Shopping Guides & Tip

Solar panels: what to look for?

In 2015, you see more and more solar panels not only in large commercial buildings but also in homes and gardens. With solar panels, you can save a lot of money over the years, but the purchase of the solar panels is expensive. What should you notice when buying solar panels?



Where are the solar panels from?

The land where the solar panels are made can be of great influence on the quality of the panels. There are about 1000 solar panels suppliers, most (90%) of these suppliers deliver solar panels from Asia because that is where most technical knowledge in this field comes from. The other modules that sell Dutch suppliers are often made in Germany. If you find a supplier of solar panels from another country, the quality of these solar panels is often unknown. Chances are high that these solar panels are much cheaper. If you can not find any positive experience with these solar panels, it is wiser to purchase solar panels only made in Asia or Germany. It’s not like solar panels that are made in countries other than Asia or Germany, is bad.

How many solar panels do you need?

For a home, it is most important to purchase a number of solar panels only enough that you need to generate the required energy for your household. If the supplier has calculated this correctly, your solar panels produce every year just as much or more power than you need for your household. You will therefore not pay any money for your energy company, giving you a return on your solar panels expenditure over the years. If your solar panels produce more power you have needed last year, you’ll get about € 0.07 per kilowatt for the return of your energy company (for the current decreases you pay around € 0.23). This may make for a tidy sum, but in relation to the purchase of the solar panels, it is not much. So it is not helpful to put your roof as full as possible with solar panels. The supplier of the solar panels can help you to decide how much energy for your household and to determine that how many solar panels you should buy. Besides, the number of solar panels, of course depending on the size of your roof or another area where you want to place, but an average space on the roof is always large enough. An average household electric use in the Netherlands is 3600 kilowatts a year, to generate this with the sun you should have about 18 solar panels on your roof.

What are the solar panels made of?

The majority of solar panels that are sold are made of the polycrystalline or monocrystalline. The polycrystalline solar panels are the most popular. These have a blue color and are slightly cheaper than monocrystalline panels with a black color. Both of these materials can generate about the same amount of energy. Otherwise, the black colored solar panels are often chosen because people find it beautiful, but this happens especially in countries where the solar panels are visible on the ground.

Which converter?

In addition, to the solar panels you also need a converter, which is the inverter converts the power made by the solar panels (DC) into alternating current, which is the electricity you use in your home. Without the converter, the power generated by solar panels can not be used in your home. The quality of the converter has a large influence on the power made by the solar panels. A good supplier will always compare the power of all solar modules together and find a suitable inverter. When purchasing the converter, it is wise to buy the same brand or at least of the same supplier of the solar panels to be sure that these panels and the inverter can be combined.

Where do I place the solar panels?

The most obvious place for solar panels is on the roof. Also, the solar panels on the roof are quite out of sight, you often see them only from a distance or from above. The solar panels can however also be simply placed on the ground or at another location, as long as it is in a place where light is as much as possible. Upon the placement of the solar panels, it is important that there is no or as little as the possible shadow falls on the solar panels throughout the day, in order to generate the highest possible power output. Pay attention to the placement of the solar panels because there are always possible trees, tall buildings or other objects that will provide shade in the area.

What guarantee do I get with the purchase?

Always pay attention to the warranty you get with the purchase of your solar panels. Many vendors have to come once a year to clean and check the solar panels, but they do not at all. If you have to do this by yourself, this can create additional costs. It is also useful for you to purchase solar panels from a supplier that you receive comprehensive advice to get the optimum yield from your solar panels and where you can ask questions.

Updated: November 25, 2016 — 12:07 am

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