Nowadays, more and more people are investing in solar power systems. Thanks to the drastic advancements in the past several years, which has improved efficiency and reduced the cost of the equipment involved, powering homes and business with solar power has become more viable. Installing solar PV systems is a great way to generate electricity while reducing your carbon footprint.
However, there are several things you need to consider before joining the bandwagon. Understanding the various factors involved in such a project is vital in determining whether solar power is the right option for you. That being said, here are some of the most important things to consider when installing solar PV panels:
The Solar Panels
Solar PV (photovoltaic) panels convert sunlight into electricity. This is a robust and reliable technology that has become quite prevalent in the past few decades. Generally, there are two kinds of solar panels- polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels. The type you get does not really matter. Instead, you should focus on investing in one that will last you for at least two decades. We suggest you buy from a reputable company such as PV Generation PV Solar Panels as they are one of the best in the renewable energy business.
As with most things, however, you get what you pay for when it comes to solar PV panels. The high-end ones will have a higher efficiency rating, meaning you’ll get more power per Sq. metre and will perform better in low light conditions compared to their counterparts.
Your home uses alternating current (AC) power, while solar PV panels produce direct current (DC) power. This is why an inverter is essential. Well, inverters come in two types- microinverter and string inverter. The latter is mounted on the wall and all the panels connect to it. A microinverter, however, sits on the back of each individual panel.
Microinverters are best suited for panels that are partially shaded, while their counterpart is best suited for areas that receive full sunlight most of the day. An inverter is the heart of your solar power system and is likely to fail within the first decade of installation. As such, you do not want to skimp on quality when it comes to buying one.
Most, if not all, inverters feature a monitoring option. This requires the unit to paired wirelessly to your home wifi network. So, ensure you ask your solar system installer to connect this up while on the job.
Also, it is important to ensure the solar PV panels are securely attached to the roof, and this is where mounting comes into the equation. There’s a wide array of mounting brands in the market, and so, you’ll want to do your homework to ensure you get one that’s wind certified and comes with a warranty of 10 years minimum. The last thing you want is your solar panels flying off the roof when a storm hits.
If you have a tiled roof, ensure you have additional tiles available as they are bound to break during installation. Also, bear in mind that solar PV panels installation costs more for tiled roofs. If you have a non-penetrable style roof, ensure the installer users non-penetrable clamps to avoid punching holes in the roof.
The Panel Layout
When it comes to picking the right solar power system for your home, there are three layout aspects to consider:
- Panel Direction
Panels that face the north tend to get the most sunlight and thus produce more electricity. If it is impossible to install north-facing solar PV panels on the roof, you could still benefit from east or west-facing panels.
East-facing solar panels produce most of their electricity in the morning, while the west-facing ones are the most optimal in the late afternoon. Most people are at home during this time meaning you can leverage solar power instead of getting it from the grid.
- Panel Angle
The best angle for solar PV panels mostly depends on the location. However, in most cases, the best angle is whatever angle the roof sits at. Just ensure that it is steep enough (a minimum of 10 degrees) to ensure the panels stay relatively clean.
You should also factor in the light that hits the roof. For your solar PV panels to produce electricity in an efficient manner, they need to be in full sun for most of the day. Shading from nearby buildings, trees, power lines, etc., will only affect the system’s performance.
The Size of the System
The goal is to fill your roof with as many solar PV panels as possible, but it is not always that simple. When picking the system size, you should consider the amount of electricity you need based on your household’s electricity consumption, budget as well as amount of unshaded space on the roof.
In order to maximize your economic benefit, experts recommend sizing your system in a manner that you use about 50% of the electricity it generates. Take a look at your electricity bill for a rough idea of your daily consumption. In order to size a solar system that will provide optimal savings, divide your total daily electricity consumption by 4 and then pick a system that is best suited for your household’s needs. For instance, if you consume about 20KWh per day, consider getting a 5kWH solar power system.
Most solar PV panels come with a warranty of 25 years, and any good system should last at least that long. As such, you will want to ensure you look for a solar power system company that provides a warranty for that period.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
Solar power system installation is a huge investment, and so, you should be afraid to have all your questions and concerns addressed. Some of the most important questions to ask the installers include:
-How long have you been in the industry?
-How many installations have you done?
-Do you provide a performance guarantee?
-Do the products you use meet UK standards?
-Can you provide references and testimonials?
Now is the best time to get into the Eco Friendly renewable solar power bandwagon, and the information above will help you make the right choice.