Why Home Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Are So Expensive?

Many people like the idea of using a solar power system for their homes. Solar system has the potential to reduce their monthly energy consumption because the home power requirement is supplemented by free energy from the sun.

However, many home owners are not using solar energy due to its high initial investment. A complete solar system capable of supporting a small house can cost upwards of $35,000 if you were to engage the service of a professional contractor. But why are the solar components so expensive? One main reason is the high manufacturing cost.

During the manufacturing process, silicone material must be used to make the solar panels which consist of multiple photovoltaic cells. Silicone material is used because it has a high resistance to withstand Ultra Violet (UV) rays and moisture.

Silicones can operate over wide range of temperature and has so many beneficial characters such as high dielectric constant, optically transparent and many more. Hence, silicones are very costly and yet they are very reliable in terms of performance and durability.

A typical solar panel from a hardware store will have 10 – 20 units of Photovoltaic (PV) cells. All these cells are linked together in series so the combined power output is sufficient to charge a deep cycle battery.

Other components that make up the solar energy system are the charge controller, power inverter, voltage meter, amperage meter etc. Connecting all these components together and making sure they work properly can be quite a challenge. You must understand the science of electricity and be able to do some electrical engineering calculation.

Some of the cost of a home solar system will also goes to the contractor’s skill and knowledge in setting and configuring the system for you. Alternatively, you can spend 3 years studying to get a degree in electronic and electrical engineering so you can setup the system on your own.

Post time: 04-13-2017