The benefits of solar power are not unheard of. We all know how installing solar panels in our homes helps us in more ways than one. First and foremost, the most enticing benefit of setting up a solar panel, in order to tap sun’s light and heat energy for multiple purposes, is that it helps you save your hard-earned money by cutting down on your monthly electricity consumption significantly. Solar energy is, needless to say, renewable and replenish able; as long as the sun continues to rise, you can harness its energy to avail benefits such as getting warm water and producing electricity to power a hoard of your electronic and electrical devices. The utilization of the sun’s energy releases no harmful substances into the environment. The importance of solar panels can be understood from the fact that they are heavily dependable and do not require replacement of parts even with the passage of time. The cells in the solar panels produce energy almost noiselessly. Different types of solar panels are available for those interested in going solar. If you want to buy solar panels online or from any solar leader, just keep in mind the following points prior to making any investment:
- Optimize Your Energy Utilization
Before you decide to go the solar way, try to optimize your energy consumption and eliminate any lighting that consumes more energy than it ought to. For instance, LEDs are taking over the entire lighting market because of their high energy efficiency, incomparably long life, high durability and intensity adjustment capability. Changing all your incandescent bulbs and switching over to LED bulbs and lights can save a great deal of your energy consumption—they might seem to be an expensive investment in the beginning, but with the passage of time, their cost overpowers the money spent in their installation. It is always best to switch to solar only once you have the optimum lighting to complement solar energy’s effectiveness.
- Check the Space Available for Panel Installation
You must have the right amount of space in your home to have the solar panel set up and installed properly. Solar panels must ideally be installed facing South, East or West; this is because, it is only under these configurations that they are able to get sunlight all through the day. Depending on how much space you have, you could go for either a regular 250 watt peak to 300 watt peak solar panel for large scale installations or a 74 watt peak to 100 watt peak solar panel for anywhere between medium to large scale installations. Even the design of the solar panel has a role to play in deciding how much space is required for the solar-panel installation.
- Monitor Your Electricity Consumption
Solar panels allow you to choose which outlets you want to power. You can choose the combination of outlets that you want to operate using one particular solar panel—from all the fans or lights in the house to just the entire bathroom, the bedroom or the kitchen. Monitor your electricity consumption and see which all appliances are used the most all through the month. If you use a microwave for your cooking and heating purposes in your 2BHK apartment, then you are very likely to consume around 15,000 watts of power on a daily basis. A solar cell, on an average, provides approximately 0.5 volts and en entire solar panel is made up of anywhere between 36 and 72 solar cells. This can help you estimate which panel and how many panels would meet your total electricity consumption per day.
- Estimate the Installation Cost
Solar power can reduce your electricity consumption and, hence, effectively, the money you will shell out for paying your electricity bill at the end of every month, in the long run; despite that, the initial investment and installation of the solar panel can seem to be a little too gruelling. Set aside an amount that you are willing to comfortably spend in the initial set up and installation. Look for solar panels and accessories only within that range so as to narrow down your search. Typically, the cost may vary from around Rs. 40,000 to as high as Rs. 6,00,000.
- Service & Maintenance Aspects
A solar setup usually consists of three basic components—namely, the solar panel, the charge controller and the inverter or the battery. The solar panel, under normal circumstances, lives for as long as 25 years. In addition to that, because they have no moving parts or electronics whatsoever, they require negligible or no maintenance all through their lives. As long as you purchase the solar set up from a reputed manufacturer or supplier, you will have to spend next to nothing for the servicing and maintenance. Prefer buying a solar set up that is secured under a warranty period to buying one that isn’t.
- Estimate the Solar Power That You’ll Receive
The amount of solar power produced by your solar set up depends on a number of other physical factors apart from just the capacity of the cells in your solar panel. The angle of the roof the solar panel will be installed on, the number of trees surrounding the roof, size of the roof, latitudinal position and orientation are a few other factors that decide how much power is actually generated by your solar power system. As a matter of fact, the same solar system is capable of producing comparably different powers in different homes having different set ups altogether.
- Decide on the Type of Solar Panel
Solar panels are broadly categorized as monocrystalline solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels. The former type of solar panel has a blackish tinge to it; the latter has an overall bluish hue to it and the shades of blue differ from cell to cell. It is falsely considered that monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline ones. In reality, every solar panel has to be examined in particular for its efficiency.
- Install Securely & Appropriately
Solar panels must only be set up by trained professionals who actually know how to go about the actual step-by-step installation. After having invested a handsome amount of your money on the solar set up, you wouldn’t really want to have it damaged or not function as it ideally ought to under normal circumstances.
- Exposure to Sun
Solar panels should be placed facing South, East or West in order for them to get the maximum exposure to sun all through the day. However a great deal of energy production is also dependent on the placement and arrangement of the solar panels with respect to the orientation of your home. The best would be to have a professional solar installer assess the shading patterns on your roof and determine what position and arrangement would be the best to make the most of your newly-purchased solar set up.
Some leading manufacturers of polycrystalline solar panels are Waaree, Alpex, Vam Solar, Tata P V Module, Navaid Solar, Akshaya Solar, ELECSSOL and Su-kam, to name a few. Moserbaer is renowned for its premium quality monocrystalline solar panels.