A Beginners Guide to Choosing The Right Solar Panels – Nomadic Lifestyle  Magazine

What do you need to know before installing a solar panel system for your home?  Since solar panels have been on the increase in demand by homeowners who are worried about the ever-increasing electricity costs, there has also been a rise in the manufacturing of solar panels and their components.  Here’s a guide on how to choose solar panels that are best for your home:

Know the size of the solar panel system that you need

Before you determine the size of the solar panel system, you need to determine how much electricity you use, and when you use it.  One way to know your electrical usage is to consult your past 2 or 3 energy bills.

A typical home uses 20 kWh of energy a day so a 5 kW solar panel system will be sufficient to meet the daytime needs of that home.

The number of solar panels you will need

Keep these factors in mind while you determine how many solar panels you will need:

  • The power output of your whole solar system is more important than the size or number of panels you will be using
  • The higher the nominal power of each solar panel, the fewer panels you will be needing
  • If you have plenty of roof space, it is more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency and install more of them.
  • Solar panels vary in length, width, and power output.

The Cost of Solar Panels

Compare prices for whole solar power systems and not just individual panels.  The cost of each panel depends on these features:

  • Size (in watts)
  • Physical size (length and width)
  • Brand
  • Quality of materials
  • Durability or warranty period
  • Certifications of the solar panel

It is crucial to keep in mind that the cheapest option will not always be the most efficient or the best although the cost of solar panels is dropping across the nation.

Decide how much you are willing to spend beforehand so that you will not end up overspending.  Shop around at several solar panel companies so that you will be able to compare deals before purchasing the system that will give you the best value for money.

Comparing Quality Solar Equipment

All solar equipment including panels, its components, inverters, and batteries have specifications to help you understand their performance, quality, and durability.  It is not easy to compare one item or equipment to another to end up with the best solar panel system.

According to the classification of EnergySage which incorporates technical specifications for solar panels, inverters, and batteries to compare their performance, durability, warranty, and overall quality, excellent solar equipment should have these features:

  • Solar panels produce more electricity over a small area and last longer than other panels. These panels come at a premium price.
  • Inverters are very efficient at converting DC to AC electricity, operating across a wide range of voltages, with above-average warranties
  • Batteries are very efficient at storing larger amounts of electricity and can maintain the high performance for many years.

Do not purchase solar equipment that is listed as Unrated because their technical specifications do not include information necessary for the rating system.

Here is a partial list of leading solar equipment brands:

  • Amerisolar
  • Axitec
  • Canadian Solar
  • Centrosolar
  • CSUN-China Sunergy
  • Green Brilliance
  • Hyundai
  • Itek
  • JA Solar
  • JinkoSolar
  • Kyocera
  • LG

Criteria for Selecting a Solar Panel

A few parameters that would help you evaluate a solar panel include production, durability, and manufacturer quality.

You should know how much power your panel will be able to produce and the warranties and assurances that the manufacturer offers on their solar equipment.

Look for panels that meet the IEC 61215, a reliability standard that uses an accelerated outdoor stress test for solar panels to ensure their durability.

Choose Premium Panels for Premium Performance

Only you know what solar panel system is best for your home.  If you want premium performance from your system, you should be willing to pay a higher price tag.

However, when you consider the guide on how to choose solar panels that meet your needs, you should also consider the cost of the panel and your budget.

Keep in mind that a solar panel system is a long-term investment so make a good purchase taking into account the important factors.