Frequently asked questions

Here we answer the most frequently asked questions about balcony power plants.

A balcony power plant is a photovoltaic or solar system that is specially designed for small areas such as balconies, balcony railings, terraces, etc. and is easy to install. This means that tenants can also generate their own electricity cheaply thanks to solar energy and use it simply via the household socket using the plug & play principle.

A balcony power station usually consists of one to four solar modules, an inverter, a cable and a plug (which is inserted between the cable and the household socket). Such devices, also known as mini PV or solar systems, make a valuable contribution to environmentally friendly electricity generation, save electricity costs and provide independence from the electricity provider. The latter especially in combination with a storage unit.

Balcony power plants, also known as mini PV or solar power systems, are specially designed for small areas such as balconies, balcony railings, terraces, etc. They also enable tenants and homeowners to easily save electricity costs, make an important contribution to climate protection and generate their own electricity independently.
Balcony power plants can also be installed on house facades, pitched and flat roofs or in the garden , and are therefore also suitable for homeowners. However, as there is often more space available there, they often opt for “normal”, significantly larger photovoltaic systems.

We have various balcony power station sets: Balcony power station classic or ultra-light, without or with storage and with an output of between 400 and 2000 watts. Each package consists of several components to make optimum use of solar energy.
Each package contains:

Once all components have been installed, the system can be plugged in.
Please note: 14 days before commissioning, you must register the system with the grid operator and in the market master data register.

You can connect your balcony power station to the socket using a Wieland or Schuko plug. A Wieland plug is considered particularly safe as it is recommended by the VDE (Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies). According to the VDE standard (i.e. not mandatory), this should be fitted by a qualified electrician. This explicitly does not mean that a Schuko plug is prohibited or associated with more risk, as the VDE itself has stated. The two plugs differ technically and in price, the Wieland plug is significantly more expensive.
Click here for our instructions on how to connect your balcony power station.

A balcony power station alone: No, because the micro inverter requires a functioning mains voltage of 50 Hz, the frequency of which it must recognize. If your mains voltage is too low, for example due to a power failure, the micro inverter switches off automatically for safety reasons.   A balcony power plant with a storage unit: Yes, because this supplies the required grid voltage.

Basically no, BUT you definitely need a socket to connect your balcony power station. This does not have to be on the balcony, terrace or façade, but it makes the connection much easier. Many old buildings do not have an external socket. If you don’t have an outdoor socket, there are three possible solutions:

Both require the permission of the landlord, owner and/or homeowners’ association, who are happy to avoid and even prohibit such work on the fabric of the building.

Yes! In Germany alone, around 288,000 mini PV systems are operated via the socket connection and these are rated as very safe by the German consumer advice centers. There are three main potential safety risks, but they are as rare as they are avoidable: Electric shocks, fire hazards and balcony power units coming loose.

Energen is not liable for improper installations or for damage resulting from such installations.

You need the permission of your landlord, who may only say “no” in exceptional cases, for example due to listed buildings. However, you must register your balcony power plant with the market master data register (approx. 14 days before operation) and should register it with the grid operator. Registration with the market master data register is mandatory, but can be done quickly and conveniently online.
The network operator is also fast and often online. Registration with the grid operator will probably no longer be necessary in 2024. You want to know exactly? Then take a look at our “Register balcony power station” guide page.

Yes, you can install a balcony power plant even if you already have a solar system on the roof.
As the solar system is limited by regulation to a maximum rated output of 80% of the connected load of the meter, you can therefore contribute more to your own supply.

The unused electricity is fed into the grid. As a rule, you do not receive a feed-in tariff for this. Many grid operators demand that the feed-in tariff be waived, even though you are entitled to it under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). The consumer associations are already calling for the remuneration to be paid out to everyone who feeds into the grid.

The balcony power plant consists of up to five solar modules (up to 10 for ours with storage) and an inverter. The modules produce direct current from the solar energy, which the inverter converts into alternating current so that you can simply plug the system into the socket.
The prerequisite for this is that you have a suitable installation location and an accessible socket, preferably outdoors in the immediate vicinity.

