Friday, April 12, 2024

How Does Installing Solar Panels Work

Don’t Assume You’ll Always Recoup The Cost Of Solar Panels On Your Home’s Value If You Sell Your House Early

How do solar panels work for your home?

Some people assume that a more efficient home generating its own energy would be more attractive to buyers. But others worry that ‘ugly’ panels plastered all over their roof could push the price of their house down.

Solar panels are a hefty investment and might not be suited to those planning to move in the next few years certainly you shouldn’t expect a big upfront investment to be immediately reflected by a jump in your home’s value.

Trade body Solar Energy UK recently published a report which found homeowners who move having had panels installed would claw back some of the value of their investment in a higher sale price. It looked at more than five million property transactions and said a typical home with solar panels could increase in price by at least £1,800.

When we asked NAEA Propertymark for an overview, it was more cagey. It said: “Having such sustainable technologies will become more attractive for homeowners in the future. There are benefits to having solar panels however, in the short term, they don’t provide an increase in house value, with the panels often costing more than they attribute in value. With houses coming on to the market in short supply and other factors, people are being forced to compromise on their preferences, including energy saving measures.”

Do Your Research On The Practicality Of Going Solar In Bc

Solar energy is an affordable alternative energy that can be used to help heat and power your home or business. However, there are some important considerations around the use of both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems in British Columbia that you should be aware of.

While the cost of installing a solar photovoltaic system for electricity generation has dropped dramatically in recent years, for homeowners in B.C. connected to the BC Hydro electrical system, it would take at least 20 years to recoup the investment at today’s average electricity rates. However, in remote locations where there is no grid to tie into for power, off-grid solar PV systems can be used to store power in batteries and can make for a sound investment.

In Canada, solar thermal systems are used mostly for domestic water heating rather than for primary space heating. In our climate conditions, other fuel-source options may be more economical for primary space heating than a solar thermal system.

Keep An Eye On Trade Policy

Changes in government trade policy also impact prices. In January 2018, President Trump imposed a four-year tariff on imported solar cells and panels that started at 30% and was set to drop 5% each year until February 2022. In 2020, the tariff rate for the fourth year was raised from 15% to 18%. The tariff resulted in a 16 cent per watt increase for the average consumer in 2018, which translated to an overall increase of $960 for a six-kW system, according to EnergySage.

The cost of foreign-manufactured panels may still drop, lessening the tariffs effect over time.

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Complete A Site Survey With An Engineer

Once you choose the best solar installation company for your home and sign a contract, the company will send an engineer to your home to evaluate your current electrical system, ensuring everything is compatible with your intended solar panel system design.

This engineer may be an employee of the solar company or an independent contractor. Be aware that if you have an old and outdated electrical system, the engineer may tell you that it needs to be upgraded or replaced. This is generally an indication that your new solar energy system will require more amps than what your current electrical system can accommodate.

In addition to checking out your electrical system, the engineer will also want to inspect your roof. Theyll need to ensure it is structurally sound and able to support the weight of solar paneling. Also, the engineer will be able to tell you if you need a specialized mounting system, such as for a flat roof.

A solar energy system will only perform as well as its designed, so hiring a trustworthy solar engineer is one of the most important steps in the process. Still looking for an installation company? to get connected with a solar installer in your area and receive a free quote.

Commercial Solar Panel Installation In Bronx Ny 10466

photovoltaic panels diagram

One factor that usually deters businesses from installing solar panels revolves around the upfront cost. It’s never been more inexpensive to set up long-lasting, excellent solar panels. There are many reasons to utilize the power of solar energy and absolutely no downsides. With the age we live in, pollution is getting worse by the minute, and through the integration of solar energy, we are seeing cleaner skies, and lower energy bills. Over the last ten years alone, we have witnessed a 70-percent decrease in the overhead cost of solar panels, and they are more powerful than ever before.

Solar panels came out a very long time ago, dating back over 100 years. However, at that point, they could only absorb less than one percent of their maximum potential and weren’t a practical solution to utilizing energy. We hadn’t seen an industrial revolution by that point, and there was no way to manufacture these, anyway. With all the research and application that’s gone into solar energy over the years, we can now harness extremely high levels of sunlight to convert into electrical energy.

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How To Install Solar Panels Yourself: Step By Step

Youll practically have no problems setting up a solar power system if you know your way around electricity. However, before you jump into DIYing a solar roof installation, you should consult with a qualified solar panel installer and an electrician, no matter your expertise level. After all, meddling with wires can be deadly. Roofs, too.

