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How Efficient are Solar Panels for My Home?

Conventional means of electricity generation are getting more expensive, unreliable, and fatally impacting our environment.

That is why it is the best time to shift to a more reliable, more efficient, and more eco-friendly source of electricity generation.

Research shows that renewable energy sources like solar energy possess such qualities.

The experts describe renewable energy in general and solar energy in specific as “a free and clean source of energy available for everyone every day.

But is solar energy as efficient as conventional energy?

In this article, we are going to find How efficient are solar panels?

Table of Contents:

  • Why choose solar electricity over conventional electricity?
  • How efficient are solar panels?
  • Factors affecting the efficiency of solar panels.
  • What is the efficiency of solar panels and why does it matter?
  • How much do solar panels cost? Are solar panels costly?
  • Solar panel energy v/s grid energy: which one is more expensive?
  • Do solar panels require lots of maintenance?
  • What is the best time to install solar panels on your home?

Why choose solar electricity over conventional electricity?

Get rid of bills.

By turning to solar energy, you can use as much electricity as you want without ever worrying about paying expensive monthly bills ever again.

Do you know an average American household spends up to 5% of their salary on electricity? Why pay when you can make a profit by selling electricity that is produced by your own home? Imagine making money by selling your electricity.

Solar energy is eco-friendly.

Here is another fact; on average, 85% of airborne respirable particulate pollution is caused by fossil fuels burning worldwide. These fossils are burnt to generate electricity.

Think about the environmental protection you’ll be providing by generating electricity from solar panels, which lessen our reliance on the burning of carbon-rich fossil fuels – this is the first step to save our beautiful planet by switching to green sources of energy, solar energy.

Solar energy is more reliable.

Fossil energy will eventually end; coal, gasoline, and other energy sources are also on the verge of nonexistence. So we need a constant power source to keep fulfilling our energy needs; The answer is solar panels. Solar energy is hope for humanity and the future of this world.

What is Solar Energy?

Credits: Solar Schools

How efficient are solar panels?

Solar panels are highly efficient, especially California is the best place to go solar.

We have two solid reasons why solar panels are an excellent investment in California.

  1. Solar panel friendly weather conditions: California is blessed with beautiful weather with up to 7.5 Peak Sun Hours (PSH), making it the state with the highest average Peak Sun Hours. With the sun showing up every day up to 284 days a year
  1. Solar panel-friendly state policies: The State Government of California encourages homeowners to go solar with their solar-friendly policies.

In California, you get upwards of a 26% tax credit and many other benefits if you have solar panels installed at your home.

On top of that, the Government is ready to purchase your excess electricity anytime.

What is the efficiency of solar panels and why does it matter?

Solar panel efficiency refers to the energy segment of sunlight converted into electricity via photovoltaics by the solar cell. In other words, how much sunlight a panel can convert into electricity is known as the efficiency of the solar panel. We express it into the percentage (%).

The more efficient a solar panel is, the more sunlight it converts into electricity and vice versa.

Let’s understand it with an example: if we say a panel’s efficiency is 50%, that means 50% of the sunlight falling upon the solar panel is being converted into electricity.

You must be thinking, but where does the other 50% go?

It’s wasted in increasing the temperature of the panel.

Usually, solar panels can process 18% to 25% of solar energy into usable electrical energy.

Ideally, we should go for a panel with maximum efficiency and reliability.

Efficiency of Solar PV Panels

Source: Coule Energy

How to find a solar panel with maximum efficiency and reliability?

Many factors play a vital role in solar panel efficiency, like material, average sun exposure, and weather conditions around it.

We have discussed these factors in detail below.

Factors affecting the efficiency of solar panels

We can mainly divide factors affecting the efficiency of solar panels into two categories.

(i) Internal factors (i.e. material)

(ii) External factors (i.e. weather)

  • Type of the solar panel material:

The solar panel material is the most crucial factor for the efficiency of a solar panel.

We use mainly three types of materials for solar panel manufacturing. They are as follows:

  1. Monocrystalline silicon
  2. Polycrystalline silicon
  3. Multi-junction solar cells
Solar Panel Materials

Source: Clean Powerstore

Out of these three, monocrystalline silicon is the most common and most efficient material for homeowners, while multi-junction cells are mostly only used on space satellites.

  • Average sunshine hours:

For a solar panel to generate bulk electricity, it needs to keep absorbing sunshine for as long as possible. Some houses, areas, and states are naturally inclined more towards the sun, making them ideal for solar panel installation. The more solar panels absorb sunshine, the more electricity they generate.  

  • Placement/ Angle:

Ideally, solar panels should be placed perpendicular to the sun to get maximum exposure to sunlight. Mostly, people like to put panels on their rooftops or a big flat plane.

This is where working with a strong solar installer will help to ensure that your panels are working efficiently.

What is the ideal angle of placement?

It is impossible to define a single angle as the ideal angle of placement as the sun exposure is different in different areas, and the sun keeps changing its location throughout the day.

One must consider factors like the height of his house and the weather conditions of his city to understand the best angle of placement.

