Solar Farms- The Next Big Thing In Solar Space

Large-scale solar installations are great for Economies of Scale. In fact, Solar Farms that produce less than one megawatt of power cannot justify their cost of development. Solar Farms are mostly set up in the hinterlands as crowded urban and commercial pockets never provide enough space for their development. To put things into perspective, the Solar Energy Industries Association of the US says that as of date, there are around 12000 major solar projects generating over 166 GW of energy in the country. This mushroom growth of huge Solar Farms is expected to replicate across the world, especially in India that is both a tropical country and has a vast hinterland offering ample space for these projects.

As our energy preferences shift away from fossils, Solar Farms will attain greater significance due to the scale of production, lower costs per unit of energy and other significant benefits that we cover below:

A massive engine of clean energy:

Solar Farms unlike small solar installations have the potential to power townships, villages and even cities in the foreseeable future. You can envision a Solar Farm just like your good old hydro-power project or a thermal power plant. With increasing R&D in the sector, you can expect Solar Farms to be more productive, efficient and feasible. 

The dawn of Agrovoltaics:

Agrovoltaics is beginning to percolate the vocabulary of the Solar Sector. Unlike conventional installations like thermal plants or hydro-power plants, establishing a Solar Farm is not permanent or irreversible. This means the land covered under solar panels and other apparatus can always be re-used for agricultural purposes. Imagine the implications it has on the flexibility of the government’s planning and policy-making.

Energy for everyone:

Solar systems have a significant space factor associated closely with them. This means households or commercial facilities with inadequate space will never be able to accommodate a solar system on their rooftops or batteries in a dedicated room. This issue is however resolved by the Solar Farms that become the singular source of energy to power considerably large settlements from a distance.

No noise or other hazards:

Solar Farms go easy on the environment in more ways than one. They not just have zero emissions and can significantly help reduce our Carbon footprint as a society; they are also noise-less. Solar Farms get accommodated very naturally into your surroundings and have barely any effect on the communities, flora and fauna around them. These farms also do not release any hazardous wastes into the environment, quite unlike thermal and nuclear power plants.

For assistance to decide on the solar panel that suits your needs the best, feel free to contact us on +919819907445. We would be happy to assist you in finding the best match based on your requirements. As one of India’s best solar companies, having 72 years of market experience, VEMC provides end-to-end solar services to its clients. VEMC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and is one of the leading solar EPC company in India.

The Sun Is Up And Bright. Let’s See How We Still Face Challenges In The Solar Energy Industry

While Solar Energy is touted to be the fuel for the future, some significant challenges hinder us from making the most of this inexhaustible resource. However, as Solar R&D evolves, our hopes to tackle these challenges effectively will see a steady and upward trajectory. Having said that, the journey starts by identifying these challenges first, and in this blog, we do exactly that.

Dependence on nature:

Natural forces like seasons, geographical location and clouds determine the amount of Solar Energy that you can produce at a given time and place. This is absolutely beyond the control of humans and is likely to remain so, at least in the foreseeable future. Techniques to reduce the effect of these natural forces will have to be worked out so that users may bypass these challenges.

Quality of power:

This refers to the availability and voltage that solar systems can give us. Inconsistent power and fluctuating voltage are not acceptable, especially in commercial applications. This has serious implications for the reliability of this resource. For sectors that require emergency power such as healthcare, solar could struggle to find takers in the coming years. Only as the reliability-to-cost ratio improves in these areas will solar power will find greater acceptability.

Locational challenges:

Geography is a huge determinant in Solar Energy on more than one level. Globally, solar power fits best in the tropical regions that receive plenty of suns all year round. Latitudes further away from the equator will struggle to accommodate it. On a more local level, solar plants may have to be located in a large and open area, such as a desert or abandoned lands. This affects the availability of the resource to the human settlements, especially in urban areas that are in greater need of solar power.

Investment in Solar:

As a thumb rule, the first-time investment in any new technology is always hefty. This is also true of Solar Energy. There is a pressing need to bring all stakeholders such as government agencies, corporations and investors onto a common platform to develop an understanding and channel productive resources of the society into Solar Energy.

Cost of equipment:

The cost of installation of solar apparatus such as panels, storage batteries and VFDs is considerably high. This is quite a disincentive for taking up solar as your staple energy source, especially for households and small commercial undertakings. However, with the passage of time and with adequate research, innovation and competition pouring into the sector, the costs are expected to decline significantly.

