The various factors influencing solar panels prices
With the solar revolution being propelled by rising energy costs, unstable power supply and the move towards cleaner energy, solar panel prices are rapidly decreasing. This is normal as technology proliferates and becomes more widely used.
However, solar panel prices should not be considered in isolation. Solar panels are merely one aspect of a solar system which should be custom designed and built to meet your energy needs in the most effective and efficient way.
Whether you are considering solar for your home or business, it is essential to do thorough research before investing in a solar system. This blog post contains a brief overview of the various aspects to consider, which will help you make informed decisions on your journey to going solar.
Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline
The two main types of solar panels are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. In short, the main difference lies in the cells that they are made up of. However, it is worthwhile knowing the difference between these two.
Monocrystalline panels are cut from a single crystal silicon structure, referred to as monocrystalline solar cells. Out of the different varieties, they use the oldest technology. The solar cells have a uniform flat, almost black colour. They are ideal for residential and commercial projects where there is limited space available. Additionally, these panels are heat resistant and durable. They are more expensive per watt but are more efficient. This means you can install fewer high-efficiency panels.
The polycrystalline panel is a newer technology. Due to the cells being made up of fused together pieces of silicon, they tend to have a less uniform appearance and are more blue in colour. Even though they tend to put out a little less power, they are becoming more efficient. Because they require fewer resources to make, they are considered a more environmentally friendly option. They also have a long life span. Moreover, they are the most affordable with the lowest price per watt.
Solar panel sizing
Sizing is an important aspect to consider when evaluating solar panel prices. Your specific needs and the space you have available will determine which size solar panels will suit you best.
For sites with limited space for panels, you will need a higher power rating panel, such as a 400W panel, which will enable you to leverage what you have. If you have plenty of space available, then you can consider having more lower power rating panels.
Solar panels prices – consider the brand
There are various brands of solar panels available in South Africa and Africa. Technically, you can use any panel with any system, as long as you stick to the parameters set up by your inverter manufacturers. However, buying a particular brand will remove a lot of the guesswork out of various other aspects which are important indicators of quality, such as longevity, durability and service warranties. Brands also determine how rapidly parts will be available should repairs be needed.
New Southern Energy incorporates Canadian Solar panels in their installations. This is because this company boasts a reputation for being among the world’s top three solar panel brands. The company operates across six continents and their high-quality panels feature offer long guarantees and excellent after-sales support.
Solar panel prices – is your roof suitable?
One of the important factors when investing in solar panels is how they will work with your roof. This can be straight forward, or it can be a bit more complicated depending on your roof’s size, shape, angle, and stability.
The ideal orientation of solar installation in South Africa is facing north at 30 degrees. If a roof faces a different direction, the panels need to be tilted. The solar panels need to be facing the same direction, installed optimally to harvest as much of the sun’s rays as possible.
The shape and design of a complex roof may leave you at a slight disadvantage. Even though it is possible to install solar panels on complex roofs, the price of the overall system will be higher. A solar panel installation on a roof like the complex roof will require elaborate mounting kits, which will take longer to install, costing you more for labour and materials.
It is of course also possible to install solar systems on the ground should you have land space available.
Too often, when looking at solar panel prices, insufficient attention is paid to the installation of the system. The workmanship, as well as the other parts and the company’s reputation are noteworthy factors in determining the longevity and effectiveness of any solar plant. Therefore, it is always advised to consider this aspect as carefully as the rest of the system when planning.