Solar energy is an inexpensive and clean source of energy. The rates of electricity are increasing vigorously. The grid energy is taken from such sources that are causing high pollution and global warming. Those sources mostly use fossil fuels which are non-renewable resources. On the other hand, solar energy is produced from sunlight, which is a renewable source of energy. It is a clean and cheap source of energy. The solar systems do not require any type of wear or tear due to no moving parts.
This blog is surely for you if you are looking to buy a solar system for your home. You will get a complete guide to buying the best solar panel for your home. Here are some main steps that you must follow while selecting a solar panel for your home.
Feasibility means whether you are fulfilling the requirements of the solar system or not. Solar systems mostly require only two main things.
- Space for solar panels
- Proper sunlight
The space you need for the installation of solar panels depends upon your requirement for energy and the size of the solar panels being installed. Most houses have a big roof which is the best place for solar panels. Some houses have a big lawn. You can install solar panels there, but the roof is the better option. However, you must calculate the required space before selecting solar panels.
Sunlight is mostly available in all areas of the world. You can derive the benefits from solar panels almost anywhere in the world. The efficiency of solar panels can vary from area to area depending upon different factors.
Which type of system should I choose?
Three types of solar systems are available in the market for homes:
- Off-Grid system
- On-Grid/Net-metering system
- Hybrid system
This setup uses an inverter to connect solar panels to a battery. In addition to charging the battery, this technology delivers direct electricity during the day. Because it has batteries connected, you can still obtain electricity in the event of a power outage. This solar panel system requires bigger batteries because you are not using grid electricity. Its cost is often greater because of the bigger batteries. This system has no connection with the grid.
Net-metering is a policy under which you can deliver the extra solar energy back to the grid. You will use the grid energy when the solar system is not producing energy. While in the daytime, the solar system will produce extra energy and send it to the grid. You will be given a credit on the bill as per the company’s policy. Your electricity bill will be reduced because sent back the units you used at night. It is like taking a loan and returning it in the form of units. You will be charged only for the extra units you used.
However, this system does not include a battery a power backup. You may face an issue when there is an electricity cut-off due to any reason at night.
This is a very popular solar system and includes both net metering and batteries for power backups. In this system, solar panels provide power to your house. The extra energy produced is used to recharge the batteries. After recharging the batteries, extra energy is sent to the grid.
You can either use the grid electricity at night or the batteries recharged during the daytime. You have no worries about backup in this solar system. This system is expensive due to the involvement of batteries. But this is a most beneficial system as well.
You should wisely choose among the above-mentioned options. Consider the needs of energy, rates of grid electricity, and availability of net-metering and select the best solar system for you.
The capacity of the solar system:
Most people are confused about this factor. They cannot calculate their average daily usage of electricity in kilowatts (kW). The average daily use of energy in kW is the main factor affecting the capacity of the solar system you should buy for your home. Let’s calculate your average daily consumption of energy.
Collect the electricity bills for the last 12 months and add the electricity units consumed each month. Divide the number by 12 to get the average monthly consumption in kilowatts (kW). Now further divide the average monthly consumption by 30 to get the daily average consumption of energy in kW. Now you can depend upon this number to select the capacity of the solar system. The following table is very helpful to decide the capacity of the solar system depending on your consumption.
Solar Batteries for energy backup:
Solar batteries are a necessary part of off-grid and hybrid solar systems. You must choose the capacity of the battery wisely as it is a very important factor. The capacity of batteries mainly depends upon the period of the outage of solar energy. You will need high-capacity batteries if you want a backup for a longer time. Manufacturers of installers can provide the best consultation for selecting the size (kW) of the batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most powerful of all the types of batteries available in the market. You can choose other batteries if you cannot afford lithium-ion batteries. Other options include gel batteries and dry batteries. These are also good options but lithium-ion batteries are exceptional. Talking about the voltage, 12V batteries are most suitable, however, you may need the other voltage depending on your solar system and requirements.
A solar inverter is another important part of the solar system. Generally, the capacity of the solar system and the capacity of the solar inverter are the same. It may change in a few exceptional cases.
The function of a solar inverter is pretty simple. It converts the direct current (DC) to alternative current (AC) which is used to run home appliances. You cannot use solar energy directly from the solar panels.
Types of solar panels (Cells):
There are the following types of solar panels depending upon the photovoltaic cells.
Concentrated PV Cell (CVP)
It is the Highest efficiency solar panel and the most expensive.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono-SI)
It is 2nd highest efficiency type of solar panel expensive as well.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels (p-Si)
It is 2nd lowest efficiency and easily affordable.
Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels (A-SI)
It is the Lowest efficient and very cheap type of solar panel.
Size of solar panels:
Different types of solar panels are available. Generally, larger solar panels produce more energy than smaller panels. In some cases, the size of solar panels does not affect the production of energy, smaller panels produce the same energy as larger panels. You must carefully select the size and capacity of solar panels as per the space available and the needs of energy.
Quality of solar panels:
There are different qualities of solar systems in the market due to high competition in the solar industry. You will find different qualities of all the components of solar systems such as solar panels, solar batteries, inverters, etc. You must choose a well-trusted brand that provides more warranty than other brands.
Chinese solar panels are also available in different qualities such as B, B+, A, and A+. You must choose A or A+ if you want a Chinese solar system for your home. Other brands have better quality but are expensive too.
The direction of solar panels:
Solar panels are mostly installed towards the south. But it is not a compact rule. The installers of any area know better about the direction of solar panels that can give maximum energy output. The solar panels are generally installed at an angle to catch maximum solar energy from the sunlight. You can leave it up to the installer to select the best direction and angle of the solar panels.
Ready-made and custom-made frames:
The framework or frame on which the solar panels will be installed is a key factor to take into account. There are two choices: ready-made products and customized products. Many people choose the second choice since they may pick the frame’s quality and have it carefully tailored to the available area. Custom-made frames allow full usage of space and enhance productivity. However, these are more expensive than ready-made frames.
The use of solar panel systems is rising in Pakistan for several reasons. Only wealthy and influential people have solar panels on their roofs a few years ago; now, even those in the middle class are choosing to use them. Before purchasing solar panels for their home, everyone has to be aware of a few key points. A new buyer who hot familiar with solar panels’ variety and specifications, can get a complete guide from this article. Read it carefully and keep in mind all the components and their specifications while making the final decision on the solar system.