Most property owners who are interested in solar panels are considering solar energy for the first time. Unlike more familiar products like houses, cars, or televisions, this new product category raises some basic questions about where to start. What are the key decisions that need to be made, what options are available, and what is the best way to approach these considerations?
Many property owners worry about damaging their roof when installing a solar panel system. These installations will typically last around 30 to 35 years, so it’s important to make sure installing panels doesn’t cause harm to your roof. Fortunately, roof damage as a result of a solar panel installation is extremely rare because installers take precautionary steps while installing panels to prevent leaks and other damage from occurring.
If you’ve gone solar, you’ve already decreased (or possibly eliminated) your electricity bill. But you may want to add more solar panels to your existing system; your solar panel system could be undersized to begin with, or you might have increased your electricity usage since installation due to new additions to your house, new appliances, or adding an electric vehicle (EV) purchase.
The process of how solar installers design a solar energy system is often a mystery for most consumers. Because of this, we would like to give you some insight into how solar installers design a solar power system for your home or business. Solar system design takes into account two important factors – the amount of space that you have available for installing solar panels and the amount of electricity you consume annually. Other factors, like shading analysis and the efficiency of solar panels and inverters, also come into play depending on your property Continue reading
For those looking for the most efficient solar panels for their PV system, the first thing you need to know is how to compare efficiency metrics for different manufacturer brands. Simply put, efficiency (expressed as a percentage) quantifies a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. Given the same amount of sunlight shining for the same duration of time on two solar panels with different efficiency ratings, the more efficient panel will produce more electricity than the less efficient panel.
In practical terms, for two solar panels of the same physical size, if one has a 21% efficiency rating and the other has a 14% efficiency rating, the 21% efficient panel will produce 50% more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity under the same conditions as the 14% efficient panel. Thus, maximizing energy use and bill savings is heavily reliant on top tier solar panel energy efficiency.
There are thousands of solar companies operating in the United States, most of which have been reviewed by customers online. If you’re thinking about installing solar, reviews can help you determine which company will offer the best prices, good customer service, and an attractive solar panel system design for your home or business.
Power output or wattage is an important factor to consider when comparing solar panel options. You may hear your solar installer say, “it’s a 255 Watt panel” or “the panel I am recommending is has a wattage of 300.” Or, when you are reading a quote from a solar installer, you might see numbers like 245W, 300W, or 345W next to the name of the panel. They are all referring to a solar panel’s wattage, capacity and power output.
How much energy can a solar panel produce?
Available sunlight will vary depending on where you live but for the sake of an example, if you are getting 5 hours of direct sunlight in a sunny state like California you can calculate it this way: 5 hours x 290 watts (a wattage of a premium solar panel) = 1,450 watts or roughly 1.5 kilowatt-hours (kwh). Thus each solar panel in your system would produce a little over 500-550 kWh of energy per year.
All solar panels are rated by the amount of DC (direct current) power they produce under standard test conditions. Solar panel power output is expressed in units of watts (W), and represents the panel’s theoretical power production under ideal sunlight and temperature conditions. Most home solar panels on the market today have power output ratings ranging from 250 to 400 watts, with higher power ratings generally considered preferable to lower power ratings. Pricing in solar is typically measured in dollars per watt ($/W), and the total wattage of your solar panels plays a significant part in the overall cost of your solar system.
Solar panel warranties protect your solar investment and are an imporant part of any solar installation. There are a few different kind of warranties that keep your panels covered, and understanding both the differences between them and what products feature the best warranties is important to make sure you get the best deal for your solar energy system.
In an industry that now employs well over 200,000 people, it can be difficult to sort through the thousands of solar installation companies that are active in the U.S. in 2018. EnergySage has compiled rankings of top solar contractors across the country on both the national and local level to help homeowners find solar companies near you.
San Diego is one of the best places in the country to for a solar panel install. Lots of sunshine and a year-round temperate climate create the ideal conditions for solar panels, and high electricity rates mean that a solar energy system is an even smarter investment for your home or business. This article will tell you everything you need to know about installing PV panels in San Diego, from the best solar companies in the area to SDG&E net metering policies and the cost of solar panels in San Diego.