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Solar FAQ. Let’s kick this off the right way.
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Why Not? It’s clean, safe, and it saves and makes you money.
To put it simply, once installed and commissioned, a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System will work as follows
- Solar Panel Arrays on your roof collect the sun’s energy and send it to an inverter.
- The inverter will change this energy from DC power into usable AC power; from the inverter, the AC power can go in two directions depending on your setup.
First, if power is required, then solar energy will be drawn into your home or business and used.
Second, if excess energy is not used, it will travel out to the electricity grid instead of entering your home. In Thailand, the utility has a zero-export policy, meaning you cannot send excess power back into the grid unless you apply for the Solar FIT Scheme.
Solar FIT is a rebate scheme offered by the PEA and MEA (Thailand energy providers). They will pay you Bt. 2.2 per kWh for your excess energy
We include two years operation and maintenance with every quotation, which means your system will be looked after by our Solar Team. We will clean the Solar Panels and give the system a full check-up. After two years, you can opt-in for an annual contract or pay per time.
This will depend on the system you choose; if it’s a Grid-Tied System or a Hybrid System with Storage, then a Grid Connection will still be required. If you have an Off-Grid System, then no Grid Connection will be required
PV systems require sunlight to function. Once the sun drops past a certain point, your PV system will shut down and go to sleep. After this, your consumed electricity will come from the electricity grid instead. At a certain point in the morning, when enough sunlight starts to hit your solar array, the system will again wake up and provide power.
Your PV system will still produce power; however, the efficiency will be significantly reduced. Remember, the solar energy produced must reach the desired DC start-up voltage before your inverter wakes up and functions.
Shade will affect the output generated, so Kunini considers the design of your system and placement of the solar panels to maximise your system performance.
If you have a Grid-Tied solar system, the inverter will shut down, and you cannot use your solar panels to generate power. If you have a Hybrid solar system, the batteries (storage system) will take over and provide backup power.
A South facing array will produce most of its power through the middle of the day, while an east or West facing array will produce more solar production at either the beginning or end of the day, which is when you will generally use more power.
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The inverter should be placed somewhere easily accessible in case of emergency. It should also be placed in a cool location, out of direct sunlight, out of dusty/dirty areas and somewhere with sufficient ventilation.
The first step is to speak with us to work out the best solution for you. Kunini will arrange a site survey and discuss requirements (wants and needs) with you. Once the survey is completed, then a quotation will be sent, usually within 24 hours.
Once you approve the quotation, Kunini will set up the Installation, which will be carried out by Kunini’s own Solar Install Team.
Kunini will take care of as much of the process as possible, including any documents that may be required for permits and approvals. (Additional charges may apply)
- The utility (PEA, MEA) requires that an application is made for each solar rooftop system. The requirements are straightforward, and guidelines are in place, such as approved Inverters, Solar Panels and other equipment. The roof structure must be approved by the City Hall civil engineer, and the installation company must be registered as a Solar Installer.
- Yes, upgrades are possible. Additional solar panels can be added if there is enough room to extend an existing array or to add an additional array. You may also need to upgrade your inverter to support the increased power generation. Another factor when upgrading is the current PV system’s size, as there are some restrictions on the maximum size of domestic solar PV systems.
Over its lifetime, solar panels will lose some performance; the performance guarantee states the maximum deviation from the minimum rated output at certain ages of the panel. Kunini will outline what the conservative figures are for panel life and factor that into any ROI calculations, on average, it works out to be less than 1% per year, with greater than 80% performance remaining in the 25th year.
Solar systems are designed to last a long time. Good panels will typically last for 30+ years, undamaged panels will not typically fail, but their power output will slowly diminish over time until they need replacing.
Inverters are a little more complicated, and ultimately their longevity will depend on factors such as their location (how dirty, how much sunlight and heat in that location).
Most provide warranties of 5 to 10 years with an expected performance life of 15+ years.
Once fitted to your roof, Solar panels should instantly be covered by your business or home insurance policy; however, this is something we recommend confirming with your insurance company and upgrading the cover to include the solar panels and equipment.
- Cleaning: Rain is generally enough to keep the solar panels clean; however, if there has been very little or no rain or the area has high air contamination, then every so often, a quick clean may be required to keep the system at peak performance.
- Monitoring: Regularly checking yield results on the inverter is advised to detect any possible performance issues. If in doubt, a quick phone call to one of our staff members can quickly confirm if performance figures are within the normal range.
Solar Panels: 25 years, manufacturer’s performance warranty. 10 years, manufacturer’s product warranty.
Inverters: 5-10 years manufacturer’s warranty.
Mounting Warranty: 12 years, manufacturer’s product warranty.
Installation: 2 years, installer’s warranty.
The module efficiency rating indicates how effective the solar module is at producing electricity from a square meter of solar energy.
A typical 550w solar panel has an efficiency rating of around 21%, whereas a 2400w solar panel of the same dimensions would have an efficiency rating of around 15%*
A 3rd party company called Pike’s Research (which is not affiliated with the solar industry) has a 3 Tier ranking system for solar panels. The idea behind the ranking system is to help business owners make informed decisions that will give them peace of mind for their investment.
Tier 1 means a manufacturer supplies quality products at the most basic level and intends to stay around for the long term. This is important because, after all, what good is a 25-year warranty if the company won’t be around to support it?
The Thai Government has just launched its FIT Program for residential installations (Jan 2021). The FIT (feed-in tariff) scheme pays Bt. 2.2 per kWh. The application is restricted to 5kW for single-phase, and 10kW for three-phase and the application process can be completed online.
The utility, PEA, MEA allow customers to install solar PV for self-consumption only.