Solar power is the first thing that comes to mind when people think about “going green,” and there is no arguing the fact that installing PV (photovoltaic) panels will help you make the planet a better place. However, before you start this kind of project, you should think it through carefully and consider all pros and cons of using solar energy.
When I first decided to install solar panels, I learned four very important lessons that I’d like to share with you today.
Lesson 1: Installing Solar Panels Is NOT Easy
Nowadays, one can find plenty of helpful articles that claim that installing a solar power system is very easy, but it’s not. Unless you are a qualified electrician with plenty of practical experience, you will need to employ the help of a professional in order to get the system running safely.
I tried the DIY approach with my first panels that were simple cheap things, and I nearly burned the house to the ground because of a simple mistake in the wiring. Thus, even though you can size the system, pick out and buy the necessary parts, and acquire the required permits all by yourself, you will need to employ the services of a professional to do the electrical work.
Lesson 2: Angle Matters
Orienting solar panels is a form of art that requires experience and skill. Panels that are positioned incorrectly will produce very little energy. I learned how striking the difference is after I invited a specialist and he corrected the angle of my PV panels. The system’s overall efficiency increased about 20% after this.
Lesson 3: Have Alternatives
Even the best photovoltaic modules available on the market today cannot convert 100% of sunlight to energy. The maximum of achieved efficiency is about 20%
This means that installing solar panels may not be enough to provide sufficient amount of energy for you. Therefore, it’s better to install a grid-tie system. This way you will be able to get the electricity from the grid on rainy days and at nighttime. You will also be able to sell the excess power your solar panels produce on sunny days to the electric company.
Lesson 4: Consider Roofing
The vast majority of people forget that their roof will be a very important part of the solar power system. I did this and I had to get the panels reinstalled after my old roofing developed a serious leak and had to be replaced.
Bear in mind that solar panels usually have about 25 years guarantee period, but average roofing only has 10-15 years of service.