Solar Energy for Home Electricity, not enough?

With prices going up even for electricity, I thought why not have my dad order a solar power system for home. I did not have knowledge of how it works and what. Only had guess that it should be enough for home use, and once charged it would last for 3-5 days, and since sun will keep up daily, it will keep getting charged and stay fully charged, and when it’s winter or rains and sun hides, still it would be good enough to get through till next day or so, else will use regular power as a backup. I assumed it may cost around Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 300,000 and for long-term investment it seemed like good cost since my guess was unlimited electricity and had read somewhere that system comes with warranty of 25 years. That would make it worth.

I am sure many often looks around for it and thinks it would be easy as buying solar cooker, can put on terrace and will be charged up. Well, I looked around and gathered all information just to find out that -

A. It’s costly.
B. It will not be enough for even a small town home.

Now let me explain you why. When generally speaking that I wanted to use electricity produced by solar energy for my home, you would also think that Everything that uses electricity, will be using Solar power electricity. I want everything in my house run on solar power in simple words. You will need Solar Grid-Tie, Solar Panels, Inverter and Battery/charger.

I will put all in basic simple way without depth in word so you can get the basic idea of what is for what. Solar Panels are what absorbs Sun heat, and inverter is what transforms solar energy in to electricity and transfers it to battery (one like cars have) or charger. And other basic accessories like controller etc is there to add in to cost, along with cost of installation.

Solar Panels are important factor. Average 1 Square Foot of Solar Panel produces 10.6 Watts. Average cost for 1 Square Foot Solar Panel is around Rs. 4,500 plus. You can lit a light of a room for that much. So, for basic appliances like TV, Computer, Fridge etc, it will need much more. So, for that you will have to sacrifice half of your terrace, will need large solar grid-tie, and 60-70 panels (if your terrace is big enough!). Than cost of Installation which is not so cheap either. Your home will need to be in area where sun comes directly on solar panel, and of course if you are in crowded area, make sure neighbor’s kids doesn’t jump on solar panels for sun bathing, so somewhat safety issue. Now, these many solar panels, will it still be enough? how long will charging last? Well, it will last almost a day in general thinking. It has to be charged constantly. As I said, it will produce 10.6 Watts in 1 square foot panel, you can see your electricity bill and compare how many watts your house uses in a month, and do all math. You will know average how many panels you will need.


Roof Covered with Solar Panels, Still require Back up Electricity

So, cost for whole home system will run around Rs. 12,000,00 plus including all accessories and Installation. Please note that prices I am writing are what I gathered from information I found, and may be more or less depending on company that’s selling. But this is what’s average cost is around. Now, spending this amount, you still probably will need to be dependent on regular electricity as solar power may still not be enough!

Now, I understand that why companies who sell Solar Cooker, Solar Heater – just this kind of small appliances, doesn’t really offer total 100% solar system for city house. Because its just too costly, It will take years for this investment to break in even! Idea of Solar Energy is to cut down on Bill of regular electricity, by using this small solar powered appliances. Solar energy is good for home which are in small villages or outside area where government doesn’t offer electricity and where they just need it to light a few bulbs. It would be worth for that. But for powering up everything in home, it doesn’t seem worth in my view.

You all compare your bills, and http://www.selco-india.com is one of the company that I found offers solar system in India. You can get more information and response in details about setting up from them.

Note: Cost for Solar System has been dropped by at least 20% since the Article was published.

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27 Responses

  1. Jason Alen says:

    Is it really not enough? come on but still it can save a lot.

    • India Mainly says:

      For House to run 100% on solar produced electricity, its not enough. Cost for your investment to be worth will take about 30 years. In those 30 years, you will have weather that changes, so will need back up power. About saving lot, well not much. You can buy appliances like solar cooker, solar heater etc to help lower your monthly bill. But same time you have to see how much you are investing in those appliances too. In short, solar energy is good where there is not other option. May be in near future, solar system evolves more technically and produce more power and lowers cost, it will be worth it than.

    • Rajeshwari says:

      Yes it may take 30 years or even more, but place solar power panel only for lighting purposes, I guess would be sufficient. Place PV systems for “common lightings” and lighting ! CFL for each room will do good. And more over Government is giving 50% subsidies for solar power system under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar mission, which is a Central Government Project and State Governments also gives subsidies according to the agreed fundings.

  2. Jason Alen says:

    The method shown above really good and will surely help us to generate power and will also save electricity. Further will save our income.

