Solar panels have fast become an increasingly popular form of alternative energy globally, using silicon and photovoltaic solar cells to convert the sun’s radiation into valuable energy. Though solar power has had a history of limited distribution, the latest technological advancements in the sector now mean it has become a sustainable alternative to the burning of fossil fuels. Solar energy now ranks alongside hydropower and wind as essential and eco-friendly energy options and guarantees the additional benefit of being relatively easier to integrate into your home.
The notable rise in the popularity, as well as the application of solar energy, may be attributed to lower installation and operation costs. What’s more. Solar power is more accessible and generally affordable compared to other energy sources. Today, at least 3% of U.S electricity comes from solar power, a figure that is only projected to rise significantly in the coming years (link).
The notable rise in the popularity, as well as the application of solar energy, may be attributed to lower installation and operation costs. What’s more, solar power is more accessible and affordable compared to other energy sources. Today, at least 3% of U.S. electricity comes from solar power, a figure that is only projected to rise significantly in the coming years.
So, Why Should You Install Solar in Riverside, California?
There are numerous reasons why you would want to harness the sun’s energy to power your home or business establishment. Below are some of the proven benefits of installing solar power in your business or home.
Reduced energy monthly energy bills
Energy bills are a major expense for a typical California home as well as business owners. Thankfully, with a solar panel at your disposal, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate your monthly energy bills. With a lifespan of between 20 and 40 years, a solar power system guarantees more than just clean and reliable energy; it saves you lots of dollars!
Improved home value
Generally, solar power systems are considered upgrades, like a finished basement, or renovated bathroom, or kitchen, so installing a solar panel will boost your home’s overall value. Across America, solar panels will approximately boost a property’s value by at least 4.1%. Simply put, installing solar Riverside panels can be a sound investment. Whether you are installing solar power to upgrade your home for an imminent sale or to harness the sun’s power for your consumption, home values typically go up significantly after solar panel installation.
Low maintenance costs
Solar power systems don’t generally require routine, costly maintenance. After all, you only need to keep your panels relatively clean, so wiping them out a couple of times annually will help keep them in tip-top condition. And if you are not sure about anything, you can always hire professional solar panel cleaners, which also offer highly affordable maintenance services. What’s more, because solar power systems don’t feature any moving components, there is no damage due to wear and tear. And the inverter is perhaps the only component that should be changed after 5-10 years. Besides the inverter, the connecting cables also require occasional cleaning to ensure your solar power system operates at peak efficiency. Regardless, you’ll generally spend very little on solar panel maintenance and repair over the years.
Good for the environment
Solar panels are known to derive clean and pure energy from the sun. and this implies that installing a solar power system in your home or business helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as our collective reliance on fossil fuels. Conventional electricity is derived from fossil fuels, including natural gas and coal. These fossil fuels emit highly harmful gases when burned, which are the sole cause of global climate change and pollution. Simply put, by installing solar power systems, you can substantially minimize your carbon footprint.
Types of Solar Panels
Though there are numerous types of solar panels out there, they are broadly categorized into three main types, including polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film amorphous. Both polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels are made of crystalline silicon and account for approximately 90% of residential solar installations.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
They are the oldest form of solar panels. These panels are made from one crystal structure, and usually appear to have a uniform color and appearance.
To be more precise, they tend to appear fairly darker, typically with a black, white, or silver sheet.
Monocrystalline wafers are created by extracting the cylindrical ingots from crystals of silicon. are then sliced into wafers that are customized into solar cells.
It is worth noting that the monocrystalline feature is the highest-grade silicon. It boasts an efficiency rate of 15-25%. If you didn’t know, the efficiency of solar panels simply refers to how effectively a particular solar PV can transform the sun’s energy into electricity.
- They boast arguably the highest performance rates in the industry, usually up to 25%.
- They are space-efficient. Because they yield the highest energy outputs, they require the least amount of space for installation.
- They have a relatively long lifespan.
