commercial rooftop solar photovoltaic systems

What You Need to Know About Commercial Solar

renewable energy for large factories

What is commercial solar?

Commercial solar is solar energy meant for businesses as opposed to its more conventional use in residences. Solar energy is an excellent clean and renewable energy source and a highly effective energy-saving innovation. As an industry, it falls between the residential and utility-scale solar sectors. This is why commercial solar is often referred to as ‘C&I solar’ or ‘commercial and industrial-scale solar.’ It covers an expansive variety of customers, ranging from governments and large companies to schools or small businesses. 

What is a commercial solar panel?

A commercial solar panel is a photovoltaic (PV) panel that converts sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic is the process of converting sunlight to energy. Photovoltaic (PV) commercial-grade solar panels are made up of solar cells created from silicon formed with both positive and negative layers that produce an electric field. Multiple commercial-grade solar panels can be wired together to form a solar array. A solar array is a collection of connected solar panels. They are also called ‘photovoltaic arrays.’ They can be situated on a large area of land or the rooftop of a building. Rooftop commercial solar system projects are common in C&I scale solar as the rooftop of a building often gets the most sunlight, which is the renewable energy source for solar energy.

Why use commercial solar systems?

Commercial solar panels are a great clean, renewable energy source as they produce no carbon emissions and require little maintenance. They have a lifespan of over twenty years. Business corporations can vastly reduce their carbon footprint and electricity costs by using commercial solar panels. Commercial solar systems, or solar arrays, can be installed on the rooftops of residential or commercial establishments and generate enough solar power to cover the structures’ entire energy needs. The electricity generated by a solar array can power internal and external spaces at affordable rates. When switching to commercial solar systems with Constant Energy, our clients have observed savings as high as 25% from their traditional electricity providers from day one. Read on to find out how we achieve this for the benefit of our clients and our planet in our joint fight against Global Warming.

How much do commercial solar panels cost?

Other than the appeal of reducing carbon emissions and your company’s carbon footprint, using a commercial solar system is attractive to a corporation because of how much money it can save the business in the long run. The price of commercial-grade solar panels is commonly measured in dollars per watt. In the United States, the average commercial solar panel cost was valued at $2.87 (฿93.86) per watt before any rebates or incentives. If you calculate prices based on an average cost of $3 (฿98.12) per watt inclusive of the United States’ federal tax credit of 30%, a small commercial-grade solar panel that produces 25 kilowatts would cost an average of $50,000 (฿1,635,275). The most significant benefit of choosing Constant Energy for your solar power needs is that Constant Energy takes care of your solar panels’ entire installation and maintenance costs. This means that switching over to solar energy comes at zero cost for you, in addition to generating savings on electricity expenses from day one! To achieve this benefit for large businesses, Constant Energy provides this service in exchange for a long-term Corporate Power Purchase Agreement of a minimum of 15 years.

How much land is needed for commercial solar projects?

Commercial-grade solar panels in a solar array can vary in number and size. The amount needed is primarily determined by:
  • the intensity of sunlight available where it is installed, 
  • the amount of electricity that is required by the property, and
  • the structure’s storage capacity for electricity. 
These are essential things to consider when purchasing commercial solar systems for your home or business. For example, if you’re planning to build a solar farm, an excellent guideline to follow is that 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar panels needs an area of 100 square feet and double that amount (200 square feet) of space for a utility-scale project. Constant Energy primarily partners with businesses that own a rooftop space of a minimum of 5000 sqm. Our reason for working with rooftop-based solar systems is that it saves on valuable land space and doesn’t contribute to the degradation of natural resources to install the solar systems while recycling naturally present and often underused space to help your business go green.

How big are solar panels?

Commercial-grade solar panels are often bigger and heavier than solar panels used for residential properties. They are designed to produce and supply energy for a larger area and therefore contain a higher number of solar cells on one solar panel. Residential solar panels are usually about 5.5 feet long and a little over 3 feet wide and weigh about 40 pounds each with 60-cells in one panel. Conversely, commercial-grade solar panels tend to be about 6.5 feet long, contain 72-cells per panel, and weigh 50 pounds more than the average residential solar panel. 

How much does one commercial solar panel produce?

When it comes to commercial solar systems, the position they are installed in and the degree in which they are angled play a big part in how effective it is when it comes to producing power. A roof installation exposed to direct sunlight (ideally facing true south) will yield the best results in energy production. Cell efficiency and solar panel size are other factors that determine its power output. For the most part, the amount of power a commercial grade solar panel can produce will depend on:
  • the size of the system it is a part of,
  • the amount of peak daylight hours it receives, and
  • the position of the solar panels themselves.
Generally speaking, a 120kW commercial solar system can produce enough renewable energy to provide electricity for a business that uses up to 180,000kwh per year. 

How long does it take to install commercial solar panels?

The duration of commercial solar system installation varies from project to project. It is essential to take your time to do thorough research when hiring commercial solar system installers, as it can make a massive difference in the length of time it takes to install the project. Depending on the expanse of your commercial solar system project, it can take as long as one week to several months. The amount of time it takes to install commercial-grade solar panels is largely determined by these factors:
  • the commercial solar system installation company your business has hired,
  • local permitting and inspection processes,
  • the size and type of solar panel system,
  • your property’s characteristics, and
  • the country’s utility company and interconnection.
At Constant Energy, we have fine-tuned our installation processes to keep the construction process to 12 weeks from start to finish. Learn more about our Fast-Track Development Model here!

How to convert commercial solar panels into electricity?

Commercial-grade solar panels convert sunlight into electricity through photovoltaics. It is the scientific process of turning solar energy, sunlight, or the sun’s rays into electricity. As previously mentioned, solar panels are made up of solar cells created from silicon formed with two layers, a positive and a negative. The silicon acts as a semiconductor, and when the sun’s rays beam on it, electrons fuse with the silicon to release their energy as both current and voltage.

Get a Quote with Constant Energy to start saving with Solar Energy Today!

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