8 Things I Wish I Knew About Solar Power When I First Started
If you’re thinking of installing solar power arrays on your rooftop, you should know everything there is to know about the panels and how they work.
Even though self-sufficient living can be hard to master, you’d be amazed at how many things can be done only by using what nature provides us.
The PV panels and all the equipment that is needed won’t come cheap and you cannot afford to make rookie mistakes.
So before you decide to set up the system, having all the facts will save you time and money.
8 Things you should know about solar power:
8) Overall Energy Consumption of your House
Solar power isn’t as effective as the ads show them to be, so before you install them you would have to first calculate how much power does your house consume and see what devices contribute the most to these consumptions.
A more definite way of doing this involves having an energy audit to have a better look on what causes your damn energy bills to be so high.
Once you have found out the energy consumptions of your house, see to it that you reduce your usage and try to save as much as you can.
You can install insulation in your house to save up on heating energy; things like these can help a lot in putting some load off of your solar panels.
7) Do They Work During Cloudy Days?
One of many misconceptions regarding solar power is that people think they don’t work in cloudy days.
The thing is that their efficiency decreases and they are only able to make 10-25% of their total energy production capacity.
But, this is the case only if you’re using typical solar panels. There are some kinds of panels that even make more energy during cloud cover as comparison to what they make without any shades, so it all really depends on the intensity of the clouds and the quality of the panels.
6) How Long Do They Last?
As long as we are on the topic of misconceptions, why not discuss another one?
It is rumored that the panels only last 10-15 years.
Even the warrantee is more than that. When we talk about solar energy, we are discussing long term commitment.
Of course the number of years they survive is dependent on how much care they are receiving, but if you treat them good, they’ll do the same with you and the sky can be the limit in regards to how long your solar panels survive.
5) Are They a Fire Hazard?
All of the material from the panels and the equipment that hold them together, including the wire, are not made up of any kind of hydrocarbons, so they are not a fire hazard.
Not so fast, because there are some sets of circumstances that may result in a fire. The solar panels and the system will be dealing with high voltage of current, and this current can increase the temperature of the wire, causing it’s insulation to melt off.
In such conditions, a powerful spark or even a fire may occur, so make sure that the wires are insulated well enough so they don’t melt.
This comes as a shock with a bill attached to it for most people.
The annual tax on property will increase if you have a solar panel installed on your rooftop.
People who know about this fact usually don’t even consider the possibility of installing this system, which could be a good reason why this trend hasn’t caught on.
3) Trying to Install It by Yourself
Since the labor fee is almost as much as the equipment, people try to fix the whole thing up by themselves and end up doubling the bill by breaking all the expensive things they bought.
Do not try your hand a task you know you’re going to fail in, the laborers may ask for a hefty sum, but in the end, they do get the job done.
While we’re on the topic of laborers, be aware of the inexperienced ones.
2) Installing the System to Power a Few Things
If you’re thinking to install a comparatively smaller system and only charge the big ones with it, you’re not the first one to do so.
Things like the fridge and the oven take in a lot of electricity all at once; this may become more of a load for you in the end.
If you still want to stick with the idea, I suggest that you should grid tie it before using it or you could use the small system to power other home appliances like the lights and fans, the television, etc.
1) The Roof Will Leak
You can’t glue or tape the system on your ceiling; it costs a fortune, what if it falls? You would need to drill the whole thing onto the rooftop, and one huge problem with drilling is that it leaves a hole, and holes leak.
This problem will show its true colors in the raining season when you don’t have enough electricity because of the clouds and there is water filling up in the attic.
At least it’ll kill the rats.