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What Makes Up Solar PV Panel Costs?

Many South Africans want to get off the unstable, failing electricity grid and make the switch to Solar. However, the upfront costs of solar panel installations can be a drawback. Why does a solar PV system cost what it costs – and is it financially worth it?

Here are some of the component costs that make up a solar installation, and some tips on keeping your costs down.

Solar PV Panels

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are made up of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon, glass, and metal. They work by converting sunlight energy into direct current (DC) electricity. Depending on the amount of electricity you want to generate to power your home, you’ll need at least a few large panels.

Related: find out the right size solar panel system for your home.

Luckily, you can start off with a basic solar installation that can power some of your household needs. You can then add extra panels in the future if you want to generate more electricity. The potential for additions and upgrades will depend on your inverter size.;

Electrical Components

The total cost of installing a solar panel system at your home or business includes electrical components - like cables, wires, breakers, switches and isolators.

Most importantly, you will receive an inverter. Your inverter functions to change the DC electricity (generated by your solar panels) into the AC electricity your appliances run on. AC electricity is also the type that is supplied by your grid.

By the way, solar-generated electricity isn’t more or less dangerous than other types – as long as you treat it with the same level of caution you use for any power supply.

The size of the inverter your solar power system needs depends on the power requirements of all the appliances you want to run.

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Solar Panel Mounting System

Your solar panels are attached to your roof with a mounting system, made of metal brackets. Mounting systems are designed to keep your solar panels attached securely for around 20 years, in best-case scenarios.

Related: Find out - can YOUR roof handle a solar panel installation?

In the time frame that your mounting system is required to operate, it has to withstand plenty of environmental stressors. Depending on your area, the bracket system will have to endure rain, wind, frost or hail – so it’s in your best interests to ensure you get a good-quality system that can resist corrosion. No-one wants to venture outside after a storm and find your costly investment lying on the lawn!

Solar Installation Labour Costs

Your solar panels will need to be installed by a qualified professional. First of all, they’re installed on a roof. Secondly, they require electrical connections. For these reasons, an installer is usually trained in the handling and care of roofing, electrical circuits, AND solar panels.

To make sure your solar panel system stays under warranty, it’s imperative to get it installed by trained technicians. Don’t try to DIY the job if you want to ensure the safety and resilience of your investment!

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Why do different solar panel brands and models have different prices?

Prices often fluctuate between solar panels of similar wattage. This is not to say all panels on the lower end of the price scale are of poor quality.

Technological innovations have made solar PV panels increasingly affordable over the past few years, and this is a trend that will continue. Think of computers over the years – they became increasingly affordable until almost everyone could own one.

The higher price of some solar panels generally comes down to warranties, components, and degradation rates. The general quality and performance of most panels is around the same.

The most important thing about solar panel installations is that they are a developing technology reliant on a renewable source of energy. This is in direct contrast to technology depending on finite fossil fuels. Therefore, solar energy can only become cheaper as time goes on – while fossil fuel energy becomes more expensive.

Get the Best Price on Solar PV Panel Systems

You’ll probably get different quotes from competing solar providers, depending on your specific requirements. Do yourself a favour and dig down into the “fine print” to make sure you’re being quoted as comprehensively as possible. Ask your solar energy provider if they’ve included ALL the information and have covered every possibility before you make your choice.

APPLY NOWThink you can't afford to go solar? Think again, you can still save over 50% on your energy bill, even with solar financing.

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Solarconnect connects you to solar energy providers. You can choose to opt for financing, or get a quote on a solar installation. 

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