Solar panels are devices designed to absorb the sun’s rays and convert the light into electricity or heat. Some scientists refer to them as photovoltaic, to mean light-electricity. Solar panels convert light from the sun’s rays directly into electricity, with no harmful emissions- they are completely pollution free, and sunlight is also free, entirely beneficial, right? Thinking of switching to home solar power? You can save more on power bills and conserve the environment too, here are ten tips to guide you in buying the best solar panel.
1. Doing your research well
Ask family, neighbors, work mates or friends who have installed solar systems in their homes or places of work. You can be sure to find out their experiences, problems they have encountered so that you know how to avoid them. Check the internet for user reviews about which solar panels are the best and which are not reliable.
2. Calculate your electrical needs
You need to buy a solar panel that can generate enough electricity to power all your electrical appliances. You can do this if you know the amount of energy they consume. You can calculate by writing down the wattage of each appliance in your house, then adding to find the total wattage. This will give you a clue of the amount of power you consume and hence buy a solar panel with the right wattage; it should have a slightly higher wattage than the amount you calculated.
3. Choosing the best material
There are two mostly used types of material in making solar panels; these are Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline. Monocrystalline are totally efficient if placed in the right direction, with strong sunlight as they absorb energy massively, but in less light, absorption reduces considerably.
Polycrystalline have many crystals misarranged, they absorb more light from different angles and hence efficient if placed in directions with little light, they are also less expensive as efficiency is lost at the joints of the crystals. Knowing the climatic conditions of your location will help you choose the best material.
4. Considering the desired location
Deciding where you will put the panel will assist in determining the right size of panel or how many panels to buy. It will also affect the money you are willing to spend on them. As you want the panels to produce as more energy as possible, you will want them to be in a location they receive maximum sunlight.
5. Deciding the best mounting option
There are two options here, flush mounts and pole mounts. In flush mounts, the panel is placed on a wall or roof facing the sun. If you have enough roof, or your wall has maximum exposure to the sun, you will prefer flush mounting. Pole mounting is where a panel is secured to a tall pole, suitable in places with fewer winds.
6. Consider your budget
Buying an extremely less expensive panel can save your spending, but you may end up with poor quality and less efficiency. On the other hand buying expensive panels can be good and you will get full efficiency, but you should ensure it falls within what you can afford. There are different panels for different prices which can fit your needs.
7. Check the length of the warranty
The length of the warranty can also affect the cost of installation, but it should be guaranteed so that you know you can get support in case of problems, and whether the support will be paid for. Research on the track record of the manufacturer to be sure the warranty stands.
8. Get several solar quotes
Do a research on solar prices from several manufacturers; prices vary between providers. In doing so, you also need to check on reliability of the panels from those different manufacturers. Some may have less cost with reduced efficiency.
9. Avoid high-pressure tactics salespeople
Do your research away from the dealership. If you don’t know what you want, salespeople will quickly convince you to buy what they want you to. They will even give you an offer, try not to make decisions on the spot but go home and consider it first.
10. Check the Certifications on Solar Panels
The certifications indicate the type of testing that has been done on the solar panels. A certification like TUV IEC 61215 confirms the testing of the solar panel was by an independent laboratory and it met the advertised specifications.