Residential Solar Panels

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Residential Solar Panels For The Green Home

Residential solar panels are coming down in price and technology advancements are increasing yields for this great renewable electrical resource.

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Residential Solar Panels: Save Ten With Angie's List!

If you wish to reduce your home's environmental impact, residential solar panels are a great way to go.

An inverter to convert direct current power to alternating current power, and an array of interconnected photovoltaic panels makes up the solar collection system.

If you wish to completely sever all ties with the utility companies and go "off-the-grid", you will also will be in need of a storage system, which usually is composed of storage batteries. By going off-the-grid, you will be spending a lot more up-front cash for the total system.

An "inertie" system is a much more affordable way to go, where you form a partnership with your local electric utility company.

Using this type of system, electricity is used from the grid during the night, and when the sun is shining during the daytime hours, power is gathered and used from the solar array.

Excess power that is generated by the residential solar panels is returned to the grid and the utility company will pay you for the excess power that is generated, or if you have access to Net Metering, you can spin your electric meter backwards.

This gives the homeowner the advantage of drastically reducing their electric bills or even eliminating them.

The Advantages of Residential Solar Panels

Thin-film photovoltaic have given residential solar panels competition. These collectors are made to mimic the appearance of asphalt shingles and are more easily integrated into the home's architecture. Even though they are much more acceptable in appearance, the traditional panels still have many advantages.

Angles to the Sun: Panels can be installed at angles that are different from the roof slope which can make them much more efficient at collecting energy. As the roof slope often isn't optimal for solar collection efficiency, shingles will be less effective.

Ease Of Location: Residential Solar Panels need not be restricted to a roof-only mounting location. They can be mounted on a framework on the ground and hidden by creative landscape elements.

Also, their angle can be varied during different times of the year or even during the day.

We all know that the sun does not stay in the same spot throughout the year. This variance in angle of the panels in most important in northern climates where the sun angle is very low during the winter months.

Maintenance and cleaning operations are also much easier in ground-mounted arrays.

It is key that the panels be exposed to the sun as long as possible and if the sun's power is blocked by snow or other obstructions, the rooftop mounting will be a problem in their access.

Pricing: Newer photovoltaic technologies are typically more expensive that traditional photovoltaic panels. Durability and Proven Technology:

The technology of photovoltaic panels has been around for decades. Once installed, they will be very long-lasting, providing maintenance-free power for many years.

Their durability is unsurpassed as they are designed for constant exposure to rain, snow, hail, cold and hot temperatures.

How Many Residential Solar Panels Should You Purchase?

While the technology is evolving and efficiencies are improving yearly, residential solar panels are still quite inefficient. The great aspect about them is that they provide clean, emission-free energy. With residential solar panels having efficiencies below 20 percent, less than 1/5 of the actual sun's energy reaching the panels is converted into energy.

As increasing efficiencies with improved technology are experienced, these solar panels will produce the same amount of power with a smaller surface area, and they will consume less space on your roof or in your landscape. You can typically plan on reaping 100 to 200 watts from a one square meter residential solar panel.

The performance ratings for residential solar panels are based on the brightest sunlight reaching the panels. Obviously, power efficiency will be reduced with less than optimal sunlight reaching the panels. In order to attain the highest efficiencies for your panels, it is essential that you position the panels where the sunlight duration and angles are at a premium.

Things that will reduce performance of your panels are snow, dirt, dust, clouds, and shadows from nearby structures and vegetation. So when designing your home and your solar panel array, be sure to take these things into consideration.

Options for Installation

Many homeowners wishing to install panels are often discouraged by the high initial first costs of the systems. Thankfully, production costs are coming down and efficiencies are rising very steadily. When that is coupled with the rising cost of traditional energy sources from our utility companies, the cost of installing a solar panel array is becoming much more cost competitive for the long-term.

Most of the total cost of a solar system are up-front costs. Once the system is installed, it is pretty much care-free and the sunshine is offered free-of-charge.

Also, many Eco-minded homeowners will welcome some incredible tax incentives that are offered for these systems by our federal, state and local governmental agencies.

There is one other way for the homeowner to get their feet wet in the residential solar panel systems. That option is leasing the panels.

Companies are now leasing the homeowner the panels and all other equipment required for a complete solar system. There are some deals on the market for as little as $0 down to get you up and running. This way, the homeowner only pays a small monthly lease and the high initial installation cost is eliminated.

Many homeowners see their electric bill lowered to less than the lease cost of the system. Couple that with all maintenance and upgrade of the system is handled by the leasing company, make for an attractive option if you are strapped for cash and want to enter the solar collection market.