Frequently asked Questions
• An estimation of more than 50 percent cost savings whereby the cost of system RM8 per watt, over a 25 years period. This will generate (365*25*3.5) 32kWHr of electricity. This is about RM0.25 a kWHr.
• For those who take advantage of capital tax incentives and other government green policy can save more.
• Self-consumption allows consumers to be efficient in the usage of electricity, through the installation of a renewable-based energy system on their property.
• Economically feasible IPP depreciates over 30 – 50 years with high operational fuel cost. The life of our solar PV system is similarly 30 to 50 years.
• Electricity can only be generated during sunlight hours. However, here in Malaysia we have Tenaga Nasional as a backup. We are not on our own when we use our own electricity generated by solar PV.
• The most economical configuration for self-consumption is grid tie system, i.e., using grid tie inverter. The system synchronizes itself with TnB supply.
• TNB buys from IPP between 34.7 sen to 37.4 sen. If we amortize the capital cost over 25 years, our cost of electricity is only 25 sen.
• Malaysia has yet to implement net metering, which will allow us to use the power the whole day. Electricity generated by Solar PV in the day is stored in the grid.
• Current urban middleclass consumers subsidize low income electricity users. Residential consumer pays the marginal rate of 58sen/kwhr whereas low income and rural consumers pays between 22 to 33 sen/kwhr.
• GST is applicable on all usage more than 300 units (kWhr). Hence, from 2015 April, there is an automatic increase of 6 % on your electricity bill.
• When our country goes through the next subsidy rationalize program, expected electricity rate will increase between 25 to 39 percent on the average. But the top end residential users are expected to pay an increase of say 40 percent on the marginal rate of 58 sens/kwhr, which is about 81.2 sen/kwhr.
• At 80 sen/kwhr, 1 Watt of system generates 365 x 4 x 0.80 = RM1.168 a year of electricity. Payback on RM7 a watt is less than 6 years, and you will have free electricity for the rest of the 20 years.
To size the solar PV for your house, you have to first determine how much power you use during the sunlight hours in a day. You will use this information to calculate the PV solar system. Sometimes, it is more accurate to use monitoring devices to help to do this over a period of time. This is especially true for commercial applications.
• Stand Alone system uses battery to store the electricity to be used after sunshine hours.
• In a Stand Alone system, we need to balance the load, generation and storage. Hence, a good understanding of the load is important in the design of a Stand Alone system.
• Because of the relatively high total cost of the system, we cannot use the cost of grid supply electricity to justify a Stand Alone system. Hence, Stand Alone system is only useful where infrastructure cost is high. Stand Alone system cost about 2 to 2.5 times that of standard grid tie system.
• However, when we compare Stand Alone PV system with diesel generator, the operational cost of using diesel generator is prohibitive. A PV Stand Alone system is very much more desirable.
• Vanadium battery is a new class of battery with close to unlimited battery life. The battery is the weakest link in a Stand Alone system.
• In a Stand Alone system, the common solar charger is PWM charger and MPPT charger. The PWM charger function is to protect the battery while the MPPT charger optimizes the sun light harvest. MPPT charger is generally more expensive.
• The most common Stand Alone system is for lighting, hence, solar lighting system and also the solar water pump.
• The optimal design for battery considers the avoidance of premature dead, and days autonomy. If a system is designed to store only for a few hours of electricity, the life of the battery is compromised.
• DC v AC is a Stand Alone system. The more efficient way is surely by DC. However, because of the range of products available running in AC, we have to cater to the need by using an AC inverter.
• Generally, a solar hybrid system refers to a system using solar PV, battery and diesel generator. However, in our urban setting, we can design an on-grid hybrid system.
• As in the hybrid system using diesel generator, an on-grid hybrid uses our TNB as our back-up.
• Advantage of this system is we can use more of the power we generate for ourselves and as a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) as a back-up to our system. In Malaysia, this is a luxury, because TNB is generally dependable.
