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Why Use Solar Products

Solar Solutions Pakistan offers a unique product line that is designed for commercial and residential solar installations.

Many developed countries including USA, Canada, Spain, Germany and even the UAE are developing cities energized on solar energy simply because it is the cheapest source of energy in the long run.
Small and large power generation systems could be arranged within three to six months and as many as many required in the same period of time. Public/Private partnership in this cheapest and never-ending source of energy should be encouraged and SSPL is ambitious to do joint ventures.

Converting Sunlight into Electricity

Light striking a silicon semiconductor causes electrons to flow, creating electricity. Solar power generating systems take advantage of this property to convert sunlight directly into electrical energy.
Solar panels (also called “solar modules”) produce direct current (DC), which goes through a power inverter to become alternating current (AC) — electricity that we can use in the home or office, like that supplied by a utility power company. 

There are two types of solar power generating systems: grid-connected systems, which are connected to the commercial power infrastructure; and stand-alone systems, which feed electricity to a facility for immediate use, or to a battery for storage. 

Grid-connected systems are used for homes, public facilities such as schools and hospitals, and commercial facilities such as offices and shopping centers. Electricity generated during the daytime can be used right away, and in some cases surplus electricity can be sold to the utility power company. If the system doesn’t generate enough electricity, or generates none at all (for example, on a cloudy or rainy day, or at night) electricity is purchased from the utility power company. Power production levels and surplus selling can be checked in real time on a monitor, an effective way to gauge daily energy consumption. 

Stand-alone systems are used in a variety of applications, including emergency power supply and remote power where traditional infrastructure is unavailable.

What Are Solar Power Generating Systems?
Solar power generating systems absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity that we can use. Every second, the sun sends about 42 trillion kilocalories of energy to the Earth. If we could convert 100% of this solar energy into electricity, we could create one year’s worth of power for the entire planet in a single hour. Solar energy is the most powerful of all renewable energy resources.
The Earth’s reserves of fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal, may eventually be depleted. Moreover, burning these fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide emissions, which are suspected contributors to climate change.
In contrast, as long as the sun exists, we can harness its energy here on Earth. And because solar power emits no carbon dioxide, it is an effective solution to natural resource depletion and climate change — problems that are becoming more serious every year.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can all roofs have solar installed on them?
A solar power system can be installed on pretty much any roof surface, including flat composite, tar and gravel, bitumen, composite shingle, cement tile, or metal roof top. Solar panels are usually installed parallel to the roof surface. For example south facing roofs offer the most annual production. West facing roofs produce more power during "peak" time in the afternoon.

2. Can my roof support the weight of the solar array?
Solar panel and mounting equipment adds very little load to your roof. In most cases the solar power system will add less than 4lbs per square foot, of load to the roof. Most modern construction is designed to support loads far greater than this. Some older homes may require some structural work prior to installing a system.

3. Is solar electricity really cost-effective?
Yes. Your solar electric system will supply you with electricity, which will cost you less than the rates you are currently paying. Over the course of its 30-year lifetime, a solar electric system is a great investment. It is low-risk, high-return investment that is very competitive with other types of investments (stocks, bonds, and property). SolarVantage can look at your specific situation and calculate exactly what your return on investment will be and how much you will save over the life of the system.

4. Is solar electricity really good for the environment?
Yes. Your system will reduce the demand on existing fossil-fuel power plants, thereby reducing pollutants and global-warming CO2 emissions. The EPA says, "Using solar energy to replace the use of traditional fossil fuel energy sources can prevent the release of pollutants into the atmosphere."

5. Can I really zero out my electric bill?
Provided you have enough physical space, you can install a photovoltaic system that will produce as much electricity as you use.

6. What happens to the solar electricity that I do not use?
Any excess solar electricity produced will go back into the grid through your meter, running it backwards.

7. What happens at night?
Your solar electric system will not produce electricity without direct or diffused sunlight. At nighttime, you will draw electricity from the grid. You build up credits on sunny days and draw from these credits at night.

8. What are the major components of a solar electric system?
A grid-tied solar electric system requires solar modules and one or more inverters. AC and DC safety disconnects are the other necessary components.

9. What does the inverter do?
The electricity produced by the solar modules is direct current, or DC. The inverter converts this electricity to alternating current, or AC. Most electrical devices in homes and businesses run on AC electricity.

10. What if there is a black out?
If there is a black out you will lose power from your grid solar system for safety reasons. With a battery system you could still have power.

