Are you a property owner with spare land-area facing the sun?
Have you ever considered what benefits could you get from a proposed solar installation?
If you have answered yes to above, then you will accept that widespread adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind into the electric grid will be key to meeting carbon reduction targets and achieving global clean growth ambitions. In a previous blog post, we saw how OrxaGrid, London-based analytics driven startup enables a sustainable energy future.
In this blog, we will see how OrxaGrid’s freely available “Low Carbon App” enables building owners to quickly and accurately calculate the optimal size of Solar PV installations for best ROI.
Solar PV installations
As on July 2020, aggregate capacity of solar installations in India was 35,303 MW, amounting to almost 10% of total installed capacity in the country. The country has very ambitious targets of installing 175 GW of solar capacity by 2022. Data show that aggregate capacity of rooftop solar as on March 13, 2020 was 1922 MW. Furthermore, tariff rates for rooftop solar in comparison to industrial and commercial tariff is cheaper by 17% and 27% respectively. In addition to the cost benefits and reduction in carbon footprint, solar policies across the country enable rooftop owners to sell electricity back to the DISCOMs. With these benefits, rooftop solar systems are a great way to save money, regardless of budget and are often practically maintenance-free.
However, various key factors need to be addressed while installing solar PV in a pragmatic manner. OrxaGrid’s Low Carbon App is an accessible and effective app which considers these factors and accurately calculates the optimal size of solar PV installations.
A major facet of the app is that historical data is effectively analyzed to understand the energy requirements of the customer.
OrxaGrid Low Carbon App
After creating a free account on https://lcapp.orxa.io/, Users are asked to fill out a simple questionnaire which enables OrxaGrid to understand the needs of the customer. This questionnaire addresses the following key factors to be noted while installing solar PV system:
- Geographical location: OrxaGrid will identify the latitude and longitude of the location and the year-long solar intensity. This is key to understanding the amount of solar energy that can be generated from the proposed installation
- Roof direction: the orientation of solar panels is another important factor to be considered. It is essential that the system be installed in such a manner that maximum amount of sunlight is captured resulting in optimum quantity of solar energy generation. While ground mounted units can be oriented in any direction, the rule of thumb for rooftop systems is to install the system so that the panels face true south in the northern hemisphere and true north in the southern hemisphere
- Roof slope: Rooftop installations offer an advantage – panels are kept out of immediate view while achieving an inclination that will maximize electricity generation. Ideally, a solar panel would be at an angle that is equal to the latitude of the location
- Roof size: am important input parameter, roof size determines the size of the system and the number of panels that can be installed on the roof.
- System cost per kW: standard rate for 1kW, often benchmarked
- Import cost per kWh: cost paid to the DISCOM per unit (kWh) of energy consumption. This information can be taken from the electricity bill
- Export cost per kWh: revenue projected to be earned by selling surplus energy to the DISCOM. The unit rate, either through net metering or gross metering, is determined by energy regulators. Applicable regulations depending on the location would need to be analyzed
- Expected life: number of years that a panel can be used. By default, solar power systems can be used for 25 years
- Energy demand file: The type of solar panel you need depends heavily on your electricity consumption. Electricity demand is captured from the electricity meter installed at the location. OrxaGrid’s algorithms analyze hourly usage patterns to predict solar generation requirement.
These factors are input parameters which are considered for analysis. On submission of the inputs, OrxaGrid’s ML based algorithm quickly estimates the optimal size of the installation, projected annual earnings and payback period for investment towards the solar PV installation.
Please feel free to login and test the app at https://lcapp.orxa.io/ or you may wait for our next blog in which we will discuss the output parameters which enable data driven decision making, thereby empowering owners of solar PV installations.