If you are planning the installation of a solar power system in your home, you will be aware that choosing the right solar panels is the most critical choice you will have to make. You choose the right type, have it installed by an installer who is both competent and accredited, and ensure the installation is made at the best angle that points the panels in the direction that is optimum for power production.
What are the criteria for making the best choice?
Criteria 1: Efficiency
This is the ratio of the energy from the sunlight that hits the surface of the panel and the energy that is converted by the photovoltaic cells on the panel. The efficiencies of conventional panels vary from 12% to a little over 21%. Higher efficiency means that higher wattage of electricity is produced per square area of the panel. So, you will require lesser space for the panels on your roof for the electrical output that you need. Panels of higher efficiency can cost more, but if roof space is a problem, this may be the way to go.
Criteria 2: Cost
You need to choose solar panels that give you more power for every unit of your currency. Choosing panels because they cost less may not be the right thing to do, as these may not have the right performance or reliability. You will also have to take into consideration the other system components and the installation costs when you are preparing a budget for your solar power system. Also consider warranty, service and quality when you are looking at costs.
Criteria 3: Module quality
This must take into account the quality of materials used for making the solar panels, and how they are manufactured. Some manufacturers will not make their cells but will just assemble photovoltaic cells and panels and sell them as their product. It is always better to choose panels that are from a company that makes its cells, has a proper R&D setup and is constantly evolving its products. Review the history of the company and look at reviews about its technical capabilities.
Criteria 4: Energy Efficiency
Solar panel efficiency indicates the percentage of solar energy received that is converted into power. It is better to choose more efficient panels, but this can have you paying higher prices. You probably need to balance your space requirement for the power that you want with the panels of various efficiencies and then make a judgment accordingly. Lower efficiencies will require you to have more panels and this can increase installation costs.
Criteria 5: Specifications
Each panel that you will find on the market will have its specifications. Look at their power tolerance and opt for panels that are better than the others. Panels must have a good rating for temperature coefficient as these will perform better even at higher temperatures. After all your panels are exposed to the sun at all times and will get heated.
Criteria 6: Aesthetics
How will the roof on your home look after the solar panels are installed? Thin-film panels look the best, but they have lower efficiencies and this would mean you will require to cover larger roof areas. Solar roof tiles can help to integrate your roof with the solar power system. The size of your system can determine how much of your roof area is covered and determine how much it affects the looks of your home.
Criteria 7: Warranty/Durability
Most solar panels have a warranty that can be 25 years, and if you are offered anything less, you must be wary of these panels.
Choose the right panels, have them properly installed, and do the little maintenance they demand, and solar panels can ultimately pay for themselves in the long run.Read More →