Photovoltaic installations are becoming increasingly popular in Poland. Choosing the right installation for your home is a key step to maximise the benefits of renewable energy. It is worth understanding the various technical and functional aspects that affect the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the installation. In this guide, we will discuss the most important factors to look out for when choosing a photovoltaic installation.
Choosing the right installer (company)
A photovoltaic installation is designed to last a long time, so it makes sense to choose a company that has been in the photovoltaic market for many years, has satisfied customers and is growing steadily. Before deciding to work with them, we recommend checking the basic information about that company. Remember that choosing the right company is a key step in ensuring you have an efficient and effective photovoltaic installation that will last for many years.
- Analysis of your electricity consumption
- Selection of the optimal solution for your home
- Installations with the best components available on the market at an affordable price
- Assistance in obtaining financing
- Professional realisation of the investment
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Energy demand analysis
The first step is to analyse your energy requirements. To do this, you should review your electricity bills. this will allow you to determine your average monthly electricity consumption. It is also worth taking into account any planned changes in energy consumption in the future, such as the purchase of new appliances or household expansion plans.
Choosing the right photovoltaic installation capacity
Based on the analysis of energy demand, we can determine the appropriate power of the photovoltaic installation. The power of photovoltaic panels is measured in kilowatts (kW). It is assumed that the photovoltaic installation should produce an excess of 20nm of energy consumed, so that it can cover the demand for electricity. The surplus energy produced by the installation can be sold to the power grid. Properly selected power will allow significant savings on electricity bills.
Quality of photovoltaic panels and inverters
The quality of the photovoltaic panels and inverters is crucial to the performance and durability of the entire photovoltaic installation. Selecting good quality components is crucial to ensure the long-term and reliable operation of the system.
Photovoltaic panels should be made of robust materials that ensure performance even in harsh weather conditions. Attention should be paid to quality certifications, such as international ISO standards or IEC certificates, which confirm that the panels comply with the relevant standards. Good quality panels guarantee that they will maintain their efficiency for a long time and generate energy for many years.
Inverters, which convert the direct current from the panels to alternating current, should also be of high quality. When choosing inverters, it is worth paying attention to their efficiency, durability and safety certifications. The inverter is one of the key failure points in the installation, so it is worth choosing reputable brands and manufacturers that offer solid after-sales support.
The quality of the panels and inverters has a direct impact on the performance and profitability of a photovoltaic installation. Taking care of good quality components will allow you to enjoy optimum use of solar energy and minimise the need to service or replace equipment in the future.
Mounting and location
The assembly and location of a photovoltaic installation is a key factor in its performance. A well-planned and executed installation allows for optimal use of solar energy, resulting in greater power production.
Before proceeding with installation, it is a good idea to carefully assess the location where the photovoltaic panels will be installed. Directing the photovoltaic panels towards the south is a recommended practice, as it allows optimal use of solar radiation and maximum efficiency of the installation. Also, make sure that the installation site is not shaded by trees or other objects nearby. The more sunlight that reaches the panels during the day, the greater the energy production will be.
The angle of the panels in relation to the horizontal is also important. In Poland, 30-35 degrees (with the panels facing south) is considered the optimum angle. If the roof angle deviates by a few degrees from this figure, production will be slightly lower. A higher angle will ensure better production in winter, a lower angle in summer.
Good installation also means choosing the right materials and fixing techniques for the photovoltaic panels. The panels should be firmly fixed to the roof or ground to withstand extreme weather conditions. Choosing the right materials and fixing techniques depends on the type of roof and local conditions.
The inverter is a key component of a photovoltaic installation, responsible for converting the direct current from the panels to the alternating current used in the home. Choosing the right inverter has a significant impact on the performance and reliability of the installation.
When selecting an inverter, it is worth considering several factors, such as the power of the overall installation, the number of panels, the topology and layout of the installation and the expected performance. The inverter should be sufficiently powerful to operate closer to its maximum output, providing a high level of efficiency.
The use of microinverters can be beneficial when panels have different angles, are partially shaded or there are differences in performance between panels. Microinverters monitor each photovoltaic panel separately, operating independently, allowing the optimal use of energy from each panel. This eliminates the so-called ‘domino effect’ that occurs with traditional inverters, when the output of the entire system is limited by the output of the weakest module.