What Does A System Cost

Solar PV systems have drastically dropped in price over the last 20 years. Solar PV systems today can be installed for as low as $2.50 dollars an installed Watt. With a system warranty of 25 years, buying a solar system today is comparable to locking in at todays electricity prices for the next 25 years.

The average Alberta household consumes about 7200 kWh of electricity per year. In Alberta, this would require a solar PV system of around 6000 installed Watts to reach net-zero electricity use on a yearly basis. Assuming a cost of $2.50/Watt of installed capacity, this system would cost about $15,000.

While the average household in Alberta consumes about 7200 kWh electricity per year, your own consumption depends on several factors, including:

  • The number of people living in your home
  • Your homes size and type
  • The age of your home
  • How well-insulated your home is
  • Which appliances use electricity or gas
  • The energy efficiency of your appliances
  • The weather

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Frequently Asked Questions: What Else Makes Solar Panels Worth It

Theres a whole lot more to know about solar than just are solar panels worth it. Here are a few other questions people commonly want answers to about the worthiness of solar panels:

How much do solar panels cost?

As of July 2021, solar panels cost about $20,474 for a 10 kilowatt system. That includes the generous 26% federal solar tax credit, but not additional local rebates and incentives you may be able to take advantage of.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

Most property owners who get solar quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace will break even on their solar investment in seven to eight years. After that, youll be generating free electricity and racking up the savings!

Should you wait to buy solar panels?

Even though the cost of solar panels continues to fall, its usually not worth it to wait. The longer you wait to go solar, the more savings youre missing out on. In the long run, its worth it to go solar as soon as possible for most shoppers, instead of hoping for a much cheaper price down the road.

Why should you not get solar panels?

There are some situations, such as already low power demands or a home that has too much shade, where a solar system isnt ideal. In some cases, a home may require extensive renovations to support the weight and needs of a solar energy system.

Are there any drawbacks to solar power?Are solar panels worth it in your area? Should I get solar panels?

What Maintenance Is Required For Solar Panels

How Do Commercial Solar Panels Work? From Installation to Utility Credits

There is very little maintenance required for solar panels. It is recommended that you clean your solar panels once or twice a year to avoid dirt and buildup. However, this might not be necessary if your area gets regular rainfall or if your roof is steep, which allows debris to easily fall off.

It is worth checking to see that all junction boxes are sealed and watertight once every five years.

Because there is almost no maintenance required, you dont need to worry about additional maintenance costs.

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Connect The Solar Inverter To Your House

It would be best to pull wires from the panels to connect them to a solar inverter, an electrical meter, and an electrical sub-panel. Connect the solar inverter to your houses electrical panel. Use the provided wiring diagram to ensure that the inverter is connected correctly. If your solar inverter is located outside, keep it out of the sunlight. You should also connect it to the battery and the fuse board.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last

Most standard solar panel warranties ensure that your solar panels will last at least 25 years. As solar panels age, their power output decreases. Its normal for a warranty to guarantee that they will produce over 80% power output at the end of 25 years.

However, this is just a minimum lifetime. Its possible for solar panels to last well over 30 years. In fact, premium panels, like SunPower’s, will guarantee at least 92% power output in Year 25.

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Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities

Funded by IKEA Foundation and UK Aid and delivered by Carbon Trust and Energy 4 Impact, PREO aims to promote renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa to boost long-term job creation and reduce poverty. It supports collaborative projects and partnerships that use a market-led approach to stimulating productive use of energy in off-grid areas and, in doing so, it aims to create more than 3500 sustainable jobs and empower more than 1000 women through their engagement in productive energy use activities and associated value chains. In addition, PREO also aims to create a globally significant centre of PUE expertise in the sector, by developing a platform to support, direct and communicate market and project learning, which will be key to achieving wider impact.

Advantages Of Solar Energy

Solar Panel Installation

1. Renewable

Solar energy is the one of the most effective sources of renewable energy because of the reliable amount of sun the world gets. The ever-advancing technologies that are emerging will continue to harness this source in better, easier and cheaper ways making solar the fastest growing renewable energy source.

2. Clean

The carbon footprint of solar PV panels is already quite small and, as the materials used in them are being increasingly recycled, it continues to shrink.

3. Save money

Your electricity bills could decrease quite a bit because of the power you are generating and using, and not buying from your supplier.

4. No permit required

As solar panels are considered permitted development you usually don’t need a permit to install them on your roof. There are a few limitations you need to bear in mind before installation.

