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What Makes Up The Cost Of Installing Solar Panels?

What Makes Up The Cost Of Installing Solar Panels?

There are a few factors that go into your solar installation costs. Why does a solar PV system cost what it costs – and is it worth it for South Africans?

Here are some of the components that make up your solar power system, and some tips on keeping your costs down.

Solar Panels

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are usually made up of various kinds of silicon. They work by converting sunlight energy into direct current (DC) electricity. The number of panels you need depends on the amount of electricity you want to generate.

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

You can install a basic solar panel system, then add extra panels in the future if you want to generate more electricity. Additions and upgrades will depend on your inverter size.  

Solar Electrical Components

The total cost of installing a solar PV system in your home includes all the electrical components – namely wires, cables, breakers, switches and isolators.

Most importantly, you will receive an inverter, which converts the DC electricity generated by your panels into the AC electricity your appliances need to run. AC electricity is the type that is supplied by your grid. While solar-generated electricity is safe, you should use it with the same level of caution you use for any power supply.

The inverter is like the “heart” of your full solar power system. The size you need will depend on the power in watts (or current in amps) of the appliances you want to run.

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Solar Mounting System

The mounting system physically connects your solar panels to your home’s roof. This is an integral component of your solar PV system, and it’s designed to keep your solar panels safely mounted from a minimum of 25 years.

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

Your solar mounting system will be subjected to some major environmental stresses. Depending on the area you live in, it will have to endure rain, wind, frost or hail – so make sure you get the best quality corrosion-resistant system. This will protect your investment and prevent unexpected replacement costs.

Labour Costs of Solar Installations

Your solar panels will have to be installed by a qualified professional. This person will be trained as an electrician as well as solar panel installer.

Most solar panels have to installed by trained technicians as part of their warranty. Unless you’re a highly qualified electrician yourself, this isn’t a job you can DIY. To make you’re your solar panel system is safe and will last for many years, call the solar professionals!

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 PV panels more and more affordable over the past few years, and this is a trend that will continue. Solar is a technology, not a fuel. And as technology develops, it becomes cheaper – unlike finite fossil fuels.

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.  

How to Get the Best Price on a Solar Panel System

You’ll probably get different quotes from competing solar providers on your requirements. It’s worth your while to 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 you’ll need to make your choice.

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