Are you thinking to buy a solar generator? In this article we will take you through the most important points to keep in mind before buying and installing a solar generator system. Being prepared can help you avoid potential problems.
1. think about the future.
We often design our solar installation based on our current energy consumption needs, event though we know life is change, our needs change, our families grows, we need more space, new household devices, more comfort. What we often dont realize is that all this influences our ever-increasing energy consumption. Generally we tend not to think about the size of our family or what our energy consumption will be in 10 to 15 years.
In this sense, it is truly worth it to plan ahead since it is the most economic arrangement when installing a solar generator system. The point is that a 10 KW inverter costs practically the same or slightly more than a 7KW or 5 KW inverter. So for a little more investment you can design your “future” solar generator system that will cover your current demand and your projected demand in 5, 10 or 15 years. Remember that solar generator systems have a long life expectancy from 25 to 35 years, given you perform the correct maintenance and use.
2. Choose quality over price.
Pricing matters and often we operate on a budget, not to mention we can get emotionally carried away by the price tag. We often look at multiple quotes and once we see a quote that is 30 to 40 percent cheaper it sparks our interest as we think we are getting a deal. But be careful, large sales or price differences, in most cases, have an underlying reason, which we might not like. For example, it could be that the difference in price is due to the use of cheaper and lower quality materials for the wiring or devices in the system.
It must be taken into account that solar panels are going to be used in places where we live, where we have a home, where our family is, where our children grow and we need to keep that in mind when making a purchase that impacts everyone and our lifestyle. You do not want to install a defective equipment that will not serve you correctly and could cause a problem in your own home. Solar systems are specific devices that need to be handled with care, since they are sources of energy generation. In case of poorly designed installation they can cause problems. Be very careful, do not get carried away by the cost when making purchase decisions.
3. Avoid installations with partial shades on your solar panels.
Another of the usual drawbacks are installations with partial shades on the solar panels, which prevent it from receiving the sun’s rays in a unified way.
Remember that we are talking about devices for life. Solar panel warranties can be up to 25 years. Shadow silhouettes should be avoided at all costs in the installation of solar panels. Make sure to do a proper installation planning so that housing structures in your area do not stand between the sun and the panels. In addition keep in mind the continuous necessary maintenance of the vegetation in the environment.
A partial shade in the solar panels does not allow the module to produce electricity efficiently and its operating temperature can increase, which results in a significant decrease of the life of the device.
4. Hide inverters from direct sunlight.
It is common we come across solar generator installations with exposed inverters. Throughout the year and depending on where your home is located the sun hits this important part of the solar generator system directly, notably increasing its average operating temperature. This causes the inverter to heat up, increase its operating temperature and decrease its expectation of life. Inverters generally are designed with an estimated operating temperature for their correct operation, however, an additional exposure to the the sun it can cause depreciation and damage. There also are inverters that are designed to function in the sun and in extreme temperature conditions. In these specific cases the sun exposure is accounted for. But be careful, not all inverters have this specification.
5. Watch out for Installations without accessible maintenance.
Another common problem are installations where the maintenance and cleaning of the solar panels is not accounted for. These are usually installations which are out of reach or possible to reach with difficulties, for example, on the second floor without access.
Remember that solar panels must be cleaned regularly, as they get filled with dust, bird droppings, heavy metals from urban life that fall on their surface and are impossible to remove. It is not sufficient to rely on rain.
A solar panel that is not clean will generate shadows (see point 3) and its operation will not be efficient, reducing its useful life. Make sure it is possible to clean the panels by hand, without having to rent scaffolding or special ladders and, most importantly, without risk. Remember, it is essential to design solar installations keeping in mind its easy maintenance.
6. Study your solar generator systems options and search for adequate advice.
Another problem that we have observed is that the variety of options and possibilities available on the market for solar generators is unknown. For example, that in solar panels there are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, bifacial, divided cell or translucent panels. On the inverter side, there are central inverters, optimizers, string inverters, micro inverters, large inverters, with forced dissipation or simple dissipation.
A buyer needs to be fully informed before making the decision about the combination of elements they are planning to install. Make sure to be fully advised by a profesional. Solar generator is an investment for 25 or 30 years and even more.
7. select a professional installer with the appropriate certification.
It is common that users who buy a brand new solar system opt for cheap installers. This should be a red flag. If you receive an offer that is significantly lower, be aware and think twice, it most likely will not be worth it.
We deal with this issue day after day, we see low quality installations, done by installers with little to no preparation. Remember that solar generator systems can be dangerous. There is a source of electricity generation in direct current on your own roof. We must put in place essential protections such as the elemental channels, the correct systems, where the conductors are not well isolated, where incorrect wiring is used as all this can cause problems and you could be installing a death trap in your home.
Be very careful with the installers, check the certifications of your installer. In addition to his name, look for recommendations and how long has the company, they are associated with been operating on the market.
Finally, remember what we always recommend. It is merely about buying the right system for your needs. It is also about installing it correctly and maintaining it properly so that our power generation system can serve us when we need it.