Renewable solar energy is the future, and if you aim to go green, then a solar power system is your best bet. However, before you actually invest in something so expensive and innovative, you need to get yourself informed. In this article, we will provide you with 10 tips for buying your solar power system of choice.
Buying a Solar Power System: List of Tips
Focus on the Best Material
As of 2022, you can choose between two types of solar panels based on the material they’re made of:
- Monocrystalline panels
- Polycrystalline panels.
The first type of panel is made of uniform crystals containing large, pure silicone bars. They are extremely efficient in absorbing the sun’s energy but are not that effective when there’s not enough light outside.
Polycrystalline panels, on the other hand, are molded and purified. They are not as effective as monocrystalline ones, but they are less expensive and absorb even minimal sunlight from different directions.
Location is Key
The amount of sunlight you receive over the year directly affects your power output. So, if you happen to live somewhere with constant strong sunlight, go with monocrystalline panels. Polycrystalline is your best option for areas with scarce sunlight.
Picking the Best Spot
That should go without saying, but your panels need to face the power source directly in order to absorb energy. In other words, there must be no obstruction between the panel and sunlight. So, place them somewhere where they can be exposed to the solar rays throughout the day.
Deciding on the Budget
No matter how you slice it, solar power systems are not cheap. You will be looking at an investment that can cost up to $20,000.
That is indeed a lot of money, but you need to think about the future. A solar power system will save you thousands of dollars in electric bills in the upcoming years. The only real additional expenses you will have with this system are the occasional maintenance costs. Furthermore, you can even claim a federal tax credit in certain states if you install a solar power system. To put it simply, you’re paying more today in order to pay less tomorrow.
Naturally, there are systems out there that cost less than the industry standard. However, more often than not, they come from less than reputable companies. So, make sure to avoid any budgets that seem too good to be true.
A solar inverter is a crucial piece of equipment that converts absorbed DC into usable AC. So, when deciding on your solar power system of choice, make sure that you get the best inverter money can buy.
Buying the best system and the best inverter will cost you extra. So, if you aim to save money, but still want a high-quality system, find one with the proper certifications. These documents will let you know what kind of testing was done on the panels and other system segments. Furthermore, you can show these certifications to the appropriate government body in order to get some rebates.
If you live in an area with occasional wild storms or cyclones, you risk your solar power system getting unmounted by the elements. In order to prevent that, you will need to find a solid mounting system. Generally speaking, you have two options here:
- Flush mounting
- Roof/floor mounting.
Of these two, flush mounting is cost-effective and easy to do. However, if you need a mounting system that will keep your solar panels in place, always go for roof or floor mounting. Yes, it takes longer to set up than flush mounting, and it costs more, but your system will stay in place even if a massive cyclone were to rage through your area.
Quotes and Decision Making
Never make a decision about buying a solar power system without knowing everything about it. Legitimate companies, including our own Atlantic Key Energy, will give you a quote upfront, which will include all of the expenses you’re expected to cover for your own particular home.
Don’t Be an Ad Sucker
Solar systems are quite popular, so it’s no wonder that you’ll see tons of advertisements for different companies that claim their systems are the best. Don’t be fooled by these ads. Instead, do as much research as possible and interview your friends, family, and colleagues about their own systems.
This particular tip is not as clear-cut as others. Many brands will offer warranties up to 25 years, but they don’t have the experience or the positive feedback to rely on. So, in terms of warranty, always go for a company you can trust. It will most likely offer individual replacement warranties for each section of the system (panels, inverters, etc.).