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A mini case study on net-metered solar power systems in Delhi, India

We at Zolt take great pride in our efforts towards making solar adoption as easy as getting a broadband internet connection. With our first few installations live for about a month, we figured mapping the end-to-end process would make a good reading for the solar enthusiasts of India.

Our ‘Easiest Way Solar’ covers 5 basic steps and covers the entire cycle from education to customisation to approvals and finally, to solar adoption.

Let’s see how we did it for Dr. Atul from Saket whose journey spanned 4 months (Power Distribution Company approval cycle being 3 months) and who is now a proud owner of Zolt’s 5.1kW Solar Power System.

Step 1: Getting All Relevant Information

October, 2015

We reached out to Dr. Atul with a personalised Solar Information Kit covering basic details about solar power, Delhi’s net-metering policy and Zolt’s products. He called, we talked and having answered all his questions to his satisfaction, we scheduled a solar consultation to help him decide the right product for his house.

Step 2 : Identifying Requirements (including constraints) and Proposing the Right Product.

November, 2015

Dr. Atul’s only constraint was to adopt solar power in a way that would still leave some roof-space for drying clothes and other routine household activities. We suggested a raised roof structure that would not hinder their roof utilisation in any way. And since his average electricity consumption was about 1500kWh, we recommended a 5kW system. This way, most of his solar generation will offset grid electricity in the higher tariff slabs of Rs. 10/kWh and above. We submitted the layouts, he accepted and we filed for the necessary regulatory approvals.

Step 3 : Getting Net-Metering Approvals

December 2015 – February 2016

The approval cycle has 2 key parts. One (feasibility) where the DISCOM checks viability of solar in your neighbourhood as only 20% of capacity will be put on solar on first-come-first-serve basis and Two (registration) where they check the detailed technical specifications of the system being installed to ensure all equipment has necessary certifications.

We submitted the feasibility forms on behalf of Dr. Atul and the after getting feasibility approval, completed the registration formalities and started getting ready for the big day!

It is important to note here that BSES Rajdhani is doing a commendable task of promoting solar by giving approvals faster than the timelines framed under the Net-Metering Guidelines.

Step 4: Installation

Custom installations need meticulous preparation for a flawless execution. We worked closely with Dr. Atul on how he wanted the system to look – from creating easy-to-clean access points to deciding on a color of his choice.

Dr. Atul’s 5.1kW plant was commissioned on March 12, 2016 after BSES Rajdhani inspection and meter replacement.

Step 5 : Monitoring & Maintenance

All Zolt systems come with 24/7 monitoring and this has multiple benefits.

  • Dr. Atul gets real time generation data on his smartphone.
  • We get the opportunity to do premptive maintenance to minimise customer inconvenience.

The Results!

Dr. Atul’s solar system has generated an average of 24kWh/day during the last fortnight. This is better than our expectation of 20kWh/day considering we compromised on the angle of inclination when we chose to go for a raised roof structure. There will be sunny days, there will be monsoons and on average we are confident of generating 600kWh/month for Dr. Atul.

On annual terms, this translates to offsetting his carbon footprint equivalent to 20,000+ km travel by car AND saving him Rs. 72,000+ every year!

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