5. Low maintenance

Once installed, solar panels require very little maintenance. They are generally installed at an angle which allows rain to run off freely, washing dirt and dust away. As long as you keep them from becoming blocked by dirt, solar panels could last for over 25 years with little loss in efficiency.

6. Independence

Investing in a solar power system makes you less reliant on the National Grid for your electricity. As an energy generator, you can enjoy cheaper electricity throughout the day. And if you invest in battery storage, you could carry on using solar energy after the sun goes down.

7. Efficient

9. Property value

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Is My Home Good For Solar Power

Most homes are suitable for a solar panel installation. Some homes are more capable of generating solar energy than others though, but overall, the solar energy potential in Alberta is fantastic.

If you are building new, consider designing your home for solar panels.

Ideal Home

The ideal tilt and orientation of solar panels is due South at a tilt close to the latitude. For Edmonton, the latitude = 53 degrees but a 45-degree tilt or a 12:12 pitch is nearly identical in energy production and is a much more common pitch/tilt.

If your home does not have a 12:12 pitch facing south, dont worry. There will be energy losses, but nothing detrimental.

The average Alberta home has a pitch of 4:12 or approximately 18 degrees. If this home is facing due south, it will experience approximately 9% energy losses relative to the ideal tilt/azimuth.

If you your home is facing East and West that is ok too. Some energy is lost, but the solar panels can still generate 100% of your annual demand.

East/West faces do provide advantages though. Homes with gables running North/South typically have a very large area to install solar. The additional area often makes up for the slight drop in energy output. Similarly, East and West faces will generate lots of energy in the morning and evenings, when people use electricity the most, helping the payback period of solar power.


Vents, chimneys, trees and other shading sources will negatively affect your solar power system.

How Solar Energy Works

This section will cover exactly how sunlight turns into cash in your pocket. We cover how solar works in more detail, but in general, it is as follows:

1. Photovoltaic input – Light shines on the solar panels which generate DC electricity

2. Inversion DC electricity passes through an inverter which outputs AC electricity. Most Alberta homes and businesses use AC electricity so we must convert the voltage into a usable form.

3. Distribution The solar power system is tied into the breaker panel where the solar energy can be distributed/used throughout the home. You will use any generated solar energy first, and any additional energy that cant be supplied by the solar panels will be imported from the grid as usual .

4. Generate Credit – If you generate more solar energy than you need, you will export your energy to your retailer who will credit you on your monthly bill. By generating solar energy, you no longer import as much energy. By not importing energy, not only do you reduce your energy charge, but you also reduce your transmission and distribution fees too!

If you get a power bill every month, you are interconnected to the grid . By grid we mean the Alberta electricity infrastructure power lines running from you home to various substations and power plants that give you energy. Here is the best part:

Grid-tied solar power installations do not need batteries!

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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need

The number of solar panels you need depends on your homes azimuth and roof tilt as well as how much electricity you use. You can only install as much solar power as your home or business needs.

1kW of installed solar power will produce approximately 1,000 to 1,200kWh of solar energy annually. This number may be larger or smaller based on your tilt and azimuth.

The average home in Alberta uses roughly 7,000kWh of electricity per year. This means the average home will need roughly 14 to 18 x 400W solar panels to cover their annual energy needs.

If you use 2x the electricity of the average Alberta home,you will need 2x as many solar panels to be net zero electrically.

Permits And Documents: The Logistical Paperwork Required For Your Solar Panel Installation

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As with any big financial decision, installing solar panels involves a lot of paperwork. Luckily, most of this paperwork is dealt with by the installer regardless, its always a good idea to know whats going on behind the scenes of your solar installation. One of the main things youll be applying for will be state and federal solar incentives such as the federal ITC, local solar programs, clean energy financing initiatives like PACE, government rebates and solar renewable energy certificates .

In addition to applying for incentives, you will need to fill out other paperwork like building permits during the solar panel installation process. These permits are specific to where you live. For example, certain states require that a roof has three feet of clear space surrounding the solar panels, whereas other areas of the U.S. will allow you to install panels across the entire surface of your roof. Your installer will know the restrictions and requirements of the states in which they operate, and can help you figure out which permits you need in many cases, the installer will fill out this paperwork for you.

The time frame for this step is mainly dependent on how long it takes your installer to get it all finished and submitted. If youre eager to get your panel system up and running immediately, just make sure to follow up with your installer to check on the progress of your paperwork.

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