What better time to set your mind to a new initiative to be more in control of your electricity than now. This will be the time that you go solar! Whether your motivation centers around the economics of solar electricity or your business values to protect the environment using solar energy, or maybe some combination of the two, installing solar panels and generating portion of your own solar electricity is a worthwhile project. It’s easier than you think. Here are 5 easy steps to help you become the solar champion in your institution. With each step, you will be closer to getting ready and generating your own solar power in a matter of just a couple of months.
Step 1: Step 1 – Solar Homework
Good news is, with this article, you are almost there! Start by logging in to Sunipod Tools (They’re free!). These tools are organized to walk you step by step right from assessing what is your electricity load to more complex solar system design tools , financial assessment of solar and environmental benefits of solar tools. Play with them for free and do a little scenario exercise until you get a good idea of the exact size and type of solar power solution you need.
If you are considering a rooftop solar installation, then you should also be thinking about your roof and whether it is suitable for solar panels. Typically the weight of solar panels is spread out over a large area. Check out specifications of solar panels and you can easily calculate the weight per square feet that the solar power installation will exert on your roof. Generally speaking, the weight of quality solar modules per square feet is similar to the weight of your laptop.
Using these tools is quick and easy with the simple help available right next to each input that clearly explains what you need to do!
Step 2: Step 2 - Solar Location
This is also a good time to speak with your facility or electrical management peers and business managers about starting to use solar energy for electricity. Start scouting for potential locations. Installing solar power solutions either on your rooftop or on the ground depends on availability of space and the electricity generation goals. Some people love showing off their solar power plants, plus there is no need to climb stairs to clean the solar modules when they are on the ground, but it may take up valuable real estate while often the rooftops lie open and unused. Once there is more clarity around this, its time start evaluation your options. Are you installing your system on your roof or on your property? Remember that in India (and most of the northern hemisphere) the solar panels need to be facing south to maximize the exposure to sun and optimize power generated. Calculate the area required for solar using the simple area calculator tool.
Step 3: Step 3 – Solar Company
Having decided on the type and size of solar solution you are going for and confirming that there is area available to install the solar panels, now is the time to look for the right solar power company. The internet is generally a good place to start looking at solar company websites. Contact the solar power company that looks credible and has all the technical information you need to feel confident about them. Ask if they can provide a free assessment and proposal. This way you can validate their recommendations with your requirements. Make an appointment and have them assess your requirements with a site review and to make suggestions for the right solar power solution along with techno-commercial details of solar solution recommended. Make sure they explain to you how you can best accumulate tax benefits from your solar investment. A good solar company should also know about best financing incentives and options available.
Step 4: Step 4 – Solar Decision
It’s decision time! Now that you have techno-commercial proposals and the business feasibility all worked out you have to decide which solar installer works best with you and which system to go with. It is also the time to get sanctions from finance or have all the documentations ready that may be necessary for financing from banks or leasing etc. Double check with your electrical management or facilities team about the installation process – by now you should now have at your fingertips all the information required to order and complete the installation. With the go ahead from your senior management, you can seal the deal with your chosen solar company and schedule and installation over a suitable period. Depending on your system size solar solution installation can take from a couple of days to more than a couple of weeks. Make sure that the designated rooftop is clean and clear from debris before the installation.
Step 5: Step 5 – Solar Installation
Your solar components have arrived! The installation day you’ve worked for is finally here! Soon, you’ll be turning solar energy into electricity; saving you money and helping your institution protect the environment. But to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck, make sure the solar company provides you with a full commissioning report. This will take some involvement from you as well. Walk through your solar installation to check the solar company has delivered everything they promised. Have them describe the solar solution installed and every part of it along with the benefits of their way of doing things. A lot can be discovered including the quality of installation simply by visual inspection. Communicate any doubts and get clarifications, now is the time. Get all the documentation from them. Before you consider your installation complete, also take a moment to read about the importance of regular maintenance for your solar panels. Make sure the solar company has educated and trained your staff on using and basic maintenance tasks of your solar station. Remember you have already started saving from day one…the sun shall rise as always!
Now that you are armed with these simple steps, it’s time to get started! You have already taken the first step in making your resolution to going solar by reading this article. Follow through with the other steps and you can be a solar champion and not just a solar dreamer!
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