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Old 2nd September 2016, 19:52   #31
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

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Great thread with some very informative posts.

I would like to know if we can set up a 2KW or 3KW grid system with just one or two 150Ah batteries to store the power. The power from solar panels & wind turbine will recharge the battery first and power the house during the day. During night time, we draw power from grid and when there is a power outage, the system uses the power from battery. Is this possible to implement such a setup or do we need more batteries to suit the higher power produced?
You would need a controller/ inverter combination to do this but it is possible. Again, the number of batteries matters less than the capacity of them and the power needs of the residence/ office premises.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 22:58   #32
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Thank you for sharing this. I have been hoping this would happen for 10 years now. Its great that smart grids are available in a few IN States. Would you be able to list them all for us? Also, why did you chose Su-Kam vs. a more global manufacturer?
The better option I had were
1. Tata Solar: Tata has one of the best solar panels, however Tata do not manufacture Grid-Tie inverters. They use Inverters manufactured by PowerOne (IN) for 2KW and Shenzen (China) for 3KW+. Since I wanted a 3KW system, I didn't want to go with an Inverter which do not have a proper service backup in my state.

2. Bosch: Unfortunately Bosch is not using any of their own products for the Solar installation. They use Solar Panels manufactured by HHV Solar (IN) and Inverters from PowerOne (IN). Hence there was no point in going with the Bosch brand name.

3. Schneider Electric: Schneider was way too expensive. The same 3KW system from Schneider would cost 4L+. Hence I did not even consider this.

4. Su-Kam: Sukam has been in the inverter business for more than a decade and is the biggest solar Inverter manufacturer in India. Their Grid-Tie inverters had comparable efficiency as Schneider and better feature (Wifi Monitoring, Twin MPPT Tracker). I had been following this company for more than 5 years. They use panels manufactured by Vikram Solar rebranded as Su-kam. We used their highest efficiency panels which was as good as Tata.

The rest of the vendor were MROTek, PowerOne, Hykon, MoserBaer etc and they were normal players without a great service backup in a state like Kerala.

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Originally Posted by BigBrad View Post
Great thread with some very informative posts.

I would like to know if we can set up a 2KW or 3KW grid system with just one or two 150Ah batteries to store the power. The power from solar panels & wind turbine will recharge the battery first and power the house during the day. During night time, we draw power from grid and when there is a power outage, the system uses the power from battery. Is this possible to implement such a setup or do we need more batteries to suit the higher power produced?

In the area where I live, power outages are minimal and usually don't last much long. So, my intention is to cover short power outages and still supply excess to grid. And without the burden of too many batteries, their replacement costs and their disposal once the battery has completed it's usable life.
For this all you need is a Grid-Tie solar setup and a normal Inverter with the sufficient kva rating and enough batteries to cover for the short outages.

The Grid-Tie will supply power to your home during the day and keep charging the Inverter batteries using your solar power. Any excess power will also be sent to the grid. During night, you use the power from grid.

The number of batteries depend on the amount of backup you require during the power outage and the requirements can be calculated as any normal inverter setup.

There is another setup which I am trying to accomplish is to use a separate charge controller and a switchover to the charge controller which will re-route the solar power to the batteries of the inverter during a power outage. The issue I am facing is that my Grid-Tie inverter is MPPT type which uses the Solar panels connected in series. The normal charge controllers uses 48 or 96v max input. The DC input voltage from the Solar Panels is 150V. Hence I need a MPPT charge controller which can accept >150V. This is very difficult to source or will need to be imported and costs upwards of 50K.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 16:09   #33
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

Always have been asking my family to switch to solar grid setup for a few years now. But I have a query regarding how safe the batteries are and what are the requirements for battery storage area? Any issues with fire safety?

Also I live in a lightning prone area on a somewhat hill section. What would be the adverse effect of a lightning strike to say a turbine/solar panel itself? Would it blow the batteries/inverter?
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Old 3rd September 2016, 17:30   #34
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

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The better option I had were
1. Tata Solar: Tata has one of the best solar panels, however Tata do not manufacture Grid-Tie inverters. They use Inverters manufactured by PowerOne (IN) for 2KW and Shenzen (China) for 3KW+. Since I wanted a 3KW system, I didn't want to go with an Inverter which do not have a proper service backup in my state.

2. Bosch: Unfortunately Bosch is not using any of their own products for the Solar installation. They use Solar Panels manufactured by HHV Solar (IN) and Inverters from PowerOne (IN). Hence there was no point in going with the Bosch brand name.

3. Schneider Electric: Schneider was way too expensive. The same 3KW system from Schneider would cost 4L+. Hence I did not even consider this.

