More homeowners across the country continue to harness the power of solar energy for several reasons. Installing solar PV panels for electricity production saves you money on your energy bill and reduces reliance on the national grid. Solar energy is clean and you can benefit from different incentives and programs to promote renewable energy. A solar energy system can also increase your home’s market value as buyers now look for energy-efficient homes.
To leverage the full benefits of solar energy, you have to choose the right residential solar panels for your home. Find out what to consider when shopping for solar panels.
Determine Your Home’s Energy Needs
Every home is unique and before you install solar energy system, start with an energy audit to determine electricity consumption. With the report from this assessment, it’s easier to determine the size of solar system you need. You can choose solar panel sizes based on the energy output you need for your home. Residential solar panel installers help with the audit to install a system that suits your needs.
Solar Panel Efficiency
For you to leverage the benefits of solar energy, you have to choose highly efficient solar panels. Your solar array is the integral part of a residential energy system and determines if the system delivers the cost-savings or not.
The efficiency rating refers to the amount of light a panel receives and converts into electrical energy. The higher the efficiency rating, the more output you get on your solar energy system. Most panels on the market process about 15% to 22% of solar energy into usable energy.
The Standard Test Conditions (STC) gives a solar panel rating based on standardized condition. The products are also tested under extreme conditions such as snow, hail, wind, ice and others. The industry average of solar panel efficiency is about 16-18%.
Type of Solar Panel
When shopping for solar panels, you’ll choose between different solar panel based on the type of cell used. These solar panels are categorized into:
- Monocrystalline solar panels: These panels have single continuous crystal structure and have a uniform dark lookand rounded edges. They have the highest efficiency rates of above 20% but are expensive.
- Polycrystalline solar panels: These solar panels leverage newer technology and have a blue, speckled look with uncut angles. They’re more affordable but have lower efficiency compared to Monocrystalline solar panels.
Your solar contractor helps you compare the products on the market to find the most suitable for your home.
Solar Panel Manufacturer Warranties
Solar panels are a long-term investment and most take over a decade to pay off. For this reason, consider manufacturer’s warranty before you buy any product. This guarantees high quality and better value for money. Most manufacturers’ give 10-25 years warranty for their products.
Solar Panel Cost
The cost of solar hardware and technology continues to fall with government setting policies to lower the cost of production through incentives. The cost of solar panel depends on the size, brand, and warranty period, quality and energy efficiency.
For such a long-term investment, you shouldn’t go for cheap products because the quality might be compromised. Look for high quality solar panels that suit your energy needs from a reputable brand.
The quality of solar panels play a crucial role in the efficiency of your home’s solar energy system. Take time to research and find the most reliable solar energy panels to enjoy full benefits from your home improvement project.