solar panels and other renewable energy sources are becoming more popular among homeowners for their financial benefits of lowering electricity prices significantly to the point of not noticing them when they receive the electricity bill at all.
owning solar panels is not a luxury since the prices and costs of solar energy systems are decreasing yearly.
you might be curious about how much do you save with solar panels? And how are solar panels manufacture?
The 3-key component of a solar panel are Silicone, glass, and the solar PV cells which converts sunlight into energy, they are also known as photovoltaic (PV), scientifically means, producing energy from the sun.
After the sand is converted to crystallized silicone, they are collected from the bottom of the furnace to be melted together to form ingots, which is a block of metal in a solid cylindrical shape.
after the silicone is melted together, and cooled, they are ground and polished to produce smooth sides, then polarizing the conductors, forming two types of silicone, N-type, which lies on the surface of the panel, and P-type, which lies below the N-type silicon.
After weaving a solar grid to set the material that receives sunlight and conducts energy, the glass is added and the solar panels are coated with an anti-reflective coating that absorbs sunlight instead of reflecting it.
balance of system for solar panels also needed for it includes the majority of the pieces to increase efficiency.
A solar energy system can fulfill your electricity needs and provide power to your entire home; however, this depends on your household energy consumption, and how many solar panels your home will need.
you can also go completely off the grid if you decided to install an inverter, and solar batteries to your system to store the excessive energy the solar panels collected and use them during blackouts, night-time, and cloudy days.
The major factors of the number of solar panels you might need come to your energy consumption and the amount of sunlight your home is receiving daily.
The average home in the US needs around 14 solar panels to have full electricity, it is important to check how many hours your sunlight is directed to the place where you want to install the solar panels on and calculate your electricity bill to see how much will you save.
It is possible to do so if you are looking to operate equipment that can work with only direct current (DC); however, most electrical appliances work with alternating current (AC), only an inverter can convert the direct current into an alternating current.
In short, if you are preferring not to install an inverter in your system, you might have limits to which appliances that you can power up.
solar panel efficiency over time can be decreased like any other device, but when will it start?
Solar panels can work with full efficiency until the materials reach the age of 35 to 40 years then it starts decreasing and might need to be replaced.
Maintaining solar panels is simple, generally, they need little to no magnificence.
Cleaning the panels is the only and the most important need for them to produce in full efficiency.
If your solar panels are tilted, rainfall can clear the dirt and leaves away, however; during the dry season, it will be needed to be cleaned manually, a leaf blower can mainly get them back into the top state.
During the winter season, it is important not to use hot water when clearing the snow off the panels, the sudden change in temperature on the panels’ glass can lead them to be damaged, make sure the water is warm at its best to clear the snow away.
To have a view of what companies are there within the states which considered as the biggest players, we will list the top 3 solar energy system installation companies:
is one of the largest national solar companies in the US, selling solar panels since 2007, and they are available in 22 states, also they can offer solar loans to finance your solar system.
they became their own company back in 2011 after separating from their mother company, Vivint Home Security, they serve in 21 states and have full ownership models as well as a solar loan program.
they are primarily a solar panel manufacturer; they have some of the highest quality panels and they partner with local installers around the country.
Labor costs to install an off-grid system can vary depending on the solar installing company itself or the local installer, usually, the cost to locate the best position for the panels, installing them with the batteries, and connect the components can come out to about 10% of the system’s complete cost, for example, for a $50,000 system the labor portion should be around $5,000.
As for the battery it costs depending on the type you are looking for, a lead-acid battery's average cost can range between $4,000 and $6,000, while a lithium-ion battery costs between $12,000 and $14,000.
With solar panels are becoming more popular among homeowners, the cost of them is decreasing compared to the last decade, it is hard to compare how much is the price decreased per month, but solar panel cost per year is lowering by 0.03%.
It is important to keep in mind that most of the prices that are decreasing are the hardware and components of the solar panels, not the installation itself, it is not expected for the installation fee to decrease at the time being but the expectations are still out there.
Testing solar panels is a very important though often an overlooked matter, testing the solar panels is very simple by using your multi-meter. You will need to check two things, volts and amperage.
put your solar panel in direct sunlight and set your multimeter to a volts setting.
firstly, touch the multimeter's positive lead to your solar panel’s positive wire, it marks with the color red.
secondly, touch the multimeter's negative lead to your solar panel’s negative wire which is marked by the black color.
the readings should be close or just under 60 volts, if not, there is an issue with your solar panel output that need to be checked, you can go back and check the connections of your solar cells and strings to be sure.
set your multi-meter to the amps and touch in the same process as the voltage testing.
The amp reading on your multi-meter should be close or just under 3.5 amps, 3 amps is also normal since your panels may not be getting the maximum sunlight at the time being, if the amp was much lower, there is an issue with your solar panel output, you will also need to check the connections of the solar cells and strings.
Since purchasing solar panels increases home value, when selling your house, the buyers are also paying for the solar energy system and will continue to use them and produce their own electricity.
It is interesting to note that homes with installed solar panels are sold faster than other types of houses, they put an additional value of over $15,000 more than the average home without solar.