What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar?

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Solar panels have been around for a very long time, but it was really in the 2000s that the technology took off thanks to greater efficiency and wider availability.

Are you still on the fence about switching to solar or not? Prices have dropped significantly but you still have to shell some out. The question thus: is solar worth it? In this article I will show you the advantages of solar and some drawbacks too.\

Advantages of Solar Energy

These are the most important benefits of solar power. As you will there is a lot they can offer. ranging from cost efficiency, practicality and versatility.

Solar is Not Going to Run Out

Solar gets its energy from the sun, which means it won’t run out. At least not for another 10 billion years. Unlike fossil fuels, solar is a viable long term solution for our energy needs.

As long as the sun is out there you will always have power. Yes, you can still use solar panels at night, when it rains, or any other time.

If you are on the grid, you can connect to the utility company if solar isn’t available. If you are off the grid, you can buy batteries like CHINS to store solar power for later use.

Solar Energy is Clean Energy

Solar power is clean and renewable. It doesn’t pollute and is good for the environment. It is also good for your health.

If you want to cut down on your carbon footprint, solar is one of the best options available.

There are many reasons why people switch to solar: reduce power costs, be independent and go green. If you are concerned about the environment and want to be energy sufficient, solar is a good place to start.

Solar Panels Lower Your Power Bill

By going solar your power bill will go down. How much you save depends on how much solar energy you use.

If your home is connected to a power grid, you save money every time you turn to solar. If you are off the grid and 100% running everything on solar panels, you don’t pay the power company anything.

We all know how costly power is, and solar provides you with a cheaper alternative. You can run all appliances including a 5 ton air conditioner on solar energy. It is a practical alternative for homes and commercial establishments.

Solar Power is Versatile

When we think of solar power, we imagine rooftops with solar panels. But you can use this in many different ways.

You can use solar power and still remain on the energy grid. You can switch between the two anytime.

You can also go off the grid and run your entire house on solar power. If you want to live on the go, solar can power RVs and other motorhomes.

Solar can be used in businesses, industries and anywhere there is no power grid. Solar panels can be set up to supply power, water and other essentials to places where traditional electricity isn’t available

You Get Your Money Back and More with Solar

Solar power costs have dropped significantly the past several years and this will likely continue. Solar is more affordable than ever, so recouping your investment is faster.

Going solar is all about cutting your power costs. The more you rely on it, the more energy independent you become. Eventually you will recover the cost of purchase and the money you save from your power bill is a bonus.

Most states also offer SREC (solar renewable energy certificates). Each certificate is equivalent to one megawatt of solar-produced electricity.

Power companies purchase these SRECs to ensure they conform to the state Renewable Portfolio Standard. The RPS requires power companies to generate a specific amount of their power from renewable sources.

You can sell SRECs to these companies to recoup your investment or as a profit. You not only make money but also help companies use clean energy.

Solar Energy Increases Property Value

There are many reasons why installing a solar system increases property value.

Solar panels reduce monthly electric bills, and you can sell any extra power generated for profit. If you’re a buyer, this alone makes a house look more enticing.

Solar system costs have dropped, but it’s still going to cost money to install one in your home. If the house already comes with a solar system, a buyer is more likely to purchase it at a premium.

A house equipped with solar panels may cost more, but most buyers are willing to pay because they know the long term benefits.

Solar Can Make You Energy Independent

Those who rely 100% on solar are living off the grid. For a lot of people this has become a viable alternative. With the cost of solar going down, a house or RV can run entirely on solar energy.

A house or RV running on 100% solar is energy independent. You never have to pay for whatever appliances and electrical devices you use.

And you always have power available. Electrical grids shut down during a natural disaster or a technical malfunction. As long as your solar system works, you will always have power.

Solar Works in Any Weather

Solar depends on the sun, but it works in all kinds of weather and even at night.

Rain and snow are actually good because they can remove the debris on the panels. This can save you the trouble of cleaning.

But how can you use solar if the skies are cloudy or it’s raining? This is where batteries and inverters come into play.

Basically this is how a solar system works: solar panels convert sunlight into electricity (DC), which is stored in a battery. The inverter converts this electricity into AC so it can be utilized by consumer electronics.

This video shows how solar power works..

Solar Power Needs Little Maintenance

Solar panels only need cleaning once or twice a year. You can do this yourself or contact a professional solar panel cleaner to do it.

Not only are solar panels low maintenance, but they are also built to last. Most solar panels have a 20-25 year warranty so you can use them for years.

Solar batteries last anywhere from 8 to 20+ years, and inverters are good for 5-10 years as well. Charge controllers also have long warranties.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Solar panels offer plenty of benefits, but there are some disadvantages as well.

Installation Cost

While solar prices continue to drop, it still requires money to power an entire house. The cost depends on how much solar power you want to use.

If you are going to stay on the grid, it will cost less. You just need enough solar panels to run all the appliances you want. You could for instance, run an AC, refrigerator and other large appliances on the grid and use solar for smaller appliances.

If you want to go 100% full solar, you’ll need enough solar panels, batteries and inverters to power everything. This is going to cost more, but you’ll recover the cost by paying less to the utility company.

Storage Capacity Expense

Solar batteries used to be very expensive, but prices have dipped a lot in recent years. Even lithium batteries which used to be prohibitively priced, are now more affordable.

How much you spend on batteries depends on your system setup. If you opt to stay on the grid there’s no need for batteries. Not unless you want backup power available in case the grid goes down.

Even if you decide to power an entire house or RV on solar, it’s cheaper now compared to years ago.

Can Your Roof Handle Solar?

Solar panels need a solidly built roof, like those made of tiles, concrete or metal. Lighter materials may not be sufficient to support the weight of several solar panels.

If your house has an old roof, consult a solar panel installer first. They will tell you what fortifications have to be done so the roof can support the panels’ weight.