About Solar Energy

Solar Energy Myths: 3 Things You Didn’t Know

Solar power is not a complex topic, however, many myths are surrounding the industry and if you are not knowledgeable on the topic, you might get the wrong idea from solar PV. This may lead you to stop considering solar even before requesting an actual quote or even worse, leading you to install a PV system assuming concepts or ideas that are false.

This is why it is important to separate the myth from the truth and to do so, this article will address three of the most important myths. Let’s get started!

First Solar Myth: Solar Power Generates More Electricity in Extremely Hot Locations

Most people tend to think that the hotter the location, the higher energy yields can be obtained from the solar PV array. Therefore, a common assumption is that a PV system installed in any region of the Middle East will always generate more power than any PV system installed in a region like the state of Louisiana that does not exhibit such a high solar irradiance. However, the truth is much more complicated than that.

To reveal the truth behind this myth it is important to remember that solar panels do not generate electricity by transforming heat into energy, the conversion process is from light to electricity.

A solar panel heats up during the conversion process with temperatures that can reach 60-75°C. If the ambient temperature is also high, then the panel will heat up even more, leading to high thermal losses. Thus, as a general rule, if heat increases, the efficiency and power output of the module will reduce.

In a few words, the ideal conditions for solar PV harvesting are not locations with hot weather, but regions with cold temperatures and a lot of sunlight.

Solar Energy In Hot Locations

Second Solar Myth: The Solar Resource is the Determining Factor To Achieve a Faster Payback Period

It is generally associated that if the location where the PV system will be installed has a good solar resource, then the location is automatically perfect for a faster payback period.

However, the impact on the financial model of a PV system is also affected by the local electricity rate and the local cost of installing PV (which varies from state to state).

A location that generates lower energy yields but that has higher electricity rates and lower installation cost is generally more attractive from a financial point of view than a region with higher energy yields but lower electricity rates and higher installation costs. This makes regions like Alaska, which would generally be unthinkable for solar, more attractive financially than states like Illinois.

In this matter, the most ideal location for solar is a place that generates high energy yields and has high electricity rates like Hawaii or California.

Solar Resource and Payback Period

Third Solar Myth: By Installing Solar I Will Have Power At Home During A Blackout

This statement leads to confusion sometimes because it is directly related to the type of system that you have installed.

A grid-tied PV system which only consists of modules and inverter will only export power to the grid but will get disconnected once a power outage occurs. In other words, you will not have electricity.

If you want to have electricity during a blackout, then you must install a PV system with energy storage and backup capability. This will allow you to store the excess energy inside a battery and use it independently whenever a blackout occurs.

In other words, if you see your neighbor with solar panels and electricity whenever there is a blackout, the reason is that your neighbor installed a PV system with energy storage.

Power during blackout

Do Your Research!

There are many more myths available out there! The best way to know if they are true or false is to research or ask LA Solar Group!

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