Having a solar power
system installed on your house is a great way of reducing your power demands from the grid, but you need to really do your homework first to make sure that it actually is a wise investment.
This article will help you establish the facts of the matter and point you in the right direction.
1. Check solar availability at your property
You need to make sure that your property is well situated for access to solar power. Ideally you want horizon to horizon Sun visibility for where you intend to mount the solar panels
. So you want to avoid being overlooked by trees or other buildings, as the power production of a solar panel drops quite a lot if it encounters any form of shading.
Although that being said, there are modern panels available which can deal with some shading and still be able to produce power, but of course these are more expensive.
2. Check your power consumption during the day
Given the reduction in feed in tariffs you need to work out how much power your property consumes during daylight hours, as this is what will be powered by solar first, then anything excess gets feed back into the grid.
Also if you do have access it could mean it might be worth investing in a battery system to store excess power to be used during the peak rate.
3. Check for safe access
Solar panels need to be kept clean and free of dirt on the glass to ensure you are getting maximum power production - this usually requires cleaning twice a year at least. So you must have a way to access the panels safely or a way to remotely clean them.
4. Check warranties and small print
Solar panels should be good for around 20 years, so other components in the system (like the inverter
) need to be checked for how long they are warrantied and you will need to factor in their replacement costs when assessing if having a solar panel system is viable for you.
5. Ask for references
Also it's often good to check out the business you intend to have install the solar panels and get referrals. You need to ensure it's a well established business who will be around for the long haul.
To help you with working all these costs out and to see if solar panel power systems work for you we have created the following handy online tools: