Solar Myths- Clearing Misconceptions About Solar Energy
The residential and commercial use of solar energy is steadily rising as a global solution to achieving sustainable energy. Solar energy is an attractive choice for renewable energy due to its environmental friendly benefits as well as it’s cost reduction benefits.However, just as with any new technology, many unfounded misconceptions may cause you to be wary of investing in solar panels. In this article we will tell you the real facts and debunk some of these myths.
1. Solar Panels Damage Your Roof
Inasmuch as this is a valid concern, we have to consider that when solar panels are installed per manufacturer guidelines, they will not cause any roof damage on your home. In fact, the opposite is true. Solar panel installation has seen significant improvement and many panels are designed in a way that makes them easy to install and actually protect your roof as opposed to causing damage to it.
To mitigate the probability of poor installation that may cause damage, one is advised to approach providers that will offer a warranty that covers such an eventuality.
2. Solar Panels Don’t Last Very Long
The industry standard lifespan for solar panels is about 25 to 40 years from when they are initially installed. Like any tool, solar panels get wear and tear. Solar panels can be damaged by storms, debris and chemicals. During this period, most providers offer a warranty that covers such damages.
3. Solar Panels Are Expensive
The payback period for solar when installed for home use is about 4 to 6 years and about 3 years for companies that operate during the day. This is the period it will take for you to recover your initial investment in the form of how much solar is saving you in your electricity bill. Consumption conscious individuals will use energy intensive devices during the day to further maximize on the efficiency of solar energy.
4. Solar Panels Will Not Work In Snowy or Cloudy Weather
First of all, we need to understand that solar panels do not rely on the temperatures and instead they absorb the sun’s radiation energy. With that understanding, we know that solar panels can still generate electricity in cloudy, snowy areas and other harsh climates.
Solar panels will still work even when the sun’s direct light is partially blocked by clouds and the panels still manage to produce energy with reflected light, indirect sunlight. As for snow, when a solar panel is covered with snow completely it cannot produce electricity. However, the panels are mostly installed on a slope or in a slope-like manner which encourages the shedding of snow and they are mounted to face the sun hence the heat can melt the snow. Light dusting of snow will not have a significant impact on the panels’ efficiency.
5. You Need to Live in a Warm Climate
Most people are shocked when they learn that solar panels work better in areas of lower temperatures all year round because electrical conductivity increases with the decrease in heat. It’s important to remember, just as stated before, that panels generate electricity through sunlight and not through heat hence the interesting paradox in this myth.
6. You Won’t Have Energy at Night
Even though panels only produce energy when there is sunlight, most systems will produce enough energy in the day to create a surplus that can be used at night.
7. Solar Panels Are Bad For The Environment And Can’t Be Recycled
This claim began because of the old fashioned panels that were popular up until 2010. These old
thin-film panels had traces of cadmium within them which would prove dangerous to plants,animals and humans if it happened to leak out. However due to recent advancements the silicon crystalline solar cells are the most popular and also much more efficient. The only worrying element is the lead that is used in soldering and even that is being phased out and replaced with the new busbar compression joining techniques. Solar panels can be recycled and some companies even offer this as a free service.
8. Maintenance Costs For Solar Is Very High
Modern panels are strong, durable and mostly maintain themselves. Solar panels may require only a light cleaning with water to remove any dust or debris. However, most people just wait for the rain to clear that away.
9. Solar Energy Will Work When the Power Goes Out
Unless a home solar system is fully independent of the grid, a solar-powered home or company will still lose power in an outage and even with batteries, efficiency may be drastically affected.
It is important that homeowners, business owners, real estate agents, investors and appraisers increase their knowledge on solar energy use so that they can empower themselves and others toward making better decisions for energy consumption based on factual, verifiable and reliable information.