Solar Panels Vs Generator: Know these 8 Reasons to transform your life

solar panels vs Generator
Off-Grid Solar System
Solar Panels vs Generator
Image Source: Kirloskar website

Are you using a Generator without having Solar Panels? 

Do you think it makes sense to use a Generator with Diesel costing more than Rs. 90.00/ltr.  and not use solar panels costing nil for producing electricity? 

It’s plain common sense, it doesn’t require comparison of Solar Panels vs Generator to arrive at a conclusion.

Let’s look at the reasons why it’s shocking not to go for Solar Panels. 

If you look at the losses you are making by not owning a solar panel you will be shocked.  

You are simply draining the hard-earned money for no reason, it’s foolishness. 

That’s why I am saying that just the addition of a solar panel will completely transform your life for sure.

Generator Drains:

  • Assuming a Generator of 10 KW on 80% load consuming 3 Ltrs. of diesel/day running for 3 hrs./day, (assuming diesel cost as Rs. 90.00/ltr.) and maintenance cost as 60000 per annum, and inflation as 5% for diesel rates will have the following impact on your money:
  • There will be cash outflow Rs. 3,55,650( or say 3.56 lakhs) in a year which will go on increasing.

Within a period of 25 years the estimated cash flow would be Rs. 1, 62,98,080 (or say 1.63 crores).

Shocked Emoji

Solar Panels Gains: 

Assuming a 10 Kwp Solar Panels installation with battery, producing 4 units/Kwp, Generator usage reduction by 75% and Grid tariff rate is Rs. 6.25/Unit. The financial impact of solar panels will be as follows: 

  • The outflow of money on energy consumption will completely stop.It will  recover the investments in 3rd year itself.
  • Within 25 years you will have a savings of  Rs. 1,36,76,870 (Rs. 1.37 crores)
  • Within 25 years you will get grid savings of Rs. 30,15,880 (Rs. 30.16 lacs) from grid power.
  • Within 25 years you will have savings of Rs. 1,22,23,600 (or say, Rs. 1.22 Crores) from Generator. 

Here, are the calculations for further understanding:

Yearly Cash flow Solar Panels Vs Generator (figure in thousands('000s))

Assuming 10 Kw Generator and 10 Kw Solar Panel (Outflow shown as '-', and Inflow shown as '+')

Environment Pollution
Image Source: HUFFPOST

Reason 2: Generator Pollutes, Solar Panels Purifies the Environment

Generator Pollutes:

The Diesel Generator produces 2.664 Kg. of CO2 per litre of Diesel Consumed.

So, for example, if a 10 Kw Generator is running 3 hrs./Day consuming 3 Ltrs./Hr. It will emit 23.976 Kg. of CO2 in a single day, 8.751 Tons per year and 218.781 Tons in a 25 years life cycle. This is a huge amount of CO2, which means we are significantly contributing to the cause of global warming.

We all know it is dangerous to be locked in the car in the garage with the engine running. That is due to the pollutants. The generator emissions right next to our home are inviting all the pollutants. In Fact, in a finding, it was observed that the portable generator emissions were the main culprit causing an increase in Carbon monoxide after storms.

  • The emission of Co2 increases the greenhouse effect, trapping more thermal energy, which leads to global warming. 
  • It contributes to respiratory disease from smog and air pollution.
  •  Apart from this, the other effects of climate change caused are Extreme weather, food supply disruptions, and increased wildfires.
  • It pollutes the atmosphere. The four main pollutant emissions from diesel engines are (carbon monoxide-CO, hydrocarbons-HC, particulate matter-PM and nitrogen oxides-NOx).

We all know it is dangerous to be locked in the car in the garage with the engine running. That is due to the pollutants. The generator emissions right next to our home are inviting all the pollutants. In Fact, in a finding, it was observed that the portable generator emissions were the main culprit causing an increase in Carbon monoxide after storms.

(Source: https://www.npr.org/2019/12/04/784279242/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-from-portable-generators-proves-predictable-and-deadly).

 Solar Panel Purifies:

The Solar Panels generator is the cleanest source of power. Solar Panels generators don’t produce CO2. As such the environmental impact is measured indirectly in terms of savings it has caused to the environment in terms of carbon footprint. 

A 10 Kwp Solar Panels plant producing aprox 4 units/Kwp in a day will generate 3,38,720 units of electricity in 25 years. The positive impact on the environment will be as follows:

  • It will offset 232 metric Tons  of CO2, or,
  • burning of 99125 litres of petrol, or
  • Burning of 115.26 Tons of Coal, or 
  • Equivalent to 91,38,555 Kms of driving, or
  • Give savings equivalent to planting 3846 trees in 10 years, or
  • or save 272.85 Acres of forest/year 

(source: https://www.epa.gov/statelocalenergy/avoided-emissions-and-generation-tool-avert)

Noise Pollution
Image Source: Worldbeat Centre

Reason 3: Generator Causes Noise Pollution, Solar Panels are soundless

Generator Causes Noise Pollution:

You know that Generator is horrifically noisy and it is constant for the full duration of its run. Numerous studies have linked noise pollution to increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Even small increases in unwanted ambient sound have significant effects.

Solar Panels are soundless:

The Solar Panels rooftops are soundless, even standing near the Solar Panels generator, you won’t even know if the power is being provided by the Solar Panels system or the grid. Your neighbor will be the first person to thank you for installing a Solar Panels generator.

