The title of the page says it all. The next good thing is that you have shown interest in this aspect. Take the first step towards it and then there will be no coming back because there is so much fruit in this process. We live in a country like India where the temperatures are rising every day because of the extensive level of global warming and other pollutions. The small things we do make huge differences. Here, we explain the best ways to use solar energy at home
In summers, getting out of the house feels like a huge task. We can not survive unless the air conditioner is on. Although we know that all this is our mistake, we do nothing to reduce it. In Chennai, I go out in the summers and my head starts aching, there is such a huge potential of power in the sun that we feel every day. It is high time that we start utilizing this to our benefit.
In this blog, we will not only explain how you can use solar panels to run your house, but we will also discuss as to the little steps you can take to convert to solar energy. These steps will be subtle but they will make huge impacts in the long run. Did you know there are power banks that can be charged up by just keeping them in the sun? did you know there are garden lights with just one solar panel attached to them? All you will have to do is to buy this one-time investment. If not getting your house fully solar panelled, then at least start by buying the little things that will give you a start.
Types of solar panels
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
These are considered to be the purest ones. Since the silicon used is so pure, their efficiency is also among the highest. They even last the longest. They are less affected by high temperatures than polycrystalline ones. This does imply that they are the most expensive ones too.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
These panels are made by melting raw silicon which makes them easier and cheaper to produce. Although this does ensure a lower price, on the alternative route, they have slightly lower efficiency and shorter life span. They also cannot handle high temperatures very well.
Thin-Film Solar Cells
These panels are produced by placing films of photovoltaic material on top of a substrate. Since they are the easiest to produce, they are the cheapest. They also work well with high temperatures. Their problem is that they occupy a lot of space which makes it difficult for them to be used for houses.also, they have the shortest life spans.
Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell
They have low cost, they have a bad efficiency and they are the ones you see in solar powered small calculators.
Concentrated PV Cell
They are very recently developed and have the highest efficiency. They are sometimes used in even curved forms to collect more sunlight.
Things to keep in mind
Calculate the average electricity usage in your house. You must know how much power you will be going to need from the panels. We have an article based on how you can save energy in your house by simple methods. You may refer to that one to make simple changes that will help you save electricity.
You should consult a professional regarding which solar panel type you should get on the basis of the weather conditions and solar potential in your area. Ask the professional for other options like purchasing a solar system which is linked to a grid, community solar panels, solar lease, etc.
You should carefully calculate the area in your house where the best of sunlight is received. If you are planning to install the solar panels on your roof, then you must be careful that the roof is well lit and not covered by shade. Most of the time, people live in rented houses or flats, you should go for a community or shared solar system.
A good brand will last you around 25+ years. Some good brands that we can name are LG, tata solar power, Azure power, amplus energy solutions, waaree, vikram solar, moser bear solar limited, etc.
How do I calculate solar panels for my home?
This solely depends on two things. How much electric power your house consumes, and what power your solar panel provides. We do suggest that you consult a professional for additional tips, but to get a rough idea, follow the steps ahead. Simply divide the electric consumption of your house with the power provided by the panels. Make sure that the units of both of them are the same to avoid errors.
In 2010, the government of India started the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. the government provides subsidy to schools and public institutions maximum of 40% of the capital will be subsidized by the govt
There are other schemes also that you should consider like solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects, 300 MW of solar PV for defence establishments and paramilitary forces, installing grid – connected solar PV power projects under phase 2 with VGF support via SECI, etc.
Best states for solar panels in India
Before talking about which state has the highest potential, let us look at the winners. The states who are actually utilizing this beautiful gift and doing some real good to the environment. The winner is Karnataka. Karnataka is followed bTelanganana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. These mentioned states are the top ones. If your state was not included in the list, you are responsible for it. And if your native state’s name was in the list, you better do some solar installation to make it number one. Or if the case is that you already are in Karnataka, then help your state remain on the glorious spot it has achieved.
According to Wikipedia, with around 300 sunny days in the country in a year, the solar energy incident of India is 5000 trillion kWh per year! Obviously, because of its lazy citizen, the utilization is very less. People will of course blame government, before blaming the government, please notice that they have set the target of utilizing around 100 GW of solar capacity by the year 2022. What is your personal target? I hope it is not zero Wikipedia also says that if we utilize it properly, it will exceed the possible energy output of all of India’s reserved fossil fuels.
