When you look at residential solar panels, they all appear the same. However, there are a lot of features to take into account. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say that certain features are better than others because it all depends on the circumstances. For instance, some features work really well in hot climates, but do nothing in colder ones. Similarly, certain features tremendously increase the price of the panel, which does make you wonder whether they are worth it at all. At the end of the day, you need to know how to buy smart, and that means understanding the different features that you can find in residential solar panels and which ones you actually need. At the same time, there are some features that all good solar panels have that you absolutely need to look for.
The main features of solar panels ensure that you can save costs on your energy bills, while making a positive contribution to the environment. However, there are a number of other unique features, and it is these that make these panels so attractive for residential properties. This is particularly true for people who want to be independent and have energy security. Let’s take a look at the key features, which are generally unique to solar panels as well.
- A Recognized Brand Name
Going for a recognized brand is good advice but this is a tricky one. If you see brands like Sun Edison, Yingli, Sunpower, Sanyo, and Sharp, you are guaranteed to have good quality. However, you will also pay a higher price. Brands like Kyocera and Canadian Solar are also very good. Thus, you will have to spend some time reviewing the various brands and comparing their prices.
- Low Maintenance
Solar panels do not require a lot of maintenance. Once they are installed, you only have to maintain them once per year, at which point they will also be cleaned. This will ensure that the panels will continue to function properly. There are no moving parts on solar panels, and they are highly durable. Hence, very little maintenance is necessary.
- They Are a Constant and Consistent Power Source
The sun is going to rise every morning, and it will set every night. This is so consistent that we know, to the minute, when this will happen. We understand the sun so well that we can used it to project seasonal sunlight and predict the weather. This means it is possible to know exactly when there will be plenty of power, and hence when we should use some of our equipment.
- It Gives Energy Security
Whether a home is on the electricity grid, or whether it is off the grid in full, solar panels provide energy security. Those who are on the grid will have to pay for the energy they use outside of their solar power supply, which means they pay the electricity company. Those prices fluctuate depending on a range of factors, including political influences. Furthermore, being on the grid does not guarantee power security. In fact, power outage continues to be common in many parts of the country, leaving people to deal with blackouts. The sun, however, doesn’t have a political agenda and doesn’t require payment. It will simply rise and shine and then set again, every day.
- It Makes You More Independent
Again, the sun doesn’t have an agenda or an allegiance. It doesn’t care whether we are at peace of at war. The sun won’t cut off its supply of rays when one government angers the government of another country. Not just that, oil and gas are finite resources, whereas sunlight is not.
- Its Operation Is Silent
Power plants and generators, and even green technologies such as wind turbines, heat generators, and hydroelectricity devices, are incredibly noisy. Solar panels, by contrast, do not make any noise at all. The energy simply comes from the sun, which they harness and deliver to you.
- You Don’t Need a Lot of Space
You don’t have to have a huge roof in order to enjoy the use of solar panels. In fact, you don’t even need a roof (although it is better because of obstructions). Rooftops are popular because these are wasted space and they get a lot of sunshine, but you can literally mount the panels on just about anything. One of the coolest features of the solar panel is that it is relatively small, so you can actually get quite creative in terms of how and where to mount them.
- It Protects Your Roof
If you do install your panels on your roof, then you do have to make sure that it is in a good condition first. Once the panels have been installed, they offer a degree of protection to your roof as well. This is because they will create a protective barrier, stopping the heat, weather, and sunlight, from hitting the roof directly. Lots of people have reported that the insulation in their property has improved since installing solar panels. This means their home stays cool in summer, while warming up in winter, while at the same time being able to turn the heating down.
- You Could Go Totally Off the Grid
Some people want to go off the grid, because they believe modern society is detrimental to their personal physical and mental health. Other people simply live remotely, which means they almost can’t use the electricity grid, unless they have thousands to pay for it. By opting for solar instead, they no longer need the services of local electric companies, nor do they need to rely on them. All they need are solar panels and a battery backup.
- They Are Highly Durable
A good quality solar panel should easily last a quarter of a century, if not more. In fact, lots of solar panels live longer than roofs! Their inverters, meanwhile, tend to last for at least 10 years. This isn’t as long as the panel, therefore, but it lasts long enough to experience a positive benefit from it.