A Beginner's Guide to Solar Panel Installation
Posted by Becky Johanson in The Basics.
Solar energy is a renewable and inexhaustible resource. It converts sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic solar panels. Many people are adopting solar as a cost efficient and reliable source of energy. Are you considering installing solar panels, but don't know where to start? Here's our little guide to help you install a solar powered system.
The Solar Panel
A solar panel has 4 main components:
First, analyze how you are currently using electricity. Take a deeper look into your electricity bill to find how you allocate your electricity bill in the house. Then, you should decide whether or not your solar panel should cover the use of energy of your entire house or only a part of it. After checking these points, you will be able to determine the most suitable for your need.
Tip: Unplug your devices! Did you know that even if you turned off your electric appliances they still consume electricity? They will stay active unless you plug them out, so your electricity bill will be higher than what you should be paying.
After you checked your power consumption, analyze your roof's measurement to validate the type of solar panel you can install there. Because of your roof specific size, you should be careful on the solar panel's dimension and its output to maximizing the space on your roof.
Solar Panel Installation
Hire a professional. They are certified and know all the intricacies of the installation. Make sure that the roof, ground mounting, or tracking system you are using is engineer certified for the area you are in. For example, if you live in an area with high climate variability, the mounting system and mounting brackets also need to be sufficiently weather resistant.
Solar Inverter Efficiency
The power inverter is a box installed between the panels and your appliances that converts the generated DC to AC, which is suitable for use in your home. Their efficiency will have a direct impact on the payback time of your system, so look at the inverter efficiency before purchasing a system.
Price is always an important factor when you want to buy a product. Quality-price ratio is an important element to include in your equation. The average price of a solar panel installation is typically $7-9 per watt. So, a 5 kW system would cost around $25,000-$30,000.
Many utility companies offer incentives to for solar panel installation, so look for price reductions or subsidizes available for your home.
Be careful of the solar panel's warranty length. Try to aim between 5-10 years, as it will cover all the short term issues you may encounter.
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