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You open your next utility bill, and your heart drops. No matter how hard you try to cut your energy costs, it seems you can’t get your electricity bill much lower. The good news? It is possible to save on your energy costs by using a renewable energy source, such as solar energy.
Since 2008, United States solar energy installations have increased 35 times to almost 63 gigawatts today. And solar panels‘ costs have decreased by about half since 2014.
Further, in the last decade the solar industry had an average annual growth rate of 48%. That’s because more and more people are caring about the future of this planet and ensuring that we try to use renewable energies vs. forms of energy that are expensive and cannot be replaced. The growth of solar energy is also due to the Solar Investment Tax Credit the federal government offers to those who purchase and use solar products or energy sources.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit has decreased the cost of using solar energy and buying solar panels. Many times consumers begin by trying out solar energy and then start purchasing products that enhance their solar power experience. Read on to discover more information about the best solar panels you can buy.
You can also review how more people and businesses are now installing solar panels and why it makes a difference to all of us.
Best Solar Panels
Many consumers want to use solar panels, which they know will save them a lot their energy costs, but the upfront price you pay to purchase solar panels is not cheap. But if you were able to determine what the best solar panels were and the tax credits, and other financial incentives you’d qualify for by using solar panels, wouldn’t that make purchasing them a bit easier? The below informational guide on the top solar panels is an excellent place to start.
Before purchasing any solar panels, it’s essential to understand the solar panel efficiency measurements as that determines the amount of solar energy that is falling on any solar panel surface. It’s called the irradiation factor, and that’s what’s ultimately converted into electricity.
Today the average power rating for a standard size polar panel is around 320 watts. When you combine the irradiation factor, with the power rating and lower costs, you have a winning combination that allows you to have clean and renewable energy.
Best Solar Panels for the Home
Right now, there are more than 78 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity installed in over 14.5 million homes all over the nations. That means you contribute to the renewable energy cost savings on your electric bill with a renewable power source that lives on as long as the Earth circles the Sun. There are pros and cons in each of the solar panel companies that provide solar panel products and renewable energy sources, and the below list will give you a breakdown of each.
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panels
This solar panel provides you with optimum power for your on and off-grid applications. It can be used in your home, or you can use it for any mobile purposes. You can also take it with boating and get full use of its benefits.
It’s the monocrystalline solar cells that ensure its maximum output and ideal efficiency. You can charge your 12-volt battery with it, but you can also attach the solar panels to any off-grid energy system and use it. It even has pre-installed diodes in its junction box, which means the solar panels are user-friendly at home, on the road, or in the water.
The unique features of the Renogy are:
- Renogy has a 25-year power output with a five-year workmanship warranty.
- You never have to deal with corrosion as the Renogy has an anti-corrosion aluminum frame.
- The Renogy supports up to 600 DC (UL) as its maximum voltage system.
- You can use it for up to 500 Watt-hours
- The Renogy can be used with almost any off-grid and on-grid inverter, which makes it unique and user-friendly.
Sun Lux Energy
SunLux energy helps consumers by saving them money by determining the overall power usage needed for their properties, homes, and businesses. SunLux will handle all your paperwork and even help you with any site evaluations, installations, and maintenance of your solar system before and during its use.
They have one of the best 25-year comprehensive warranty in the solar panel business. It covers the physical components of the solar system, replacement parts, repairs, and maintenance. The Sun Lux Energy solar panel is monocrystalline that provides an 18.8% efficiency rate.
SunPower has one of the coolest designs of a solar panel ever manufactured. The design and function of SunPower’s solar panel work in residential, portable, and commercial buildings and properties. The Sun Power solar panel offers an attractive design wrapped up in a highly efficient solar cell.
SunPower offers the SunPower Signature Solar Panel, which provides an anti-reflective black roof panel that is lightweight and flexible and can be quickly mobilized if needed.
You have payment choices that offer you options like leasing, loans, or cash purchases for a discount. Also, SunPower will handle all of your paperwork, tax incentive applications, testing, monitoring, and maintenance.
What’s more, SunPower panels last up to 40 years, and it’s never been easier to sync your panels to your phone, so your efficiency rating can be reviewed in real-time.
Vivint Solar has some of the most innovative solar panels on the market. Strategically, they also offer a product line of solar batteries, powerful chargers, and smart home applications for their customers spread out over 22 states. They offer all homeowners residential solar panel finance options that include purchasing, loans, leases, and solar power purchase agreements, which are often called PPA.
Some customers combine their solar loan with a home equity loan, and by wrapping the two up together, they can achieve different financial and energy-saving goals and objectives. Vivint will provide all the maintenance you need and monitor your panels while offering their 25-year panel warranty.
Uniquely the 25-year warranty includes a partnership with LG Chem that provides you with 9.8 kWh batteries and has a warranty of ten years.
HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
The HQST 100 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline solar panel provides you with enhanced high transparency with anti-reflective glass that bypasses diodes, so you receive top-notch performance even if you’re in a low-light environment. This is such a user-friendly solar panel you can install this yourself.
Each panel has a lightweight construction that contains 36 polycrystalline solar cells, so you receive the maximum efficiency possible. The MC4 is the connection you need so you can charge your solar panel with a battery, and you can use a single group or many panels to help power up your home. As a final added benefit, the panels offer multi-layered sheets that are laminated and provide advanced encapsulation material to improve your cell performance continuously.
The added benefits include but aren’t limited to:
- You get a five-year workmanship and material warranty with a 25-year power output warranty.
- It will withstand snow and wind up to 5400 Pa with snow and 2400 Pa with the wind.
- It is so lightweight you can move it almost anywhere, coming in at around 16.5 pounds.
- It provides a high module conversion efficiency.
- It gives you pre-drilled holes so you can mount and hang at any of the mobile sites you need it.
WindyNation 100W Solar Panel
This solar panel is a superb back-up power source and can generate electricity for cabins, RV’s, Boats, and in other areas. You can increase the battery amps for this panel to charge a 12V battery when two or more of the solar panels are wired together in parallel. As a side benefit, you can charge a 24V or 48V battery and connect it to one panel in the series too. All in all, WindyNation is one of the most effortless panels to install and use.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the WindyNation also provides you with Grade A solar cells that are durable and offer heavy-duty anodized aluminum frames. The panels offer 300-600 Watt-hours of power per day and have a very high energy conversion rate. As if that wasn’t enough, you get Grade A solar cells with a 25-year power and five-year parts/labor warranty.
SunRun offers you purchase, lease, or loan solar panel systems. SunRun uses BrightPath satellite imagine software to deliver customized solar energy systems for their customers that meet their home or mobile needs. On average, the SunRun solar panel system increases efficiency and saves customers money on the front end when procuring the solar panels and on the back-end through energy savings.
SunRun offers a monitoring service that operates 24/7, which includes solar production. If something is amiss or goes wrong, the monitoring service team is alerted and sends a technician to fix it. In the past ten years, SunRun has increased its output to include 22 states with over 100,000 satisfied customers.
In addition, they also offer a lifetime warranty on their products. The SunRun panels are made of monocrystalline and have an efficiency rate of 20%.
Top-Rated Solar Panels For You
Now that you know some solar panel options, what is left to do is decide which one is best for your needs? Every solar panel needs to work with you and fit your needs. Solar panels already raise your property value, they lower greenhouse emissions and save you money.
By enjoying the benefits of renewable energy first hand with your solar panels, you become part of the future. After all, where else can you use renewable energy that adds value to your property but gives the world a cleaner and better tomorrow?
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn the solar basics
What are different types of solar panels?
There are different types of solar energy panels that almost all residential solar power is made up of, including crystalline silicon, thin-film, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline solar panels. It’s the purity of the crystalline that determines the solar panels’ efficiency rate.
Monocrystalline is a silicon solar panel that’s made of melted our silicon that’s cut into bars and wafers. It is an efficient solar panel, and you can tell what it is by its uniform dark color with rounded edges. Monocrystalline produces some of the highest solar power outputs possible with the least amount of panel space.
Polycrystalline is a solar panel that some people call multi-crystalline. They cost less than monocrystalline panels, mainly because they are easy to make. Since there are many crystals in each cell, the crystals have less freedom for electrons to move around, resulting in their lower efficiency rate.
The thin-film is the one you that’s layered onto glass, metal, or plastic most of the time. It’s a cheaper manufacturing process than the crystalline-bassed panels; hence they are effortless to mass-produce. But thin-film panels require a lot of space and don’t’ work that will in the residential areas, although any open space buildings situated in farms and fields do well with this type of solar paneling.
The concentrated PV cell is an efficient solar panel, but they are costly. That is why they are used in most of the satellites and research labs and rarely used in homes or buildings.
What are the benefits of solar energy?
Solar Energy is Clean
One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it is 100% clean. In other words, it decreases your reliance on fossil fuels, like natural gas, coal, and oil for the production of electricity.
The problem with fossil fuels is that they produce dangerous emissions that negatively impact soil, air, and water quality. Fossil fuels, which generate greenhouse gases, are also responsible for climate change.
In fact, thanks to climate change, about a million plant and animal species now face the risk of becoming extinct within decades due to global warming. This number is larger than it’s ever been before in history.
However, solar energy doesn’t produce any pollution. The abundant power of the sun provides a limitless energy source that doesn’t ruin the landscape and the ozone layer.
On top of this, you can access solar energy anywhere in the world, and every day. And the good news is that scientists predict that the sun won’t die for at least another five billion years. So, clearly, humankind will be able to take advantage of this renewable energy source for many years to come.
Solar Panels Generate Cost Savings
If you’re tired of rising home energy costs, solar panels offer the benefit of offsetting your energy bills year-round.
