Solar farms are sprouting up all over the world in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small community-scale farms that lighten up small communities to giant utility-scale ones that are responsible for powering thousands of homes. According to research about the last decade, solar farms alone have experienced an average 49% growth rate annually. If you are a solar fanatic like us, then we would love to suggest to you what should you think about when setting up a solar farm.
FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHILE ESTABLISHING A SOLAR FARM
Several factors contributed to and might not get ignored while setting up a solar farm. Below are some frequently discussed issues that need to be discussed before setting up.
· The land occupied by a solar farm – While setting up a solar farm the most asked question is how to hook up land power to solar systems. Well, a 1 MW solar farm requires approximately 6-8 acres of land. This particular land should have not only contain space for solar arrays but also equipment such as inverters. There should also be space left between panel rows to allow easy access for repair and maintenance purposes which means that the space of land you choose has a deep impact on the better establishment of your solar power system.
· Time required for setting it up – The time required for the construction of a solar farm depends on its size and the no. of people hired to work on it. This could take a few months only whereas collecting all necessary approvals and contracts is a time taking process i.e. around 3-5 years. Once the construction is complete, it requires minimum maintenance about 3-4 times yearly.
· Revenue generation – A solar farm of 1 MW produces 1460 MWh per year which can generate a revenue of roughly $40,000 annually. This can vary depending upon factors such as area-wise solar production and ongoing wholesale market rate.
· Opting for the standard equipment – When setting up your custom solar farm, it’s important to decide and opt for the right equipment for your solar farm. The most important piece of equipment for a solar power system is the inverter. The overall cost, efficiency, and monitoring ability of your solar farm are affected greatly by the type of inverter you choose.
TYPES OF INVERTERS USED IN SOLAR FARMS – Inverters are the most important component of a solar farm because it performs a major function that is converting DC generated from the solar panel into AC so that it can be used by us to power our homes. There are two types of inverters namely string and micro-inverters. Both types of inverters perform the same function as mentioned above but the type of inverter you choose affects several factors such as cost, efficiency, and the ability that monitors your solar power system. For you to choose wisely about which type of inverter suits best to you, you must first understand the difference between them as well as the pros and cons of both types of inverters.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MICRO AND STRING INVERTERS
The major difference between both types of inverters is when and where they transform DC energy into AC energy. String inverters also termed central inverters are mounted as a device in your house and are installed next to your utility meters via a single string which is joined to several solar panels connected in a series. It changes the electrical currents of all panels from one main location. In contrast, micro inverters are attached directly to the back of each solar panel and are responsible for converting currents at the time of creation.
Each type of inverter has its positives and negatives but performs the same function. Let’s discuss some of their major pros and cons so that it would turn out easy for you to opt for what’s best for your custom solar panel.
PROS AND CONS OF STRING INVERTERS
· String inverters are a lower-cost option.
· String inverters are not considered ideal for roofs that have any shading issues but are ideal for all other roofs.
· String inverters can also perform like micro-inverters by attaching power optimizer to each solar panel. The cost of string inverter increases after attaching optimizer but remains less than micro ones.
· It’s quite easier to diagnose and solve large-scale issues.
· Fewer parts require monitoring.
· A major con is less warranty time i.e. 12 years which is typically shorter than micro inverters.
· It becomes quite expensive if you desire to add more panels.
· In string inverters, you can only track the production of the entire system rather than individual tracking.
PROS AND CONS OF MICROINVERTERS
· The best feature of micro inverters is each panel works independently which means that if one panel is shaded due to some reason, the output won’t reduce.
· It’s easier and less expensive to add more panels.
· Monitoring the performance of each panel is possible.
· Micro inverters are installed with a warranty of almost 25 years. The majority of homeowners find it worthwhile to opt for this type of inverter die for a much longer warranty.
· The biggest drawback is its cost which is far higher as compared to string inverters.
· More parts require maintenance and repair in contrast to string inverters.
Choosing an inverter for you depends on factors such as the solar system’s size, exposure to the sun, and energy required. When chosen rightly, you can maximize your solar system’s performance as well as your solar savings.