How to Find a Solar Panel Company and Installer in the Philippines
The solar industry in the Philippines is becoming more popular in certain areas like Manila, Pampanga, and Cavite due to the monthly kWp increase of their respective electric provider.
This makes finding truly qualified solar panel companies in this field more challenging. However, this cannot stop you from taking a step towards self-consumption since all you have to do is stay calm. Read this post, and I will tell you how to choose the best solar panel installer in the Philippines.
With the increase in incentives for the promotion of renewable energy generation in the national market, the number of small and medium-sized companies offering the installation service of photovoltaic modules has grown.
However, the greater offer requires even more attention when hiring the service, especially since it is a relatively new technology. Otherwise, your solar panels might encounter unexpected problems.
Theoretically, they are all said to ensure low maintenance and a service life of at least 25 years. To avoid problems, see eleven tips to get it right when choosing a company to install solar energy.
1. Raise the company’s history
As the sustainable energy sector is recent in the Philippines, with businesses in complete formation, it is worth seeking more information about the time the solar energy company has on the market. An informative website is a good sign: take a few minutes to read it.
To determine your market share, see your relationship with the local concessionaire and/or electrification cooperatives, which distribute energy in rural corners, industrial areas, and urban areas. The more systems are installed, the more trustworthy the company is.
2. Check the origin of the equipment
Check that the solar energy installation company works only with equipment with a good reputation in the Philippines. Most importantly, they are adequate to the project’s needs. Also, see if the operating system is updated and if the data provided by the inverter can be monitored by smartphone or computer in real-time.
In addition, photovoltaic modules and, solar inverters, solar batteries, among other items offered, must be from a well-established supplier in the market. In addition to being cost-effective, this ensures its availability in stock for long periods.
3. Review the warranty offered
As photovoltaic modules have a useful life of up to 30 years and inverters around ten years, it is necessary to ensure that equipment suppliers will continue to operate for decades.
Otherwise, how would it be possible to enforce the guarantee compatible with the system’s durability? After all, as much as the photovoltaic modules and inverters are resistant, it is a precaution if something unforeseen occurs and they must be replaced.
Notice that something in the installation may eventually affect your system’s functioning, such as damaged cables, dust, or dirt.
4. Check the training of professionals
Try to find out if the solar panel installer team is subcontracted or if it is part of the company’s staff, which makes a difference in after-sales service. Pay attention also to training: ideally, leaders should be electrical engineers.
During the technical inspection, these solar installers will analyze the best area available for installing photovoltaic modules, which can be located on the roof or some of the land.
In this step, the installers calculate the slope, and the azimuthal deviation (difference between the North and the roof’s orientation), among other relevant points, to determine the energy generation capacity of the system.
They also evaluate the electrical characteristics of the property, interconnecting it with its system and installing the inverter close to the distribution board. They are also in charge of preparing the study of the energy bill.
After the inspection, the professionals prepare the customized electrical project, with the calculations and layouts, and request access from the energy concessionaire.
Then, the installation of the system begins. It is worth mentioning that any damage to the roof, even if rare, must be assumed by the company and promptly repaired. Remember that, in addition to quality equipment and a correctly sized system, the project needs to be well executed for the project to work.
5. Pay attention to after-sales
Try to find out if there are successful cases in the company’s portfolio, and if possible, get in touch with someone who has already contracted their services in areas like Manila, Pampanga, or Cavite to find out the degree of satisfaction.
Find out the company’s morale in consumer protection on social media or news sites. This offers a good clue as to how your after-sales service works and the type of attention given in case of problems.
The most important thing is to be sure that the company will advise you throughout the process, from the technical inspection to the installation and maintenance.
After all, even if the system stands out for its low maintenance, some sporadic care is recommended, such as cleaning every six months and checking the cables. Bear in mind that despite the service being quality and innovative, unforeseen events and problems can happen, regardless of the execution.
Scheduling technical visits occasionally helps ensure system stability throughout its useful life. That’s why it’s essential to consider the quality of the solar energy company’s communication channels.
In this case, the chosen solar company in the Philippines must be responsible and preferably act quickly to solve your problem as soon as possible. Any doubt that the customer has should be clarified without too much bureaucracy.
6. See how the company deals with bureaucracy
Check whether the chosen solar installer in the Philippines will complete all the necessary procedures to connect your system to the local electrical grid.
The better the company’s relationship with the energy concessionaire, the faster the access and installation of the system will be to start producing its energy finally.
The request for access to the distribution network must contain the Access Request Form, according to the installed power and the studies carried out to prepare the project.
Documents of the owner must also be included; installation address; consumer unit reference number; and the name/acronym of the electricity distribution concessionaire/permit holder.
