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Everything a Homeowner Needs to Know About Solar Power

Jessica PirroAugust 25, 20202720

Everything a Homeowner Needs to Know About Solar Power

The solar power industry is a growing industry. With the new growth, more and more homeowners are interested in adding a solar panel installation to their homes. But before homeowners install a solar power system on their rooftop, they are going to want to know everything important surrounding the solar panels.

What Are Solar Panels Made Of?

Solar panels are made up of solar cells, which are often called photovoltaic cells. These solar cells are made up of semiconductors (like silicon) that will convert the sunlight into electricity. When the sunlight hits the solar cells, the electrons are then separated from their atoms and will then flow through the solar cells, and they start generating electricity.

Today, solar cells that are done in domestic solar panel installations can convert around 20% of the sunlight that they receive into electricity, and some of the commercial solar power systems can reach up to 40% of the efficiency of a solar panel. The solar panels technology is advancing fast and the efficiency of a solar panel is then expected to grow accordingly, while the prices drop.

What Do Solar Inverters Do?

The solar panels generate solar power, but solar power is rendered useless without the solar inverter. The solar inverter is a vital part of the solar power system, it converts the DC solar power that is generated by the solar panels into usable AC solar power. The solar inverters are also vital for ground fault protection, the solar power system stats like the voltage and current, energy production, and maximum power point tracking.

Are Solar Panels a Good Investment?

When investing in a solar power system it can deliver better returns than both stocks and is now the right time to invest. While the solar panel technology is improving vastly each year, there are financial solar incentives and solar rebates that are going to decrease as solar panels become more and more popular.

Do Solar Panels Need Direct Sunlight to Work?

Though the solar panels are going to reach the maximum efficiency when the sun is shining, electricity is still produced on cloudy days during the winter. But at night, no electricity can be produced at night time, however, an energy storage system can solve this issue. The cost of a solar battery can be paid off by selling excess solar power to the national grid and you can 100% energy independent. You should still consider that solar panels produce free electricity during the day, which is when it is more expensive as well as more valuable.

Are Solar Panels Durable?

Solar panels are made up of tempered glass and can withstand hail, snow, rain, and high winds. This can even extend the life of your roof by protecting the solar panels from daily ailments. Solar panels are built specifically to endure some of the harshest of weather conditions making them a durable, reliable energy source.

What is the Cost of Solar Power?

Solar panel installation is going to cost a good chunk of money. Homeowners should keep in mind that choosing the most expensive solar panel installation may not necessarily meet your needs and what you’re looking to achieve with a solar power system. Homeowners should get multiple quotes from different solar installers, and you should talk to each one of them about your requirements. You should assess each quote on its basis by looking at things such as terms and conditions, background and reputation, options, repairs, and extra and indirect costs.

You should consider your break-even point, which is your solar power payback time, or when your solar power system recoups the original cost of solar panel installation. When working this information out, you should consider factors like the cost of solar panel installations, how much you are currently paying for electricity, your household electricity usage, the size of your solar power system, and your weather. It could cost more to install a big solar power system, but you can also generate excess solar power to sell back to the grid and it will shorten the time to the breaking even point.

You can also get a general idea of how much excess solar power you will likely sell back to the grid and at what rates you may be able to sell it at. Over 20 years or longer, the savings may add up.

What is the cost of a Solar Panel Installation or Purchase?

A quality solar panel installation that is around 3kW or 20 solar panels can cost homeowners $5,000 to $8,000 to fully be installed. A smaller 3kW solar power system that contains 12 solar panels can cost between $3,500 and $5,600, while a larger 10kW solar power system with around 31 to 40 solar panels can cost between $9,900 to $15,000.

This covers the cost of solar panels, the mounting system, the solar panel installation, and the balance of the solar power system. This mounting system is what will secure the solar panels to your roof and is considered an essential element of your solar panel installation. The balance of system (BOS) includes components likes wires, cables, solar inverter, etc. The solar inverter may account for nearly 50% of the total cost of your solar power system. The solar panel installation or manual labor, which must be carried out by a licensed electrician, is another major component of the overall cost.

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