Our Plug the Sunshine kits are designed according to the plug-and-play principle and are therefore easy to install.
Detailed assembly instructions are included with the product. The panels are already connected to the inverter – all you have to do is fit the brackets supplied.
The balcony power station can then be connected to the socket.

The micro inverter is mounted on the construction for attachment to the balcony. Attach the wattmeter between the plug and the socket.

The system can be attached to various balcony scaffolding or the ground. You can achieve the optimum output with the highest efficiency by installing them facing south, southwest or southeast. Do not align the panels to the north.
The balcony power plant should have as much sunshine and as little shade as possible. We recommend installing the panels at an angle of 35 degrees, but they also work very efficiently when installed vertically.

Yes, but after consultation with the owner and/or the building manager. The compact design ensures that you can easily dismantle the system and take it with you if you move house. This means that you are not installing the system on someone else’s property in the long term.
Energen accepts no liability for any disputes or damage that may arise from the installation.

The Plug the Sunshine sets contain high-quality components with a manufacturer’s guarantee. The product is guaranteed for 5 years from the date of delivery. The panels also come with a 10-year guarantee for linear performance.
The classic photovoltaic modules have a product guarantee of 12 years and a linear performance guarantee of 25 years.
The microinverter is guaranteed for ten years.

If you are not satisfied with your product, you have the right to return it within 30 days from the day of purchase. The product must be undamaged for return.

A 600W mini PV system would generate 690 kWh at 1150 kWh/kWp, assuming an average annual energy yield of solar radiation per square meter of surface area in Germany (950 and 1150 kWh/kWp).
An average family of four in Germany consumes around 4500 kWh of electricity per year. The calculation shows that a balcony power plant with 690 kWh per year saves around 15 percent of electricity. In Germany, this is currently around 350 euros. However, as electricity becomes more expensive from year to year, the annual savings also increase.

The VDE recommends Wieland plugs as they are safer. However, you can also use the normal earthing contact plugs (Schuko); if something should happen, you are liable yourself.
The Schuko cable is also used in our products. You must follow the instructions for use carefully during installation. Our kits may only be used for indoor installation.
For fire safety reasons, it is important that the balcony power station has a maximum operating power of 600W at all times.
Energen is not liable for improper installations or for damage resulting from such installations.

This varies depending on the kit. The
ultra-light kits
consist of two or four 200 W modules. Each module measures 1.050 × 1.050 meters. For this kit, you therefore need a balcony that is at least two meters long and one meter high. For the kit
Ultralight 800
you need a balcony four meters long and one meter high.
The advantage of the system is that the panels can be attached to the railing in various positions.
The glass-glass solar modules of the classic kits are around 1.7 meters long and around 1.1 meters high for the 400 W variant and they require a length of three and a half meters for the
800 module

The maximum output for balcony power plants in Germany is currently limited to 600 W. With the planned innovations, however, the upper limit is to rise to 800 W. This is because a mini-photovoltaic system can supply electrical power to the grid at any time that is equal to or less than 600 watts.
As it is not always possible to design the system optimally, we offer our kits with thicker panels for optimum use. The inverter, which is limited to 600 watts, will not exceed the upper limit, although the modules together could theoretically generate 800 watts.

An appliance can only be connected to a single socket located in the final circuit.
You are therefore only allowed to connect one kit.

Most buildings have three-phase current. Our micro inverter is connected to a (standard) single-phase socket that all other devices also use.
If your loads in the house are not connected to the same phase, the electricity only flows to the appliances that have the same phase connection as the system. If this appliance cannot consume the current, it is forwarded to the next appliance in the same phase. If there is no other user on the phase, the current flows into the grid. However, the current does not flow to other users.

Yes! The inverter requires mains voltage for operation. If you can provide this with an off-grid solar system, the balcony system will also work.

You can connect a kit with 600 W to a tapping point. If you have two tapping points or two meters, you can also connect two kits.
You must still complete all documents and forms with the market master data register and the grid operator. These are included with the kits.

Yes, you can. We recommend the classic kit for this. The ultra-light PV systems are intended for installation on balconies or fences and therefore do not include brackets for installation on roofs.

If installed correctly according to the instructions, the wattmeter will measure the power generation. Both the current and the cumulative.
If your appliances consume all the electricity generated, less is drawn from the grid.