7. Ask for a detailed quote
When receiving a photovoltaic panel installation project for energy generation that meets your expectations and desires, check whether the payment can be reconciled with the execution stages or even carried out as a consortium.
This is a preventive measure. Most professionals in the construction sector recommend making payments as the work progresses, never in advance. Always put requirements on the scale and review your expectations.
Once the system acquisition and installation process is completed, the procedures for interconnection with the energy concessionaire begin.
The deadline for connecting them to the distribution network varies from region to region. On average, this takes a month.
Identify in the contract the existence of a clause in which the solar energy company is responsible for damages to the property if they occur during installation. Thus, the cost is borne by her, and repairs will not come out of your pocket.
8. Identify whether the service is efficient
Service excellence is no longer a differential. Today, it is shown as a prerequisite. The company must be agile because time is precious in our society. Specific points to consider are seeking the best solution for the client’s problems and carrying out duties (responsibly) in the shortest possible time.
Make sure the solar company installer is open to dialogue and is willing to negotiate the proposal and service prices, in addition to checking whether it will be able to meet your specifications and complete the installation within the time frame you want. It is essential to demand quality, even if the company demonstrates promptness.
9. Check the use of new technologies
New technologies appear on the market over time; many can be optimistic about solar energy.
Choosing a solar company with the most modern tools and equipment and up-to-date strategies will be an incredible win. Benefits can range from shorter installation time to greater efficiency of the installed system.
For example, check the equipment’s operating system update. There are already systems that enable monitoring of the photovoltaic inverter from your computer or smartphone.
Technological advances also contribute to the need for exchanges and maintenance to happen less frequently, giving more freedom and savings to those who use solar energy. Count on an up-to-date company.
10. Ask for a simulation of the economy of the system
One of the most significant benefits of investing in a solar energy system is saving on future electricity bills.
A safe solar energy company should study the installation site, observing details such as the type of roof, shadows, inclination, and orientation of the plates, among others.
All these indications can make a big difference in the economy at the end of the month and also in the level of energy generation by the system.
Demand a survey of all data and values referring to your economy. Understand that this is not an easy task: the complexity of this simulation makes companies that offer such a differential stand out much more. Choose a company that has a free simulator.
11. Check if the company offers customized solutions
Personalization is a requirement of most consumers. Therefore, it is interesting that the company is flexible in dealing with it. Stale projects may not meet your needs; this can be a problem over time. Working with customized solutions without aligning them with the company’s objectives is possible.
Why is it so important to have professional expertise?
To size the photovoltaic system, technicians calculate the average annual consumption of the property in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and consider the local grid voltage. Without the correct sizing, quality equipment is of no use.
Therefore, the technicians’ work ultimately ensures the system’s quality (based on the customer’s needs and the historical average of generation in the region).
Having state-of-the-art equipment and an unqualified team doesn’t do much good. It is necessary to have someone install the system with sufficient precision and knowledge so that energy generation is efficient. Those who ensure success throughout the process are the technicians!
1. The company is aware of the main risks involving the service
The risks involved in installing the system are varied. The height offers a greater danger of falling, and the lack of experience with the equipment opens the door for electric shocks to happen. Without professional expertise, the lives of those in contact with this solution could be put at risk.
Incorrect installation can damage appliances that depend on electricity. Excessive heat can even cause fires due to overloading or improper connections. Therefore, relying on the work of an excellent solar panel installer is essential for correctly installing the photovoltaic system.
Only then can the evaluation of the place and its structure be well fulfilled. In addition, with a solar company, the monitoring of energy generation is done periodically and with more security, which is essential for the system’s useful life.
2. Greater attention to standards
A specialized solar panel installer must be attentive to the central norms of the sector. For example, a regulation standard establishes the minimum conditions for installing the solar energy system and the control measures that guarantee the safety and health of the professionals involved in the installation.
It covers security certifications, so the integrity of everyone involved in the environment (and professionals) is guaranteed. Also, look for certifications in materials and equipment, such as the seal.
A responsible company will undoubtedly work with quality materials and equipment from internationally recognized brands. All this is respecting the rules. Relying on professional expertise means having a complete solution, and that’s how your investment should pay off.
3. Contribute to the improvement of environmental issues
Keep in mind that investing in solar energy is a sustainable solution. Relying on the work of qualified professionals also means ensuring that the system is about renewable and clean energy.
It is a way of acting by helping nature, with more awareness of environmental problems, contributing to maintaining the ecological balance.
Taking care of an installation independently and being exposed to risks may not favor improving the environment. It takes enough understanding and experience.
Therefore, whenever possible, ask for references. Even though the sector is booming, many people have joined the system, and even if you don’t know them personally, you can find them through social networks. Invest in responsibility and safety when choosing a solar energy company and get the most favorable results in the future.