Solar energy has gained tremendous traction lately, especially in the wake of the climate change debate. However, the formidable challenges faced on multiple levels require proper redressal through adequate research and development, innovation and investment.

For assistance to decide on the solar panel that suits your needs the best, feel free to contact us on +919819907445. We would be happy to assist you in finding the best match based on your requirements. As one of India’s best solar companies, having 72 years of market experience, VEMC provides end-to-end solar services to its clients. VEMC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and is one of the leading solar EPC company in India.

Solar Success Story: The Installation of 200 kWp Plant at Godrej City

Navi Mumbai is a rapidly developing area, where new properties are being built. Godrej City is one such project by Godrej Properties. Located in Panvel, Navi Mumbai, it offers skillfully designed 1 BHK, 2 BHK, and 3 BHK apartments that are currently under construction. Godrej City consists of 568 units across 18 floors, spanning more than 3 towers over a total project area of 150 acres. Being a well-established solar energy company in Navi Mumbai, VEMC was consulted and hired to install a 200 kWp grid tied solar power plant at this location.

Challenge

Godrej City, being a booming residential estate, was seeing extremely high levels of electricity consumption. In fact, the annual average electricity production was 260000 kWh. VEMC’s solution sought to bring this down significantly and provide a greener, more sustainable and efficient source of energy.

We were met with the challenge of installing solar modules on “sandwich” roof profiles that don’t allow penetration of the sheet when anchoring the solar mounting arrangements. 

Further, this took place during monsoon and the COVID-19 pandemic. We were working at the site with our teams through this and all precautions had to be taken to ensure our safety. 

Our Solution

We took on the challenge and set about working out a solution. The project was a 200 kWp grid tied solar system. A grid-tied solar system is connected to the electrical power grid. The system relies on this grid to produce solar energy which can be used and funnels the excess energy to be used at a later time, or for net metering or clean energy credits.

The solar plant we successfully installed consists of 514 units of 390Wp high-efficiency Mono PERC modules. 

We solved the problem posed by the sandwich roof profiles by using high-strength industrial metal to metal adhesives to connect the mounting arrangement and roof.

The team was equipped with PPE kits and a thorough set of safety harnesses. This may have slowed them down but it protected everyone from both COVID-19 and other accidents.

Impact

The amount of carbon dioxide saved each year by avoiding fossil fuels to generate the same amount of energy is 184 metric tons! To get a clearer picture of the impact, this is equivalent to:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from 40.1 passenger vehicles driven for one year and 463,075 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle
  • Carbon dioxide emissions from 20,733 gallons of gasoline consumed, 18,100 gallons of diesel consumed, 203,657 pounds of coal burned, and 2.4 tanker trucks’ worth of gasoline
  • Carbon sequestered by 3,047 tree seedlings grown for 10 years, 226 acres of forests in the USA for one year, and 1.3 acres of forests preserved from conversion to cropland in one year

The project expected payback is approximately 3 years, taking the maintenance expenses into consideration. VEMC is a well-established solar power plant company in India. With over 72 years of industry experience, VEMCO Solar was able to execute the Godrej City project successfully. VEMCO Solar is a market leader in solar solutions — be it solar plant erection, procurement, commissioning, net metering, or electrical connections. If you have any requirements in this space, please feel free to contact us at +91 98199 07445. We would be happy to help you out.

Solar Success Story: How VEMC Solved A Case of Space Constraint for Solar Installation in a High-Rise Building

Making the switch from electrical to solar energy, which is the more sustainable and efficient alternative especially, in the long run, is often easier said than done. This is where VEMC, a leading solar power plant company in India with over 72 years of expertise in the field, can assist you and provide you with smart solutions. In this blog, we take a look at how VEMC solved a case of space constraint for solar installation on the roof of a medium high-rise building at Prince Care Zinnia, a residential property by Prince Care Realty. The building developers were looking for a way to reduce energy consumption while adopting a more reliable source of energy and the commissioned solar plant does exactly that, with an estimated annual average electricity production of 42900 kWh.

Challenge

The main challenge in installing solar panels at this site was a shortage of area on the roof of the residential building. Because of this, solar placement was difficult and required considerable modifications in the standard design and fabric of the solar structure. However, we were able to come up with a solution after a proper assessment of the situation.

Our Solution

The idea was to overcome space constraint challenges and ensure that the area was used as efficiently as possible while adhering to the client’s other requirements, and set up a 33 kWp solar plant on the roof of the residential building at Prince Care Zinnia. 

