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7 Tips for Selecting Home Solar Panel

Updated on August 23, 2016
Barack James profile image

Barack is a technologist and solar energy enthusiast dealing in solar panels and other green energy power sources.

Tips for Choosing The Best Home Solar Panels

Tips for Choosing The Best Solar Panel for Your Home
Tips for Choosing The Best Solar Panel for Your Home | Source

Selecting Home Solar Panels

According to the World Energy Council in their 2014 World Energy Issues Monitor; the global climate change moderation has remained the key issue for five consecutive years without a clear solution: This calls for a massive use of green energy technologies such as solar power; especially at the home levels where energy consumption is not enormous.

Solar panels provide the best and most efficient way to utilize the solar energy at homes; and for small businesses that don't require massive power consumption for them to operate.

The main advantage of solar energy is that it is widely available; and using it is completely free when solar collectors are installed through the solar panels: However; selecting the best solar panels to use at home; and at office in small business environment is always a problem to the buyers.

This article includes a comprehensive solar panel shopping checklist; for the individuals who need to install and use solar panels at home; and for office use in small businesses.

How to Select The Best Solar Panel for Your Home

Buying the Best Solar Panel for Your Home
Buying the Best Solar Panel for Your Home | Source

Home Solar Panels shopping Checklist

Buying a solar panel needs a proper guidance before deciding on which one to purchase for your home or office use: Ideally; the cost is among the factors to consider when buying a solar panel; however, cost alone should not influence the purchasing power when it comes to buying technological equipments such as solar panels and more.

1. Cost of Solar Panel

Solar panels come in different types and at different costs; ranging from somewhere below a hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on a number of factors including the physical size; number of watts; durability; heat tolerance, quality of the materials used; the producing company; the offered guarantee period among other factors. As such, the cost is not the sole factor to consider, and will depend on a number of factors that are discussed below; depending on the buyer's electricity power needs.

2. The Number of Watts Supported

It is very important to consider Watt size of the solar panel before actually deciding to purchase one; the size in Watts will directly affect the general cost of the solar panel you buy; such that the higher the size in Watts; the higher the cost of the solar panel.

On the other; solar panel's Watt size is directly proportional to the output capacity per hour; such that a 100W solar panel will generate power of 100W/h; and a solar panel of 500W will generate an output of 500W/h:

Ideally; the higher the Watt size, the powerful the solar panel in terms of electricity power generation. As such, it is wise to estimate the amount of power you will need and purchase solar power that will satisfy your power needs at home or office.

3. Solar Cells Used

The type of solar cells installed is among the most important things to put into consideration when buying a solar panel: To obtain a higher efficiency with your solar panel; Monocrystalline silicon needs to be installed in the panel.

On the other hand; Monocrystalline silicon also has a very high heat tolerance rate; which is among the major factors to consider when purchasing a home solar panel, it utilizes one large silicon solar cell.

Polycrystalline Solar Panel Rating

5 stars for Polycrystalline Solar Panel


Polycrystalline; or multiple Monocrystalline silicon cells; is today the most preferred solar panel for installation in the residential houses...

...since it has improved cell modules that can be adjusted according to the power requirements in a given residence.

The technological improvements in Polycrystalline solar modules has also allowed for the possibility of increasing efficiency and heat tolerance...

...that can much or exceed the counterpart's Monocrystalline solar panel, depending on the energy needs.

The last type of solar cell is the Amorphous Silicon; also known as Thin-film: Amorphous Silicon offers the lowest efficiency when compared to Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Silicon cells.

Types of Solar Panel Cells Poll

Which Solar Panels Cell do You Prefer for Your Home Solar Panel?

See results

4. Durability

Durability is a must consider when purchasing a solar panel: A warranty of 25 years and above is good to go with.

On the other hand, you need to ensure that you buy your solar panel from a trusted retailer or dealer; who are likely to sell and distribute quality solar panels from well established companies in the industry of solar panels.

Besides; you need to be certain that you are buying a well known brand of solar panel; which has been in the market for several years and has a good customer reviews. Avoid brands that are new and not popular in the market, as their quality may still be questionable.

5. Tolerance and Efficiency

The tolerance of a solar panel should be accurate; this is the degree to which a panel will not meet it's rated power; or exceed it's rated power.

If a solar panel is rated with 400W on the face value; ideally, it should be capable of providing the same wattage per hour: In some cases, especially when one buys a low quality solar panel; the rated wattage will be higher than the actual Watts it's capable of supplying per hour. To avoid this inconveniences; ensure that the rated wattage is very accurate by all means.

On the other hand; efficiency is an equally important factor to consider: The solar panel you choose to install should be efficient in converting the solar energy into electricity.

Efficiency of a solar panel depends on the materials used; and low quality materials should be avoided as their conversion efficiency is always compromised due to poor technological equipment.

6. The Rating of Temperature Co-efficient

This is important as it will indicate the effects of heat on a solar panel after it is installed and under operation.

The co-efficient rating in percentage should be lower per degree Celsius; as such, when buying a home solar panel; ensure that you check on the temperature co-efficient rating to avoid bad heat effects that a solar panel may be subjected to. The lower the percentage of co-efficient rating on a given solar panel; the better the solar panel.

7. The Physical Size of Solar Panel

As much as the physical size of the solar panel is not important; it is advisable to consider the available space for the installation. If you have a large space available to install your panel; you can consider buying larger solar panel with larger wattage.

Physical size will largely depends on the energy needs; ideally, larger size solar panels will have a high rating in terms of wattage.


Purchasing a solar panel largely depends on the energy needs of an individual; considering price as the main factor when buying a solar panel is not a wise idea; and number of factors such as materials used, producing company, heat tolerance, efficiency, durability among others factors should be put into consideration: This will ensure that you get quality solar panels that will satisfy your home energy needs as required.

Home Solar Panels

Tips  for Buying a Home Solar Panel
Tips for Buying a Home Solar Panel | Source


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    Post Comment
    • Barack James profile imageAUTHOR

      Barack James 

      21 months ago from Green City in the Sun

      Thanks a lot Anderson for your wornderful comment and for the share, I hope it will be of good help to your friends.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      21 months ago from The High Seas

      Good and useful hub, mate. I live on a boat and am 100% dependent on solar (and a little wind) so I always encourage my landlubber friends to get solar for their homes. Sadly, they look into it but get very shoddy advice from solar salesmen so an article like this one would really help them. I am going to forward it to a few friends who I think will egt some use out of it.

    • Barack James profile imageAUTHOR

      Barack James 

      2 years ago from Green City in the Sun

      Thanks a lot John Dove for your comment

    • John Dove profile image

      John Dove 

      2 years ago

      Hi Barack--

      Thanks for your Hub. Everything everyone can do to encourage people to try solar power is good the USA in my opinion.

    • Barack James profile imageAUTHOR

      Barack James 

      3 years ago from Green City in the Sun

      Tuyen, I don't understand how solar energy is expensive compared to other sources of energy. Solar energy is still by far the cheapest source of power since it generates from the sun which is free. May be you mean the cost of solar pannels but still, initial cost of obtaining a solàr pannel is ofset by the almost zero cost of maintainance and other ongoing costs. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Tuyen Hoang 

      3 years ago

      Solar enegy still expensive in moment. How to reduce it cost ?


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