When it comes to renewable energy sources, solar panels and the generators relying on them are one of the most talked about. It is true that the energy source from the sun is 100% clean and is certainly beneficial for the environment. However, some homeowners claim they aren’t efficient and are unaffordable from a financial standpoint. There are many opinions that even getting the best portable generator running on gasoline won’t be enough to provide some additional reliable backup energy for home. Let alone solar panels which despite recent technological developments are still far from being capable of power an entire home.
Let’s have a quick look at some advantages and disadvantages of purchasing solar panels and the accompanying generators:
Reduced Utility Bills
With solar panels, you’re using the sun’s energy, therefore, your electricity bills are substantially lower. The amount you can save depends on your heating or electricity usage and the size of the solar system. Most states implement a policy called net metering which allows you to receive a credit for energy your solar panels produce that you don’t use. This is a significant advantage of solar generators and certainly gives them the edge over the conventional generators running on gas or propane.
Most solar panels don’t require cleaning or maintenance more than once per year. Reputable solar energy companies also offer warranties for up to 25 years. You can expect to pay the initial fee for setting up your system with little to no additional costs for repair and maintenance for a lifetime.
The initial cost and setup fee for your new solar panels is fairly high and includes installation, wiring, batteries, the inverter, and the solar panels themselves. A typical solar energy system can cost from $20,000 to $40,000. This is a significant investment which is much more expensive than installing a standby generator in case you want the solar panels to help you decrease your reliance on the electricity grid.
The efficiency of your solar energy system depends on the weather. While they can still collect some 10 to 25% of energy on cloudy days, direct sunlight is the main source of energy. If you live in a state that experiences regular bouts of inclement weather, solar panels might not be the best choice for you.
How about portable solar generators?
Small portable solar generators became all the rave nowadays. Camping enthusiasts swear by them that these are some of best sources of portable power money can buy.
It is true that those generators can be a great traveller’s companion. Another significant advantage of them is that since they do not run on gasoline or any other potentially toxic fossil fuel – they can be safely used indoors, which might be a game changer for some people (eg. those who need constant medical assistance).
The significant downside of those generators is that provide very little wattage. A typical portable solar power generator is only capable of running a few small electronics such as laptops or mobile phones. You certainly won’t be able to use any of those to power things like AC or freezers.
Both home solar power generator systems and portable generators have their pros and cons. They can make an excellent addiction to everyone’s household or make camping more pleasant in case of the portable models. However, the general consensus it that they should never be treated as a comprehensive power solution capable of replacing other sources of electricity.