Solar Energy Facts: 5 Things You Maybe Didn’t Know

Adding Solar Panels — Is It Worth the Investment? solar panels installed

Adding Solar Panels to your home’s energy system is the sustainable improvement that everyone is talking about. Personal, decentralized electricity generation is a controversial topic for the power companies, but for the homeowner adding Photovoltaic (PV) panels is a huge cost reducing investment.

With interest in this earth saving technology at an all time high, a lot of information, and misinformation abounds. As you consider going green with PV panels, keep a few important pieces of information in mind.

#1. PV Solar Panels Don’t Use Sunshine

Many people who live in cloudy, stormy or other inclement areas think they shouldn’t invest in PV panels because the panels would not produce enough electricity to offset the cost of installation. What many might not know is that PV do not need direct Sunshine to generate electricity. When it comes to solar, there is a difference between Sunshine and Daylight. As long as there is Daylight, your Photovoltaic panels are working, even on cloudy days.

#2. Solar Panels Are Very Durable

A big fear with making a large investment or improvement to our home is upkeep. The question arises, “Am I going to spend this money only to double down in two to five years?” If properly installed, a PV Solar panel system requires little or no maintenance and will last up to 50 years!

Talk to your local installer, and make sure the panels are properly anchored, grounded and sealed. If all these things are done correctly, your PV system will be producing green energy for a lifetime.

#3. Solar Panel Value Will Only Go Up

Of course, the savings on energy experienced by the homeowner will eventually pay for the installation of the system. However, there are even more savings involved with PV system. The cost of dirty fuels can fluctuate, but over time they will only increase. Limitless energy from the sun on the other hand will never change in price. Twenty, thirty years from now the overall value of your PV system may be much more than it is now.

#4. The Biggest Cost Is Not the Hardware

With demand and production of Photovoltaic panels at an all-time high, the cost of the hardware involved in your PV system is dropping. The highest cost for many homeowners is not the system itself, but the so-called soft costs involved in installation. These include neighborhood zoning, land use permits, and tapping into the grid. Before investing in a PV system, be sure to look into these costs. Fortunately, these costs are not set in stone, and as many municipalities open their eyes to the benefits of clean energy, the soft costs are beginning to fall.

#5. Solar Panel Technology Is Not New

Solar panels have been waiting a long time for their moment in the sun. The solar cell was developed by Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey in 1954. In an article that ran in New York Times on April 26th, 1954 titled ‘Vast Power of the Sun Tapped By Battery Using Sand Ingredient’ the Times wrote, “It may mark the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams– the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for uses of civilization.”

Sixty years later, the era of solar is finally becoming a reality.

[Photo Via: Solar Barbados]

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