Solar power is revolutionizing the energy landscape in Pakistan, offering an efficient and sustainable solution to meet the country’s growing electricity demands. As solar power becomes more affordable, homeowners—or business owners—are often confused by the terminology thrown around. One such term you may have encountered is the on-grid solar system.
On-grid solar system, also known as grid-tie, grid-connected and grid-interactive solar system, is not a type of solar panel or a separate solar panel system. It is an arrangement system with the grid, where the system is connected to the grid. The other two types are hybrid and off-grid solar systems.
Among the various solar system options, on-grid solar systems in Pakistan have gained significant popularity due to their affordability and seamless integration with the existing power grid infrastructure.
In this article, we will explore the concept of the eon-grid solar system in Pakistan and delve into the prices of different system sizes, including 3kW, 5kW, 6kW, and 10kW, to help readers make informed decisions about adopting solar energy.
Specifically, we will discuss the following:
- What is an on-grid solar system?
- How does it work in Pakistan?
- How is it different from other types of systems?
- What benefits does it have for solar system owners?
- How does it affect the solar payback period?
- Price analysis of popular on-grid systems in Pakistan (3kW, 5kW, 6kW, 10kW)
Let’s start with the basics.
Understanding On-Grid Solar Systems in Pakistan
On-grid solar systems are designed to work in conjunction with the existing power grid infrastructure. These systems generate electricity from solar panels and feed it into the grid, allowing homeowners to utilize solar power while remaining connected to the utility grid.
Here is how the process follows:
You install solar panels on your rooftop, which generate power during the day. The energy generated is fed to an inverter where it is converted into AC electricity, which is used in our homes and offices. Usually, we consume less electricity during the daytime—but the system performs at its peak.
Now, what if the system generates more electricity than we need? Does it go to waste?
That’s where on-grid arrangement comes into play. A bidirectional meter is installed through net metering, which takes excess power from the inverter and feeds it to the grid line—we call it the WAPDA line here.
But what about the night when your solar system doesn’t generate electricity? Well, worry not. You will seamlessly draw power from your grid without relying on batteries or backup generators.
This whole phenomenon is a characteristic of what we call an on-grid system. But how does it benefit you?
The Benefits of an On-Grid Solar System in Pakistan
On-grid solar systems offer numerous benefits to homeowners and business owners in Pakistan. In the lines below, we will discuss a few.
1. Cost Savings and Reduced Electricity Bills
First of all, on-grid solar systems offer significant cost savings to homeowners and business owners in Pakistan. By generating their own electricity from solar panels during the daytime, you can offset a portion of your energy consumption from the grid. This reduction in grid dependence leads to lower electricity bills, especially as solar energy is free and inexhaustible. Over time, the savings accumulate, resulting in a positive return on investment for the solar system.
2. Net Metering: Earn Credits and Get Paid for Excess Electricity
One of the standout advantages of on-grid solar systems is the implementation of net metering policies in Pakistan. Net metering allows solar system owners to feed excess electricity back into the grid, essentially spinning their electricity meters backward.
The surplus energy you send to the grid is credited to the homeowner’s account and can be used during times when solar generation is insufficient, such as at night or on cloudy days. After every three months, your account is settled, allowing you to either carry forward your energy credits to the next months or get paid for it.
3. Lower Payback Period
Solar payback period refers to the time taken by a solar system to pay back the amount spent on it. The shorter the payback period is, the better the investment. Low initial cost compared to off-grid and hybrid solar systems, savings on electricity bills, and energy credits through net metering shorten the payback period of on-grid systems in Pakistan. It usually is 5-7 years but can be even less, depending on the system size and your average monthly consumption.
4. Low Maintenance and Long Lifespan
Modern on-grid solar systems are designed with durability and reliability in mind. Solar panels have no moving parts, making them low maintenance and easy to operate. Routine maintenance typically involves only cleaning the panels periodically and ensuring that all connections are secure. With proper care, solar panels can last 25 to 30 years or more, providing homeowners with a long-term and stable source of electricity.
5. Increased Property Value
Investing in an on-grid solar system can increase the value of a property in Pakistan. As the demand for clean and sustainable energy options rises, properties equipped with solar installations become more attractive to potential buyers. A solar-equipped property offers energy savings and demonstrates the homeowner’s commitment to eco-friendly living.
We do not have definite research on this in Pakistan. In the US, this value is increased by 3-4 percent. In Pakistan, the value could even be higher—or it could match the initial investment you have made. Needless to say, research indicates that homes with solar installations can fetch higher resale values compared to homes without solar systems.
6. Energy Security and Independence
With an on-grid solar system in Pakistan, homeowners in Pakistan can achieve a degree of energy security and independence. As solar power is locally generated on-site, it provides a degree of insulation against fluctuations in energy prices and potential grid outages. This independence from utility companies and foreign energy sources empowers homeowners to take control of their energy needs and reduce their reliance on external factors that can impact energy supply and pricing.
