Solar Electric Panel Buying Guide – Choose the Best

Solar panels or photovoltaic (PV) panels are in high demand now as it can generate the electrical power needed for your home or other energy needs. As the other conventional energy resources are drying out, people are turning to more natural and everlasting source of energy, the sun, to meet their increasing power consumption needs.

When you are getting on to purchase a solar electrical system, make sure that you check out all available packages which companies offer and the subsidies by the governments. In light of the loan programs, which the solar service providers offer and the tax benefits by the state, you may be able to get PV power at a far reduced price than actual.

The cost factor

Let’s see an example; a photovoltaic solar panel which can provide electricity for the entire home by meeting the fire and electric compliance requirements is eligible to get a tax rebate of up to 30%, say around $500 for a 0.5 kW solar power system. However, many of such programs are for the residences only, not for large-scale plants.

However, don’t jump into any kind of random programs while shopping for the photovoltaic cell system, but keep the following considerations in mind to get the best purchase.

  • Power output

How much is that your home needs? If you can get a break down of your daily power usage from the electricity bill, it is easy to determine how much wattage you need to generate from your PV array to meet the needs. During the peak hours when sun delivers the best, the output may range anywhere from 40 watts to 200 watts from an ideal solar systems. The difference is based on the technology, size of the panel, and cells used etc.

  • Cost per Wattage

Another effective way to calculate the cost of purchasing photovoltaic cells is to consider the dollars-per-watt cost ratio. A round estimate can be like, if you purchase the PV modules which are priced at $4 to $5 per wattage means that the system can deliver a maximum output of 100 Watts if you spend $400 to $500. Using this method, you can roughly calculate how much you need to shell out to lit up your home fully.

  • Insolation

It is insolation (not insulation) which measures the total amount of sunshine directly falls on to each square meter of the solar panel per day. This is generally measured in kilowatts and will help determine how much energy you expect the PV array to produce daily.

Mounting the solar array

Even you buy the best, the tilt of the solar array also is important based on the geographical specifications of your area to ensure maximum efficiency. There are various types of solar array mounting systems for home purpose and picking the right one is critical to ensure the best ROI.

You may feel installing the PV modules simply flat on the roof to be aesthetically pleasing, but this may significantly reduce the power generation during the low-light hours or rainy days. Don’t doubt whether PV cells can work at rain, it can, but generates only lesser energy. Now, there are advanced mounting stands too which can automatically turn and adjust the tilt to track the sun across the sky.


Read more