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Debunking 5 Myths About Solar Panel

Rui Chen

Posted on July 27 2018

 

Solar energy is commonly known as a clean, green source of energy for decades. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is safe, environmentally-friendly and offers a great way to reduce the carbon footprint.

 

Besides these benefits to our nature, one of the valuable advantages for people is, you always get a great return if you invest in the solar power. According to Energysage, an energy consult office in America, the majority of the returns you receive from your solar panel system come from the savings, not the income. Considering tax policy in your state, the solar power system can deliver 20 to 35 percent more cash in your pocket. Secondly, historical trends suggest the cost of electricity will continue to rise. It makes the savings and returns from your solar system low risk and rises in value in the following years. Generally, a solar panel can work for 25+ years with minimal maintenance. With a series of well-known benefits, more people are investing in solar energy and install the solar panel on rooftops. However, some people are still in doubt whether to use it for some reasons. This post here lists the top 5 questions that concern people the most before installing the system.

 

Solar Panels in cloudy days

Solar panels on cloudy days. (via mnn.com)

Q1. Can solar panels work in Winter / snowy/cloudy days?

 

Yes. Solar panels work by absorbing the light from the sun and instantly converting it into heat or electricity. The technologies behind solar panels, even standard solar panels, allow them to work effectively and efficiently in most of the weather conditions. To our surprise, it was confirmed by the scientists that the hotter the solar panel is, the less power they will produce from the same amount of sunlight. Therefore, in fact, they are even more effective in cooler temperatures than warmer ones.

 

Of course, solar panels can produce power from limited daylight. You can expect around a third of their normal electricity output on cloudy days. The exact amount will vary depending on the density of the clouds, and may also vary depending on the type of solar panel. Some kinds of panels, like SunPower solar cells, are designed to capture a broader range of the solar spectrum and has better performance in cloudy days.

 

solar panel roof of a luxury house

solar panel roof of a luxury house.  (via Alison Potter)

 

Q2. Is solar energy too costly?

 

In 2017, IEA (International Energy Agency) pointed out that solar power will be the cheapest new energy resources within 25 years. Actually, the statement has a solid ground. By the end of 2017, the costs of high-efficiency solar panels (known as monocrystalline solar modules) were, on average, 45 cents per watt in America - it used to be 75 cents, fell 37% compared with the beginning of 2017.

 

Figures from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Reports reassured the result. Investments in solar panels from 2009 to 2017 in America are generally rising as they are becoming more affordable. Globally, it is actually cheaper to produce electricity from solar energy than it is from coal. Italy and German are the top countries with the highest ratio in using solar powers all around the world.

 

community solar panel share system

Saving money with community solar net.  (via Energysage)

 

Q3. What if my roof can not support solar panels?

 

If you rent your house or live in a multi-unit department, you can still get benefit from the solar power system. Instead of installing your own panels, have a look if the community you are living has shared or community solar. This approach lets many families buy a stake in a solar installation and receive a lower electricity bill.

 

Solar panels can stand more than 25 years. If there has been a long time your roof hasn’t been renovated, consider making this renovation before installing solar panels. Therefore, you won’t have to pay in extra time&money to disconnect your panels during the roof renovation.

 

Solar panel installation

Solar panel installation. (via Electricchoice)

 

 

Q4. Is Installing solar panels complicated and requires a lot of maintenance?

 

Actually, solar panel installation is relatively straightforward as long as you cooperate with a reliable manufacturer. We highly recommend you not to DIY, since it can be dangerous with high-voltage wiring involved, and you have to deal with regulation and permits application. Go to professional installers.

 

Once you installed the system successfully, maintenance is always easy. Solar panels are constructed in a way that allows them to withstand harsh weather, including hail, sleet, and snow. The solar panels would just need to be cleaned to remove any accumulated dust or debris or snow to keep panels out of the shade. Please do not use hard materials or soap when cleaning solar panels as they could cause damage. Soft rug and water are good for them. Depending on the type of panel you have, you might need to clean them weekly or monthly.

8 solar panels on the roof. (via Solar-Estimate)

Q5. How many solar panels do I need for my home?

 

The number of solar panels a home needs depends on the amount of the electricity use you are trying to replace and the climatic conditions where you live.

The reason why the weather is important is that it will determine the amount of energy generated by each solar panel that you install. Sunnier areas always produce more electricity per kW of solar panels installed than areas like the northeast, like New York, where it is cloudy much more often. Take California as an example, according to SolarRivews, an average household in California will need 12, 72 cell panels to cover the 547 kWh of electricity they use monthly.

 

To sum up, solar energy systems are good for both environment and investment. And people will benefit from them in the following 25 years at least. Since setting a solar system includes the panels, the power electronics, the mounting hardware, and the manual installation itself, which are not as simple as adding a smart plug in your bedroom, it has to be a serious decision for every family.

suaoki 60w solar panelsuaoki 60w solar panel
SUAOKI 60W Portable Solar Panel

 

If you have never tried the solar energy before, it might be a better choice to get a portable solar panel first to see how it works and understand how effective it is with the climate condition in your city. You can choose 60W or 100W foldable solar panels with USB cables at SUAOKI. Or you can have a try with a pocket-sized 7W solar charger with a 22% high conversion.

 

Do you have a solar panel system roof already or are you going to install one in the nearly future? Share your ideas with us!

 

If you want to learn more about solar panels, read our post here "Solar Energy: How do Solar Panels Work?"

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