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Nos fuimos para la zona de La Victoria de Sarapiquí a desarrollar un proyecto para Alimentos Don Mariano. Una empresa que se dedica a cultivar, procesar y empacar yuca, plátano, malanga, ñame entre otros.  Con más de 30 años de experiencia en el mercado, Alimentos Don Mariano se ha mantenido firme con sus clientes y ahora se decidió a innovar en su producción utilizando energías limpias con un sistema fotovoltaico conectado a la red.

Este comercio proyecta ahorrarse un 88% de energía en su factura eléctrica una vez que el proyecto quede interconectado en la red del ICE y pueda generar; lo que es un equivalente a 15,32 kg menos de CO2 anual en la atmósfera. Este comercio se convierte en un consumidor de energía limpia de una manera astuta y adecuada para su producción; lo que sin duda ayudará a mejorar sus operaciones y estará protegida ante la subida de precios de la electricidad.

El proyecto posee un sistema de monitoreo inteligente que se realiza de manera remota en una plataforma que se conecta a los equipos vía WiFi, de manera que siempre pasa actualizado. Esta tecnología permite identificar si se presentaran fallas con los equipos, la generación que se está dando en los módulos solares, entre otros.

Acomodo de módulos solares y detalle de tecnología de micro-inversores en sitio.

Y usted, ¿qué espera para dar el paso hacia la energía del futuro?


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Todos los días, cuándo un cliente nos contacta, lo primero que consultan es el precio de un sistema fotovoltaico. Nuestra respuesta siempre es la misma, depende de lo que usted necesite. Es por eso que hemos resumido en tres puntos todo lo que debe de considerar y revisar con nuestro departamento solar antes de decidir qué es lo que más le conviene y por supuesto, cuál es el costo de la inversión en esta tecnología del futuro. Este es el proceso que regularmente realizamos para la cotización de Sistemas Conectados a la Red ó mejor conocidos como On Grid. Para la cotización de Sistemas Híbridos, de Respaldo u Off Grid, este proceso puede variar un poco su orden, así como los requerimientos de ciertos elementos de estudio.

  1. Conocer al cliente: evaluación del histórico de consumo, ubicación geográfica y hábitos de consumo

    • Histórico de consumo: El primer paso para diseñar un sistema fotovoltaico es realizar un análisis de los consumos eléctricos de su residencia o comercio de los últimos 6-12 meses. Con esta revisión se podrá promediar el consumo mensual del cliente. Cuando ya se tiene el mismo, la pregunta a responder es, ¿cuántos paneles solares necesita para reemplazar ese consumo? La respuesta no es tan sencilla, es necesario, para esto, adentrarnos en algunos conceptos de energía y entender el comportamiento del sol en la ubicación geográfica en la que se instalarán los paneles solares; para así poder identificar la orientación e inclinación que deben de llevar estos. Además se deberán de evaluar riesgos cómo el exceso de polvo, sombras pre-existentes, entre otros; que puedan irrumpir en una óptima generación de energía.
    • Análisis de escenarios con software’s de punta: También hoy día existen softwares que permiten calcular el rendimiento específico de cada panel , es decir, cuánta energía (kWh) se va a generar por cada Kilowatt (kW) de potencia instalada. Dicho de otra forma, kWh/kWp. Seléctrica utiliza esta clase de herramientas para poder modelar acorde a su geografía real y poder así calcular cuanta potencia en paneles solares usted requiere tomando cómo referencia el promedio de consumo ya calculado con el histórico de sus facturas eléctricas.
    • Hábitos del cliente: Otra consideración importante es conocer el hábito de consumo del cliente, en esta parte se busca entender cómo y cuándo consume electricidad en el tiempo. Respondiendo preguntas cómo, ¿Cuál es la jornada laboral y el horario de su empresa? ¿ Cuentan con meses de alta demanda?, entre otros. Logrando identificar los patrones de consumo del cliente y los horarios en que los realiza. Para así determinar la cantidad de energía que será exportada a la red. En esta etapa, podrán necesitar realizarse estudios de consumo de energía con instrumentos como los analizadores de energía o redes.

La revisión de todos estos detalles concluirá en la cantidad de módulos solares que se requerirán para su proyecto.

   2. Evaluación económica

Una vez que ya se tiene la cantidad de módulos solares a instalar y la potencia requerida, lo que sigue es ver la factibilidad económica de la instalación, de acuerdo con los costos de la instalación y los retornos de inversión.

    • Identificar el tipo de tarifa en la que se encuentra: Esta información tiende a verse afectada por las distintas tarifas eléctricas con las que contamos en Costa Rica, además de la complejidad de la instalación según las características del inmueble, sin embargo, esta es una información vital para que el cliente tome una adecuada decisión. Por lo que no lo podemos dejar de lado.  En esta etapa nos interesa identificar el tipo de tarifa eléctrica en la que se encuentra. Existen varios tipos de tarifa, como lo son la Residencial, la Comercial, la de Carácter Social, la de Media Tensión, entre otras. El tipo de tarifa indicará el precio que usted paga por Kilowatt.
    • Retorno de inversión: Es importante mencionar que el retorno de inversión se logrará de mejor manera cuando el costo de su factura eléctrica sea mayor a los 100,000 crc por mes (aproximadamente). Entre más alto el costo de su consumo, mayor retorno de su inversión tendrá. Dadas las condiciones de Costa Rica en ubicación geográfica, como en tipos de tarifas, los retornos de inversión típicos suelen rondar entre 3 a 7 años. No todos los casos son iguales. En esta etapa se evaluará su capacidad de pago vs el ahorro deseado. Por lo que se buscará lograr un equilibrio entre lo que usted pueda invertir y el porcentaje de ahorro real que podrá lograr con el sistema elegido.
    • Tarifas horarias: El análisis se vuelve más complejo ya que se tienen 3 horarios diferentes con cobro de energía y demanda divididos por horarios. Para estos casos es obligatorio partir de un perfil de consumo proporcionado por el cliente o bien colocar instrumentos de medición para poder realizar las proyecciones de ahorro. 

 3. Revisión de infraestructura disponible para la instalación

    • Revisión de área aprovechable: El último punto a revisar para el diseño y cotización del proyecto final es la infraestructura existente o en su defecto, el espacio disponible para colocar los paneles solares. El sistema fotovoltaico como tal lleva varios componentes que requieren de ciertas características de espacios para su resguardo, así que según la infraestructura también se pueden tomar decisiones de cuáles equipos sean los más adecuados para su proyecto; así como revisar el espacio que realmente haya para colocar los paneles solares. Estos son los que suelen abarcar mayor área. Por eso es algo indispensable a revisar. ¿Qué sucede si el espacio es limitado y su consumo es alto? Un ejemplo claro que nos ha sucedido con clientes son sitios como las carnicerías, dado que estas suelen tener instalaciones con espacios reducidos y un alto consumo eléctrico. Es acá cuando entra la toma de decisiones profesionales para beneficiarle de la mejor manera posible. En situaciones de este tipo lo que regularmente sucede es que se compromete un poco la capacidad de generación del sistema al no tener el espacio necesitado para lograr colocar más paneles solares, sin embargo, esto no significa que el sistema no se pueda instalar. Simplemente se instala el sistema, solamente que este tendrá una menor capacidad de ahorro, pero de igual manera generará ahorro y significará menos gasto en su factura eléctrica.
    • Revisión de sombras: Adicional al área aprovechable, deben de revisarse aspectos como la sombras producto de edificios cercanos, árboles, rótulos o vallas publicitarias, chimeneas, unidades de aire acondicionado y cualquier otro elemento que podría llegar a causar sombras al sistema y por ende repercutir a la productividad generativa de energía del sistema fotovoltaico. Estos aspectos no suelen ser problema si desde un inicio fueron tomados en cuenta para el estudio de radiación para el cálculo de la generación esperada. Las sombras son el enemigo número 1 de la energía solar, siempre que se pueda evitarlas, se debe de hacer.
    • Revisión de estado del techo: Será de alta relevancia tomar en cuenta el estado actual del techo, en Costa Rica se utiliza, en su mayoría, láminas de zinc; las cuáles con el tiempo se oxidan. Por lo que siempre es un aspecto importante revisar el estado del techo, para así considerar si es importante hacer algún tipo de cobertura con alguna pintura especial o incluso reemplazar algunas láminas de ser necesario. Esto, tomando en cuenta que el techo de una casa es el espacio elegido por excelencia en casi el 100% de los proyectos para colocar los paneles solares; pueden existir excepciones, sin embargo, vemos importante mencionarlo al ser el caso mas común.

