What to look out for in a good solar panel system

A solar panel’s primary function is to convert light into electrical energy (direct current). Solar panels are made up of several interconnected solar cells and together with solar panels, they form an array. Inverters are attached to solar panels to convert direct current into an alternating current.

Types of solar panels

There are various types of panels to suit the user’s various needs:

Monocrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline solar panels

Monocrystalline panels

These are the most common types of panels. They are dark in color and are preferred over others because they have a better temperature tolerance.

Rear contact solar cells

They are known to achieve higher efficiency with all the electrical contacts on the rear end instead of in front of the cell. As such, there are no metal contact strips blocking light from reaching the cell’s surface.

Thin film solar cells
Thin film solar cells

Thin film solar cells

They consist of mostly amorphous silicon. They are made of thin photovoltaic materials which is the reason why they are rarely used on rooftop arrays due its low efficiency.

How to choose good solar panels

Solar panels are made for hot conditions and a well installed panel increases electricity output when it gets a lot of sunlight. However, despite the fact that solar panels should face the sun to trap as much sunlight as possible, their efficiency would reduce if they become warmer. This explains why you get less power on a very hot day than on a normal day. To increase the panel’s efficiency, install one with a lower temperature coefficient.

Before installation, customers should ensure that they have purchased good quality and durable solar panels. The good news is that solar panels have warranties. A standard manufacturer warranty is 25 years.
Types of solar panels warranties consist of:

Performance warranty

This warranty guarantees that a panel’s efficiency will not drop below certain levels. If efficiency drops, you should consult your contractor.

Workmanship warranty
Workmanship warranty

Workmanship warranty

This warranty offers to repair, refund or replace the solar panel in case of accidents or defects.

In order to prevent inefficiencies in instances such as when there is no light the customer may opt for battery backups in cases such as in an off-grid solar photovoltaic system. Before installing solar panels, it is important to assess the condition of your roof first. Solar panels are very heavy. To support their massive weight, you should have a sturdy roof which is in good condition.

For maximum efficiency, solar panels have to be placed on a higher ground to get enough sunlight. It is also imperative that there are no trees or other obstructions of light near the solar panels.Tall trees should be pruned to let sufficient sunlight fall on the cells. Shadows cast by trees or other objects would reduce efficiency of the system.

It is also advisable to find a reputable company/contractor to install the solar panel system. You should pick a qualified and certified contractor. The contractor should have prior experience in installation and should clearly understand the expectations of the customer.  

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