The purchase of photovoltaic solar panels is the choice of 99% of people who decide to generate their own energy. Why? Simply because this technology is the one that has the best results and benefits in home environments.
Among the benefits, we can get to obtain a reduction of up to 95% in the electricity bill, stopping worrying about the future price of energy, in addition to sustainability with a green and clean energy source. If we add to this the continuous drop in the prices of photovoltaic panels and attractive lines of financing, the result is an increasingly accessible solution for the entire population.
In this article we gather the most essential information about the technology for those who are thinking of buying and installing their first solar panels.
Buying a solar panel: 5 things you should know.
1. How does it work?
Solar panels transform sunlight directly into electrical energy through a process known as the photovoltaic effect. This occurs within each of the solar cells that make up a panel, which can have 60 or 72 in the models currently sold on the market.
During the day, all the sunlight that reaches the plates is converted into energy, both direct and diffuse radiation, that is, light reflected by clouds. For this reason, even on cloudy or rainy days, the plates continue to generate energy, although in lesser amounts.
But the solar panel is only one of the pieces of equipment that make up a photovoltaic system, a technology used in the generation of solar energy in homes and businesses. A photovoltaic system uses a set of equipment, which we call a solar kit.
Once produced, the energy from the plates must pass through another important piece of equipment in the system: the solar inverter. The role of the inverter is to adapt the power of the plates to the standard used by our electrical network and electronic equipment. After being converted, the energy can already be distributed.
2. Solar Panel Installation.
In order for the solar panel to capture as much sunlight as possible, it must be installed in a suitable place, which is usually the roof of buildings. Another factor related to the amount of light reaching the solar panel is the direction and slope of the roof.
The ideal direction for solar installations in all the countries of the southern hemisphere, is the north, being the opposite in the countries of the boreal hemisphere. The ideal roof pitch angle should be the same as the latitude where the property is located, or less.
Thus, when necessary, the correction of the direction and angle of the solar panel is done through support structures. Similarly, if the roof is not suitable, support structures are used to install the panel directly on the ground.
Even if exposed to the elements on the roof, the solar panel has a standard lifespan of at least 25 years. Everything will depend on the quality of the panels. The loss of efficiency in the conversion of light into energy is minimal and the main manufacturers guarantee 80% of the generation at the end of this period.
In other words, a module, up to the 25th year of life, will generate at least 80% of the amount of energy it generated at the beginning. The photovoltaic inverter, which is the other great piece of equipment in the system, has a minimum useful life of 15 years.
4. Solar Panel Maintenance.
But do not think that these maintenance are too frequent. Despite working long hours every day, the PV systems require very little maintenance. The main one, which you can do yourself, is cleaning the solar modules.
But this is only in case they are very dirty, which is not frequent, since they have a non-stick film that prevents the accumulation of dirt. In the case of dust, rainwater takes it away.
However, in the case of contamination or bird droppings, cleaning is easy and only requires a jet of water and a soft bristle broom. In addition, electrical maintenance of the system is also required, but much less frequently. Once a year is enough to make sure the optimization of the system generation.
5. How to buy Solar Panels
The easiest and safest way to buy a solar panel is through a solar energy company. By choosing this path, all the steps, processes and documentation necessary for the installation of your project are under the responsibility of the company.
- Budget: Given the particular characteristics of your project, the company must carry out the sizing of the system and prepare the commercial proposal for your project. In addition to the final price of the system, the proposal also includes the models and brands of the equipment to be installed and the forms of payment / financing.
- Technical visit: Once the proposal is closed, the company’s technical team makes a visit to your home to collect the necessary information for the project and the installation of your system.
- Draft: Based on the information collected, the engineering team performs the executive design of your system using specific software that ensures maximum optimization of the system. This project is also sent to the distributor in your region to formalize the request for connection to the electricity grid.
- Installation: It is the fastest part of the whole process, between 3 and 4 days for a small home installation, when the team of solar panel installers goes to your house to execute the project. At this time, all equipment is installed, connected and tested, ensuring that the system is in perfect working order.
- Connection: After installation, a visit from the distributor’s technical team will arrive for the final inspection of the project. At the end of the inspection, if everything is correct, the connection of the system with the network ends. Now you can enjoy clean and economical energy in your home.
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