Monday, November 21, 2022

What To Look For When Buying Solar Panels

What To Look For When Buying Solar Panels 2021 Updated

Portable Solar Panel Buying Advice

Solar panels are one of the best methods to lower your energy bills since they can be used to channel the power of the sun to generate electricity. This is also a very efficient method of transforming the power source of either your residential or commercial system to a more eco-friendly source. Solar energy is green, environmentally friendly and a clean source of power. The way it works is the light photons generated by the sun are absorbed by the solar panels which consist of solar cells that convert it into DC power.

This DC power is later converted into AC power for use in your house with the help of an inverter. It is best to seek help from expert solar installers to check for the feasibility and installation of the panels on your roof. Users often ask these questions:

  • What should I look for when buying solar panels?
  • What to know about buying solar panels?
  • What to look for when buying solar panels?

This blog provides essential things to consider before installing solar panels.

Top 10 Best Place To Buy Solar Panels Picks For 2021

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Database Of State Incentives For Renewables And Efficiency

Also known as DSIRE, this website provides a wealth of free information about renewable energy incentives and policies. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE serves as a massive database and provider of technical assistance to thousands of homeowners, businesses, solar companies, policymakers, and advocacy groups.

So what exactly do you need to use it for? DSIRE lets you easily and instantly search solar policies by state and even zip code, so you know exactly which tax credits you should qualify for and the amount of rebates you can expect with your purchase of solar panels. The online platform is very easy to use, and once you select your location, the database will display all state and federal policies that apply for your area and detail each one specifically. Its the best way to inform yourself about all the policy technicalities, expiration dates, extensions, and more.

Its important to be well versed in the types of net metering, state tax credits, and federal incentives that before installing your solar panels, so you can accurately crunch the numbers on your investment and future savings. This information should also come in handy when speaking with solar panel installers. A good installer will be aware of the exact net-metering policies in your area and local incentives.

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Solar Panels Are Expensive Upfront But Cheaper In The Long Run

Solar panels are expensive upfront, but cheaper in the long run. Solar power is an alternative to traditional electrical power that has been gaining traction over recent years due to its low cost and high efficiency. However, there are still some misconceptions about how much it costs and what the return on investment will be for installing solar panels on your home or business. However, the cost of these panels has been dropping as their popularity has increased and as more people require them. It is expected that within a year or two the price should fall enough so that they become affordable for most homeowners. As technology improves and processing speeds increase it may even become possible to one day charge your homes electrical system through solar power alone, but were certainly not there yet.

Security Solar Led Lights

Buying Solar Panels

These are the most common and popular solar lights. Most of them are installed outside the houses like in the driveways, around the house, entry gate, in front of the houses, and other areas. These lights may look like normal lights, but they double up to be security lights as well. They have in-built sensors with a detection range of certain angle.

When someone walks in the coverage area, then the lights will detect it and automatically turn on the lights. If inactivity is detected, then they will turn off automatically in a few minutes or seconds. They are quite handy and economic as well.

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Lg Solar And High Efficiency Panels

The efficiency rating of a solar panel varies by manufacturer and panel type. LG Solars goal is to manufacture high efficiency panels that will provide LG customers with a solid return on their investment.

What this means is that LG Solars panels produce more watts of electricity per watt of sunlight than solar panels with lower efficiency rates . LG Solar is constantly innovating new technologies that boost our solar products output and efficiency.

Solar Panel Type And Efficiency

Based on the materials used and design, solar panels are categorized into three types monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous solar panels.

  • Monocrystalline Solar Panels When it comes to cell efficiency and the amount of sun energy they are capable of converting into electricity, monocrystalline panels are the best ones. Their efficiency ranges from 15 to 21%. Though they are effective, these panels are a bit expensive.
  • Polycrystalline Solar Panels These panels have an energy conversion efficiency of 16%. Though these solar panels have less efficiency, they are available at an affordable price range. And moreover, their build quality is good as well.
  • Amorphous solar Panels They are also known as thin-film solar panels. They are cheaper and have less energy efficiency of about 10%. In some cases, it can be lower as well.

Read Also: How To Get Off The Grid With Solar Power

Whats The Warranty On The Solar System

Ask about the warranty claim process should something fail, and how long the warranty lasts. The solar installer should provide a warranty of the workmanship and components of your solar system and explain the conditions of each to you. A standard product warranty is usually at least 10 years but could be anywhere up to 25 years.

Access To Solar Incentives

How to test used solar panels and what to look for when buying them

In 2020, theres a healthy 26% federal solar tax credit for purchased solar installs. After this year, it goes down to 22%still an enticing benefit, though this tax credit may disappear after 2021 for residential systems. Your state, and even your city, may offer additional incentives.

For more info, check out our recent blog post on solar rebates and solar incentives.

