Photovoltaics in Finland

 

Is photovoltaic electricity profitable in Finland?

Naps answers:

The amount of electric power produced by the solar power system can be calculated accurately in advance. There is no significant uncertainty about the amount of solar energy production. The photovoltaic system is primarily a one-time investment with low running costs. Therefore, the price of electricity produced by the solar system can be calculated in advance for the lifetime of the entire system.

In order to calculate profitability, it should be possible to predict the price of reference electricity for the life of the entire photovoltaic system. This is not practicable since the development of electricity prices cannot be foreseen for 30 years. Yet, the general view is that electricity prices are rising. Over the last ten years, the average electricity bill in Finland has risen by an average of 6% a year.

Naps Solar System

Does Finland have enough light to produce energy?

Naps answers: There is enough sunlight in Finland to produce solar energy. Sure, the differences between the south and the north are quite large. Southern Finland does not differ significantly from northern Germany. The comparison should not be made on the basis of incoming radiation because the panels are not mounted horizontally but directed towards the sun.

Do solar modules work in the cold?

Napsin answers: The efficiency of the solar panel increases in cool air. That is, part of what is lost with less solar radiation will be overcome by better efficiency.

With photovoltaic electricity I can handle all my electricity needs in Finland...
Naps answers:
The photovoltaic system generates electricity when the sun shines. Electricity must therefore be obtained elsewhere when the sun does not shine. However, properly sized electrical energy storage (eg batteries) can achieve a situation where self-produced solar electricity is sufficient for any need. However, this is not economically meaningful in areas where reliable power grids are available. In the area of the electricity network, photovoltaic power has the potential to produce its own electricity for the energy needs of a bright season.

With a photovoltaic system I can manage through power...
Naps answers:
There is no electrical energy storage in the photovoltaic system connected to the normal network and the system did not work, for example. for safety reasons when theelectricity does not come from electricity. However, if desired, the system can be implemented in such a way that it acts as a source of backup power during power failure

The photovoltaic system output can not predict...
Naps answers:
The photovoltaic system's output is based on solar rotation and the location of the system and is therefore foreseeable. The effect of the ceiling, angle and shadows can be accurately assessed. The yield is therefore not uncertain, but the expert is easily predictable. Uncertainties and variations in yields by day and year are different.

 

Naps Solar System at Greenland

A weather station in Greenland in spring.

Naps Solar System at Greenland winter

Photovoltaic systems can endure even the harsh winter conditions in Greenland.

The solar module can never produce more energy than its production has used or save more CO2 emissions than it has produced... Naps answers: The amount of electrical energy needed to produce a solar panel depends on the production equipment. Similarly, the energy produced by itself varies depending on the installation site. However, the "repayment time" of energy is 2-3 years, ie less than 10% of the life of the solar panel. Production-related CO2 emissions will vary depending on where the production takes place and what kind of electricity. As a rule, however, it can be said that CO2 emissions from panel manufacturing are covered in less than two years by the panel's own clean electricity production.

Solar energy is expensive compared to centralized power generation…
Naps answers:
Locally produced photovoltaic power has no transmission losses, which are approximately 4% in Finland. The cost of electricity produced at the place of consumption should not be compared with the price of wholesale electricity but from the central power plant to the price of electricity already supplied to the consumer site. Contrary to what is commonly believed, conventional centralized power generation is often supported, and the selling price of electricity does not correspond to actual direct and indirect costs. In 2012 Germany supported renewable energies of EUR 17 billion and fossilized by EUR 40 billion.

If solar modules come from abroad, solar energy will not benefit Finland's employment…
Naps answers:
The installation work is always local. The personnel costs associated with installation work are higher than the total personnel costs associated with manufacturing all components of the system. The employment effect is therefore primarily where the systems are to be installed.

Naps Solar System

 

 

Purchasing a photovoltaic system

Solar modules can be ordered equally from abroad as well as from a Finnish company...
Naps answers:
The answer is yes, but you have to make sure that the solar panels are compatible with the conditions in Finland, the warranty is valid, there are no special requirements for installation, etc. The main difference is the snow load requirements, which in this case apply to both the installation mechanics and the panels.

You get solar power when you buy solar modules...
Naps answers: No you do not.
In addition to the modules, other parts of the system are also needed, which represent a somewhat similar cost to the modules. These parts must be compatible with each part of the system and also be able to withstand the Finnish conditions.

Chinese solar modules are as good as European ones and you can get them cheaper…
Naps answers:
A high quality module has a high quality regardless of the country of origin. It is essential to ensure the quality of the product. This requires special know-how. The price usually follows quality also in solar modules.

Modules with higher efficiency are entering the market so it is not worth investing in yet…
Naps answers:
The efficiency of the modules is constantly improving. However, development is not so fast that you should be waiting for the next generation. Efficiency is rarely an essential factor in the return on investment, since it is more advantageous to produce the desired amount of energy with existing panels in a larger area than high-cost expensive panels. Exceptions are mainly those where the surface area is limited.

Solar modules will soon be produced in the same ways as printing paper products, so the price drops radically…
Naps answers:
Dramatically different types of solar modules are actually still far away in the future. You can gain economic benefits already, so it is not worth to wait for new era of production technologies.

Naps Solar System

 

Solar panels can also be utilized in windy and salt-watered areas.

 

Naps Solar System

 

GSM base station in Lapland.

 

 

Installation and maintenance of photovoltaic systems

Solar modules can be installed on their own roof or wall without any permission for construction supervision…
Naps answers:
Possible licensing should always be checked by the municipal building inspector before installing it. Some municipalities require permission, others do not.

You can install and connect a photovoltaic system to the grid yourself...
Naps answers:
More than 120V DC installations can only be made by authorized electricians. Consequently, the DC-side installation of the DC-coupled systems is not possible without the responsible electrician. With a low voltage (less than 120V DC) a cottage package may be self-installed.

Naps Solar System

An announcement of the installation of a photovoltaic system is sufficient for the electricity company...
Naps answers:
Connecting a photovoltaic system to the network requires a pre-authorization application for a power grid in Finland and an online service agreement. Naps takes care of it for its customers.

Electricity from solar modules is dangerous...
Naps answers:
The amount of electric power produced by the solar power system increases with the size of the system. A normal network-connected system produces a dangerous amount of electricity and therefore requires only expert and careful installation work. Also, the voltage level requires already an authorized electrician. There are no risks associated with the use of a properly installed system.

The quality of electricity produced by a photovoltaic system is poor...
Naps answers:
The quality of electricity is, in fact, better than normal generic electricity from the electricity network. This is achieved by the use of pure sinusoidal electric energy produced by high-quality inverters, and in particular that the electricity produced at the place of consumption can not be interfered with the transmission as normal for high-volume centralized power generation.

You can do a roof-mounted installation yourself...
Naps answers:
Mechanical roof mounting can be done yourself, but a possible warranty on the roof may end if the installation has not been done by a professional. However, the electrical connection of the panels to each other on the roof is requires a permit for installation due to high voltage.

You can break your roof by installing solar modules…
Naps answers:
If the installation must be carried out professionally, there is no risk of roof breakage. Attachment to the roof may require going through the rooftop. Actually the installed modules protect the roof from the effects of the weather.

Naps Solar System

The installation of the photovoltaic system must be carried out in accordance with the instructions given.

Tracking mounting bracket generates more power than a fixed mount...
Naps answers:
In principle, energy production can increase up to 30% in Nordic conditions. However, the additional cost of such a mounting bracket is greater than the additional benefit it has. It is therefore more economically advantageous to install more modules with the same amount of money on a standard fixed mounting bracket. The fixed mounting bracket also has no equivalent maintenance and maintenance costs compared to the pivoting rack.

Tracking mounting mechanism saves space...
Naps answers:
It does not, because of the shadows it actually takes up more space than the corresponding number of fixed-mounted modules.

Photovoltaic system is maintenance-free...
Naps answers:
It is to a certain point, but proper use and maintenance is still needed. Modules should be kept clean, although normal rainfall is often sufficient in Finland. Pressure washer can not be used to clean the modules. The cable contacts must be checked from time to time. The tightness of the mounting screws must also be checked from time to time. Possible damages caused by animals must be checked, especially in hazardous areas.

A photovoltaic system will last forever...
Naps answers:
The technical life of the solar modules can easily exceed 30 years. However, poorly installed or handled, they may not reach this age. Maintenance is not required by the modules, but they must be kept clean and firmly attached to the mounting system. Module glass should not be installed in tensions. Cable connections should be checked from time to time. Inverters and monitoring devices for photovoltaic systems are long-lasting but normal electronics. They normally last between 10 and 15 years.

Source: Naps Solar Systems Oy