  • Weather condition:

Weather conditions such as clouds, snowfall, rain, flurry may decrease the efficiency of a solar panel to a great extent.

Experiments show that if the panel gets coated up to 5cm thick of snow, the panel’s efficiency will reduce to 98%. Also, with an increase in wind speed, a slight fall in solar panel efficiency is observed.

  • Inverter efficiency:

Last but not least is the inverter efficiency. However, inverter efficiency has nothing to do with solar panel efficiency. Still, we need an inverter to get smoother AC power.

The solar panel generates power in DC mode while the appliances at our home require AC power; therefore, we use inverters to convert DC power into AC power.

Benefits of solar panels:

There are many benefits of solar panels, which even increase if you happen to live in California. However, if you don’t have solar panels installed at your home, let us show you what you are losing.

Solar panels increase the value of your house:

According to the research conducted by Zillow, California is the state where the value of homes equipped with solar panels increases by up to 4.1% compared to the houses unequipped with solar panels.

Solar panels reduce atmosphere pollution:

Our conventional electricity generation methods give out excess carbon in the atmosphere, which is a significant cause of air pollution. On the contrary, solar energy is a clean form of energy that is free from carbon diffusion.

Emissions of Air Pollutants Associated with Fossil Fuel Combustion

Source: Research Gate

Solar panels cut your monthly utility bills:

Study shows that using solar panels instead of relying on grid electricity may save up to 50% monthly. Then, think about the things you can buy or places you can visit with the leftover money.

Solar panels may provide you extra profit:

Yes, you can even make some extra profit by selling the excess amount of electricity which is of no use to you, to grid stations.

How much do solar panels cost? Are solar panels costly?

Initial solar panel installment charges vary from $10,000 to $30,000.

But why does it cost that much?

The primary reason is the cost of equipment. For example, in solar panel manufacturing, expensive raw materials, such as high-grade silicon and lithium, are used, which are pretty costly.

The secondary reason is the labor cost. The careful handling of solar panels and proper solar panel installation requires high-grade professionalism, which is again costly.

Despite it all, solar electricity is a lot cheaper than standard grid electricity.

The Cost of a Solar Panel System

Source: newsenergysage.com

Solar panel energy v/s grid energy: which one is more expensive?

2019 US Electricity Prices per kWh

Residential

13.04¢

Commercial

10.66¢

Industrial

6.83¢

Transportation

9.73¢

All sectors

10.60¢

The above chart shows the annual average price of electricity for 2019 by consumer group per the EIA (the US Energy Information Administration) updated in March 2020.

Electricity prices have risen across the nation at a rate of about 4% on average over the last ten years. But, in the Northwest regions, even a hike of up to 40% is seen.

What if they suddenly decide to raise electricity prices in your state by 40% or even more from next year? What will you do then? There is no guarantee or reliability at all.

But solar energy gives you stability and a guarantee.

A solar energy system can help you insulate yourself against these price increments and fluctuations.

With solar panels installed at your home, you are free from all sorts of frustrations. Whether they increase the prices or make it a rare luxury available to only a few, you don’t care because you have your very own solar panel system that provides you with tremendous energy benefits.

A solar system might seem expensive at first, but over the course of 5 years, solar electricity becomes much cheaper and profitable than conventional grid electricity.

Currently, solar panels are the cheapest of all time.

Incredibly, from 2006 to 2014, worldwide average solar panel module prices have reduced over 75% from $3.25 per watt to about $.72 per watt.

The total price of a complete residential solar panel system has dropped roughly 45% since 2010, primarily because of new, widely available financing and leasing options.

Do solar panels require lots of maintenance?

Before anything else, let me share with you my personal experience. I have solar panels installed at my own home for the last five years. The panels have never required any sort of maintenance over these five years.

The Solar system is amazingly durable and needs little to no maintenance over its productive lifespan, which is around 25 years or more.

If something does go wrong, your solar installer will be available there. Professional solar panel installers provide long warranties for your solar PV system components that cover replacement and repair costs.

That is, again, why you should choose a professional installer for your home solar panel installation.

What is the best time to install solar panels at your home?

Waiting for solar panels to get cheaper in the future is a bad idea.

The best time to install solar panels is NOW! Here are the top three reasons why you should install solar panels right away:

  • Electricity prices are increasing more rapidly than the rate at which solar panel prices are decreasing. So while you are waiting for solar panels to get cheaper, electricity bills will hold you back by 2x.
  • Government policies and the atmosphere for solar panels is also quite welcoming right now. The majority of people are making the most out of these policies. So it’s better to act quickly while the advantages remain.
  • A solar-powered house is a proven method to 10x the value of your home. So if you ever want to sell your house in the near future, you’ll be losing a big chunk of cash if solar panels are not installed at your home.

Here is what you should do now

So, are you ready to reap the rewards of this amazing technology? When the world is making most of it, we don’t want you to be left behind. So, the first step you can take is to request a solar panel quote; second, sign up for our free newsletter to never miss an update on all the exciting information and news about solar panels and our future offers.