Make Your House Modern and Efficient – Install a Solar Energy System Today

Solar installations * is an investment in cheap electricity and a cleaner environment. Recently, they can be bought in Poland also thanks to IKEA, which offered us to look more closely at this topic. We also did so – see what the installation and profitability of these devices on your own roof looks like.

I originally used the word “solar” here, which (in the wording “solar energy”) is used worldwide as a general term for solar energy. In Poland, however, the name solar refers to collectors heating water, while the production of electricity from the sun is called photovoltaics. That’s why now I clearly distinguish one from the other, and I am beating my chest for the confusion 🙂

We liked the idea of ​​solar farm from the beginning. Individual, modern and mounted on your own roof a source of cheap electricity is simply a dream solution for anyone who has or builds a house and who – perhaps the most important thing – wants to protect the environment in times of raging smog and global warming. Because solar installations are a way of obtaining the cleanest energy possible – without interfering with nature and without creating a burdensome infrastructure. For me, an additional advantage is that the sale of photovoltaic installations was taken up by IKEA , a company known for pro-environmental solutions and familiar with market trends, which makes it possible to believe that this technology will quickly gain popularity.

In Poland, solar farms are still rare. So far, only about 30,000 have been created with us. photovoltaic micro installations on the roofs of single-family houses. No wonder, you think, it’s too dark in our country to efficiently draw energy from this source. Error! We have good conditions for this, which is confirmed by research on helioenergy resources: the average annual density of solar radiation in Poland is 935 kWh / m2 (some data say 1000 kWh / m2), while the average sunshine duration is 1600 hours per year . In Poland, the intensity of sunlight is enough to cover the total energy needs in 60 percent, and in summer even in 100 percent . Nothing but go into solar farm.



How does a solar installation work?

A photovoltaic installation is a system made of silicon cells that converts sunlight into electricity (attention! Do not confuse solar panels with solar collectors, which look similar but can only be used to heat water).

The market was dominated by a cheaper solution, modules based on polycrystalline cells. IKEA introduced mono crystal to its offer at the beginning due to favorable prices on world markets at that time. Currently, it has expanded its offer with polycrystalline cells, which are slightly behind the former in terms of efficiency. Importantly, the efficiency of photovoltaic installations improves year by year and prices fall, so that the establishment of such installations finally begins to pay off.

So how does it work? The sun’s rays fall on the silicon photovoltaic cells arranged at a special angle, of which the panels are built (preferably if they are directed to the south). Silicon absorbs light and knocks out the electron from its position, forcing it to move. This movement is the flow of electric current, which is direct current at this stage. It is only thanks to the inverter included in the photovoltaic installation that the alternating current changes, i.e. the one that we have in the sockets and can be unlimitedly used by our home installation supplying computers, washing machines, refrigerators, lighting or whatever else we want.

If the installation generates more energy than we can use, i.e. in summer, its excess is sent to the electricity grid, which begins to play the role of a large battery for us, which we will use after dark or in winter, when the production of energy from the sun is not too efficient. In this way, we can collect 80 percent free of charge surpluses generated by us, because in exchange for the possibility of storing energy, the distributor will collect 20 percent from us current. This is due to legal regulations in our country, and we are still a plus, because the average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic installation is 30 grosze (or less) per 1 kWh, while in the power grid it is almost twice as high (about 55 groszy on average) .


How to do it – step by step?

A medium-sized 3.5 kW solar installation can produce about 3500 kWh per year, although, of course, the final effect depends not only on its nominal power, but also on the direction of the roof relative to the south, roof pitch and location of the household.

So, to estimate the course and costs of such an undertaking, we decided to try to establish such an installation on the roof of our house. It is essentially not a house, but a house with 100 sq m.

So where to start? The first step is to use the calculator available on the IKEA website . And here the stairs began, because I did not remember our annual costs of energy consumption. Fortunately, instead, it was possible to simply specify how many people use this energy in my home (for 4 people it was over 3100 PLN and 5100 kWh per year) and in this way it was possible to go one step further in the estimates. Then you had to indicate the specific type of panels (about this in a moment) and decide whether we go in it or not.

