4 Important Factors to Consider When Evaluating Commercial Solar Panels

4 Important Factors to Consider When Evaluating Commercial Solar Panels

Solar panels are much more potent than those methods of generating power people used a few decades ago. The idea of generating electricity from the sun is quite appealing. However, there are some essential considerations to remember before purchasing and installing solar panels.

1. The Usefulness of Solar Panel Efficiency

Efficiency when it comes to solar panels refers to how much of the sun’s energy can turn into electricity. For example, a solar panel with a 15% efficiency rate will generate 15 percent of the power it receives from the sun. Depending on today’s technology, commercially available solar panels will achieve a 15 percent to 24 percent efficiency rate.

Greater versatility comes with increased productivity. With fewer panels; you can quickly produce the same amount of electricity but in less space, maximizing your power production from the area you have available. Installation costs are minimal because there are fewer panels. If you do not need to use all of the open space right now, get fewer panels. You can add more later if your energy needs change. Paying a lower price for less-efficient panels can help you save money.

2. Finding Panels You Can Rely On in Terms of Durability

Your commercial solar panels’ durability is just as critical as their performance. Durability is essential for a significant business investment like solar, which has to see daily highs and lows in temperature, wind, snow, and humidity.

We are not just concerned about repair or replacement costs. It is also necessary to factor in the expense of lost power and the time spent on administrative tasks when problems get resolved.

Also, the less robust the panels are, the more time you’ll spend filling out claims forms. Waiting for panels to get a replacement, and losing out on solar power.

The rate of deterioration of your solar panels is proportional to their longevity. All solar panels’ output deteriorates over time. The trick is to figure out if the money saved upfront on lower-quality panels outweighs the costs of faster deterioration over time. 

3. Real Performance of Solar Panels Matters Too

Perfect, lab-like conditions determine the efficiency of a solar panel, but the truth can be slightly different.

For example, solar panels are quite unlikely to achieve their efficiency when installed on the roof, less-than-ideal lighting, or at high temperatures. That is why it is crucial to understand their real-world performance—the amount of energy you can reasonably anticipate based on your installation type and place. 

Solar panel installers and providers should be able to give you an estimate of how well the panels will work based on weather patterns in your state, the location of your panels, and the amount of average sunlight they will get throughout the year.

4. Warranty: Identifying What Is Included, Who Is Responsible For What, and for How Long.

When it comes to your solar panels, we have talked about power, longevity, degradation rate, and results, but there is one more thing to discuss; the warranty.

All solar panels usually come with two warranties: 

1) A product warranty that covers the product against defects

2) A power warranty that covers a minimum assured power rating.

These two warranties may be for the same (25-year combined) or different (ten-year commodity, twenty-five-year power) periods, which may or may not provide the service needed to repair faulty or underperforming panels.

To sum up, understanding a solar panel’s efficiency is just the beginning of determining which panel is suitable for your commercial solar installation. The durability, degradation rate, efficiency, and warranty of a panel are all equally significant. Understanding these features and the potential short- and long-term financial consequences will help you make more informed and confident decisions. For example, choosing less costly panels would enable you to reach your financial goals faster.

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