Going Solar: What You Need to Know
June 22, 2022
Soaring prices of utilities got us thinking if there are other options that can make us save more money. One particular solution that has been making waves in recent years is installing solar panels. The next questions would be:
- How do solar panels work?
- Is it worth the investment?
Solar panels: How do they work?First, we delve into how solar panels work. The solar panels installed on your roof, maybe on your garage roof specifically, can power the lights, electric garage door, security cameras, and even charge your electric car battery. A modern solar panel generates an average of 350 watts under full sun and receives 3-7 hours of peak sunlight per day. That still depends on the time of the year or season, and the location of your house. There are four main components of a solar power system:
- Solar Panels - They absorb the sunlight.
- Inverter - Responsible for converting the direct current electricity to alternating current electricity.
- Racking - It is the mounting system that attaches the solar panels to the roof.
- Energy Storage Batteries - They store the excess electricity that could be used at a later time.
- The sunlight is a carrier of tiny bits of energy called photons. This energy then hits the solar panel, which contains the solar cells.
- Once the photons hit the top layer of the solar cell, the electrons will flow to the bottom layer of the cell.
- Now, the electrons will transform from direct current electricity to alternating current electricity through conductive wiring to the inverter.
The cost of solar panelsInstalling solar panels is relatively expensive. And the cost still depends on how much wattage and the size of your property that needs electricity generated from the solar panels. However, one thing’s for sure is that the long-term cost of solar panels is cheaper than buying electricity from the grid.
Why the benefits of using solar panels outweigh the initial costsInitial costs of installing the solar panels may hinder you at first, but if you study more of its benefits, it can actually let you save more money in the long run. And here are some of the benefits of solar power:
- It significantly reduces energy costs
- The panels could last up to 30 years
- It does not require maintenance in most instances
- In many states, rebates are offered for installing solar panels on your roof
- Good for the environment as it does not produce air pollution
Other things should you consider before installing solar panelsBefore diving into utilizing solar energy to power your electricity, there are some things that you should think through.
- Measure your energy use. It is important to determine how much energy you use at home so you would know how many solar panels to install, and how much energy can be covered by solar power.
- Inspect your garage roof. Solar panels can be on the heavier side, so check your garage roof if it can handle the weight. And if your roof is due for repairs, finish that first so that the cost of installment would not be doubled.
- Determine where to install the solar panels. To maximize the solar panels, locate in what direction or part of your roof would get the maximum amount of sunlight.