And what’s next? Then place the order online and wait for phone contact from the Geo Solar company, which deals with the installation of solar installations for IKEA. Over the next few days, specialists will arrange an audit with us, during which they will check, among others, what our energy consumption model is and what installation will best suit it, what panel fixings need to be used and whether our roof will sustain such load. You need to pay PLN 200 for this audit, which will be returned when you buy the installation from Geo Solar. If we decide to buy (mandatory with assembly), the company has up to 30 days to make turnkey installations with us. You can get a loan at Ikano Bank through IKEA to finance even this entire investment.

Then Geo Solar assists in connecting the new installation to the power grid and signing the prosumer contract with its operator. And it’s ready.


How much it costs?

From the data that the online calculator generated for me, it appeared that with an annual cost of electricity consumption of around PLN 3100 we should install 28 solar panels on the roof. The final price of the installation was to depend on what type of panels I choose: SOLSTRÅLE Basic or SOLSTRÅLE Plus.

SOLSTRÅLE Basic is an offer based on polycrystalline (blue) modules, while SOLSTRÅLE Plus contains monocrystalline modules (black in silver or black frame). Basic option in a turnkey version and with 15% the discount with the IKEA Family card (which anyone can get at any time) costs PLN 25 490, while the Plus version with the same parameters – PLN 30 133. The difference in price is due to the fact that SOLSTRÅLE Plus is a more flexible option that can be better adapted to current consumption.

I like both panels, but considering the price I would choose SOLSTRÅLE Basic.

Although this calculation is purely estimates, because it was carried out at the online calculator level, it gives an idea of ​​the final price. And there is nothing to hide – even in the cheaper version it is expensive for a one-time investment.

Why is it worth

Installation costs are indeed high and for this reason I will not decide on this solution for our home in the near future. In a broader perspective, however, the idea of ​​installing solar panels on your own roof makes deep sense. And I’m already starting to put it off ten

There are many reasons.

First of all , in our case the investment would pay back after over 8-10 years if electricity prices remained stable. However, as these prices rise, depreciation can occur faster. Over the past 15 years, the cost of electricity in Polish households has increased by 50%, and the cost of obtaining energy from the sun has decreased by 80%. in 8 years. What’s more, after the depreciation period, the installation will operate for another 20 years, bringing us (with the value used for the calculation of PLN 3100) about PLN 60,000 in savings. Therefore, prospects are good for solar installations, and possible operating costs are small.

Thanks to one large investment, our daily loads would decrease, because power consumption has a significant share in the cost of maintaining our home. It is also of considerable importance that the solar installation from IKEA / Geo Solar has a 25-year warranty on the efficiency of solar modules, 10 years for the inverter and 5 years for the entire functioning.

Secondly , independent electricity production would be a step towards the energy independence of our household. Currently, it is necessary to connect the solar installation to the power grid to be able to recover electricity after dark or winter.

And what if you use your own battery and accumulate free excess energy for personal use? At this time, it is possible to a limited extent, because the batteries available on the market allow you to accumulate energy for a maximum of 2-5 days . Perhaps, however, in the next dozen or so years there will appear on the market so efficient technology of energy storage in home batteries that will allow it to disconnect from the network and remain independent of its whims, e.g. those associated with the 20th degree of power on hot days when it is possible expect power outages. This would provide additional security in the event of local failures or problems of a much larger extent.


Thirdly , it is extremely important to me that clean electricity generated from panels on our roof would become our actual contribution to the fight against uncontrolled consumption of fossil fuels. This consumption leads to an increase in global warming and dysregulation of our climate , and locally to smog in winter . Each of these issues has been repeatedly described in Crazy Science, and now it would be decent to serve a good cause with your own deed.

Fourthly , a solar installation is a very good idea for someone who is building a house (it is a pity that we are not doing it right now). Because such an expense as part of a larger loan or construction financing in general is not so shocking. What’s more, you usually build a house when you have more money. When we have fewer of them, photovoltaics will bring specific, measurable savings.

What about subsidies?

The investment, which will pay back after at least 8 years, is a serious, long-term expense. And because it is an expense for renewable energy sources – if you think logically – it should be co-financed by the state. Why? Because it is money that will help to save citizens’ health destroyed by smog or reduce the effects of natural disasters caused by climate change. These are also funds allocated by the government to fulfill international decarbonisation agreements. For the time being, the Polish state does not finance investments in solar panels (some local governments contribute to them), but the policy in such matters is changing.

Let’s hope that it will happen soon and that with this help we will be able to install solar panels on our roof, thanks to which we will not only help the environment, but also gain safety and cheap electricity. Three in one. I think the game is worth the candle.


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