If you’ve been thinking about making the switch to clean solar energy, now is a great time. The cost of solar panel installation has dropped by 99% over the last forty years! Now doing something good for the planet won’t take more money than you have in the budget.

There are several types of solar panels. Keep on reading to learn more about them and the benefits of going solar.

Types of Solar Panels

Solar panels that are the most popular are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Whichever one you go with, you will get clean energy that won’t burn up fossil fuels.

Monocrystalline panels have rows and columns. These get made from one silicon crystal that’s sliced into wafers. They have rounded edges because the crystals are cylindrical.

Polycrystalline panels have solar cells with many crystalline silicon fragments. These silicon fragments could be pieces of monocrystalline solar that were leftover. They get melted together to make blocks and then get cut into wafers.

Thin-film can get made from different materials, such as amorphous silicon and cadmium telluride. These are skinny and flexible cells. They sometimes get applied right on a surface using an adhesive.

Solar Panel Efficiency

Some people feel this is the most important aspect of deciding a solar panel’s quality. Efficiency is the ability of the solar panel to convert energy at a high supply rate and low cost.

Of the three types, the monocrystalline panel is the most efficient. It costs the most but has an efficiency rating of 18 percent or higher.

The polycrystalline solar panel is the middle-of-the-road option. It has a medium efficiency rating of 15 to 17 percent, but the cost is still high.

If you are looking to get the most affordable option, you can go with the thin- film. It has the lowest cost, but the efficiency rating is the lowest coming in at 11 percent.

Why Go Solar?

One big reason for installing solar panels is the renewable energy it provides. Solar energy is plentiful because the sun never goes away.

It provides clean energy. Going solar reduces water consumption and reduces dangerous pollutants like particulate matter. It also lessens greenhouse gas emissions.

No matter what solar panel options you choose, this type of clean energy works everywhere. One hour of summer sun around noon can equal the yearly U.S. electricity need.

You could save money on your energy bill because you are using the sun as an energy source. In some places, you can get a federal and state tax credit by going solar. Blue Raven Solar installs efficient solar panels and equipment that can help you start saving money.

Going solar can increase your home value. Like any other type of renovation, installing solar panels gets considered an upgrade. How much it increases the value will depend on the solar system size and local electricity rates.

Installing Solar Panels

If you have decided to check out solar panel options, you may want to know how they get installed. Some steps must get followed when installing solar panels.

Once the contract gets signs, an engineer will do a site visit. Your roof will get evaluated to make sure that it’s structurally sound. The engineer will check your electrical panel and make sure you won’t need an upgrade on your box.

Of course, there is always paperwork involved. Once you decide to go solar, the installer will take care of most of the forms that need to get filled out. During this process, you can apply for state and federal tax incentives.

You have to get a building permit to add solar panels to your home. The installer may take care of this for you because the requirements vary by state.

Now the fun part of ordering your panels comes in. You’ve decided what kind you want before signing the contract, so now the installer can get them ordered. At this time, your property gets added to the installer’s schedule.

Once the equipment comes in and, a date gets set, it is installation time! That is when your roof gets prepped, and they make sure tiles or shingles got attached well.

Then they will install any electrical wiring that connects to your electric panel. It takes one to three days to complete the entire process.

Flipping the Switch

After installing solar panels, you will get to flip the switch to clean energy! You will get an inspection by a local town official who will deem it ready to go. They will inspect the installer’s work to make sure everything looks right.

Your electrical wiring gets checked during this process. The representatives have to make sure the mounting is sturdy and safe. The complete installation has to meet electrical safety codes.

After the inspection, the time comes for the grid connection. A local electric company rep will come out and do a final evaluation of the solar panel installation. If there are no problems, they give their okay for your panels to go live.

Going live takes time. Once you get the go-ahead, it could take two weeks to a month to get approved through the town and electric company. Once that happens, you will start using your solar power, and the switch will get flipped!

Getting the One for You

When it comes down to deciding on solar panels, choosing the right one may seem daunting. That does not have to be the case as long as you do some research ahead of time. Knowing your budget and style goes a long way.

No matter what types of solar panels you pick, you can’t go wrong with clean energy. Check out our other article for more lifestyle tips!