Installing Solar Panels on A Budget
How to Save Money Installing Solar Panels
Over the past few years, solar panel installation has seen a drastic drop in prices, something that has resulted from the increased availability of solar panels prices globally. Perhaps you want to cut charges on installation especially if you are on a budget.
If that is the case, then you only require professional assistance on the most demanding part of installation such as wiring and metering the house. Whether you choose DIY or professional make sure that your system suits your needs. You should also make sure that it fits your budget.
How Solar Panels Work
Solar has been used for decades on rooftops as an alternative energy source. Have you ever wondered how they work? Well, a material known as the photoelectric effect, which produces electric sparks when subjected to sunlight, was discovered in 1839 by Edmond Becquerel.
Later, after studying the material, scientists realized that it could be harnessed and this resulted in the creation of the first photovoltaic cells, which were made of selenium in the late 1800’s.
Solar panels work by establishing an electric field, which is achieved by “doping” silicon with other materials.
On the top layer of the silicon is phosphorous which helps add electrons and hence a negative charge. On the bottom layer is boron, which minimizes electrons, and hence the positive charge.
Types of Solar Panels
There are three types of solar cells and these include the following.
Single crystal cell
These are sliced into thin wafers, which are then installed in long cylinders. They are the most energy intensive solar cells, and although they use a lot of material, they produce the most efficiency cells capable of converting most incoming sunlight into electricity. Their modules account for up to 23% lab test, and their global usage accounts for slightly above a third of all PV systems.
These are made by casting molten silicon into ingots and then sliced into small squares. Their production cost is low, and so is their efficiency with their top module efficiency accounting to 20 percent lab test. They are widely used with their usage account for almost a half.
Thin film cells
In these cells, the entire module is made at once by spraying thin films of material such as amorphous silicon on glass or metal surface to come up with the entire module instead of making individual cells. Although this method is great at lowering cost, it is also low regarding efficiency and their usage amount to up to 10% of the global market.
Benefits of Using Solar
With numerous advances in technology, solar energy is now widely available. On top of that, it has several other benefits including the following.
- It is environmentally friendly compared to other sources of energy since it does not pollute the air of produce greenhouses gas.
- Owning a solar panel means that you are using less energy from your utility supplier and hence helps cut on power bills.
- In most cases, energy needs increase around mid-morning to around 4 pm. Then, it peaks again in the early evening. You consume a lot of energy at these times. The production of solar energy is at its peak at such times. That means you can increase your energy production at such times while reducing your cost for consuming the same energy.
- Use of solar energy means that the grid system is protected against overload and hence solar energy is credited for improved grid system security (http://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2014/09/7-benefits-of-using-solar-energy).
Tips for Getting Cheap Solar System Installed in your Home
Solar panels are no longer just associated with rural areas, which are far from the power grid. Instead, urban areas have started embracing the use of solar energy and especially because of the benefits that it offers. However, prior having a solar panel system installed in your home, there are a few things that you need to put in consideration.
- The quality of the panel- there are several models of solar panels in the market, and it all depends on how much you are willing to invest. You might settle for a cheap panel only for it to fail to meet your energy needs.
- The manufacturer- before settling for a specific brand, you need to confirm that the manufacturer is reliable and has established his credibility in the market.
- The amount of energy required- the amount of energy you sue at your home will be helpful in determining the size of the panel.
Cost of Installing Solar Panels
Nowadays, installing solar panels on a budget is easy. The price of solar panel installation continues to decrease with homeowners paying an installation fee of around $2.87 to $3.85/ watt. A solar panel with an average size of 5 kW costs around $10,045 to $13,475 after all tax credits are deducted. If you compare the prices to a year before, you will see that they have reduced by nine percent.
The Savings You Can Make If You Install Solar
Did you know installing a 3-kilowatt solar system would generate about 450 kilowatts each month? That level of energy production amount to almost half of a person’s monthly electricity consumption. Now assume that you pay $100 for your electric bill. In this case, you can save as much as $50 each month for a lifetime.
Since solar power is meant to help you reduce bills, you also need to be willing to make a good initial investment, regarding purchase and installation. After the installation, you only need to follow manufacturer’s advice on maintenance.