Solar Home Systems

All You Need to Know

Having a reliable and affordable source of energy is a necessity for every household. With the continuously rising costs of electricity and frequent power outages, homeowners need to implement energy efficiency measures, as well as explore alternative sources of energy.
One of the best alternatives is the use of solar systems that are integrated with the grid for grid-connected homes, and stand-alone systems for off-grid homes. These systems are easily integrated into existing home electrical infrastructure, and thanks to inclusion of DC/AC inverters, there is no need to change any wiring or to buy “solar” household appliances.

Example of Solar Installation for a typical household

Before Solar Installation:

The house relies 100% on KPLC power, and for this example it is assumed that the consumption is 10 kWh per day (10 token units per day).

The current power connection is directly from the grid to the house through the utility meter as shown below:

For a residential house, the typical consumption pattern (load profile) is as shown below. The power demand is lowest late at night and very early in the morning. It then fluctuates throughout the day, and tends to be highest in the evening hours between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m

Solar Integration

Solar integration doesn’t mean installation of a totally separate electrical network. It is possible to integrate solar power into the existing electrical wiring for the grid to make a cost efficient, and dynamic power system.

The integration is done through an inverter, and the system will be as shown below:

After Solar Installation:

“Going solar” doesn’t have to be 100% transition from the grid. Depending on the reason for going solar, one can still maintain a small % of their power consumption on the grid.

In this example, the objective is to have 80% energy from solar and 20% from the grid. To achieve this, it has been established (through sizing calculations) that a 2558 watts solar system with 10 kWh of battery storage is required. For more details on system sizing and costing, see our free guide on the cost of installing solar.

The resulting consumption and power generation pattern will be as shown below. Out of the total solar energy generated during the day, 44% is consumed directly while 36% is stored in the batteries to be used in the evening when the sun goes down. Once the batteries are fully discharged at night, the system automatically connects to the grid to supply the 20% energy required for the remaining part of the night, until the sun rises the following morning and the cycle repeats.

Energy Cost Comparison

Energy Cost without Solar
Energy Cost with Solar
Current Cost of energy 32.04 Kes/kWh
Initial Cost of the Solar System 466,196 Kes
Monthly Energy Consumption 300 kWh
Average Annual Energy Savings 97,577 Kes
Current Average Monthly Bill 9,612 Kes
Average Monthly Energy Savings 8,131 Kes
Projected Annual Bill 115,344 Kes
New Average Monthly Bill 1,481 Kes

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