What You Need to Know Before Going Solar
Solar power is a green energy source that harnesses sunlight to convert it into electricity. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including heating water, lighting, and cooling buildings.
A solar installation involves a number of steps, including obtaining permits and submitting paperwork. Luckily, Palmetto can help you navigate this process.
Before going solar, it’s important to estimate the cost. You’ll need to know your energy usage and what size system you want to install, so that you can get a quote for how much it will cost to run your home on solar power.
The price of a solar panel system will vary depending on the type of panels you choose, your location and your incentives. It also includes costs for permits and inspections, and the installer’s profit margin.
It’s possible to recoup your installation costs in the first few years of using the panels, so that your home’s electricity costs will be lower than without them. However, it will take longer to recoup the investment if your home is located in a place with low sun exposure or if you don’t use your home as much as others.
A good solar company will be able to provide you with an itemized list of all costs involved in the solar installation process, including permits, sales tax, utility fees and other charges. They should also include any available tax credits and incentives.
Solar panel efficiency is a measure of how much energy a solar system can produce. It is a key factor when considering the investment and payback of a solar installation.
There are two factors that determine a solar panel’s efficiency: photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency and total panel efficiency. PV cell efficiency comes from the type and design of the cells, while panel efficiency is based on the layout and configuration of the cells along with the overall size of the solar panel.
Solar panel efficiency degrades over time, as does the electricity produced. This is natural, as panels are exposed to the sun and other elements that can damage them over the course of a panel’s lifespan.
A solar installation company will help you figure out what type of panels are best for your roof. They’ll also order the equipment to get the job done.
The next step is to install the roof mounts that will hold the solar panels in place. This is a critical step as it will ensure that the panels are properly aligned and that the mountings are water-tight.
Once the roof mounts are in place, you can attach the racking rails to them. It’s important to follow your Racking Report, as it will specify the rail size and spacing that’s appropriate for your system.
After the racking is in place, you can start wiring your solar panels and the rest of your system. This is a crucial part of the solar installation process, and it requires a great deal of attention to detail to ensure that the wiring runs safely from your solar array to the inverter (for grid-tie systems) or charge controller (for battery-based systems).
Solar installations are usually done outdoors, which means it is important to have a plan for the weather. This will include ensuring employees are protected from sun exposure, heat or cold.
Debris, such as branches and leaves, left on the panels can diminish their efficiency by preventing sunlight from reaching them. This reduces the panel’s power generation and will lead to a loss in energy savings.
Snow and ice accumulation on solar panels can also affect their performance. This can result in under-cooling which can cause micro-cracks and decrease the panel’s output.
It is best to brush away snow and ice before it accumulates too much. Using lukewarm water can help remove the accumulation without damaging the panels.