There are many good reasons to get solar panels for your home. For starters everybody is talking about going green. Solar energy is clean renewable energy and has zero greenhouse-gas emissions. You can be sure that it will play an increasingly important role in powering homes in the years to come. Then there is the benefit of at the very least reducing your monthly power bill if you are going to use solar partially. Or you can even eliminate all your current power costs if you choose to use solar as your only source of energy to power your home.
However it is important to note that there are a number of issues you must consider before you go for solar energy for your home. Solar panels generally use photovoltaic cells to transform sunlight into electricity. Simple technology but it has always been pretty expensive. Admittedly over the years the costs have come down and current tax credits in the US can bring down the costs even further. Still the reality is that it will take many years for you to recover the costs in terms of energy savings on your electric bill.
These days you will find companies across the country that are renting out solar panels. All you need is a monthly rental fee to keep the solar panels on your roof with no upfront charge or deposit. The company renting them out retains ownership and maintains the panels. This means that the huge initial investment required to set up a solar system has been eliminated and this changes the situation considerably.
Will your home take solar panels?
It is also important to ensure that the roof of your home (where you will install the panels) gets direct sunlight most of the day without any major obstacles like trees or buildings. The idea is to maximize the number of hours that your solar panels are exposed to the sun which will maximize on the efficiency of your solar system. Remember that maximum efficiency will mean that you have to spend less on fewer panels to get the energy you need.
How many solar panels will you need?
So the next question is how many solar panels you will need. The panels come in various sizes but your calculation will be based on the total area of solar cells you need to generate the energy you require in your home. Good quality solar panels will tend to give approximately 100 milliwatts per square inch. Assuming that your home is somewhere where you can get at least 6 hours of sunlight on your solar panel that will be a total of 600 milliwatts produced daily.
Next you will have to figure out how much power you need in your house. If you want to totally replace your current electricity supply with solar then the electric company invoices will show you what you have used and you can then use these numbers to calculate precisely how many panels you will need on your rooftop to generate the power you require.
Solar energy makes plenty of sense, but a more practical approach would be to start off partially powering your house with solar and then gradually build it up from there. Not only will this help you familiarize yourself with how it works but it will also be a lot easier on your pocket gradually getting solar panels for your home.