What Is A Solar Panel
A panel, which is specially designed to soak up the suns radiation and then use it to generate electricity.
They convert light into electricity.
Its usually called photovoltaics by some scientists, which means light-electricity.
A solar panel is an assortment of solar cells that absorb the suns rays and convert the heat energy into electric energy, making it useful to light up different appliances or electronic devices.
Solar panels use the sun, our most crucial star as a source of power generation, which not only generates electricity but also helps plants grow, provide humans with Vitamin D, and calms a stressed mind and is now one of the most powerful and familiar sources of energy.
Why You Need To Benefit From Solar Energy
Whether you are interested in solar energy because it is sustainable or you are looking to get a hold of your personal electricity bills, solar can do it all.
Now that you are aware of the long and short-term benefits of solar panels, why not check out how you can arrange for an installation?
If you would like to keep reading, why not head over to our blog page? We have plenty more articles on this and similar subjects.
Would It Be More Cost
Similar to the question about the payoffs in 5 or more years, the question of should I install solar panels now or wait five years is also important to figure into your overall financial picture.
The cost of installing solar power systems has been steadily falling as the technology for creating the panels and installing them has dropped over the past several decades.
Since the 1970s, when solar power became a thing available to the general public, the costs have dropped significantly.
At that time, 1-watt of solar cell power cost about $100 from just a bit before to only $20 per watt. Now, the cost is closer to $1-$2 per watt.
Even since 2010, the cost for a solar energy system has dropped by about 70%. Thats pretty massive for only nine years time.
Of course, that ever-dropping cost gives us the dilemma: are solar panels worth it in California or any other state with significant sunshine levels or places like Seattle and Juneau with low levels of sunshine on average?
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Factors That Determine How Many Solar Panels You Need
You may think that the size of your house determines how many solar panels you need, but it doesnt! To really understand how many solar panels your solar energy system needs, you need to determine the following:
- Your energy usage: The more electricity you use, the more solar panels you need to cover your electricity costs
- Sunlight in your area: Homes in areas that receive less sunlight will need more solar panels to eliminate their electricity bills than those in sunnier states. As a rule of thumb, the southwestern United States gets the most sun in the country, while the northeast gets the least
- Panel wattage: The wattage of the solar panels you choose, also called the power rating, determines how much energy the panels will produce and most solar panels installed today have a power rating of about 320 watts per panel fewer panels are needed when you install panels with high wattage ratings
Below, solar expert Will White breaks down everything you need to know to figure out how many solar panels you need to power your home.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed To Power A House
The number of solar panels you will need to power your house will depend on two factors:
- The amount of electricity you use
- Your location, as where you live determines how much electricity your solar panels can produce
Our online solar calculator can take your monthly power bill and location to work out how many solar panels you need, as well as the cost based on the prices of solar companies near you.
See how many solar panels you need for your home
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Is Solar Worth It
As a general rule, solar panels are worth it in your state due to a combination of the Federal Tax Rebate, Net Metering buy-back rates set by the utility companies, and State incentives, such as sales tax and home improvement tax exemptions. The average solar power payback time in the USA is just 8 years.
In the post below youll find answers to specific questions such as:
- How many solar panels do you need to power a house?
- What can you expect when solar panels are installed?
- How much does solar power cost in your State?
- Do solar PV panels need maintenance?
- How much power will solar panels generate in my State?
- What size solar power system do you need for your home?
First of all, a quick run-down of the basic parts of a domestic solar panel installation and how its installed.
Note: If you dont need this, you know all you need to know about solar systems, just skip to the Page Contents Menu below and choose your State to see the solar statistics for your location.
DIYSolarShack partners with Renogy Solar everything you need for DIY home solar.
How Solar Pays For Itself
Grid-tied homeowners buy electricity from the local utility company at a set electricity rate. The national average in the US is around 13 cents/kWh.
When you go solar and connect to the grid, that utility bill is reduced because you are generating your own power instead of buying it from the utility, helping you save money.
To figure out whether solar panels are worth the investment, simply compare the lifetime cost of utility power against the lifetime cost of going solar.
We use a 25-year timeframe to measure lifetime ownership because thats the standard length of a solar panel warranty.
Lets break out the calculator and do some math. We use national averages for these examples, but make sure to plug in your own figures to see if solar panels are worth it for you.
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Can You Rely On Solar Power
Solar panel failure rates are only 0.05 percent, which means that they are very reliable from a manufacturing standpoint. Its important to note that this doesnt mean they can seamlessly provide all your homes energy needs.
The average home needs between 28-34 solar panels, especially if you want to go completely off grid. Because solar panels dont always operate at peak efficiency, youll need to calculate your homes annual energy needs and add approximately 25 percent to figure out exactly how many panels to buy.
Your location will also play a big role in how reliable solar power is. For example, Michigan homeowners will get an average of 2.9 kWh per day for every 1 kW solar panel system. Meanwhile, Arizona panels get a robust 4.8 kWh per day.
The average U.S. home needs approximately 30 kWh per day. No solar panel is fully efficient, so Michigan homeowners would need at least 13 kW in their system. Arizona residents may be able to get the same amount of electricity with a solar system containing only 8 kW.
In both examples, unusual weather conditions could potentially cause interruptions in service. Therefore, you need to be aware that solar power does have some limitations. However, some experts believe were not far away from achieving exclusive solar dependence. UC Berkeley Professor Mehran Moalem has hypothesized that the entire earth could be powered by placing solar panels in only 1.2 percent of the Sahara Desert.
Consider Lifetime Solar Savings
Its all well and good to look at the short term and weigh up the payback period or the savings you can make off your next electricity bill, but a good system should last you 25 years. Really, you should consider the lifetime savings that your solar panels will deliver. The solar panel prices we publish are based on good quality systems that are designed to last. Cheap solar systems are more likely to fail and need replacing in a much shorter timeframe, they may payback faster , but are not as good an investment.