• Here at AmSolar, we develop our own range of solar lighting products. We pursue the most economical path in the development of the product line. It will also be the most robust system, as we use commercially available parts which are trial and tested. The most common form of solar lighting system is the solar street light system.
• Because solar PV supported lighting system is generally more expensive, it may come with intelligence, which will help it to last longer, and increase the operational life of the product.
• The heart of the system is our 250/260 Watt solar modules. These modules are widely used in solar farms, because of the volume manufactured. We assure customers of the cost and quality of these products, and are certified against the highest standards.
• We use battery charged controller from a well-established company, to charge two pieces of 12 V batteries. Depending on the different applications, we use programmable controllers for various types. With the controllers, we can control on/off/dimming functions of various types of light sources.
• For the most cost efficient and convenient storage, we encourage the use of automotive batteries. Some may feel that this is not professional, and will like to option for SLA industrial type batteries. Both choices have its various advantages.
• We design the load of the light source to optimize the lifespan of the system, and make the most economical option for the whole product. We have a full range of LED light-source for many different functions. You may use the system for outdoor signboard or for general illumination for the use in a durian orchard or in fish farm in the sea. For special applications, we have a monitoring system for the lights, i.e., using a text message to alert the owner that the light is not functioning.
• Comprises of Jinko Solar modules, Trannergy inverters or another comparable brand, junction box with circuit breakers and surge protection devices, cables and solar rack structure. Solar PV electrical output is DC.
• The inverter changes the DC into AC to suit the TNB grid AC input. It automatically syncs with the existing power supply so as not the clash with the existing power supply. Our inverter is a grid tie inverter, meaning that it will not work without TNB supply.
• The AC circuit is connected into the house electricity supply so that it will supplement the TNB incoming power.
No. The PV solar system only generates electricity in the day using the sunlight. At night, we will solely depend on TNB for the supply of electricity.
• In theory this is possible. You can have a battery bank to store the electrical energy in the day and use it at night. However, the cost of such as system may be twice what it will cost your using it on a grid-tie system.
• It is best to use the PV solar power to supply the most expensive part of the TNB supply. We recommend that you use the PV solar electricity to supplement the TNB incoming supply.
• We also supply stand-alone systems for remote use. We supply this system for fish farm in the open sea. This system is independent from the grid.
• The PV solar system on the rooftop of your house protects the roof and results in a cooler environment for the building. Savings in cooling cost can be as much as 40 percent. Your roof will last longer, and you will back to a cooler house.
• You will also save on your bill when using air-conditioning because the inside of the house will be cooler by the additional layer of roof material.
• The solar module may need some cleaning if they are dirty. Malaysia’s wet weather will help to wash away most of the dirt. This is the only maintenance you will need, maybe once or twice a year.
• You will want to know that your system is running. You will not need to oil or grease any part as the system can be considered as solid state. There is no moving part.
• If the system is not generating electricity, you will need to call your installer to check. Perhaps you may have a loose connection. PV solar system can generate as much as 1000V DC and is dangerous. Do not attempt to do anything on your own.
• The inverter has a warranty of 5 years. It will last a good number of years after that.
• In Europe, the PV solar system has lasted more than 30 years. Your system will similarly last as long and maybe longer. The solar panel manufacturers generally give 25 years of yield warranty of 80 percent. They expect the system to last at least that number of years.
• PV modules will not just die. It will degenerate, and will last a very long time, however the output will deteriorate over time.
The Electricity Supply Act 1990 subsection 54 provides the exemption from section 9 of the Act for the usage of PV solar for electricity generation and uses.
a) For a three phase system, at a voltage not exceeding low voltage with a capacity of up to 72kW;
b) For a single phase system, at a voltage not exceeding low voltage with a capacity of up to 24kW.
• Net metering is a metering system implemented by the electricity distribution licensee (TNB) where the net amount of electricity between consumption and generation is read within a fixed period (monthly). For example, when an owner of a PV solar system monthly bill is a result of the difference between the amount of energy generated and the amount on energy consume.
