Residential Solar Panels – How to Choose

September 7th, 2010

As our economy faces increasing problems, many people are becoming more and more interested in installing residential solar panels.

Solar panels can save you a lot of money on your monthly energy costs, and you can also sell excess power to the national grid.

But if you decide to buy panels for your home, what should you look out for? What things should you consider? And how can you make the most of your investment?

Types of Solar Panel

There are currently three types of solar panel available: portable, residential and commercial. Portable panels, as the name suggest, generate low voltage for handheld gadgets.

These can either be rollable solar chargers, foldable panels or thin-film panels. Whichever, the goal is to provide a simple, portable source of green energy.

Of course, residential and commercial panels are much larger and created using one of three methods: crystalline silicon, thin-film (like some portable panels) or string-ribbon technology.

These larger panels will need to be equipped with inverters, which are required to transform a direct current into an alternating current.

Which Brand Should You Choose?

There are, of course, a large number of solar panel brands. These companies may provide technical advice and installation assistance. In addition, maintenance, parts and labor may be covered by a larger company.

However, it is advisable to shop around, because you may find a less expensive option elsewhere. Particularly if you are confident in your DIY abilities, it is perhaps worth considering a smaller company that provides solar panels at a cheaper price, because it does not have all the bells and whistles.

However, regardless of the brand you choose, it is advisable to check the warranty before you purchase. Some panels will have a longer warranty than others, so it is a good idea to do your homework.

The Size of Your Solar Power System

Obviously, the size of your system will depend greatly on your individual power needs. You will need to take into account your average rate of power consumption and the hours of sun your location is likely to receive.

It is possible to get help and advice on establishing the best size for your solar system. There are some websites that offer hints and tips or you could call one of the leading solar panel brands.

Similar, at this point, it is a good idea to consider your budget. Depending on your circumstances, it may be prudent to install as many panels as is required to fulfill your entire household power needs.

Alternatively, the process can be done in stages, allowing you to spread the cost over several years.

When buying residential solar panels, it is advisable to keep the above in mind. However, of course, there will be many other considerations which vary from one household to another.

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