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Solar energy is a wonderful solution for many, brings new options that will be very convenient and attractive for many reasons. Below we explain some of them.

  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT: Join the planet’s carbonization plan and take care of the planet and yourself.
  • ECONOMIC SAVINGS: Using Solar Systems, such as solar panels, can drastically reduce your electricity consumption payments.
  • ECONOMIC PROTECTION: You are economically protected against increases in the cost of electricity.
  • COMPETITIVENESS: With the reduction of your electrical expenses, you will be one step ahead of your competition.
  • IT’S FREE: Solar energy is free and inexhaustible.
  • ADAPTABILITY: At any time you can add solar panels to an already installed system, this because the panels are modular; so that it could (if necessary) increase the available power and the available energy. 
  • 25 YEARS OF LIFE: Photovoltaic systems are guaranteed by their manufacturers to last up to 25 years and can continue to generate beyond that time. 

  • COMMITMENT SAMPLE: You will demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and the environment, which your customers will greatly appreciate. 
  • RELIABILITY: Even in severe conditions, solar systems remain a very reliable way to produce energy. 
  • LESS SOUND POLLUTION: The systems are quiet in operation.
  • EASY INSTALLATION: The systems install quickly and are attractive solutions for remote sites difficult to access.
  • AUTONOMY: The systems are capable of being 100% independent of the electricity network of the distribution company in your area. This is due to the possibility of using batteries that will store your produced energy.

We begin our edition of TYPES OF PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS, explaining the most economical system used by the vast majority of solar consumers, the INTERACTIVE SYSTEM

⦁ These types of systems exchange energy with the service NETWORK, be it the ICE, CNFL, among others. They can also be known as “interconnected” and “interactive” systems.
⦁ What differentiates them from traditional photovoltaic (PV) systems, is where they store their energy, since they do not need battery storage.
⦁ The user generates his own energy and the excess energy (if not used at the time it is produced) is sold to the distribution network to which they belong. This enters the NETWORK and is used by another user who needs it at the moment.
⦁ When the user requires more energy, and it is at a time when their panels are not generating energy (as at night), they will use energy that is extracted from the commercial network of their distributor.
⦁ In the case of Costa Rica, The user receives energy (electricity) from the NETWORK at a price much cheaper than that of another common consumer. As for example, at a commercial rate of ICE the cost kilowatt hour (kWh) is 71.8 crc; that same kWh will cost 27.8 crc for the user that feeds the PV power to the NETWORK.
⦁ In the event of a power failure by the distribution NETWORK, the inverter switches off automatically and does not continue to pass PV electricity to the NETWORK.
⦁ So there will be no electricity at that time, as there is no storage; so it is that in some systems batteries are also used, in case of failures by the distribution network.

Photography: Project under development at the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica

On this occasion we bring you a Real Savings Case with Solar Panels in Costa Rica.  A Guapileña home chose Solar Energy as its ally.

Installation of a Savings System with Solar Panels:

  1. For the correct installation of a Solar Energy System it is necessary to have specialists like us.
  2. You will be guided throughout the system installation process.
  3. Support during the process of legal procedures that involve the installation of your Solar Energy System.
  4. A previous study will be carried out to know the electricity consumption needs of the users of the store.
  5. In the case of housing, 21 Solar Panels and 21 micro-inverters were installed.

Savings: Monthly Electric Billing

Before: ₡ 111,091 per month

After: ₡ 24,356 per month

Saving: ₡ 84,735 per month

The significant Electric Savings resulted in going from an Electric Billing of one hundred eleven thousand colones to twenty four thousand colones per month. Generating savings of eighty-four thousand colones.

This means for Costa Rica, an annual saving of half a ton of carbon dioxide.

The detail of savings can be seen better in the attached graphic.


 

Do you want to quote your Solar System?

Enter our website and fill out our Solar Quotation Request Form.

To see all our services, enter here.

Before installing any energy saving system, it is important that you follow these steps that we recommend, to begin to have a better performance of your electrical systems.

FIRST: Become LED. The best and most efficient way to illuminate buildings, residences and gardens. Everywhere the LED can be applied. Eliminate all inefficient equipment. Ask us and we will advise you.

SECOND: Install solar panels.

THIRD: Check your electrical installation in general, you must comply with the NEC (Electrical Code of Costa Rica). That not only makes it safe, but it helps you save indirectly.

