If you’ve heard some wild claims about solar energy and wondered if they’re true, you’re in the right place. Let’s look at some common solar energy myths and then analyse the facts.
1. Solar panels don’t work when it’s cloudy
The optimal weather conditions for solar panels are clear, sunny days. When your solar panels receive uninterrupted, direct sunlight, they will perform at their best. Clouds obviously reduce the amount of direct sunlight your panels receive, and therefore reduce solar energy production. However, it’s not quite true that solar panels don’t work in cloudy conditions.
You’ll experience a reduction in efficiency, but your panels will still produce some energy. In addition, some modern solar panels deliver good performance in low light conditions. Naturally, if the cloud cover is very thick and conditions are overcast, it will drastically reduce performance. But if clouds are moving quickly and still allowing bursts of sunlight, the efficiency reduction will be less.
2. Cheap systems are the best value
Like most things in life, cheap is rarely the best. Many people opt for super cheap solar package deals because they seem too good to be true. The idea is that a lower upfront cost means the system pays for itself faster.
In theory, this is true, however, cheap systems may not perform as well, meaning fewer savings on an ongoing basis. Therefore, an unreliable system may actually take longer to pay for itself than a more expensive, high-quality one.
Not to mention, if repairs and failures are frequent, it can turn into a nightmare. It’s always worth paying a little extra for quality and reliability.
To learn more on the dangers and pitfalls of cheap read our blog on this topic HERE.
3. Solar panels use more energy to make than they actually save
While many of us focus on the time it takes for a system to pay for itself financially, there’s another payback that’s important: the energy payback. Here, we refer to how long it will take for solar panels to produce the same amount of energy that it takes to make the panels.
Best estimates put this period at around 2 years. So, in 2 years, your solar panel has already offset the energy cost of its manufacture. Assuming your system produces for around 30 years, that’s 28 years of clean, green energy gains for the planet.
4. The hotter the temperature, the better the solar energy production
This myth can definitely be debunked. Naturally, heat goes hand in hand with bright, sunny conditions, so when it’s hot, you can usually expect good solar production. With that being said, most solar panels used in Australia are rated to perform best at around 25 degrees Celsius. Once the mercury rises above 25, most solar panels will actually reduce productivity.
For each degree over 25, solar panels may lose between 0.20 – 0.50 percent of energy production. So, it’s completely untrue that hotter temperatures result in more solar energy generation.
5. Solar panels will give me power in a blackout
Unfortunately, this isn’t quite true. The solar inverter in the solar system is connected through your main electrical board to the electricity grid. If your system produces more solar energy than you use, the excess automatically goes to the main grid. In the case of a blackout, the inverter senses that the grid is no longer connected and automatically shuts down,
However, the best way to ensure you’re not at the mercy of the main grid’s blackouts is to buy solar battery storage. While more expensive, battery storage lets you store excess power and use it at night when your system isn’t producing. Many batteries can be configured with backup options to provide you with power during blackouts.
Want to know more about solar energy?
The team at Solar Bright has the expertise to help you make the right choice. During our free consultation, we examine your existing energy consumption and costs, as well as your energy usage patterns. This allows us to recommend the right size of the solar system and the perfect products for your household’s needs.
To find out how much you can save and how to access government solar energy incentives, contact the team at Solar Bright today. We’ll help you join the green revolution and save plenty of money in the process.