Did you know that the global solar panel market is worth a whopping $182.02 billion? That’s a true testament to the world’s dedication to reaping the benefits of solar power. Chances are, you also want to get on the wagon by migrating to clean energy. But, shifting can be a bit daunting.
Choosing Solar Panel
So, how do you choosing solar panel from the numerous options on the market?. Lucky for you, this article has you covered.
Continue reading for advice on choosing solar panel systems.
Look for Recommendations
Start your search by asking for recommendations from your friends and family. Odds are, you know a few who’ve already migrated to using solar power.
They’ll provide a lot of information on the benefits and drawbacks of various systems. This way, you can avoid inefficient panels that are unlikely to meet your requirements.
If your loved ones haven’t yet switched to solar power, you can always go online. Users review panels so that new buyers understand what they’re getting into before committing. Only consider panel systems with positive reviews, as they often show efficiency.
Consider the Various Types of Solar Panel Systems
Solar panels fall into three main categories, each with pros and cons. Understanding each type is crucial to you making the right choice. Here are the main types.
These panels consist of black solar cells made of whole silicone crystals. They’re the most efficient but also the most expensive.
Monocrystalline panels are a perfect choice if you have a large solar system budget. They’re also a good choice if you have limited space for your solar panels. That’s because they produce more energy per square foot than their counterparts.
Unlike the monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels have a bluish hue. Manufacturers also use silicon in their production. Instead of using whole crystals, they melt silicone pieces together to create the cells.
This makes them less efficient than the monocrystalline panels but also cheaper. So, they’re a great choice if you’re working with a small budget and don’t use a lot of energy.
Choosing Solar Panel – Thin-Film Solar Panels
These solar panels differ from the other two in their material composition. The panels are made of silicon, cadmium telluride, or copper indium gallium selenide.
Thin-film panels are either blue or black, depending on the material used. They’re easy to manufacture, making them the cheapest option of the three.
Understanding the various types of solar panels is critical because it allows you to narrow down your options. Pick a type based on your energy needs and solar system budget.
Consider Panel Suitability
Different types of panels are suitable under varying conditions. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are most effective under bright cool conditions.
However, thin-film panels are better suited for high-temperature areas. Also, thin-film panels are effective under partial shading, unlike their counterparts.
But, remember that no panel will be effective under a complete shade. Don’t fall for sales gimmicks that tell you otherwise.
Consider a Panel’s Warranty
Look for a panel with a product and performance warranty. The former guarantees against system failure for a specific period. The latter guarantees the system’s performance.
Warranties protect you from systems’ innate defects and premature wear and tear. You won’t incur repair or replacement costs for the specified period. So, installing solar panels with extended warranties is in your best interests.
However, keep in mind that a warranty is only effective when a manufacturer is in operation. It’d be best to choose manufacturers with a long history and good track records. They’ll be more likely to survive than new manufacturers.
Consider a Panel’s Size
Look at the size, not necessarily as a physical attribute but in terms of wattage. Your residential solar system needs to meet your daily energy needs. So, you’ll need to assess your current kilowatt-hours usage before choosing any system.
Assess your current electric bill, paying special attention to usage during the summer and winter. That’ll help you determine the most appropriate size for your home. The higher your usage, the more the wattage you’ll need in your system.
Also, note that most high-watt systems are large physically. You’ll need to clear up more space for a high-watt panel than for a low-watt one.
Look at a System’s Power Tolerance
A system’s power tolerance is essential as it determines its performance. A 50W panel system with power tolerance of 10% will produce 45-55 W.
So, systems with low power tolerance ranges are the most ideal. You may need to ask for this information from manufacturers, as not all include it in their spec sheets.
Understand the Various Mounting Systems
Various mounting systems will affect how you use your solar power. Here are the three primary installation systems you need to know.
This system is popular in areas without a regular power supply. It’s an excellent option if you want to migrate wholly from conventional electricity to solar power.
Since you’ll be off conventional power, you’ll need many batteries to cater to your energy needs. This makes it the most expensive mounting option.
This mounting system allows homeowners to keep conventional power systems. You don’t need solar power accumulators or batteries if you remain on-grid.
It’s cheaper than an off-grid system, making it a suitable option if you’re on a limited budget. However, it’s important to note that your power will go out when there’s a blackout. That’s because it’s hazardous for electricity to flow when wires are being fixed.
As the name suggests, this is a blend of the other two systems. You’ll have the option to use solar energy and conventional electricity.
Conventional electricity steps in when your panels can’t accumulate enough energy for your home. So, the chances of power outages are relatively low.
Consider the Cost
Cost is a significant factor to consider when buying solar panel systems. The cost of residential solar panels has lowered by roughly 64% since 2010.
But, solar panels are still a considerable investment that requires proper budgeting. Cheap panels may be appealing, but they’ll not serve you in the long run.
Luckily, solar companies offer various financing options. Here are the three main ones.
This is the best option for individuals with the money to pay upfront. Paying cash gives you complete ownership of your system. There are various reasons why you should own your solar system.
First, you never have to worry about making electrical bill payments in the future. You also enjoy tax rebates and incentives from the government.
You can acquire your system through a loan if you don’t have the cash. You also get ownership of your system with a solar loan, making you eligible for rebates.
In addition, loans are not as expensive as you may think. In fact, they’re cheaper than your energy bill. If you can afford your current electric bill, you can afford their repayments.
Power Purchase Agreements
These are different from cash and loan purchases as you don’t get complete ownership of your system. Under this option, a third party installs the system and sells its electricity to you.
It’s often cheaper than conventional energy, so you still save a lot of money. But, you’re not eligible for rebates if you choose this option. Instead, the solar power incentives go to the third-party owner.
These are excellent options as they allow you to use clean energy despite your financial situation. Most solar companies will explain these financing options in detail.
Choose a Seller Wisely
You’ll come across many solar companies, all promising appealing benefits. But, you need to be careful when choosing one, as not all of them will be the right fit for you.
Choose a company from your locality as opposed to one from another area. This way, it’ll be easy for you to reach them when the need arises. Besides, they’re more likely to meet your area’s building and electrical code standards.
Also, be sure to choose a certified company, as they’re more likely to deliver efficient systems. The right solar company will have NABCEP certification.
You’ll also need to consider a company’s insurance covers. The right company will cover its products and employees to limit clients’ liabilities.
The key to selecting the right solar company is not settling on your first option. Remember, you’ll be using your solar panels for a significant part of your life. Find a partner you can always trust to take care of your needs.
Choosing Solar Panel Systems Made Easy
Sure, choosing solar panel systems is not the easiest of tasks. You’ll need to understand your various options and determine the right fit for your home. So, the process can be pretty time-consuming.
But, it’s also worthwhile and rewarding, as you can never go wrong when you take your time. With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to find a system that’ll meet your needs and serve you for a long time.