Ten Myths about Solar Energy

Myth 1: Solar energy is too costly and not a viable option.

There are misconceptions about how much solar panels costs and how will the return on investment be. The cost of solar panels has been a tale of falling prices. In 2000, the global average price of solar PV modules was 4.99 US$ per watt. In 2019 the global average price has fallen to 0.38 US$ per watt. Lower costs mean a shorter payback period. With a grid-connected solar power system, depending on your electricity usage where you live, the incentives and other schemes offered full payback can be achieved in as little as 5-7 years.

Myth 2: Solar panels can’t withstand extreme environments

Manufacturers like AE Solar make sure that solar panels can withstand extreme rain, wind high temperatures, etc. solar panels are manufactured and engineered to withstand winds up to 170 Mph. Most manufacturers test and certify their solar panels to withstand hail up to one inch in diameter falling at 50 miles per hour. They are made sure to last longer in extreme environments be it hot. cold. windy, rainy, etc. They are a lot tougher than you think.

Myth 3: Solar panels need lots of maintenance and care

This is a common misconception which a lot of people have but other than a simple dusting every few months, your solar panels are pretty much maintenance-free. Regular maintenance is important but it is not a pain-staking task. Doing it once every three months is more than enough like making sure to clear any debris or dirt. In case of any issues, it's best to contact the installer directly or check or the system checklist. Find out more on what kind of information they have on the solar panel maintenance checklist

Myth 4: Solar panel don’t work well on cloudy days

Technically clouds don’t block all the sunlight. They do block some. The degree to which the sunlight is blocked out also depends on the type of clouds covering the sky. Solar panels do produce electricity on cloudy days but not as efficiently as on a sunny day. The clouds reflect some of the Sun's short-wavelength (visible light) radiation into space. Low-thick dark clouds (Nimbostratus) reflect more sunlight than compared high thin ones (Cirrus).

Myth 5: No electricity bill because of solar energy

This is not true. The effect of solar on your electricity bills is completely down to how you use the energy produced by your solar panels. Generally, installing solar panels and using the generated electricity to run your household equipment will reduce your grid-connected electricity bill. So, homeowners will be credited for excess electricity produced by the solar panels which will be sent back to the grid. This kind of compensation will be given by the utility provider in the form of energy credits. One way is you can build up these credits whenever the excess amount of electricity is produced normally during summer and use these credits in the months when the production is lower. This method is called Net Metering. In certain cases, at the end of every single billing month, the charges for the customer's electricity import and the energy credit charges are netted against each other.

Myth 6: We can disconnect from the grid with solar panels and batteries

While it’s possible to go off the grid, the number of solar panels and amount of battery storage you may need to invest in could mean it’s not financially viable. So usually, people opt for hybrid technology which is a combination of using solar panels and grid power. A hybrid solar system is grid-tied with battery storage. They come with a special inverter that can transmit DC power to and from batteries, and channel AC power between the grid and the home when necessary.

Myth 7: They are not aesthetically pleasing

Modern solar panels give homes a sleek and sophisticated look by closely contouring to your roof and lately people seem to like them since homes with solar panels sell faster and for more money than those without. For example, there are modern solar panels that look like roof tiles that can be easily installed instead of mounting those big silicon panels on the roof top like the ones seen in the picture below which is being offered by Tesla. These solar tiles are not different compared to traditional solar panels in terms of efficiency and durability. The only different aspect is the design.

Myth 8: Solar will hurt my home’s resale value

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that solar homes sold 20% faster, for 17% more than the equivalent non-solar homes. It was also found that if solar panels are already on the house, and factored into the price already, buyers were more likely to pick a house with solar. So solar panels will not reduce the resale it would actually enhance the property value of the house.

Myth 9: Why use solar panels when we have clean coal technologies

The term 'Clean Coal' was used to refer to technologies that were designed to reduce the emission of pollutants associated with burning coal. Attempting to use coal without adding to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is a major technological challenge. Solar power is a cleaner form of energy than “clean coal” and we don’t have to worry about CO¬¬2 emissions because it doesn’t produce any!

Myth 10: Solar panels aren’t suitable for my home

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels can be installed on a wide range of homes. The most important thing is the direction your roof faces. Installation tilt is different in countries but the minimum tilt angle is 10֯ for all standard mounting manufacturers. If it is flat there are mounting systems that provide suitable tilt for modules. Such systems are easy to configure, easy to mount, and reduces cost.


AE Solar Senior Engineer

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