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Battery Maintenance Checklist

One of the most effective ways to extend the life of your solar batteries and reduce the lifetime cost of your off-grid solar electricity system is to maintain them properly. Maintenance of batteries focuses on proper charging, electrolyte condition, battery terminals, and safety.

When you take good care of your batteries, they will last longer and perform better. Battery life relies on parameters like storage temperature and depth of discharge (DOD).

Here’s a checklist for optimal battery performance and maintenance-free batteries:

Things to Know Before Starting:

Before you start maintenance, make sure all the safety equipment is ready to go. The following is a list of typical maintenance tools you will require.

  • Hydrometer;
  • Glass bulb type thermometer;
  • Distilled water;
  • Handheld voltmeter or multi meter;
  • Anti-oxidant coating;
  • Hand gloves and protective eyewear;
  • Baking soda – for cleaning of batteries.

Prevent unauthorised access:

Batteries should be placed per manufacturer instructions. The battery bank must be safeguarded by a proper enclosure that is only accessible to authorized personnel. Proper safety signs should caution people about the risks.

Check the battery:

A comprehensive and detailed visual inspection of the battery is needed as part of routine maintenance. This inspection should also include:

  • cleanliness of batteries;
  • level of electrolyte;
  • condition of battery terminals;
  • signs of any electrolyte in the safety trays on the floor, indicating a battery leak or overfilling;
  • condition of battery containers; and
  • battery voltage level.

Charging your batteries

To maximise the life of a battery bank, it is best to ensure that it is regularly receiving a full charge. Some solar lead acid batteries can go down to a maximum depth of discharge of 70- 80% while, for some deep cycle lead acid batteries, the recommended maximum depth of discharge is 50%.

  • For flooded batteries, the battery bank also requires an equalisation charge to ensure that all individual cells in the bank are at a similar charge. This is achieved by charging the battery until bubbling or gassing occurs.
  • The period between equalisation charges is dependent upon manufacturer and typically vary from 7–28 days but some batteries can be as high as 90 days. Please check with your system supplier.

How To Check the Fluid Level

The only type of battery that requires this procedure is a flooded lead acid battery (FLA). Open the top of your battery and look inside. To ensure that no metallic lead surfaces are visible, the cells should be filled with distilled water.

Most batteries contain a “fill line” that indicates the proper electrolyte level. The maximum liquid level is about 1/2 inch below the cap. Do not overfill your batteries, since this could cause them to spill!

How To Check the Charge Level           

  • Determine the state of charge or depth of discharge (DOD) by checking the specific gravity and voltage of the battery.
  • The specific gravity table below will help you determine the state of charge of your battery.
  • If your batteries are 6V instead of 12V then simply divide the voltages by two. Similarly, double the voltage values for a 24V system.
  • If you do not properly monitor these two factors, your battery will undergo significant sulfation.

Battery Tests:

After you finish visually inspecting your batteries, there are two important tests you should do as part of regular maintenance: 

  • Open Circuit Voltage Testing and
  • Specific Gravity Testing.

Performing these tests monthly will give you with key information regarding the condition, lifespan, and charging level of the batteries. Additionally, they will assist you in identifying issues like overcharging, undercharging, and overwatering. Identifying these issues early is crucial for maintaining the condition of the battery.

Cleaning Batteries:

  • Cleaning the battery terminals on a regular basis requires a mixture of baking soda and distilled water applied with a battery terminal cleaner brush.
  • Then, rinse the terminals with water, ensuring that all connections are secure, and apply a commercial sealant or high temperature grease to the metallic components.
  • Clean up the space around the batteries; it should be dry and well-organized.
  • Call us Tel: 9952054308
  • chat with us:

Email us: ram@solstrom.in

GST Rates & HSN Codes for Solar Rooftop Products


GST Rates and HSN Codes for Solar Rooftop Products in India

HSN (Harmonized System Nomenclature) Number and SAC (Services Accounting Code) Number got its place as a new column in invoices for Solar Equipment after the implementation of the GST. Yes, it is mandatory to give a column in invoices for HSN/ SAC. Confused? Here’s an attempt to make it simpler for you.

