Green energy has become one of the hottest investment opportunities in today’s world. This is because people across the globe are getting more and more aware of the consequences of climate change. One of the best ways to mitigate climate change is reducing your carbon footprint.
Solar energy is a popular form of green and clean energy that people can introduce to their homes. However, the primary investment into making homes completely solar-powered can throw people off. You will need to invest in solar panels in the form of their initial installation and maintenance.
If you are considering solar panels for your house, you may need a little guidance. Here’s everything you need to know about solar electricity and why it is worth investing in solar PV panels.
- 1 What is solar energy?
- 2 Renewable energy sources
- 3 How do solar panels work?
- 4 How much do solar panels cost?
- 5 Advantages and disadvantages of solar power
- 6 How much electricity does a solar panel system produce?
- 7 Things to do before buying a solar panel
- 8 How to look after solar panels?
- 9 To conclude with
What is solar energy?
Solar energy is a form of green renewable energy obtained from the sun. We get solar energy in the form of heat and light as the radiations from the sun travel across space and into our atmosphere. This energy source can provide us with surplus electricity for the foreseeable future.
While the energy obtained from the sun is not available in usable form directly, we can convert it using solar panels. Solar PV panels have photovoltaic cells on their surface that are responsible for converting solar energy into electrical energy.
If you install enough solar panels, the electricity generated could power your entire house through the day and the night. This way, you can also save up a ton of money on your electricity bills.
Renewable energy sources
The sun is a source of energy for everyone on earth. Solar energy is considered a renewable energy source because it does not diminish. We cannot virtually run out of the power given out by the sun, so we must make the most of this endless energy source.
Solar PV systems are much more lucrative than using electricity from the national grid. It is also a much better option than burning fossil fuels when it comes to being more environmentally conscious. You can install a solar panel system in your home and see the difference it makes in your electricity bills.
The initial investment in a solar PV system is worth it as you will be generating your energy for the next couple of decades. This energy-efficient solution is excellent for your electricity bill savings and reducing your carbon footprint.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels have a very straightforward mechanism. These panels are used for generating energy in homes. They use solar power to convert DC electricity into alternate current and supply this electricity to all the different appliances in your house.
The photovoltaic cells present on the surface of your solar panels absorb sunlight and its photons first. These photons undergo reactions because of the chemicals present in the inner layers of the solar PV panel.
Once these photons are converted into electrons, the electricity generated is stored in solar batteries. These batteries also store excess electricity, which does not get used during the day. The PV system could either keep it for later or send the energy generated back to the grid.
How much do solar panels cost?
The cost of installing solar panels depends on the types of solar panels you are interested in. There are many options available, but you need to do your due diligence on the models before making an investment.
Your total investment depends on the size of the solar panel you want. In the UK, the average cost of a solar system is £5,940. This amount is estimated for a family of three that will potentially require a 3 to 5 kilowatt-hour solar PV system.
A system that size consists of about 13 solar panels. These panels are generally installed on roofs and will require a total space of 20m². However, you can install these solar panels anywhere on your property as long as they access direct sunlight.
There are three different types of solar panels worth installing in your home. These include:
- Monocrystalline panels
- Polycrystalline panels
- Thin-film solar panels
All three varieties have their benefits, and it is essential to do your research on them before you choose to install them in your homes.
Advantages and disadvantages of solar power
Solar energy is undoubtedly great for the environment, but it also has many other benefits. People must know exactly what they are investing in and what the help of this investment is. Here is what you can expect from your solar PV systems.
- They provide you with cheaper electricity for your house.
- They are incredibly reliable and even work on cloudy days.
- They have an excellent and quick return on investment.
- They require minimum maintenance and last you decades.
- They are an excellent choice for people who want to increase their property value.
- Solar panels protect the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
Solar power has many unique benefits. However, there are a few downsides to this too. The following are the disadvantages of investing in solar panels.