In fact, you can still even save money on a cloudy day, or in a cloudy climate. Why? Because the sun produces energy in both cloudy and clear skies.
The reality is, based on your electricity usage and your solar panels‘ sizes, position from the sun, and efficiency, your panels may end up generating more power than your household consumes. This means that your electric bill could very well reach zero each month.
That’s right. Zero.
Also, in certain areas, you might receive payments for the excess electricity your system generates from you utility company. Officials in your city should be able to explain the municipality’s solar energy guidelines to you.
Renewable Energy System Puts You in Control of Your Electricity
Households across the United States have unfortunately experienced longer-lasting and more frequent power outages during the past 15 years.
Because the current power grid is a century old and wasn’t built for the extreme weather and increased population we have today. The grid is in dire need of modernization to meet our plugged-in society’s increasing demands.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the grid to be modernized. Instead, you can add to your home a solar panel–powered battery unit that will store plenty of electricity for powering your residence.
A battery unit will help to power your home during your family’s peak energy usage hours. Also, you can use it during a blackout, rather than going through the hassle of using a diesel- or gas-powered backup generator.
All in all, installing solar panels is an excellent way to reclaim control of your family’s electricity and enjoy freedom from the power grid.
Solar Power Can Be Used in Diverse Ways
The fact that solar energy has diverse applications is one of its biggest benefits.
For instance, you can produce heat (thermal energy) or electricity (photovoltaics) with a solar power system. In addition, you can generate electricity in an area that cannot access the power grid.
Solar energy can also come in handy for distilling water in areas that don’t have much clean water. You can even use it to power a satellite in space.
Solar power can additionally be incorporated into building materials, like windows, to generate energy savings and thus monetary savings.
Solar Panels Feature Minimal Maintenance Costs
As a general rule of thumb, solar panel systems do not require much maintenance for a couple of reasons.
For one, they don’t come with moving parts. So, you don’t have to worry about them experiencing much wear and tear.
Second, many reputable manufacturers of solar panels offer warranties lasting between 20 and 25 years.
However, you’ll still need to follow a few maintenance steps to keep your panels in tip-top shape.
First, you’ll need to clean your solar panels about twice per year to keep them operating at their optimal levels.
Also, you will likely need to change the inverter after five to 10 years, as it works constantly to turn solar power into heat and electricity.
In addition, the cables will require maintenance to make sure that your system operates as efficiently as possible.
What are the downsides of solar panels?
Solar Panels Can Be Costly to Install
Yes, solar power systems are becoming increasingly affordable, resilient, efficient, and accessible. Still, their initial purchasing costs are relatively high.
Why? Because you’ll need to purchase not only solar panels but also an inverter, wiring, and batteries. In addition, you’ll need to pay to have the system installed at your house.
Nonetheless, as solar technology continues to develop, the prices of these types of systems will likely keep doing down over time. Also, depending on the area you live, you may be able to qualify for tax credit, government rebates and more to help with the initial cost and help you on your way to energy independence.
Solar Power Panels Can Take Up Quite a Bit of Room
The more power you’d like to produce with a solar energy system, the more panels you’ll need. For this reason, solar energy systems can consume a great deal of space.
In light of the above, your home’s roof may not be able to accommodate the number of panels you’ll need. You can place some panels in your yard as well, but they need to access sunlight easily to work.
Solar Energy is Dependent on the Weather
As mentioned earlier, you can collect solar energy during cloudy days. However, your solar power system‘s efficiency will drop when the weather is cloudy or rainy.
For this reason, if you have several rainy or cloudy days in a row, this may have a recognizable effect on your system.
Storing Power Energy Can Be Costly
If you cannot use your generated solar energy immediately, you can store it in big batteries. The great thing about these batteries is that you can charge them in the daytime and use them at night.
This method is excellent for utilizing solar power 24/7. However, it can also be expensive.
Instead, you may simply want to use solar power in the daytime, when you have greater energy demands. Then, use the electricity grid at night. Of course, this will work only if you’re connected to the power grid.
Solar Systems May Still Cause Some Pollution
The amount of pollution associated with solar power systems is much less than that associated with other energy sources. However, solar power can still be linked to pollution.
That’s because the installation and transportation of solar power systems have been linked to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, some hazardous products and toxic materials are used in the solar power system manufacturing process.
Still, overall, solar power is a clean, renewable energy source that can benefit the environment while still meeting your unique energy usage needs.
How We Can Help You to Save Money
After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy, you may have decided to move forward with installing solar panels in the new year. Fortunately, we have a helpful tool for finding finance industry professionals who can help you to get the job done.
Through our site, you can connect with our partner to research and compare finance service providers for free who can decrease your monthly bills. Click here to enter your information and you can be matched with a company that fits your needs.
In no time, you can save money. Thus, you’ll be well on your way to covering the cost of your own solar power system. And like many homeowners who have made the switch from fossil fuels to solar energy, you can start enjoying the benefits of renewable energy firsthand.
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