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Sois Solar Power Worth It
For grid-tied homeowners, the math is clear: solar energy costs less than buying power from the utility company in the long run.
The payback period is around 8-9 years if you hire someone to install your system. When you measure that against the 25-year warranty on your panels, youre looking at serious energy bill savings over the life of ownership. And if you decide to install it yourself, that payback period accelerates to 5-6 years with the money saved on installation costs. More than anything, utilizing a solar power system reduces your carbon footprint and can minimize the effects on climate change.
Ready to learn more?
Grab a free copy of our Getting Started Guide or dive right into the DIY Solar Workshop for a step-by-step overview of the process of going solar.
Your Solar Panels Can Make You Money Find Out When And How
Before investing in solar energy for your home, make sure you first calculate the payback period.
How long will it take before your solar panels start making you money?
Solar panel installations are expected to increase by 30% in 2021, according to research firm IHS Markit. But before you decide to invest in solar for your home, it’s important to understand how long it will take to pay off the initial cost.
Residential solar electric systems cost an average of $20,000 between the panels, other related hardware, labor and more, although that number can fluctuate dramatically depending on location and the number of panels. So how long does it take to break even on that initial investment before you can start saving money for real? We’ll show you how to estimate the payback period for solar panels.
Read more: 5 things to consider before you buy solar panels
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What Are Solar Buy
In 2020 the federal government extended the tax credit for home-owners through 2021, but at a reduced rate of 22%. This incentive, plus the prevalence of the electricity buy-back rates at retail prices, make solar very attractive still.
However, several states are phasing out the practice, either reducing the rate or eliminating buy-back altogether. Check the situation in your state before making any decision it could significantly affect the payback period for your solar installation.
President Biden recently announced a new solar initiative for the coming decade that should extend the financial incentives for home-owners.
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.
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The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit
As mentioned above, the federal solar investment tax credit is a great way to save money on your solar panel system. It can be claimed on federal income taxes for a percentage of the total cost of a solar photovoltaic system. Passed in December 2020, it provides a 22% to 30% tax credit, depending on when the system was installed. The tax credit will expire in 2024 unless Congress renews it.
To be eligible for the federal solar tax credit, the following conditions must be met:
- The solar PV system was installed between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2023.
- The system is located in the U.S.
- You individually own the solar PV system and do not lease it to another person.
- The system is new or being used for the first time the credit only applies to original installation of the equipment.
Environmental Benefits Of Choosing Solar
For many, solar panels are worth it for their environmental benefits. Solar panel cost and cost-benefit might play into why some choose to install these panels, but others instead find that the environmental benefits far outweigh any cost.
Fossil fuels traditionally used to power homes, vehicles, businesses, and the rest of the worlds energy consumption have taken a real toll on the Earths environment. From global warming to entire rainforests and coral reefs being wiped out from pollution and the need for humanity to continue producing more and more electricity. Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower plants offer hope for an electrified future but still a clean planet.
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What Factors Affect Solar Panel Efficiency
Some of the factors affecting a systems solar panel output we can influence and other we cannot:
Installation Of Solar Panels Support A Green Lifestyle
Not every benefit of adding solar power to your home focuses on finances. If you and your family are ethically interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle and decreasing your carbon footprint, the installation of rooftop panels supports that. Answering the question, “Are solar panels worth it?” depends for many on answers beyond simple finances. When you combine the peace of mind of alternative energy usage with the inherent savings on your bills and increase in the property value, the question of whether to make a call to the best solar panel company, Steve Whitman Roofing and Solar, becomes easy to answer. Yes.
Learn more and request a free quote by .
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How Much Energy You Use
If you do live in the right area to produce enough solar energy, youre looking at the possibility of being able to power your entire house with several solar panels. The square footage of your house, of course, effects the number of panels you need, as does the amount of electricity you usually use.
You can determine how much power you need through a variety of ways, including checking your previous power bills and looking through the list below to determine your normal usage.
- Ceiling fan: 10-50W
- Fridge 1200W
Is Solar Really Worth It
“But this article is supposed to be about installing solar” I hear you saying. Right you are. However, to find out if installing solar power is worth it, we need to understand where the value streams come from. When it comes to our buildings, homes, and our energy systems, there are many.
What I want to focus on here is the value case of generating on-site electricity, storing it for future use, some electrification opportunities, and a few things to keep in mind when considering a solar installation.
First off, and to many the most important, is the financial benefit from reducing electricity costs. Its pretty straightforward the sun comes out and you save money. However, theres far more to consider than just lowering electric costs.
Installing PV at your new facility, property, or home, has builder value, too. This could include marketing the facility to sustainably minded clients. It increases the value of your property .
You can gain tax credits and accelerated depreciation if you intend to hold the property. Solar canopies provide great shade amenities and make electricity for common areas simultaneously. There are benefits indoors as well.
When considering Solar PV, dont just look at what the electricity cost projections are this year, but look at what it might be five to 10 years from now. Its wise to analyze both the design and expandability of a system with the intention of meeting the occupants future needs up front to increase perceived value.
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So Are Solar Panels Worth It It All Depends
If you can save money and energy, yes, solar panels are worth it. The bottom line for homeowners is that solar energy represents one of the best ways to reduce your dependence on traditional utility companies. And for many homeowners, solar power ROI is more than high enough to justify the steep initial investment. With that said, the startup cost can be prohibitive, and not every homeowner will achieve the same bang for their buck.
As you consider whether solar panels are a sound investment for your home, make sure you take into account cost, warranty, longevity and overall efficiency, all while seeking guidance from qualified solar experts.