Bild von einem Balkon mit Balkonkraftwerk

Balcony PV system: Questions and answers about the balcony solar system

Are you con­sid­er­ing pur­chas­ing a PV sys­tem for bal­cony to be part of the ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion and save elec­tric­i­ty costs? Or would you sim­ply like to know more about the ben­e­fits, costs and func­tion of a bal­cony PV sys­tem? Then you’ve come to the right place: We answer the most fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions and give you a com­pre­hen­sive insight into the top­ic of bal­cony PV system.

What is a balcony PV system?

A bal­cony PV sys­tem is a small PV sys­tem that is mount­ed on a bal­cony, a ter­race or on the façade of a build­ing and is sim­ply plugged into a sock­et. This is a form of decen­tralised ener­gy gen­er­a­tion for every­one, in which the elec­tric­i­ty gen­er­at­ed is used direct­ly on site and/or fed into the grid.

How does a balcony PV system work?

A bal­cony PV sys­tem con­sists of pho­to­volta­ic or solar mod­ules that con­vert the sun’s rays into elec­tric­i­ty. This is ini­tial­ly direct cur­rent. In order to use this self-gen­er­at­ed elec­tric­i­ty in your house­hold, it must be con­vert­ed into alter­nat­ing cur­rent. This is achieved by a pow­er­ful invert­er that is attached direct­ly to the bal­cony PV sys­tem. The elec­tric­i­ty gen­er­at­ed can now be used in the house­hold to pow­er elec­tron­ic devices (and, in the case of elec­tric heat­ing sys­tems, also to gen­er­ate hot water and heating).

What does a balcony PV system bring you? — Function and benefits

A bal­cony PV sys­tem gen­er­ates renew­able ener­gy, allow­ing you to make your own con­tri­bu­tion to the ener­gy tran­si­tion. A bal­cony PV sys­tem reduces the amount of elec­tric­i­ty you have to draw from the grid and can there­fore also lead to addi­tion­al sav­ings in ener­gy costs. This is a major advan­tage, espe­cial­ly giv­en the cur­rent ener­gy prices. What’s more, you can even earn mon­ey by feed­ing the sur­plus elec­tric­i­ty from your own bal­cony solar sys­tem into the pub­lic grid. You can find out how this exact­ly works and what is legal­ly per­mit­ted in the arti­cle on reg­u­la­tions for bal­cony PV sys­tem.

How much electricity does a balcony PV system generate?

How much elec­tric­i­ty a bal­cony PV sys­tem can gen­er­ate depends on its size. Nor­mal­ly, a small bal­cony solar sys­tem with an out­put of 200 to 600 watts can gen­er­ate up to 500 kWh of elec­tric­i­ty per year. To put this into per­spec­tive: In a 2‑person house­hold, the aver­age annu­al con­sump­tion is around 2,500 kWh. How­ev­er, this is only an approx­i­mate val­ue. The actu­al pow­er gen­er­a­tion of a bal­cony PV sys­tem depends on var­i­ous fac­tors, such as the ori­en­ta­tion of the bal­cony, the posi­tion of the bal­cony PV sys­tem, the amount of sun­light and the dai­ly hours of sunshine.


How many solar panels can a balcony PV system have?

The size of a bal­cony PV sys­tem depends on the size of the bal­cony or the avail­able area on the façade as well as on reg­u­la­to­ry require­ments, which you can find out about from us. Before pur­chas­ing a bal­cony PV sys­tem, mea­sure the avail­able area so that you can make the right choice in terms of size and num­ber of solar modules.

How much does a balcony PV system cost?

The cost of a bal­cony PV sys­tem varies depend­ing on size, out­put and qual­i­ty. Usu­al­ly, the price for a small bal­cony PV sys­tem is between 500 and 1,500 Euros. How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to note that the cost of instal­la­tion may be added to this if you do not want to con­nect your pow­er sta­tion yourself.

Do I have to register my balcony PV system?

Yes, a bal­cony PV sys­tem must be reg­is­tered with the grid oper­a­tor and entered in the mar­ket mas­ter data reg­is­ter. Both are a pre­req­ui­site for com­mis­sion­ing and can be done free of charge. You can find more infor­ma­tion on reg­is­tra­tion in our arti­cle on reg­u­la­tions and require­ments for bal­cony PV system.

How long does a PV system last?

The ser­vice life of a bal­cony PV sys­tem is gen­er­al­ly 20 to 25 years. How­ev­er, this fig­ure only refers to the PV mod­ules. Con­ven­tion­al invert­ers, which are need­ed to con­vert direct cur­rent to alter­nat­ing cur­rent, usu­al­ly have a war­ran­ty peri­od of 7–12 years. Most bal­cony invert­ers come from Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers, but with the Solar­na­tive Pow­er­Stick there is now also an invert­er for bal­cony PV sys­tem made in Germany.

Where can I buy a balcony PV system?

Bal­cony PV sys­tems are avail­able online, in some DIY stores or from spe­cial­ized retail­ers. It is rec­om­mend­ed to do some research about the dif­fer­ent providers, options and prices before purchase.

Can I rent a balcony PV system?

Some providers offer the option of rent­ing a bal­cony PV sys­tem. This would be espe­cial­ly help­ful for ten­ants who do not have autho­ri­sa­tion to install their own bal­cony PV system.


How is a balcony PV system installed?

You can usu­al­ly install a bal­cony PV sys­tem your­self using the instal­la­tion instruc­tions pro­vid­ed. As instal­la­tion varies depend­ing on the sup­pli­er and man­u­fac­tur­er, pro­ceed step by step and strict­ly accord­ing to the instruc­tions if you are installing your bal­cony PV sys­tem your­self.

Are there standardised specifications for the installation of a balcony PV system?

Yes, the instal­la­tion of a bal­cony PV sys­tem is sub­ject to cer­tain stan­dard­i­s­a­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tions and require­ments. These are set out in the pho­to­volta­ic sys­tem stan­dard (DIN VDE 0100–551 and DIN VDE V 0100–551‑1). It is essen­tial to read a bit more about these reg­u­la­tions and require­ments before installation.

Can I build a balcony PV system myself?

Yes, you can actu­al­ly build a bal­cony PV sys­tem your­self. In addi­tion to detailed instruc­tions, you will also need the right tools and man­u­al skills. If you are unsure whether you are capa­ble of installing a bal­cony PV sys­tem, it would be bet­ter to leave the instal­la­tion to a pro­fes­sion­al com­pa­ny or ask qual­i­fied spe­cial­ists for help.

Can I live completely self-sufficiently with a balcony PV system?

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the ener­gy gen­er­at­ed by a bal­cony PV sys­tem is usu­al­ly not enough to cov­er a household’s entire elec­tric­i­ty require­ments. Par­tic­u­lar­ly ear­ly in the morn­ing and in the evening when it is dark, you are still depen­dent on elec­tric­i­ty from the pub­lic grid. How­ev­er, a bal­cony solar pow­er sys­tem can lead to a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in the elec­tric­i­ty pur­chased from the munic­i­pal sup­pli­er and thus help to reduce your ener­gy costs.

Does a balcony PV system require special care?

No, it is usu­al­ly suf­fi­cient to reg­u­lar­ly check the solar pan­els of the bal­cony PV sys­tem for dirt and dam­age and to clean and repair them if necessary.