Read Also: How To File As Sole Proprietor

What Do You Want From Your Solar Panels

This might feel like something you’ll find out once they’re installed, but it’s worth considering upfront. Solar panel owners we’ve spoken to have had some quite different motivations:

  • wanting to charge their electric vehicle from solar panel electricity
  • a long-term investment and futureproofing against electricity price rises
  • trying to reduce their carbon footprint
  • wanting to be less reliant on grid electricity .

In the past, solar panels were sometimes seen as a money-making opportunity. Some owners who bought recently told us that they don’t expect to benefit financially from their system, though a future owner of their house might!

Solar Tip #3 Choose The Right Provider And Get A Free Quote

Doing your research takes some time and effort, but getting a quote is easy and free. Solar Sams process is as simple as 1-2-3:

  • Request a free quote and provide the information needed. Well provide a quote and sample system design for your review.
  • When youre ready to move forward, an expert will come to your site for a site walk.
  • From there, a pricing contract with your exact system details will be created to get you sailing toward savings.
  • No matter which solar provider you choose, ask for references and verify that they have a history of success. Check the Better Business Bureau and/or Solarreviews.com for ratings.

    Going with a local provider ensures that you are supporting local economy and getting help from someone who knows your area well. Getting a quote is a risk-free way of making sure going solar is right for you.

    Also Check: Where Are Rec Solar Panels Manufactured

    There’s More Than One Type Of Solar Panel

    Not all solar panels are the same. First, you’ll want to consider your choice between otherwise known as solar electric and solar thermal panels. Photovoltaics are far more common, and use solar cells to directly convert sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal panels, on the other hand, uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight and is typically used for water heating. Solar thermal is more efficient but only is maximized when the sun is out. PV panels are more versatile and longer-lasting.

    In addition to the type of solar panel that you want, you’ll also have to take into consideration the same things that you would for any major purchase: things like performance, durability, and warranty. These will all vary, and some panels will be better suited for your particular needs. Make sure to do your research and seek out reliable sources and other user experiences to get the best information before making your decision.

    Solar Panel Efficiency Explained

    Top 5 Tips For Buying Solar Panels

    When consumers evaluate solar panels, they often focus on the advertised maximum power . This measurement represents a solar panels theoretical power production under ideal sunlight and temperature conditions.1 Think of it as the maximum amount of electricity a user can expect a solar panel to produce in an ideal solar environment. In truth, a solar environment is never ideal every day. Regional differences, as well as seasonal and weather changes, limit the value of the Pmax measurement when trying to determine the expected long-term performance of a newly installed solar array. It is important to consider the efficiency of a solar panel.

    Solar Panel efficiency can be defined as the Ratio of Solar Panel Power and Size at Standard Testing Condition . Universally, STC is measured as 1,000W/m2 of sunlight, temperature of 25 deg C, and air mass of 1.5.

    Below is an example of efficiency calculations for 60 cell and 72 cell:

    LG NeON® 2 panels: NeON® 2 60 Cell: STC Power Rating- 340W/0.34kW

    Length 1.686m Width 1.016m

    0.34kW / m2 = 0.34 / 1.7129m2 = 19.8% Efficient

    Panel Power = 0.34

    Length = 1.686

    NeON® 2 72 Cell: STC Power Rating- 405W/0.405kW Length 2.024m Width 1.024m

    0.405kW / m2 = 0.34 / 2.0725m2 = 19.5% Efficient

    Panel Power = 0.405

    Length = 2.024

    Width = 1.024

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    Speak To Solar Installers And Get Multiple Quotes

    Once you have narrowed down your options, its time to talk to the solar installers – ask them the important questions and get some quotes. Each company should visit your home to understand exactly what your house needs.

    Dont just settle for the cheapest price. The quality of the equipment and solar installation services can vary hugely, so cheapest wont necessarily be the best solar panel option.

    Buying Solar Panels Check Out These Free Tools

    Reader Contribution By Sarah Kezer and 123solarpower

    If youre beginning to educate yourself about the using solar energy in your home, its easy to become overloaded with information. Even veterans of the industry have to actively keep up with a variety of topics like state and federal regulations, utility policies, and changing technologies. If youre excited about having solar panels installed on your roof, dont be intimidated by the process.

    Adopting solar power is a great way to invest funds, increase your propertys value, lower your electricity bill, and reduce your personal carbon footprint. Plus, with the recent and continued drop in solar panel costs, the return on investment is the most profitable its ever been. In other words, its definitely worth your time and research!

    Depending on what state you live in, the type of property you own, whether you want to lease or own your solar panels, and other specifications, there are many aspects to consider during your purchasing process. Thankfully, there are several free tools available to make this process as easy as possible. Whether youre looking to avoid energy cost fluctuations, make a financial investment, or to live a greener lifestyle, these resources will help clarify some frequently asked solar power questions you may have.

