Thinking about installing solar panels? Want to avoid the mistakes that others have made and apply the lessons learned by those who went before you? You have come to the right place. I did not install solar panels on my own home, but I helped out a friend who for some reason thought I was a good choice for assistance because of all the articles I have published on the subject of solar power and energy savings. Well, I tried. And, like they say, nobody ever lost anything by gaining experience. Actually, I think I just created that aphorism. Feel free to use it–a lot–when you embark upon your path that leads to professionals installing solar panels.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit right off that this particular tip was not associated with one of the biggest lessons learned in my own experience of helping out with the process of getting my friend’s home installed with solar panels. But that’s only because we live in a town that just recently switched over from gaslights to line the streets. I kid Pensacola…but not much. While Gulf Power may not exactly go out of their way to offer incentives for you to use solar power, your own town’s utility companies may be–and probably are–much attuned to the current century. Long before you get past the planning stage of solar panel installation, you owe it to your bank account and peace of mind in the aftermath of installation to check out Dsireusa.org . There you will find a wealth of information about incentives, tax deductions, rebates and even loans to lower the financial burden of installing solar panels on your home. You may not be fully aware of the extensive costs associated with going solar. Once you get well into the process, you will understand why this lesson learned early is much better than this lesson learned late.
Sadly, my friend decided to go solar right around the time that apps started to take off. Not sure exactly if there were any useful apps that could have made switching over to solar power go easier for us during the pre-installation of the panels, but I know for a fact that there are apps that can make it easier for you. Lots of apps, in fact. One of the most useful facts you can learn right now is that most of the work of installing solar panels that you will personally be involved with takes place long before the panels are actually put in place. Because you don’t want to wait until you have already been heavily invested emotionally and at least somewhat invested financially before you start becoming acquainted with all the various elements related to learning where to place the panels to get the most efficient use from them. If you are not already, you will come to be much more well-rounded in the world of mathematical calculations and recalculations. Then there’s some essential terms you’ll need to know like tilt and azimuth, irradiance level, instantaneous power output and optimal inclination. And there will come that point when you think to yourself: wouldn’t be it really cool if there was a way to turn those calculations into hard data that showed exactly how much money I could save or lose by installing my panels in this way or that. I’m not going to recommend any specific app that relates to installing solar panels, but I will say that anyone who attempts solar panel installation without taking advantage of at least some apps is just plain foolish.
One of the lessons about solar panel installation you almost cannot learn until it’s too late is related to expectation of completion. Read a dozen articles, half a dozen books and two or three solar panel company websites and you will likely come up with no less than fifteen different estimates on the length of time it takes for the installation to take. Here’s the best advice I or anyone who has actually been through the installation process in any capacity can give you: as with the building of a new home, expect to wait longer to enjoy the finished product than you think. Solar power installation means waiting for survey and inspections, meetings with contractors, measurements to be taken (which is why you should start the calculation process early yourself), contract to sign, regulations to meet, weather setbacks to overcome and all the human problems that cause delays. In other words, if you expecting to enjoy solar power a few weeks after making the decision, boy are you going to be disappointed.
Here’s a lesson learned about solar panel installation that will certainly be more useful to people in certain specific situation than others. It’s a fact about solar power most people generally stop to consider until they start getting serious. Solar panels need to be cleaned. The dirtier you allow them to get, the less efficient they become. Topography can impact how much of an issue cleaning panels will become. Climate will affect your panels. The architectural and structural components of your roof can affect not how dirty panels get, but the ease with which they can be cleaned. Learn all you can about the essentials of keeping panels clean and then learn all you can about how many qualified companies are available to do the job of that cleaning and then learn all you can about the latest developments in technology for solar cleaning. You won’t be sorry you put in the time. Of course, by the time you read this, today’s future of self-cleaning solar panels may be your present.