All the parts o India have a lot of solar energy reserve. Yes, you heard it right. Even if you live in the mountains, you can install solar panels and save on energy. Obviously, Kanyakumari gets a good amount of sunlight even in December but Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, etc. in generic terms, central and western India along with northeastern hill region receive the best sunlight. There is a lesser sun in Indo-Gangetic plain due to fog in winters and western Himalayan range receive the least sunlight.
Solar panels: long term investment
You may say that they are a one-time investment. If you buy a good branded solar panel set, they should last around 25 years. That means if you are 30 years old right now, they will keep providing you until you are 55 years old ( speaking on an average basis ). Solar panels are robust and are meant to withstand time. They will not get easily damaged. Plus point is that they are easy to maintain. You will have to clean them regularly from dust and debris for good and smooth functioning. If you live In a state where electricity prices are skyrocketing, you must consider this option. You will be getting electricity for just the initial amount of investment for 25 years! If you want to reduce the maintenance even more, just join a community or shared solar panel system. The responsibility of maintaining will be cut down by a lot and you will reap good benefits.
There are two types of fuels – renewable and non-renewable. Solar energy is renewable, free and inexhaustible. Unlike other fossil fuels, this energy is highly abundant and you can use as much of it as you want without feeling guilty about harming the environment.
First of all, you will reduce your carbon footprint. Extracting fossil fuels is not only expensive, but the rate of its usage is far more than the rate of its replenishment. That day is not far when our non-renewable fuels will get replenished. We all know that a good amount of electricity is produced in thermal powerplants which are a huge portion of air pollution since they are burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. You will do great reductions if you switch to solar power this means it is a clean source. Not only will you be using clean energy, but you will also additionally be making the environment cleaner by not using the electricity produced in thermal powerplants. Solar panels have zero emissions. Now since you are reducing air pollution, you are also making the air healthier than before. This will reduce respiratory diseases. Most of all, you will be saving money.
Solar panels are made of a material called a semiconductor. In layman language, when the sun’s light falls on the panel, it knocks off electrons from it. Electrons are a part of an atom. You can not see it, its size is of the order of 0.000000000001 mm. you can say that they are highly microscopic. So the energy-containing photoelectrons from sunlight knock these electrons off and they move to the positive terminal because of an already set electric field. This starts a flow of electrons towards the metal layer where they get stored. These metal layers are connected to wires and hence make the electrons flow, which leads to the generation of electricity.
Small solar products
If you are afraid to go all out and get your house fully solar powered, at least take the first step towards it! Here we discuss solar powered power banks, chargers, lights ( garden lights and flashlights ) and even fans! these are all very small budgeted, you may even gift these to someone as they will be a perfect and innovative gift.
Solar Power banks
- Inspiring Tech – 10000mAh Power Bank Outdoor Water Resistant Dual USB Solar Panel Portable Battery Charger Solar Power Bank with Led Light for iPhone X 10 8 7 6S iPad Samsung (Orange) – (click to check the current price on Amazon)
the size is compact. This means you can leave it on a very small patch of sunlight too. Like a window. You can charge two devices at one time. For a generic example, the iPhone 8 is 1,821 mAh. This means you can charge it around 5 times.
- Uniqus B outdoor travel dual USB solar panel mobile phone power bank case shell charger DIY kit with LED light emergency camping – (click to check the current price on Amazon)
this is a similar device. Inspiring Tech – 10000mAh Power Bank Outdoor Water Resistant Dual USB Solar Panel Portable Battery Charger Solar Power Bank with Led Light for iPhone X 10 8 7 6S iPad Samsung (Orange)
- AVMART solar emergency Light lantern, USB mobile charging point, rechargeable night light travel camping lantern (gold) – (click to check the current price on Amazon)
It is a 2 in 1 device. You can charge your devices as well as get light. The main advantage is its cheap price. On the push of a button, it can detach when needed to a handheld flashlight.
- light S300 solar light and mobile charger ( multicolour ) – (click to check the current price on Amazon)
This device too is a 2 in 1. You can charge your phone and use it as a lantern. It promises up to 100 hours of light. There are four brightness settings also. They say that it will last more than 5 years.