- Tend to withstand somewhat higher temperatures.
- Thanks to their supreme quality, monocrystalline panels are fairly more expensive.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Also referred to as multi-crystalline panels, polycrystalline panels are also made from silicon but through a slightly different process. Pure silicon crystals are melted and poured into a square mold and thereafter wafers of polycrystalline cells are cut from the crystal block after cooling. These panels are relatively efficient, boasting an efficiency of between 13% and 16%.
- Relatively more efficient in low-light conditions than monocrystalline solar panels.
- Though they are less efficient compared to monocrystalline panels, they offer commendable efficiency rates.
- Polycrystalline cells are larger, so will take up more space to generate power.
- They are not as durable as the other types of panels.
Thin-film Solar Types
The increased cost of manufacturing solar-grade silicon prompted the creation of several second and third-generation solar cells referred to as thin-film semiconductors. These solar panels not only feature lower-quality silicon compared to those used in monocrystalline wafers. They also need less volume of materials. Regarding their mode of production, they are created through the deposition of a photovoltaic compound onto a solid and smooth surface such as glass. The major substances used include cadmium telluride, amorphous carbon, and copper Indium Gallium selenide.
- Thin-film panels have a lightweight design.
- They are somehow immune to shading or obstruction problems.
- They are relatively more affordable.
- They are comparatively very low in performance, with an efficiency of between 7 and 12%!
- They require lots of space for installation.
- Due to the numerous panels needed to support this panel system, associated installation costs can also be relatively higher.
- They have a short lifespan and are also not backed by long-term warranties.
So, How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
Because solar panel installation is a major investment for your home or business, you want it to serve you for a considerable amount of time. The good news is that many high-quality solar power systems can last 20-35 years with proper installation and routine maintenance. And even after reaching their expected life expectancy, a significant number of solar systems don’t stop functioning entirely. They will just no longer accumulate sufficient power to meet your business or home energy needs. Keeping up with routine maintenance and repair can be a critical factor in ensuring your solar power system lasts as long as possible.
Steps of Solar Installation
There are five critical steps that guide the installation process of solar power systems.
Engineering site visit
After signing your solar power contract, whether it be a cash purchase, loan, or lease, a qualified engineer will come to your property to assess the existing electrical status of your home to guarantee that everything is compatible with your home’s new solar energy system. And during this evaluation, the engineer will assess the condition of your roof, whether it needs a roof repair or roof maintenance, to ensure it is in good condition and will also examine your electrical panel.
Permits and documentation
If you didn’t know, there is a lot of paperwork involved in the installation of solar panels. Thankfully, most of the paperwork is usually dealt with by your installer. One of the major documentation you’ll deal with includes applying for federal and state solar energy incentives such as local solar programs, federal ICT as well as clean energy financing incentives such as government rebates, PACE, and solar renewable energy certificates.
After the paperwork, the next step will involve ordering the equipment. And this equipment usually includes things such as power optimizers, solar panels, microinverters, and string inverters. With the help of a qualified solar panel installer, you would have already chosen your preferred solar equipment based on efficiency, cost, aesthetics, and durability.
Solar panel installation
After all the ordered solar components have arrived, your contractor will then carry out the installation process. And depending on the size and type of solar panel system, this step will take between one and three days.
Approval and interconnection
This is the final process after which you’ll officially start generating power from your solar panels. Usually, an official from your local town will inspect the entire system and approve the project accordingly. And after this inspection, you will be ready for official grid interconnection. An official from your power company will visit your home to carry their assessment and provided there are no glaring issues, your system will be connected to the grid.
Solar Riverside | Los Angeles | SoCal
Unlike other exterior components of your home, both commercial and residential solar panel systems need to be installed, maintained, and repaired by professionals. A solar power system installation requires the expertise of a reputable, licensed, and certified solar panel installation contractor. And if you are looking to install a solar riverside power system in your business or home, or looking for roofing in Riverside, you are in the right place!