Execution

We had to take accurate rooftop measurements and make significant fabrications to the basic solar structure. These were necessary to ensure that the client’s need for clear passage, space for other installations and other requirements could also be accommodated.

We studied the computer-aided design (CAD) of the roof layout to fit the required solar plant capacity in the available area. Shadow analysis was done on the finalised CAD drawings to mitigate the effect of shadows falling on the solar modules.

We installed the solar modules using hot-dipped galvanized solar structures placed on civil foundations. Hot-dip galvanization prevents the rusting of the steel posts and extends the life of the system. The civil foundations are anchored with the structures to provide good foundation support.

Impact

There were multiple benefits of installing the 33 kWp solar plant at the site. These included energy savings of a whopping 30.36 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year to generate the same amount of energy — just by avoiding fossil fuels! Further, we were careful to adhere to a plan that made the most economical use of the space on the rooftop of the high-rise building, thereby fulfilling the client’s needs for a smart source of solar energy.

VEMC is a well-established solar energy company in Mumbai, and a pioneer in the field of electromechanical engineering products, allied equipment, and services. With decades of industry experience, VEMCO Solar was able to successfully execute the Prince Care Zinnia project and deliver superior-quality results. VEMCO Solar is a market leader in solar solutions — be it solar plant erection, procurement, commissioning, net metering, or electrical connections. If you have any requirements in this space, please feel free to contact us at +91 98199 07445. We would be happy to help you out.

Can You Remove and Reinstall Solar Panels?

When might you want to remove and reinstall your solar panels? The most common instances would be when you are fixing the roof or the solar power system, or conducting maintenance on the roof or other equipment located in the area.

Common Solar Panel Installation Problems - And How to Avoid Them

 

Fixing the Roof

Even some of the smallest roof repairs may require you to remove and reinstall part or all of your solar panels. This can make repairing the roof simpler, without risking damage to your panels. If you need to replace sections of the roof and require these to be removed prior, hiring a solar professional to do it would be a practical move.

Fixing a Solar Panel System

When repairing parts of your solar power system, removing the panels can provide additional space for a more thorough analysis of the whole system. Also, it is often safer to carry out repair work on the roof after removing the solar panels, in order to avoid compromising their safety.

Other Reasons

Other times that you might need to remove and reinstall solar panels could be when you need to repair anything in and around the rooftop. For example, fixing satellite dishes and electrical wires which are usually located on the roof may necessitate this, as may events like relocating your solar power system.

Should I Attempt to Remove and Reinstall the Solar Panels By Myself?

Do keep in mind that it can be quite risky to do so without the appropriate tools and expertise. Certain special equipment is required for the task and taking apart the panels without proper knowledge can nullify any warranties and contracts on the product. Also, removing and reinstalling solar panels entail a complex permission process that is best dealt with by a solar expert.

Time and Cost to Remove and Reinstall Solar Panels

The total time and cost of removing and reinstalling solar panels depend mainly on the solar expert you choose for the job, though they should be able to quote a base price to begin with. This can be over and above the actual costs of repairing the roof or solar power system; so be sure to factor that in. 

The repair work can take another day or more, depending on the extent of work that needs to be done. So, the entire project can take about three days to complete. Of course, major repairs may need more time.

Certain other factors may include the condition of the roof, the panels and the hardware, as well as the weather and site location itself. 

Removing and reinstalling solar panels is a complex task that requires substantial knowhow. VEMCO Solar, a solar energy company in Mumbai, offers end-to-end solutions and has enlisted channel partners with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, for solar PV rooftop, small power plant system integrators, and installation. Guided by the knowledge gained by VEMC over 72 years, our aim is to provide ample support to you at every step of the way. VEMC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and a pioneer in the field of electromechanical engineering products, allied equipment, and services. Please feel free to contact us on +91 98199 07445.

What Is Solar O&M And Why Do You Need It?

In any industry, operations and maintenance (O&M) are a crucial part of keeping the system running properly and efficiently. The solar industry is no exception and solar operations and maintenance (O&M) services or programs are required in order to maintain a standard level of performance for a solar energy system.

Advantages of module level power electronics in O&M for commercial systems  | Solar Power Portal

Regular servicing helps you to optimize the productivity you get from your solar power plants while reducing costs for maintenance and repair. Compared to most other power generating systems, solar power stations are simple to maintain. However, you need to make sure that you invest in high-quality O&M which is carried out professionally. This is one of the most important ways to make sure that your solar power plant stays in good condition, does not experience unnecessary breakdowns, and runs at peak performance levels.