Solar energy has been emerging as a progressive and effective power generation alternative for residential, commercial, industrial use. Government policies have so far have remained favorable, and this had an advantage for the solar industry to have a 3-fold increment on Year-on-Year basis. The GST rate for the material used for equipment stood at 5% and it was making a smooth progress. Customers were understanding the need and have been inclined to buy such solar solutions that help them reduce their dependence on grid power.

But now as per government’s new norms, from October 01, the GST rate will be 12%, due to which the price of solar power equipment will increase by 7% – 10 %.

What has HSN and SAC got to do with the GST?

We all know that GST is Goods and Service Tax. Which means the tax on Goods or Services or Both. HSN number is used to classify the Goods that come under GST into “22 sections and 99 chapters”. SAC codes are similar to HSN codes and have been used since before implementation of GST.

Why HSN and SAC?
GST is followed in around 160 countries out of 196. Globally, most of them follow similar HSN/ SAC codes with a very slight difference between one another. This helps in attracting foreign trade as (import or export) by easing the taxations.

How is HSN code classified?

It has 21 sections with 99 chapters, 1,244 headings and 5,224 subheadings. They are arranged based on the product degree of manufacture or in terms of its technological complexity. The natural products that include plants and animals come under the initial sections. While the man-made or technologically advanced products that include machinery come later.

The HS comprises approximately 5,300 article/product descriptions that appear as headings and subheadings, arranged in 99 chapters, grouped in 21 sections. The six digits can be broken down into three parts. The first two digits represent the chapter the goods are classified in, e.g. 09 = Coffee, Tea, Maté and Spices. The next two digits identify groupings within that chapter, e.g. 09.02 = Tea, whether or not flavoured. The final two digits are even more specific, e.g. 09.02.10 Green tea (not fermented). All countries classify products in the same way, upto 6 digits filtering (a few exceptions exist where some countries apply old versions of the HS).

Every section is a collection of various chapters. The sections represent broader classification of goods and chapters represent a smaller section that filters down to particular product section.

In order to identify the goods better, India and some of the countries use this 8 digit code for a more specific classification. Some of the HSN codes use dashes in the beginning of description which denotes an article that belongs to a group covered under a heading. A double dash indicates that the article is sub-classification of the preceding article that has a single dash. And triple dash indicates that the article is a sub classification of the preceding article that has a double dash or triple dash.

SAC code in GST

SAC and HSN are the similar codes under GST. In case of services, for each type of service provided is given a unified code for recognition, measurement and taxation. These are known as SAC codes. In the current service tax regime, SAC codes are already defined for each type of service.

  • The small dealers under composition scheme will not require to mention SAC codes in their invoices. The codes will be mentioned in invoice and in the GST tax return details which will be uploaded on the GST portal.
  • The small business under composition scheme will not be required to mention SAC codes in their invoice.

Services will continue to be classified under Services Accounting Code (SAC) which is issued by the government for service tax. This is expected to remain in GST regime.

How it affects Solar Industry?

Though our Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has announced in his speech that all Renewable energy equipments will be taxed 5% GST, traders are confused as there have been no written statements or Orders passed yet which has stalled the market since a week.

As per our understanding, HSN Numbers and GST % are as follows:

This May we had published a preliminary guide on expected GST rates for the rooftop solar industry. Now that the dust has settled, the final rates are clear. Below information serves as a ready reference for the GST rates 

applicable along with relevant HSN codes for the solar industry in India:

Item HSN/SAC Code GST Rate Applicable
Battery 8507 28%
Solar Module 8541 5%
Charge Controller 8504 28%
LED Lights 9405 12%
Solar Lantern with Modules 85 (4/6 digit code awaited) 12%
Solar Power Generating Systems 85 (4/6 digit code awaited) 12%
Solar Inverter 8504 12%
Data Loggers 8517 18%
GI Mounting Structure 7308 18%
Al Mounting Structure 7610 18%
Cables 8544 18%
Solar Water Heater & System 8419 12%
Erection, Installation & Comissioning Services 9954 18%

*The GST rate applicable on solar inverters is still under debate with some vendors invoicing at 5% GST and others at 28%.

