icon

Anker MagGo-Doubly Fast in a Snap

Get Yours Now >>
icon

Travel Smart with Curated Kits and Mystery Boxes! Bundle 2 for 20% Off, 3 for 25% Off

Shop Now >>
/
//
Expand PV System with Balcony Power Plant, Is It Possible?

Expand PV System with Balcony Power Plant, Is It Possible?

The rise in the use of PV (photovoltaic) systems has been a game-changer in our approach to sustainable living. More and more people are reaping the benefits of these systems. As balcony power plants become more popular and accessible in recent years, many PV system owners are wondering, “Is it possible to expand PV system with balcony power plant?”

This guide delves into the practicalities of using a balcony power plant to enhance your existing solar setup. We’ll explore how these compact units can used to expand your main PV system, highlight the advantages of this combination, and unravel the necessary standards you need to adhere to for such an expansion.

How can a Balcony Power Plant Be Used to Expand a PV System?

A balcony power plant is a compact plug-in solar setup designed to fit the limited space of your balconies, terraces or other small residential areas. If you have already invested in a PV system and are enjoying its benefits, you can save even more on your electric bills and help the environment further by adding a balcony power plant. There are two ways to achieve this expansion:

Integration into the Existing PV System

One option is to directly connect the balcony power plant to your existing PV system. By doing so, you can benefit from the feed-in tariff agreements applicable to both the primary system and the balcony setup. However, this method involves certain technical complexities.

The process requires integrating the micro inverter of the balcony power plant with the current inverter configuration. It’s essential to verify the compatibility of the two systems and ensure that the integration complies with local electrical codes and standards.

Given the technical precision required, this integration should ideally be performed by a certified professional who has expertise in solar installations. This ensures that the setup is not only efficient but also adheres to all safety regulations.

Separate Operation of the Balcony Power Plant

As an alternative, the balcony power plant can function independently of the main PV system. This configuration is simpler and particularly useful if the existing system’s inverter capacity or the grid infrastructure cannot accommodate additional inputs, or if there are technical limitations in integrating both systems.

In this setup, the balcony power plant works as a standalone unit, generating electricity that is directly used within the home to power lighting, appliances, and electronic devices. This method provides flexibility in managing energy resources more effectively while still maximizing solar utilization.

Advantages of Expanding the PV System with a Balcony Power Plant

Expanding your PV system with a balcony power plant doesn’t just boost your home’s sustainability—it brings a host of practical benefits too. Let’s explore the specific advantages of adding a balcony power plant to your existing solar setup.

Additional Power Generation

One of the most compelling benefits of adding a balcony power plant to your PV system is the increase in electricity generation. Even a small-scale installation on a balcony or a similar confined space can contribute a significant amount of energy. This additional capacity can help meet higher domestic energy demands or increase the amount of electricity you can sell back to the grid for feed-in tariffs.

The trusted Anker SOLIX Balcony Solar Power System (2*RS40B Panel 410W, Micro Inverter 600W/800W, Balcony Brackets), for instance, features two high-efficiency 410W solar panels, capable of generating up to 830 kWh of power annually. Integrating such a balcony power plant to your existing PV system can significantly boost your energy production, contributing more to your environmental conservation efforts.

Space Utilization

Integrating a balcony power plant with an existing rooftop PV system offers a strategic approach to maximizing space and enhancing solar capacity, particularly in urban settings. This setup allows you to utilize your balcony space, which is often underused, to expand your solar energy production without requiring additional ground or rooftop area.

This is especially advantageous for those looking to augment their existing solar installations but lack additional roof space or have restrictions on further roof modifications. By turning a balcony into an energy-generating asset, you can maximize the energy potential of every square inch of your property.

Financial Benefits

Expanding your PV system with a balcony power plant proves to be a financially savvy move. This addition boosts your overall energy production, allowing you to cut down on utility bills even further. By generating more electricity than you consume, you can take full advantage of feed-in tariffs by selling the surplus back to the grid. This not only offers immediate reductions in monthly energy costs but also ensures a steady stream of revenue. Over time, these savings accumulate, leading to significant long-term financial benefits.

What Standards Must Be Followed When Expanding PV Systems in Balcony Power Stations?

When you decide to expand your PV system by adding a balcony power plant, it’s essential to adhere to specific standards and regulations to ensure safety, efficiency, and legal compliance. Here are the key standards and legal requirements you must follow:

Technical Standards for Equipment

All components of a balcony power plant, including solar panels and inverters, must comply with the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG). This ensures that the equipment meets environmental and safety standards, minimizing the risk of electrical hazards. The inverters, in particular, should have certification under the Low Voltage Directive and the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive, ensuring they operate safely within the specified electrical limits and do not cause interference with other devices.

Installation Standards

The installation of a balcony power plant must conform to the German DIN standards (Deutsches Institut für Normung). These standards ensure that the installation is carried out professionally and maintains structural integrity. This includes secure mounting of solar panels to withstand weather conditions like wind and snow loads typical for the area.

Grid Connection Regulations

Connecting a balcony power plant to the public grid requires adherence to VDE-AR-N 4105 standards for low-voltage grid connections of microgenerators. This standard ensures that the power plant operates in sync with the grid and includes safety mechanisms to protect against electrical faults. It also ensures that the power plant can be disconnected quickly in the event of a grid outage to prevent back-feeding which can endanger utility workers.

Feed-in Tariffs and Legal Reporting

To benefit from feed-in tariffs, your system must be registered with the Market Master Data Register managed by the Federal Network Agency and the network operator. It needs to meet all requirements outlined in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). This includes proper documentation and compliance with the reporting standards to ensure that you receive compensation for the surplus energy you feed back into the grid.

As specified in Section 9 of the EEG, it’s important to register the balcony power plant as an addition to your existing PV system in the Market Master Data Register within 12 months of commissioning. This secures your eligibility for the originally agreed-upon remuneration rate for the electricity you feed back into the grid. Failing to register on time could lead to financial losses.

Conclusion

As we’ve explored, you can expand PV system with balcony power plant, either integrating them into one or operating separately. Through additional power generation and smart use of space, the combination of these systems not only reduce your carbon footprint but also offer tangible financial gains. However, it’s crucial to adhere to the specific standards and regulations set forth for such an expansion to ensure safety and eligibility for remuneration. As the renewable energy landscape continues to evolve, embracing such innovative solutions can contribute to individual energy independence and support broader environmental goals.

FAQ

Can you add a panel to a balcony power plant?

Yes, you can add an additional panel to your balcony power plant, as long as the total capacity of the system does not exceed the regulatory limit of 800 watts. However, it’s crucial to inform your network operator to ensure the addition complies with current safety standards and regulations. Additionally, any changes in the system’s configuration must be updated in your registration with the Federal Network Agency.

Can a PV System be expanded as desired?

Yes, a PV system can generally be expanded, but it is subject to certain conditions such as available roof space, compatibility of new panels with the existing system, and adherence to technical and regulatory requirements.

What happens if I connect 2 balcony power plants?

Connecting two balcony power plants generally allows for increased electricity generation, enhancing your capacity to offset energy costs. However, it’s important to ensure that the combined output does not exceed the regulatory limit of 800 watts. Additionally, both systems should be properly configured to safely merge their outputs and comply with specific regulations.