There are three main aspects to solar O&M — preventative maintenance, corrective maintenance, and condition-based maintenance.

Preventative maintenance (PM)

Preventative maintenance, as the name suggests, includes regular inspection and servicing of your equipment in order to avoid the system from malfunctioning, which can cause unnecessary losses in production. This kind of maintenance takes place before your solar power system has witnessed any sort of breakdown, and the upfront costs associated with it are usually low to moderate.

Corrective maintenance (CM)

Corrective maintenance pertains to corrective action required to be taken after your equipment has already experienced a breakdown. Although this strategy may not appear to cost much on the surface, there is a higher risk of component failure and potentially higher costs on the backend. That can otherwise be avoided more easily with proactive, preventative and condition-based maintenance.

Condition-based maintenance (CBM)

Condition-based maintenance is when your solar power systems are monitored using real-time data. This strategy places a high priority on optimizing operations and maintaining peak performance levels, and can even be done by third-party providers and integrators. However, it comes at a higher cost than the other two strategies of maintenance, but these may actually pay off because your system runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

So, it is safe to say that no matter which strategy you employ, solar O&M is a crucial aspect of your solar power system to ensure that it continues to operate at optimal levels at all times. Timely maintenance significantly reduces the possibility of breakdown and production loss. O&M providers like VEMC can offer planned maintenance schedules to optimize equipment performance and minimise downtimes. Additionally, creating an elaborate breakdown impact analysis of solar plant sites is necessary in order to prepare a priority matrix for spare management and better maintenance.

For more information on our products, feel free to contact us on +91 98199 07445. We would be happy to assist you in finding the best match, based on your requirements. As a leading solar power plant company in India, VEMC provides seamless end-to-end services to its clients. VEMC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and a pioneer in the field of electromechanical engineering products, allied equipment, and services.

How Solar Panels Produce Electricity

Solar energy is one of the most promising sources of electricity owing to a number of inherent factors. Unlike conventional sources of energy like fossil fuels, solar radiation is abundantly received in most regions of the world. Electricity generation by solar requires little to no inputs of raw material and perfectly fits the bill for clean energy. But what is the science behind tapping solar energy? How exactly do solar panels produce electricity and how efficient is solar energy really? In this blog, we simplify the working principles behind solar electricity and elucidate your understanding of this magnificent fuel for the future.

Solar panels are made up of a number of Photovoltaic (PV) cells (named so because they convert solar energy into electric energy). The PV cells are made up of semiconductor materials such as silicon that absorb solar radiation and release a number of electrons, which then travel freely in the cell. To create an electric field when sunlight hits the panel, a positively and a negatively charged semiconductor is sandwiched together. The electric field directs the flow of the loose electrons towards the conductors lining the cell, which then flow through the wires as Direct Current (DC). 

The DC then reaches the inverter that converts it into the most commonly used Alternating Current (AC). Finally, a wire carries the AC from the inverter to an electric panel which acts as a junction for distributing the current throughout the building.

One PV cell typically generates two watts of electricity. However, when a large number of PV cells are connected together on a solar array (PV panel), hundreds or even thousands of kilowatts of electricity can be generated. A PV panel is made up of solar cells arranged in the configuration of 32, 36, 48, 60, 72, or 96 cells. The larger the assembly, the greater will the electricity produced be! The standard panel size for commercial use is 77 x 39 inches, while that for residential purposes is 65 x 39 inches. 

The energy efficiency of most PV panels ranges from 15% to 20% at present. This is affected by varying solar radiation received at different geographical locations. Sunlight also varies according to the time of the day and seasons of the year. Besides, obstruction, shade and unclean panels can also reduce production significantly.

The principle behind solar energy is quite simple. However, there’s still ample scope for advancements in order to boost production capacity and enhance efficiency. This demands generous funding in the field to promote research and innovation. For more information on various types of solar services, feel free to contact us on +91 98199 07445. We would be happy to assist you in finding the best match, based on your requirements. As one of India’s best solar companies having 73 years of market experience, VEMC provides end-to-end Solar EPC services to its clients. VEMC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and a pioneer in the field of electromechanical engineering products, allied equipment, and services. Our sub-brand VEMCO Solar is one of the leading solar EPC companies — be it solar plant erection, procurement, commissioning, net metering, or electrical connections.

4 Tips on Increasing Solar Panel Efficiency

As the demand for sustainable energy grows, solar power stands out as the most favoured choice for the future. However, as solar systems require significant investment due to the high cost of semiconductors and allied components, it is important that maximum possible energy is generated from each square foot of a photovoltaic panel. Solar Operations and Maintenance (O&M) companies play a huge role in ensuring the highest efficiency of the solar power systems but some simple tips based on a common understanding of solar energy can go a long way in enhancing your output.

