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Why do we need Solar Panels?
A fact-based Comparison with
UPS and Generator Solution

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Why Do We Need Solar Panels?

 

What is Renewable or Alternative Sources of Energy?

Dear Customers! We appreciate your interest in the environmentally clean renewable sources of energy. In the following draft, you will find all the basic and relevant information required to make you further convinced about your rational choice in choosing renewable sources of energy for your energy requirements. Renewable sources of energy include different natural sources like solar, wind, bio, hydro and tidal energy sources which are used to produce electricity. These natural sources are considered as environmentally clean (pollution free) and alternative sources of energy across the globe. Using these sources of energy to fulfill our daily power requirements and to compensate for existing power crisis in different parts of the world is at the top priority of global political agenda led by United Nations (UN) and other international forums.

Where does INNOSOL stand here?

INNOSOL is proud to be an active industrial player in delivering these alternative energy solutions in Pakistan, as we have committed ourselves to be a renowned business leader in providing ‘Innovative Solutions’ for your all daily needs and requirements. In energy sector, our future vision is to become the leader in delivering these renewable or alternative sources of energy solutions either as a standalone option or in a hybrid mode in order to complement one source of energy with other alternative energy sources for the fulfillment of our all energy requirements at homes, offices, public places, shops and industrial sites. We have currently launched solar panels in the first phase with the brand name of ‘ENERSOL’ which will be later complemented with wind-turbines and bio energy solutions in the second phase. Hence, the following mentioned details are more focused on the business case of solar panels to explain why we should prefer this solution over other environmentally polluted and expensive solutions looking from the long-term perspective?

 Why to prefer Solar Panels and Wind Turbines over Generator based UPS solution?

Here we make a detailed comparative analysis and evaluation step by step of the two competitive solutions i.e. the solar panels (and hybrid systems complemented with wind turbines) vs. UPS supported backup system and on-grid power supply.

Let’s first start with the micro-economic perspective. A typical UPS system with battery costs 15,000-25,000 Rs. with an additional cost of generator 10,000-15,000 Rs. UPS when used as standalone backup system has severe limitations since its battery requires to be remained charged all the time in order to prolong its uninterrupted power supply (as its name claims for) in order to support over the longer duration of backup time. Typically the backup time of a UPS supported system is less than half of its battery charging time; hence it means that, to support a backup time of 2 hours, the battery needs at least 4 to 5 hours of charging time. Now consider whether this could be a solution in case of currently experiencing frequent load shedding (with no power supply available to charge UPS connected battery).  Also consider here the unpredictable schedule for this frequent load shedding which sometimes exceeds 10 hours a day in the urban areas and up to 20 hours in the rural areas at the time of peak power crisis? So it is not then possible to keep the battery charged all the time i.e. in ready to use condition due to unpredictable load shedding hours in most part of the country. The situation about load shedding is expected to get even worse in future due to existing water shortage and apparently no viable and visible planning on behalf of government in developing sustainable, long-term and low cost power projects.

Now we look at the UPS standalone solution in comparison with solar panels. Let’s consider a typical UPS of 500W used for offices, shops and household applications. If the UPS batteries are connected for continuous charging from the wall socket to support 4 hours of backup time then it would need at least 10 hours of charging time to fully charge and support the 500W load for 4 hours of back up time. Having connected the 500 W batteries for 10 hours charging time would drop 5 units a day. Let us now assume if the one unit electricity cost is 10 Rs. (as predicted to be after the entry of expensive rental generated power into national grid system and the current proposed increments in per unit price of electricity) then 5 units consumption of UPS for only 4 hours back time to support 500 W load would cost an additional Rs. 50 per day or Rs. 1500 every month. It means that having 500 W of UPS for 4 hours backup time has Rs. 18,000 of yearly running cost. In general, the UPS life time is around 3 to 4 years in comparison to solar panels which last for more than 25 years. In comparison buying our ‘Enersol’ branded solar panel system of 180 W (with associated two batteries for 4 hours backup time in case of wet batteries what we supply along with the whole package and 13 hours back up time in case of deep cycle batteries, one charge controller, and one inverter) would cost the customer around Rs.120,000. Also it is worth to mention here that our system can be complemented with an additional ‘change over switch’ (which only cost 500 Rs.) in order to also use our system just like a standalone UPS in addition to be a solar panel system, hence saving your money to buy an additional UPS. Looking from above calculation; even though the solar panel with one single unit is producing less energy but it does not make any additional cost once the first time installation cost has been paid by the customer. The additional power can be supplied up to several KW through coupling several sets of panels together. In that case each additional coupling panel would cost lesser in absolute terms since the same charge controller and inverter would support the additional coupling units as well, and only additional batteries and solar panels would be required for increasing the load capacity.       
Secondly, in technical terms, don’t get confused in taking the unit KVA (often quoted in UPS specifications) as equivalent of KW since the two units have rather a complicated formula to correctly convert one unit into another due to involving multiple variables. Typically an UPS specified with 1 KVA is capable of supporting 600-700 W load i.e. 60-70% efficiency in terms of watts.

Thirdly, the on-grid power supply is either unavailable (due to current power shortage and energy crisis) or its per unit cost is continuously increasing day by day. The cost per unit supply will increase even further due to government’s policy to periodically increase the price for per unit energy consumption in order to follow IMF dictation on revenue collection, and also because of engaging in very expensive deals e.g. in case of signing the current ‘rental power projects’ what government has committed itself with in order to compensate for the energy shortage in the country instead of e.g. investing in the long-term and low cost hydro power projects.

