When you install solar power for your home or business, you are investing in a future energy solution that should last a lifetime. GeoPeak Energy makes sure you get the full lifetime benefit of this investment by only using the world's highest rated panels, guaranteed to be fully efficient and protected against weather and damage. Call us now, toll free at (888) 526-4428 to find out how affordable our solutions are--absolutely free and no strings attached. We have a full staff of onsite certified solar experts to give you the exact information you need right now.
Solar panels are currently priced very affordably in the market, and the cost can be offset by federal and state incentives. However, in order to make solar power pay off in the long run, you should make your selection based on 8 critical criteria. Your panels will be producing power on your roof for more than 25 years – choosing the right model can increase your energy production and maximize profits over the life of the system.
Make sure you check all 8 of these factors when you make your decision on which NJ solar panel to choose.
The main element in determining the value of a solar panel is its capacity. The more Wattage a solar panel outputs, the more expensive it will be. Solar panels (New Jersey and nationwide) are rated to a certain number of Watts. If a panel is rated to 100 Watts, under optimal conditions it will generate 100 Watts of energy per hour. Panel capacity can be maximized in one of two ways: Increasing the surface area of the panel to absorb more sunlight, or using more efficient materials to produce more power with less space.
However, along with the Wattage, you have to consider the "Rated power tolerance" of the panel. This is the % amount that a panel may over- or under-perform based on environmental conditions. For example, a 200 Watt panel with a rated power tolerance of 10% may only produce 180 Watts under certain conditions. This can be very disappointing when you plan to install a system that will take care of all your energy needs, but come up short due to the rated power tolerance.
Make sure your ask about your panels’ rated power tolerance and how it can affect your system performance.
The minimum standard for panels right now is California Energy Commission’s SB1 guidelines-compliant list of solar panels, released in 2009. Panels on this list were all independently tested and approved on their merits of safety and performance, and can be trusted to perform efficiently and consistently. In addition, the panel producer should have sales offices in the United States. This guarantees that your solar installer is not merely importing cheaply manufactured panels from overseas to save on costs. Companies that meet these two standards are more likely to offer quality products and stand by their work.
Note: ratings for solar panels are more accurate when tested under "PVUSA test conditions" (or PTC) than "standard test conditions" (STC). PTC testing takes place at a temperature 25 to 30 degrees Celsius above STC testing.
One way to help ensure reputability is to use a well-known, global brand. While a famous brand does not ensure a high quality solar panel, we have found that several well-known brands, such as Sharp, Sanyo, and Mitsubushi, provide excellent performance in a variety of conditions. Larger companies invest more money in research and development, and have a corporate reputation to uphold that gives consumers more protection. We have also had great success with two newer brands that have gained a solid name in solar panels: Sunpower and Kyocera.
SunPower currently manufactures the most efficient panels available today (up to 50% more efficient than previous thin-film designs).
Efficiency is a measure of the amount of sunlight a solar panel will convert into electricity. The average solar panel is about 12% efficient, while high-end panels are about 17.5% efficient.
The higher the efficiency, the more power you can generate from a smaller surface area. Therefore, high efficiency solar panels are better for the environment and are usually more appealing for the aesthetics of your home. Moreover, high-efficiency panels are required when energy usage is relatively high and roof size is relatively small.
In order to get a return on your solar investment, you need high-durability, weather-resistant panels. These panels should have a manufacturer's warranty of 25 years minimum. By "last," warranties generally state that the panel will provide a minimum guaranteed output of 80% for the life of the warranty. In addition, the inverters you choose should have a warranty guaranteeing their life for a minimum of 10 years.
Government tax credits for solar panels are only awarded to those who purchase panels certified by the government. With this tax credit still at 30% of the price of your solar panels, getting government certified solar equipment is not only a great way to ensure the quality of your panels, it also lowers your initial investment for a new system.
In order to get the best return on your solar installation investment, you need to choose the right panel for your environment. Right now, there are three main types: mono-crystalline silicon, poly-crystalline silicon, and amorphous.
Mono-crystalline panels are the type we generally recommend for most of our solar installations. They are most efficient when it comes to converting sunlight into electricity. They are also the most expensive. However, the high efficiency means you can power your home with less of them--and on a smaller roof.
Poly-crystalline silicon panels are the middle-of-the-road in terms of performance and price. They are not as efficient as mono-crystalline panels, and a bit more affordable. You will therefore need larger panels--and more of them--to power your home.
Amorphous silicon solar panels are the least efficient and thus require the largest footprint. They are also the least expensive. These panels are a good, cost-effective solution if you have lots of space on your roof and your energy usage is minimal. They also have the added benefit of being flexible. This means they can be curved onto surfaces that solid panels cannot handle.
Finally, PV panels have a metric called the "energy payback." Producing solar panels ironically creates some pollution, since the materials have to be mined and the machinery has to be powered to manufacture them. Panels with a low energy payback will pay back their value to the environment in a short period of time. The most environmentally friendly solar panels will pay back their "debt" to the environment after just 18 months of operation.
In 2007, the New Jersey legislature decided that the state should generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. To hit that goal, the state added incredible rebates and incentives to help homeowners cover the cost of solar panels. These incentives combine with the federal stimulus package to offset a major proportion of the cost of solar panels in New Jersey.
Solar power is now a mainstream energy product. Photovoltaic (PV) technology has become highly efficient and longer-lasting. The average solar panel today produces power at 20% greater efficiency and has twice the life of panels produced 10 years ago.
The global market is currently experiencing "solar glut." Manufacturers are producing twice the number of solar panels the demand market can absorb to accommodate an expanding interest in solar, reducing the price dramatically. However, solar glut will not last. China, the leading national manufacturer of panels, has already restricted production of polysilicon and will likely restrict overall panel production numbers in the near future.
To get in on NJ solar power, act now, call GeoPeak Energy today for a free site evaluation: (888) 526-4478.