Advantages of Solar Energy
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Solar energy is renewable, sustainable and plentiful. As the cost of solar panels goes down every year, more homeowners are going to solar energy.
Lower monthly bills and financial returns on your energy bills are some of the main reasons to go solar. How much savings you will see depends on the following:
- Solar energy system size
- Electricity consumption
- Are you purchasing or leasing your system
- Angle and size of roof
- Direct hours of daily sunlight
- Local electricity rates
A solar energy system provides an opportunity for anyone who wants to reduce their monthly energy bill and make a low-risk and long-term investment.
Increased Home Value
Like a renovated kitchen or addition to a home adding solar panels are viewed as upgrads, so purchasing a solar power system that will most likelty increase your homes value. A study showed that homeowners pay more for a home with solar panels installed; A study done by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show that on average, a solar energy system increased the value of a home as much as $15,000. Although there are different factors such as system size and electricity rates that may have an impact on the size of premium, solar homes can sell for more and faster than homes without solar PV.
The solar resource of the United States is huge. Just one hour of noontime during the summer sun is equivalent to one year of U.S. electricity demand. Most states have good to excellent sun exposure. This includes places with low sun exposure, such as Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. They can benefit from savings.
Each Kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar energy generated will greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2, other threatening pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and particulate matter. Solar also reduces water withdrawal and consumption.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Although there are many great advantages to solar energy, people should also consider the disadvantages of solar energy before committing to it. Here are some disadvantages:
1. It’s Not Always Reliable
If the sun isn’t shining or it’s a cloudy day there is no generation of energy. This is mostly during the winter months and at night. An easy solution is to invest in a battery backup system, which will store energy and can be used at any time. However, adding a backup battery can add cost to your overall solar project.
2. Issues with Moving
Solar panels will present an issue if you are looking to move. If you decide to lease, the solar company will need to switch the lease agreement to the new homeowner if you want to move out. If you purchased your solar panels and still own money, you can transfer it to the new owners and they can take over the payments.
3. Installation Area
For some homeowners, a solar power installation may not need a lot of roofing space and it can be installed on rooftops that can produce enough energy for our home. However, there are some roofs that are too small or have a lot of shading and this can affect your production.
What Are Solar Panels Made Of
The black solar panels that are installed on homes are made out of a bunch of solar cells also called photovoltaic cells. They contain silicon semiconductors that soak up the sun rays and create electric current. The cells are connected together to make one solar panel.
To get more technical, you can individually take each of the structure of the solar cells. They are made of two semiconductors: a positive and a negative silicone layer.
In contrast, the positive type layer has electron vacancies that are referred to as holes, while the negative type layer has extra electrons that can move around freely. By combining the layers, electrons move from the negative type of atom to the positive type of atom, which creates an electric potential in the material. When sunlight strikes this junction, the photon can knock an electron loose and leave a hole. Free electrons begin to accumulate at the pole as more electrons fill the newly created holes. After the electrons are collected, they flow through a conductor, producing an electric current.
Why Use Silicon
In 1954, Bell Labs patented the world’s first modern solar cell as a result of building on Ohl’s discovery.
According to a 1954 New York Times article, solar cells would ultimately enable mankind to harness the almost limitless energy of the sun. Unlike their humble beginnings, photovoltaic (PV) cells are largely mass-produced and cut by laser these days.
The next piece of a solar energy system is the inverter. The solar cells collect the sun ray’s and turn them into direct current. Many homes however, use alternating current. Inverters change the direct current electricity from solar panels to usable Alternating electricity.
And the last piece is the mounting system, it keeps all of the solar panels secured on the roof. Normally, the best place to face solar panels is towards the south at a 30- or 45- degree angle. Fixed mounts will keep the solar panels in place, but you can choose track mounts that will “follow” the sun during the day, although these mounts are more expensive.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last
Solar panels are made to last more than 25 years. In fact some solar panels that were installed in the 1980s are still working. Not only are solar panels very reliable, but with advances in technology that panels have more longevity have increased even more. On top of longevity and effective performance, most quality solar manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty. Remember that expected solar panel life expectancy does not mean that your solar panels on your roof will not be producing electricity after two decades. It means that you will see a decrease in solar production by the standards of solar manufacturers, which would be considered optimal.
