An electrician fails at his own balcony power station – and reveals tricks on how to do it better

Is the balcony power plant project doomed to fail even for the trained specialist with electricity flowing through his veins?  Just for now.  (Image sources: geralt, MariaGodfrida, KlausHausmann Pixabay)

Is the balcony power plant project doomed to fail even for the trained specialist with electricity flowing through his veins? Just for now. (Image sources: geralt, MariaGodfrida, KlausHausmann / Pixabay)

Balcony power plants are becoming more and more popular – but the environmentally friendly alternative of generating energy poses a challenge even for seasoned experts ( reported).

The YouTuber ProofWood (aka Karl Helmut), a trained electrician, made some annoying mistakes when building his balcony power plant, despite his know-how – and is therefore now disillusioned with dismantling his balcony power plant.

This is particularly frustrating for Karl Helmut because his balcony power plant has only been in use since mid-2022. Now, a year later, Karl draws the conclusion and states: My balcony power plant does not pay off!

But what mistakes did the professional make – and can you avoid them?

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So that you don’t make the same mistakes, we’ve put together the four fails that the electronics expert fell into.

Fail 1: Small module power

This results in a low yield. For his setup, Karl Helmut used a comparatively low-performance module with 300 watts. According to experts, a module with 600 watts would have been significantly better – but not (yet) feasible a year ago.

The background: Just a year ago, there were significantly more zeros at the end of the price, so to speak. In addition, the availability of solar panels in the previous year was relatively modest. Therefore, the YouTuber felt compelled to use a low-power 300-watt panel.

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Fail 2: Unsuitable inverter

With its current structure, the relationship between module and inverter is suboptimal. Karl Helmut says: With a 300 watt inverter, the module can easily reach 320 watts at its peak. In other words: the module can be slightly more powerful than the inverter.

The situation would be similar for a 600-watt inverter. In this case, both modules together can reach a peak of 700 watts, says the expert.

But there is one restriction: According to Karl Helmut, the connection between the inverter and the module is less important – at least during the low-yield summer months. In the cloudy months, on the other hand, the yield with larger modules is significantly more lavish, according to the expert.

Solar panel in the front yard

Karl Helmut’s solar panel is still illuminated by sunlight. But during the cold season, someone crowds in front of the sun.

neighbour House

And this someone is called: neighbor’s house. The expert should have taken the position of the sun into account better.

Fail 3: poor alignment

If the expert had had a better look at his neighbor – or rather: his building – he could have avoided this mishap. Because: His neighbor’s house covered the sun during the winter months. In the afternoon hours, the neighbor’s house even completely blocked the sun; the solar panel received only partial sunlight during these critical hours.

The yield that Karl Helmut was able to bring in during these critical hours was disappointingly small. How much energy you can generate with the modules depends on their location – i.e. where you position them in your garden or on your balcony.

The expert reports on his misjudgment:

In the summer months, my pre-cooking was the perfect location. Also the inclination […] seemed perfect. Expensive but practical.

The expert emphasizes the financial aspect in particular, describing his costly installation as unprofitable.

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Fail 4: costly upgrade

The last point is a no-brainer – but that doesn’t make it any less important: it means the price tag of the uprising. The stand is the construction made of metal, aluminum and similar elements that you use to support and align the solar panel on the underside.

Karl Helmut concludes that he spent too much money on his uprising. Cost points like these meant that the balcony power station was ultimately a bad deal for the resourceful electrician.

What’s next for the balcony power plant?

So those were four reasons why even the man from the field failed with his own balcony power plant. But that’s just the beginning of the odyssey in search of the ideal structure in terms of self-sufficiency in electricity!

The electrical engineer does not give up and is already planning the installation of a subsequent balcony power plant. In doing so, Karl Helmut intends to pay particular attention to two points:

  • New and larger balcony power plant: This time it’s supposed to be one with 800 watts of power. Background to this: Currently, the legally permitted upper limit for balcony power plants is 600 watts. However, balcony power junkies can be happy: The upper limit should be raised to 800 watts at the end of 2023 (Home & Smart reported), if the word from specialist dealers is to be believed.
  • New location with more sun: Karl Helmut will mount his follow-up project on his garage roof. Thus, the dwelling of the gentleman neighbor should no longer push itself in front of the sun.

In addition, it will probably be cheaper for Karl Helmut this time: According to the expert, the prices for the balcony power plant construction have fallen significantly in the meantime.

Are you inspired by the tips and tricks of the man who built his own balcony power plant and (almost) failed? Do you already run to the electronics store to plug together a photovoltaic system? Let us know in the comments below what your experiences with mini PV systems are like!

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