Every serious purchase in your life requires thorough consideration and pre-planning. Installing rooftop solar panels is no exception. Since it is a large investment and requires accurate calculation of certain factors before you choose the solar panels that best fit your needs.
Millions of people today are choosing solar panels as a great sustainable green energy choice. Solar panels don’t only help to offset energy costs but also represent a clean and green source of energy.
More and more people are outfitting their rooftops with solar panels, and why not? A report suggested that more than two million households in Australia have rooftop solar panels, with a combined capacity exceeding 10GW. Hence, going solar is an easier path to contribute towards a sustainable future.
A well-planned rooftop solar panel system can turn your investment into a smarter one. However, understanding the relevant factors before installing solar panels will help you avoid installation mistakes and unpleasant surprises.
Hence, we have compiled some of the essential things that you should consider before installing rooftop solar panels.
Choosing the Right Solar Panels
A lot hinges on the type of solar panel you choose to install for your rooftop. Unless you have firsthand information about solar power panels, it might be difficult for you to make the right decision.
Moreover, buying solar panels from a reputable solar company in Australia is always preferable as it will last for decades. Further, it can also save you a great deal on electricity costs. There are generally three basic types of solar panels:
- Monocrystalline Panels
These panels are good at converting sunlight into electricity. They are efficient and occupy less of your roof space.
- Polycrystalline Panels
These panels generate lower heat resistance compared to monocrystalline panels. However, these panels occupy more of your roof space.
- Thin-film Panels
These panels are often made by depositing semiconductor material on a ceramic substance. Although the cost is low, they need more roof space.
You can filter through all the options and choose the one that best fits your budget and rooftop needs.
Considering Your Roof Type
Millions of households have rooftops that receive ample sunlight during the day. Hence, the demand for solar rooftop systems has dramatically increased over the past few years. Installing a solar panel system can turn out to be one of the smartest investments of your life.
However, before installing solar panels, the big first step is to determine if your roof is ready for solar panel installation. You should consider certain things before you choose to install solar panels on the rooftop.
- The shape of the roof
The roof is constructed in different shapes and sizes. Before you go ahead with the solar panel installation process, ensure that your roof has enough space for the solar panel. However, if there is not enough room, you may not get the return you have expected from the investment.
- Condition of the roof
Before purchasing a solar panel, the rooftop should be inspected. Solar panels can add extra weight to your roof. Therefore, your roof should be solid enough to adequately handle the weight of your solar panel.
- Weight a roof can handle
A typical solar panel can weigh around 1-2 kg per square foot with the mounting structure. This limit is usually within the acceptable limits of roof loading.
- Warranty of the roof
If your solar panels are expected to last for 20 years but your roof will last only 10 to 15 years, your maintenance costs may increase.
Correct Positioning of Solar Panels
The positioning of a solar panel is a vital factor to consider before installing it on your roof. A solar panel harnesses the most power when the sun’s ray hits its surface perpendicularly. Therefore, appropriate direction and tilt angle helps ensure that the solar panel produces maximum energy.
If you are living in the northern hemisphere, the solar panel placement rule is that solar panels should face true south. However, if you live in the south, the panel should face the true north direction. East and west-facing solar panels generate less energy than those facing towards the equator.
The tilt frames are used to tilt the solar panels towards the sun. The best tilting angle of a solar panel is defined by the latitude of installing the panels. Optimizing the tilt angle can not only increase its efficiency but can also help generate more electricity.
Checking the Required Energy Usage
Your home energy requirement plays a crucial role in influencing your decision to choose a solar panel. After knowing the average amount of needed energy, you can decide on how many solar panels you want to install.
A typical solar panel is estimated to produce about 300 watts in one hour. Moreover, your solar installer can help you in measuring energy usage.
To determine your home’s average energy requirements, you can check your past utility bills.
First, you need to multiply your household’s hourly energy requirement by the peak sunlight hours for your area. After that, divide it by a panel’s wattage. In this way, you can calculate your average energy requirement.
Evaluating Local Financial Incentives
To encourage the greater adoption of solar, the government offers incentives to help make solar more affordable. The government provides incentives to the people who wish to install solar panels. You can evaluate these financial incentives before installing solar panels at your home.
- Investment subsidies
In investment subsidies, the cost of installing solar panels is partially refunded.
- Solar rebates by state
No matter where you live, you can benefit from state solar rebates. You can get an investment tax credit on the installation of solar panels.
- Feed-in tariffs
In feed-in tariffs or net metering, the produced solar energy is sold to the electricity utility operator.
Finding your local financial incentives can be a significant deciding factor in installing a solar panel for your home.
Selecting a Contracting Company and Installer
Picking a reputed solar company gives a myriad of advantages. An accredited company provides the best deals on solar panels and also offers longer warranty periods, some as long as 10 years. It is vital to do prior research before choosing the best solar power company by:
- Looking at the online reviews
- Taking references from the previous clients
- Evaluating their certifications and affiliations
- Seeing their catalog
Accredited solar companies mostly rely on the latest technologies in the production and installation of solar panels. They also advise on the installation permits so that you can get the maximum benefit from your investment.
Calculating the Expected Length of the Project
The installation period of a solar panel can run from a few days to weeks and even months. Moreover, the length of installation also depends on the energy requirement of the property.
Higher energy requirements indicate that more equipment will be mounted. Hence, it requires more extended periods for the installation to complete.
However, low energy requirements point towards a shorter installation period. However, established companies with a large workforce can accomplish this whole process in a few days. Thus, reducing the cost of operations.
Selecting a Solar Installer
Once you select the solar panel and a reputed company, it is important to choose a reliable installer that will:
- Inspect your specific situation
- Advice you on the installation process
- Help in obtaining the required permits and paperwork
- Install in an efficient way
- Ensure all the correct connections
Computing the Solar Warranties
Solar panel warranties protect your solar investment in an ideal way. These solar panels generally come with a performance and equipment guarantee. However, you should thoroughly analyze these warranties before installing solar panels.
Typical Solar Panel Warranties Range from:
- 10 years [ based on the products which are free from defects]
- 15 years [ based on the performance of the panels @ 90% of its peak ]
- 25 years [ based on the performance of the panel @ 80% of its peak]
An inverter typically has between 5 to 10 years of standard warranty which can be upgraded to 25 years.
Evaluating Durability of Your Solar Systems
When you shop for solar systems, it is vital to check their lifespan. Contracting companies generally provide quality equipment and more extended warranties, which shows that they have a longer lifetime to serve their purpose.
Therefore, checking on the durability of your system can keep you on the safe side of your investment.
Why Choose Aus-Brite Solar?
At Aus-Brite Solar, we offer the most reliable solar power solutions to all Australian households. Our goal is to design solar panel systems that perfectly match your home’s energy needs.
Talk to our experts and get your very own source of clean energy.