Why You Need A Site Survey for Solar installation?

Site Survey for Solar PV

Site Survey for Solar PV

Are you a buyer looking for a solar rooftop for your house or commercial establishment?

Have you ever wondered what makes a solar plant installation successful?

One of the key areas that Solar buyers and vendors take for granted is the Site survey. This is an important process during Solar Installation. It provides crucial information when designing the Solar plant.

3 important factors considered during a Site Survey are:

  • Feasibility – Is the Solar system implementation feasible?
  • Viability – Does the Solar installation provide financial benefits in the long run?
  • User requirements – Are user requirements properly understood? 

A site survey helps understand the above 3 aspects in detail.

Analyzing these 3 factors helps in the proper design and implementation of the Solar PV system.

In today’s post we will look at the finer details of what goes on in a site survey.

Ready?

Let’s get down to it.

Site survey for Solar PV

How to do a Solar Site Survey?

Things carried out during a Site survey are:

  • Roof Orientation and Shading Analysis- Helpful in in identifying the suitable location for Solar Panel installation.
  • Roofing Details – Study the roofing details to install the right solar PV system.
  • Load Analysis – Helpful to understand the energy needs of the building.
  • Solar PV System usability check – To assess the accessibility of the solar panels by the user.
  • Financial Analysis – To understand the financial viability of the project.

Site Survey for Solar PV system

Lets take a detailed look at each of the activities,

Solar PV Orientation(Azimuth)

This is an important activity to design a proper Solar PV system. The direction the solar panels installed and the sun path has a direct impact on the light incidence. Install the solar panels in the right direction to get maximum solar exposure.

Install the solar panels in the true south direction in India since India is present in the Northern hemisphere. This ensures maximum solar irradiance(insolation) on the solar panels.

Shading Analysis for Solar Panels

To get the optimum output from the Solar PV system the solar panels need to be nearly shade free.

Shading Analysis is done to ensure the solar panels are nearly shade free.

Different ways to do Shading Analysis:

  • Solar shading tools.
  • Physically study the movement of sunlight. i.e studying the way the sunlight moves over time in a day.
  • Analyze the neighborhood to ensure there are no obstructions that creates shade.

Other ways to ensure shade free solar irradiation:

  • Trackers are used to track the sun’s path to actively capture light more sunlight.
  • Shifting to an alternative location
  • Using Microinverters -They are attached to individual solar modules to optimize electrical output.

Roof structure Analysis

The Solar PV system installed is customized to suit the roof structure of the building. Some of the key areas considered are:

  • The rooftop dimensions(surface area)
  • Rooftop feasibility
  • Roof Inclination
  • Roof Direction
  • Construction material of the roof type

If the rooftop is not suitable then ground mounting options can also be considered. Consider ground mounting options if rooftop options are not feasible.

Following are the rooftop details collected to get the most out of Solar PV system t be installed:

  • Coordinates of site (Latitude & Longitude) ( Optional  )
  • Building ownership ( Owned / Leased / Rental )
    • Details of lease structure (if leased) (Lease period, No of parties etc.)
  • Building Roof Height / Number of Floors     
    • Roof type ( Flat/ Inclined)
    • (sheet thickness if available)
  • Shadow free Rooftop Area Available for Solar/Wind Installation (in Square Feet) Approximate.
  • Maximum Load Capacity of the Roof – if available (kg/m2)

Load Analysis

Understand the current electricity utilization and the prospective power usage with Load Analysis. It provides valuable information for the kind of Solar system to deploy. It is done by collecting the load information of the major energy using appliances.

Before doing load Analysis, try to bring in efficiency into the system. This reduces the load and hence the solar output to be generated.

Following are some of details collected to understand the power requirements:

  • Sanctioned Load from Electricity Board (kVA)
  • Consumer category ( LT/ HT / kVA )
  • Electricity price exclusive of taxes (INR/kWh)
  • Average monthly consumption (kWh/Units )
  • Approximate Daytime Consumption ( kWh/Units ) (8 am to 5 pm)
  • Daily Base Load (kVA)
  • Average daily Power Cuts (hrs/day)
  • No. of Non-Operational days in a week
  • Total Non-operational days in a year (including holidays and weekends)
  • Base load on non operational days (kVA)

Details about the electricity consumption are collected to know the power consumption pattern. (as indicated in the table below)

This helps in designing the right Solar PV system to suit the power requirements.

Install a grid tied or off grid system can based on the user requirements and power usage.

 

Month    Total Electricity Consumption

( Units /month)

Month       Total Electricity Consumption

( Units /month)

JanJuly
FebAugust            UNITS
MarchSept           UNITS
AprilOct
MayNov
JuneDec

Solar PV system Usability

The site analysis helps to have the solar pv system installed with user convenience in mind. From a usability point of view consider:

  • The location of items like inverter, battery backup, distribution box etc
  • The way Solar PV system is connected with the existing electrical system.

Financial analysis

Consider the financial viability of the project. Things to consider are financial incentives, government subsidies, the ROI etc.

Look at the Net Metering option where surplus power generated from the Solar is supplied to the DISCOMs(Power distribution companies). The DISCOM’s credit the user for the extra power supplied.

Conclusion

In this article we discussed the important things considered for Solar Site survey. And we understood the importance of doing a site survey before solar installation. This ensures the Solar PV system is properly designed to suit user requirements.

If you are looking to install a Rooftop Solar system, look no further. Lavancha can help you to get a proper site survey done so that you get the best out of the Solar PV system. Get an appointment with our consultant today for a Solar site survey.

 

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