To tackle mankind’s escalating energy needs, the sun has always been looked upon as the most favorable and cleanest answer. Since constructing something like a Dyson Sphere — a huge structure made of solar panels that collects the sun’s energy with — might be out of our league for another few centuries, the coming of printable and adaptable solar panels implies that in no time, any surface could turn into an instrument to exploit solar energy.
Meanwhile, consumers have a choice to either purchase and self-install their personal solar panels, or get an expert to plan the system and execute the installation. This is because private and commercial solar installations have become increasingly more accessible and well-received.
Pros of DIY solar panels
Designing your own solar panels has major benefits, with the main one being a huge reduction in financial costs, in terms of the cost of electrical work and professional labor. As compared to recruiting an expert installation company, you could save up to $5000 by choosing the DIY route to harness solar energy. However, the amount of savings you get to enjoy is contingent on the size of the household or property you want to power. There are also a few limitations to DIY solar.
Remember, when you choose to embark on the DIY solar route, you get what you pay for. It is important to do necessary background research before building and installing your own solar panels. If you happen to commit any mistakes during installation, your manufacturers might no longer honor the warranty for the products chosen and you might end up suffering more losses. Moreover, without prior pertinent experience working with electrical hookups, there is a genuine danger of hurting yourself in the process of installation.
Many states provide tax incentives or credits to encourage homeowners to invest in solar panels. However, some of these financial inducements require installations done by professional companies for full eligibility. Therefore, if you do not feel prepared to install a DIY solar project, you can consider comparing various options beforehand. You can first try tackling more modest installations, such as installing panels on a smaller separate building like a shed or a barn, heating a pool or wiring a yard for solar-powered lights. For those with prior experience in construction and who are keen to pick up new techniques on the go, this is an appealing and practical test to find out whether DIY solar panels are your thing. Additionally, it is also tempting to look into installing your own solar panels to save costs and be in full control of your project, from procuring the necessary tools to deciding on the specific arrangements. However, holding absolute command over each decision comes with potential drawbacks.
Cons of DIY solar panels
As the DIY solar panel market became increasingly popular, more manufacturers competed to provide the lowest cost price for their products, which resulted in higher rates of defects and product failures, as well as more cost-cutting measures. It is also possible that contractors will provide you with equipment that is of substandard quality when you engage them to plan and execute the solar panel installation for you.
Be that as it may, that is where acquiring various offers provides an edge. Regardless of which alternative you end up with, having a few experts visit your household and recommending different equipment manufacturers will go far in making you feel progressively ready for purchasing and installing them yourself. Thanks to more opportunities to talk directly with solar professionals, you will feel less clueless and be more discerning with online solar panel reviews.
As mentioned, product warranties for the installations of solar panels depend on a few factors. Keeping your equipment within warranty is contingent on how properly and effectively it is installed. However, the scope for labor warranties does not include DIY efforts. Engaging a professional installation company will provide guaranteed protection from defects and failures in the installation, which consists of forestalling spills, efficiently wiring everything, modifying the structure of your rooftop and drilling holes to effectively attach the panels in position. If you feel that this is too large a feat and you do not feel adequately ready to complete it by yourself, then a DIY solar project might not be for you.
However, home and business owners can reach a mutual compromise, one that removes the problems as mentioned above: the time and expertise needed to set up the solar panels, put them in position and connect them to the grid. There is a budding solar wholesale market where people who are interested in solar energy can easily purchase the necessary equipment required and engage a professional to install it for them in their household or property. Besides time and labor costs accrued to the contracting company, embarking on the DIY route for ‘going solar’ is a cost-effective option.
Looking at the bigger picture
Solar power is in a constant state of innovation, as it strives for greater mobility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. With continuously new and significant advances in the structure and function of solar technology, DIY installations will not become uncommon in the near future. Even though solar technology is not prepared for large scale manufacturing and production, there is already evidence that researchers are able to create a solar panel so minuscule, light and thin that it can rest on a soap bubble without popping it.
Such experimentation inevitably makes DIY solar a more practical and feasible end product. Technology and innovation can creatively and adequately eliminate space between different layers of a solar panel, making them compact and small. As such, those who are interested to embark on DIY solar will no longer be simply lifting panels onto their rooftops — they are also able to apply solar film to their windows, sew panels into clothing and drive around in vehicles retrofit with solar panels. All these culminate into an exciting and game-changing DIY culture.