Reason 4: Generator involves Compliance of Govt Rules,  Solar Panels leads to Govt benefits

Generator involves Compliance of Govt. Rules:

  • On Generator GST is @18%, 
  • There are compliance rules from the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change. 
  • The noise levels should not exceed 75 dB(A) at a 1 Metre distance from the enclosure surface.
  • The pollution level from the emission of NOx+HC, CO, PM, Smoke limit
  • The maximum life for Generators has been fixed as 15 years for residential and commercial Generators and 16 years for agricultural Generator’s. 
  • The Generator without engraving on the engine of the manufacturer and without the certified acoustic enclosure is not allowed to operate after 1.6.2015.
  • There is a long list of maintenance guidelines with Do’s and Don’ts to be complied with by the user.

Solar Panels leads to Govt Benefits:

The government has introduced central and state-wise incentives which assist in reducing the net cost of your Solar Panels PV panels from approximately 30 to 50 per cent. 

In Jharkhand JREDA (Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency) has been formed to look after the means of reducing the dependence on Fossil fuel. It has been made the Nodal Agency for the announcement of Schemes, Allotment of the Solar Panels Rooftop Power Capacities, Facilitation in Development of Solar Panels Rooftop Power Plant etc. 

  • The GST is 5%.
  • It has been made mandatory to instal Solar Panels plants of 10% connected load for residential buildings with 3000 sq ft or more.
  • Similarly, there are rules of 10% connected load or given KW whichever is higher for all private educational Institutes, Schools, Colleges, Hostels, all Govt buildings and offices, All private Hospitals and Nursing Homes, Industrial Establishment, Commercial Establishments, Malls, Hotels, All new Housing
  • Complexes, developed by Group Housing Societies, Builders, Housing Boards.
  • There are subsidy schemes for residential buildings and Accelerated Depreciation benefits for commercial establishments.
  • Solar Panels PV Power Projects have been exempted from obtaining any NOC/consent for establishment, consent to operate and public hearing under the pollution control laws from Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board.
  • All projects developed are eligible for REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) benefits.
  • The Solar Panels industry has been declared as a priority industry.
Optimized Voltage Fluctuation
Image Source: Diary of Electric.blogspot

Reason 5: Generator creates spikes, surge and glitches, Solar Panels stabilizes power

The generator creates spikes, surges and glitches:

You must have observed that with Generator many times, the lights dimmed or glowed very brightly and then went back to normal power. 

This is caused by the fluctuation of voltage and current in the generator. Generally, it is caused when the generator starts or when there is a change in the load.  

It is quite dangerous for the electronic components in your equipment. For example, if your computer was powered by a generator and the voltage fluctuated, the computer would shut down prematurely. This premature shut down causes not only loss of unsaved data but also results in a hard disk crash, blown SMPS etc. apart from the inconvenience caused. 

Solar Panels stabilizes Power :

 The Solar Panels rooftops are based on inverters and hence are silent and produce pure sine wave stable output. 

They have protection for the anti island, short circuit, overcurrent, reverse polarity, ground fault, overvoltage, overload, and overtemperature.  

PCU (Power Conditioning Unit) of the Solar Panels Plant is designed to generate pure Sine waves. Even the grid supply improves with the Solar Panels plant, as the Solar Panels plant has an isolation transformer that filters the grid voltage fluctuations too.

Reason 6: Generator has Switching Time, Solar Panels is Instant On

The generator has Switching Time:

With the generator, human intervention or battery backup to automate the switching is required. There is a considerable lapse in time between switching over from one source to another.

Solar Panels is Instant On:

With the Solar Panels plant, the changeover from the grid to the Solar Panels plant or vice versa is smooth like an inverter. It doesn’t require human intervention, the switchover is automatic. 

Reason 7: Generator is less reliable, Solar Panels is more reliable

The generator is less Reliable:

The Generator has lots of moving parts. The fuel injectors, the shaft, the brushes, the slip rings, the coupling, the V belt are all moving and have to counter the frictional force. The wear and tear mean more routine maintenance, more human intervention, greater chances of breakage, lesser reliability, greater recurring costs.

Solar Panels are More Reliable:

The Solar Panels Generator doesn’t have any moving parts. This means lesser complaints, more reliability. The Solar Panels plant requires only routine cleaning of the panel to get maximum energy. The Solar Panels panel carries 25 years of performance warranty, other components also have 5 or more years of warranty. This translates to fewer hassles and more savings.

Reason 8: Generator engages you, Solar Panels frees you

Generator Engages you:

It engages you, it consumes your time. You have to do day to day maintenance, fill the fuel, manually start/stop the generator and changeover the power source in case of a power failure and when power returns. It makes you dependent on grid power.

Solar Panels Makes Independent:

With Solar Panels all is automatic, the changeover from Solar Panels to the battery to grid power is all automatic. Solar Panels produces energy in the day irrespective of grid power availability, hence,  even if the grid power is available, it is not used in the daytime. The grid power is used only when the Solar Panels power is not available. Even if you go on a vacation, it will continue producing electricity and saving on your energy bills. Hence, Solar Panels frees your time and saves your vacation too.

Conclusion:

As must be evident from above, solar panels are a must.

If you have a generator then it is all the more important to save on cost- generator and grid power both, to save on pollution, for safety of electronic equipment, to comply with government regulations, for convenience, for freedom and more reliability.

You can keep the generator as a standby to be used in emergency. The solar panels will recover the capital cost incurred in 3-4 years and more than justify the investment.

If you don’t have a generator even then the solar panels will help you in savings from the grid power. It will make you less dependent on the grid and also provide clean power. 

 

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