Going Solar: Choosing The Right Solar Panels

Choosing the right solar panels can be a pretty daunting task.  You may feel swamped by the fact that there are lots of calculations that need to be made, and lots of different qualitative factors to consider.  It’s a tough decision, but one that needs to be made if you’re looking to make the switch to solar.  You should do a little background research so that you can make the most informed decision.  To guide your investigation, it’s worth noting that two things to consider are the type of solar panels and the wattage. Let’s take a look at the sort of factors that can come into play here.

What Type Of Solar Panels Do You Need?

There are three types of solar panels, and they all vary in efficiency.  It is argued that monocrystalline panels are the highest quality, the most expensive, and the most space-efficient.  At the simplest level, monocrystalline solar cells are created by cutting them out off a big sheet of crystalline silicon.  Metal strips that are then placed over the silicon act as conductors for the electrons.

The quality of polycrystalline panels is not as high and they take up more space, but they are also less expensive!  This type of panel is made up of many small cells placed together.  The basic principle is the same, but they produce less output.  If you’ve got enough roof space, these might be a more appropriate choice.

The third type is known as amorphous solar panels.  They are called “amorphous” because, at the microscopic level, the silicon is not nearly as rigid as it is with the other types.  Amorphous solar panels are the newest of the three varieties and many consider it to be the future of solar panels.  However, they vary pretty widely in terms of efficiency, partially because the technology is still at a level of relative infancy. One advantage of amorphous solar panels is that they are cheap and easy to produce.

How Much Power Do You Need?

The main thing to think about when choosing solar panels is wattage.   Ask yourself – what do you plan on doing with your solar panels?  Do you want to power the whole house, or just use them to power certain appliances?  Do you also want to store energy that can be used during the night?

An easy way to determine how much wattage you need to power your home is to look at your electricity bill.  You’ll

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see on it the amount of energy you use in kilowatt hours (KWH); a kilowatt hour is also sometimes referred to as a ‘unit’.  One kilowatt hour of electricity is the amount of electricity you would use if you were to run a 1000 watt appliance for one hour.  This is a standard unit of measurement of energy.  Your electricity bill will tell you how many KWH you consume per day on average. You can use this information to determine how much wattage needs to be generated by your solar power system to meet your energy requirements.

Take Your Time

This is only the start of the journey – things get more complicated once you start investigating the specific solar panels available to you. Although it may take some time to choose the right solar panels, it’s worth the investment.  However, be careful about getting stuck in analysis paralysis, because with the amount of choice available you may find yourself drowning under information overload. Although it’s important to develop a good level of understanding, it’s more important to actually do something with that knowledge. So do some research, understand the basics, get a few quotes, and then do your bit for the environment, and save money on electricity while you’re at it.

This article was written on behalf of Sun Connect; if you would like to get in touch then you can also visit Sun Connect on Facebook or Sun Connect on Twitter.


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