Solar Panel Installation

Factors Affecting the Pricing of Solar Power for Homes

Factors Affecting the Pricing of Solar Power for Homes

When it comes to the all-in price of installing solar panels, several factors can have an impact. Here are some of the most common factors that affect the pricing of solar panel installation.

Type of Solar Panel Installation

Installing solar panels can be done in a variety of different ways based on your needs. It is most common to mount your solar panels on the roof of your house. However, if you plan to install a ground mount or carport, you may have to add additional posts that have to be anchored into the ground. There is sometimes an increase in labor and component prices as a result of this.

Type of Equipment

In solar panels, there are two primary variables to consider: the power density and the color.

A solar panel’s power density is defined as how much power is produced per unit of size produced by that panel. Generally speaking, the more ‘densely packed’ the panel, the higher the price of each watt is. Another variable that affects solar panels is their color.

‘Basic’ panels contain blue cells surrounding a white back sheet and a silver frame that frames them all. A module with a black frame will have a black back sheet or cell and are generally more expensive than a module with a white or silver frame. Most homeowners prefer the look of black solar panels.

String Inverters

Solar panels need to be connected in groups to deliver electricity to your home. The panels in each group are connected to a ‘string inverter,’ which connects several panels into one unit. The cost-effectiveness of string inverters tends to make them a popular choice among homeowners since they are more economical than other types of inverters.

Micro Inverters

An alternative to String Inverters, Solar inverters are mounted next to your solar panels, preventing potential performance problems if your panels are shaded. Inverters of this type are generally more expensive, even though they have their advantages.

Power Optimizers

Power optimizers can be considered a middle point between the other types of inverters. They have many of the same benefits as micro-inverters. These inverters are generally more expensive than string inverters, but they are also less costly than micro inverters.

Roof Type

Solar panels can be installed on metal roofs, shingle roofs, and flat roofs. Each type of roof requires different components and varying levels of labor to install.

In particular, shingle roofs must be equipped with specialized equipment to allow the panel racks to be attached to the roof. In ribbed or standing seam metal roofs, the racking is connected directly to the metal sheet. A mounted ballast is used for the installation of solar panels on flat roofs. A concrete block holds the ballast in place. Depending on the shape, size, and angle of your roof, you will find the installation price will vary greatly.

Energy Consumption

In most cases, solar systems are installed to offset the energy consumption as much as possible. However, it is essential to note that the more energy production required, the more panels and equipment the system will need. Every homeowner has to consider the importance of finding the sweet spot between energy savings and the cost of installing solar panels. Many people think they want a system that can cover 100% of their usage all the time. Still, it may be more cost-efficient to install a system that handles most of your energy use and rely on the power grid for times when the load is heavier (or when the weather isn’t conducive to solar energy production).

Shading & Weather

Taking into account the environment where your solar panels will be installed is very important. If you live in a shaded area, the number of panels needed and where they should be set will depend on how much shade your yard gets. When a system is in full sun, it will produce more energy with fewer panels, whereas in the shade, it will require more panels to produce the same amount of energy.

Furthermore, each region has its unique weather patterns, as well as different seasons. Especially in San Diego, where the sun shines almost every day, solar panels are an excellent option. In cloudier and snowier regions, this may not be the case. As of today, most solar panel systems are sized to cater for shade and weather variations that may impact the size of the system and the amount of equipment required.

Many homeowners may not realize that solar panels’ energy production can also be affected by the outdoor temperature. Most people would assume bright hot weather is good for generating solar power, but the heat can deter power production.

It’s also worth considering the cost of maintenance or repair if you live in an area with extreme weather. Hurricanes, tornados, and heavy hail can all cause damage to your solar panel system and should be budgeted for in case of an emergency.

Interconnection Cost

Interconnection refers to the process of connecting your solar panels to the grid so that you can generate electricity for your community. Local utilities have specific requirements that must be followed, and some of these restrictions could impact the type of meter you need or whether you need to upgrade the transformer.

The interconnection cost varies for each project, depending on the amount of solar already present in your area.  The age, condition of the equipment on your line, and the size of the solar array itself will also impact.

Distance to the Interconnection Point

Any unused power converted to electricity must be transmitted to the utility meter to benefit from net metering. In general, the further the solar panels (also referred to as solar arrays) are from the point of interconnection with the utilities, the higher the cost.

This is due in part to the trenching and conduit installation required and the cable diameter that needs to be used. The more distance there is, the more wiring is required. You should inquire about the costs with your local power utility to get a better idea of the price.

Get A Fast, No-Obligation Quote For Solar Panels Today

If you’re interested in taking the next step and getting a quote for solar panel installation at your home, we can help. Solving Solar has a network of top-quality solar installers all around the country.  We gather some basic information about your property and cross-reference our nationwide database of solar installers to match you with the best team for the job. Click here to get started with your free solar panel quote.