Adam H. Cooke
10 Biggest Myths about Solar
There are many myths and lies about the solar industry.
It can be difficult to decide what to believe, from the carbon footprint of making a solar panels to cost vs. benefit ratio of buying a solar system.
We felt it was time to confront some of the myths that are being disseminated online, and many of them being shared in our social networks.
These are the top ten biggest myths about solar panels.
Myth 1 - Solar panels use more energy to make than they can generate
Verdict : False. Solar panels produce more electricity over their lifetime than what they use when built.
This myth has been around for years. But the irony of it is that each year it circulates, the more absurd it becomes. Solar panels are now more efficient due to technological advances and improved manufacturing techniques.
ReNew magazine's 2009 solar panel lifecycle assessment showed that it takes between 1.7 to 2.3 years for a solar panel system to make its carbon costs back. This included factors such as the cost of production, transportation, and product usage.
Your solar panels should last for between 20-30 year before they need to be replaced. Often, your warranty covers 25 years. This means that your solar system should be able to pay for its manufacturing costs in just 11 years, if you use the 2.3 year pay-back rate
Myth 2: Solar panels don’t work on cloudy days
Verdict : False. Solar panels can generate solar energy wherever there is sun, but less efficiently.
Solar panels can still produce energy even in colder conditions or on overcast days. The clouds don't block all sunlight. If they did, it would be dark everywhere the sun shines. The type of clouds that cover the sky will also affect the degree to which sunlight is blocked.
Although your solar panels can still produce electricity in cloudy conditions, they may not be as efficient as they are on clear days. The clouds block sunlight from reaching your solar panels. Low, dense, wispy clouds won't block much sunlight, while thicker storm clouds will. Although they won't cease to work completely, solar production could be decreased.
Myth 3: Solar panels are expensive and don’t pay themselves back very quickly
Verdict :False. Solar has never been more affordable, thanks to the many incentives and schemes that are available.
There are many incentives, programs, and schemes that can reduce the initial cost of a solar panel system. These programs range from national programs to state-run programs. These programs often include battery storage which can help you save even more. Learn about some of the available incentives and schemes
A grid-connected solar power system can pay back in as little as three years, depending on how much you use and the size of your system. Learn more about the costs of solar panels.
Myth #4: Solar panels provide blackout power
Verdict : False. Solar panels by themselves won't supply power during a blackout.
You will need to consider battery storage if you need backup power in the event of a grid interruption or blackout. Blackout power can sometimes be included as a standard feature in a battery, but it may require some additional setup. Ask your installer if blackout power is possible for your system when you discuss your requirements.
Myth 5: Installing solar panels makes my electricity cheaper
Verdict : True, but it all depends on how you use your solar power and not just the act itself of installing solar cells.
How you use solar energy to power your electricity bills will determine how much you pay. Your electricity bill should drop at night if you are using solar power in the day.
You can also receive credit on your bill if you produce excess solar energy during the day. This is called a "feed-in tariff", which can help reduce your electricity bills.
You could add battery storage to your system in order to save more money on your bills and be less dependent on the power grid.
Myth 6: I don’t use power during the day so solar panels aren’t worth it for me
Verdict : False. You could still get solar power through a solar feed in tariff, timers for your appliances or battery storage.
This is similar to myth 5 (above), it all comes down how you optimize self-consumption , that is, by using your own free, solar electricity during the day. There are many ways to decrease your energy consumption at night.
Use your dishwasher, washer dryer, or dryer on timers throughout the day
Charging battery-powered appliances or devices, such as laptops, tablets and phones, during the day
Your air conditioner can be set to run on a timer throughout the day so that it heats or cools your home more efficiently.
We recommend battery storage if you want to cut down on your electricity consumption. This can be done in conjunction with a solar power system. It generates enough electricity to cover both day-time and night-time energy. Learn more about the reasons why so many Australians are turning to battery storage.
Myth 7: Solar panels need lots of maintenance and care
Verdict : False. Other than a few dustings every few months, solar panels require very little maintenance.
While regular maintenance is important, wouldn't consider it to be particularly difficult. It is important to keep your solar panels clean and free from dirt or other debris. Learn how to clean solar panels.
For any concerns about system faults, efficiency problems or other issues, you can refer to the user manual of your system and contact your installer for assistance.
Myth 8 There is no real difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 or Tier 3 solar panels
Verdict - False: Tier 1 is the mark of trustworthy manufacturers that have a strong reputation for reliability and performance.
The three tiers of solar panel manufacturers can be found in the industry. The Tier 1 manufacturers are large brands that have a solid reputation for quality and reliability. These companies are well-respected for their commitment to research and development. Looking at the manufacturer's rating can help you choose which solar panels are worth your trust.
Myth 9: Installing solar panels might damage my roof
Verdict - False: Solar installations shouldn't cause any damage to your roof.
Mounting brackets are used to secure the solar panels. If the solar panels are installed correctly, they should not cause damage to your roof. A high-quality installer should not cause any damage. They should be able flag any damage to your roof such as loose tiles that might prevent the installation.
It is important to verify that an installer has been accredited by Clean Energy Council. This will help you determine if their installation standards are reliable, safe, and high-quality.
Myth 10: Adding solar panels to my home will affect its resale or rental value
Verdict - True, it will probably improve.
RealEstate.com.au's 2015 research found that 85% Australians consider solar panels a valuable addition to their property. Three out of four renters would pay more for solar panels if they owned a property. This is hard to argue with!