  3. syed says:

    wonderful descriptive details. I was searching for same for a quite long time. Thanks to the author. But the pathetic result is after all analysis, it is not affordable

  4. Sunil Mandhan says:

    Thanks for the information. Keep it up. It was worth to read this article.

  5. Pralhad Shimpi says:

    Solar energy is good one should study well and then adopt.

  6. Rahul says:

    I was also searching for a solution for electricity to cut down bills. Found this post really helpful, as you’ve provided good enough things with the estimated costs. Thanks a lot.

  7. PANKAJ MISHRA says:

    Great Information and excellent work. I am looking for an arrangement where i can reduce my dependency on LPG by getting a Heat Convecting Stove run on Solar energy. Is this possible, if yes how, if no, perhaps i know the answere – COST. thanks

  8. Solar Energy says:

    It’s hard to search out knowledgeable individuals on this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re speaking about! Thanks

  9. Partha Biswas says:

    Friends u can go through this… Prob it may help u :)

  10. Kiran Singh says:

    Solar energy could be the real cheap source of energy in India, however, the venture is already in the hands of greedy business houses who have made it knowingly a costly affair like telecoms. They have monopoly in business and subsidies with the connivance of Government officials. It should be developed like handicrafts in common households to serve the local needs. Perhaps it will never be allowed.

  11. ranjit says:

    dude, your article did provide with necessary info but just to light up the whole house will of course require lots of setting up to do. Even how much the charge will last, depend on the capacity of the storage device and how much one uses the load. So everything is based on how much the user wants. One thing with solar energy is that, ones using this kind of energy have to be frugal and no extravagant form of living is possible. Now you get why the electricity board requests everyone to conserve energy. Anyways good web logging. Keep it coming. Rgds Rp

  12. Aditya says:

    I think, the real transition to Solar Powered homes will only take place when there is an equal amount of effort is being put on manufacturing household appliances which consume relatively lesser energy as compared to now. Higher electricity consuming appliances should actually evolve as solar powered devices (there are solar powered Air Conditioners and Solar Powered fridges!). The emphasis should not just be on bringing down the solar power systems cost but also on the appliance’s power needs. My 2 cents here.

  13. Prabhakar says:

    The cost is not hight now, given the quality and reliability of power. And of course the green factor. The cost should now be around 1.75 lakhs per kv. For an avg household a 4 kv unit should be more than enough. When we spend 70 to 80 lakhs for house another 6 to 7 lakhs for a integrated power source is not a bad deal at all

  14. hopeto says:

    informative artice. thanks

  15. subash prabhakaran says:

    you seem to a negative thinker about solar energy its green energy if some one reads ur artical no one instal it will be black energy.

    • India Mainly says:

      Please go through article again. I ‘wanted’ to power up whole house with solar energy. Article does not put negative view about it. I have just give basic overview of solar system parts, and cost at the time when this article was written. I have mentioned that cost is too much when think of running ‘whole’ house on it. It certainly cuts down on electric bill in bits when use appliances. However, due to higher cost, will still have to wait for it to become more affordable to have ‘whole’ house run on it. In recent months, prices have lowered, which should be taken in to consideration, however it still isn’t reached to the level, where one can think of running whole house on it at affordable level.

  16. M P Ramanathan says:

    Thank you very much for your clarifications Mr.Ramkumar. Of course, the satisfaction of saving fossil-fuel has good value.

  17. Sindhuja says:

    Yes! It was very helpful!

  18. Anil says:

    I agree with the author of this article. but people should come forward for this kind of alternate energy sources especially in india. this will reduce the coal and diesel usage and more clean power we get the more safer our mother earth will be!!

  19. PHANI says:

    Your presentation is good,but Indian people not rich mans.so you think about the price.

  20. devi says:

    very gud for use but too costly for a middle class

  21. brideandbaraati says:

    Nice Blog! and Well done very intelligent thought.

  22. Arundhati Shetty says:

    I notice many Solar companies have posted replies to the above main article .What is significant is that none of them list a case _ study of a full residential solar solution they have provided even with approximate costs .. I have off and on read articles in news papers were some folks have despite the cost factor gone in for full/partial solar solution , I would love to hear comments /feedback for some of the individual users

  23. Sudip Barman says:

    This is really nice piece of information.

  24. VARUN SHARMA says:

    Sir,,after going through article perfectly written,,how could on earth we the common people can go for solar energy…New ways should be out,,,and any suggestions for opening this new venture in our city in a small way…pls suggest.

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