FOURTH: Automate your systems.

FIVE: Enjoy an efficient and energy saving system. Caring for the planet and your pocket.


Do you want to quote your Solar System?

Enter our website and fill out our Solar Quotation Request Form.

To see all our services, enter here.

On this occasion we bring you a Real Case of Savings with Solar Panels in Costa Rica.  In Electrocaribe S & C  opted for Solar Energy as your ally.

Installation of a Savings System with Solar Panels:
  • For the correct installation of a Solar Energy System it is necessary to have specialists like us.
  • You will be guided throughout the system installation process.
  • Support during the process of legal procedures that involve the installation of your Solar Energy System.
  • A previous study will be carried out to know the electricity consumption needs of the users of the store.
  • In the case of Electrocaribe S&C, 48 Solar Panels, 24 micro-inverters and 1 inverter were installed.

Savings: Monthly Electric Billing

Before: ₡ 320,500 per month

After: ₡ 94,000 per month

Savings: ₡ 226,500 per month

The significant Electric Savings resulted in going from an Electric Billing of three hundred twenty thousand five hundred colones to ninety four thousand colones per month. Generating a savings of TWO HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED colones.

The detail of savings can be seen better in the attached image.

Savings Information


Do you want to quote your Solar System?

Enter our website and fill out our Solar Quotation Request Form.

To see all our services, enter here.

On this occasion we bring you a Real Savings Case with Solar Panels in Costa Rica.  The Guapileño sports complex opted for Solar Energy as its ally.

Installation of a Savings System with Solar Panels:
  • For the correct installation of a Solar Energy System it is necessary to have specialists like us.
  • You will be guided throughout the system installation process.
  • Support during the process of legal procedures that involve the installation of your Solar Energy System.
  • A previous study will be carried out to know the electricity consumption needs of the users of the store.
  • In the case of the Sports Complex, 114 Solar Panels and 6 investors were installed.

Savings: Monthly Electric Billing

Before: ₡ 665,578 per month

After: ₡ 267,458 per month

Savings: ₡ 398,120 per month

The significant Electric Savings resulted in going from an Electric Billing of six hundred sixty-five thousand five hundred seventy-eight to two hundred sixty-one thousand four hundred fifty-eight colones per month. Generating a saving of THIRTY NINETY AND EIGHT THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY colones.

The detail of the Electric Saving can be seen better in the attached image.

This means for Costa Rica a significant annual saving of carbon dioxide.

Savings Information


Do you want to quote your Solar System?

Enter our website and fill out our Solar Quotation Request Form.

To see all our services, enter here.

In most countries, electricity is provided by a centralized generation. Centralized generation is when electricity is generated that is then transmitted through power lines to millions of end users. This is the type of Energy Generation has been used in Costa Rica for many years. Distributed energy is the ideal way to take advantage of Clean Source energy generation. In this case, the electricity generated by Solar Energy

What is distributed energy?

It is the generation and management of electrical energy in a De-Centralizedway. It is given as close as possible to its place of consumption using mostly renewable energy sources.


* In this case, for the interest of all, we will propose the definition according to the Costa Rican Energy Distribution System *

How does Distributed Energy for Self-Consumption work?

  1. Properly install a Solar Generation System in your home / commerce / industry.
  2. Solar panels capture solar energy and convert it into electricity. Thanks to the photoelectric effect, electricity travels in the form of direct current to an inverter that transforms it into alternating current.
  3. The current passes through a meter that records the generation of electricity.
  4. Finally to a  which distributes it throughout the building.

Solar Generation Systems with Distributed Energy are recommended for users who consume the vast majority of electricity during the day (daylight hours).


In this way, the electricity produced by the Solar Panels at the moment is consumed. Even so, there are always surpluses of Electric Power.

Energy needs to be reserved or used at the moment.

So the Energy NOT used by the user enters the National Energy Network. 


Storage of Distributed Energy is done in the National Energy Network.

BATTERIES ARE NOT USED


Frequent questions:

What happens if I don’t use electricity during the day? or If I only consume a part of the electricity that was generated during the day?
  1. The Energy surplus is injected into the National Energy Network.
  2. A bi-directional meter is installed.
    • Why a bi-directional meter? : This measures the energy that enters and is consumed from the National Energy Network,
When Solar Panels DO NOT generate Energy?