- Solar panels installed can be affected by the United Kingdom’s weather conditions.
- You will need a south-facing flat roof to install solar panels.
- Your house and property may not be compatible with solar panel installations.
- Your solar PV system might cost you a fortune as an initial investment.
You must weigh out your options and see which type of solar panel is perfect for your property. It would be best if you also decided whether or not it is a good idea for you. Moreover, renewable technologies are fast evolving and coming up with affordable alternatives for every household and budget.
How much electricity does a solar panel system produce?
Depending on the size of your setup, solar panels can produce copious amounts of electricity. Solar power is abundant during the daytime, so you will have access to unlimited energy. All you need to do is strategically install your solar panels and generate more electricity than ever before.
On average, solar panel owners can expect their panels to generate anywhere between 250 to 400 watts per hour. This means that a solar PV system can generate about 3-kilowatt energy every day. Most families can comfortably use this electricity throughout the day.
Additionally, many people find that the solar system usually generates more electricity than required. This excess energy is first stored in the solar battery, and you can use this stored electricity during the night.
However, if the usable electricity is still left over after everything, you can cash in on it. A feed-in tariff is the fixed amount given to people for generating electricity and giving the excess to the grid. The energy market is thriving because of incentives like a feed-in tariff. This way you can get even more money apart from saving on your electricity costs. While some solar panels require a hefty initial investment, there are multiple ways to get your money’s worth with these panels.
Another excellent way to make money from solar PV systems is the SEG or smart export guarantee. This scheme allows small-scale electricity generators to get money for producing electricity. You can apply for the smart export guarantee payment and cash in!
Things to do before buying a solar panel
Before you buy a solar panel, you need to prepare your house and make sure you have all the prerequisites covered. These are a few things that can help make your investment a successful one.
Hire the right installers
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is hiring someone incompetent for your installation. Even if you think you know everything about installing solar panels, you need experienced professionals for the job.
Additionally, installers often provide their clients with excellent advice. You will need this expert guidance if you do not know anything about panels.
Choose the right solar inverter
Solar inverters are a crucial part of your solar system. These inverters convert DC into the alternate current so that you can use it in your home. You must pick the right inverter so that it is compatible with your solar panel system.
Find solar modules that are compatible
Solar panels come in different sizes and have different properties. It would help if you found a model that works best for you. You should consider the climatic conditions and the energy bills you get from your energy supplier.
Prepare your roof for installation
You need to clear out the clutter from your roof, if any, and make room for your solar panel. Make sure that the roof is south facing and has an adequate slant. You will also need to make arrangements for wiring and securing all the equipment on the top.
How to look after solar panels?
You can do a few things to make sure your solar panels last a long time, and you get your money’s worth. These tips can help you extend your system’s lifespan by years and even save you a lot of money in the long run.
Keep them clean
Keep the solar panel clean by removing any dust or debris from its surface. If the solar panel is covered with debris, its output will get negatively affected. Dirty solar panels produce lesser electricity and are not as efficient.
Try to keep them away from the shade
Shading can reduce your panel’s output too. You need to keep it away from trees and other obstructions. Position it in a way that it has access to direct sunlight immediately once the sun comes up. It is essential to place it at an angle to absorb the maximum amount of the sun.
While solar panels are water-resistant and can withstand rain, you might want to keep them away from saturated areas. If your roof tends to accumulate water in the monsoon, you need to figure out a way to drain this water immediately.
Solar panels cannot function optimally when they are partially submerged in water. This water can also seep through their outer covering and into the wirings. This could damage your panel system and cost you a fortune.
Perform frequent checks
The best way to prevent damage is to keep an eye on your panel. Perform regular tests and examine the system from time to time so that you can nip any problem at the bud.
To conclude with
Solar panels are an excellent investment for people who want to save money while consciously doing something about the environment. With just a little bit of initial investment, you can generate your own electricity and save money for the rest of your life!