Solar energy is an important source of clean energy that is catching attention of people all over the world, particularly in Thailand. Based on Google Trends data, Thailand-based Googlers were ranked second in the world for search query “solar cell” during the past 
one-year period from July 2018 to July 2019, after only their China-based counterparts.1 Despite popularity of this search term in Thailand, there are still many misconceptions that make people hesitate to adopt a solar power system. As a subsidiary of Banpu Public Company Limited, a leading integrated energy solutions company in Asia-Pacific, Energy Technology Business Group of Banpu is addressing top-four mistaken ideas about solar power systems to give the consumers a clearer understanding of this technology.

Ms. Kanokwan Jitchobtham, Managing Director of Banpu Infinergy Company Limited, a subsidiary of Banpu Public Company Limited (BANPU), said, “Our experiences providing solar power system consultancy, design and installation services to customers in various sectors, including education, manufacturing, fashion outlets, petrol stations, hotels, hospitals etc have exposed us to numerous questions, queries and inaccurate notion of solar power systems. As a one-stop service provider of total solar energy solutions and smart city solutions with ‘Greener & Smarter’ business strategy,  Energy Technology Business Group of Banpu has identified top-four misconceptions about solar power systems to use as a guideline to educate the public and correct their misunderstandings.”

Top 4 Misconceptions About Solar Power Systems

  1. Solar power systems cannot generate electricity without strong sunlight
    Because solar power systems generate electricity by converting it from sunlight intensity, a lot of people misunderstand that they do not generate power at times when the sun is hidden in the cloudy sky. In fact, they continuously generate electricity even if the light is diffused or intermittently blocked by the clouds—there are still levels of sunlight intensity available for power generation with the only difference being the generation that fluctuates with the intensity. With choice of monocrystalline solar panels specified by BANPU, however, users can take advantage of the high-purity silicon used as base material for superior ability to absorb intensities of sunlight and greater efficiency in solar energy performance than other types of solar panels operating in same weather conditions, resulting in more efficient use of sunlight and better cost saving.
     
  2. Installing a solar power system is a high-cost, lump sum investment
    Business entrepreneurs often have budget concerns about investment needed for a solar rooftop system, believing that it can be quite costly and will involve a lump sum payment. With BANPU’s package, however, they can have the system up and running at no cost to them, and then enjoy discounts on electrical power that it generates along with free maintenance of 
    the system and its components provided by BANPU throughout the contract period, which helps eliminate risks associated with choice of technology. At the end of the contract period, 
    the system will be transferred to them at no cost, either. All in all, this is a value package because entrepreneurs can save their cost of electricity by using the power generated from their solar power system without any investment. It not only waives their financial burden that would otherwise incur from investment in a solar power system, but also enables them to contribute to conservation of the world’s energy resources and to switch to a clean, renewable energy in long term.
     
  3. Solar panels have short service life and will often need replacement
    There is a myth that solar panels only have short service life, resulting in the need to be replaced often. The fact is, with proper maintenance and handling, they can provide up to 
    25 years of service life at their full photovoltaic capacity, plus many more years after that at about 80% of the original capacity. A top decision-making priority is therefore to ensure good choice of provider with reliable after-sales service because that will help maximise the system’s service life and trim down the cost of maintenance significantly. The high-standard maintenance service from Energy Technology Business Group of Banpu is provided by its team of specialised engineers and technicians using a drone equipped with thermal scan technology to perform thermal inspection of each solar panel. If any issue is detected, it will send a notification to BANPU’s control room in real time. Entrepreneurs who runs a BANPU solar power system can also view their system status, including cumulative power generation and many other key data, themselves via Infinergy Application, and if they have any question or encounter an issue with their system, BANPU has a 24/7 call center where they can seek advice or report 
    the problem.
     
  4. Solar rooftop systems increase building’s interior temperature and can cause roof damages and leaks 
    Having a solar rooftop system installed does not raise interior temperature of the building but reduce it and the workload of air conditioners because solar panels form the topmost layer in direct contact with sunlight, which reduces the heat that reach through to the roof of the building. Some may also be concerned that extra weights of solar panels will cause roof damages or sagging. In fact, the panels complete with mounting components weigh only 20 up to 25 kg/sqm while most roof structures with standard specifications have usually set aside extra capacity for more than this, and thus will have no problem supporting the panels. To ensure high-standard installation, however, roof inspection and evaluation by experts are important to reassure building safety, optimum photovoltaic performance of the system, and prevention of leaks associated with the holes bored through the roof for mounting. BANPU offers a smart solar panel mounting system in which the roof does not need to be bored. Moreover, free on-site inspection service complete with expert advice about the most suitable mounting system can be provided by BANPU’s team of solar power engineers and civil engineers ahead of customers’ decision to install.

“Energy Technology Business Group of Banpu strives to address energy needs of consumers, communities and the society at large through its commitment to clean, sustainable energy innovations that offer advantages of smart, affordable, reliable and eco-friendly service. We hope that this article will equip interested entrepreneurs, business owners and general individuals with accurate understanding of solar power systems and relieve concerns that hindered them from being part of environmental conservation and Thailand’s endeavor to excel in this energy source. By embracing solar power as a clean energy to complement conventional sources, they will be able to manage their operational resources efficiently while supporting Thailand’s bid to build a good energy balance sustainably,” Ms Kanokwan concluded.

Companies and business owners who are interested in solar systems and smart city solutions can learn more at www.banpuinfinergy.co.th or contact the company’s customer relations via number 02-095-6599 or email contact@banpuinfinergy.co.th.

Reference:

  • Google Trends data for the period from 1 July 2018 to 1 July 2019