Myth 1: Solar only works when the sun is out
A common misconception about solar energy is that it only works when the sun is out. In fact, the sun’s ultraviolet light is all that solar power needs to create energy. Solar panels will create heaps of the stuff during foggy and overcast days too, as the UV light still manages to get through. Surprisingly, solar panels are actually more efficient at cooler temperatures than hot ones.
Take Germany for example, not the sunniest place in the world. Yet in June of 2014, more than half of Germany’s electricity demand was met by 23.1 gigawatts of solar power. This was half of the entire world’s production at the time. Germany is still one of the top spots for solar production globally.
Myth 2: Using solar energy is too expensive, I’ll never get my investment back
Throughout Europe, there are misconceptions about how many solar panels cost and the return on investment. UK based solar power comparison site, The Eco Website, states that around 66% of UK residents don’t know how much solar panels cost.
The cost of panels has been rapidly decreasing and is set to continue this downward spiral. Researchers at Oxford University found that, since the 1980s, panels have gotten 10% cheaper each year and this is likely to continue. Falling solar power costs meant that back in 2016 the typical ROI (return on investment) for solar panels is 4.8% over 20 years. Not only are they getting cheaper but they are gaining your income in the background.
Myth 3: Solar panels can’t withstand extreme weather conditions
It snows, its rains, it hails; can solar panels withstand all of that? Solar panels are sturdy and made to last a long time in various weather conditions. American solar panel manufacturer Solar World conduct tough tests to make sure the panels are ready for the world.
The company starts by dropping half a kilo, 2.54cm steel balls onto solar panels from a height of 4.2 metres. This process is repeated up to 20 times in the same place on at least 11 different points of impact. They then drop heavy or hard objects onto the panel to ensure stability and break resistance – including a 45kg lead-filled sack from a height of 1.2 metres right into the middle of the panel! After this, the solar panels are put into a climate room which emulates 25 years of weather changes. In the chamber, the panels manage to withstand temperatures as low as -40°c to as high as 85°c. These thorough and destructive tests prove that a solar panel can withstand the harshest of conditions.
Myth 4: Solar panels might damage your home
People are often afraid to install solar panels because they think this process might damage their roofs. However, the way these panels are made and installed has evolved over the years, which is something that experts are quite familiar with. All of that means that opting for solar systems will not damage your roof, but protect it instead. Moreover, if you turn to professionals, there is nothing to worry about as they have plenty of experience when it comes to installing solar panels.
Myth 5: Solar panels require a lot of maintenance
Another common misconception about solar panels is that they are maintenance-heavy. In reality, they require very little maintenance. Most of them outlive the 25-year warranty they usually come with. There are no moving parts and they are designed to be durable. Inspecting and hosing them off once a year should be enough to keep them running smoothly. In case there is any debris, you should remove it to protect the panels.
The truth is that tastes differ. What one might find unattractive, others might not even notice. In any case, solar panels are now being made with aesthetics in mind. They can be sleek and blend in with the roof. In addition, they can even be mounted on the ground.
Myth 6: Solar panels keep excess energy in batteries
Most homes that are powered by solar energy don’t use batteries. All excess energy is added to the electrical grid. The grid through battery banks stores extra energy. This extra energy can be used at night or during darker months. It can also be used for power outages.
On the other hand, batteries can be added like power walls by Tesla. Especially since the upfront cost is a relative increase. However, this means that you will not lose power in case the grid goes down.
At MTG we fit PV batteries that are off the grid quickly and efficiently so you don’t have to worry about losing out on your investments in solar power.
We hope that this has cleared up some misconceptions for you about solar panels and solar power. If you are interested in reading more please visit our blog page here.