The Most Common Misconceptions Regarding Solar Energy

The use of solar panels to produce electricity has become more popular today than ever before. Part of that reason has to do with affordability. In the past, it was difficult to have these installed for a reasonable cost, and there were not very many solar panel installers available on a nationwide basis. Today, there are a multitude of companies that can do this for you quickly, using the latest in solar technology. Part of the reason for this increase in popularity has to do with the efficiency of the solar panels themselves. Efficiency levels have increased because of the type of metals that are now used, specifically the semiconductors. Here is an overview of how these advancements have literally change the landscape of the viability of installing solar.

The Origins Of Solar Panels

These were originally designed back in the 1950s when photovoltaic technology was first developed. Using a material called silicon, they realize that when this material was exposed to sunlight, it would generate an electric charge. Since that time, different types of solar cells were developed including polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels. However, advancements in research have led to the use of other materials that might be far more conductive.

New Technology Used In Solar Panels

When sunlight or photons interact with the silicon, electrons are knocked free from the atoms. Using a series of wires, connected to your household and batteries, a flow of electricity will allow you to power your home. Recently, a different material has been used which is called cadmium telluride which can substitute as a semiconductor. This was the result of years of research and collaboration between the United States and the United Kingdom. These are very thin solar cells, and by adding selenium, they have seen an increase in the production of electricity. Statistics have shown that the ratio between light input and energy output has actually reached over 20%.

Why This New Technology Will Lead To More Installations

Although it is very easy to obtain silicon, the cost of producing these new solar panels is less expensive. Additionally, by combining cadmium telluride crystals with selenium, they are able to avoid common problems related to atomic scale defects. Studies have shown that photons can literally get lost in the midst of crystal grains, and the selenium is helping to eliminate this issue. As these new solar panels become more common, the cost of installing solar will go down, and the rate of production for electricity will go up making these much more commercially viable.

Can Everyone Get Solar Panels?

Solar panels installed on the roof in South Australia

Despite these advancements, it is clear that there are still some issues that are unresolvable. For example, you still need to have a south facing view for the solar panels to maximize their ability to produce electricity. Additionally, depending upon your latitude, the amount of electricity that can be produced each day will go up and down as the seasons change. Therefore, not everyone will see solar panels as being an alternative to being on the grid, but for many, this will be very beneficial. The amount of money they will pay for these solar panels and their installation will be offset quickly, leading to what could potentially be free electricity for your home in the future once everything is paid off.

These improvements in solar panel metals have been met with great applause. In our world today, alternative sources of energy are always welcome. The current primary production of electricity comes from nuclear energy, natural gas, and coal, the latter of which is leading to higher amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. By producing more solar panels, and having them installed, our carbon footprint will be reduced dramatically. However, from the simple standpoint of generating electricity, and saving money on your electric bill, these new advancements in solar technology are beneficial for everyone.

What are the criteria for making the best Solar Panel choice

If you are planning the installation of a solar power system in your home, you will be aware that choosing the right solar panels is the most critical choice you will have to make. You choose the right type, have it installed by an installer who is both competent and accredited, and ensure the installation is made at the best angle that points the panels in the direction that is optimum for power production.

What are the criteria for making the best choice?

Criteria 1: Efficiency

This is the ratio of the energy from the sunlight that hits the surface of the panel and the energy that is converted by the photovoltaic cells on the panel. The efficiencies of conventional panels vary from 12% to a little over 21%. Higher efficiency means that higher wattage of electricity is produced per square area of the panel. So, you will require lesser space for the panels on your roof for the electrical output that you need. Panels of higher efficiency can cost more, but if roof space is a problem, this may be the way to go.

Criteria 2: Cost

You need to choose solar panels that give you more power for every unit of your currency. Choosing panels because they cost less may not be the right thing to do, as these may not have the right performance or reliability. You will also have to take into consideration the other system components and the installation costs when you are preparing a budget for your solar power system. Also consider warranty, service and quality when you are looking at costs.

Criteria 3: Module quality

This must take into account the quality of materials used for making the solar panels, and how they are manufactured. Some manufacturers will not make their cells but will just assemble photovoltaic cells and panels and sell them as their product. It is always better to choose panels that are from a company that makes its cells, has a proper R&D setup and is constantly evolving its products. Review the history of the company and look at reviews about its technical capabilities.

Criteria 4: Energy Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency indicates the percentage of solar energy received that is converted into power. It is better to choose more efficient panels, but this can have you paying higher prices. You probably need to balance your space requirement for the power that you want with the panels of various efficiencies and then make a judgment accordingly. Lower efficiencies will require you to have more panels and this can increase installation costs.

