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Solar energy on the balcony: how to get started? - OneStep.Solar

2024-05-02

Solar Energy on the Balcony: A Beginner's Guide

Balcony power systems are designed to be uncomplicated in every respect for the consumer. Both the setup and the commissioning can be done by amateurs. For those who are not familiar with solar systems in general and are unsure how to start, we have created a brief guide with tips and background information. The whole topic of solar energy is fundamentally not very complicated and the principles are easily understandable. This article deals with how a solar system works, how to choose the right system for oneself, how to install and commission it, and what legal requirements need to be met. To help find the right system, we have a product finder on our homepage, which makes finding the optimal system a breeze.

Thankfully, in recent years the legislator has made it increasingly easier for consumers to use balcony power systems as part of the energy transition. Concurrently, the power limit of balcony power systems was raised from 600 to 800 watts, making these small-scale power plants even more attractive and having a significant positive impact on the annual electricity consumption and thus on the electricity bill. And here lies the greatest advantage of these micro solar systems. By limiting the power to 800 watts, in most cases, the majority of the energy produced is consumed onsite and only a very small portion is fed back into the grid. This makes the system very efficient for the consumer and at least partially disconnects them from the public power grid, allowing the upfront installation costs to pay for themselves in just a few years. Even more appealing for the consumer is the fact that the electricity produced is no longer subject to market price fluctuations or increases. Looking at the energy prices over the past years and the government's goals, which clearly move towards electrifying many household devices such as heat pumps or cars, the installation of solar energy is an excellent means to counter future developments and gain at least some independence.

Understanding the Basics of Balcony Solar Systems

The operating principle of a balcony power station is the same as that of all other solar systems. The solar cells capture solar energy and convert it into direct current, which is then passed to an inverter. The inverter converts this direct current back into alternating current, so it can be fed through a cable connection into the household electric circuit and used.

Steps to Choose the Right Solar Module

As mentioned earlier, we have provided a product finder on our homepage, which can determine the right choice of solar modules for your balcony based on specific questions about the structural situation of your apartment or house. Important considerations include the type of property, the location of installation, and the available area. Choosing micro solar systems is much easier than larger systems, hence the finder function is pleasantly simple and clear.

Installation and Commissioning of Your Balcony Photovoltaic System

The installation and commissioning of solar modules or balcony power systems can be carried out on your own. Complete sets further simplify the installation process. The modules and the inverter are mounted according to the location of use, wiring is carried out, and finally, the plug connection is made to a simple household socket. None of the steps require professional help, nor is the assistance of an electrician necessary for commissioning.

Tips for Maximizing Energy Production

To achieve the highest efficiency from balcony photovoltaic systems, the modules should be optimally aligned. Regular maintenance and care are also helpful in achieving optimal performance. Occasional cleaning and checking of the wiring are sufficient. However, ensure that the system is turned off for this purpose.

Legal Aspects and Permissions

Micro solar systems or balcony power systems are not subject to building law. Generating energy on the balcony is therefore very straightforward. Only general regulations for mounting need to be observed. However, a notification requirement exists towards your energy provider and the Federal Network Agency. These are simple registrations and the processes should not take more than 20 minutes. First, the energy provider is notified, and then a registration in the market master data register of the Federal Network Agency is carried out. The registrations are necessary, among other things, to be able to apply for funding and for safety reasons.

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