Welcome to class! Today we’re going to cover some basics about solar panels and solar energy systems — how they work, their benefits, and how you can decide if they are right for you. Pay close attention, because there WILL be a quiz at the end of class.
What are solar panels, anyway?
Solar photovoltaic systems have been around for a long time. First invented in 1954 by scientists at Bell Labs, solar panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. The DC energy then runs through an inverter to convert it to alternating current (AC)—what most homes and businesses use.
While it was space-age technology in the 50s (Bell labs used solar cells for space activities!), today, solar panels are definitely mainstream. They have been installed on over one million homes in the U.S.
Solar photovoltaic panels are made of tempered glass and are highly durable. They don’t need to be washed or cleaned and can withstand hail, snow, rain, and high winds. In fact, solar panels are manufactured to withstand even golf-ball size hail!
In it for the long-haul
Solar power systems can produce electricity for 25 or more years. Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 25-year power performance warranty guaranteeing that their solar panels will continue to generate electricity at a certain capacity for the warranty’s duration.
Even better, solar power systems are practically maintenance-free. They are constantly monitored and in the rare event that a component does fail, manufacturers also offer product warranties.
What’s more, since most residential systems are installed on the roof, they can even extend the life of your roof by protecting it from daily wear and tear.
Solar Panel Placement Location
Solar panels can be installed almost anywhere in the United States. Most states get enough sunlight to produce sufficient electricity from solar panels. Colorado is one of the sunniest states in the country with more than 300 days of sun a year—perfect for solar production.
Solar photovoltaic panels can be installed on the roof of your home or commercial property, on the ground or on a solar canopy—practically anywhere that receives direct sunshine for most of the day and is not shaded by trees or buildings.
Panels that face the south will produce the most electricity, but they can also face east or west. A solar energy consultant can tell you if your property is right for solar power.
A smart investment
Solar panel systems are a great way for you to save money, no matter what your budget is. If you can afford to pay your electricity bill every month, you can afford to install a solar panel system. With a $0-down solar loan, you can finance your system and see immediate savings.
With the right planning, your solar panels can generate enough electricity to meet your needs over a 12-month period. As long as you have enough roof space to install the right size solar panel system, the power that your panels will produce will effectively eliminate most of your electricity bill.
What’s more, when you install a solar energy system on your property, you remain connected to the electricity grid. At times when your system produces more electricity than you use, you receive credit for the electricity you send to the grid.
In addition, studies have shown that solar panels increase your home’s value by nearly $17,000—that’s about 3.73% more than homes without solar systems.
The time is now for Solar
Investing in a solar panel system can deliver better returns than stocks and bonds – and now is the right time to go solar and make that investment. While solar photovoltaic technology is improving incrementally each year, financial incentives and rebates will decrease as solar becomes more popular.
For instance, the popular federal tax credit is in the process of being phased out and will be discontinued for homeowners completely in 2020.
Solar Panel Pop Quiz!
Are these statements true or false?
- Solar panels have been around for a long time. TRUE!
- Panels are delicate and hard to maintain. FALSE!
- A solar system will last for 25 years or more. TRUE!
- You can install solar panels anywhere there’s direct sunlight. TRUE!
- Solar panels decrease your home’s value FALSE!
Ready for Solar 102? Contact us at Steel City Solar or call us at (719) 569-5166 to set up a free, in-home consultation with one of our solar energy consultants. We’d love to help you continue your solar education and find a solar energy system that’s right for you.