant layout
  • Shading and roof orientation
  • System design
  • Equipment quality
  • Quality of installation
  • Operations and maintenance

What is the impact of plant layout and system design on power generation of a Solar system?

The layout and the design of your Solar system has to be calculated after precised engineering analysis of the proposed site location. This involves the tilt angle of the solar panels, the gap between rows of solar panels (Pitch), any shadowing objects, specification of solar equipment, cable sizing, arrangement of solar panels, etc.

These factors cumulatively ensure that that your system generation is optimized for the next 25 years.

What should be the cleaning frequency for solar panels?

Generally it is recommended to wash your panels in 25 to 30 days in summer and 40 to 50 days in winter. Just ensure that you use clean water.

Does the weight of a Solar PV system cause any impact on my roof?

Generally, a Solar PV system weighs about 15 to 20 Kg per square meter. This weight can be easily borne by most roofs. Just ensure that your roof quality is good enough to support the solar power system for next 25 years minimum.

Will the Solar system installation cause and damages to my roof or building?

No. However, minor chipping on upper surface of the roof may be required to ensure proper bonding between the solar structure foundations and the roof surface to ensure due strength and safety. Moreover, our solar installation methodology is proven and safe. A variety of installation techniques are available and depending on your roof type a suitable methodology can be adopted. There are methods available which do not even require any kind of chipping on your roof.

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