Criteria 5: Specifications

Each panel that you will find on the market will have its specifications. Look at their power tolerance and opt for panels that are better than the others. Panels must have a good rating for temperature coefficient as these will perform better even at higher temperatures. After all your panels are exposed to the sun at all times and will get heated.

Criteria 6: Aesthetics

How will the roof on your home look after the solar panels are installed? Thin-film panels look the best, but they have lower efficiencies and this would mean you will require to cover larger roof areas. Solar roof tiles can help to integrate your roof with the solar power system. The size of your system can determine how much of your roof area is covered and determine how much it affects the looks of your home.

Criteria 7: Warranty/Durability

Most solar panels have a warranty that can be 25 years, and if you are offered anything less, you must be wary of these panels.

Choose the right panels, have them properly installed, and do the little maintenance they demand, and solar panels can ultimately pay for themselves in the long run.

Do Solar Panels Increase Property Value?

Quick answer? Yes, installing solar panels would boost the market value of your house by at least the expense of the system. You won’t just realize a rise in the value of your home, a solar energy system can help sell your house 20% quicker compared to homes with no solar panels.

Solar panel owners are experiencing a rise in their property values more than comparative houses within their neighborhood. The primary reason for this rise in market value is that homes having solar panels provide a definite financial advantage to potential owners.

Potential customers should try to buy homes having an installed solar energy system due to:

  • The ability to switch your utility bill with a less expensive and cleaner choice
  • The decrease in the carbon footprint

Factors Which Affect How Much Solar Panels Boost Property Value

So, do solar power panels add more value to your house? This will depend on a number of factors like:

  • The city or state you’re in
  • The price of electricity on your area
  • The dimensions of the installation as well as your house
  • The age, type, and warranty of the solar panels
  • The amount of energy the system could save


The location of a house is a key factor which decides how much value would be raised when adding solar panels. For instance, installations in active solar markets such as California and New Jersey usually generate better returns compared to similar installations in less developed markets due to the fact that purchasers, real estate agents, appraisers, and lenders are usually more knowledgeable about the advantages of solar at the beginning of the process.


How many solar panels your roof could cater to instantly relates to the property value boost post-installation. Property value increase is proportional to the quality and number of the solar panels installed. The generation capacity of the solar panels must be proportional to the size of your home. So how do solar panels have an effect on property values? The Berkeley Lab study estimates you could expect the resale worth of your home to raise by around $5,911 for every 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar installed.


Among the simplest ways to estimate home value increase according to energy consumption would be to run your own cost advantage analysis. The value of the system may also vary depending on the price of electricity where you reside. A good option to begin is by checking out your energy bill and determining the price of the system size you’d require depending on the kilowatt-hours utilized. The typical system installation is around $3-4 per watt. Around Texas, a 300 watt panel can generate around 9 kilowatt-hours every day. Upon having your day-to-day or monthly consumption, you calculate the number of panels you’d require to completely power your house. After that you can compare it into the regular resale value in your place.


The panels themselves are one other factor with regards to determining value. Technology, life expectancy, as well as warranty for several producers of solar panels, inverters, racking, as well as other accessories can vary greatly. It’s vital that you spend some time and perform your research with regards to selecting the best solar technology products to take advantage of your long-term investment.

Why is Solar Energy Very Valuable?

In comparison to other major home improvements and ways of sustainable living, installing solar panels is really a relatively simple one-time venture which has small effect on your living area. The majority of the effort and time from you is performing the research to get the right company and getting the paperwork via the appropriate channels. Then, the installation must just take around a few days and you’ll generally be set up with a warranty for the following twenty five years. The 2015 survey revealed 61% of respondents agreed upon that solar electrical or water heating systems were appealing in a house they’d want to consider buying.

The Most Common Misconceptions Regarding Solar Energy

Solar energy is one of the most commonly known types of renewable energy. While it is well-known, there are still many misconceptions regarding this. It is important to know what these misconceptions are and what the truth is.

Solar Panels Do Not Work In Cloudy Or Snowy Conditions

There are many people who assume you need full sunlight for solar panels to work. This is untrue and these panels can work in the cold, cloudy conditions of winter. The technology that powers these panels will actually work better in cold environments compared to hot ones.

If there is cloud cover, the efficiency of the panels will not be compromised. The amount of energy you get on winter days will be the same as that generated on sunny summer days. Many panels also have systems that melt snow that settles on them to gain access to light.

Solar Panels Are Not Economically Viable

At one point, it was extremely expensive to install solar panels and this made it impossible for the average person to have them. These times are long past and between 2009 and 2015, the costs of solar panels have decreased making them more affordable. On average, the cost of solar panels has decreased by 30%.

In terms of the wider economy, solar energy is more viable than any other form of energy. It has bee found that solar energy is cheaper to generate than energy from coal. This makes it a good option for the economy as a whole.

Learn more about solar Cape Town and Southern African options.

