Solar Panel Installation | Everything You Need To Know
Type of Solar Panels To Choose From:
Typically we've three major types of solar power systems for residential properties. They include:
These are the most popular home power systems. They consist of rooftop solar panels that generate DC power and inverters that will convert this power into AC power that can be used at home. During the day, the system produces excess power which flows to the grid and can be used at night.
The hybrid systems are similar to the grid-tied systems but they feature a battery that stores excess power generated by the solar panels. When the panels aren't generating any energy you can use this stored energy rather than drawing from the grid. The advantage of these systems is that you'll have a power backed up in case of a grid outage.
Off-grid solar systems
These systems are not linked to the public electric grid. This means your power needs are met via solar panels and batteries. In this case, you'll need more solar panels and energy storage to cater for your power usage. With these systems, you need more solar panels and energy storage making it an expensive option.
Solar Panel Installation Costs
When installing solar panels, you should also factor in the installation cost. This cost varies from one installer to another. KOG Roofing is fully certified by GAF to install residential solar panels.
The installation cost depends on several factors. The most important aspect is your power usage since it determines the size of the panels you should install.
The location will also determine the amount of power the system will generate and also the solar incentives available.
Depending on your location, the cost of installing solar power in your home ranges from $2.70 and $3.50 per watt of energy-generating potential.
An average home needs about 6.2kW, thus the total cost of installation comes to about $19,200. This cost can be lower if you're eligible for solar incentives, state or federal tax, or rebates.
Servicing and Maintenance of Solar Panels
With proper maintenance, solar panels can last for 25-30 years with some even lasting longer. The efficiency of these panels decreases by about 5% each year. If you monitor your power usage and increase efficiency in your home you might not notice these changes. According to NREL, a solar panel can still generate 90% of its original output in its 20th year.
The expiry of a solar panel warranty typically indicates the end of its lifetime. In simple terms, a solar panel can last forever or until its efficiency reaches zero.
If you want to get the best from your solar power systems, it's thus essential to implement routine servicing. This should be at least once a year. This ensures your system remains effective and safe.
Our service technicians will conduct a thorough systems check besides cleaning your unit. They also address any queries you may have regarding the system. They will assess your main inverter, roof, and switchboard. The duration of the servicing procedure will rely on the work that needs to be done on the system. Most of our servicing takes about 2 hours.
If your systems need additional work, we'll organize for a new quote and no unexpected charges on your invoice.
Normally solar panels need very little maintenance in their lifetime. The metal and silicon parts are designed to endure the scorching sun, falling hail, howling wind, snows, and debris for years. The panels are completely sealed making them weather-tight. The panels also come with warranties to guard you against material defects and guarantee energy production for over 25 years.
You can contact us for a free quote by filling out the available online form.
Choosing The Right Solar Panels For Your Home
After choosing to install a solar energy system, your installer will assist you to complete the relevant steps and permits. They'll also help you in determining the ideal size for your system by considering:
- Available light and the best location
- Systems efficiency
- The systems tilt and orientation
- Other electricity sources
The ideal installer will ensure the system is installed correctly and the orientation is best to maximize your daily and seasonal sunlight received. If you'll be connected to the grid, they'll also assist you to understand net metering and billing and any extra charges.
Solar Energy Installation Process
Typically, a solar installation in your home will include the following steps although this may vary from one company to another.
- Site inspection
- Documentation and permits
- Ordering equipment
- The actual installation
- Approval and interconnection
This process can take a month or two depending on the scope of your project and your installer. Permits and interconnection agreement may also affect the duration of the project. When the documentation is ready, your installer can take a day or two to install the system. At KOG Roofing, we can get the process done in a single day!
Questions You Need To Ask Before Installing Solar Panels
Are you planning to conduct a solar panel installation in your home? You must have many questions about how they work, how they reduce CO2, and how they can help you save money. Stick with me as we delve deeper into the topic and find the correct answers to these questions.
Can your roof support solar panels?
Before deciding to install solar panels, it's essential to determine if your roof can support these panels. If your roof is covered in shade for the better part of the day you may not have enough" solar window" to justify the cost of installing the panels. In such a case, you can consider the community or "share solar." This means you can purchase a stake in solar installation and get credits on your electricity bills.
Have you done everything you can to improve efficiency?
Panel efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight a panel converts to energy. You should, therefore, choose a panel that produces most power in the same space and access to sunlight.
You also need to consider the amount of solar power you need to generate. This can assist you to trim your usage before installing these panels. You should start with an energy audit and go for efficiency upgrades.
Which kind of solar makes sense?
Typically we've two main types of solar panels, the silicon solar panels (divided into polycrystalline and monocrystalline) and the thin-film solar panels. We also have hybrid technologies but they are yet in the research and development stage. The monocrystalline and polycrystalline are similar although the latter are larger in terms of wattage. The thin-film panels are the largest.
Which technology is suitable for me?
You can either install the Solar PV or Solar Thermal technology depending on your needs. For example, if your main aim is to run electrical or electronic equipment such as fans, lights, TVs, computers, etc., then you should install solar PV. On the other hand, if you need a solution for water heating kitchens, swimming pools or bathrooms, solar thermal technology is better.
Investigate Your Home's Energy Efficiency
Understand Available Financing and Incentives
If you plan to install small solar energy systems in your home, you can benefit from a federal tax credit. In 2019 it was 30%, in 2020 it will decrease to 26% and a further 22% by 2021. This tax credit will expire in December 2021.
This credit is only for those installing their own solar energy system. If you go for a power-purchase agreement or solar lease, you'll not be eligible for this tax benefit.
You can also look for extra local, state, or utility incentives. This information is available on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
Additionally, you can explore the available solar financing options. In each case, your ideal choice will depend on a number of factors. You can get further information on the benefits and downsides of each option from the Clean Energy States Alliance Guide.
Some states provide solar tax credits; they include Massachusetts, Arizona, New York, South Carolina, and Montana among others.
On the other hand, solar rebates provide direct cashback on buying a solar system. The states offering solar rebates include Delaware, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Oregon, etc. these rebate programs have a maximum budget and will expire when it's attained.
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