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Installing solar panels for your home is a great way to save money on your power bill and do your part to keep the world green, clean and beautiful for generations to come. However, your first time dealing with solar panels can be a little overwhelming, so here is a quick list of tips to help you navigate your first solar panel purchase.
Ask around with people that you know and trust who have gone through the process before, they will be able to give you insight based on direct experience which will help you to not make costly mistakes on the solar power costs. Jamaica has quite a few solar power installers but some don't offer warranty and some may not be in business 5 years from now.
Look for warranties that are at least 25 years from solid and reputable companies. Solar panels are a major investment that are exposed to a reasonable degree of possible damage. Take the time to protect your investment over the long term.
Price and Quality
If you try to save by buying low quality panels, you will likely end up paying more in the long run due to damage or inefficiency. If you do find a good deal, make sure that it is because a major company is lowering prices to be competitive and not because a poor company is cutting corners on solar power costs Jamaica.
Standards and Certifications
Do some research on national solar power standards and certifications. Only buy panels that meet the standards of national bodies, as opposed to just being quality-tested by the company itself. You could contact the Jamaica Bureau of Standards for assistance.
Different types of panels have different levels of efficiency. This means that if you have a limited area for mounting panels, then you will quickly reach your maximum power output when using less efficient panels. There is nothing wrong with using cheaper and less efficient panels, as long as you have the space to meet all your power needs. Do not make the mistake of buying less efficient panels, and then finding out that you have run out of space without meeting your growing power needs
If you're interested in installing a solar photovoltaic system to power up some or all of your home's electrical systems, part of the decision-making process will include choosing the right type of solar panel to employ. Manufacturers generally use one of three processes to produce solar panels.
To make the most of your investment, learn how each one is made, and their advantages and disadvantages.
The technology that started it all, monocrystalline panels, originated in the 1950s. The cells are cut from silicon in a cylindrical fashion, and each cell looks like a wafer. Combined, tens of wafers make up a monocrystalline panel.
Monocrystalline panels are generally constructed from high-quality silicon, giving them the highest performance rates in the industry, usually up to 21 percent. By comparison, monocrystalline panels outperform thin film by four to one. They also make wise use of space, so they offer a high power yield per square foot.
Warranties often last for 25 years, and these panels perform better in low-light conditions than their poly-counterparts.
The disadvantages of this panel type are significant:
Because they are high-quality, these panels are also costly.Circuit break down is common when the panel is obstructed or shaded.The manufacturing process produces significant waste.The panels perform best in warm weather, with performance decreasing as temperatures increase.
While monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are both manufactured from silicon, instead of cutting out wafer shapes, manufacturers pour silicon into a mold to form polycrystalline panels.
High temperature ratings are slightly lower than those for monocrystalline panels; however, the difference is minor, making these types of panels a good option for many homeowners.The manufacturing process produces little waste, and the technology allows for a cost-effective panel.
Efficiency is lower, typically between 13 and 16 percent, which is not nearly as high as the ratings for monocrystalline panels.The panels require more space when installed to produce the same electrical output as a panel constructed from monocrystalline.
Manufacturers construct thin-film solar panels by putting down layer upon layer of a photovoltaic element, such as amorphous silicon or organic photovoltaic cells.
The advantages of thin-film panels are many but generally don't outweigh the disadvantages. These panels are lightweight, they are generally immune to problems from shading or obstructions and low-light conditions generally don't hinder their performance. These panels are easy to mass produce, so they are an affordable option.
On the other hand, thin-film solar panels come with a number of weighty downsides, including these:
Efficiency. Most thin-film panels score very low in terms of performance, hovering between 7 and 13 percent, with an average operating efficiency of about 9 percent.
Space. These panels generally require a lot of space. For commercial applications, they often make sense. For most residential installations, where space is tight, they don't work.
Cost. Due to the number of panels required for this type of system, associated costs are also higher because you'll need to purchase more support elements, cables and so forth to accommodate the system.
Life span. In most cases, thin-film panels don't last long and quickly succumb to the effects of weatherization. You typically won't find a manufacturer offering a long warranty to go along with a thin-film panel.
Source: Angies List
Be sure that your panels are mounted to your local standards. This is particularly important when you have regular local natural occurrences that might damage your panels, such as earthquakes or tornadoes. Solar panels can be mounted in ways that protect them from various natural occurrences, so be sure that yours are protected for the area of that you live in.
The inverter is a major component of your home solar power system, and you want to choose solar panels that come with or are compatible with a high quality inverter. It is recommended that you start by choosing your inverter first, and then deciding on the solar panels that are compatible with it.
Just as with any other major purchase in life, it is smart to shop around and get a few quotes from different suppliers and installers. This also gives you the chance to bargain or find deals, which is very common in the solar panel industry.
Avoid Pushy Sales People
Unfortunately the solar panel industry has many less than reputable companies and salespeople. If someone is promising you the world for nothing, you are likely to end up with low quality products. Go with a professional company that offers you lots of guidance, information and advice, as they are interested in your satisfaction, and not just their bottom line.
Harnessing the power of the sun