It is important to discuss the pros and cons of any investment and this article may help clarify potential problems with installing solar panels to power your home or business. Many current issues with solar panel installations can be overcome with a little planning and this article may help.
The largest complaints with solar panels are:
- size and aesthetics – to power an average home will require almost your entire south facing roof to be covered in solar panels. Your shingle or tile roof will then be covered.
- no south facing roof – if you do not have a south facing roof the side of roof you install the panels on will not generate as much power. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west, but to capture most of the sun during “solar” hours requires the panels to be angled, facing mostly south.
- price – it should be noted that the cost of solar panels are going down each year, but it is still an investment. For 2017 the cost is around the $3 ish per watt. A 5K system would then cost $15K. Remember though, the rest of 2017 and 2018 there is still a 30% tax credit given by the IRS! 30% Tax Credit for Solar Panels
- solar power generation is not always reliable and consistent. Depending on your geographical location will dictate your solar potential. In general, locations closer to the equator are better at generating solar energy. Cloud cover is also a factor and can minimize the solar potential by up to 90%. No solar power is generated when dark.
- batteries – lead acid batteries are used for storing energy to be used later for electricity use and can be harmful to the environment, especially children and marine life. This impact can be minimized with proper handling and disposal of batteries. Also, it is typically cheaper to sell unused electricity to your utility company and receive a credit during non-solar hours then storing it all using batteries. Batteries are seeing significant technological advances, however, so this option is worth keeping tabs on.
- roof maintenance – since solar panels are typically installed on the roof of a residential structure, roof maintenance can be problematic. Best advice – repair or replace your roof BEFORE you install solar panels if required.
- deterioration of panels – the panels you install on your roof are subject to all the elements. Snow, wind, rain, hail and simply the exposure to sun can cause panels to deteriorate over time. When you receive your free quote make sure that you inquire about the warranty. Typically, a 15 year warranty is offered and that easily is enough time to see a significant return on investment.