Going Solar: General Discussion on Solar DIY For Home & Office


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Hi kadumedu,

the CIS products even its information is not available in my locality. Presently, I think the only option for the interested people over here in my locality is to get the products from Chennai.

Regards.,
Saint Gobain is from Chennai and Shell Petrol is from Bangalore. The CIS information is not available because, as earlier I told there are lots misconception, Superstitions going on in the industry, the reason being that the system integrators are mostly not knowledgeous about solar technologies. So no awareness in the market.
 
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It depends on stock availability and many factors. The normal Crystaline panel from Reputed brand Canadian Solar, BP etc costs 50 to 56 Rs per watt. CIS costs 47 to 50 Rs per Watt (Stock clearance is going on now with even lesser price for CIS).
Seems like its the right time for then one who want to go for CIS. [clap]

Are these Saint Gobain CIS products readily available in Kerala? Or is it easy to get from Chennai without any hefty sum?
 
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Saint Gobain is from Chennai and Shell Petrol is from Bangalore. The CIS information is not available because, as earlier I told there are lots misconception, Superstitions going on in the industry, the reason being that the system integrators are mostly not knowledgeous about solar technologies. So no awareness in the market.
Is CIS thin film technology?? And i was under the impression Shell had sold off its solar companies ,(read it on Top Gear long ago) maybe its a diff owner using the Shell name? Are these panels being manufactured here in India?

As far i have noticed thin film only survived on the market due to low manufacturing costs & some of the companies use to get huge benefits from the EXIM banks, I remember one of TATAs big projects in Rajasthan using thin film panels from a company in USA,as a result they got loan for these panels at throw away rates.

Solar tech is still not cost effective,i know this cos i have a friend who owns a certain MW power plant on the Karnataka Andhra border as you may know its a high solar irradiance zone. And i could sense profits are going to go downhill cos the performance falls year by year until the 20th year.
He had leased some land for a plant in Tamil Nadu but was held up cos of the substation being too far away & you have to pay for the connection all the way to the substation & power loss before billing too.

So it really does not make sense price wise yet but for homes which are in the middle of no where & have unreliable power, can go the solar way & no matter what the sun will be up everyday.I myself am hunting for a good solar inverter,liked the Borg energy system but backed out.

I have limited knowledge on solar panels but can give some pointers from discussion with my friend who has plant & other sources

- Position solar panel facing south always as most sunlight is from the south in our hemisphere
- Do not place solar panels in tuff to reach places on your roof,you need to clean it once in a while & keep if dust free,bird droppings etc or its life shall reduce(will mention in next point)
- Make sure all through the day that no shadow of a tree or anything falls on the solar panel as the sun moves from east to west as this can cause degradation(think its called shadow degradation) & the panel can fail or not perform to its level.
- Life of panel can differ from place to place depending on intensity of the sun(for example- A panel in Rajasthan will loose out at 20 years where as in a less sunny region would stay for 28 years.)
- Dont be under the misconception that a 1000 watts of solar panels means you will get same energy constantly,at best you would see 350 watts depending on panel & sunlight.
 
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Seems like its the right time for then one who want to go for CIS. [clap]

Are these Saint Gobain CIS products readily available in Kerala? Or is it easy to get from Chennai without any hefty sum?
No need to go for Hefty sum. The price remains same. Transport charges will be the difference say 1Re per watt. Kerala many CIS installation has been done by our Partner company. Even the Shell panels are listed and eligible for PWD projects.


Is CIS thin film technology?? And i was under the impression Shell had sold off its solar companies ,(read it on Top Gear long ago) maybe its a diff owner using the Shell name? Are these panels being manufactured here in India?
There are many thin film manufacturers, but it is proven products only from 3 - Namely Shell, Saint Gobain, and First Solar from US. In this scientifically promising technology is CIS from Shell and Saint Gobain. The impression that Shell is no more having solar is not true, since I am dealing with Shell for the past 3 years. CIS is the most proven and promising Thin Film technology available. And it is not possible anyone to make a Thin Film, as in the case of Crystalline. Hence the initial investment for Thin Film production needs both Extreme scientific knowledge and Investment. Pricewise they are very less as the production cost is fraction of Crystalline. The main ingrdiaent - Crystal is the cost killler for Crystalline product. You see a less priced Crystalline panel it the crystal is from Some unknown chinese or heavily priced Crystalline if it is Crystal from Bosh etc.


