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Solar systems for the balcony: A comprehensive guide to installation, maintenance and legal regulations

2023-07-05

Balcony Solar Panels: Everything You Need to Know About Installation, Maintenance, and Legal Regulations

Balcony solar panels are trending, and for good reason. They are easy to use, can be installed by amateurs, and the legal regulations for solar panels permit operation under very simple conditions. They are excellently suited to cover a portion of your electricity consumption, making them particularly efficient. Together, we can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by decreasing the demand for fossil energy with the power of the sun. Every effort in this direction helps.

 

Step by Step: The Correct Installation of a Balcony Solar System

Installing solar modules is incredibly simple. They can be mounted on the balcony, against the house wall, in the garden, or on a flat roof. Just plug in the connector, and you're all set! It's important to follow the manufacturer's detailed mounting instructions. Our OneStep.Solar sets are available in various types, both vertical and angled, and in both 800-watt and 400-watt versions.

 

Tips for the Maintenance and Care of Your Solar System

Maintaining solar panels involves regular checks of the connectors and cleaning of the balcony panels to ensure optimal functionality. Generally, the dirtier the panels, the lower the yield. The advantage of balcony power plants is that they are usually easy to access and the area that needs cleaning is manageable. Wiping down the surfaces is quickly done.

Before you start cleaning, you should unplug the balcony power plant. This precaution is recommended when handling all electrical devices and is a mere safety measure. After unplugging, perform a visual inspection of the system for any damage or loose connectors. If everything looks good, proceed with a preliminary cleaning. If possible, you can hose down the panels with a garden hose. Following that, the panels can be cleaned.

For cleaning, a bucket, biodegradable dish soap, and a squeegee, preferably with a long handle, are sufficient. Be cautious about the water's hardness. If it is particularly hard, you should rinse the panels with distilled water after cleaning to avoid lime deposits, which can affect solar penetration and should ideally be avoided. You can then finish by drying the panels with a squeegee.

 

Legal Regulations and Permits: What You Need to Know

Mounting on the balcony requires that the balcony railing is stable enough and the solar panels are secured to withstand storms. Our solar sets are designed to be mounted without professional help, complying with legal requirements. As our solar sets are plug-and-play, no electrician is needed to connect the plug.

If you are a resident of a rental property, you must obtain permission from the landlord. Additionally, the system must be registered with the energy provider. This is generally a formality. The energy provider essentially needs to be informed that you have a balcony power plant in operation.

In many forums, it is stated that balcony installations above a height of 4 meters must meet special technical requirements. However, according to the Building Technology Commission of the Federal States, this is not correct. The commission's chairman, Martin Rücker, has stated that balcony installations or balcony power plants do not need to comply with the "Technical Building Regulations" as they are not permanently connected to the building and do not constitute a building product in the strict sense. However, the requirements of general safety and order and the manufacturer's specifications must be met. This exemption does not apply to solar systems that do not meet the conditions for a micro solar system.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Balcony Solar Systems at a Glance

It can be said that the advantages of balcony solar systems far outweigh the disadvantages. Strictly speaking, the disadvantages are not really disadvantages. For example, electricity fed into the grid is not compensated. However, the dimensions of the balcony systems are such that the electricity generated is typically used for personal consumption. If excess electricity is fed into the grid, this electricity is not lost but contributes to sustainable energy production and thus to personal environmental protection. However, this feed-in is likely to be at a very low level and hardly worth mentioning for most people.

The advantages of the balcony solar system have already been discussed above. Simple installation that can be done by laypersons, very straightforward maintenance, and easy legal norms are the key positive factors for commissioning and operation.

Added to these factors is environmental protection, contributing to long-term independence from fossil fuels. Additionally, the balcony solar system is also suitable for tenants. This is particularly important in Germany, where, according to the Federal Statistical Office, over half of the population (50.5% in 2021) lives in rented accommodations. For tenants, this form of personal energy production is one of the few opportunities to become somewhat independent of the electricity market.

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