How does grid-tie solar installation work in India?
There are three major components of grid-tie solar installation: solar panels, grid-tie solar inverter and bidirectional meter.
When sunlight falls on solar panels, they generate DC electricity. This electricity goes to grid-tie solar inverter where it gets converted into usable AC electricity. It then enters the main power supply of the building and powers all connected electrical load. Surplus solar energy generated is fed back to the grid via bi-directional meter which helps keep track of electricity taken from the grid and fed back to it.  Learn more

What happens to grid-tie solar installation when the grid fails?
As the name suggests, grid-tie solar inverters are connected to the grid and cannot work without the grid. When the grid fails, system also fails to generate any electricity.

What happens to grid-tie solar installation in the absence of sun?
In absence of sun, solar panels cannot make any electricity so electricity is taken from the grid to power connected load.

How can we make savings with grid-tie solar installation?
You save money by installing grid-tie solar inverter because you power the electrical load through solar i.e. you do not take anything from grid. This way you make savings on your electricity bill. Another way to make money through grid-tie solar is to sell surplus energy to your state electricity board. If you live in a state that has an active net-metering policy, you can get paid from Rs. 7 to Rs. 9 per unit of electricity that you sell to the state.

Who should go for grid-tie solar installation?
Areas that get good and reliable power supply, but expensive electricity bill should go for grid-tie solar.
Grid-tie solar is particularly good for establishments that function during the day such as schools and offices because they operate during the sunshine hours. They can generate and use all the electricity they need with grid-tie solar.
States where net-metering policy has been implemented should also think about grid-tie solar because they can get paid for selling solar electricity back to the grid.

How does off-grid solar installation work in India?
A typical off-grid solar installation consists of solar panels, solar inverter, charge controller and battery. When sunlight falls on solar panels, they generate DC electricity. This goes to the inverter to get converted into usable AC electricity to power the connected load. Surplus DC gets stored in battery for future use. The solar inverter has an inbuilt solar charge controller which is connected to the battery. It makes sure that right amount of voltage and current are delivered to charge the battery. Solar panels can sometime generate very high amount of voltage which can be harmful for the battery. They also prevent backflow of current from battery to solar panel during nighttime. Learn more
Or Watch this video to know how off-grid solar inverter works:

How does off-grid solar installation work when there is no sun?
In the absence of sun, solar panels cannot make electricity so the solar inverter uses solar energy stored in battery to power connected electrical appliances.

What is the difference between off-grid and grid-tie solar installation?
The major difference that between the two is that in grid-tie solar installation there is no battery so you can’t store surplus energy for future use. However, with the grid-tie solar installation you get to sell surplus solar energy back to the grid and get paid for it.
We have written a simple blog to explain the key difference. Read it here

How can I convert my existing ordinary inverter and batteries into solar?
Although we recommend that you buy solar inverter or solar PCU, you can even make solar installation with your existing normal inverter and batteries. All you need is external solar charge controller and solar panels.
Solar charge controller can be connected to solar panels, battery and inverter. When solar panels make DC electricity, it goes through the charge controller to charge batteries. Solar charge controller protects battery from very high voltage coming from solar panels. When the batteries get charged from solar, you can simply switch off the mains. By doing this inverter will detect a powercut and will automatically switch itself on to run your electrical load on solar energy stored in batteries via inverter.
Read this blog to learn how to make solar power system out of any inverter or battery-less Read it here

How do I configure sizing of off-grid solar installation?
Read this detailed blog to know how to calculate size of solar panels, solar inverter and batteries when installing off-grid solar in India. Read it here

How do I calculate solar savings in India?
There are three ways of calculating solar savings.
1) Your solar inverter should tell you the units of electricity the system generated in a day. For example, if your 4kw solar system generated 16 units of electricity in a day and each unit of electricity costs Rs. 7 then you made Rs. 112 worth of electricity in day. If you multiply that with 365 you get Rs. 40,880 which is your annual savings from solar.
2) You can also compare the cost of solar to cost of running a diesel generator. A 10kva diesel generator consumes 1.5 litres of diesel every hour. If you live in an area that gets regular long powercuts of 10 hours then you will end of spending nearly 22,500 per month on diesel as diesel costs between Rs.45-50. Whereas, a 10kw off-grid solar installation would cost much less. You will be able to recover the cost of solar installation just 5 years if you compare it with using diesel generators.
3) In the case of grid-tie solar, you can also calculate the units of solar electricity you sell to the Government through bi-directional meter. For example, in Bangalore, the electricity board pays more than Rs. 9 for every unit of electricity.

How to maintain solar panels?
Solar panels usually are maintenance-free and have long life of 25 years. However, in India dust can easily deposit on their surface and hamper their performance. But there is a simple way to deal with this problem. You can clean solar panels weekly with a dry cloth. Another way good way of cleaning solar panels is with water.

Which direction should solar panel face in India? What should be their angle?
As India falls in Northern hemisphere, solar panels should be facing south to get maximum sunlight. The angle of solar panel should depend on the latitude of the region. India is a big country so it hard to define uniform latitude for all regions in India. However, as an approximate, solar panels should be installed at an angle of 30 degrees in India. Please take note that the angle may differ based on your exact location. The solar installer should be able to tell you the best angle for solar panels so that they get maximum sun light and generate maximum DC electricity.

How much roof-top space is needed for solar installation in India?
To give you an approximate 1kw system requires 12-15 square meters of shadow free space. Make sure that solar panels are not shadowed by trees otherwise they will not be able to function to their fullest potential.

What is solar net-metering policy?
Many Indian states are now paying consumers to sell the solar electricity. In a grid-tie installation the consumers can send surplus solar electricity generated back to the grid. A bi-directional meter records the units of electricity taken from the grid as well as units fed into the grid. The monthly electricity bill credits the consumers for selling electricity. This is called solar net-metering. This policy has been implement in many Indian states. Some states are even offering a lucrative rate of Rs. 9 per unit of electricity.

Can solar panels work in cold and cloudy weather?
You would be surprised to know that solar panels can actually work very well even when temperature is between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. This is because solar panels need maximum sunlight and not maximum heat in order to generate solar electricity. India is blessed with an average of 300 sunny days in a year so solar panels give good performance in Indian weather conditions.

How expensive is solar installation in India?
The price of solar installation depends on kW of solar inverter, number of solar panels and batteries (if it is an off-grid installation). On an average a 1kw off-grid solar installation may range between Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 1,00,000. However, this is a vague figure. Only you solar installer can tell the correct price after evaluating the requirements. Irrespective of what you pay for solar installation you can be assured that you will get the return on investment within 3-5 years.

What is the difference between MPPT and PWM charge controllers? Which one is better?
MPPT stands for Maximum Power Point Tracking and PWM means Pulse Width Modulation. As the name suggested MPPT does extract the maximum out of solar panels.
To know how MPPT charge controllers are better than PWM, we request you to read this detailed blog: Read it here