4. Su-Kam: Sukam has been in the inverter business for more than a decade and is the biggest solar Inverter manufacturer in India. Their Grid-Tie inverters had comparable efficiency as Schneider and better feature (Wifi Monitoring, Twin MPPT Tracker). I had been following this company for more than 5 years. They use panels manufactured by Vikram Solar rebranded as Su-kam. We used their highest efficiency panels which was as good as Tata.

The rest of the vendor were MROTek, PowerOne, Hykon, MoserBaer etc and they were normal players without a great service backup in a state like Kerala.
Here's a great article on cutting edge solar panel options. I've noticed that eventually global suppliers always beat Indian suppliers on panel efficiency and longevity.

To your point, Indian inverters are far better suited to Indian conditions.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 22:09   #35
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

So you are one of the early birds Screwdriva! Being grid independent to a large extent with your set up is liberating isn't it

My home is powered by the Sun as well...mostly! The details:

- 2KW Solar Power Plant (SPP) with 3 KVa inverter which comes with a circuit breaker(?) to protect us from the crazy voltage fluctuations in our layout which has destroyed electronic items in a lot of homes.
- Batteries for storage are of Amara Raja
- In the past 20 months since we started using, we haven't had to depend on the grid for:
. Fans
. Lights
. TV and DTH
. Music System
. Dry Iron/Iron Box
. Fridge - initial cooling was from the grid and after few hours, it has totally run on Solar power
. Pressure pump
. and everything else that can run on a socket of 16 amps or lesser!

Please note all bulbs except 3-4 are LED. Idea was to cut down on Carbon footprint there as well and ensure the load on SPP is lesser. Electricity bills earlier with non-LED lighting and grid power was around Rs. 1000. Now it ranges between 115-250. Closer to 250 only those times where we have to use the geyser after more than 2 days of overcast skies. Otherwise hot water is from Solar Water Heater!

Never really thought about it as a return on investment thing. The only thoughts were that we should reduce dependence on grid and reduce carbon footprint as well. We might expand capacity and battery backup as well to include other heavy appliances like Geyser, electric kettle, microwave, washing machine, etc.

Next step in that direction might be an e2o for daily commute, which needless to say will be powered by the SPP.

My friend who is into solar installations says that net metering is stopped in Bangalore and gross metering is allowed. Which means there will be two electric meters - one for consumption and the other for feeding the grid.

People in Bangalore with a terrace and space for SPP are welcome to visit
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Old 5th September 2016, 15:49   #36
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

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So you are one of the early birds Screwdriva! Being grid independent to a large extent with your set up is liberating isn't it
I like to think of myself as having a long term horizon on key decisions. Having this system in 2006 opened up a world of possibilities that saved us ALOT of money on diesel generator costs, power cuts, bribing power company employees to give us power and gave us peace of mind, a healthy conscience and, quite surprisingly, a lot of respect with all our neighbors (A very famous A+ list actor visited our home to ask if he could copy our designs for his own residence). Some of these things are hard to quantify but invaluable now that we have it. 10 years later and the system still works

Your electricity bills are quite low. In Bombay, AC use is quite high, which only adds to the pain. A smart grid enabled system that feeds power back into the grid will greatly reduce monthly bills.
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Old 12th September 2016, 20:07   #37
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

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My home is powered by the Sun as well...mostly! The details:
Guys, your thoughts on On-grid solar solutions, which doesn't require battery.
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Old 12th September 2016, 22:28   #38
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

Great thread, Screwdriva!

One of the subjects close to my heart. I tend to follow the goings on in the Renewable Energy sector.

With the govt's major thrust in this sector we are going to see some radical adoption and setting up of RE in industrial as well as domestic sector. Your thread is sure going to do its two bit towards this.


Holyghost, your information is little dated. The difference in production and consumption of power has much reduced with effect from May 2016.
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  • Bangalore pays the customers the highest in the country for excess power produced. At the end of the month, if your net production is > net usage, bescom pays Rs9 per unit send back to grid. In contrast, Kerala pays Rs2 per unit to me.

ecenandu, several people has voiced their opinions on this. One of the major drawback is you will not get power when there is an outage in the grid.
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Guys, your thoughts on On-grid solar solutions, which doesn't require battery.
Forddday.
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Old 12th September 2016, 23:00   #39
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

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Originally Posted by Holyghost View Post

Setup:
The grid tie system involves 3 major parts.
The Solar Panels
Grid Tie Inverter
2 way Electricity Meter
Buddy, how much units are you producing a month? Is your unit single phase or three phase?

We are also planning to go for this, maybe 10KW three phase unit.

Thanks fordday, I missed that post.
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Old 24th September 2016, 06:49   #40
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Update:

We enquired about the feasible solution for on grid solar system. We are planning for a 10 KW system.

We asked for quotes from Tata, Su-Kam and Hykon. So far we got positive response from Hykon only. They gave us the following quote.

With subsidy
9.25 lakhs - 3.4 lakhs(subsidy)

Without subsidy
6.65 lakhs.

