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How to Choose Solar Panels - Read Before You Buy

By SSK Admin December 13, 2021

How To Choose Solar Panels

Solar panels for your home have revolutionized the way we see and use electricity. They take advantage of the abundant and free power of the sun to ensure that your toaster and boiler have power, so why is it important to know how to choose solar panels?

Solar panels are a long-term investment and their usage can last anywhere from 10 years to 25 years. Because of this variability, it is important to be aware of the numerous factors to consider when choosing the best solar panels, aside from their price. 

Choosing a Solar Panel

how to choose solar panels

When searching for the best solar panel kits, one of the factors that will distinguish different manufacturers is the type of photovoltaic (PV) module they use. You'll soon realize that not all solar panels are made equal. 

The warranty, solar panel size, energy efficiency, panel type, cost, and quality are all factors that will greatly influence your choice of buying a solar panel.

Solar Panel Cost

When comparing solar panels, the cost is the first element you’re likely to see. The cost of a solar panel is determined by several factors, including the power output in watts, size, brand, materials, quality, durability, warranty period, and any certifications the solar panel may have.

Pricing is an important factor to consider when deciding on a solar panel. However, pricing shouldn’t be the only thing to consider, because the cheapest panel may not be the most efficient and, in the long run, may not be the best option. 

Choosing solar panels can be risky, but because they have a long lifespan of more than 30 years, it is necessary to ensure a high-quality system rather than going for the cheapest alternative.

The Warranty

A warranty is a crucial indicator of the manufacturer’s trust in the overall quality of their panel. Many high-quality solar panels are warrantied for 25 to 30 years and can continue to function even after the warranty has expired. This type of warranty is called a product warranty.

Making sure you buy solar panels that will last is crucial to ensuring that your solar panel system lasts. The more energy your solar panels produce, the more money you will save. Buying panels that come with a robust warranty will also help with getting the best deal out of your product.

There is another type of warranty to be aware of called the performance warranty. It’s usually shorter (~12 years) and guarantees that the panel will be able to produce a certain amount of power during the warranty period, regardless of panel degradation. The production warranty protects your solar panels from defects in the materials or workmanship.

Solar Panel Size

Solar panels are available in two sizes: 60-cell and 72-cell. This refers to the number of cells on the solar panel, which look like tiny, crystalline silicon wafers. 

72-cell panels are about a foot longer on average than 60-cell panels. 

Because of their bigger size, 72-cell panels are more suitable for broad, open surfaces such as business rooftops and ground mount systems. 60-cells are often better suited to fit in confined places, such as a home's dormer. 

This isn’t a hard and fast rule and will vary based on your needs. Generally, 72-cell panels are more cost-effective since they generate more electricity per panel than an otherwise equivalent 60-cell panel.

Energy Efficiency

what to look for in solar panels

The efficiency of a solar panel refers to how much of the light received by the panel is turned into electrical energy, and hence how much electricity your system will create. The greater the efficiency, the better. But as the efficiency increases, so does the price of the panel. 

It isn’t always the best option to purchase the largest and most efficient solar panel, since you may wind up spending more money than necessary to meet your energy needs. You should instead examine your needs and pick the panel that best meets them: this means not underestimating, but also not overestimating.

Panel Type

Solar panels are classified into two types: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Whichever one you select will have an impact on the overall appearance of your system, its cost, how much electricity it will produce, and how much room your system will occupy.

Monocrystalline panels, which have a deeper color, meaning they absorb more light. Monocrystalline cells are often the more efficient option. 

Higher efficiency panels allow you to create more electricity with fewer panels, allowing your whole system to take up less space. Despite their advantages, monocrystalline panels are frequently the more expensive option.

Polycrystalline are bluer and less efficient than monocrystalline panels, which means you need a few more panels to produce the same amount of electricity. However, they tend to be less expensive and, despite the additional panels required, will most likely be the less expensive alternative.

Solar Panel Quality

This considers how the solar panel is built as well as the quality of the materials used to construct the solar panel. There are various manufacturers that make panels that vary in quality, price, and efficiency. 

Vertically integrated solar panel manufacturers oversee every stage of the manufacturing process. They place a premium on quality and invest heavily in research and development. 

Other manufacturers merely or assemble the cells, but they don’t manufacture their own cells. They create more panels by hand than with the help of machines and at a lower cost. 

When selecting a solar panel supplier, it’s a good idea to look at the company's reviews or history and see what experiences customers have had with them. 

Because you’ll be making a significant investment, it’s important to do some research to see whether or not customers are satisfied with the product, customer service, and if the company delivered on all of its promises.

Roof Material

How do I know which solar panel is best

While solar panels can be installed on almost any roofing material, some roofs may be more pricey. Metal roofs with standing seams eliminate the need for drilling during installation, lowering your costs. 

Tile roofs, on the other hand, need a bit more labor during the installation process, which can raise your quote.

Don't be concerned if your roof is flat. Panels should be installed at a 30-degree slant, according to experts. Your solar panels will be mounted at the best angle with the help of a mounting device and a little additional money.

Choose the Right Company

Choosing the proper solar supplier is an important step in this process. Finding a trustworthy and dependable supplier that can deliver for you will help the process go much more smoothly.

Here are some questions to ask about your solar panel company:

  1. Do they have recent and up-to-date reviews?
  2. Are they going to assist you in obtaining the incentives you require for your project?
  3. Are they thorough and effective communicators?
  4. Do they prioritize their customers?

Solar panels are a good investment that will last for years, and the average family pays them off in less than a decade. Also, keep in mind that there may be local incentives for installing solar panels. Check to see if you qualify for any tax breaks.

Enjoy Your Environmentally Friendly Home

Now that you've learned how to choose the best solar panels for your home, do your research to guarantee you're receiving the best value. It is now time for you to enjoy your environmentally friendly home.  You'll be able to see the difference you're making by lowering your carbon footprint, and you'll be able to save money on your utility bills as well. Enjoy the benefits of lower energy expenses and enhanced environmental friendliness.

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