How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost?
Unfortunately, the answer to the question how much does a solar panel cost is it depends. Although these kits start at $125, a single kit may not produce the amount of power desired. Therefore, the full answer is it depends on the size of the panel, the amount of wattage produced and the efficiency of the materials used. Solar panels also produce electricity based on the amount of sunshine.
For example, an engineer may speculate that a 2500 square foot house typically uses 5000 kilowatts of electricity a year requiring a 3 kilowatt system. However, areas like Chicago, Pittsburgh and Seattle on the average get 3 hours of sunshine a day while California and Colorado get 5 to 6 hours and Arizona gets 7. Therefore, a home in Seattle needs twice as many panels to produce the same amount of power as a house in California, Colorado or Arizona.
The normal solar panels are big rectangular frames made of metal and glass with photovoltaic systems. Modern technology has developed a thin-film kilowatt producing system called amorphous which is placed on a wide variety of surfaces like metals, plastics and tiles. Although this process is cheaper because of material cost, it is less efficient requiring 15% to 40% more area.
Determining the amount of electricity to be produced impacts the size of the solar system. If a homeowner wants to completely eliminate electrical bills, larger units must be installed. Homeowners wanting to reduce the cost of grid power often start with a smaller system and add on as their satisfaction and comfort grows.
The general answer to the question how much does a solar panel cost is $6-$12 per watt of electricity. Only 40% of this figure is the actual cost of the panel with the balance including installation, inverter boxes, mounts, batteries and wiring. Although total cost of this alternative energy system ranges between $20,000 and $40,000, tax credits up to 80% of the investment help homeowners switching to this green power. Owners get their money back in 5 to 20 years and increase the value of their buildings.
However, do-it-yourselfers save a lot of money. Handy owners can either build the solar panels themselves from components or purchase kits. These solar kits are available from a wide variety of suppliers and start around $125 for a 30 watts monocrystalline design. Kids often include cables, high sensitivity to light across the whole power grid, tempered glass, sturdy frames and a limited warranty of 25 to 30 years. The size of the panel can be as small as 18" x 21" with a depth of 1.5".
It is easy to see why there is no clear-cut answer to the question how much does a solar panel cost. The size and efficiency of the solar unit determines cost. If the question is how much does it cost to add solar power, the answer is even more complex. The size of the home, electrical demands and availability of sunshine must be carefully calculated.