Well, the science behind solar energy is very simple — the higher the exposure of solar cells to sunlight, the greater will the output be. It is around this fundamental principle that most of these efficiency-enhancing tips revolve:

  1. Avoid shade: Due to the installation of intricate groupings of solar cells in a panel, even if a small part of the panel is covered by shade, the whole module will have less energy conversion. Shade is therefore a major inhibitor of solar energy and must be minimised as much as possible. This requires careful placement of the solar panels, away from a permanent high-rising object like a chimney or a vent. Tall trees around the facility must be well-trimmed to ensure their shadow doesn’t fall on the panels at any time of the day.
  2. Careful orientation: Solar panels must be oriented in the direction where they receive maximum sunlight throughout the day. This completely depends on the geographical location of the installation. India being a country in the northern hemisphere, the solar panels are always made to face the south to receive maximum sunlight. In the US, both south and west are the favoured directions and have been known to produce the maximum output.
  3. Proper upkeep: Solar panels can get covered in dust, dirt and bird droppings in a very short span of time. As they are mostly installed on rooftops, it might get a little difficult to clean the panels regularly. This could reduce the efficiency of the panels as some or whole of their surface area is screened from the sunlight. Providing convenient access to the panels and cleaning them regularly is therefore important.
  4. Weather: Hotter days ironically generate lesser energy due to increase in current and drop in voltage. While controlling the weather is beyond our ability, we can surely be mindful about buying panels with the lowest temperature coefficient, which refers to the amount by which the output of a panel reduces after temperature rises beyond 25⁰C.

For assistance to decide on the solar panel that suits your needs the best, feel free to contact us on +91 9819907445. We would be happy to assist you in finding the best match based on your requirements. As one of India’s best solar companies, with 73 years of market experience, VEMC provides end-to-end solar services to its clients. VEMC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and is one of the leading solar EPC companies in India.

Challenges in Operations and Maintenance of a Solar Plant

From keeping plants running in optimum condition, manpower optimization, budget, and spare management for the smooth operation of a plant, to maintaining safety protocols, there are several challenges in solar operations and maintenance (O&M). In this blog, we will take a look at the multi-dimensional nature of these challenges.

The unexpected challenges of solar power | World Economic Forum

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a continuous process that aims at preventing sudden breakdowns and various costs accruing from it. It is carried out systematically, by following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and Standard Checklists, which help ensure consistency and quality of work. 

Condition Monitoring 

A significant change in the condition of the equipment is often clearly visible and can indicate the increased likelihood of breakdown at some point. It is important to repair or replace the equipment in time, especially if it is crucial to the working of the plant.

Corrective Maintenance

Despite all the efforts, some faults might arise in the system, which may need immediate corrective measures. This could include replacement of the faulty equipment or intervention by technical staff to restore its functioning.

O&M Budget

Cost control is an essential part of any solar O&M strategy and must be viewed in a comprehensive way. It is essential to reconcile the interests of the stakeholders with the objectives of controlling costs associated with system maintenance, quality checks, and testing procedures.

Documentation

A complete record of all activities taking place at a solar plant site must be well-documented and available for reference to all stakeholders, to ensure identification and removal of loopholes and procedural inconsistencies.

Spare Management

A formal inventory management system must be in place to keep a record of the type and quantity of spare parts available. These must be stored in an organised way to ensure ease of access during a breakdown.

Skills Training and Development

Working on-site can be full of challenges for which the personnel must be trained in order to increase their capacity across a range of tasks and reduce on-site accidents. This includes the development of technical skills and knowledge of standardized procedures and checklists.   

Plant Performance

To keep the plant at peak performance levels, it is essential to take a holistic view across human, technical and environmental dimensions of the plant. This includes functions like periodic module cleaning, vegetation control, spares management, manpower management, quality control, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) monitoring.

Safety

Safety measures while being on-site are essential for both personnel as well as the equipment. Proper safety procedures must be followed and protective gear must be used to prevent any kind of hazard. For assistance to decide on the solar panel that suits your needs the best, feel free to contact us on +919819907445. We would be happy to assist you in finding the best match based on your requirements. As one of India’s best solar companies, having 73 years of market experience, VEMC provides end-to-end solar services to its clients. VEMC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and is one of the leading solar EPC companies in India.