11. Do I need batteries?
You do not need batteries if you are tied into the public utility grid. Essentially your utility company stores your solar electricity for free. Batteries would only be necessary if you need power during blackouts or if you are not connected to the grid.

12. Which appliances and loads can I power with my solar electric system?
You do not designate electricity to any specific loads. The electricity produced by your solar system functions in the exact same way as the electricity from the grid. Your solar electricity will provide power for all of your uses.

13. Will my solar electric system provide heating?
Most homes use natural gas or LPG for heating. If you have an electric heater the solar system will provide power to it.

14. Is it true that solar modules are still not very efficient?
Silicon solar cells have conversion efficiencies of 10 to 14%. Your car, at best, converts gas at a 20% efficiency rate. The difference is that gas costs more than sunshine. The cost per KWH of energy produced is a more relevant factor.

15. What is solar thermal?
Solar Thermal Systems (also called Solar Hot Water) heat hot water for a pool or domestic hot water use. The sun heats an insulated copper piping system.

16. How much power do I use?
You can find out how much electricity you use by looking on your utility bill or calling your electric utility. It is very helpful to get the last 12 months of electric usage in kilowatt hours (KWH). Your electric utility can provide you with this information over the phone.

17. How do solar cells generate electricity?
Photovoltaics or PV for short can be thought of as a direct current (DC) generator powered by the sun. When light photons of sufficient energy strike a solar cell, they knock electrons free in the silicon crystal structure forcing them through an external circuit (battery or direct DC load), and then returning them to the other side of the solar cell to start the process all over again. The voltage output from a single crystalline solar cell is about 0.5V with an amperage output that is directly proportional to cell's surface area (approximately 7A for a 6 inch square multicrystalline solar cell). Typically 30-36 cells are wired in series (+ to -) in each solar module. This produces a solar module with a 12V nominal output (~17V at peak power) that can then be wired in series and/or parallel with other solar modules to form a complete solar array to charge a 12, 24 or 48 volt battery bank.

18. Will solar work in my location?
Solar is universal and will work virtually anywhere, however some locations are better than others. Irradiance is a measure of the sun's power available at the surface of the earth and it averages about 1000 watts per square meter. With typical crystalline solar cell efficiencies around 14-16%, that means we can expect to generate about 140-160W per square meter of solar cells placed in full sun. Insolation is a measure of the available energy from the sun and is expressed in terms of "full sun hours" (i.e. 4 full sun hours = 4 hours of sunlight at an irradiance level of 1000 watts per square meter). Obviously different parts of the world receive more sunlight from others, so they will have more "full sun hours" per day. The solar insolation zone map on the right will give you a general idea of the "full sun hours per day" for your location.

19. What components do I need for a grid-tie system?
Grid-tie systems are inherently simpler than either grid-tie with battery back-up or stand-alone solar systems. In fact, other than safety disconnects, mounting structures and wiring a grid-tie system is just solar modules and a grid-tie inverter! Today's sophisticated grid-tie inverters incorporate most of the components needed to convert the direct current form the modules to alternating current, track the maximum power point of the modules to operate the system at peak efficiencies and terminate the grid connection if grid power is interrupted form the utility.

20. What components do I need?
There are many components that make up a complete solar system, but the 4 main items are: solar modules, charge controller(s), batteries and inverter(s). The solar modules are physically mounted on a mount structure (see question 7) and the DC power they produce is wired through a charge controller before it goes on to the battery bank where it is stored. The two main functions of a charge controller are to prevent the battery from being overcharged and eliminate any reverse current flow from the batteries back to the solar modules at night. The battery bank stores the energy produced by the solar array during the day for use at anytime of day or night. Batteries come in many sizes and grades. The inverter takes the DC energy stored in the battery bank and inverts it to 120 VAC to run your AC appliances.

21. What happens to my system when it's cloudy or dark outside?
Your solar electric system will not produce electricity without direct or diffused sunlight. On cloudy days you will still be generating electricity though not as much as on sunny days. During cloudy days and at night, you can draw electricity from the grid. You build up credits on sunny days and draw from these credits on cloudy days and at night.

22. Is solar electricity really cost-effective?
It depends on a number of factors but frequently YES. With decreasing costs, the systems are becoming more attractive for a larger segment of the population. In fact, in many cases a solar system can provide returns higher than the stock market average. An authorized Kyocera dealer can provide a free site evaluation and estimate what your return on investment will be and how much you will save over the life of the system. ??The economic attractiveness of the system is tied to what future utility rates will be. This is difficult to predict but historically rates have increased 5.5% annually since 1970.

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