Solar power, while it can save significant costs in the long run, has a huge up-front cost. Solar systems that only produce about 3,000 kWh per month can cost $18,000 or more to install. Even with government tax breaks, homeowners still have to pay a significant portion of the installation fees on their own – this large chunk of money is difficult for anyone to afford, even with financing options.
Scalable Solar Panels
To offset this expensive cost, you can choose scalable solar installation – that means you can add more panels over time, as you save up the extra money, or when panels go on sale, for example. These systems use a micro-inverter system that inverts the power per-panel, rather than through the entire system at once. If you choose to use the scalable installation route, you will have to choose whether to size your inverter for eventual expansion, and pay more up front, or purchase a new inverter for each new panel you install. Either method can work equally well, and it is mainly a matter of choice on when you want to spend the money.
Solar Roofing: Cost and Capabilities
Most micro inverter-capable solar panels cost between $1,200 and $3,000 per panel. This price covers everything you need to install the panel, including mounts and the inverter. One panel will produce between 10 to 15 kWh per square foot every day, with at least 5 hours of sun exposure per day. If you get more sun in your area, you may see higher energy outputs. One kWh of energy output can power 1000 watts of energy use per hour, so do the math on your own usage, and see if it’s enough to make a big difference in your bill.
Over time, you can continue to add panels as you have the money, wherever you have space. Full roof systems can typically produce between 3,000 and 10,000 kWh per month, depending on the size of the unit and amount of sun exposure. If you choose to install panels one at a time, it could take quite a few panels before you get anywhere near the energy output of larger systems.
Most Efficient Solar Panels
Currently, the most efficient solar panels are monocrystalline silicon cells, which usually have an efficiency rating between 12 and 18 percent. Look for this type of solar panel when choosing individual panels to install on your rooftop or in your yard, and you’ll maximize the money you spend on a solar power system.
The most popular solar panel brands based on efficiency and price are:
Have you considered adding solar panels to your home to save energy?