Do Solar Panel Degrade
Just like other technologies, solar panels will end up producing less over the years. This is called the degradation rate. On average, solar panels degradation rate is around 0.5%, which means that solar panel’s energy production will decrease at 0.5% per year .3. This means that after 20 years, your panels should still be working at 90% of their original output.
Highest Efficiency Solar Panels
One of the benefits of having solar panels is that they require little maintenance. Cleaning your solar panels can be done once every six months or more if you live in a very dusty area. Even though solar panels require little maintenance, it’s still a good idea to inspect your solar panels from time to time and monitor their performance every week. Here are some tips.
Tip 1. Keep your solar panels clear from debris or any other type of material that can damage your panels. Accumulation of pollen, leaves, bird droppings and dirt can greatly affect the efficiency of your solar panels. You want to clear any branches that might be causing any shade on your panels.
Tip 2. We suggest that you monitor your solar panels once a week. Performing a routine maintenance will keep your whole solar energy system such as solar panels and inverters. It’s also important to look at your energy bill to make sure there aren’t any changes in your electric bills or energy usage.
If your panels are not performing after rain or after being cleaned, or you see an unusual spike in your bill, it may be caused by an electrical issue that needs to be fixed by a professional.
Tip 3. Pick a trustworthy solar company. The best thing you can do to make sure your solar energy system lasts 25+ years is to hire a reputable solar contractor. Even though your system requires little maintenance, it’s good to have a professional help you with any warranties if you ever need it.
Best Solar Panels
You want to feel confident that you’re installing the best solar panels for your home. Fortunately there are many quality panels that can fit any budget and home. The following solar panels come with high efficiencies, competitive pricing and one of the best warranties.
For the past 5 decades, LG has been a leader in electronics, you can add their solar panel to the list. LG’s solar panels have been manufactured with some of the most tedious testing and research development.
Q Cells are considered to be one of the top solar panels that cover 12 year product warranty and 25 year linear performance guarantee. WHat’s the linear performance warranty? It guarantees that your Q Cells will produce 97% of the minimal rated power output in the first year of installation and a reduction of 0.6% p.a thereafter.
With over 40 years of research and development of silicon solar. Panasonic is one of the leaders since 1975. Many customers have come to trust the quality and dependability of their solar panels. They provide a 25 year power output and 15 year workmanship.
Solaria panels are known to deliver maximum energy production and come with an all black design that will compliment your home and architectural style. With 20% more energy per square meter compared to competitors, you can enjoy reliable and clean power all day. They are backed by a 25 year warranty.
REC Solar Panels
REC solar panels are becoming a leading innovator of solar PV. They produce various types of solar panels for residential and commercial jobs. REC is well known and internationally recognized. All REC solar panels come with a 25 year product warranty.
Solar Panel Tax Credit
What is a Tax Credit
A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of income tax you would own. For example, if you claim a $1,000 federal tax credit reduces your federal taxes due by $1,000. The federal tax credit is referred to as an Investment Tax Credit.
What is the Federal Tax Credit?
The federal residential solar energy credit is tax credit that can be claimed on your federal income taxes for a percentage of the total cost of your photovoltaic (PV) system. Other types of renewable energy are also eligible for credits such as battery storage.
The solar system must be in service during the tax year and generate electricity that is located anywhere in the United States. In December 2020, Congress passed an extension on the ITC, which provides a 26% tax credit if your solar system is installed in 2020-2022. Systems installed in 2023 the tax credit goes down to 22%. In 2024 the entire tax credit will expire, unless Congress decides to renew it. There is no maximum amount that can be claimed.
Eligibility To Claim the Federal Tax Credit
You can qualify for the tax if you meet the following guidelines:
Your solar pv energy system was installed between January 1, 2006 – December 31, 2023.
You own the PV system for example if you purchased it with cash or through financing. If you lease, you will not qualify for the tax credit.
The system is located at the primary or secondary residence in the U.S.
The PV system is new or being used for the very first time. The credit can be claimed on the “original installation” of the equipment.
It’s clear that solar technology works and adding a solar energy system makes sense. It helps homeowners to rely less on the electric grid and generate their own electricity. Sunline Energy can ensure that you can go solar with confidence.