Solar panels are an excellent source of electricity and for monthly savings. They are based on renewable sources of energy but they can be a handful when it comes to their installation and maintenance. Finding the right panel for your home is complex and challenging too. That doesn’t make you give up on your solar dreams rather you need to find the perfect solar panel for your home and carry them out. However, before indulging in solar panels, there are some problems with solar panels on roofs you should learn about.
Let this blog make you aware of these problems that may crop up in your system later on. If left unattended, it can bring down your solar panel’s efficiency or even damage the panels or your home itself.
What is a Solar Panel?
Solar cells are devices, used to absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity or heat. Solar panels are a collection of solar cells, which can be used to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. These solar cells are arranged in a grid-like pattern on the surface of the solar panels.
Solar panels in homes help in reducing the harmful emissions of greenhouse gases and thus help reduce global warming. Solar panels do not lead to any form of pollution. They also decrease our dependency on fossil fuels which are limited and are traditional power sources. Now, you are ready to learn about the common problems with solar panels on roofs.
13 Common Problems With Solar Panel On Roofs
Purchasing and installing a solar panel is not as simple as buying any other home appliance. The most important point related to a solar panel is its cost. A 10KW solar system will cost $25,000-30,000. This is a huge amount of investment for an average household.
The following are the major problems with solar panels on roofs:
1. Internal Corrosion
The main reason for Internal corrosion is moisture seeping into the solar module. If the module is not air- and water-tight, water molecules can easily enter the inner structure after installation. Manufacturers should conduct good quality control tests to ensure that each module meets lamination and production standards to prevent internal corrosion. However, manufacturers overlook these standards and set homeowners up for issues with their solar panels down on roofs.
2. Solar Panels are Costly
It is useless denying that solar panels are not expensive. this technology is quite expensive. However, newer technologies are emerging and changes are being made to bring down the cost of solar panels. Now, you have more choices and variety than before. But, if you prefer high-efficiency panels, they are still expensive.
The price tag of your solar panel’s system depends on various factors such as your location, availability of direct sunlight, size/shape/tilt/orientation of your roof, energy consumption, and many more.
The availability of direct sunlight means you will need fewer solar panels to meet your energy needs or you may have to choose higher-efficiency panels that are more expensive. leased solar panels can also be considered to avoid the upfront costs.
Expenses don’t end with the purchase only. Setting up the system is a detailed process that requires the services of a trained professional which means more expense.
Also Read: How Solar Panels Work Step By Step
3. Good Sunlight is Mandatory
Sunlight is the main component for the working of the solar panels but the twist is, new generation panels can generate electricity even on cloudy and rainy days. However, the production will still be a little lower than that on sunny days but this is only enough for a short-term arrangement. The capacity of the installation is calculated with the sunny days most of the year. If this is not the case then the solar system may not function up to expectations.
4. No Energy Production at Night
This is the major problems with solar panels on roofs as they cannot produce energy without sunlight which simply means that without sunlight, there is no solar power. You need to have other arrangements or connections to enjoy electricity 24×—7, such as a connection to the grid or solar battery. Energy from the grid can be withdrawn whenever there is a shortfall. Solar panels are provided with batteries that can be used to store the excess energy generated during the daytime for use at night.
5. Solar Batteries are Also Expensive
As you are aware the storage battery is one of the options for you to enjoy a continuous power supply. However, they are not cheap either. A battery can be set anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the capacity of storage they provide. If you find this expensive, then you are left with the only option and that is to draw energy from the grid during nighttime.
6. Broken Glass of the Solar Panel
The function of this glass is to protect the solar cells from damage. Damage could be caused either by weather or heavy force. Usually, high-quality tempered glass is used so that it will not break under pressure. However, cost-cutting and poor manufacturing standards may result in substandard glass panels and as a result, broken glass of solar panels can impact the energy output. After this problem, replacing the entire solar panel system is the only solution.
Also See: Why Do Solar Panels Degrade?
7. Inverter Lifespan
The inverter is mandatory as it is used to convert the direct current produced by the solar panels into alternating current which is needed for most home appliances. Good solar panels may last for 20-25 years but the life of an average inverter is 5-10 years, or sometimes even a little, as a year or two. Even if you choose the best, it may last for 15 years which means you need to replace the inverter at least once during the life of the solar system. This concludes that the lifespan of the inverter is very less.
An inverter can cost up to a range between $500 and $2000. To avoid the need for replacing the inverter, you can opt for an inverter of better brand and quality. One more step can be taken to maximize the lifespan of the inverter by choosing its location like it should not be left exposed to the sunlight on the rooftops. Instead, you should place it in a cool spot inside and near the main switchboard.
8. Manufacturing Defects
Internal defects in any appliance can be developed at various stages such as at the time of manufacturing, during transportation, or installation. To avoid or overcome the problems of the solar panels on roofs, you must check the solar panels for defects by inspection as well as by assessing their performance. In case of a defect, you should demand a replacement. This must be done without any delay in time.
9. Non-Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Process
The photovoltaic process which is performed by solar cells is not harmful to the environment in any way as no greenhouse gas emission means no air pollution, no excess water consumption, or not even noise pollution. It is one of the rare perfect technologies that you may use as a source of electricity.
