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Your Home Improvement Guide to Consumer Solar Technologies

The solar industry is booming, and it’s easy to see why. The cost of installing solar technologies has dropped 82% over the last decade. As a result, it’s making this technology more accessible than ever before.

There are many benefits associated with going green through renewable energy sources. That said, you may be wondering how exactly these systems work.

This guide will help answer some common questions about consumer-grade solar technologies. That way, you know what options are available for your home improvement project.

What Solar Technologies Exist?

There are two main types of solar panels that convert to solar using the same principles. These are crystalline silicon and thin film. Both have only recently become affordable enough for consumers.

Crystalline silicon cells use large amounts of rare earth elements. These include gallium, indium, aluminum, and tellurium.

Thin-film cells do not need any mining or processing. Instead, they use semiconductor processes like those used in computer chips. They also tend to last longer because they don’t contain toxic chemicals.

Yet, both cell types still need pairing with inverters and batteries. These technologies help you store unused energy.

How Do I Choose Which Type of System Is Right for Me?

There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing solar panel technologies. Here are a few:

Cost of Solar Panels

Make sure you do your research and get at least three quotes from different providers such as Blue Raven. For those short of money, solar energy financing is an option if you can’t afford the initial upfront. You’ll pay off the loan over time, usually 10 to 15 years, depending on your state’s net metering laws.

Some states allow utilities to buy back excess generation during peak times. That means you could make money selling extra electricity back to the grid!

If you’re looking for long-term savings, then go with a fixed-rate lease agreement. It allows you to lock in a low monthly payment for 20 to 30 years without worrying about fluctuating prices.

Installing Solar Panels and Roof Size

The size of your roof could also affect which panels you choose. That’s because a small roof will need more efficient panels. The amount of sunlight hitting your roof is also an issue.

It determines whether it would benefit most from a ground mount or a rooftop mount. A larger roof might even warrant more than one array.

Size and Efficiency of Panels

Most residential installations come standard with 12V panels. But there are now 18V models that produce 8 watts per square foot. And 24V panels offer 9 watts per square foot.

So, the bigger the number, the less space you’d need to install one. Your roof size can also influence which size panels you go for as they have to fit on your roof with some clearance.

Solar Technologies Continue to Develop

As technology continues to advance, so will our ability to harness clean energy. We’ve already seen some amazing advancements like thin-film solar panels. These comprise layers of various metals and compounds that absorb light.

This type of material doesn’t need any rare earth minerals. That makes it much cheaper to manufacture. Another advancement we see today is photovoltaic glass.

The glass uses tiny particles called quantum dots to convert photons into electrons. So whatever solar technologies you choose, the environment, and your wallet, thank you!

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