Want to find out more? Read the article about it: Microinverter or grid-tied inverter – the best solution for your installation
Warranties and after-sales support
Warranties and after-sales support are key factors to consider when choosing a photovoltaic installation. A good supplier should provide robust guarantees on photovoltaic panels and inverters, giving the customer confidence that their investment is adequately protected.
Product warranties for photovoltaic panels are typically offered for a period of between 10 and 25 years, depending on the manufacturer, with top-of-the-range modules having warranties of up to 30 years (e.g. Bauer Solar 540 W photovoltaic panels). It is also worth looking at performance warranties, which ensure a minimum energy production over a specified period. Make sure that the warranty covers a drop in panel performance to a certain level over a certain period of time.
In addition to the photovoltaic modules, the inverter is a key component of the installation, so pay particular attention to the guarantee offered by the manufacturer of the chosen model. A good supplier should offer between 5-10 years warranty on inverters, with the highest quality inverters having up to 12 years basic warranty (e.g. Hypontech inverters).
After-sales support is another important aspect. Make sure that the chosen supplier offers comprehensive support for any problems, questions or maintenance of the installation. A professional supplier should be available to assist and respond quickly to any breakdowns.
The decision to invest in a photovoltaic installation can be supported by various types of subsidies and government programmes. Many countries, regions or cities offer financial incentives to promote the use of renewable energy sources.
Subsidies can include non-refundable grants, subsidies, tax breaks, preferential loans or green investment certificates. Their aim is to increase the economic attractiveness of photovoltaic installations and shorten the payback time.
It is therefore advisable to find out about available subsidy programmes in your location before starting the purchase and installation process. Often such programmes can change over time, so it is important to keep up to date with current offers and support opportunities.
A photovoltaic installation must be equipped with a protection system and meet the requirements of the amended Building Act and fire safety rules for photovoltaic installations with a capacity greater than 6.5 kWp.
The protection system should include protection against overvoltage, short circuit, fire and other hazards. Remote monitoring is another feature of the protection system that allows the performance of the installation to be monitored in real time. This allows the user to react quickly to any problems with the installation, such as failures or drops in performance.
A well-designed security system gives the customer confidence that their PV installation is protected from potential threats, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of renewable solar energy without worrying about the security of their investment.
Power optimiser technology
Power optimiser technology is a new trend in the photovoltaic industry. Power optimisers are devices that are mounted directly on each photovoltaic panel. Their task is to maximise the energy production of each panel, which in this system work independently of each other. This ensures that even if one panel is shaded or has a lower output, the installation will operate at maximum efficiency.
Power optimisers can increase the efficiency of a photovoltaic installation by up to 20%. They can also extend the life of the photovoltaic installation as they prevent the photovoltaic panels from overheating.
An installation with optimisers is more expensive than a standard photovoltaic installation, but the investment pays for itself quickly. Power optimisers are the perfect solution for people who want to make sure their PV installation produces as much energy as possible.
Energy storage is an optional but increasingly popular solution for photovoltaic installations. An energy storage system consists of batteries that store electricity to later deliver to consumers when the photovoltaic installation is not generating enough energy. In this way, renewable energy can also be used at night or at times when sunlight is limited. Energy storage is ideal for facilities that are not connected to the power grid or when the grid is unstable. Energy storage facilities ensure that electricity is available at all times, even in the event of a grid failure (as long as there is energy in storage, which is replenished, thanks to production from PV installations). This allows for greater energy independence and reduced dependence on traditional energy sources.
Energy storage makes the installation considerably more expensive, whereas the funding from the My Current 5.0 programme offsets the cost of energy storage in many cases. Even a small amount of energy storage has a significant effect on increasing self-consumption and thus reducing electricity costs. Energy management allows batteries to be charged when the rate of selling energy to the grid is less favourable, and then sold when the price is high.
Want to find out more? Read the article about it: Energy storage for photovoltaics – is it worth the investment?
Choosing the right photovoltaic installation is key to getting the maximum benefit from renewable energy. It is worth paying attention to the power of the installation, the location, the quality of the components, as well as taking advantage of available subsidies. Additional options such as power optimisers and energy storage can increase efficiency and energy independence. Taking care of the right safeguards and after-sales support guarantees the long-term use of solar energy. Investing in a photovoltaic system is not only about saving money, but also about caring for the environment and future generations.