Solar Panels - A Basic Overview
If you are really seriously considering installing solar panels to either heat your water or produce electricity in your home or workplace, there are a few basics that you should be aware of. The first important aspect to point out is that there are actually two different types of solar panels, one which produces hot water from the heat of the sun while the other produces electricity from the brightness of the sun (or photovoltaic). Each of these types of solar panels are very different in construction and of course the materials that are used to make them, as well as the function that they perform when they are situated on your roof.
Solar panels which produce hot water are known as evacuated tubes and absorb the suns power to heat water that is flowing through them. Solar panels which generate electricity use very sophisticated technology to take strong light and convert it into electricity using very advanced form of the photoelectric cell called a photovoltaic cell. The hot water generating system is usually less expensive to make and install than the very advanced technology based photovoltaic electric generating system. Due to the fact that both systems are so very different, it is often difficult for even the most highly qualified surveyor to determine which system will perform most effectively for each situation.
One of the most effective ways to make a decision between the two solar panel systems is to analyze exactly how much electricity you use and relate that to how much hot water you use. If you have a swimming pool for example, it is probably a good idea to opt for the hot water generating solar panel system. If your main goal is save some money over time on your electric bills then the photovoltaic system is made for you.
One of the most commonly asked questions about solar panels and the installation of solar panels is the projected lifespan of the solar panels. The answer is that although many companies who make solar panels may tend to avoid answering the question if possible, most solar panels manufactured today have a lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. One of the key deciding factors for that life span involves where the solar panels are located and of course how they are treated during and after installation. Proper care and regular maintenance is a key factor in ensuring that the solar panels achieve a maximized lifespan.
The second most popular question asked by people considering installing solar panels is how long will it take to get their money back. Well the good news is that solar panels are one of the few home improvements that do offer an ROI (return on investment). The ROI is normally met at approximately half of the life span of the solar panels, contingent on how much the cost of electricity increases as well as a number of other relevant variables. Return on investment is also called cost recovery, which you can learn more about at the making solar panels pay - how to calculate cost recovery page.
Probably one of the best reasons for installing solar panels these days (besides saving the planet a little and saving money on your energy bills) is that when you sell your house it is likely that you will get a better price for it if it has a higher energy efficiency rating. Realtors and other property sales experts in the developed world would certainly agree that the sales price of homes that have inadequate environmental credentials will be less than those with a higher energy efficiency rating, which is certainly a very compelling reason to utilize solar panels on your residence or business.