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The Cost of Solar Panels Is Less Than You Think

The cost of solar panels is a question that comes up extremely often, however it the answer is not as straightforward as it would seem. The main thing you need to know is that the price of solar panels has been steadily decreasing and is not nearly as expensive as many people think.

The cost of solar panels is fairly easy to determine, however this price does not take into account any of the other components that are necessary for your solar system to start generating energy. We will take a look at factors that affect the cost of solar panels themselves. Keep in mind that these figures are very rough estimates, and it will be necessary to consult with a professional and determine your exact solar needs and capabilities before you can arrive at any sort of final price for the entire system. 

Overall, you should expect to pay about $6 to $12 per watt for the entire solar system, including all of the components and the cost of the installation. If you are planning on running your home entirely through solar energy, you will probably have to pay at least $20,000 for a grid tied system. Off-grid solar systems will cost slightly less due to the easier installation process. The price of the entire system can vary a huge amount depending on the size of the system and the quality of the solar panels and the other solar components.

Price Of Solar Panels

The cost of solar panels is quite easy to find out, as many different brands of solar panels can be viewed online and in retail stores. The price of the solar panel will be determined by several different factors: the size and wattage of the solar panel, the material that the solar panel is constructed from, for example whether it is amorphous, polycrystalline, or monocrystalline silicon, whether your system is going to be tied directly into the local electric grid or if you have an off-grid system, and the brand and manufacturer of the solar panel itself. 

In general, the larger the solar panel and the more watts it produces will mean a much more expensive solar panel. Price is almost directly related to wattage, with the smaller panels being much cheaper to produce and transport, thus making them much less expensive to purchase.

cost of solar panelsThe type of silicon that the solar panels are produced from will help determine how much the solar panels will cost. Monocrystalline silicon solar panels are less efficient than solar panels that are constructed out of polycrystalline silicon, therefore the monocrystalline silicon panels are also much less expensive to purchase. 

Polycrystalline silicon solar panels are also much more aesthetically pleasing and blend in much better with the existing building, which is another reason that the price of solar panels is much higher if you purchase higher efficiency polycrystalline silicon solar panels. 

If you are installing a solar system that is tied into your local utility grid, then you will need to purchase grid-tied solar panels that are designed for this type of system. There are not as many options for off grid solar panels as this type of solar system is not nearly as common. Nonetheless, you should still be able to shop around and find decent off grid solar panels for a good price. 

Overall, whether you are purchasing grid-tied or off grid solar panels, there is not much of a difference in what the solar panels cost. However, grid-tied solar systems are usually much more expensive overall due to the extra steps involved in the installation process. Also, off-grid solar systems can be installed yourself if you do a little research on the process, however grid-tied systems need to be installed by a professional and you will need a licensed electrician to perform all of the necessary wiring. 

The final factor that will affect the cost of solar panels is the manufacturer of the panels themselves and where the factories that produce the panels are located. Many of the top electronics companies in the world, such as Kyocera, Siemens, Sanyo, and many others, produce top of the line solar panels and these panels are usually of a very high quality but also much more expensive as well. 

cost of solar panelsIf you live in the United States, you will probably be better off purchasing solar panels that are produced in a factory in the US, as American made panels are usually the only panels which qualify for state and federal tax rebates and other incentives. 

In recent years, there has been a lot of money invested in solar energy in developing countries such as China and India. This has led to hundreds of solar panel manufacturers springing up all over these years. 

This has in turn led to a much more competitive market and overall caused a slight lowering the price of solar panels. You can find many different Chinese made solar panels on the market today, and these panels have a large range in terms of quality. Some Chinese companies are producing extremely efficient, low cost solar panels that will last a decent amount of time. 

Other Chinese companies have been known to produce extremely cheap, inferior solar panels, and the companies themselves often have a very poor level of customer service which makes getting replacements much more difficult. 

If you purchase your solar panels from a reputable, world renowned corporation, you can rest assured knowing that you will be getting a high quality product. Most of the larger companies also offer much better warranties that accompany the solar panels. This means that while you may be paying a little more upfront, you will know that your panels will last or be replaced if they stop working. 

For some further reading on this subject, I can heartily recommend the Sunmetrix website, that helps you to calculate an estimation for the cost of solar panels in your area by reviewing five websites that offer a free solar panel calculator.

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