In addition to this, the rates applicable on the various components required in the assembly of solar panels are below:

Item HSN Code GST Rate Applicable
Tempered Glass 7007 28%
EVA Backsheets 3921 18%
Aluminium Frame 7604 18%
Junction Box 8536 28%
Solar Cells 8541 12%
Solar PV Ribbon 7409 18%

“ There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning failure ”

- Tina Retina

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SunEdison Installs Solar Panels On Kohl's Rooftops

Easy steps to install solar panels for homes

Are you interested in knowing how solar panels for homes can be installed? Then, you are at the right place! Due to the increased benefits that come with the solar panels, a large number of people have started installing solar panels for homes. The availability of the empty rooftops and the attractive subsidies from the government along with the contribution to pollution free environment has made solar panels for homes a reality. But the people are not quite aware of the installation process. The solar panels for homes can be installed with the help of the EPC contractors, who take care of every single step in the process or the house owners can purchase the solar panels and install them on their own. This article gives a detailed step by step process followed by the solar EPC installers while installation of the solar power plants for homes. 

First things first! Understanding the nature of rooftop. The rooftop of the home is analyzed for the space, sunlight availability, shadows nearby to come up with the solar power plant design for homes. This is the crucial first step. A proper site analysis helps in development of a flawless solar power plant design. Then the power requirement of the home is studied based on the previous electricity consumption pattern. After deciding on the capacity of a solar power plant for the home, Selecting the right type of solar power system is the next step. 

There are different types of solar power system installation. Off- grid solar power systems come with batteries and are a stand – alone system. Whereas, the on – grid system is connected to the public electric grids and net metering facility is fixed to keep the track of power generated and supplied to the grid. This is later adjusted in the electricity bill. Nowadays the on – grid solar power systems with net metering facility installed are the most preferred for homes. This helps the solar power plant owners to sell the excess energy. The next is the material procurement and installation phase.

solar installation

Setting up solar panels for home

In setting up the solar panels for homes on the rooftop, the angle of tilt and the direction in which the solar panels will face is an important point to note. This angle and direction are the major deciding factor in determining the yield and efficiency of your solar panels. The direction of the solar panels is usually based on the hemisphere in which the location lies. A place located in the northern hemisphere of the globe should have south facing solar panel installations to get maximum sunlight. For example, India, a country in the northern hemisphere, the solar panels are south facing. As far as angle of tilt is considered, the solar panels are installed at an angle equal to the latitude of the place. All these features are decided during the site survey itself. During installation, the mounting structures are constructed based on this angle and direction. 

In setting up the solar panels for homes in the rooftop, the angle of tilt and the direction in which the solar panels will face is important 

– Solstrom

After the mounting structures or solar structures are fixed, the solar modules are assembled on the structures. Several solar panels are connected together based on the electricity needs of the home and the availability of rooftop space to install the solar panels. The nuts and bolts of the solar modules are fixed and fastened properly. Every single step including tightening of the bolts is important for ensuring the long life of the solar modules.  If the bolts and nuts are not of good quality or not fastened properly, a strong wind will blow away the panels. 

The next is the electrical wiring of the solar panels. High corrosion resistant wires are essential for proper functioning of the solar power system as a whole and also contributes to reducing loss in electricity. MC4 connectors are increasingly used in the installation of the solar panels for homes. Junction boxes and MC4 connectors are selected based on their high quality and ability to withstand diverse climatic conditions of different locations in which the solar power plants are installed. Series and parallel connection of the wires are taken care of throughout the entire installation process.

At last, the inverter for the solar panel is chosen and connected with the solar panels. as the power from the solar panels is DC (Direct Current), it has to be converted into AC (Alternating Current) for use in home appliances. Choosing and installing the right quality inverter also maintains the efficiency of the solar panels and reduces losses. The other connection like inverter to battery in case of off – grid system and connection of inverter to grid in case of on – grid system is made. This is the entire process of solar panel installation for home. The products required for installation of solar panels for homes are available at SOLSTROM. Visit our products and services pages to know more on the quality solar power plant products.

10 things to know about photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in India

Electricity bills are High?
EB Bill is giving a shock to your wallet?
Thinking about going solar for your house?

Solar Energy is the cheapest form of Electricity and Get it installed by SOLSTROM – best solar energy company in India from Chennai

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems – also known as solar panel systems, solar energy systems, or solar power systems – convert sunlight into electricity. You can use the electricity generated by your solar PV system to power your home, your business or even your car.

How solar energy works

Solstrom 1. Solar panel systems are a great way for you to save money, no matter what your budget is.

