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LEARN MORE ABOUT PHOTOVOLTAICS
How much does a photovoltaic system cost per kilowatt?
Although initially this type of technology was quite expensive, over the years the price has decreased significantly. To date, photovoltaics is a very convenient form of clean energy production. Furthermore, thanks to the tax deductions implemented by the Revenue Agency, a large part of the costs incurred initially can be recovered.
How much does photovoltaics cost: power
In order to understand how much a photovoltaic system costs, it is essential to consider its power (measured in kilowatts). As the plant's kilowatts increase, in fact, the costs connected to it will increase. Estimating a precise cost per kW is not easy, in fact the variables that come into play in the evaluation are numerous. What we can do is establish a range, which can go from 1200 up to 3000 € per kilowatt. Then we will see in detail what determines the overall cost of the system.
The size of the system, therefore, is the factor that most influences the initial cost of a photovoltaic system. The choice of power generally varies according to the needs of the user and the space available. In general, the most common systems have a power of 3 kW or 6 kW. 1.5-2 kW and 9-10 kW systems are also quite common, especially in the case of small or very spacious surfaces.
The total power of a system is given by the sum of all the powers of the individual panels. To reach a power of 3kW approximately 8-10 panels are needed. Furthermore, the price of each single panel is influenced by the quality of the materials with which it is made and by the retailer brand: in fact, two modules that have the same power can have different costs.
How much does photovoltaics cost: what are the other influencing factors?
In addition to the power, to understand how much a photovoltaic system costs it is important to consider also other factors, such as:
the type of photovoltaic modules chosen;
the type of inverter;
the choice to install any storage system and / or power stabilizers;
professional costs related to the activity of specialized technicians who will evaluate and carry out the intervention;
the costs associated with the management of administrative procedures, which are mandatory for putting the plant into operation.
Let's see in detail how these factors affect the initial expense for the purchase and installation of a photovoltaic system.
On the market there are various brands and types of photovoltaic panels. Based on the manufacturing technology, we can find:
monocrystalline photovoltaic modules: they are made up of silicon cells with the highest degree of purity. The silicon crystals are all oriented in the same direction, this means that the energy production is greater in the presence of light perpendicular to the surface of the modules;
polycrystalline photovoltaic modules: these panels are made up of randomly oriented silicon crystals, therefore their efficiency is less if the panels are hit perpendicularly by the sun. However, they manage to make better use of the light during the day;
photovoltaic modules in amorphous silicon: they are not composed of photovoltaic cells, but of a layer of glass and plastic material, on which a very thin layer of silicon is applied. They have a 30% lower yield than the previous ones and, given the possibility of producing them also in flexible rolls, they are used in the case of particular architectural applications (for example on curved roofs).
In summary, the modules with higher efficiency are monocrystalline ones, but lower efficiency does not mean low quality of the panels. We must consider that, for the same power, it will take less monocrystalline silicon modules than polycrystalline ones. On the other hand, mono prices are slightly higher.
The cost of the panels varies mainly according to the brand chosen. The error to be avoided is to save on modules, by purchasing low quality products with few guarantees. It is much more convenient to rely on quality brands, with long guarantees on products and which will surely have a limited degree of efficiency reduction due to the passage of time.
The inverter is the system inside the photovoltaic system that allows to transform the direct current produced by the panels into alternating current. Without this component, it would be impossible to exploit the energy produced by the photovoltaic system to operate household appliances, as they use alternating current.
There are many brands on the market and also for this component the discussion made on the panels applies. Better to focus on quality than on initial savings. Also because, in the event of failures that can occur during the life cycle, not all manufacturers replace the inverters under warranty.
For years, the market leaders have been producing inverters combined with special electronic components that are used to increase photovoltaic production: energy stabilizers . In particular, the S&M C-F2, distributed exclusively by C-Fusion worldwide, is capable of increasing the efficiency of electrical equipment with the consequent decrease in the failure of the same and greater overall performance of the systems. The S&M CF 2 has the ability to stabilize the voltage, current and frequency, making them perfectly aligned and available at the time of the real request by one or more users and increasing their performance up to 100% of the possible efficiency.
The electrical panel is installed between the contactor, ensuring an increase in productivity and continuous monitoring.
The storage system is a component that can be implemented in the photovoltaic system to increase the degree of self-consumption. The battery in fact takes care of storing the excess energy produced during the day, to be able to exploit it in the evening hours, when the panels are not producing.
The installation of the storage tank is obviously a surplus, since the system is not basically equipped with this technology. Consequently, a further price increase must be counted if this technology is to be introduced. However, it will radically change the advantage offered by our plant. Especially for those families who spend the day away from home (for work, study, etc.) and come home only in the late afternoon, using household appliances mainly during the evening.
Thanks to the accumulation of the energy produced, in fact, they can use the various users at no cost.
Having analyzed the costs relating to the components of the system, it is also necessary to dwell on the costs related to the personnel carrying out the work. In the final price of the system, the costs of labor and the support of a specialized technician who evaluates the intervention from the beginning must also be included. It is very important to rely on a reliable and competent company, which will be able to follow you in all phases of the work, starting from the choice of the power necessary to meet your energy needs .
The companies that provide turnkey services, in most cases, will also offer you complete support in the bureaucratic management of the necessary and mandatory practices for the activation of your system. These too are costs that add to the overall price. In fact, even if compared to a few years ago the bureaucracy in photovoltaics has decreased, a considerable part remains in the process of building a plant.
Photovoltaic system: not only a cost but also an investment!
We estimated an average price for the construction of a photovoltaic system and we analyzed the variables that determine the cost. However, if you're considering installing PV for your home, you'll need to pay attention to a couple of considerations.
The first is that, to date, the purchase of a photovoltaic system benefits from the 50% tax deduction. This means that you can deduct the expenses necessary for the construction of the system, when filing your tax return. The deduction will be spread in ten years. The expenses to be deducted not only include those for the purchase, but also those for the workforce and professionals.
In addition to this tax benefit, it is necessary to consider the possibility offered by the GSE to join the Exchange on the spot , a particular service that allows you to economically recover a part of the energy produced and not self-consumed directly.
If we add to these concessions the consequent savings on the electricity bill, deriving from a correct exploitation of the energy produced by the panels, we can see the cost of photovoltaics in a different perspective. They will no longer be just expenses for themselves, but will be a real reliable and long-lasting investment.