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Balkonkraftwerke - von der Auswahl bis zur Inbetriebnahme

Balcony power plants - from selection to commissioning

, by Markus Ochel, 7 min reading time

The 8-step plan for the balcony power plant


Step 1: Check requirements and plan investment

Before you can get started with your own solar energy and order a system, it is important to go through some basics.
The cost of a complete balcony power plant is currently 650 euros. Depending on the performance, equipment and required assembly, the prices are between 650 - 1200 euros (as of 09/22). A complete package usually includes one or two solar modules, an inverter and an individually selected installation package. The inverter is mandatory and is responsible for ensuring that only the maximum permitted 600 watts are fed in and that the electricity produced can be used in the house network. There are usually no costs for an electrician as the sets are generally designed for assembly by laypeople.

The average yield is 550 kWh per year. With an average purchase price of 850 euros and electricity costs of around 42 cents per kWh, the real electricity savings amount to 231 euros per year. The system then paid for itself after approx. 3.5 years. (as of 09/22).

Important : A balcony power plant only covers its own electricity needs, but there is no provision for feeding it into the public power grid and the resulting remuneration in Germany! This means that anyone who produces more electricity than they use and does not store it will automatically give it to the public grid free of charge. There is no compensation.

For users from Austria, more user-friendly rules apply. For example, 800 watts are allowed and there are numerous funding options.

Step 2: No shady spot - choose the location of the balcony power plant

If installation is carried out on the balcony, the sunniest place should be chosen. If other places are also available and there is a choice, a few points should be taken into account:

- Sun, because shady places are counterproductive. Observe where there is the longest exposure to sunlight throughout the day without cladding.

- The sun's rays always fall on the panel at angles and influence the efficiency of the modules. The best result is achieved with a south orientation with an angle of inclination of 30-35 degrees. If this alignment is not possible, you can still produce enough electricity.

- A power socket should be within reach. The feed takes place via this and the cables usually have a length of 5-20m.

- Safety precautions: From an angle of inclination of 10 degrees, no one is allowed to stay under the modules as it is considered a canopy. However, vertical installation is legally harmless. When installing on the facade and balcony, it must be ensured that the modules cannot fall. Always pay attention to suitable mounting materials. Weighting is necessary on flat roofs so that the modules stand securely during a storm.

Step 3: Contact the homeowner

If you are the owner of the property, you can skip this step. If you live in rent or if there is a homeowners' association, you should ask for permission in advance to avoid trouble. The installation may conflict with some points regulated in rental agreements. Always have the landlord's permission confirmed in writing.
Building appearance and its changes: When installed on the balcony, the appearance changes. The landlord or the homeowners association has a say.
Structural changes: The facade is changed by screwing. Ask the landlord for permission.

Step 4: Check technical requirements

A balcony power plant can save you some costs. The electricity you produce is consumed directly, thus reducing the amount of additional electricity you need. The advantage of a large system is that a small system does not have to be registered as a business. Ideally, all of the electricity produced is consumed by you. However, some prerequisites are required for operation, such as a compliant electricity meter. The electricity meter needs a so-called backstop. This is built into the meter and ensures that unused electricity flows into the public grid without a meter running back.
If you have an older, non-compliant meter installed, the meter must be replaced free of charge. If you are unsure, ask your network operator about the built-in meter.
In older buildings (built before 1985) relevant safety precautions are sometimes not available, such as a circuit breaker or surge protector. Check this. In newer buildings, the specified standards are met and operation is unproblematic.

Step 5: The right plug

There are two options for the plug. Once the standard household Schuko plug and once a Wieland plug with a Wieland socket. These are insulated so that the metal pins do not protrude unprotected like with a conventional Schuko plug and are intended to prevent sparks and fires from occurring due to the loose fit of a Schuko plug. However, this danger only exists in theory due to the NA protection of the inverter. As soon as the mains voltage at the connection is less than 230 volts, the solar system is switched off immediately.
Proponents of the Wieland plug rely on the standards of the association “VDE - Association of Electrical Engineering Electronics Information Technology”, which recommends the use of the Wieland plug. Experts from the consumer advice center consider the operation of balcony power plants with Schuko plugs to be safe. However, attention should always be paid to a standard-compliant inverter for safety.
The choice of plug is more a matter of taste than a question of safety. However, if you want to be on the safe side, use the Wieland plug.

Step 6: Choose and order the right set

In our online shop at https://mein-solarwerk.de/ you will find suitable starter sets with one or two modules. The systems have standard-compliant inverters with NA protection. An order is currently placed in our shop via offers that can be requested by email or our contact form (as of October 2022).

Step 7: Register the balcony power plant

A request is made to the network operator. This then checks whether the existing meter is permitted for operation. The corresponding registration can then be carried out. You will receive the pre-filled forms directly with your system from My Solar Works. In addition to registering with the network operator, you must also register with the Federal Network Agency in the market master register. Although registration is mandatory, the annual reporting requirements do not apply if you do not want to receive EEG feed-in tariffs. We advise you against this in any case. Balcony power plants are intended for personal consumption. Electricity that is purchased is more expensive than the electricity you produce yourself and therefore the feed-in with remuneration does not add any added value for you.

Step 8 : Assembly and connection of the balcony power plant

After the balcony power plant has been delivered, the installation can be carried out yourself. Installation by an electrician is not required. However, it makes sense to carry out the installation with 2 people as the modules are quite heavy. Also ensure that the modules are firmly installed. The system is now set up according to the instructions and connected to the house network. Now you can start producing your own electricity.

Plug-in solar & balcony power plants are also worthwhile for your household! Here you go complete article from the consumer advice center

Here you will find more blog posts on the subject of balcony power plants

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