Solar power systems are one of the most popular ways to go green in America right now. These panels offer the chance to reduce reliance on grid-based energy and fossil fuels and the opportunity to reduce energy bills.
Furthermore, the systems themselves are becoming cheaper, more accessible and more user-friendly. This all means that it is easier than ever for American homeowners to install a system and reap the benefits.
Installations are on the rise, but there are still plenty of considerations to make before you decide to buy a solar power system for your home.
5 Considerations when installing solar power systems:
1) The Size of the Set-Up
All homeowners need to choose a set-up that accurately reflects their energy needs. An energy-conscious couple will not need one as big as an energy-hungry family of five.
Those that go too small and underestimate their requirements may not see the benefits in energy use and savings. Those that go too big may overspend on initial costs.
Ideally, these systems will generate enough energy to cover the amount of electricity needed. Those that want to go off-grid will need a system large enough to handle their heaviest loads. Those that only want to supplement a supply and reduce bills won’t need to go so big. The size of the panels will also depend on the availability of sunlight.
2) The Performance Requirements
This idea of the purpose of these solar power systems leads to issues of performance. There are those that are looking to solar as a back-up to lower energy usage and costs.
Perhaps there just needs to be enough to cover a black-out. Others will want to see solar replace grid-based power entirely. The needs of the home will have an impact on the power and efficiency of the set-up.
This is where it is important to look at the panels and components in more detail. This can include such details as the type of cells used and the reliability of the converter.
All those that are serious about solar power generation need to look beyond the panels to other items such as solar generators, battery storage and meters. The more sophisticated the set-up, the better the rewards.
3) The Primary Orientation of the System
This is something that some homeowners may not immediately consider with their new solar power systems. The basic principle of solar panels is that they sit on a roof to capture sunlight and transfer energy to the home.
However, the placement of the panels can make a huge difference to the performance and other benefits. Users must fit the panels on the part of the roof that gets the most sunlight during the day. The more coverage there is, the more energy they can create.
It also helps to ensure that this area of the roof is not in the shade from other building or trees. Also, many installation experts recommend placing the panels at the optimal angle. This is an angle equal to latitude. It is all about getting as much out of the sunlight as possible.
4) The Contractor
These considerations with the placement of solar power systems should be common knowledge to experienced contractors. However, homeowners should never assume that their local firm knows everything about the best installation methods.
It is important that buyers do their research on companies and shop around. The rise of solar panels means an increase in suppliers and installers. Some are more experienced than others and will be able to advise on the main issues. Others may not even have a license.
5) The Cost
The final issue here is with the cost of going solar. This doesn’t just mean the initial cost of the panels and installation. Some people may assume that once they pay for the system and installation then that it is. However, there are sure to be fees for maintenance and repair over the years.
There is also the chance that these solar power systems will need an upgrade or expansion with time. Users can find that their energy needs increase and an extra panel will help.
Some may decide to go further with power generation to go off-grid or feedback into the system. This last option is another interesting point about the cost of solar power. There is always the chance of credits and rebates.