Photo By Lari Bat at istock
Solar power, also called photovoltaic power or PV, is very well-suited to Oahu and Honolulu. Sunlight is free, and Hawaii has plenty of it. However, it does not have an abundance of fossil fuels.
The high temperatures that come with such plentiful sunlight, along with the necessity of importing fossil fuels, lead to expensive monthly energy bills. Solar panel installation can drastically reduce a household’s monthly energy expenses. It takes advantage of Hawaii‘s unlimited sunlight and helps the environment overall.
Solar Power as an Investment
Solar panel installation produces electricity for over 20 years. Some research has also shown that homes with solar panel installation in Honolulu and Oahu actually sell faster than homes without it. Homeowners can consider the initial installation a good investment whether they are planning to stay put or thinking about selling in the future.
The ability to store solar energy has made solar power installation a very sensible option in Hawaii. Home and business owners can use the stored energy through the night and during cloudy weather. Consumers can also connect their solar systems to the power grid.
Solar panel installation does not detract from a home’s appearance or ‘curb appeal.’ Homeowners can choose from a multitude of solar panel and shingle designs. Modern panels are very thin.
Many shingles are constructed with a photovoltaic film between two layers of glass. This design optimizes sunlight absorption and creates visually appealing panels that are easily incorporated into a home’s overall aesthetics.
Will Solar Panels Damage the Roof?
Sometimes homeowners in Honolulu and Oahu are concerned that solar panel installation will damage their roofs. It is possible to use solar panels in unconventional locations such as a backyard, but roof installation is the most efficient method.
A sturdy roof without obvious signs of damage is most likely safe for solar panel installation. An older roof at the end of its lifespan can be replaced with solar panels at the same time.
Traditional solar panels are not directly attached to the home’s roof. A railing system is installed along with the panels. This actually protects the roof itself. The panels and railing are strong enough to withstand strong winds and storms that are so common in Hawaii.
Solar shingles are also known as building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPV. They are solar panels the size and shape of roof shingles. The shingles are produced with the same technology and structure used in traditional solar panels, including the monocrystalline solar photovoltaic cells. Solar shingles are installed as part of the roof itself instead of attaching panels with railing.
Improvements in Solar Technology
Technological advances have improved solar power installation by leaps and bounds in a relatively short time. Solar power is now a viable energy production solution throughout the United States.
The Solar Energy Industries Association states that 2,387 megawatts of solar PV systems were added across the United States in 2017. The additions brought solar energy production up to 47.1 gigawatts throughout the country.
This amount of energy powers about 9.1 million homes. Hawaii had approximately 782.5 megawatts of solar capacity in 2017, which put it in 13th place out of all 50 states in terms of solar energy production.
A significant environmental concern regarding solar power has always been the batteries. Storage batteries used to contain rare earth minerals, especially lithium, that caused a great deal of environmental damage during mining and processing. Recycling or disposing of these batteries is also hazardous.
New battery technology removes the biggest environmental hurdle in solar panel installation, Newer batteries, such as Blue Ion batteries, use ferrous phosphate. Ferrous phosphate is not a rare earth mineral, and it is much easier to produce and recycle.
The solar panels currently in production have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. This is a huge improvement from many of the first solar panels that often wore out in only a decade. It is very unlikely that materials used in current solar panel installation will ever end up in a landfill. The panels are recyclable, and most of their components are put right back into production.
Another challenge of solar energy has also been addressed with improved batteries. The major drawback of batteries is their tendency to lose storage ability with age. Blue Ion batteries, and several other designs entering the market, offer greater durability and maintain storage capacity for over two decades. Homeowners do not need to worry that batteries will fail when their power is needed.
Why Should Homeowners Seek Professional Solar Panel Installation?
Homeowners should consult a professional for solar power installation, whether they choose solar shingles or traditional panels. Most people hire professionals to install or repair electrical wiring and central air or heating systems. These important components of a home must be installed and maintained correctly. Solar power systems are just as important. They use complex technology and should be installed by people with the proper training and qualifications.
Solar energy production depends on many factors. Panels must be exposed to as much sunlight as possible. Sunlight hits panels from different directions throughout the day. Shade from trees and structures along with dust, leaves, and other debris block sunlight.
Surprisingly, high temperatures actually decrease solar panel efficiency. Professionals calculate angles, examine a home’s orientation, and evaluate sources of shade and debris. All of these factors are taken into account to place panels efficiently.
Solar panel installation is a long-term investment in a home, and the maintenance requirements are much easier with professional installation. Another important reason to consult professionals is the legal aspect. Permits and inspections are a headache for most home owners. The professionals at Skyta Construction, Roofing, Solar, installs the system and takes care of the required permits and paperwork.