Anything can be used only if it is manufactured. The processes involved in the manufacturing of rooftop solar panels are not good for the environment. They use earth minerals which result in greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, the used panels add to the toxic waste resulting in polluting both land and water.
10. Dust or Dirt Build-Up Affects Electricity Production
As rooftop solar panels are exposed to the open environment, it makes it natural for their surface to get covered with dust or dirt, or even bird droppings. Anything that prevents sunlight from entering the solar cells below will affect its efficiency.
You must have periodic cleaning of solar surfaces which can help in managing this problem. In case your solar roof is hard to access, you may have to hire services for this Or you can do this easily with a water hose.
11. Too Much Sunlight Brings Down the Efficiency
Solar panels use sunlight to produce electricity. Sunlight also produces heat energy as one of the main components. Sometimes this heat energy gets too much and heats the solar panels to high temperatures, which may result in degradation in the performance of the solar panels. Thus, too much sun is also damaging.
Also See: What is Light Induced Degradation?
12. Shape and Inclination of the Roof
Before installing solar panels, you should consider a few things such as the shape and inclination of the roof and the location of the house itself. To obtain the best annual performance, the roof should be facing south at a 30 degrees angle but it is not important as long as the solar panels are free of shadows between 10 am and 4 pm. It is important to keep the panels far from bushes and trees as they might shade the installations and the branches and leaves may scratch the surface, lowering their performance.
In the long term, excessive exposure to wind and rain may degrade the performance, so shelter from the wind should be considered when evaluating placement. These points should have also helped you understand what are the problems with installing solar panels on roof.
Also Read: 5 Rooftop Solar Panels Benefits
What are Common Problems With Solar Roofs?
These are 2 most common problems with solar roofs
1. Nesting is a Serious Damage
Most rooftops installed with solar panels are free of human presence and this makes perfect nesting grounds for a variety of members such as rodents, squirrels, birds, and critters. For these varieties from the animal kingdom, the solar panels offer excellent habitat as they provide protection from the weather as well as predators. Naturally, they make their homes underneath these solar panels.
Unfortunately, this is not a symbiotic relationship which means it is not profitable for both parties. It doesn’t work out well for the solar panels. Nesting can lead to structural damage and sometimes even present a fire hazard and the accumulation of waste for these living creatures can bring down the efficiency of panels.
You can prevent this by fixing protective barriers to keep them away from solar panels nesting under them.
2. Damage the Roofs
If installed properly, you can easily eliminate this problem. But the prohibitive cost of the panels and installation may force you to cut corners and this can create problems for your roof.
If holes drilled to fix mounts are not sealed well, water can seep in. Another issue you may face is water retention. If the solar panels block the natural drainage of rainwater, it can lead to roof leakage and roof damage.
Also Read: 6 Best Roof Material For Solar Panels
What they Don’t Tell About Solar Panels?
Solar panels are a good decision for your pocket as well as for the environment but there are a few things that you should know as they don’t tell about solar panels.
1. Solar panels do not work better in hotter climates because solar cells harness sunlight and not heat, and their efficiency is decreased by high temperatures.
2. Leasing solar panels are cheaper upfront because you’re passing off most of the benefits of going solar to your solar company.
3. Installing solar panels may give you a tax break.
Also Read: How Does Active Solar Energy Work?
Can Solar Panels Damage Your Roof?
When you read the above, the first question that arises in your mind is will solar panels damage your roof? The answer is No, solar panels will not damage your roof as long as they are installed properly. When installed properly solar panels should not be of concern for you because they do not cause permanent damage to the roof so long as it is in good condition.
To avoid problems with solar pannes on the roof, the best advice is not to install it yourself if you are lacking proper training as this risk may be very harmful. To avoid this you must consult certified or licensed individuals and companies. there is a national program, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, that tests and certifies professionals in solar installation. Before installation, you must research the guidelines of your state to understand what you should expect from installation.
Also, make sure that your roof supports this extra weight including its area and the age of the roof. Thus, solar panels do not damage your roof, and they may even increase the overall value of your house. With this, you have learned can solar panels damage your roof.
Can You Sell a Property With Solar Panels?
The most interesting question is can you sell a property with solar panels? And the answer is definitely yes. Buying a home with solar panels is a very smart decision, just as long as the panels are owned rather than leased. It not only saves you money on your energy bill but will also boost your home’s value and make it more attractive for resale down the road. You should not sell a property with leased solar panels due to following reasons:
1. You may face problems while selling your house as many Potential buyers prefer homes with owned solar panels.
2. Lease payment for solar panels increases annually, which reduces your savings.
3. It is a long-term contract.
Also Read: 3 Leading Types Of Solar PV System
Are Solar Panels Worth the Money?
Solar panels are worth the money because they reduce the homeowner’s dependence on non-renewable electricity and lower their energy bills. In most cases, a solar panel system can reduce the homeowner’s electricity usage which reduces their energy bill. The best part for the owner of the solar panels is that they can make money out of it as the best solar panel system produces more electricity than the home uses. The homeowners having solar panels system may be able to sell the extra wattage to the utility company. It’s unlikely to completely offset the cost of the bill and the installation but they can make money that wasn’t coming into the home before.
These were the few problems with solar panels on roofs that should be considered before buying or installing them. Above all, it is a smart decision to make just do a little research before installing them.
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