Solar panels are becoming more and more popular in Australia. They are often considered as the best choice to start generating your own electricity, reduce your consumption from the grid and save heaps of money every year.
However, those who still haven’t decided to install a PV system might have some doubts about the installation. Some old ideas might get in the way of achieving independence from the grid while certain misconceptions can make the decision more difficult.
That’s why we’ve decided to look at some of the most common myths about solar panels; to help you clear the way and tell the difference between reality and fantasy.
Here you have our top 5!
Myth 1: I Need To Buy Energy Storage to Install Solar Panels
With various new developments in energy storage, many consumers hear about installing solar batteries with solar panels.
Some people think that solar panels must be coupled with batteries in order to work properly.
So, when they look for prices on solar batteries they tend to think twice since energy storage is the most expensive component in a PV system.
However, the truth is that you do not need battery storage to install solar panels. Solar panels can be installed with or without batteries.
The difference lies in the fact that if you choose to install a PV system with batteries (also called off-grid or grid-tied with battery backup system) then you will have the ability to achieve greater independence from the grid and consume the solar energy produced over the day (stored in batteries) during later hours.
You can also choose to install a PV system with solar panels only, also known as a grid-tied system.
You will also achieve great savings and installation costs will reduce as well.
If you are still undecided on whether or not to add batteries, you can install a grid-tied system that works with a hybrid inverter; that way you can install the batteries later.
Myth 2: Solar Panels Don’t Suit My House’s Aesthetics
Aesthetics of solar panels have improved a lot in recent years.
These days the most typical are the monocrystalline (black colour) and polycrystalline (blue colour) solar panels.
The industry has evolved and solar manufacturers have also focused on providing aesthetics for solar panels that can now be found in other customisable colours used for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) applications.
Other solar panels have a deep and elegant black colour that is often used in residential applications, while other new technologies like the Tesla Solar Roof have panels that look like roof tiles.
Believe it or not, in the photo below the roof has solar panels.
That means, if your budget allows, you have a variety of choices to select the solar panel that suits your home best!
Myth 3: Solar Panels Require a Lot of Maintenance
That is not a simple statement.
Solar panels need to receive as much sunlight as possible to produce the estimated energy values.
If dirt or a tree blocks the sunlight, then your solar panels need maintenance.
In countries like Canada where snow is constant, or Egypt, where sandstorms are more typical solar panels, will require much more maintenance to achieve better results.
However, here in Australia, we have a privileged location suitable for the installation of solar panels!
Generally, when installing a fixed system the solar designer selects the tilt angle not only according to the solar irradiance, but also to allow a normal cleaning of solar panels with rainwater.
Most solar panels are sufficiently cleaned with rainwater, but sometimes they do require some extra cleaning due to bird droppings or some other unusual event. However, this can be done once every 6 months, so it is not a lot of time invested.
Myth 4: Solar Panels are Too Expensive for the Average Consumer
Truly a myth!
Solar panels used to be expensive, but today prices are so low that the return on investment time of a grid-tied system here in Australia is generally less than 10 years.
When you consider that solar panels last over 25 years, you can easily see the advantages.
Moreover, the government is willing to grant anyone purchasing solar thousands in rebates to reduce the initial outlay cost.
Combined with rising feed-in tariffs (20c/kWh from AGL), increasing electricity costs and no interest payment plans, the actual out of pocket cost for solar can end up being very minimal.
It's one of the benefits of purchasing a product designed to save you money!
Myth 5: I Should Wait a Little Longer to Buy Solar Panels to Obtain Better Profits
Actually, now is the best time to go solar.
Solar panels are cheaper than ever, efficiency values are bigger than ever, installation procedures are faster than ever and financial incentives like Small-Scale Renewable Energy Schemes and Feed-in Tariffs are still active.
These financial incentives won’t be there forever. The intention of these schemes is to make solar more interesting and competitive for consumers, so now is the time when you can get the best of every aspect!
Solar panels have multiple benefits for the Australian market that cannot be found elsewhere.
Some misconceptions may still be around, but the important thing is, we have clarified them for you!
Now you know that solar panels can be installed without a battery system, can easily be cleaned with water and only need maintenance once every 6 months.
You also know that solar panels can now be more elegant than most people realise and can be accessible with several financial options from your solar installer.
More importantly, you understand that the time for solar is now!
If you want to see how much solar or battery storage could save you over the next 5 years, then take our solar saving calculator quiz below!
Or talk to an Instyle Solar expert about the best solutions for home energy storage or PV-panels.
Otherwise, head back to the solar blog to find even more great educational content.
Photo credit: Depositphotos