Tips For Choosing Solar Panels

Thinking about utilizing solar energy as a way of greening your life and lightening your environmental footprint? When choosing panels for your solar power system, there are a number of factors price considering.


The cost of a solar panel is decided partly by the size (in Watts), the physical measurement, the model, the durability / longevity (or warranty interval) and any certifications the solar panel might have. Choosing a solar panel on worth alone will not be smart, as it could not fit the realm you wish to set up it, might not have the required certifications to qualify for government rebates, or could not have the warranty required for economic payback of the power produced.

Durability / Longevity / Warranty

The durability or longevity of a solar panel is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, if the solar panel only has a ten 12 months warranty and it is utilized in a grid connect system you’d expect the solar panel to produce enough power to pay for itself within 10 years.

Additionally, if the panel is to be used in a critical system you should not risk installing solar panels that are not as robust because the others. Reputable solar panels can have warranty a period of 25 years.

Solar Panel Measurement and Wattage

The size of the solar panel in Watts will directly have an effect on the worth, as solar panels are often priced (and compared) in dollars per Watt.

Watts are related to the output of each panel; that means a 100 Watt panel under ultimate conditions will generate 100 Watts of electricity each hour and a 200 Watt panel will generate 200 Watts each hour. Subsequently expect to pay double value for the 200 Watt panel, compared to the 100 Watt panel.

The output of a panel additionally impacts the physical dimension of the panel, meaning the 200Watt panel will be bigger in size to the a hundred Watt panel.

The type of solar cells used in its production also determines the size of the solar panel. They key subject to consider is that your system total has enough Watts to power your appliances, and that the solar panels will physically fit in the space you wish to set up them.

Solar Panel Efficiency

There’s a lot debate about effectivity in solar panels, i.e. how effective the panel is in converting sunlight to electricity; however the key point to remember is that a one hundred watt solar panel will produce a hundred watts; regardless of its efficiency ratings.

Solar Cell Type

There are 3 fundamental types of solar cells.

Mono-crystalline silicon

Probably the most environment friendly and produces the smallest solar cells, and therefore the smallest panels.

Poly-crystalline (or multi-crystalline) silicon

Produces the next best type of cells, however equal wattage panels are bigger than their monocrystalline counterparts

Amorphous (or thin-film) silicon

Makes use of the least amount of silicon and likewise produces the least efficient solar cells. This means thin film system take up more area than the other , but it has the advantage of providing flexible panels that can be used on curved or irregular surfaces not suited to stable panels.

Solar Panel Suitability

Mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline work very well in vibrant cool conditions, whereas amorphous (thin-film) silicon will likely be more efficient at higher temperatures.

We generally recommend monocrystalline or multi-crystalline for large unshaded roofs, and amorphous panels for roofs with partial shading.

Regardless of the technology at present in use, a solar panel in full shade will only generate a small fraction of its rated capacity; so the “shade tolerant” options you may even see advertised will be somewhat misleading.

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