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Solar FAQ

How does solar power work?

A: To put it simply, once installed and commissioned a Solar PV System will work as follows
    1. Solar Panel Arrays on your roof collect the suns energy and send it to an inverter
    2. The inverter will change this energy from DC power into usable AC power, from the inverter, the AC power can go in two directions depending on your setup.

First, if power is required, then solar power will be drawn into your business and used.

Second direction is for excess power not used, instead of entering your home, it will travel out to the electricity grid. Currently, in Thailand the utility has a zero-export policy meaning you cannot send excess power back into the grid.

What happens at night?

A: PV systems require sunlight to function, once the sun drops past a certain point your PV system will shut down and go to sleep. After this, your consumed electricity will come from the electricity grid instead. At a certain point in the morning, when enough sunlight starts to hit your solar array, the system will once again wake up and provide power.

What about shade?

A: Shade will affect the output generated, so Kunini takes careful consideration into the design of your system and placement of the solar panels to maximize your system performance.

Does my roof need to face South?

A: A South facing roof on a 15-degree inclination is preferred for maximum efficiency. East or West facing roofs will still perform very well but with production losses.

A South facing array will produce most of its power through the middle of the day, while an east or west facing array will produce more solar production at either the beginning or end of the day; which is when you will generally use more power.

How do I get solar power to my home or business?

A: The first step is to speak with us, to work out what the best solution for you. Kunini will arrange a site survey and discuss requirements (wants and needs) with you. Once the survey is completed then a quotation will be sent, usually within 24 hours.

Once you approve the quotation, Kunini will then set up the Installation which will be carried out by Kunini’s own Solar Install Team.

Kunini will take care of as much of the process as possible including any permits that may be required.

Can I upgrade in the future?

A: Yes, upgrades are possible. Additional solar panels can be added, if there is enough room to extend an existing array or to add an additional array. You may also need to upgrade your inverter to support the increased power generation.

Another factor when upgrading is the size of the current PV system, as there are some restrictions on the maximum size of domestic solar pv systems.

How long will my solar system last?

A: Solar systems are designed to last a long time. Good panels will typically last for 30+ years, undamaged panels will not typically fail, but rather their power output will slowly diminish over time until they need replacing.

Inverters are a little more complicated and ultimately their longevity will depend on factors such as their location (how dirty, how much sunlight and heat in that location).

Most provide warranties of 5 to 10 years with an expected performance life of 15+ years.

Are there any Incentive programs in place at the moment?

A: At this time the Thai Government has not launched any ongoing incentive programs but we expect to have some news about this late 2017. It will be either a FIT (feed in tariff) scheme, a Net-Metering scheme or a combination of the two.

The utility, PEA, MEA allow customers to install solar pv for self-consumption only.

How do I maintain the solar panels?

A: Cleaning: Rain is generally enough to keep the solar panels clean; however, if there has been very little or no rain, or the area has high air contamination then every so often a quick clean may be required to keep the system at peak performance.

Monitoring: Regularly checking yield results on the inverter is advised to detect any possible performance issues. If in doubt a quick phone call to one of our staff members can quickly confirm if performance figures are within normal range.

What is module (solar panel) efficiency?

A: The module efficiency rating indicates how effective the solar module is at producing electricity from a square meter of solar energy.

A typical 250w solar panel has an efficiency rating of around 15.3% where a 235w solar panel of the same dimensions would have an efficiency rating of around 14.1%.

Do I still need a grid connection? Is main electricity still required?

A: This will depend on the System you choose, if it’s a Grid-Tied System or a Hybrid System with Storage then a Grid Connection will still be required. If you have an Off-Grid System, then no Grid Connection will be required

What if it is cloudy?

A: Your PV system will still produce power; however, the efficiency will be greatly reduced. Keep in mind, the solar energy produced must reach the desired DC start-up voltage before your inverter will wake up and function.

During a power cut, will my solar panels provide me with electricity?

A: If you have a Grid-Tied solar system then the inverter will shut down and you cannot use your solar panels. If you have a Hybrid solar system, then the batteries (storage system) will take over and provide back-up power.

Where does my inverter get installed?

A: The inverter should be placed somewhere easily accessible in case of emergency. It should also be placed in a cool location out of direct sunlight, out of dusty / dirty areas and somewhere with sufficient ventilation.

What permits will I require?

A: The utility (PEA, MEA) requires that an application is made for each solar rooftop system. The requirements are straightforward, a set of guidelines are in place such as approved Inverters, Solar Panels and other equipment. The roof structure must be approved by the City Hall civil engineer and the installation company must be registered as a Solar Installer.

What is the performance guarantee?

A: Over its life time, solar panels will lose some performance; the performance guarantee states the maximum deviation from the minimum rated output at certain ages of the panel. Kunini will outline what the conservative figures are for panel life and factor that in to any ROI calculations, on average, it works out to be less than 1% per year, with greater than 80% performance remaining in the 25th year.

Are my panels covered by insurance?

A: Once fitted to your roof Solar panels should instantly be covered by your business insurance policy, however this is something we recommend confirming with your insurance company and upgrading the cover to include the solar panels and equipment.

What is the 'Tier System' for rating solar panels?

A: A 3rd party company called Pike’s Research (who are not affiliated with the solar industry), have come up with a 3 Tier ranking system for solar panels.

The idea behind the ranking system is to help business owners make informed decisions that will give them piece of mind for their investment.

At the most basic level, Tier 1 means a manufacturer supplies quality products and has the intention of staying around for the long-term. This is important because, after all, what good is a 25 year warranty if the company won’t be around to support it?

What is your warranty policies on the systems?

A: Solar Panels: 25 years, manufacturer’s performance warranty. 10 years, manufacturer’s product warranty.

Inverters: 5-10 years, manufacturer’s warranty.

Mounting Warranty: 10 years, manufacturer’s product warranty.

Installation: 2 years, installer’s warranty.