If you have decided to install some sort of solar energy in your home then you must already be aware of the advantages. Finding a source of clean, cheap energy is important for everyone now and solar is a great option. For a long time solar energy was seen as expensive and many people were reluctant to invest. However with improvements in technology, manufacture and a lower price, now is a great time to choose some solar panels for your home.
The first decision to make is which type of system to have. There are two options; solar heating and photovoltaic panels. Each has advantages and disadvantages and the decision will also depend on where you live and the amount you can afford to pay.
Solar heating panels, or solar collectors as they are also known convert solar radiation to heat. They do not require direct sunlight and can even operate in conditions with cloud cover. The system will be connected to your boiler so that in the day time the water is heated by the panels and then the boiler kicks in at night. This type of system is cheaper to buy and can cut energy bills for an average household by around fifteen percent. The main disadvantage of this system is the limited use as it cannot be used for heating the house.
The other option is panels with photovoltaic cells which can change sunlight into electricity. The space needed is larger than for solar heating panels and they need some direct sunlight. They are also more expensive but some of the cost can be met by Government grants. The panels are modular so it is possible to have some installed and the inner parts of the system and then add panels later. If you live in a place with a lot of sunlight there is a good chance that you will generate more power than you need. In this case you can sell the excess electricity to a power company. This type of system should save your household around thirty percent of electricity costs.
As with all technology, solar panels are changing regularly as new innovations are incorporated. One of the biggest advances has been in efficiency. Most panels are able to generate more heat or power from sunlight than before. For example, you could choose to install solar collectors with evacuated tubes which collect more heat. In addition if you live in a colder climate you could get insulated ones to stop heat loss.
Photovoltaic panels are now available with three different types of cell. Each new type has become more efficient at generating electricity. Monocrystalline cells are the most efficient with a rating of about fifteen to twenty percent efficiency. However they are of course the most expensive to manufacture and therefore buy.
When deciding which type of solar energy to have in your home you will need to consider the location as this may limit your choice. You should also think about how much hot water or electricity your household uses. The output for panels is given as a peak power rating calculated in a standardized test. It is best to research well and ask advice from professionals about exactly what to buy and what you can expect to get from it.
This is a good time to invest in solar energy for many reasons. There are lots of options available when choosing solar panels for your home so you should be prepared to spend some time considering and looking around before you decide.