As far i have noticed thin film only survived on the market due to low manufacturing costs & some of the companies use to get huge benefits from the EXIM banks, I remember one of TATAs big projects in Rajasthan using thin film panels from a company in USA,as a result they got loan for these panels at throw away rates.
Thats First Solar. The push from US is true and I am against that. Regardless of this push from US, Germany based SG and Japan based Shell has done quite a lot of installations in India (MW range as well), indeed despite the push from USA first solar couldn't make a strong foot hold here, because In India solar is not in the hands of big players instead it is the Integrators, as the market is yet to mature.


Solar tech is still not cost effective,i know this cos i have a friend who owns a certain MW power plant on the Karnataka Andhra border as you may know its a high solar irradiance zone. And i could sense profits are going to go downhill cos the performance falls year by year until the 20th year.
May I Know the brand and make of the panel? As I told very early in this post that there are many superstitions, wrong conceptions and Spurious products available in the market. Indeed with the proven products it is huge success everywhere else - Ex: Germany, even in India.


He had leased some land for a plant in Tamil Nadu but was held up cos of the substation being too far away & you have to pay for the connection all the way to the substation & power loss before billing too.
That is the case for any other power sources (Coal, Hydro, Wind etc). This doesn't have anything to do with Solar Tech.

So it really does not make sense price wise yet but for homes which are in the middle of no where & have unreliable power, can go the solar way & no matter what the sun will be up everyday.I myself am hunting for a good solar inverter,liked the Borg energy system but backed out.
For your information, there are many MW projects right now going around here. Even with CIS many are going, there are customers who did once and expanding to next MW projects as well. It is all whether one buys a lemon or orange. We do retrofit who fall in to the trap of less price and bought a lemon. For the electronics go for Proven Indian Made, as they are tried setups for Indian power conditions, example: Statcon. Here also one catch there are many in the market with spurious unreliable products. We, though having our own product, did many field experiments with many brands and now settled with most reliable products.


I have limited knowledge on solar panels but can give some pointers from discussion with my friend who has plant & other sources

- Position solar panel facing south always as most sunlight is from the south in our hemisphere
Yes. But there are other techniques also. This is the most simplest no brainer solution and we also prefer this otherwise any design challenge posed or any Tracking system used.

- Do not place solar panels in tuff to reach places on your roof,you need to clean it once in a while & keep if dust free,bird droppings etc or its life shall reduce(will mention in next point)
Yes it is good to have it is reachable place not due to maintanance, but to help in future if you need to replace or relocate in those cases. But It is not a cause to worry. Just a occasional water wash or Spray of water with foam is enough. Make sure the water spray reach the place.


- Make sure all through the day that no shadow of a tree or anything falls on the solar panel as the sun moves from east to west as this can cause degradation(think its called shadow degradation) & the panel can fail or not perform to its level.
Yes Before designing your panel mounting you have to observe these things. But This is one of the place where CIS scores it's point. Shadow character of CIS is far surpassing than Crystalline. Yes the Crystalline panel will completely stop working even a small portion is under shadow, where CIS is not. There is nothing like Shadow degradation.


- Life of panel can differ from place to place depending on intensity of the sun(for example- A panel in Rajasthan will loose out at 20 years where as in a less sunny region would stay for 28 years.)
Yes, This called temperature Co efficient. This is worst is Crystalline panels. Whereas CIS is no sayer in this area too. That is why you see 7 year product warranty from Shell and 10 Year from SG.
Also CIS tend to work to its 100% capacity even more than that (5 to 10% more) it right environment levels are reached. Whereas Crystalline max capacity is 90%.


