A photovoltaic power plant is the best way to make a housing or business society pollution-free, helping you do your part to minimize problems leading to global warming. The solar plant doesn’t produce any greenhouse gasses and reduces your dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. On top of that, a power plant can produce enough energy to distribute to multiple houses or businesses. To be more precise, a simple home solar panel can produce 300 watts per hour.
Although installing a photovoltaic power plant is a big investment, it can save thousands of dollars on energy bills in the long run. So, if you are planning to construct a plant, here are the steps you may need to follow.
1. Site Identification
Identifying the appropriate site for your project is the most important thing to do. Note that it should be near the load center to cut down the cost of the transmitted power. Also, the site should be near a sufficient amount of water and fuel sources. If you are planning to install solar panels on a structure, you need to make sure that it’s well-constructed and can tolerate the weight of your solar panels. But if you are on a budget, engineers or experts can install the plant on the soil.
2. Choose Your Photovoltaic Power Plant Installation Company
Choosing the right company that will supply and installs a photovoltaic power plant makes all the difference in the end. Several companies in the market are offering a broad range of solar panel models. You need to choose one based on your planned investment and objection to a power plant. Also, choose a reliable and popular company that offers the best solution for your desired project and helps you design a power plant based on your requirements.
3. Decide on Budget
You need to estimate the cost of the project before investing in supplies and other things. You can decide this by considering the monthly energy consumption of the home or business the solar panels will provide energy. For this, evaluate the homes’ or businesses’ electricity costs. According to their energy consumption, calculate how much investment you need for the supplies and solar panel installation process. This includes maintenance cost, number of panels required, rent of the site (if you don’t have bought one), and warranty of your plant. To get a better idea, get help from your hired engineers or professionals as they can give you more precise value.
4. Access to the Electricity Grid
When you decide upon the number of solar panels and installation areas you need, you need to evaluate the conditions of integrating your solar power plant with the electrical network available in your area. To generate energy by capturing sunlight and helping it reach electrical equipment, the current produced should be conducted to the photovoltaic inverter. Then, the energy needs to be transferred for conversion into usable electricity. Hence, the energy the solar panels produce can reach consumers through the electrical network.
5. Get the Right Permits
Before moving on to installation, you must also obtain the necessary documentation and permits that can legalize your power plant installation. It may look a bit daunting, but, fortunately, your hired company will handle your legal work. In most cases, plant owners only need to do a signature here and there. However, it’s pivotal to keep an eye on what’s going on behind the scenes. Your chosen company will file local building permits. The documentation process can take several weeks, of course. But it’s better to ask for paperwork every few days to ensure the process runs smoothly.
6. Order the Right Equipment
Once you receive all the documents and permits, you are ready to order your equipment. Make sure that you have decided on the best solar batteries, types of solar panels, and inverters for the property. Chose equipment based on their features, way of working, cost, and installation process. When you order supplies from your installer, you will be added to the installer’s queue. This means that your plant will be added to your chosen company’s schedule to assemble your solar panels.
7. Authorization of the Energy Concessionaire
To finally install your system, the energy concessionaire operating in your area needs to authorize the power plant system. Besides that, they also need to authorize your plant connection to the electricity grip. Generally, it’s not the responsibility of the power plant owner. Rather, the hired technicians and engineers handle it. They will conduct a technical study of the area, equipment, and other necessary things to request approval from the electrical distribution institution in your region. The approval might take time, and until then, you have to wait for installation.
8. Install Solar Panels
When you get approval from all the required companies, you can ask installers to begin the installation process. The installer will consider all the possible incidents that can occur while installing the photovoltaic power plant to ensure the safety of plants and people working around it. They will also follow your decided plan to install each solar panel. The engineers will set up the racking system on the ground, connect cables on the converter, and connect the distribution board to the required places. Keep in mind that a power plant project can take weeks or months based on how big a plant you have decided to construct.
9. Inspect and Test Your System
This step involves testing your system to see if it’s operational. Technicians from your hired company will visit the installation site and make sure to correctly install all the equipment. During this process, they will also install or exchange a meter for a bidirectional model. This helps them calculate how much energy they can get from the system for use in a single day. Apart from this, technicians and engineers will also run a test and turn on the system to ensure everything is working.
10. Ongoing O&M
This is the last but most important step. A solar power plant usually has a life of around 25 to 30 years. It is also easy to maintain and monitor compared to other energy-producing methods. However, you need to replace equipment at the right time to keep enjoying the benefits of your system. You need to replace the solar inverter in 10 to 15 years, based on your chosen model. If your solar modules fail, you need to replace them as soon as possible. If not, it will hurt the performance of your other solar panels.
A photovoltaic power plant is a great investment. It not only produces energy but also boosts the value of the property that is getting energy from the plant. Although the installation of the plant requires several months, based on the size of your plant, you don’t need to worry about frequent maintenance and replacements.