What You Need To Know About Solar Panels Before Going Green

A lot of people are debating whether or not its worth investing in solar panels for their homes or not. Although we can’t offer you a clear answer to this question, what we can do is answer to a few of the most popular questions related to this matter.

What are solar panels?

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A solar panel is made of multiple solar cells. Each of these cells is a small disk made of a semiconductor which converts the light it receives into DC (direct current) electricity which is then fed into an inverter that transforms it into AC (alternating current so we can use it in our homes. When lots of solar cells work together, they can produce enough power to be useful.{found on chrisandmalissa}.

Why go solar?

There are plenty of reasons why switching to solar-powered energy for your home is a good idea. For example, this way you can reduce or even eliminate the electricity costs. Your solar panels can produce energy for 25-30 years and, once you reclaim your initial investment cost, everything becomes profit.

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Solar panels also increase the value of a home. So if and when you decide to sell, you’d be able to ask for a higher price from your potential buyers because of this improvement.

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Obviously, one of the most important advantages is that by installing solar panels on your house, you’d be protecting the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.

In addition to that, you’d also be setting a green example in your community and perhaps encourage others to install solar panels as well. Be the one who inspires others.

How to choose solar panels?

The type of solar panels you choose for your home depends on a number of factors. Obviously, cost is important since this is a big investment. The cost of a solar panel is usually determined by its size, brand, longevity, quality of materials and certifications.

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The quality of a solar panel is determined by several factors such as the manufacturing conditions and the materials used. There are three main categories of manufacturer quality. One is composed of assemblers only, another one of small to medium scale manufacturers with little or no investment in research and development and then there’s the top 2% of solar manufacturers that invests heavily in research and development and uses advanced robotic processes.

The durability or longevity of the solar panels can be an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in its products and some may offer a warranty period of up to 25 years.

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The type of solar cells used is also important. There are three main types. The monocrystalline silicone cells offer high efficiency and good heat tolerance, the polycrystalline silicone cells are equal or even better than the monocrystalline ones in terms of size, efficiency and heat tolerance and the amorphous silicon cells offer the highest conversion efficiency and use the least amount of silicon.

At the end of the day, what you should check when shopping for solar panels is the material used, the warranty, the company that manufactures them and the way the panels perform in real world situations.

Do they work when it’s cloudy?

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Even though solar panels are not as efficiency in cloudy conditions than during sunny days, they do work and the production of energy during cloudy days is reduced by at least 50%. because a solar panel is made of many small solar cells that work together, a small charge can be multiplied many times to produce significant energy and to allow you to use your appliances.

How much do these panels cost in your state?

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The average cost of solar panels differs in each state and the differences can be significant. You need to become informed, do some research and find out the real cost of solar panels in your region before you make a decision.

How much can you save every month?

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Depending on how big the initial investment is, the type of panels you choose, the brand, the materials used and their efficiency plus your location and the amount of sun exposure it gets every day, you can calculate how much you’ll be able every month. You can check out the average numbers here.

How much can you save in the long run?

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Over a period of 20 years, the average solar system can save you around $20k. But the amount of money you can save over time depends on many factors such as the location, the electricity prices in the area, the efficiency of the solar panels, etc.

How long is the payback period?

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Usually, the bigger the initial cost of the solar panels is, the longer the payback period. Actually, that’s not necessarily true. It also depends on the electricity costs in the area so if electricity is cheap, the payback period can still be long even if the initial investment wasn’t that big.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros:

Obviously, the biggest pro is the fact that, once you’ve installed these panels, you get to have free energy from the sun. so you’d be saving money on electricity bills and, if there’s any excess energy, it can be transmitted to the grid and sold.

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Another pro is the fact that the energy generated by the solar panels doesn’t produce harmful emissions so this reduces your home’s carbon footprint.

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Plus, if you decide to go green and install solar panels, it’s possible that your local jurisdiction may offer tax breaks, discounts and grants for such projects.

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Then there’s also the fact that your home will become completely independent. You’ll be producing your own energy so you won’t be dependent on the electric power grid. So when everyone else will be experiencing a blackout, you’ll be safe. However, this can also be viewed as a disadvantage.

Cons:

As great as solar panels may be, they also feature a series of disadvantages. First of all, since the sun is only visible for a portion of the day, this would be an inconsistent source of energy. You may find this to be a big minus.

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Also, the initial cost is big which means you won’t get to save money from the start. You’d still have to make a big financial sacrifice at first.

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You also need to take into consideration that you’ll also have to spend money on reconfiguring the house’s electric system. It’s possible that you’ll also need to make a few other upgrades and changes during the site preparation phase.

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Maintenance can also be viewed as a minus. You need to clean the panels periodically in order for them to be efficient and it’s possible that a severe storm can cause problems and a professional is needed to repair the damage. During this period you’ll most likely have no power.