• Net metering is a service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.
• Net metering has yet to be legislated in Malaysia. This is already implemented in the US and Europe as a means for promoting renewable energy.
• We believe that if the government is serious with renewable energy, this policy must be implemented urgently.
• What is the rate of consumer electricity tariff?
• How do I calculate the payback for my investment?
As an example, we use 1 kW PV solar system as a basis. Say the cost of buying a fully setup system is RM7000. The electricity generated a year is
– 1 kW x 365 days x 3.5 hrs a day = 1,278 kWHr Our domestic tariff for more than 900KWhr is RM0.57. Hence the value of electricity generated a year is RM728. The payback is simply 9.6 years. (We use 3.5 Hrs as generation hours including system loss).
– In the recent articles on electricity tariff in Malaysia by the Association of Water and Energy Research (Awer), after the coming rationalization exercise at the end of 2015, we expect the price of electricity tariff to increase between 24 percent and 39 percent. If the rise is 24 percent, the new tariff is Rm0.71, and the yearly value of electricity generated is RM907, and the payback is thus (7000 / 907) 7.7 years. This is about 10 percent return on investment.
• How much is my electricity cost from solar PV generation?
This is another way to look at the cost and return on our investment. By using the same assumptions above, a 1kW PV solar system cost RM7000. The system will easily last 25 years with guarantee 80 percent power output at the end of the 25 years period. As indicated in another part of this site, the system lifetime is more than 30 – 40 years. The power output over the system lifetime is as follows:
– 1 kW x 365 days x 3.5 hrs a day x 25 years x 90 percent yield = 28,750 kWHr
– Cost of electricity generated is (RM7000/28750 kWHr) = RM0.2434/kWHr
– Assume there are other cost such as financing and maintenance of the system, the actual cost is 50 percent more than the cost calculated = RM0.3652/kWHr.
– Compare your electricity generation cost to the IPP price sold to TNB.
– Genting Sanyen 375MW 35.3 sen/kWHr
– Segare Energy 1.3 GW 36.3 sen/kWHr
– TNB Pasir Garden 275 MW 37.4 sen/kWHr
– TNB Prai 1.07 GW 34.7 sen/kWHr
– My own PV solar system 36.5 sen/kWHr .
Be your own IPP!
• Factors which affect your PV power generation are shadow, temperature and incident angle of solar irradiance. Shadow falling on a part of a solar panel will affect the whole system for a normal home rooftop. Therefore, it is important that the area surrounding your PV solar system is clear of any morning or evening shadows.
• The hotter the surface of the solar module, the lower is the generation of electricity. Therefore it is important that there is sufficient space between the panel and the top of the roof for aeration purposes.
• In western countries, some solar PV system is built to track the sun to allow it to collect more solar irradiance. Our rooftop normally is about 20 degrees tilt and is not a very ideal slope for collecting sun energy compare to the rooftop of common metal deck on factory top.
This is generally true. It can be installed on any relatively flat surfaces. The flatter the roof, the better the solar irradiance collection.
Generally this is not true, unless of course the installer is careless and damages something along the way. In fact, having a layer of solar module on the roof will make your roof last longer.
The best orientation is the slope to face north-south. When the sun travels across the sky in the day, both sides of the roof will be evenly exposed.
In most parts of Malaysia, we have about 4.2 Hrs. of peak sun hours. We have more in drier places like Kedah and Perlis which maybe close to 4.5 Hrs.
• World class solar PV panel from Jinko, 4th in the world list in the NYSE or ET solar, similarly a great company with many awards.
• Solar panel makes up about 50 percent of the cost of the system.
• World class supplier for inverters, Trannergy. Product is sold in the USA, Australia and Europe.
• High quality balance of system according to international standard. We uses name brands such as Schneider and Hager.
• Lapp DC cables according to solar PV industry standard.
• Amled extended 24 months warranty, including health checks and service. We follow the Malaysia Standard for all our assembly processes.