Conversations around the subject of solar panels have been becoming more commonplace, and this is why you will find everyone around you having some idea as to what is required of solar panels and what they are about. You can thanks awareness, and an overall increase in demand for solar panels in residential properties for this. However, there is a common question that a lot of people tend to ask when it comes to solar panels, namely their installation; and that question is why solar panels have to be facing the south.
Now all of us know already know that the sun rises from the east and then sets towards the west. Now this is not entirely the case and there is more to the story here, and it is especially important to remember this when one is looking to install solar panels.
Now, a lot of people tend to shy away from buying solar panels because they consider it to be an unnecessary investment, and too expensive. However, a lot of people forget that this is actually very beneficial investment and that they will get the necessary return on investment after buying the solar panels. Of course, there are still some understandable concerns like the installation process. You need to get your solar panels installed by a professional if you want to get peak efficiency out of it or else you will not be getting your money’s worth.
Does Direction Matter?
The direction of your solar panel plays a huge role in your solar panel’s overall performance and efficiency. Yes, the Sun does continue to move from East to West across the sky every day, however, this movement is not straight or linear, and that is only a thing that you can observe if you are on the actual equator. The sun is usually lower in the sky, especially during winters when the southern offset is more visible. If you still find yourself feeling confused, you can look up a few time-lapse videos of the sun moving from sunrise to sunset and you will notice that there is an arch that that the sun follows throughout. The purpose of placing the solar panel southwards is to ensure that you are getting the maximum amount of sunlight. This is even more relevant during the winter solstice as well.
Does Your Panel’s Angle Matter?
We have already discussed the importance of the direction the solar panel is facing, but that is not the only thing. The angle that you set your solar panel in also plays a significant role in its overall performance. Believe it or not, a good deal of math does go into the solar panel installation process, and basically you want to find the angle that will help you get peak solar energy absorption in a year depending on the latitude of your area. You can find certain cues online that can help you do the math yourself, however, if math is not your forte and you want to play it safe, you can call in proper solar panel technicians to handle the math and installation process for you, and while this does get more expensive with installation costs, but the installation costs are worth it because you know you will be getting a good product which is performing at peak efficiency.
Why Go For Solar Power?
A lot of people do question the need to making the switch over to solar power, and this is because the technology seems wildly new and in-turn alien to us. Yes, solar technology can sound intimidating, but there are a lot of benefits of making the switch over to solar energy. You will be taking the step of switching over to green energy, and that means you will be producing clean energy that won’t have any harmful impact on your environment, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint and help move towards the establishing of a better, safer planet. Some people go for solar power simply because they want to save money in the long-run in energy bills, whilst others might be interested in the tax incentives. Basically there are a lot of reasons and benefits for making the switch over to solar power, so it should be appealing to everyone.
How Expensive Does It Get?
Solar panels used to be a lot more expensive some 10-20 years ago, and that is because the technology for them was not easily available, however, thanks to commercialization and an increase in interest towards solar panels, a lot of people are able to get the best out of solar panels at a lower price. Of course the current price of solar panels isn’t cheap enough yet, and the upfront cost does scare off a lot of potential buyers. Depending on the company and the type of setup you are going for, the entire thing can cost you up to $25k for every set.
This is understandably a high price point, however, if you are already upper middleclass and can afford other things like new phone models every year, above average cars and so on, solar panels should be in your list of expenses that you should be strongly considering. A lot of people forget that your solar panel can help you go off-grid and you will not have to pay any electricity bills for the next few decades. You can of course make use of solar calculators that are present online to learn just how much money you will be saving on your electricity bill over the years after getting the solar panels installed in order to help motivate you more.
Do Solar Panels Have Other Variants?
Modern innovation and scientific research has led to the creation of three different variants of solar panels, and these include thin-film solar panels, monocrystalline silicon solar panels and, polycrystalline silicon solar panels. Each of these variants come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages so choosing between the three is your decision.
The thin-film type is made of a combination of several materials and this includes amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS). Regardless of the material the thin-film is made of, they are, like the name suggests thin like a film, making them lightweight. They are also made to be flexible and portable. The purpose of the thin-film type is to help ensure that the panels can be moved around and can be wrapped around other surfaces. Sadly, this is still a relatively new technology and that is why their efficiency and overall performance is not that great, especially when you compare it to the performance of the monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panel variants. However, once more research is done, the thin-film solar panel can be great for putting over fabric, our clothes, tents, and curtains and all of these otherwise normal things can become a center for harnessing solar energy.
