So, you’ve finally decided to install solar panels at your home and produce your very own electricity. Solar power is becoming more and more common these days, but are you sure on how to choose the right solar panels for your home? Expectantly, this list will serve as one ultimate guide to make a good purchase.
Right Solar Panels For Your Home – First Level Check
The first and the foremost thing that you need to always keep in mind is the fact that a solar panel system is a long-term investment, hence there are many features other than the price that you need to consider. But before that it is important to find the answer to these questions:
- Do You Have A Roof That Can Support Solar Panels?
Undoubtedly this is pretty key. If your roof is covered in shade most of the day and throughout the year, it might not have a favourable enough “solar window” to rationalize the costs of panels. This is one thing you need to assess before you move forward. Also, when you rent your apartment or live in a multi-unit building your roof might not cut it, but that doesn’t mean you give up the idea. In such scenario, you can look into shared or community solar instead of considering installing your own panels.
- Is The Home Efficient?
It makes very diminutive sense to add solar panels to a home which has poor insulation, leaky air ducts, old windows or other inefficient features. Adding solar to a house that is energy inefficient doesn’t help. In addition to that, a home that is energy-inefficient will demand a greater number of solar panels to meet its energy needs.
It is true that solar panels demand direct sunlight, hence homes that are heavily shaded by trees are not very good candidates. Many homeowners decide to cut down trees to accommodate solar panels, but is that really worth? It is vital to consider whether the cooling shade provided by the trees outweighs the benefits of solar panels.
How To Choose The Right Solar Panels For Your Home
Homeowners need to consider several aspects before deciding to install rooftop solar panels. Here are 7 key considerations before making your choice:
1. Cost & Estimates
“Solar power is expensive” well this is exactly what most of the people think. But it isn’t. If your electric bill is huge every single month you can actually save a lot of money with solar panels. Basically, going solar allows you to buy your own electricity from solar panels rather than the electric company.
The cost of the solar panel is determined by diverse variables:
- Size (In Watts)
- Physical Size
- Quality Of The Materials
- Durability And Warranty Period
Also, it is advised to get multiple estimates, evaluating how different companies would install the equipment, what they estimate in utility-cost savings, and what they offer in their warranties, can save you thousands of rupees.
This aspect mainly considers how the solar panel is manufactured and the quality of the materials used to build it. Different manufacturers produce solar panels which differ largely in their price, efficiency, and quality. When choosing the right solar panels for your home it is wise to check for company history and customer reviews to see what experiences people have gone through.
Since this investment is quite big, it is crucial to do a bit of research and see if past customers have been satisfied with the product and its customer service. If the manufacturer has done all that it promised, go for it.
3. Energy Efficiency
This is a review of how much of the light the panel receives is converted into electrical energy and later, how much power your solar panel system will finally generate. The idea is simple here, the more efficient, the better and hence the more expensive.
Also, choosing the biggest and the most efficient solar panel isn’t always right, this is because you might end up spending much more money than you actually should to cover your energy requirements. It is important to carefully assess your needs and choose the right solar panels for your home that best suits your needs. Basically, find the right balance by not underestimating, and at the same time not overestimating it too.
4. Temperature Factor
This factor refers to the impact that heat might have on the solar panel’s operational efficiency post installation. Overheating of the solar panels fast-tracks their aging, hence the lower the percentage per degree Celsius, the better it is.
This considers two things:
- The Physical Size
- The Size In Watts
Make sure that you have the required space to install the system and at the same time, it is big enough to efficiently power all your appliances. The physical size of the solar panel normally varies depending on its power (the more Watts, the bigger) and the type of solar cells used to manufacture it.
Watts are normally related to the output of the panel also, they are directly related to the price of the system. But the wattage of the solar panel is one of the most important things to consider and to get right as underestimating numbers will lead to lack of energy, and overestimating would lead to spending more money than what is actually needed.
This aspect is one sure shot indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in its products. Normally, solar panels have a long warranty period (as long as the company operates). If the manufacturer isn’t providing a long warranty period, you could probably suspect that their product is not very good and hence they aren’t taking its responsibility.
In such cases, be very careful and don’t get tempted by misleading prices as it could cost you a lot in the long run.
7. Solar Cells
There are 3 basic types of solar cells used in solar panels:
- Monocrystalline Cells – Offers high-efficiency and contain good heat tolerance features with a small footprint.
- Polycrystalline Cells – Polycrystalline solar cells are a lower cost option, but these are considered less efficient as compared to the Monocrystalline Cells.
- Amorphous Cells – Amorphous or Thin-Film cells are one of the major solar thin-film types with a wide range of applications but are low efficiency.
All these three types of solar cells have different efficiency levels, hence even if these names might sound confusing make sure you do some research on these and don’t get baffled when the vendors use these terms.
Every household will need to run its own cost-benefit analysis on this basic trade-off. Now since you know how to choose the right solar panels for your home that suits your needs make sure one thing, always compare different offers and check which supplier you find more convincing.
Hope This Information Does Help You In Making The Right Choice, Best Of Luck!
Curated by editor at Wienerberger India