Installing solar panels will allow you to power your home, either partially or wholly, using sunlight. Using the photovoltaic effect, they create clean, renewable power from sunlight.
But it’s not as simple as stringing up your holiday lights. Solar installation is a process.
At Horizon Solar Power, we go out of our way to take care of the hard parts for you.
Whether you’re looking to lower the cost of your monthly electricity bills or become completely energy independent, though, here are several things you can expect to talk about with your solar panels home expert.
1) Power Rating
Power rating refers to the solar panel’s maximum power output — the amount of electricity it produces — under ideal conditions. A solar panel with a 300-watt power rating can produce up to 300 watts of power at any given time.
No solar panel will generate the power for which it’s rated 24 hours a day, however. The sun only shines during the day.
They also may generate less power if installed or positioned incorrectly. Most residential solar panels have a power rating of 150 to 400 watts.
This is why we create custom solar systems rather than cookie-cutter solar packaging. Every home is different, and every family has different power needs.
The efficiency of a solar panel indicates how much of the sun’s solar energy it can convert into power. Some of the world’s first solar panels had an efficiency of just 1 percent, meaning they turned only 1 percent of the total solar energy absorbed into power, with the remaining 99 percent wasted.
Today, most solar panels have an efficiency of 10 percent to 20 percent. Efficiency is influenced primarily by the solar panel’s cell type.
In 2019, solar panel technology is at its most efficient ever while also being its most affordable ever. Combine that with it being the last year of the 30 percent federal tax credit on purchased home solar systems, and you’ll see why this is the best year to go solar!
Click Here To Read More About the 30 Percent Federal Tax Credit…2019 Solar Tax Credit
While most are rectangular, solar panels are available in a variety of sizes. The average residential solar panel measures 65 inches by 39 inches, with a depth of 1.4 to 2 inches.
Before ordering panels for your home, we’ll measure your roof or desired installation area to determine how many panels it will accommodate.
4) Cell Type
Although there are more than a dozen types of solar cells, the most common are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film. Monocrystalline is the most expensive but offers the highest efficiency, typically around 15 percent to 20 percent. Polycrystalline is the most popular choice because it’s inexpensive and only slightly less efficient than monocrystalline, with an average efficiency of 13 percent to 16 percent.
Thin-film solar panels average about 11 percent to 13 percent efficiency. Also, as their name suggests, they are thinner than their counterparts.
Regardless of cell type, all solar panels need an inverter. Also known as a PV inverter, it converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by your solar panels into alternating current (AC) to supply to your home and the electrical grid to which your home is connected.
AC has become the preferred type of electrical current throughout the world because it’s safer and more efficient than DC. Transformers can be integrated with AC networks to increase or lower voltage depending on the application.
Solar panels, however, produce DC electricity, so an inverter must be used to convert that electricity into AC.
Check to see what type of mounting options the solar panels support. Roof-mounted solar panels have become the most popular choice among homeowners. When mounted on a roof, solar panels receive more direct sunlight and accumulate less dirt and debris than ground-mounted solar panels.
But not every roof can support the necessary solar system for the family that lives there. If your roof lacks surface area, for example, ground mounting might be your only option. We’ll help you determine the mounting choice and solar panel setup that supports your needs.
We offer professional installation with our solar panels — many homeowners even qualify for no-cost installation. There are a variety of options to pick, and our team will help you navigate them all.
Do-it-yourself installation might save you money, but this task is best left in the hands of professionals. We’ll adjust your panels’ angle to achieve optimal efficiency and power output. Also, if your panels are going on the roof, you need a solar power company like Horizon Solar Power to inspect it beforehand to ensure that it can safely support the weight. These are things that most homeowners can’t do themselves.
On top of all that, there’s the paperwork. The permitting red tape is tough to navigate. Fortunately, we’ve done it thousands of times before, and we can do it for you, too.
Solar panels typically come with a warranty from the manufacturer or vendor. Our panels have a 25-year warranty. If the panels break or stop functioning as intended within the warranty period, the manufacturer or vendor will repair or replace them at no additional charge.
You’ll also find that some solar panels come with a “performance guarantee” under the warranty period. That guarantees the panels will produce a percentage of power for which they are rated within the period, such as 80 percent rated power output for 25 years.
Are you a member of a homeowners’ association (HOA)? If so, you should check to see if it has restrictions on solar panel installations. While rare, some HOAs require homeowners to install solar panels on the side of their home that doesn’t face the road, or to mount them on the roof instead of the ground.
If you’re unsure about your HOA’s position on solar panels, we can help you find out!
If you’ve researched prices for solar panels, then you’ll have already found that they vary depending on the power rating, efficiency, cell type, size, vendor and more.
Over the past decade, though, the cost of solar panels has declined by roughly 70 percent, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). And, as mentioned before, homeowners can take advantage of a 30 percent tax credit when buying solar panels, lowering the cost even further.
It all gets pretty complex pretty quickly, which is why we specifically design each solar energy system for each home. Our experts can get you the ideal setup for your family to help you save money right away, and keep saving money for decades to come.
With solar power fever sweeping throughout the United States, there’s no better time than now to buy solar panels for your home. It’s a life-changing investment that will save you money on electricity while fostering a greener, healthier environment in the process. Just remember to ask your rep about these 10 elements when shopping for solar panels!
If you’re interested in a free, no-obligation quote on solar panels for your home, reach out to Horizon Solar Power today.