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General

What is solar energy?


The sun is continuously producing energy in the form of heat and light. This energy is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy and solar architecture. Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available and the Middle East region lies in the global sun belt – receiving the sunniest days per year to favor growth of the solar energy industry.




How do solar panels produce electricity?


Solar energy is captured in a variety of ways, the most common of which is with Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into usable electricity. PV panels are made up of many solar cells. Multiple cells make up a solar panel, and multiple panels (modules) can be wired together to form a solar array.

Sunlight hits a solar panel on the roof. The panels convert the energy to DC current, which flows to an inverter. The inverter converts the electricity from DC to AC, which you can then use to power your home.




Why should I use solar energy?


Solar energy is a clean, inexpensive, renewable power source that can be harnessed and used to generate electricity at any point where sunlight hits the surface of the earth. You will generate your own electricity and use it power all your appliances and equipment without depending on the power grid. Using solar panels help you to:

a. Reduce or eliminate electricity bills

b. Earn great return on investment

c. Avoid utility inflation (tariff rates)

d. Constant and reliable power supply

e. Increased property value

f. Energy independence

g. Protect the environment




How much energy do I need to power my home/business?


Solar panels are installed at three main scales: residential, commercial, and utility. Residential-scale solar is typically installed on rooftops of homes or in open land (ground-mounted) and is generally between 5 and 20 kilowatts (kW), depending on the size of a property. In Dubai, the average energy consumption of a villa is around 60,000 kWh/year, a solar PV system of 15 kWp will generate 24,000 kWh of electricity, offsetting around 40-50% of the energy needs, meaning savings of around AED 10,500 annually.

Commercial solar energy projects are generally installed at a greater scale than residential solar. Though individual installations can vary greatly in size, commercial-scale solar serves a consistent purpose: to provide on-site solar power to businesses and non-profits. Finally, utility-scale solar projects are typically large, several megawatt (MW) installations that provide solar energy to a large number of utility customers.




How is my solar panel connected to the DEWA grid?


Step 1

Customers can contact SDG Energy, one of DEWA’s enrolled contractors to review the feasibility and get advice on the best solution for the solar PV system in compliance with DEWA’s standards.

Step 2: NOC application
We submit the Solar NOC building application to DEWA.

Step 3: Design Approval Application
Upon receiving the DEWA building solar NOC, the we will apply for solar PV design approval.

Step 4: Notification to DEWA

We will notify DEWA that the installation is ready for inspection and connection.

Step 5: Site Inspection and Connection

We will coordinate with DEWA and the customer to arrange the technical inspection of the site, signing the connection agreement, meter installation, and connection of the solar photovoltaic system to DEWA’s grid.


Step 6: Solar Generation
Once the system is connected, the customer can generate his or her own electricity using solar energy. The surplus is exported to DEWA grid. DEWA will offset the customer’s bill accordingly.




Can I turn off my rooftop solar system?


Solar panels are continuously producing electricity during the day – meaning they are always live. However, they can be switched off for periodic maintenance. Your solar PV installer will introduce you to a complete guide to switching your solar system on or off.




What will happen to the power generated if I go on a holiday?


If you are going away for a vacation, you can leave your solar PV system on. It will continue to produce energy daily. As your system is connected to the grid, the unused energy will be transported back into the grid for use elsewhere. You will get credit for the excess energy produced, and can use that credit to draw from the conventional grid at night or on cloudy days. A net meter records the energy sent compared to the energy received from the grid.




Is installing solar panel safe?


Installing solar panels is not much different from installing new lights or changing the wiring and cables of a building.

Some common operational risks involved are:

1. Working at a height

2. Electrical hazards

3. Roof damage

4. Fire hazards

5. Interruption with gas/grid lines

These risks can occur in any industry and are neither greater nor different from any other risks arising from the commonly used energy generation technologies. UAE maintains the strictest standards for solar service providers to ensure no harm befalls the labor force as well as the facility during installation process. Strict inspection and testing protocols are followed by government certified officers to ensure that the commissioned power plant will run safely and not pose health and property damage.





Financial

How do I choose the best Commercial Option?


There are 2 main options to get the solar power plant for your facility or your home. First, the typical buyout of the system that can be done in installment or that is paid per milestone, e.g. DEWA's approval collection 10%, Installation 30%. etc. Second, the Leasing or getting a Financing Company on board who will provide funds when you pay ZERO to the contractor, while still generating the savings. Generally, you do not need to look for a bank; such Financing Institutes are partnered with contarctors like Sharaf DG Energy, so that you can get the best lease rate possible.




How will solar panel help to save money?


Solar power is cheaper than the power from local utility grid. With your rooftop solar PV system you will generate your own clean electricity – taking less power from the grid, ultimately paying less money and saving more in the long-run.

  • Less power from grid - A solar system helps you save because you won't be using as much electricity from the grid.
  • Price of electricity - The cost of electricity is rising, so the more you can generate your own power, the more you'll be saving
  • Feed-in tariffs - Any excess energy your system generates can be fed back into the grid to offset your power bill. The rebate or payment you get when your feed excess power back to the system is calculated according to the feed-in tariff.




Should I install solar panel now or wait for a few years?


For those having doubts about going solar now or wait, the cost of solar installation continues to fall. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), installing a residential solar energy system costs 70% less than it did in 2010. If you wait for a year or two, the panel prices might fall slightly, however every year you delay your solar purchase decision is another year that you miss out on the financial benefits your solar energy system can provide.

If you wait to go solar, you’re stuck paying your utility electricity bill every month, which can rise depending on the economic situation. Therefore, at a minimum, we recommend you start exploring your solar options today.





Engineering

How can I maintain my solar power plant?


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How to clean solar panels?


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