AC Module vs. Grid-Tied Solar System: Which is Better?
People are confused about why they should buy an AC Module? They are not clear about its advantages and other features. Is this better than traditional grid connected solar system? I would like say - YES, AC Module is better than traditional grid connected solar system. This technology has come a few years ago, but solar industry leaders introduced this product in the utility scale projects where solar installation size starts from 10 kW. The solar industry can be roughly divided into two segments - rooftop solar (residential, commercial & industrial) and utility segment (solar parks). Since 2019, utility segment has been growing very fast and many EPC leading solar companies are working now. The government of India is also promoting and launching many schemes for its growth. However, rooftop solar has not grown at the same pace.
Almost 92% of India was electrified in 2019. Now, villages also receive electricity for a maximum of 22 hours. In recent news by Bihar Government, it was resolved that prepaid meter will be installed by 15th August 2020. Our Bihar Authorized Partner & BREDA Registered Installer, Resun Power Private Limited located in Biharsharif, Nalanda (Bihar) observed that while he installing 5 kW on-grid solar system in Purnea location, there was no grid power (when he switched on the on-grid system). He enquired from the neighbours to check if electricity was available at their homes. It was available. Upon further thinking, the customer remembered that his electricity credit was ZERO, that’s why grid power was not coming. Immediately, he recharged with Rs. 3000, and tested the grid connected solar system, which was working fine. This is a real story of Bihar location. You can imagine there are 2.60 crores homes in India. They are trying to install solar system on their rooftops, but due to complex solar system and policies they think Solar is TENSION.
I met one of my client, Mr. Mohd. Aslam in Faridabad, who is planning to install a solar system on his rooftop from last 20 years. He was inspired by Government department buildings, and he decided to go solar. He enquired with multiple solar companies in his location for installation. Though there are many solar installation and manufacturing companies in India, the main issue arises on account of the size of the solar installation. Some of branded solar companies reverted by saying that they would do the installation but require a minimum size of 10 kW. My customer is brand conscious and never approached non-branded solar companies.
Loom Solar is an innovative solar companies in India that notices actual problems - Why people are not installing grid connected solar system? People do not want to invest money in storage solar system (off grid solar system), because upto 92% locations have electricity available. To resolve this problem, Loom Solar has introduced Solar AC Module that is a substitute of traditional grid connected solar system (On grid solar system). In this blog, we will explain why should choose AC Module and how is it different from the traditional grid connected solar system.
Let’s understand one-by-one benefits of AC Module...
Differences between AC Module and On-Grid Solar System
1. Net Metering Provision
A conventional on-grid solar system will not be operational until net metering is approved by the electricity department. Though all of the Indian states now have a net metering policy, it still takes time to get approval. In stark contrast, an AC module does not require any such approval. In case, one installs an AC module, the consumer will be able to run his home appliances on solar power, in just three days of installation.
2. Effect of shadow
In case a consumer installs a 3 kW traditional on-grid solar system, he will have nine solar panels on his rooftop. In case, any one of these panels fall under shadow area on account of a water tank, dish TV antenna, tree shadow, etc. the solar panel’s efficiency will fall by approx 40%. Not only the functioning of one of the solar panels which are under the shadow area will be affected, but the overall system (remaining eight panels too) will function at 60% efficiency too. However, in the case of an AC module, the efficiency of the panel which is under the shadow area will only be affected. The remaining eight solar panels will function at their full efficiency level. The reason is that AC modules function independently of each other.
3. Panel level performance monitoring
If a customer installs a 3 kW (9 panels), 5 kW (15 panels) or 10 kW (30 panels) on-grid solar system and for any reason the solar power generation from any of the panels reduces, it is absolutely impossible to pinpoint at that particular solar panel. The customer will have to call a solar engineer who will have to check each and every solar panel one by one to find the fault. In sharp contrast, if a customer had an AC module installed instead of the conventional on-grid solar system, he could easily find out the faulty solar panel, with the help of remote monitoring. A customer can monitor the functioning of his solar system either on his mobile, desktop or tablet which comes along an AC module system of size greater than 3 kW.
4. Scope of further expansion
In case of a traditional on-grid solar system, the scope of future expansion is nil. For example, a 2 kW solar system will ideally cost Rs. 1,20,000, that’s a huge investment and you would want to upgrade your system sometime in the future. In this system, however, all the components are dependent upon each other. Now if a customer plans to upgrade the system in the future, all the components - solar panels, inverter, wires, MCB, mounting structures, etc. will need to be changed. Even if a customer wants to upgrade his existing 325 W panel (for example) to 350 W, it will still work at 325 W. An AC module, on the other hand, can work with just one panel itself. One panel is capable of generating 1.75 units every day and costs just Rs. 25,000. In this case, a consumer can keep on adding more panels depending upon his sanction load and space availability.
5. Safety level
A high voltage DC current is always flowing through a traditional on-grid system. If you have this system on your rooftop, please keep in mind that there is a 600 V grid installed in your house. Even if there is no grid supply, DC current is always flowing through the system, which is riskier than the AC current flow. However, in the case of an AC module, there is a 240 V AC current flow. If there is no grid supply, there is no current flowing through the wires, thus maintaining the overall safety level in the house.
Super Advantage - Sell Power to the Grid
In case of an on-grid system, a customer can sell the excess power generated back to the grid, with the help of a net meter. In such a situation, the current meter needs to be changed into a bi-directional net meter to record the flow of current. The customer has to take prior approval of the nearest electricity department if he intends to do so.
Introduction to Envoy Remote Monitoring Device
Envoy is a remote monitoring device for AC module. It is must to have in all systems for having 1 kw capacity. Envoy has multiple benefits for a customer. It provides data on web browser, Mobile app about your home power consumption such as power consumption in your home, power production from solar panels.
**Here is a detailed video to help you with the installation. Watch Video
3 kW AC Module Installation – Residential Home in Nakodar, Jalandhar (Punjab)
Loom Solar has installed 3 kW Grid Connected AC Module in Home near Malowal Mahatpur, Nakodar, Jalandhar (Punjab) location. Malowal is remote area where we have installed this system. We were really surprised when we meet to the home owner. He is 85 years old person and he is having enough knowledge of the latest technology solar system. He approached us by our website www.loomsolar.com and we understand his requirements. He wants to buy traditional grid connected solar system, but due to complex net metering procedure in our country, we recommended to install Grid Connected Solar System. Finally, he has bought Loom Solar 3 kW Grid Connected AC Module.
We really appreciate our G.R. Products Services, Authorized Partner of Hoshiarpur, Punjab location. He has done first AC Module Installation by his team. They do highly quality works, such as fixing mounting structures with panels on top Terries, wiring connection, Earthing, Envoy Installation, etc. They finish this installation almost 3 days. Now, Home Owner wants to install Net Meter. The first priority of our customer was to reduce electricity bill. This is finally fulfill. The second priority is to sell electricity to the government, so they have applied application for Net Meter in electricity department.