Balkonkraftwerk FAQ: Alles was du wissen musst!

Balcony solar FAQ: Everything you need to know!

What Exactly Are Balcony Solar Panels?

Balcony solar panels are smaller and lightweight version of solar panels that nearly everyone can install on their balcony. The advantage is that you can easily install the modules yourself and thus save the costs of an electrician. Because balcony solar panels can simply be plugged into a socket on the balcony, they are also known as “plug-in” or “plug & play” solar devices.

 

Paketinhalt eines Balkonkraftwerks

What Comes with a Balcony Solar System?

A balcony solar set-up usually consists of three parts:

  • The solar panels
  • A inverter
  • A mounting bracket

The solar panels produce solar power, the inverter converts the power into usable household electricity and the bracket enables secure mounting and the optimum angle to the sun. There are not only mounts for the balcony, but also for your pitched roof, your garden or for mounting on the wall.

 

Do I Need an Outdoor Socket?

Yes, you need an outdoor socket. However, it doesn't have to be on your balcony. With the sets from priwatt, for example, you could source your own cables up to a length of 20 metres, from Schuko for example. It is important to ensure that you do not plug the cable into a multiple plug to extend it, as this could exceed load capacity and potentially lead to electrical hazards or system failures.

 

Can I Only Install Balcony Solar Panels on the Balcony?

No. Although the name "balcony” solar panels has become popular for the mini solar power system, you can also install the modules in other locations. Just make sure that the right bracket is included in the set.

 

What Type of Balcony Are Panels Suitable For?

Most plug-in solar devices for balconies are designed for balconies with railings or lattice. These allow the solar modules to be attached to the top and bottom of the balcony railing. If your balcony also allows you to fix the bracket at the top and bottom, your balcony should also be suitable.

 

Is It Worth It (Financially)?

Balcony power panels not only enable renewable energy, they can also reduce your electricity costs. With a 300 watt set, for example, you could save around 90 euros a year on electricity. The important factors that determine your savings are the orientation of your balcony power panels, your consumption and the amount of sunshine hours.

Depending on how optimally you fulfil these factors, you will likely see return on your investment within 4 to 6 years. If you also have the option of applying for a subsidy, the amortisation period is reduced to below 2 years.

 

What Subsidies Are Available for Balcony Solar?

Subsidies for balcony solar systems vary from region to region. Most subsidy programmes are set up directly by the respective city, so it is best to find out directly on your city's website whether the purchase of balcony solar panels is subsidised.

Here you will also find a list of federal states and cities that offer subsidy programmes: LINK.

 

Do I Have To Have a South-Facing Balcony?

The production of your balcony solar power depends heavily on the duration of sunlight. A south-facing balcony gets the most sun. But a power plant on a north-facing balcony will also produce electricity, just less. However, it is important to consider your consumption habits since any energy that is produce but not used by you will simply be given away to the grid. In other words, to get the most cost benefit from your solar panel, you should direct it in a way that suits your needs so you can consume energy when it is produced and see savings on your energy bill. For example, if you consume more electricity in the morning hours, a south-east orientation can be more worthwhile, as you generate less electricity during the day, but consume more electricity yourself. The same applies to the evening, where a south-west orientation can be worthwhile.

 

What Happens to the Electricity Produced?

The electricity produced is used directly by your appliances, such as your fridge, router, washing machine and all other appliances. If your balcony power plant generates more electricity than you can consume, the remaining electricity is fed into the grid. This means that even if you don't use the solar power yourself, you are still making the electricity grid greener.

 

Do I Have To Ask My Landlord for Permission?

Yes, your landlord must allow you to install balcony solar panels. It is best to check your tenancy agreement or the house rules to see if something is already stipulated there.

In future, however, this will no longer apply and every tenant will be entitled to install balcony solar panels. If your landlord forbids you to install it, you will still have the chance in future. We will inform you as soon as this is the case.

 

As an Owner, Do I Need Consent from the Homeowner’s Association (Eigentümergemeinschaft)?

Even if you own your flat, you can't always do what you want. To install balcony solar, you need the majority approval of the homeowners' association. However, as with tenants, owners will also be given more rights to install balcony solar systems in the future so it pays to keep up with changes.

 

Do I Have to Register My Balcony Solar Panel?

Yes, you must register your balcony power system with the local grid operator and the Federal Network Agency in the "Marktstammdatenregister". The Federal Network Agency has recently greatly simplified your registration process to make it even easier for you to register your system.

Here you can find the Marktstammdatenregister: marktstammdatenregister.de

Registration with the local grid operator will no longer be necessary in future. However, it is still important as grid operators often replace your electricity meter (free of charge) when you register your balcony solar panels.

Here you can find out which network operator you need to contact: VNBdigital.de

 

Are Balcony Solar Panels Worthwhile From a Sustainable Perspective?

Solar power is 100% climate-neutral, still the production of the components leads to emissions. However, according to the German Environment Agency, the CO2 produced is offset again after approx. 1 to 2 years in Germany. So after 2 years at the latest, the balcony power plant will be 100% climate neutral.

If you have more questions about your future balcony solar panels, we’re happy to help! Reach out in the live chat via the round button in the bottom right-hand corner or send an email :)

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