There are various solar installation options to select from and the best one specific to a consumer’s home can be selected after going through the pros and cons of each system as explained below:
Grid tied residential solar (with batteries)
This system is not very common as these are very costly and difficult to install. The pros and cons of solar systems with batteries are:
- Customers are ensured of reliable power with both battery and the grid
- These connections qualify for solar power financial incentives
- These connections can avail their own power during power outages.
- These are quite expensive
- Reliance on grid power might be needed when there’s is issue with battery backup or if solar generation is not enough.
Grid tied residential solar (without batteries)
These are the most prevalent systems in use today. They are very cheap and easy to install and they have minimal components to handle and install.
- They can benefit from financial incentives like net metering
- Can resort to grid power as backup during bad solar days.
- During the times of failure of grid power the solar system too collapses.
- There might be utility fees attached to grid connected power systems.
Off grid residential solar
These are mostly found in remote rural areas where laying of transmission lines can be costly and there is no option to connect with the central grid. They are generally not installed in city areas where utilities have a presence.
- This method offers great independence from the central grid and power can be obtained independent of grid.
- System doesn’t get impacted during power outages and grid failures.
- Expensive than the other two systems
- Hard to install
- Not preferred in suburban or metropolitan cities
How to choose a panel system?
There are many aspects one should consider when selecting a panel for home solar system:
- Solar Panel Cost
The variables that matter are: the size (in Watts), the physical size, the brand, the quality of the materials, the warranty period spelled out by the installer.
There are different types of manufacturers producing panels that differ in quality, price, and efficiency. Customers must do some research of individual manufacturers.
- Energy Efficiency
The more efficient the panel, the better but then it can be expensive on the part of homeowners to purchase them. Customers need to understand their unique needs and choose a panel accordingly. For example a customer with no budgetary constraint and a dire need for an aesthetic appeal should choose thin film panels that are visually better though have lower efficiencies than other two panels.
- Durability /Warranty assurance
Customers should choose panels that come with good warranty assurance.
It is important to install a system that is big enough to meet the entire power needs of the house.
- Which panel to choose
All three panels monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film have their own pros and cons. Mono panels are the most efficient ones while thin film panels have a great visual appeal even though not very efficient. Customers must choose the one that fits their needs and budgets.