Solar Panels DO NOT generate Energy during the night and can generate less Energy levels on cloudy days.

In a Distributed Energy System, who generates the Energy of the National Energy Network?

You, your neighbors and the government. Being a De-Centralized System, it means that Energy is generated everywhere. So you and your neighbors can contribute to the generation of Distributed Energy in your community. Being a clean energy contributor and strengthening your sense of community.

Can I use at night the same energy that generated hours of sunshine?

Not really. The Electric Power generated during the day and not used, is not stored. But it is not wasted either, since it is immediately used by other users connected to the National Energy Network.

What about the surpluses?

The distribution companies will recognize up to 49% of the electricity it generates. This means that the Electricity you consume from the National Energy Network, during the night, will be charged at a lower cost than the established price. The cost of this rate is decided by the ARESEP.

That is to say: Energy at a lower cost, in recognition of its contribution to the national network.

What about the energy I injected into the network and that the distribution company did not recognize me?
  • The Energy you provide improves the efficiency of the National Energy Network.
  • Energy flow decreases from large generation plants.
  • It is clean energy: from a clean, renewable and free source. IT DOES NOT POLLUTE.

If you are going to install Solar Panels, remember that the ideal thing is that in your house the highest consumption of Electric Energy is during the day so that you can consume your own Free Energy


If you want to read more advantages over the use of Solar Panels in Costa Rica: enter here


Dictionary 

Centralized Generation: is the Electric Power produced by the state. Either from Clean (renewable), nuclear or fossil sources.

De-centralized Generation (Distributed Energy): It is the Energy produced by more than one user (entity), regularly, using Clean (renewable) sources of generation. As is Solar Energy.

National Energy Network:  is the country’s main Electric Power network. To which all the Electric Power arrives and is distributed in the rest of the country.

Photoelectric effect:  We recommend you watch the following video for a better explanation.

Continuous Current and Alternating Current:  Known by their initials respectively CC and CA

DC is when there is a direct (continuous) transit of an electric charge.

The CA has a regular and cyclic variation. The AC is the type of Energy that is used regularly to bring Energy homes and businesses.

Inverter:  Device that transforms the CD to DC.

Load center (breaker box):  is a metal cabinet that is found in every home / business that receives Electric Power. It has several breakers (switches) with which electrical circuits are controlled in the building.

Solar Generation System:  is the union of several electrical components that generate energy from sunlight. How are a Solar Panel, Investor, among others.

Energy Distributing Companies:  They are the companies that are responsible for delivering the Electric Power in your country.

Costa Rica has 7 energy distribution companies: ICE, ESPH, CNFL, Coopesantos, Coopealfaro, Coopelesca and Coopeguanacaste.

ARESEP:  Regulatory Authority of Public Services.


Do you want to quote your Solar System? 

Enter our website and fill out our Solar Quotation Request Form. 

To see all our services, enter here.

Solar Panels need very little maintenance. These are the cares and recommendations that Seléctrica suggests you follow to keep them in optimal conditions:

Care

Photovoltaic Modules (Solar Panels)
  • Clean the modules with water. Only the top.
  • If it becomes necessary to use more than water, you can apply a mild detergent. DO NOT use strong and abrasive detergents.
  • It is possible to use a windshield wiper to facilitate cleaning. Again, do not use fabrics that can cause some kind of damage to the panels.
  • Clean the panels early or late, when the panels are cold and do not suffer a thermal shock.
  • You can end up drying with a soft cloth or with the windshield wiper.

Solar Panel and Cleaning

recommendations

  • Avoid shadows: The growth of trees and other vegetation that can produce shadows on solar panels. This can lower their performance.
  • Consulting with experts on the solar issue: When you decide to install your solar generation system, look for people trained in the subject; To guarantee a good installation. In this way they will make a proper study of your particular case and will have professionals at your side who can always advise you in the future, if necessary.

Frequency:

The weather and how the Solar Panels look will be a key indicator to know. The frequency can be between 1 or 2 times a year, but it will always depend on the conditions they face, depending on the area of the country where the installation is located.

Solar Panel and Cleaning

In the image you can see an example of when a panel needs to be cleaned


If you want to read more advantages over the use of Solar Panels in Costa Rica: enter here


Do you want to quote your Solar System?

Enter our website and fill out our Solar Quotation Request Form.

To see all our services, enter here.