Going solar is more than a green renovation; it’s an investment that equalizes a property owner’s relationship with energy consumption. If you’re unsure about the process of determining what the right size of a solar panel system for your property should be, or more importantly, the bottom-line cost, we’ll get you up to speed with the latest.
Without a doubt, you’ll have a lock on a return on investment for going solar. Your solar system can generate annual returns ranging from 10% to more than 30%. The actual size of a solar panel is standardized, just like most construction materials. “Standard format” panels are 65 x 40 inches and “large format” panels, which 13 inches longer are sometimes used for large-scale commercial solar builds.
Aim for the Sun
A new residential solar energy system ranges from $15-$30K, and the sky is the limit for corporate solar energy farmers. Do not let pre-incentive figures dissuade you from taking a low cost renewable energy investment loan. The key to making money with a solar array is to get the right size. Once you take advantage of tax incentives, performance payments (SRECs), and local programs, the financial benefits of going solar outweigh any concerns.
Reliable solar energy contractors are experts at making efficient use of your sunspots. Solar energy companies use well-established practices to determine the correct size of a solar panel system for every customer. Years of data make for very reliable production estimates. Your solar energy contractor has access to model-specific capabilities and is knowledgeable about solar intensity in your neighborhood as a result of previous projects that have been completed nearby.
These factors all contribute to the total cost of your solar system:
- Power needs
- Size of suitable collection area
- Distance from panels to meter
- Regional demand-based cost surges
- Local labor costs
- Component cost
Of solar system components, the most expensive are the solar panels themselves and the inverters. This small component is crucial for converting direct current (DC) from the panels into a grid-ready alternating current (AC).. It is more of a hassle to add more panels later, so it is best to get as many panels as space allows.
Think outside the building
You are not constrained to your rooftop space if you go with off-site solar energy models. Many businesses and residential owners have paved the way with creative ways to harvest the power of solar energy. Follow the examples set by community solar energy projects or privately owned off-site arrays.
Are you researching the size of a solar panel because you are concerned about the weight? It is a common solar energy myth that regular roofs cannot withstand the size of a solar panel. You will be glad to learn that the whole array: panels, racking, inverters and all only weigh an average of 2Ibs/sq. ft. That is the same weight of one layer of standard shingles. A ballasted system on a flat roof (no penetrations) might weigh up to 5lbs/sq. ft., but an experienced solar company can make design adjustments to accommodate roof load restrictions. Your new solar build includes a custom plan and engineering that factors the weight of all components and the building structure, ensuring stability.
Rather than focus on the cost, focus on the long term rewards. Get a professional solar evaluation and you will know it all:
- Appropriate size of a solar panel system
- Cost of the build
- Expected energy production
- Estimated over/under for net metering
- Expected loan payments
- Overall ROI for life of system
You do not have to be a retail giant like IKEA or Target to win big with renewables. Residential customers see huge ROI, too. Getting the right sized solar energy system is easy.