10 facts your wife ex­pects you to know about PV pan­els

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Feature -

Ask the Ar­chi­tect By Juan Pacheco In my last ar­ti­cle I ex­plained about the new law on pho­to­voltaic pan­els, which was ap­proved on Oc­to­ber 18, in the Span­ish Par­lia­ment.

This law elim­i­nates taxes and other im­por­tant bar­ri­ers that, un­til then, stopped pho­to­voltaic panel in­stal­la­tions for stand-alone own­ers or a com­mu­nity of own­ers.

This new sce­nario, to­gether with the in­crease in the price of elec­tric­ity and the pub­li­ca­tion of the last In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change (IPCC) re­port, will en­cour­age, I am sure, many cit­i­zens and com­pa­nies to con­trib­ute to im­prove en­ergy pro­duc­tion with the in­stal­la­tion of res­i­den­tial and busi­ness sys­tems of pho­to­voltaic self­con­sump­tion.

Where does one start? Once the de­ci­sion is made: How to do it? Which com­pany is the most con­ve­nient? What guar­an­tees does the in­staller and man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer? Do we have ref­er­ences of nearby qual­ity fa­cil­i­ties? Th­ese are some of the con­sid­er­a­tions that arise when hav­ing pho­to­voltaic self-con­sump­tion in­stalled.

The in­dus­try is pre­pared, but we must en­sure that the mar­ket de­vel­ops based on qual­ity and guar­an­tees that meet our expectations and avoid bad ex­pe­ri­ences that may gen­er­ate dis­trust. To solve some doubts about the in­stal­la­tion of self-con­sump­tion, I found this se­ries of tips on the So­lar­watt, Ger­man man­u­fac­turer web page, which I think is quite use­ful for any­one in­ter­ested in sav­ing a lot of money on elec­tric­ity bills but hav­ing to make an ini­tial in­vest­ment.

First things first 1. Re­quest a quote from ac­cred­ited and cer­ti­fied in­stallers as well as ask­ing if it is pos­si­ble to have ref­er­ences from pre­vi­ous clients that have had pho­to­voltaic in­stal­la­tions in the last two years.

Get­ting onto the tech­ni­cal de­scrip­tion, the in­staller should be able to de­scribe the in­stal­la­tion in an easy man­ner with­out tech­ni­cal gob­bledy­gook and pro­vide a sim­ple in­stal­la­tion guide.

2. Get a list of all the el­e­ments that you will ob­tain, with the tech­ni­cal de­scrip­tions of the el­e­ments within the sys­tem: mo­d­ules, in­vert­ers and other com­po­nents.

3. Based on the bud­get, ob­tain ex­actly what the pro­duc­tion will be in kilo­watt hours from the first year. This is a very im­por­tant fact, be­cause af­ter all it is what we are go­ing to gen­er­ate with our in­stal­la­tion.

4. Ask for in­for­ma­tion about ra­di­a­tion in the area of the sys­tem, the nor­mal losses of the sys­tem and the pre­dic­tion of degra­da­tion of the mo­d­ules and other el­e­ments of the sys­tem.

5. Man­u­fac­tur­ers nor­mally guar­an­tee pho­to­voltaic pan­els for 10 years, but it is dif­fi­cult to claim in some cases af­ter two years. Be­ing a very dy­namic sec­tor, many im­por­tant man­u­fac­tur­ers have dis­ap­peared in re­cent years and this will con­tinue to hap­pen. There are man­u­fac­tur­ers that of­fer up to 30 years of to­tal guar­an­tee on some PV pan­els.

6. In the case of ac­cu­mu­la­tion sys­tems, com­par­isons be­tween prod­ucts of­fered on the mar­ket are very com­pli­cated be­cause they are often con­fus­ing in terms of the ben­e­fits in terms of real en­ergy saved. I can say that there are no two lithium-ion bat­tery sys­tems the same.

7. Pay at­ten­tion to the guar­an­tee doc­u­ments. Read the fine print and ver­ify who signs that guar­an­tee; that is, know­ing who and for how long they will re­spond if some­thing goes wrong with the sys­tem. What is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the in­staller? Also, es­tab­lish if the man­u­fac­turer of the prod­ucts has cus­tomer ser­vice of­fices in Spain or how many years it has been in the mar­ket, be­cause nor­mally the in­staller will not di­rectly as­sume the guar­an­tee pe­ri­ods pub­lished by the man­u­fac­turer.

8. Es­tab­lish what the in­stal­la­tion’s gen­er­a­tion costs per kWh are. That is the only thing that can be as­sured. To do this, you have to know all the vari­ables. The first is how safe is your in­vest­ment; the sec­ond, the ex­pected pro­duc­tion in kWh in 20 years. I rec­om­mend not spec­u­lat­ing with the evo­lu­tion of elec­tric­ity prices to ‘fore­cast’ the amor­ti­sa­tion pe­riod, and choose to en­sure that the pro­duc­tion of your fa­cil­ity is through a sys­tem with high qual­ity com­po­nents and a sol­vent war­ranty to en­sure the cost of com­pet­i­tive and re­li­able gen­er­a­tion.

Give con­sid­ered value to the sup­posed ‘Tier1 Cat­e­gory’ since this only refers to more fre­quently in­stalled prod­ucts and is used to rank man­u­fac­tur­ers in terms of their bank­a­bil­ity or fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, with­out en­ter­ing into qual­ity eval­u­a­tions. There are pho­to­voltaic mo­d­ules man­u­fac­tured in China that meet Euro­pean qual­ity stan­dards, but they are not cheaper than those man­u­fac­tured on our con­ti­nent. At present, af­ter the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion de­cided to elim­i­nate anti-dump­ing con­trols, mo­d­ules can be found be­low their cost price, but with du­bi­ous qual­ity and un­cer­tain guar­an­tees.

I hope that th­ese tips can serve as a guide when en­gag­ing a self-con­sump­tion pho­to­voltaic sys­tem in your home or busi­ness, and not hav­ing re­gret at hav­ing made an un­wise de­ci­sion, but above all if you make all th­ese ob­ser­va­tions in front of your wife I am sure you will im­press her!! Bri­tish and Span­ish qual­i­fied Ar­chi­tect


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