The solar panels you select for your installation can make a vast difference in your system’s efficiency and power output, and it can also make a difference regarding the cost. You have to decide on the number of solar panels you need for your array, which will depend on three prime factors: your consumption of energy per day, the number of sunlight hours where you live, and the size of your roof. But whilst you may already have a good idea of these factors, there are several other aspects you have to think about regarding your solar panels. Here, then, is your definitive guide to choosing the best solar panels for your system.
Deciding on the number of solar panels you need
The number of solar panels you need depends on your expected energy consumption, the size of your roof, and your area’s sunlight hours. The size of your roof, for instance, will determine the actual number of solar panels you can fit onto it. Consider the suitability of your roof when it comes to supporting the panels’ weight and how your panels are angled, as suggested by solar panel installation experts like www.atlanticrenewables.co.uk.
If you choose a 3kW system, you may need approximately 12 panels and a surface area of 19.2 sq. metres. If you opt for a 4kW solar panel array, you’d need around 16 panels and an area of 25 sq. metres. For a 5kW array, you’d need about 20 panels and a 32 sq. metre area, and for a 6kW array, you’d need 24 panels and an area of approximately 38 sq. metres.
Determining the type of panels you should install
There are different types of panels, and your choice depends on their cost, your roof space, and their efficiency. It is worth mentioning that some would have greater efficiency than others, so this can affect the actual panel number you have to install. For instance, you don’t need as much space when you decide to install monocrystalline solar panels instead of polycrystalline or thin-film panels.
Monocrystalline solar panels
It has the highest rating on efficiency at 15 to 20 per cent – meaning it can convert around 15 to 20 per cent of the energy of the sun into usable power. It is also efficient in terms of space because it can produce more power per area compared to other panel types. A single sq. metre of the panel can produce 10 Watts more compared to a same-sized polycrystalline panel. But with this efficiency comes a higher price, as it also uses higher-quality silicon.
Polycrystalline solar panels
This panel type has a higher tolerance to temperature, which can produce more power throughout the year. They are also cheaper since polycrystalline panels have melted silicon fragments that form the panel wafers, whilst monocrystalline panels have silicon moulded into bars and then cut to form wafers. One downside to this type is it is not as efficient compared to monocrystalline panels because the silicon used for it is not as pure. The efficiency rating for such a panel is from 13 to 17 per cent.
You also have to factor in the cost of the panels and the cost of the entire installation, but if you can take advantage of the SEG scheme, you can maximise your investment.
Image attributed to Pixabay.com
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