How to install solar panels to lower electricity bills in upcoming summer season?

A number of Pakistani solar power companies have reported a surge in demand, particularly from affluent households ahead of summer season.

In these challenging times, many Pakistanis who can afford it are exploring the option of setting up solar power generation systems in their homes.

Pakistan has ideal climatic conditions for solar power generation, with over nine hours of sunlight in most parts of the country. According to the World Bank, utilizing just 0.071 percent of the country’s area for solar photovoltaic (solar PV) power generation would meet Pakistan’s electricity demand. But currently, only 5.4 percent of Pakistan’s installed power generation capacity of 39,772 megawatts comes from renewables like wind, solar and biomass, while fossil fuels still make up 63 percent of the fuel mix, followed by hydropower at 25 percent, according to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) 2021 annual report.

Benefits of solar panels

Installing a rooftop solar system offers Pakistani homeowners, businesses and farmers multiple advantages:

Lower Electricity Bills: Solar panels generate free electricity from the sun once installed, reducing your monthly energy costs by up to 50%.

Protection Against Rising Rates: While grid electricity prices in Pakistan rise ~10% yearly, solar locks in your energy costs for 25+ years.

Carbon Footprint Reduction: Solar PV produces clean energy and avoids emissions from fossil fuels. It’s a smart sustainability investment.

Revenue from Net Metering: Excess solar power exported to the grid earns credits redeemable against your bill.

Improved Power Reliability: Solar paired with batteries provides backup electricity during load shedding outages.

Enhanced Property Value: Multiple studies show solar installations can increase home resale value.

Cost of solar panels

Upfront purchase and installation costs for a standard rooftop solar system in Pakistan typically range:

Small 1-2 kW system: Rs. 150,000 – Rs. 300,000
Medium 3-10 kW system: Rs. 450,000 – Rs. 1,500,000
Large 10-100 kW system: Rs. 1,500,000 – Rs. 15,000,000
This comes out to roughly Rs. 90-120 (~$0.50) per watt for a fully installed residential or commercial solar system. Cost scales down for larger capacity systems.

You can estimate your monthly electricity bill savings based on your typical usage, solar system size, and the net metering credits you’ll earn. Most homeowners break even within 5-7 years.

Financing options like solar leases or loans can offset upfront purchase costs in exchange for monthly payments, but increase total lifetime costs. Outright purchase yields best ROI.

Process of installing solar panels 

Solar installations involve careful planning, design, procurement, permitting, construction and activation. Typical process steps include:

Solar site evaluation 

Before designing a system, installers conduct a site survey evaluating:

Roof size, layout, age, material, and ability to bear panel weight
Potential solar access and shading patterns throughout the day/year
Electricity usage, utility bills, and on-site load requirements
Ideal locations for mounting panels and ancillary equipment
This data helps determine optimal solar system sizing and specifications. Any obstacles to maximum generation are identified.

System design and engineering

After collecting site data, installers create technical design documents including:

Recommended panel layout and spacing
Exact model, number and wattage of panels
Specs for racking, inverters and other BOS equipment
Electrical one-line diagrams with all components
Mounting and installation plan tailored to your property
Energy production modeling results – kWh generation potential
Proper engineering ensures your system delivers optimal solar output for your needs and site.

Equipment procurement 

Reputable contractors source panels, inverters, racks, wiring and hardware from leading brands with longstanding performance:

Solar Modules: Jinko, JA Solar, Trina, QCells, Longi, Canadian Solar, etc.
Inverters: Huawei, Sungrow, SMA, ABB, SolarEdge, etc.
Racking/Mounting: Unirac, IronRidge, Ecofasten, DPW Solar, etc.
Quality equipment certified by international labs ensures rated output, safety and durability.
Installation and Activation – Bringing Solar to Life

The installer will do the following:

Apply for all required building permits
Perform physical installation and wiring based on engineering diagrams
Integrate monitoring hardware to track system performance
Program parameters on inverters and electronics
Run wire conduits cleanly through walls/ceilings to your electrical panel
Obtain utility net metering approval allowing grid connectivity
Complete final inspections to verify proper functionality and safety
End-to-end testing ensures your solar power system operates seamlessly.

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