How to Choose the Right Solar Power Generator

The following are some tips which might help our customers in choosing the right solar power generator Or Solar Power Plants for their residential and commercial needs.

In an era of increased environmental consciousness, rising costs and volatility of conventional electricity sources, the sun is shining brightly on Kerala with more and more residences opting to go for solar energy in one form or the other.

Be it a simple solar water heater or a solar power plant to partially or fully reduce dependency on conventional power, there is a high degree of awareness among homeowners on the plethora of solar energy options available in the market.

Whilst ANERT is spearheading the growth of solar energy adoption in the state, it also helps to know the options at hand, especially with the mountain of information available today in various publications online/visual and so on.

The fundamental question that arises in the mind of a homeowner is,

1, How to arrive at the right solar energy generation system and

2, How to derive maximum value from that investment.

To address these concerns, the easiest is to address the 3 W’s, namely the why, the What and The How.

1, The Why

WHY – should be the objective of deciding to go for a solar energy system in one way or another – is it to have uninterrupted power throughout for a resident in a town/village with frequent power interruptions, or is it to reduce the power bills by a certain percentage – say 40 % or 60 % or even 100 %, or is it for the owner of an upcoming house to make it environment friendly and sustainable? The questions lead to two key parameters namely convenience and budget.

2, The What

Once the consumer has arrived at the Why, it’s easier to evaluate the What, namely the types of solutions available in the market. Solar power solutions in general can be categorized into three


In off-grid plants, loads connect to a solar inverter and rely on batteries for support, making it the most conventional option. During day hours, Solar energy powers the load and charges the batteries, after sunset batteries power the loads till sunrise and the cycle continues.

If the energy used at night exceeds the design load and the batteries reach their depth of discharge, KSEB bypasses loads, potentially negating benefits.

It’s ideal in these systems to design the batteries to have a depth of discharge cut off of 50 % to obtain a life of at least 2000 cycles which is roughly 5 years.


Grid-tied plants are the most economical and sought-after solar power solutions these days. We never directly connect the loads to the solar inverter. Instead, we synchronize the output from the grid tie inverter with the incoming KSEB line. We use generated energy for loads, exporting excess back to KSEB grid under their net metering program.

A bidirectional inverter records export and import, with the net units billed monthly. Grid-tie systems must shut down during power cuts for safety reasons, preventing export to lines where technicians work.


The best solution, a HYBRID plant, acts like a grid-tie system but disconnects during power cuts for safety. With nominal battery backup, it continues providing backup to connected loads, ensuring maximum use of generated energy.

Although hybrid plants are widely used in most states in India, its not yet adopted by KSEB. Hybrid systems are a highly potential configuration to mitigate frequent power outages and make use of most energy generated.

3, The How

The last part is the how, the starting point for any consumer is to arrive at the size of the system required. Although specialists will engage in custom design as a rule of thumb. The 1-kilowatt peak of the solar power plant will provide a usable AC output of roughly 3 units a day. So setting out a load profile would help arrive at these parameters.

Tabulating loads, wattages, and usage hours helps calculate total daily units needed, such as 20W LED for 6 hours.

So roughly someone who needs 9000 watt hrs a day would need a 3 kW solar power plant. It’s essential to arrive at a balance between price and quality, with plants available in a wide range, the key driver for decisions should be life-cycle cost rather than upfront cost as if a plant fails at say year 2 or year 6 it’s a major loss to the customer who expects a life of 25 years with minimal parts replacements.

A low-priced plant may seem attractive initially but could lead to recurring replacement costs and diminished outputs over time.

European technology, in general, gives the highest efficiency and durability ensuring the consumer gets to use maximum energy generated.

Among many professional players, consumers should seek detailed techno-commercial proposals and expert advice to evaluate and choose the best option.

As a new year begins, Kerala embraces solar energy for affordability, reliability, and sustainability, reducing power bills and ensuring continuity.