How to switch to solar: Out with the Old, In with the Renewable!

Switching to solar energy has many benefits. Solar power is more reliable and less expensive than conventional power sources. The initial process can be pricey, but it will be much more economic in the long run. However, and we cannot stress this enough, Preparation is key. 

Let’s start with the basics…

Why you should switch to solar

The obvious answer is that it’s better for the environment because it’s a renewable energy source. Another equally valid answer is that it’s better cost-wise in the long run. After the initial cost of installing the solar panels, other costs are fairly low. The panels are low-maintenance, they’re very durable and have a long lifespan.

Added benefits are that you won’t have to rely on an outside source of electricity, you won’t have to pay that hefty electricity bill every month, and you loadshedding stress will be a thing of the past.

Solar power is much more practical in relation to our country’s electrical infrastructure.

Given the current state of South Africa’s conventional power grid, now is the ideal time to think of getting off the grid. For those who aren’t up-to-date with Eskom’s latest announcement, the low down is that electricity tariffs will be increasing, significantly, over the next year. Loadshedding is currently in effect, which means more blackouts are still to come. 

Once you’ve made the initial decision to switch to solar, you need to begin the preparation process.

How to choose your solar panels

If you’re not really sure what to do first, finding a qualified electrical service provider to advise you is the best place to start. You can contact us and we’ll guide you through the process:

1. Choosing what kind of solar panels you want to install

There are three main types of solar panels: Monocrystalline panels, Polycrystalline panels, and Thin film panels.

Monocrystalline panels are considered the best for residential use. However, with quality comes cost. The production of these cells is fairly complicated (hence the price tag), but the associated technologies involving solar panel production are rapidly advancing, so monocrystalline panels are becoming more and more affordable.

Polycrystalline panels are the most common type of solar panels used in residences. The technology associated with producing these cells is also rapidly advancing, making Polycrystalline panels almost as efficient as Monocrystalline panels, with the added advantage of being cheaper.

Thin film panels are not nearly as energy-efficient as the other panels, and are not recommended for residential use, so it’s a good idea to steer clear of these panels.

For those who want to see a more in depth explanation of these choices, you read up about them here.

2. Calculating how much power your house will require.

This part can be difficult, so we would suggest you contact a professional service provider to help you calculate correctly. However, if you’d like to do it yourself too, here’s how:

Open up that seldom-used calculator app on your phone for this next part. Make a list of the electrical appliances that you use in your home (so, basically, all of them). Add up how many Watts each of them use and multiply that by the amount of time you use them. This amount is how much energy you use, on average, per day. Next you’re going to have to estimate how many hours of sunlight exposure your panels would receive each day. For the last step, take the amount of Watts you use per day and divide it by the amount of hours of sunlight your panels will receive. For example, if you use 3000 Watts per day, and you have 3 hours of sunlight exposure on average, then you need 1000 Watts of solar power.

3. Choosing the specific solar panels you want to install.

Now that you know what type of panels you want, and the amount of power you will require, you can choose the actual panels you want to install. Consider the brand, type, size, and cost. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to install all of the panels you would need in one go if you don’t have the finances available. You can complete your panel installations over time.

4. Select a qualified, registered electrical service provider to install your solar panels.

Here’s the really easy part. Sunburst Electric service professionals are fully qualified and registered. We offer various solar installation services and solutions, and we are always just one call away, ready to offer you guidance and advice about your choice of solar energy solution. 

Contact us today for more information about the best solar solutions for you, and Expert Electrical Service. 

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