If you can afford to pay your electricity bill every month, you can afford to install a solar panel system. With a $0-down solar loan, solar lease or PPA, you can finance your system and see immediate savings.

Solstrom2. Installing a solar panel system is a great investment.

Investing in a solar panel system can deliver better returns than stocks and bonds – and now is the right time to make that investment. While solar photovoltaic technology is improving incrementally each year, financial incentives and rebates will decrease as solar becomes more popular.

Solstrom 3. Solar photovoltaic systems have been around for a long time.

Solar photovoltaic systems are a well-proven technology first invented in 1954 by scientists at Bell Labs. Today, solar panels are installed on over two million homes in the U.S.

Solstrom4. Solar panel systems are highly durable.

Solar photovoltaic panels are made of tempered glass and can withstand hail, snow, rain, and high winds. They can even extend the life of your roof by protecting it from daily wear and tear.

Solstrom 5. Solar power systems can produce electricity for 25 or more years.

Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 25-year power production warranty guaranteeing that their solar panels will continue to generate electricity at a certain capacity for the warranty’s duration.

Solstrom 6. Solar power systems are practically maintenance-free.

Solar panel systems are incredibly durable. Except in extreme circumstances, they don’t need to be washed or cleaned.

Solstrom 7. Solar panels can be installed almost anywhere in the India.

Most locations in Tamil Nadu and India get enough sunlight to produce sufficient electricity from solar panels. The most important factors to consider when you evaluate your solar panel options are the rates you pay for electricity and the rebates and incentives available to you.

Solstrom 8. Solar energy systems are tied to the electric grid and do not require batteries to store power.

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you remain connected to the electricity grid. At times when your system produces more electricity than you use, you receive credit for the electricity you send to the grid; if you need more electricity than your solar energy system is producing, you can draw it from the grid.

Solstrom 9. Solar power systems can eliminate most of your electricity bill.

With the right planning, your solar panels can generate enough electricity to meet your needs over a 12-month period. As long as you have enough roof space to install the right size solar panel system, the power that your panels will produce will effectively eliminate most of your electricity bill.

Solstrom10. Solar photovoltaic panels can be installed on the roof of your home or commercial property, on the ground or on a solar canopy.

Solar panels can be installed practically anywhere that receives direct sunshine for most of the day and is not shaded by trees or buildings. Panels that face south will produce the most electricity, but your panels can also face east or west.

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Solar Panel Operation & Maintenance (O&M)

Worried about solar panels and Cyclone?

 Fret not, solar panel systems are incredibly durable and require little to no maintenance over their productive lifetime – which can span 25 years or more. In the event that something does go wrong, your solar PV system components have very long warranties that would cover replacement and repair costs. 

solar installed on a rooftop in chennai

Solar panel warranties

Solar panel manufacturers provide a range of warranties that guarantee you will have support and coverage in the unlikely event of an issue, such as hail or falling tree branches.

Power output warranties guarantee that panel performance won’t fall below a specified level over the term of the warranty (usually 25 years). For instance, a manufacturer might provide a warranty to guarantee that peak power output won’t fall below 85 percent for 25 years.

Some manufacturers will also include an additional warranty that promises a higher output level over a shorter period of time. As an example, a secondary warranty might guarantee no less than 90 percent of initial power output for the first 10 years.

Panels typically come with a workmanship warranty that protects consumers against defective panel parts, generally for the first five years of operation. Inverters also come with warranties, usually for 10 years.

Learn more about solar panel warranties and other indicators of quality in Solstrom Guide to Evaluating Solar Panel Quality.

How to maintain your solar panels

Solar panels are made of tempered glass, so they’re built to withstand hail and other rough weather. With the exception of tracking mounts, solar panel systems don’t have movable parts, which cuts down on the possibility of any problems.

Any issues with solar panel performance are usually related to electricity production, which is why most installers recommend monitoring your system’s production. By paying attention to changes in production, you can identify and address issues proactively.

Generally, solar panels don’t need to be cleaned. If you live somewhere where there is a lot of smog, dust, or dirt, you may see a dip in your production over time that can be remedied by cleaning your panels. If your panels are mounted on your roof, however, your best option is to hire a professional cleaning service rather than try to clean them yourself. Your installer will be able to recommend someone local to help you.

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