- Dont be under the misconception that a 1000 watts of solar panels means you will get same energy constantly,at best you would see 350 watts depending on panel & sunlight.
No. Not true We do design for Off grid system where there is no Utility Grid or Electricity. In those cases we calculate 6 to 7 hours full capacity production in the case of CIS and 4 hours in the case of Crystalline. The reason is CIS is proven to perform and pull the trousers of Crystalline under any conditions. For your information our Solar Water pumps starts right from 6:30AM till 5:30PM (yesterday in Dindigul I got this information told to me by my customer).

It is a good start Dear Prads, I would share as much knowledge I have gathered. As Earlier I told there are lot many misconceptions about Solar Tech, so first we should get our science correct and then do the product filtering.
 
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May I Know the brand and make of the panel? As I told very early in this post that there are many superstitions, wrong conceptions and Spurious products available in the market. Indeed with the proven products it is huge success everywhere else - Ex: Germany, even in India.
I am not entirely sure but i think it was emmvee solar or another Bangalore company,either way my friend was very proud of the plant tour etc . He has other industries so i guess his judgement isnt that bad.

For your information, there are many MW projects right now going around here. Even with CIS many are going, there are customers who did once and expanding to next MW projects as well. It is all whether one buys a lemon or orange
Well am sure they dint wait for 20 years or even the 5 year mark to see the Solar panels returns,mainly they get loans or other source money provided. Since my friend spent crores i took a closer look ,but i did not suggest him anything as he is is proud of his decision.
I think Spain is in a big mess up regarding solar plants if i remember right.
Yes i know the lemons ,thats why China makes so many panels,even their government provided Billion dollar loans to their manufacturers at 1% interest[surprise]

Yes. But there are other techniques also. This is the most simplest no brainer solution and we also prefer this otherwise any design challenge posed or any Tracking system used.
Well my pointers are based on a simple DIY thats why i mentioned it be pointed to the south(as you said simple no brainer but not mentioned here so) , as for solar trackers my friend abandoned it for the plant back when the project was done cos of space(it requires more space to swing around & maintenance. And pricewise it made greater sense for countries like UK who had less sunlight.

Yes Before designing your panel mounting you have to observe these things. But This is one of the place where CIS scores it's point. Shadow character of CIS is far surpassing than Crystalline. Yes the Crystalline panel will completely stop working even a small portion is under shadow, where CIS is not. There is nothing like Shadow degradation.
Yes but plants or trees can grow anytime regarding the life of the panels,best to share the knowledge anyways. I was under the impression Shadow degradation is real as i use to watch lecture videos to fall asleep(am serious :)

Yes, This called temperature Co efficient. This is worst is Crystalline panels. Whereas CIS is no sayer in this area too. That is why you see 7 year product warranty from Shell and 10 Year from SG.
Also CIS tend to work to its 100% capacity even more than that (5 to 10% more) it right environment levels are reached. Whereas Crystalline max capacity is 90%.
Well thin films are rare in the market and what i know i just shared ,but its true for majority of the panels out there.

No. Not true We do design for Off grid system where there is no Utility Grid or Electricity. In those cases we calculate 6 to 7 hours full capacity production in the case of CIS and 4 hours in the case of Crystalline. The reason is CIS is proven to perform and pull the trousers of Crystalline under any conditions. For your information our Solar Water pumps starts right from 6:30AM till 5:30PM (yesterday in Dindigul I got this information told to me by my customer).
I guess you are mistaken on what i meant some people are under the impression that 1000 watts of panels mean they are going to get 1000 watts of electricity from it like a generator. Even at high noon at best one would see like 350w/hr. An avg performance for 1000watts of solar panels per day is 4kw/hrs to 4.5kW/hrs if very sunny.
As for Dindigul i hear its a very hot place.

