If you finally got that epiphany that solar energy doesn’t just help our environment, but you also get to save money from it, welcome to the club.
Now, you are probably all excited about getting your solar panels installed so you can finally start getting all these benefits. But, hold your horses just yet. There’s a lot of planning and designing to be done.
Some persons because of how eager they are just dive all in. They rush through the entire process, research products, get the quotes, and in no time, they are sketching their roof panel layouts.
Now, there are a lot of problems that can arise from going too fast because this process is more intricate than what you think. Sometimes, the problems that arise may be so glaring and expensive.
So, instead of putting yourself through this kind of stress, it will be better to take your time before you start sketching. Below, we will list some tips that you need to consider before you design your solar system to ensure you do not make any expensive mistakes.
1. Grid-tie Vs Off-grid Solar
Because you can generate your energy via solar panels, you will no longer need to pay electric bills. Due to this, most people assume that going solar equals being off the utility grid but this isn’t exactly accurate.
You typically have the option of either a grid-tie or off-grid system. When you use a grid-tie system, you won’t be off the utility grid as you will still be connected to the power line.
Why? Because while the panels will generate energy, the energy has to be stored to be used later on. Since you are connected to the power line, this is where the energy will be stored. You’ll even be credited by your utility company because of the extra power your panels produced. You can now use the stored energy from the utility grid when needed.
An off-grid system typically isn’t connected to any power lines, hence, it’s completely off-grid. However, they may not be the ideal choice because since they can’t store generated energy in power lines, they have to be stored somehow else.
These off-grid systems make use of battery banks due to this. Sadly, these batteries are quite costly.
So, instead of focusing on going off your utility grid, you need to be more concerned with your ROI in the long run. An off-grip system will keep eating into your investment returns because of its expensive batteries, but they will ensure you are completely off your utility grid.
Grid-tie, on the other hand, will still be connected to your utility grid but you will just not have to be bothered about a battery bank, you will also get paid for generating power.
Solar energy isn’t cheap, it is quite expensive to have it installed and running. However, it’s a great investment because of the incentives attached to it. But for you to get these incentives, you need to own the system rather than lease it.
Some persons lease solar systems from 3rd parties via Power Purchasing Agreement. You can read this post to learn more about Power Purchasing Agreement. However, this may not the best of choices in the long run.
When you lease the system, it isn’t yours. So, every incentive the system will generate (like the fee paid by your utility company for the extra power generated) will go to the system’s owner (the lender). Nothing out of this will come to you.
Aside from not getting any of these incentives, you’d be paying premiums for the panels and this includes interest. Ultimately, you would end up spending times two on leasing the system than you would have done financing and owning the system for yourself.
3. Future Planning
Your system most likely will have its warranty for a very long time, it might even be as much as 25 years. You can hardly go this long without some drastic changes happening to you.
You may build a workshop, have kids, or even get an electric-powered car. All of these changes would necessity extra power consumption that your system may no longer be able to cater for.
So, when planning for your solar panel installation, it’ll pay to think ahead, rather than basing your choice on the now.
You may think, well I’ll just install more panels but this may not work the way you think. The panels aren’t all that makes up the system. Other components have to match the panels in size and so it may not be as easy as adding more panels.
Even if it were that easy if your current system has taken up all the space on your roof, how do you add new panels? This is why thinking ahead is important during the planning and design stage. Some software can also help you along this process. You can visit https://www.solargraf.com/ to find out more about this.
Solar panel installation takes a lot of planning before a design can even be sketched. But some costly mistakes can be made if proper research isn’t done. The tips discussed in this article are very important and should be properly considered during this design and planning stage.