When looking for the best installer in Manila, Pampanga, and Cavite, Philippines, you should not only compare the different standardized offers. Look for those who work on your case individually, closely, and professionally.
You must carefully analyze the quality of the products with which they work and the different means of financing that they provide us. In addition, it is essential to know the company’s situation well, its experience in the sector guarantees that it offers us.
FAQ About Solar Panel Installation to Solar Companies in the Philippines
How much does a photovoltaic solar panel produce?
This depends on several factors, such as panel power, installation location, orientation and inclination, temperature, and shading. A 100 Wp panel in the Philippines can produce, on average, a maximum between 400 and 650 Wh per day (or between 12 and 20 kWh per month).
A 200 Wp panel will produce twice as much. Energy losses must also be considered, in the order of 35% for systems with batteries and 20% for systems connected to the grid.
What is the difference between W, Wp, Wh, and kWh?
W (Watt) is a unit of measurement for power (equivalent to one Joule per second). Power is the amount of energy delivered per unit of time.
Wh (Watt-hour) is a unit of measurement of energy generated. Ex: A power of 10 W exerted for 3 hours is equivalent to 10 x 3 = 30 Wh
Wp (Watt-peak) is the measurement unit used for photovoltaic panels and means the power in W supplied by a panel under specific conditions and reproduced in the laboratory. It is the maximum power that a panel can provide under ideal conditions.
kWh (kilo-Watt-hour) is 1000 Wh, where k refers to 1000 for any unit of measurement, such as kWp and kW, which are 1000 Wp and 1000 W, respectively. kWh is the unit of measurement for our electricity bill
What data is needed to size a photovoltaic system?
There are particular details of each system, but the primary data are:
Isolated systems (off-grid) List of equipment with Power (W), Hours of use per day (h), and Equipment operating voltage (12V, 110V, 220V, etc.)
Installation location: Required autonomy in days (how many days without sun the system must withstand)
Systems connected to the network (grid tie) Monthly consumption in kWh, Voltage (110V, 220V, etc.) and type of system (single-phase or three-phase), Installation location (City – State)
What equipment is needed in a photovoltaic solar system?
Photovoltaic panels: These capture solar energy and transform it into electrical energy
Inverters: This transforms direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) and adjusts the voltage according to need. Inverters of systems connected to the electrical grid also synchronize the system with the grid.
Batteries: Used in isolated systems to store energy
Charge controllers: Used in isolated systems and controlling battery charging
Other equipment: In addition to the leading equipment, cables, fastening structures for the panels, electrical protections, and other accessories are also required.
How many panels do I need to supply my home?
Unfortunately, there is no standard answer, as it depends on several variables and the size of the chosen panels. In addition, it is not necessary to produce all the energy consumed. Ex: a residence with a consumption of 500 kWh/month will use about 15 to 20 panels of 235 Wp in an average Philippine city to supply 100% of its need.
How much does a photovoltaic solar energy system cost?
The cost of the system depends on its size and selected equipment, which in turn depends on the amount of energy needed and the characteristics of the installation site—a complete and installed system costs between 165,000 PHP and 800,000 PHP.
How much area is needed for a photovoltaic system?
It depends on the size and characteristics of the system as well as how they should be mounted in the arrangements. A 1 kW system occupies an area of approximately 7 m2 of panels. However, if they are inclined on a flat surface such as a slab, one panel can overlap the other, and they must be spaced apart, requiring an area up to twice as large.
What equipment can be used in a grid-tied system?
Any equipment can be used. Always remember that high-consumption equipment such as electric showers and air conditioning requires a lot of panels and, therefore, should be replaced with other solutions whenever possible. The shower, for example, can use thermal solar energy, which is more efficient and cheaper for this application.
What equipment can be used in an isolated system (off-grid)?
In this type of system, equipment such as electric showers and air conditioning should not be used, as their high consumption and power make the system unfeasible, and they can be replaced.
In addition, care should be taken with equipment with electric motors, such as refrigerators and water pumps, as the starting power requires adequate inverters. Always ask which is the ideal inverter to power your equipment.
Can I produce photovoltaic solar energy in my home or business?
Yes, and this is one of the most used applications worldwide. The system works in an integrated manner with the electrical network. The consumer can exchange energy with this network, paying only the difference between consumption and energy production.
If you cannot access the electrical grid, making an isolated system (off-grid) is possible. In this case, the system will need batteries to store energy for the night and cloudy days.
Is the installation of photovoltaic systems difficult?
Small and isolated systems (off-grid), composed of up to 3 or 4 panels, are easy to install and have less risk. Still, it is recommended that it be carried out by a professional familiar with photovoltaic systems. A specialized professional should be consulted for grid-connected or larger off-grid systems.
