You have decided to make the shift to solar energy. Congratulations, it is indeed a wise move. Not only will you realize great savings in terms of energy costs. But, you will also be protecting the environment for future generations. Solar energy is a renewable, sustainable resource. It does not damage the environment like fuel energy does.
You know that it is important to choose the right solar panels. They should be high quality, durable and efficient. Yet, the tons of choices make it hard for you to narrow down to a specific one.
Our article will show you how to go about choosing efficient solar panels. Let’s dive into it.
Understand the Different Types of Solar Panels
Take the time to educate yourself on all the different types of solar panels. The two main ones are:
- Monocrystalline or single silicon panels are dark blue or black. They are highly efficient, so, you do not need to buy so many panels. That is an advantage, especially if you do not have too much roof space. But, you will spend a little bit more on this compared to the other option.
- It is easy to identify polycrystalline or multilayer silicon panels due to the light blue tint. Their advantage is that they’re cheaper. But, you will need more panels to generate the same amount of electricity as you would with fewer monocrystalline panels.
Understand What Solar Panel Efficiency Means
We have already talked about solar panel efficiency in the point above. But what does it mean? Well, this is the ratio of the solar energy that hits the surface of the panel to the usable energy generated. In simpler words, the more light getting in, the more electricity the panels generate.
Higher efficiency means you get more wattage per square meter of solar panel.
Of course, when shopping for solar panels you want to go for the highest efficiency. But, as we stated, you will have to dig a little bit deeper into your pockets.
At a minimum, stay within the range of 15% conversion efficiency.
Understand the Conditions That Can Impact the Efficiency of the Solar Panels
Any reputable solar services professionals will ask for a site visit before the installation of solar panels. Some conditions could impact the efficiency of the panels. They must inspect the location of your building. Further, they will look at the structural design to determine the best placement.
Some factors solar technicians will consider include:-
- The angle of installation is critical. Solar panels typically have a protective layer of glass over the cells. The sunlight passes through the glass to the cells, which harness energy. The installation team must get the angle right to ensure maximum light passes through. In the same breath, they must reduce any reflections which will make the sunlight bounce off.
- Roof slope impacts how much light hits the panels.
- Temperature also has a role to play. High temperatures result in lower output, thus less efficiency. The solar service professionals should advise you on the right type of panels, depending on your climate
- The solar technicians will try to avoid shade as much as possible. The best way to achieve high efficiency is to ensure as much sunlight as possible hits the panels.
Decide on the Best Type of Installation
Many factors go into the installation of solar panels. The best solar service professionals will give you several options to decide on.
- The most common is the roof-mount installation. They tend to work well for both residential and commercial purposes. This type of mounting is popular because it is the best way to capture as much sunlight as possible.
- Pole mounting works well if you do not have too much rooftop space. The solar technicians will look for an ideal location to mount the poles.
- If you have a lot of yard space or a field, you can opt for ground mounts. Outdoor structures like awnings, garages, and gazebos can also provide ideal spaces for mounting your solar panels.
- If you want to maintain the architectural design, go for the integrated building PV systems. It will not make changes to the appearance of the building.
The cost of the solar panels will depend on how much power you need to generate. Determine how much energy you use every day. The wattage in most panels ranges from 250 watts to 400+.
Let’s say you find solar panels that both produce 300 watts. One is 20% efficient while the other is 15% efficient. Opting for 20% will mean that you need less space and fewer panels.
But, you could go for the 15% one if cost is a factor. You must, however, ensure that you have enough space to mount the extra panels.
Do seek professional advice when choosing panels. Low-cost panels may not deliver highly on performance or reliability. You can also benefit from recommendations or even bargains/deals from their suppliers. It doesn’t hurt to take time to compare pricing.
Look at other factors like the cost of maintaining solar panels after installation and product warranty. And yes, do research the company you are buying the panels from. Read customer reviews and look at their years of experience in the solar installation industry.
There are so many factors to consider when choosing the best solar panels. If you do not have relevant expertise and know-how it can be challenging. That is why we recommend that you let a reputable company guide you through the process.
One of the key things to consider is energy efficiency. The higher the efficiency, the fewer panels you will need. But, of course, they do cost a little bit more.
Solar technicians will advise on the best place to install the panels. These include roof mounting, pole mounting, ground, and integrated systems.
Other factors to consider when choosing solar panels include how much you want to spend, and the amount of electricity you need to generate.
Take time when shopping and do some research to understand some of the factors we have highlighted above in greater detail.