Fourthly, when generator is connected with UPS to support uninterrupted continuous power supply then one should also remember to consider the operating cost of using generator, in addition to the combined initial fixed cost of purchasing UPS (battery, charge controller, inverter) along with generator which cost above 35,000 Rs. for a relatively reliable system. The 12 hours operation of generator would consume in average 12 liters of petrol as well, which would cost 840 Rs. on daily basis to a user (assuming the current petrol price as of 70 Rs./L). So guess what will be the yearly cost – above Rs. 3 Lacks each year! But still it doesn’t end the story, since the petrol continuous availability is another significant issue in the presence of current Gas and Petroleum shortage in the country and due to globally unstable petroleum prices. If the current pace of petroleum crisis continuous (which is very much expected to be continued) then the future prices for the petroleum will likely be surging above than 100 Rs./L within two years (as estimated). The simple formula for estimating future price curve of common goods is generally set in economic terms based primarily on the two factors i.e. rising demand and reducing supply which clearly indicates a steep rise in future in the petroleum prices.

Fifthly, let’s now look at some of its negative consequences from the macro-economic and socio-environmental perspective. Have you ever experienced shopping during the night hours in a congested shopping mall when the light had suddenly gone followed up the loud noisy sounds of generators as they start working from different corners of the mall? Do you really wish to carry out your shopping in the presence of that noise which is medically disastrous for human audibility if heard over a longer period of time, as it most likely could also become the cause for severe headache and frustration? Think how we would react if the same loud noise keeps following us when we are back at home if every household starts operating generator-supported UPS system? Would we really bear hearing that loud noise over the longer period of time thinking from the patients’ and school-going kids’ vantage point as well? Won’t it make depress and mentally sick the whole society in end of the day?

Sixthly, let’s look further from environmental perspective. Would we ever realize our part of responsibility in reducing the increasing amount of CO² emission that is continuously poisoning our environment? Can we assume our role in reducing this pollution which is threatening the existence of this globe where we live together and with which our mutual survival is attached with? Can we assume the guilt on our part if our individual households as a whole start producing this additional amount of pollutions emitted from generators in addition to what we are already producing through our transportation systems and industries? Think what level of water pollution in addition to air pollution will be created by the residuals and spillovers of consumed petroleum left on the ground when they are added to our sewerage lines and drainage system after the rain and washing floors, as in the end they all would be drained into the rivers and ocean? Imagine how this greasy water spilled over or absorbed in underground water reservoirs would affect the agricultural lands and their crops, since the rain would also be polluted due to pertaining very high number of carbonized particles? Would we want to leave such a disastrous world as heritage to our forthcoming generations to let them bear the cost and pay the painful price of our criminal negligence? Is there something that we as civilized human-beings and responsible global citizens could contribute to avoid the catastrophic consequences of our irrational moves?

Now compare the above presented situation with respect to the pollution free renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines, which give an opportunity to not only reduce the collective cost of energy production but also would help avoiding the complete depletion of oil and gas reservoirs through reducing the dependence on these traditional mode of power production, and instead focusing on the plentiful and safer means of power production. Once the consumer had committed an initial fixed investment in purchasing ‘ENERSOL’ then the consumer can enjoy using the pollution free energy for at least 25 years (as the product life time has been mentioned in the manufacturer’s warrantee statement) including three years of service support provided by INNOSOL with the assurance of product replacement in case of any hardware malfunctioning. In case of choosing ENERSOL solution, the consumer won’t need to pay for any operating or running cost (apart from the annual cost required for usual battery maintenance); so saving his/her Rs. 3 Lacks on annual basis what in case of choosing a generator backed UPS option would have simply sucked out of consumer’s pocket. Also in this case, there is no risk of unavailability or shortage of the original source of energy (as in other case we do observe due to acute shortage of oil and gas), since the sun light is abundant especially in our context.  Even in the cloudy weather, the solar panel can produce energy with 70-80% efficiency and a continuous supply could be effectively used during the day time (i.e. about 12 hours). During the night time, the backup supply from wet batteries (what is already provided with our composite ‘ENERSOL’ solar system) can support up to 4 hours backup time; whereas paying some additional cost for deep cycle batteries of 2 KW storage capacity, a backup time up to 13 hours can be provided if a continuous 150 Watt load were connected to our 180 watt solar panel. With that additional price paid for deep cycle batteries, the life of battery would also be enhanced by 3-4 times than ordinary wet battery. We recommend our customers to go for deep cycle batteries both from the relative convenience point of view (less maintenance required with 13 hours backup time) and economic perspective (no need to change battery over the next 6-8 years in average if followed the given instructions).

Finally, the solar panels are best when operated in complementary mode with on-grid power supply in case if the power requirement exceeds 150 watts what a 180 watt solar panel can deliver continuously. Generally the average household applications exceed that limited power load capacity; whereas the small shops normally can fully make use of solar panels using the single 180 watt solar panel which is suffice to be used as alternative mode of power supply for many energy-saver bulbs and couple of fans. For those households, offices, shops and small & medium-sized industrial units whose power requirements exceed the above mentioned limit can also be delivered their required amount of energy through coupling multiple solar panels or installing a hybrid solution of a scalable arrangement using both multiple solar panels and wind turbines (in those places where a 3-5 m/s wind speed/blow is available which is considered as the least cut-in speed required to rotate the rotor of wind turbine).

INNOSOL again thanks for your spent time and showed interest in reading the above text and wish to get engage with you in a sustainable long-term and trustworthy relationship in all future transactions. We believe in growing through establishing a strengthened and trust based relations with our valuable customers because customer means everything to us. Your satisfaction with our products is the judgment parameter for our success. And we are proud to be sharing one common vision with you and that is to serve Pakistan!