Solar panels are now an extremely popular solution. It is most often associated with single-family houses. But what about the residents of blocks of flats? Can photovoltaics on the balcony be beneficial?
Photovoltaic panels on the roofs of private houses or businesses are probably no longer surprising. Due to their large surface area they are very efficient and cost-effective. Occasionally you also see them on small balconies in apartment blocks. It seems that this trend is becoming more and more popular. The question that arises here is whether this is a seasonal curiosity, an unnecessary variety or a real benefit to the owner.
Before you install photovoltaics on your own balcony, it’s worth finding out how it works. The task of special panels is to collect energy from the sun’s rays and thus produce direct current. In a device called a microinverter, this is later converted into alternating current, which can serve, in the case of an individual apartment, for the household’s own use.
In order for the panels to work on the balcony, you will need a micro-installation, which is a set of devices whose power does not exceed 40 kW. This value is deliberately small, because in the case of a larger one you would have to obtain the necessary permits.
The investment must necessarily be subject to a specific energy company. It should receive a notification of such an initiative.
Before starting a project aimed at obtaining electricity on the balcony, you need to take into account several issues. These mainly include the amount of space available and the budget. The third important issue to deal with in the case of an apartment block is the approval of the housing community. It may also occur to a situation that on photovoltaic decides not only one resident, but the whole community.
According to the prevailing regulations in Poland, you can install solar panels on your balcony. However, it is worth remembering that the facade does not belong to the owner of the apartment in the same way as the interior of the balcony, hence the need to obtain permission from the community.
It is time to move on to the cost-effectiveness of the initiative under discussion. After all, this is the key premise of having photovoltaic panels – to save on electricity. No one would like to incur large costs at the entrance and then not wait until the moment when the investment begins to pay off.
A story that took place in 2019 contributed to the development of the discussion about the sense and profitability of installing photovoltaics on the balcony. One of the residents of Katowice himself placed two solar panels on his balcony, with which he immediately generated a lot of interest. He later admitted that the implementation of this solution consumed 2.5 thousand zlotys
It is worth noting that the man managed to do it himself due to his professional skills. However, most people who want photovoltaics on the balcony are not able to do the installation themselves, so they have to hire professionals. Including this service, the cost of the whole project is estimated at about 4 thousand zlotys.
There is no doubt that such an investment costs much less than in the case of a single-family house, and thus is within the reach of more people. If, nevertheless, someone cannot afford it, he can look for appropriate subsidies.
Calculations by specialists show that thanks to solar cells on the balcony can save about 400 PLN per year. Taking into account the above mentioned expense of the installation, you can quickly calculate how many years will pass before the panels begin to pay for themselves.
Everyone should think about whether the idea of photovoltaics on the balcony is worth implementing. Certainly it will contribute to reducing electricity bills. With its help, you can also positively affect the environment, and if more residents of large cities will begin to implement this solution, it will reduce the overall energy consumption in such places.
Main photo: Nuno Marques/unsplash.com