- LED solar emergency light bulb ( lantern ) – travel camping lantern – assorted colours. – (click to check the current price on Amazon)
It needs to charge for 4 hours before use. The cons here are that there is a mobile charger but you may use the charger only if the battery is around 250mAh. It does not have any on or off button. It will glow as soon as it is pulled out.
it comes with a 6-month warranty, it also contains a mini USB charging port. This is a very cute and small flashlight type.
- gesto rechargeable 12 watts bright white light LED bulb with solar panel and electric charging pack of 1 – (click to check the current price on Amazon)
it is portable and well as wall mountable. There is an indicator too to tell you when to charge.
- PTS – LED solar lantern emergency light – rechargeable, portable – travel, camping lantern – made in India – pakiza – white. (click to check the current price on Amazon)
this again is a lantern type light. The cost is impressive. It has 7 brightness settings.
The only difference between this category and the above one is that these are mountable or fixed lights while the above ones were generally handheld lights.
quace weather resistant 20 LED motion sensor solar light – constant brightness mode (click to check the current price on Amazon)
There are about 20 LEDs which provide a good brightness level. Of up to 160 lumens. The light is automatic with sensors of motion. It automatically turns on at dusk and off at dawn. It will remain dim at night but will increase its brightness automatically if people come near. There is a 120-degree angle with a range of 10 feet. It is waterproof and heatproof.
hardoll solar lights for home garden COBLED motion sensor outdoor lamp (click to check the current price on Amazon)
it uses a new technology called COB which stands for chips on board. It is also automatic. It turns on at dusk and off at dawn. It can sense up to 26 feet under 24-degree celsius. No wiring required. Just mount it to the wall which receives good sunlight. There are also 3 lighting modes.
XERGY solar lights outdoor waterproof dancing fire Mashaal flame torch lights 96 LED lantern landscape décor light dusk to sawn auto on or off security torches for garden balcony driveway (click to check the current price on Amazon)
as compared to the other lights we mentioned, this light has a good décor and aesthetic. Lasts up to 10 hours In summers and 5 hours in winters.
hardoll solar light for home and office 20 LED motion sensor lamp for garden waterproof lantern microwave radar sensor security outdoor light. (click to check the current price on Amazon)
There are 20 LEDs in this device too. Automatic on and off at dusk and dawn. The sensor is largets for this device. It ranges up to 32 feet and gets brighter on sensing people coming. It is waterproof and dustproof which makes it rainproof. Again as all others, very easy installation and no wires needed. The screws are also provided in the pack.
Yes, there are solar powered table fans out there! These will be especially helpful if you live in an area where power cuts are regular. So do not hesitate in buying one for you and your family. These fans, however, are of a very small size.
- I – solarite Brena solar table fan 12 inches, solar fan with battery backup (click to check the current price on Amazon)
Best solar panels for homes in India
We have done good research on what solar panels will be best for you along with a good description of them. When checking out solar panels, you should see the power rating of the panel and you can calculate how many of them you will be needing in order to supply solar power to your house. So here we go-
It has a 25-year warranty for linear output and a 5-year warranty for the material of the product. It has an efficiency of around 15%. It also has good strength. The power tolerance is of -3 to +3 which is a con.
This panel comes with a5-year warranty and a 10-year performance warranty of 90%. This solar panel has a power rating of 240 to 270 W. the good thing is that they can easily resist sand, dust, salt mist, ammonia and hail. It can withstand about 2400 Pa of wind loads and around 7500 Pa of snow loads. The only thing bad with this is lesser than the general warranty period.
- Renogy 100 watt 12 volt monocrystalline solar starter kit with 20A rover MPPT charge controller (click to check the current price on Amazon)
this one is a bit more digital than the other two. It comes in a proper kit which is a starter kit that instructs you well on what to do. The efficiency is about 18%. It is of 100 watts. There is an option of expanding the system to a maximum power of 200 watts too using a Renogy 20A MPPT Charge Controller.
this solar panel offers a lower power which is 50 watt. there is a good warranty though. 25 years warranty on performance and power output. It also has less negative tolerance.
- think 3 20 w folding portable solar panel polysrystalline 12V solar module with 2 USB output for camping trekking. (click to check the current price on Amazon)
The main advantage is that it is foldable. As the name suggests, it is of 20 watts and 2 USB outputs. Generally used for charging devices. It will be most useful for people who need to charge devices while camping.