If you’ve settled on installing solar panels, you’ve made the right choice. Unfortunately, the uphill task of picking a good panel still lies ahead. Choosing a good solar panel requires a lot of consideration. Here are a few things how to choose the best solar panels look out for.
The Solar Panel Cost
This is the first thing that comes to mind when considering solar as an alternative source of energy. Solar panels have varied costs that depend on the physical size, quality, durability and wattage.
Price is a good indicator of a good panel but it shouldn’t be the only guide. Most high quality panels from reputable brands have a high price tag. Cheap panels trade off cost for quality, durability or output. You might save on the purchase but you will incur future costs.
Assess the market to find the average cost of the panel that meets your needs. Don’t go into the market blindly. Otherwise, you might be duped into buying an overpriced panel or a low quality unit.
Different manufacturers are responsible for the variety of solar panels in the market.
Some manufacturers use high quality raw materials and invest heavily in producing top quality units. Others look to save on production costs to produce cheap, affordable solar panels. It’s important to know which panel you’re buying.
Before picking a solar panel, assess the quality. Get your hands on many types of panels to get a feel for the material quality. Compare the most expensive, highly rated units with the cheapest panels and note the differences.
You can look up company reviews and customer reviews to assess if the manufacturer you’re planning to buy from meets the quality standards you seek.
The Temperature Coefficient
A temperature coefficient refers to the relative physical change associated with a specific change in temperature.
For solar panels, the temperature coefficient is expressed as the percentage decrease in output for every 1⁰C increase in temperature from 25⁰C. For most panels, the value is between -0.3%/ ⁰C and -0.5%/ ⁰C
If you are in a hot area, you should go for a panel that has the least decrease in efficiency with temperature rises. This also applies to roofs that harbor a lot of heat.
Moreover, overheating affects the aging of a panel and this is an important consideration to make before purchasing.
Solar panels are designed to last for an average of 25 years. Unfortunately, not all panels meet this performance standard. If you want to know which panel will survive through its maximum lifespan, the trick is simple. Check the warranty period.
Manufacturers that offer a short warranty to their solar panels should attract suspicion. A short warranty means the manufacturers lack confidence in their products and are not willing to take responsibility if the solar panels don’t perform well over time.
Good suppliers are willing to put money on their products and offer long warranties. This is the show of confidence you need to help you choose a good solar panel.
Nonetheless, it’s crucial to take good care of your solar panels to give them the best chance of lasting through their stipulated operational lifespan.
When it comes to the size of a solar panel, consider the physical dimensions and the wattage. The two often have a direct relation as high wattage panels tend to be larger in size.
Choosing appropriately sized panels means matching your energy needs with the production capabilities. The wattage is the most important thing. If you get it wrong, you’ll fall short of the required energy production.
A 4kW solar system is often enough for an average household. However, you can calculate your exact energy requirements and match the appropriate solar panel system.
The efficiency of a solar panel is determined by how much light energy is converted into electrical energy. Monocrystalline silicon panels are the most efficient and have good heat tolerance. The polycrystalline panels are less efficient but cheaper and more popular.
It’s not advisable to rush for expensive highly efficient panels since they may be an overkill. You don’t necessarily need the most efficient solar panels to power your home. Assess your needs before making your purchase.
Ultimately, it’s important to compare different offers and solar panels before settling on a purchase. Do your homework. You can consult professionals on the most appropriate solar panels for your solar system and get all the information you need.
Now that you have the tools, the onus is on you to pick a good solar panel.