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Last updated: 01 April 2019

Solar Panel Myths

Most people have misconceptions about how well solar panels work, but are they right?

Top 5 Solar Panel Myths

Solar energy has seen a spectacular rise in the past years, with constantly increasing numbers of domestic solar panels being installed all over the world. Despite their popularity, solar panels are still surrounded by an aura of suspicion and many have doubts as to whether they are a viable solution for their homes. The general consensus is that yes, they are good for the environment, but are they a convenient option besides their eco-friendliness? To find out, we can go through some of the most common misconceptions about solar panels.

Myth #1: Solar panels only work in sunny climates.

Fact: there is absolutely no need for the sky to be clear and cloudless for the panels to generate electricity. Clouds may lower the efficiency of solar panels, leading them to generate a little less electricity than they would in a clear summer day, but the panels will work anyway. Plus, they generally work better in lower temperatures than in hot climates. Just consider that the leading European country for solar panel installations is Germany, which definitely does not have the sunniest or hottest climate of the continent.

Myth #2: You can’t use solar energy at night, because the panels don’t produce any.

Fact: Yes, solar panels don’t work during the night, since there is no sunlight to catch. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be left in the dark. Most solar systems are tied to the grid, so that you can use traditional energy sources when the panels stop producing electricity. But, if you want to be extra green and utilize all the solar energy you produce, you can purchase solar batteries that store the electricity in excess during the day and allow you to use it at night.

Read more: Solar Batteries.

Myth #3: Solar panels require maintenance and can damage my roof.

Fact: solar panels do not need any maintenance once they are installed, hence the cost of installation is all you need to worry about. They are also very durable (their average lifespan is of 20-30 years) and do not damage your roof: they actually preserve it. They are not mounted directly on it but lie on a metal structure that shields your roof from those angry elements.

Myth #4: Solar panels are too expensive for an average house owner.

Fact: thanks to government incentives, solar panels have a short payback period and can give huge savings on monthly bills and regular profits from the Feed in Tariff. This tariff, however, has ended in March 2019 because solar panels became increasingly affordable without the need for subsidies. However, those accepted for the FiT scheme will continue to benefit from payments over the next 20 years.

Myth #5: I should wait to invest in solar, because it will become more efficient in the near future.

Fact: solar efficiency has certainly increased since their introduction in the 60s, but technological advancements are not as fast as it seems. Today, domestic solar systems reach up to 20% (meaning they convert 20% of the sunlight they receive into electricity), which is more than enough to power a house. Surely next generation panels will be able to do more, but innovation will come in small steps. With government incentives still in place, now is a perfect time to invest in solar panels.

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