Renewable energy is the more favorable option now that climate change is slowly being acknowledged as a reality. With this development, 12V solar panels are starting to take homeowners by storm, being installed by professionals and amateurs alike. One single installation can pay for itself in savings in about a year or less, depending on the number of KWH you actually use.
There are several factors to look at when it comes to choosing the right 12V solar panel for your home and most of them can be found in most products available in the market.
The first and foremost consideration to look at when choosing a 12V solar panel is the purpose of your solar panel. While they all look the same, there are specialized solar panels that can be used for a specific purpose like evacuated tube solar panels which make for a great water heater while PV solar panels are more suitable in generating electricity.
Check the space that you have for solar panels. Are you going to place it up on the roof or have you set aside a space for it on your backyard? There are models that are specially made to be placed on the roof while some provide additional mounting options so you can place the panels any where you would like.
Just like location, you need to know how big a space you can allot for your 12V solar panels, especially if you will be placing them around the yard. Knowing this information gives you an idea on the area to be covered as well as the number of panels you can buy for the space that you have available.
After determining the type of solar panel that you need, where you would be placing it and how much of a space you have available, you can then look at the more technical aspects about 12V solar panels. Things like the size of the battery, mounting options, materials used and the potential savings.
Several options are available when it comes to the battery that can be bought and installed for solar panels. However, experts recommend 12V batteries for your solar panels as they are more efficient and have a long life span as compared to other batteries.
Solar panels can be classified into three:
- Evacuated Solar Panel Tubes – mainly designed for water heaters, evacuated tubes are a series of copper strips encased within glass tubes that are connected into one plat. The copper heats up and conducts the energy back to the circuit that heats the water up.
- Flat Plate Solar Panels – these are also designed for water heaters and are designed to be flat rather than tubular. The plates have water inside them the sun heats up and once they are heated this water is transferred to the water tank.
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels – unlike evacuated and flat plate solar panels, PV Solar Cells are mainly used to generate electricity and are developed both large and small scale.
Photovoltaic solar panels are made of three materials: amorphous, monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Amorphous PV panels can be molded into any shape but they are not as efficient as the other types of PV solar panels. Polycrystalline solar panels are the most affordable but their composition makes them less efficient as monocrystalline solar panels. Monocrystalline are made of a single sheet of silicon, making them the most efficient material to be used but this efficiency comes with a heftier price.
Solar panels can be mounted according to the space that you have available. For limited spaces, you can use a roof mount or a pole mount while others with a more generous space can go for a flush mount. Among these three, flush mounts are the easiest to install and is the least expensive. Pole mounts can be dangerous in windy locations while roof mounts would require additional braces for the roof.
Calculate how long a 12V solar panel installation would pay for itself by computing the total power that the panels can generate in a month and compare that to the average monthly electric bill. The more self-sufficient you are, the quicker you can get the investment back from the solar panels.
Renewable energy is cheap and highly sustainable and it is just right that we invest in these sources of energy to protect our environment and help her heal from the carbon emissions that coal-based energy has brought upon the planet.
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