Compact photovoltaic systems with a plug are not only the first step towards generating your own electricity for homeowners, but also for tenants. Read here how much the electricity costs in the household can be reduced.
Solar power is booming. Because it's easy on the wallet and kind to the environment. First of all, of course, you have to invest in a system. And that usually ends up on your own roof and is then a bit larger, more powerful and more expensive.
But tenants also have the opportunity to reduce their electricity costs with mini solar systems for the balcony. "The appeal of these devices is that they can be easily set up and operated by non-professionals," says Martin Brandis, energy consultant at the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations. The support of a specialist company is usually not required.
Plug-in solar systems consist of one or two modules, each measuring around 1.6 meters x 1 meter, which can be attached to the balcony railing or set up in the garden, for example. After a few years, the acquisition costs for the solar system of 1000 to 1500 euros on the balcony can be recouped. This was the result of an evaluation by the comparison portal Verivox.
Because under ideal conditions, two solar modules of this size can supply around 600 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. If you use all of the electricity yourself, this corresponds to a saving of around 235 euros per year. In this sample calculation, the acquisition costs are amortized after 4 to 6 years. If the system runs for 20 years, around 4700 euros in electricity costs can be saved at the current price level.
"However, the location is decisive for the yield of the system. The best yield of solar energy is achieved when the balcony faces south, the modules are installed at a slight angle and no shadow falls on the solar modules. However, if you have a north-facing balcony and If you can only attach the modules vertically, you receive less than a third of the possible yield. It's not worth buying a mini solar system under such conditions," points out Thorsten Storck, energy expert at Verivox.
The providers of balcony solar systems advertise that the devices can be set up directly and connected to a conventional socket. However, the Electrical Engineering Association warns against this, since normal sockets are only suitable for electrical consumer devices. Therefore, the association recommends special feed sockets, which can be installed without much effort. In addition, it must be checked beforehand whether the current electricity meter is suitable for the operation of a balcony solar system. The local network operator can help with this.
Apart from that, tenants should ask the landlord for his approval before setting up. Because he is responsible for ensuring that his property supports this system safely and that neighbors are not adversely affected by glare or shading.
(This article was first published on Wednesday, June 08, 2022.)