Misc - 35 thousand.

If we apply for subsidy, it might take at least an year for the approval. Since the waiting list is huge.

The estimated daily production of solar electricity on a sunny day as per them is around 35 - 40 units. Kerala electricity board pays 4.8 Rupees per excess unit the household supply to the grid, i.e, solar production - household consumption.

We consume around 200 - 300 units per month. So if weather is good, we might get 500 units of excess solar power, which comes to 2400 Rupees.

Not a great investment if you look at it financially. And we are at the mercy of government regulation as well, they might increase or decrease the payment on excess unit produced by solar power.

The only advantage with this system is, there will be minimal recurring cost as this system doesn't require batteries.

The takeaway is, we are giving green energy to the grid . Which is a good feeling.

Last edited by ecenandu : 24th September 2016 at 06:51.
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Old 24th September 2016, 09:20   #41
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Buddy, how much units are you producing a month? Is your unit single phase or three phase?
Mine is a 3kw single phase system.
It has been operational for less than a month with an average production of ~11 units per day. This has been mainly due to the weather condition of Kerala in last few weeks. I do not have the daily stats yet. I will post it here when I go to Kerala next time.






Quote:
Originally Posted by ecenandu View Post

Without subsidy
6.65 lakhs.

Misc - 35 thousand.

If we apply for subsidy, it might take at least an year for the approval. Since the waiting list is huge.
For me, even without the subsidy, it took 7 months to get all the approvals. My installation was completed in Feb 2016 and my system was idle wasting the energy for 7 months waiting for the approvals. :banghead:
It is not easy to deal with the corrupt Kerala Electricity Board unless you have some influential persons and more over since I am in Bangalore, I didn't have enough time to spend for this.

Do keep in mind that the Grid Tie systems are modular systems. You do not have to go for 10kw system at once if you do not require the full capacity at this time. The grid tie inverters can be connected in series to expand your capacity at a later stage. The same is applicable for converting single phase to 3 phase systems. You can start with 1 inverter connected to 1 phase and later add individual inverters to other two lines.

Also do check the inverter brand Hykon is installing. Su-Kam was providing Schneider Inverters for capacities above 5kw.

Last edited by Holyghost : 24th September 2016 at 09:36.
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Old 26th September 2016, 21:57   #42
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It's great to see so much progress, especially coming from South Indian States. Sadly, I'm not aware of such incentives in North/ West India, unless TBHP members know any different?

On the subject of on grid vs. off grid, I would suggest you evaluate the number of outages in your area. If they are neglible, I suggest that you factor this into your decision. Rural Maharashtra's electricity supply is notoriously unreliable, filled with corrupt babus who made our life hell asking for bribes to supply energy to us often at someone else's expense.

Now, they walk by our house staring angrily at the renewable energy system, the only thing that their bribes into a non- renewable source of income for them.

Last edited by Screwdriva : 26th September 2016 at 21:58.
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Old 12th December 2016, 17:26   #43
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Update:

We enquired about the feasible solution for on grid solar system. We are planning for a 10 KW system.
Went for 5 KW. 3.3 Lakhs after subsidy.
Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)-cd16ea3fcb02486280102a1b897b13d5.jpeg
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Old 12th December 2016, 22:25   #44
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Default re: Using Solar / Wind Power in India (EV charging, home etc.)

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Went for 5 KW. 3.3 Lakhs after subsidy.
Congrats that looks like a nice setup. Few queries:

Is it 250 W per panel?

Which direction is it facing?

Do you use two meters or one smart meter?

Which brand panels and who did the instal? Were you satisfied with the work?

Do you have a battery backup or storage? How does storage work if you have netmetering?

Lastly whats the area it takes up? As most probably my home needs should be satisfied by 5kw.

Maddy
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Old 18th December 2016, 02:07   #45
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Went for 5 KW. 3.3 Lakhs after subsidy.
Congrats ecenandu. I guess you went with SuKam. Which brand inverter did they install?


Looks like there are a lot of trees on the left side in the picture. Is that the west side?




Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Congrats that looks like a nice setup. Few queries:

Is it 250 W per panel?

Which direction is it facing?
.....
Do you have a battery backup or storage? How does storage work if you have netmetering?

Lastly whats the area it takes up? As most probably my home needs should be satisfied by 5kw.

Maddy
I could see 20 panels, so it has to be 250w per panel.

The panels has to face south for solar installations in India. There will be slight variation in the angle.

Grid tie systems do not have battery backups. The grid is your storage and you feed excess power to the grid and you pull power back from grid when you are not producing power.

There is a newer Grid-tie inverters called Hybrid Grid-tie which has built in battery inverter function. However the current costs are high and it will be much cheaper to buy a seperate inverter for battery backup.

A rough calculation for area is 100 Sq Ft per 1kw. So a 5kw setup will need a little less than 500 SqFt.
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