How Reliable is Solar Power?

by | Jun 16, 2019 | about

Solar power usage is growing by leaps and bounds in the US. Unfortunately, as more Americans switch to solar to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint, more misinformation gets tossed around regarding the reliability of solar panels. Kosmos Solar is here to give you the final word on solar panel reliability.

Critics often claim that solar power is less trustworthy than fossil fuels, but if you look closely at the ones making these claims, you will notice something interesting. They are either fossil fuel energy providers who have their own agenda in nay-saying the benefits of solar, or they are referencing old studies done when solar panels were still in their early days.

So how is solar energy produced and is it a reliable source of energy? Let’s take a look at the facts.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels are affixed to the roof of a building (or installed as ground panels) where they intercept the rays of the sun and turn them into usable, renewable energy to power the home or office.

When you have solar panels installed, you are connected to the power grid. The panels receive sunlight and use it to produce direct current (DC) energy. This energy is then fed into a solar inverter where it becomes AC energy which can be used to power the appliances in your home.

During the day, your home will use the solar energy it generates. If you have an excess of solar energy, it will be fed to the power grid where your electric company will give you credits for the extra energy. At night or on cloudy days, you can draw on these credits to offset the cost of using the power grid’s electricity.

 

What Makes Them Fail?

In the earliest days of solar panel technology, there was a failure rate that gave homeowners pause. This is understandable. Solar panels are an investment, and nobody wants to put their hard-earned money into an investment that is likely to fail.

Times are different now. Solar panel failure rates are at an all-time low. There are still some factors that might cause them to underperform, however. Living in a cloudy climate, having a flat or low-sloping roof, having a north-facing roof, or having trees and other structures that block out the sun will decrease your solar panel efficiency.

In the past, manufacturing defects were a real concern. As time has passed, more experienced manufacturers and better materials have made solar panels quite resistant to weather and physical damage.

Extreme weather events are still a cause for concern, though they are rare. Hurricane-force winds and very large hail can damage even the sturdiest solar panels. Talk to the team at Kosmos Solar to learn how to protect your solar panels from damage.

How Reliable Are They Really?

In 2017, the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) studied 54,500 solar panel systems installed between 2005 and 2015. Their goal was to measure the number of panel failures that required replacement.

Even though some of the systems were more than a decade old at the time of the study, the NREL discovered a failure rate of only 0.05%, or just 5 panels out of 10,000. This is definitive proof that solar panels are an extremely reliable energy source despite what the detractors say.

How Can I Get Solar Panels?

If you’re ready for a renewable energy source you can count on, call Kosmos Solar today! We provide solar power solutions for homes and businesses across North Texas, and we will happily come to you for an onsite energy consultation.