Is there a difference between the different panel sizes?
Smaller panels are generally used for isolated systems with batteries, while larger panels are used for systems connected to the mains. This happens due to the typical voltage of each panel, 18V for the small ones (up to 140 Wp or 36 cells) and 30V for the biggest ones (240 Wp of 60 cells, for example).
Large panels are not designed for use with batteries. They can be used, but a particular charge controller (MPPT) would be required, increasing the system’s total cost.
What is the lifetime of the system?
A photovoltaic system connected to the grid has a useful life of 30 to 40 years, and most photovoltaic panels have a 25-year guarantee for production of at least 80% of the nominal power.
Inverters, on the other hand, have a 5 to 10-year warranty and an expected useful life of 10 to 15 years and can be exchanged. Some microinverters have a longer useful life, reaching 25 years.
In the case of isolated systems, inverters and charge controllers have a two-year warranty and a useful life of 5 to 10 years. Still, the main difference (especially in cost) is the expensive batteries, which must be replaced more frequently.
The most common batteries have a useful life of 4 years, and special batteries can reach 10 to 15 years of duration, depending on good sizing and use.
Can I be independent of the utility using photovoltaic solar energy?
Yes. However, if you already have access to the electrical network, this is not recommended. The photovoltaic system connected to the grid is more efficient, economical, safe, ecologically correct, and less maintenance. Therefore, it is the best option for people with energy from the public grid.
Do I need batteries in a mains-connected system?
No. Systems connected to the electrical grid throw surplus energy into the grid. The clock registers this surplus as a credit offset by consumption at night, on cloudy days, or even in subsequent months. For this, the dealership will replace the clock with a bidirectional clock. It is as if the public network were its “battery,” receiving energy for use at another time.
Is this type of facility profitable?
Every day it is and will be more challenging to face the increase in the electricity bill, prices at levels or comparable to that of a mortgage. A correctly sized and executed installation will save at least 65% per year of the consumption of your electricity bill.
What percentage can I save?
You save up to 100% of the consumption of your electricity bill by paying only the part that corresponds to costs and tolls, which are the taxes on your electricity bill.
With a standard network installation, the usual thing is a minimum of 65% annual average since the cold months of lower production are compensated with the optimal months, reaching maximum efficiency.
What are the months with the lowest production and the months with the highest production?
In the Philippines, usually just the rainy season. Those with the highest production the rest of the months.
Where can I install the solar panels?
On any roof, wooden roofs, sheet metal, tiles, slate, etc. Sloped or flat roofs. On the roof or on the ground, canopy, or entrance type with or without a panel.
Will shades affect my solar panels?
They will affect fixed and persistent shadows such as those of a tree, chimney, and TV antenna, these are the most common. For this, there are solutions such as power optimizers, installing them only in solar panels with these shadows. And in more extreme situations, we can opt for microinverters, one per panel. Also, the microinverters allow different orientations of the modules.
Can I depend solely and totally on my solar installation and not the electricity grid?
Yes, although I must clarify that it must be progressive, generally with several accumulators equivalent to your consumption kW/for this
What useful life do solar panels have?
At least they must have the valuable life indicated by the manufacturers. The usual standards usually have at least 25 years of production, and the high-end ones 40 years, we have them in stock.
If there is no sun, do solar panels not produce energy?
They do produce, although they do generate to a lesser extent but produce energy, which is why the energy efficiency of the panel you choose is significant.
What is the efficiency of a solar panel, and why is it important?
The panel’s efficiency is its ability to capture and transform solar energy into electrical energy. You will observe this in the performance of the installation itself, especially in winter, on cloudy days, or “days when we do not see the sun.”
We influence this nuance since, even if we do not see the sun, it is there like every day, and the solar collection capacity will be much higher than the standard with higher efficiency modules. Standard panels usually have an efficiency of between 19% and 22%.
Can I add more solar panels in the future?
The power of an inverter must be equivalent to the sum of the peak watts of the panels, and the maximum permissible of the inverter itself and other aspects according to the manufacturer must be considered. Only if the inverter is higher can we add panels or another inverter in parallel.
What kind of maintenance do solar panels require?
Solar panels can be cleaned with water and neutral soap every 6/12 months, depending on the environment.
What kind of facilities exists for self-consumption?
Grid connection with or without batteries, isolated without grid connection, and collective.
Should my self-consumption installation be grid or isolated?
Isolated is mainly for when you do not have a connection to the electrical network, or voltage spikes that damage household appliances, or simply if you want to isolate yourself from the network. The usual one in localities is usually to the network and isolated in rural environments without electricity.
Can we share a facility with neighbors of a community?
Yes, also with a collective installation, since several users are associated, many costs are saved in the generation plant. I recommend this modality, for example, in communities of owners