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    Options To Purchase A Home With Leased Solar

    If youve decided to move forward with purchasing a home with a leased solar system, youve got a few options:

    Ask seller to pay off lease

    If you are still a little wary of signing the lease, ask the buyer to pay the remaining cost of the installation and add that cost to the selling price . Depending on the size of the installation and how many years is left on the lease, this could be just a couple thousand dollars up to tens of thousands. If the cost is quite high, its probably a long shot, but it doesnt hurt to ask!

    Negotiate with the Solar Company

    While they understandably dont advertise this, some solar companies are willing to negotiate with homebuyers on the remaining cost of the installation. How much is negotiable is up to each individual company, but if the monthly bills are whats holding you back, you can always see if theres some wiggle room.

    Sign the existing agreement

    The simplest option is just to sign the existing agreement and move forward. If the lease and installation size fit your needs, youll, of course, save money simply by having solar installed on your roof. Youll have to pass a credit check to take over the lease, but that shouldnt be an issue if youre already approved for a mortgage.

    Here Is A List Of Things To Consider:

    What Do I Need to Know Before Buying Solar Panels? 3 Critical Things! (I.C.E. Chats)

    As many place to buy solar panelss as possible should be used.

    A place to buy solar panels that is inexpensive is not as important as one that is quality. Ceramic and stainless steel are commonly used in key words.

    A ceramic mechanism, on the other hand, is more prone to losing its taste easily and breaking.

    A ceramic bowl tends to hold its flavor better than stainless steel or carbon steel due to its consistency and durability. A high risk of rust is also present.

    The strength and weakness of a material can be taken into consideration when selecting it.

    Also Check: Can You Clean Walls With Pine Sol

    Batteries Do You Need Them

    Solar batteries are great for energy security. The peace of mind from knowing that you will still have lights, refrigeration and other essential circuits no matter what happens to the grid can be priceless.

    Batteries are also great fun. Seriously! There is something extraordinary about seeing your house run off nothing but battery power.

    Batteries also provide a form of insurance against the risk of electricity prices going up and feed-in-tariffs going down.

    A properly sized, correctly installed and configured solar battery can reduce your grid use by up to 95%, making you almost immune to electricity and feed-in tariff changes. To be clear no-one knows which way electricity prices and feed-in-tariffs will go. But if you have a battery, you wont care!

    But these benefits come at a cost.

    For example without a battery rebate it will cost around $10,000 to add a decent amount of quality energy storage to a solar power system in Australia. Take 30-50% off this price if you live in VIC, ACT or SA and are eligible for your states battery rebate.

    The typical payback period of an unsubsidised battery of that size is at least 15 years. Most batteries have a 10-year warranty, and its anyones guess how long theyll last past that.

    Compare this with a solar energy installation without batteries. A regular non-battery solar power system has a typical payback of around 3-6 years and will last about 25 years.

    Component #: Solar Inverter

    The second main component of a solar power system installation is the inverter. They come in two main flavours:

    • A string inverter, which is around the size of a briefcase
    • Microinverters, which are around the size of a paperback book.

    Microinverters cost more than string inverters, but bring a number of benefits

    String inverters go on a wall, and all the solar panels connect to it. Microinverters go on the back of, or underneath/beside, each solar panel.

    Theres also a third option power optimizers. These are a hybrid between the two. An optimiser system has both a string inverter on the wall *and* optimisers on each panel.

    You can read about the pros and cons of each inverter choice in detail here.

    Pro-tip: Never mount a string inverter where it will be in full sun. Choose a shaded spot, a cool garage, or ask the installer to build a simple shade over the inverter. Direct intense sunlight kills inverters because it cooks them and Australias sun is particularly harsh. Installing an inverter where it is exposed to direct sunlight may also void its warrany.

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    Coverage Angle And Length

    Coverage of a solar lamp is an important factor most particularly for a motion sensor solar powered security light. In these lights, you have a PIR motion sensor that senses the movement of the light and then signals the light to turn on.

    The light is left turned on as long as there is a movement within its sensors vicinity and it automatically turns off when the person leaves the sensors range. For this very security feature and purpose, it is important for you to know and pick a good quality solar panel sensor with the right coverage. For a PIR Sensor, there are two factors that are at play to determine its quality.

    • Angle of Coverage

    This refers to the entire angle in which the PIR sensor can cover the movement. It is clearly depicted in the image below. An ideal coverage angle would be a minimum of 120 degrees. The greater the better but anything post 170 degrees would be a nuisance as the light would be turning on very frequently.

    • Distance of coverage

    The next important thing to consider is the distance of coverage. While the angle of coverage determines how wide the sensor can sense motion, the distance of coverage will show you how far the sensor can work. A good length is a minimum of 5 or 6 meters but higher is always better and desirable. But too far can also be a nuisance much like the larger wide-angle because the light will constantly turn on frequently without purpose.

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