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Debunking the Top Ten Solar Myths

by reza@rayotec.com on March 16th, 2012

There are many myths surrounding solar power in general, this can be attributed to many factors but most crucial of all is a lack of awareness and understanding from the general public with regards to the benefits of solar power and what it can do for people.

Some of the most commonly held misconceptions about solar energy are that solar panels are too expensive, do not work in cloudy weather and that they are unreliable. However, it will now be explained why this is not the case.

Myth 1. Generating solar energy is only possible in countries with a lot of sunshine
Fact: The energy of the sun is the most evenly spread source of energy in the world. In any part of the world where there is light, solar panels will work. The world’s biggest market for solar energy is … Germany, a country not particularly blessed with long days full of sunshine, but a country with a smart government nonetheless. In the summer, more than 10% of the household electricity in the south of Germany is generated by solar panels.

Myth 2: They are expensive to maintain & I’ve just paid a lot for the installation
Fact: Solar electric (Photovoltaic) panels have no moving parts and do not require regular maintenance. However we do recommend that you hose off the panels once a year or so, nevertheless many of our customers actually never clean their panels and instead rely on the rain to do the job for them. Of course, if any large debris falls onto the panels, we recommend you remove it as this may cause shading and a dip in productivity.

Myth 3: Solar will get more efficient, so I should wait
Fact: The media will always create hype around emerging technologies, but the truth is solar technology has proved itself over the last 50 years. Since the early years, solar efficiency has risen, and products offer a long working life, with guarantees of 25 year for continued performance standard in the UK. Given this stable technology profile and the current 21p rate for the Feed-in-Tariff, solar makes sense right now. Once installed, your panels will continue to work for decades.

Myth 4: Solar panels will cause my roof to leak, deteriorate, or collapse
Fact: Solar panels actually protect and preserve the portion of the roof they cover. However, if there ever is a problem with the roof that needs to be repaired, panels can easily be removed. Most solar panels are not attached directly to the roof itself, but rather to a mounted railing system. Please note that if your roof already leaks or needs to be replaced, it makes sense to make roof repairs before installing solar panels.

Myth 5: You will need to invest at least £10,000 to gain any financial benefit from installing solar panels
Fact: The Government announced on the 20th June 2011 the Renewable Heat Incentive Plan had come into to effect. What this essentially means is that you can install Hot Water Panels instead of exclusively solar panels and Hot Water Solar Panels are a lot cheaper to install than Electricity Solar Panels.

Myth 6: Your roof has to be directly facing south
Fact: Yes it is true that south is the best direction for your roof to face in order to utilise the suns rays, however the any direction facing roof will still yield great long term money feedback & bill savings.

Myth 7: When the power goes out, my home is still powered
Fact: When the power goes out, grid-tied systems go out too. That’s because it’s not safe to be pushing electricity back out onto the wires while workers may be trying to fix the problem, so your inverter (the big box near your meter that turns DC electricity created by the panels into usable AC current) recognizes that the grid is out and shuts your system off.

Myth 8: Solar will make my home look ugly
Fact: Haven’t you heard? Solar is the new black. In the last ten years there’s been a growing awareness of how smart renewable energy is from both environmental and economic perspective, so solar panels are finally coming into their own and being regarded as an enhancement instead of an eyesore. It’s about time! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and the money holder)!

Myth 9: I cannot move / sell my house for 25 years
Fact: Obviously to receive the feed-in-tariff for 25 years you will need to own the property until the end of the term, however this does not mean you cannot sell your house. Solar panels will increase your house price and the next people moving in will make large savings on their bills. They’ll also be eligible to receive the feed-in-tariff whilst still under the 25 year period, therefore you can negotiate a higher price for your home

Myth 10: The panels won’t last 25 years
Fact: The known and accepted lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, with some lasting even longer. In fact, there are solar installations dated back to the 70s that are still producing cheap clean electricity. The Government’s 25 year guarantee for the feed-in tariff scheme is there for a reason, because it mirrors the expected lifespan of the solar PV panels used in a household installations.

 

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