Calculating Your Commercial Solar Power Requirements

Solar Power Requirements

With significantly lower costs, increased efficiency and the Australian government’s solar rebate system, solar power is becoming a viable option for many commercial businesses and residential homes too. There are more providers available and different products to suit different needs. Obviously, a good provider will be able to advise you on the best solution given your specific needs, but it can be helpful to have a general idea of what you’re after. This article will talk about some of the things you need to consider.

Energy Bills Are The Starting Point

Energy Bills

When it comes down to it, the decision to go solar is all about efficiency. You want to find a solar solution that makes your commercial building and processes as efficient and cost effective as possible. There’s no point having excess solar panels and generating energy that you aren’t able to utilise or store.

Your energy bill can reveal how much energy your business is using on average during daytime hours – your solar setup should account for a percentage of this, possibly as high as possible. How do you know how much energy you can expect from your solar system? A professional should be able to give you a ballpark figure based on your location and orientation of the building, etc. You can also the below resource to approximate a figure:

http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php

Do You Need Battery Storage?

Battery Storage

Unless you have battery storage capability, you will need to use solar energy up as it is generated – which is obviously during the day. This is actually the most efficient way of going about it; storing energy results in small losses. The energy you don’t use at once is stored, but in total you’re losing anywhere from 3-5 times the amount of energy storing it than you would if you used it straight away. However, these numbers depend on the system you have in place and may differ from product to product.

While most commercial solar solutions don’t include battery storage, it may be applicable to your situation. If you’re planning to make solar energy your main source of power, go ‘off the grid‘ completely or use energy through the night for your commercial needs, this is a must. If however, you are taking a more conservative route and starting with it may not be necessary – you can always add batter storage capabilities later.

Energy Requirements In Daylight Hours

Daylight

It’s a lot more cost effective for you to use up as much of the solar energy you collect during the day, and use as little of your other more expensive power source as possible. If you choose a solar energy solution that is excessively large or robust, you’ll end up collecting more energy than you need and paying more than you need to for upkeep and installation. It’s your job to figure out how much energy your business is using on the average day during daylight hours, and install a solar energy system that accounts for this, limiting your time spent using power from the grid, or your usual power source. Also consider any stored energy you may need to use at night, which will vary depending on the type of business you are operating.

There is a lot to think about when looking to install a commercial solar panel system. A good service provider will work with you to ascertain the ideal system for your needs, but its also about what you need for your business and the type of investment you want to make.