It is a good start Dear Prads, I would share as much knowledge I have gathered. As Earlier I told there are lot many misconceptions about Solar Tech, so first we should get our science correct and then do the product filtering
Well since the thread interested me i took the time to contribute,as i am looking for a installation from quite a while.
Are you familiar with the Borg energy inverter,I liked the flexibility of the system,can you suggest any similar products? See pic below


casses1.jpg
casses2.jpg
 
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No need to go for Hefty sum. The price remains same. Transport charges will be the difference say 1Re per watt. Kerala many CIS installation has been done by our Partner company. Even the Shell panels are listed and eligible for PWD projects.
Okay..

In my knowledge there are few types of CIS panels from Avancis(I believe Saint Gobain gets from them.)
Presently which type of CIS panel is available for that price?
Does the approx cost per watts that you have mentioned before is including the cost of the materials that required for fixing these panels on to the roof?.(I'm new to solar setups, so i'm sorry if its a dump question. )
If not, then can you give me a rough figure for that?


- Make sure all through the day that no shadow of a tree or anything falls on the solar panel as the sun moves from east to west as this can cause degradation(think its called shadow degradation) & the panel can fail or not perform to its level.
Yes Before designing your panel mounting you have to observe these things. But This is one of the place where CIS scores it's point. Shadow character of CIS is far surpassing than Crystalline. Yes the Crystalline panel will completely stop working even a small portion is under shadow, where CIS is not. There is nothing like Shadow degradation.

No. Not true We do design for Off grid system where there is no Utility Grid or Electricity. In those cases we calculate 6 to 7 hours full capacity production in the case of CIS and 4 hours in the case of Crystalline. The reason is CIS is proven to perform and pull the trousers of Crystalline under any conditions. For your information our Solar Water pumps starts right from 6:30AM till 5:30PM (yesterday in Dindigul I got this information told to me by my customer).
CIS Thin Film Modules VS Crystalline modules - YouTube
One of the shadow tolerance comparison video got to see from youtube.[clap]
 
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I am not entirely sure but i think it was emmvee solar or another Bangalore company,either way my friend was very proud of the plant tour etc . He has other industries so i guess his judgement isnt that bad.
emmvee earlier used BOSH Crystal Now a days it is chinese crystals.

Well am sure they dint wait for 20 years or even the 5 year mark to see the Solar panels returns,mainly they get loans or other source money provided. Since my friend spent crores i took a closer look ,but i did not suggest him anything as he is is proud of his decision.
Solar is not new technology. Sharp who is pioneer in this technology have had its panels powering Satellites for 50 years. Solar energy pay backs are no more a argument as it is very well documented and proved everwhere else. In India as it is relatively new technology atleast to the populace, we tend to believe hearsay a lot.

I think Spain is in a big mess up regarding solar plants if i remember right.
Yes i know the lemons ,thats why China makes so many panels,even their government provided Billion dollar loans to their manufacturers at 1% interest[surprise]
If you go the government way you are go bust. MNRE is yet to settle crores as Subsidy. Spain this is the issue not Solar. on the other hand Germany is giving what solar energy is having to offer. Solar Energy contributes more than 8% in Germany.

Well my pointers are based on a simple DIY thats why i mentioned it be pointed to the south(as you said simple no brainer but not mentioned here so) , as for solar trackers my friend abandoned it for the plant back when the project was done cos of space(it requires more space to swing around & maintenance. And pricewise it made greater sense for countries like UK who had less sunlight.
Sorry if you have got offended by the word 'No Brainer'. I meant it is the straight forward installation technique any one would look at. Even Us. Any other mounting technique would come in to picture only when there is a need.



Yes but plants or trees can grow anytime regarding the life of the panels,best to share the knowledge anyways. I was under the impression Shadow degradation is real as i use to watch lecture videos to fall asleep(am serious :)
[:D]




I guess you are mistaken on what i meant some people are under the impression that 1000 watts of panels mean they are going to get 1000 watts of electricity from it like a generator. Even at high noon at best one would see like 350w/hr. An avg performance for 1000watts of solar panels per day is 4kw/hrs to 4.5kW/hrs if very sunny.
As for Dindigul i hear its a very hot place.
359 W/Hr is not true. A quality Crystalline Panel can produce 900W/hr. CIS will produce even 1 KW some itme 1.1 Kw also.