Solar Panels Are Hard To Install And Need A Lot Of Maintenance

Solar panel installation can be simple if you work with the right manufacturer. The company you purchase the solar panels from will generally offer an installation service as well. This is something you need to consider using, particularly if you want to make use of any grants for having solar panels.

When it comes to maintenance, there is less to do than many people assume. Solar panels do need to be cleaned to remove dust and debris that accumulates on them. However, the construction of the panels generally makes this easy. Solar panels are also designed to withstand harsh weather which reduces the maintenance needs.

Solar Panels Will Damage Your Roof

If you want solar energy for your home, you may assume the panels will damage your roof. This is something that many people assume, but it is not true. The section of the roof under the panels actually benefit from them because they are better protected.

Additionally, solar panels are not attached directly to the roof. There will be a gap between the panel and the roofing material. The metal mounts for the panels are protected by coverings which protects your roof even more.

At The End Of Their Life, Solar Panels Are Bad For The Environment

A lot of people have this misconception that once solar panels reach the end of their life, they will not be good for the environment. This is incorrect and solar panels will last for 25 years at the most. Once they reach the end of their lifespan, the solar panels can be recycled.

Some solar panel manufacturers will recycle your old solar panels for free. Of course, this will depend on the manufacturer you use.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding solar energy and solar panels. Many of these misconceptions are based on the past when solar panels were not as accessible. Other misconceptions come from a lack of understanding of how solar energy works and how it is generated. If you are unsure about solar energy, you should look for the truth regarding it.

8 Tips To Save On Energy Costs

No matter what the season is, the energy consumption which we consume in our homes doesn’t stop. When it’s not heating system; it’s the cooling system, various home appliances or special events by which we fill your home with people. It’s why in this post, we provide you with a few tips for saving energy at home which are helpful for any time of the year.

1. Open your windows

Get natural ventilation by allowing some fresh air. Opening up your windows brings about a cross-breeze which flows throughout the house to get a natural cooling effect. If you reside in a climate in which it cools off during the night, switch off your air conditioning unit and open up your windows. Whenever you get up each morning, close the windows and blinds in order to get the cool air. Spring is the ideal time to do this tip, considering that the temperatures are very mild.

2. Boost natural light on your home

Allow the sun shine in by simply turning off any artificial lights throughout hours of daylight. Rather, make use of windows and skylights to lighten up your house. Apart from minimizing electricity expenses, boosting natural light in your house provides various other advantages.

3. Save Water

Utilizing less water reduces both your water bill as well as your electric or gas bill. Based on DOE, water heating is the 3rd most energy extensive work in the house. In order to cut down your water consumption take showers rather than baths and fill up the sink whenever washing the dishes instead of leaving the water flowing while you rinse. A different way to save is through turning down the temperature of the water heater to the warm setting or even to 120° F and you’ll save energy and prevent burning your own self!

4. Think about Buying Energy-efficient Appliances

In case you’re taking the next phase to make your house efficient and are looking for brand new appliances, make sure to buy ones having the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label. Such devices make use of between 10 and 50 percent much less power and water compared to their traditional alternatives. Such home appliances would be more expensive, however will save you every month in your utility bills and will also probably be eligible for a a tax credit to make the purchase!

5. Insulate Your House Well

Greater than 50 % of a home’s energy consumption goes toward cooling and heating. Contributing to the insulation on your house’s attic, floors, walls and ceilings will slow down the movement of air around the outside and inside of your house and can help you sustain your home’s temperature. Lower levels of insulation and gaps on the insulation materials will give paths for heat and air to very easily circulate into or out of a house.

6. Set up a Programmable Thermostat

Programming thermostats could be complex however an unprogrammed thermostat could waste 20% in your cooling and heating bill. Simply by automatically adjusting the home’s temperature in your schedule, you keep your house comfortable only if you want it to be and reduce costs. In case you don’t already adjust the thermostat during the day, a programmable thermostat can save you approximately 20 % in cooling and heating expenses.

7. Try To Make Windows More Efficient

Although sealing the windows well is actually a must, window glass is still a thin filter to help keep temperatures outside. Brand new storm windows have become the defacto standard for energy efficiency in the house. They minimize temperature loss through sealing leakages and developing a dead airspace in between window panes. Installation could be very costly however according to the number of windows you’ve got, they’ve got a fairly short, 10 year return on your investment.

8. Minimize Phantom Loads

A “phantom load” is considered the energy that the appliance or electronic device utilizes when it’s not actually switched on. Based on the U.S. Department of Energy, “In the typical home, 75 percent of the electricity utilized to power home electronics is consumed while the items are switched off.” To simply eradicate phantom loads, plug the appliances and electronics right into a power strip and just turn the strip off if they’re not being used.