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India enjoys a huge geographical position on the map where it receives 300 days of sunlight. In terms of energy production, this gives India an opportunity to use solar energy as one of the main sources to power the economy and help the environment.
According to Wikipedia, solar power industry is fast developing in India and the country is expected to reach 100 GW by 2022. At present, our country has a solar installed capacity of 28.18 GW. Now for a common man, these stats may not mean a lot but interestingly they point towards the progress of solar power industry in the country.
In a regular household, the use of solar lights is getting a common sight and it is helping the nation to protect the environment by saving electricity. If you plan to invest in solar lights, we recommend a brief walk through this solar light guide.
Solar Lights Variations-Know the Type
Solar Light is simply dissected into solar-the sun and light-means providing the lighting, but not all solar lights work the same way. Depending on the technology used, solar lights have different ways of using solar energy to produce lighting.
1. Solar Sky Lights
This type of solar light is used to conserve energy inside a building by adjusting themselves according to the availability of the natural sunlight. They are provided with interior lighting controls that since the availability of the sun and when it is clouded or not visible at all affecting the lighting inside the building. The solar panels used in solar skylights are installed on the roof and there is a voltage drop when the sun goes away. The lighting levels fluctuate accordingly to compensate for the dim natural light.
2. Photovoltaic Lights
The most common type of solar lights used in homes in India are the photovoltaic lights. These lights are different from the Solar Sky Lights in the way that their photovoltaic unit collects the energy from the sun in the form of electricity in the batteries. This energy is used to power the lighting module as per the requirement. Photovoltaic solar lights are used primarily for energy saving and cost saving and are also a way to conserve the environment.
Photovoltaic solar lights are either available as stand-alone units (most common for household use) or grid-free units (a large setup of photovoltaic solar cells called the grid is used to power lights at a distance). Photovoltaic solar lights have a major application in areas where electricity is unreliable or protection is needed against power failure to provide lighting at all times like in security setups.
3. Hybrid Solar Lights
A recent development in the field of solar lighting, hybrid solar lights are grid interactive solar lighting systems, known as the hybrid solar lights.
Hybrid solar lights are gaining momentum and fast being adopted in industrial and large scale uses like metro stations and railway grids. Hybrid solar lights are of three types. One in which the solar module directly powers the source with storing any energy. Traffic lights are powered by such a setup where they are directly powered by solar energy produced by the solar module. Such hybrid solar setups are also referred to as peak reduction units. The second hybrid system is same as the photovoltaic unit where it stores power in a battery to power the lights but this operation is only for a specific time after which the system switches back to grid power. This is usually used in setups where owners want to save on electricity costs. This is a too large solar power setup. The third hybrid system is a photovoltaic solar unit which is capable of operating the light on its own but is provided with a grid power supply for additional security.
Now that you know which kind of solar light will be ideal for you, it’s time to understand how to pick a brand or a product wisely.
Picking the Right Solar Powered Product
As the solar industry is booming in the country, there are many big and small brands trying to establish themselves as leaders. More than often you will find it hard to pick a brand to buy solar products like solar panels and solar lights.
Well, GreatBuyz is always committed to helping its readers make an educated choice which is why we have already covered the top solar panel manufacturers in India to provide you with a detailed profile of the manufacturers that offer best-in-industry solar panels.
Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are made from silicon and perform the function of transforming sunlight into electricity. While both these solar panels are good choices for homes, you need to understand the key difference between the two.
Monocrystalline solar panels are more premium because of their sleeker appearance and higher efficiency. The silicon used in production of these solar panels is single-crystal silicon hence the prefix ‘Mono’. Because of single crystal molecular structure, the electron in a cell have more room to move resulting in more efficient production of electricity.
Polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient but their advantage is the lower price. To make polycrystalline solar panels, manufacturers melt many silicon fragments to form wafers. As there are many crystals in each cell there is less space for electrons to move resulting in lower efficiency.
|Monocrystalline Solar Panels||Polycrystalline Solar Panels|
|Aesthetics||Solar panel has black hue||Solar cells have a blueish hue|
|Efficiency||More Efficient||Less efficient|
|Longevity||25+ years||25+ years|
But if you are looking for the solar lights then check our detailed guide on buying solar lights for home. We have picked the best products for you and also shared information from where you can buy them online at the best price.
Solar Power For Apartment Complexes
Now in Indian cities apartment complexes are much more common than they used to be 15-20 years ago. These residential complexes are need of the hour to efficiently used available space to accommodate more people. However, apartment complexes are also the major consumers of resources like water and electricity.
The electricity bill alone burns a hole in pocket of RWAs as these complexes. Every year, there is a 6-9% increase in electricity bill. The solution lies in the adoption of solar power that can allow significant long-term savings.
Here are the key points of solar power for apartment complexes work:
- During the daytime, load like fans, lights and computers are directly powered by the solar power systems. In case, is additional power is needed it is taken from the grid.
- During the night, the power is taken directly from the grid through energy import.
- Excess power generated by the solar power systems is sent back to the grid using net metering technology
This is an abstract view of how solar power can be a long-term sustainable source for benefiting apartment complexes.
Tips to follow when you buy a solar energy product
Don’t get impressed by advertisements
Now that the Indian population especially in urban areas is leaning towards acquiring solar powered products for their homes, offices and businesses, manufacturers are trying to influence them with aggressive advertisements. Do not get carried away by these advertisements as they are often marketing stunts to sell products and do not tell the entire truth. Instead, ask from friends and family if they are using any solar system appliance.
Understand the product
Solar power appliances are made of different materials and are based on varied technology. You need to make an educated choice by understanding the details. For instance, as mentioned before solar lights are based on three different technologies. If you are buying solar panels understand what’s the difference between a Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline solar panel.
Be realistic about the budget
Solar systems are energy efficient and save you money in the long run but they are not cheap. However that should not drive you away as investing in solar lights and panels offers an opportunity for huge savings in the future. You will be spending a lot on your electricity bill in return of big one-time investment and a few scheduled maintenance costs. To ensure that you do not end up spending too much on maintenance choose the best solar light brands.
Look for certifications
Just as electric appliances have Bureau of Energy Efficiency Ratings, solar power products have certifications that tell you about the type of testing they have been through. Look for the product certifications before you buy it.
Warranty is one of the most important aspects of solar lights. As these are not conventional electronic appliances you can’t get them fixed at the local repair shop. This is why choose a company and a product that have a long warranty period and offers trustworthy support services in the country.
Why pick solar lights for your homes and businesses?
Solar lights may be costly than the conventional light bulbs but there is more than one reason to adopt them:
Green and Renewable
Climate change is taking a serious toll on our planet and while our political leaders are trying to make a difference via Climate Change Forums and Submits, it still might take a while. It’s better to do your part in saving the earth by switching to solar power.
All it requires to power a solar light is the sun, which is omnipresent. You are not restricted by the source of power to use solar lights.
You save continuously for years on your electricity bills with solar lights. Once installed the maintenance cost is the only spending done. If you equate it with electricity bill savings and tax associated with it, there’s a huge return on investment here.
What happens when there is no sun?
Solar lights are provided with battery backups that can power them during cloudy weather conditions. This is how solar lamps work at night.
Easy to Install
Solar lights made for home use are easy to install requiring minimal or no professional assistance, which makes them an excellent choice for customers.
Solar lights are the most eco-friendly way to save electricity and help nature survive. A quality solar light not only proves to be energy efficient but also saves you a lot on energy bills in the long run.
Be prepared for a world that switches to renewable energy with solar lights, one step at a time.