In the very first post I have mentioned about the solar technologies. Hot doesn't mean good for Solar Panels. Light and Hot are different. Ooty/Kashmir may be brighter than Dindigul and may produce more electricity than Dinidigul. Solar Panels are driven by Photon irradiation from Sun.

Well since the thread interested me i took the time to contribute,as i am looking for a installation from quite a while.
Are you familiar with the Borg energy inverter,I liked the flexibility of the system,can you suggest any similar products? See pic below


View attachment 152029
View attachment 152030
This is the functionality of any available Solar Off Grid Inverters in the Market. This is called Grid Interactive/Grid Sharing. You can try Statcon/Microns Systems/Delta/SMA/AEG/Stuart/Darfon Inverter/Phocus.
 
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Okay..

In my knowledge there are few types of CIS panels from Avancis(I believe Saint Gobain gets from them.)
Yes. AVANCIS is SG. But now they sold this off to Chinese Construction and Building Material Company.


Presently which type of CIS panel is available for that price?
Does the approx cost per watts that you have mentioned before is including the cost of the materials that required for fixing these panels on to the roof?.(I'm new to solar setups, so i'm sorry if its a dump question. )
If not, then can you give me a rough figure for that?
The price is only for the panels excluding tax, Transport. Inverter, Mounting structure, Battery, Wires, Installation all may increase the price. The Thump rule is 135 Rs per Watt. This bench mark price may increase bit and may decrease to 100 RS per watt too depends on the size and type the system.

CIS Thin Film Modules VS Crystalline modules - YouTube
One of the shadow tolerance comparison video got to see from youtube.[clap]
[clap][clap]
 
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Some more pics![clap]
My State of the Art , Digital and tuneable MPPT Charge controller!
 

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It depends on stock availability and many factors. The normal Crystaline panel from Reputed brand Canadian Solar, BP etc costs 50 to 56 Rs per watt. CIS costs 47 to 50 Rs per Watt (Stock clearance is going on now with even lesser price for CIS).
Could you please hilight if cis [panel is available in kerala. If not please suggest a good solar panel company need a 100* 3 total 300watts solar panel. I alreadty installed sukam brainy solar invereter but now running on 150 aH battery, Have to add solar panels now.
 
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I have commenced Re-Aiming all of my Solar arrays.

The earlier configuration was- South facing with a 50-degree tilt.

The above configuration is always used in Solar Water heaters and hence is widely recommended for Solar PV installations as well. Unfortunately, the said config is great for Peak output at mid-noon timings, and is suitable for generating very high heat as required by water Heaters. But Coming back to Solar PV, this Config sharply drops off after 4pm, with almost to output after 5 pm. Also, the high Heat is more damaging to solar panels. The south facing, 50 Degree setup allows solar panels to work only from 10Am-4pm. Having steep dropoffs outside the range.

So after much ado, I went with a new Config- South-west facing, with a very mild tilt (30 degree or less). This SW config allows sun's rays to keep falling all the way to 6pm. Also the milder tilt allows much wider operating timings. Although peak output might be less, The wider band shall make better use of it. Think about driving a car with very wide power band in Revs![evil]

Having solar energy available till 6pm keeps batteries mostly charged till evening, which can then be used for evening to Night Lighting.

I shall report back over a few weeks how this config has helped.
 

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Let me rekindle an old thread and bhvm look forward to your inputs :-
I am looking for a simple hybrid solution in which my existing 12v inverter can be also charged by a solar panel - not looking to make extensive investments.

Some facts :-

Load is approx 200-250W (varying outdoor LED lights) - I need my outdoor lights to remain on whole night and was wondering if it would be completely powered by solar itself.

Not looking for expensive end to end solutions but something simpler which can work with the existing inverter - a hybrid solar controller type may be.

Suggestion welcome :- Also keen to understand if there are any specific brands/types of panel which have better efficiency than the rest and something thats easily available in india.
 
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