Monocrystalline silicon, like the name suggests, is made from one, pure silicon crystal, and this purity is basically what helps the monocrystalline silicon solar panels perform at a good efficiency rate. Monocrystalline solar panels also happen to look really good as well, so the finishing look is worthy. However, one thing to keep in mind here is the fact that monocrystalline silicone solar panels are definitely more expensive.
Polycrystalline silicon solar panels share some similarities with monocrystalline solar panels, and the main difference between the two lies basically in how they are made. Polycrystalline solar panels are composed of a variety of silicon crystal shards and fragments that are melted together and then turned into sheets or panels. This basically is a cheaper alternative for the monocrystalline silicon solar panel, however, their efficiency and performance is slightly lower when compared to the monocrystalline variant.
Can Everyone Make Use of Solar Technology?
This is not a simple question to answer, and the answer in this case happens to be both yes and no. If we look at the information we have, if you happen to lives in a sunny area like Arizona or most of California where you can have anywhere between 190-200 sunny days annually, you can really take advantage of solar technology and what it has to offer, so if you live in an area with a lot of sunlight and heat, opting for a solar panel setup just might help you make the most of the heat for once.
However, if you live in areas where you are getting less than a 100 bright sunny days then the story is a little different. Of course you solar panel will continue working here too, however, it will not be producing as much energy as you need, so in this scenario the solar panel will have to serve as a supplementary source of electricity for you, so you cannot go off-grid in this situation.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed For a House?
When it comes to solar panels, you cannot just go to your nearest hardware store and buy off a set of solar panels. In fact, a lot of official solar panel manufacturers and companies usually do not have a physical store since it does not seem necessary. You cannot just buy a random solar panel and call it a day. In fact, the companies will want to know a number of things like your geographical area, the size of your home, your most recent electricity bill, the number of appliances you have in your house etc. A lot of solar companies even offer free consultations so they can come over and check out your place and then give you an estimate about the number of solar panels you might need and so on. You ultimately want to make sure that you have enough information on the subject and for that you will need an expert to guide you, and depending on the number of appliances and wattage needs of your house, the number of solar panels that you might require will increase. It ultimately depends on each house’s needs.
How does The Collection Process Work?
Fossil fuels have been our primary source of energy ever since the industrial revolution. Of course this means that we have also managed to do a fair deal of damage to the planet in the process as well. Back then the idea of harnessing energy from the sun may have sounded impossible, but thanks to the work of a lot of brilliant scientists and thinkers, this once pipedream is now a reality.
Of course a lot of people still do not understand how solar power works and it can seem almost like magic, but we can assure you that a lot of science is involved in the process as well. Solar panels are comprised of a collection of photovoltaic cells (that are usually made of silicon) that basically help capture and then transform sunlight into electricity, or heat depending on what you need your solar panel to do. It is both very simple and wildly complex, and more and more research is being done every day to continue to improve our solar panels.
What Can Solar Power Lead To?
If we are talking financially, then buying and owning a solar power unit can be an incredibly wise decision and you can end up getting producing free electricity to run your house for years to come. Another great thing that comes out of solar energy is the impact it can have on our environment. Solar energy is a source of renewable energy and its production process does not release any harmful gases or effects on our environment. Yes, there are some concerns regarding silicon, but silicon so far has not been found to be harmful to soil either. So the materials are not toxic, the production process itself is not toxic, and the energy you produce is clean as well, making it a win all-around.
You also do not have to worry much about cleanliness or maintenance either, you just have to make sure there is no dust and debris covering the panel, and you can clean the panels with just cloth or you can wash it with plain water.
Is It Worth It?
We have discussed a lot of different aspects of solar panels, and yet you might still be asking yourself whether or not a solar power unit is worth it, and so far we can tell you that benefits seem to outweigh the concerns and risks if any. Your two main concerns are of course the cost of a solar power unit and weather related concerns.
When it comes to the money aspect of things, a lot of solar companies do have different plans, packages and offer installment plans as well, so this way you might not have to pay all of the costs upfront, which takes some of the financial load off of you.
As long as you have some sunlight, your solar panel will work, and all extra solar energy that is harnessed will be stored in the battery storage and then used at night when the solar panels are not working. At the end of the day, these two disadvantages do not even come close to the benefits of going for solar energy, so there is a lot of promise here.
At the end of the day, you have to do more research on your end and try to educate yourself as much as possible before making any major financial or life decision. Yes, there is a very promising future in solar energy and many countries around the world have vowed to promote solar energy and to try to make it their primary source of electrical production as opposed to having to rely on non-renewable and harmful energy sources. Even if you are not ready to buy an entire solar panel setup yet, you can start buying small solar appliances and then decide and expand from there.