Components Required for On-Grid Solar Systems
To set up an on-grid solar system, several key components are required. The primary component is solar panels, which capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. The choice of solar panels depends on factors such as efficiency, durability, and warranty. There are various types of solar panels available in the market—monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are the most common types used in on-grid systems in Pakistan.
Inverters play a crucial role in on-grid solar systems as they convert the generated DC (direct current) electricity from solar panels into AC (alternating current) electricity compatible with the grid. The type of inverter, such as string inverters or micro inverters, depends on the system size and design. String inverters are cost-effective for smaller systems, while microinverters offer individual panel-level optimization and higher efficiency for larger systems.
Other components required for an on-grid solar system include mounting structures to secure the solar panels, wiring, and cables for interconnecting the system, and a bi-directional meter to measure the electricity consumed and fed back into the grid.
Make sure that you have everything of high quality—if your panels are high-quality but not the inverter, you are going to run into problems.
Interesting Read: How Much Power Does a Solar Panel Produce in Pakistan?
On-Grid Solar System Sizing and Considerations
Determining the appropriate size of an on-grid solar system involves assessing your energy consumption and household requirements. Factors such as location, available roof space, budget, and electricity consumption patterns play a definite role in sizing the system.
First of all, calculate your monthly average consumption. Then, determine the peak sun hours your area may experience—if you can’t, do not worry, we will let you know. Usually, it is between 4.5 to 6.5 hours in Pakistan. Peak sun hours are those hours when solar panels perform at their best. See peak sun hours here.
Homeowners can design a solar system that meets their needs by understanding energy consumption patterns and peak load requirements. Additionally, considering the average solar radiation—peak sun hours—in the area and the efficiency of solar panels aids in determining the number of panels needed to meet the desired energy output.
It is essential to conduct a comprehensive solar assessment by taking into account the azimuth and tilt angle, shading, and local weather conditions. This assessment helps optimize the system’s performance and ensures that the panels are positioned to receive maximum sunlight throughout the year. Consulting with a professional solar installer or engineer can provide valuable insights and help homeowners make accurate system-sizing decisions.
As a general rule, if your consumption is between 200 to 300 units per month, you will need a 3kW solar system. For 300-600 units, you will need a 5kW solar system. And so on.
Due to the scope of this article, we cannot get into explaining technical terms, such as azimuth and peak sun hours. Read our in-depth guide to sizing your system, where we have explained everything in simpler terms for laymen.
Price Analysis of On-Grid Solar Systems in Pakistan
Now, let’s delve into the prices of on-grid solar systems in Pakistan, focusing on the most common system sizes: 3kW, 5kW, 6kW, and 10kW. The prices mentioned below are approximate and may vary based on factors such as brand, quality, and warranty.
Price of 3kW On-Grid Solar System in Pakistan
A 3kW on-grid solar system in Pakistan typically costs between PKR 500,000 to PKR 700,000. This price range includes the cost of solar panels, inverters, mounting structures, wiring, taxes, and installation. It’s important to note that prices can vary depending on the brand and quality of the components used.
A 3kW solar system is suitable for those who have monthly electricity consumption of up to 300 kWh (units) but do not intend to run ACs on it.
Price of 5kW On-Grid Solar System in Pakistan
The average price range for a 5kW on-grid solar system is between PKR 900,000 to PKR 1,150,000. This system size is suitable for medium-sized households with higher energy consumption. The price is inclusive of solar panels, inverters, mounting structures, wiring, taxes, and installation costs.
5kW on-grid systems work best for those who have monthly electricity consumption between 350 and 600 units. You can also run an inverter AC with a 5kW system.
Price of 6kW On-Grid Solar System in Pakistan
The price of a 6kW on-grid solar system in Pakistan ranges from PKR 12,00,000 to PKR 1,350,000. This system size caters to larger households or small commercial setups with higher energy requirements. The price includes high-quality solar panels, inverters, mounting structures, wiring, and professional installation.
6kW on-grid solar systems are suitable for households with electricity consumption between 600 and 700 units.
Read more about how much does a 6kW solar system cost in Pakistan.
Price of 10kW On-Grid Solar System in Pakistan
A 10kW on-grid solar system typically costs between PKR 1,600,000 to PKR 1,750,000. This system size is suitable for larger residential properties or small commercial establishments. This price also includes premium solar panels, inverters, mounting structures, wiring, and professional installation. If your monthly consumption is above 1000 but below 1200 units a month, go for a 10kW on-grid system.
Disclaimer: Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary based on factors such as brand, quality, warranty, applicable taxes at that time, and additional services provided by the solar installer. Contact us for an updated price list, please.
On-Grid Solar Systems in Pakistan: Wrapping Up
On-grid solar systems present an excellent opportunity for solar system owners in Pakistan to harness the power of the sun, reduce electricity bills, and contribute to a greener environment. The initial investment is less compared to other types, and the potential for savings is bigger. The net metering facility is available, which makes the payback period even shorter.
If you want to go solar the right way, contact us. At Ecospark Solar, it is all about solar and our customers!