A Starters Guide to Buying Solar Panels

When most of us think of solar panels, we think of stiff, square sheets of panels that we see installed on rooftops and in other locations. The truth is that solar panels come in a variety of shapes, sizes and formats to fit almost any location. If you are thinking about adding solar panels to your home to help offset rising energy costs, you need to know how to buy solar panels that meet your specific needs. Let's take a look at some solar panel basics so that you make the right decision.

One of the most popular forms of solar panels are rollable solar panels. These flexible sheets can be moved from place to place and rolled out where you need them. These types of panels are mostly meant for portable energy needs. They are perfect for camping, tailgating and for use on boats and recreational vehicles. They are also extremely durable, and often quite expensive. If you are looking to buy solar panels for your home, rollable panels like these likely aren't ideal. They are, however, weather resistant and most brands, such as the Powerfilm 1200, 600 and 300 come with a three year warranty.

Foldable solar panels are also extremely popular since they provide a degree of mobility that you find with rollable panels but are often less expensive. Foldable panels also offer a high level of power output, with some Powerfilm models capable of putting out as much as 55 watts. If you are looking to buy solar panels for any kind of extended outdoor work or for your home, you likely want to choose foldable panels or rigid panels, which are even less expensive. For sheer energy output, you can't beat the capabilities offered by foldable solar panels.

There are two other types of solar panels: rigid and compact. Most rigid solar panels are the ones that you see permanently installed on rooftops. Since these panels don't need to be uprooted and moved around, a rigid panel can be used. If you are looking to buy solar panels that are for a rooftop array that is going to be in place for years, rigid panels make a lot of sense. On the other hand, compact solar panels offer the ultimate in mobility and flexibility. Some models, such as the SOLIO, can be used to charge up anything from an iPod to a digital camera or just about any other portable electronic device. Many of these portable panels even have clasps on the back so that they can be attached to a backpack or even your belt so they can work while you move around.

Although the price of solar panels is dropping fast, it pays to do you research before you buy. Solar panels come in so many different shapes, styles and formats that you need to be sure you are buying the right kind before you visit the store.

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Shrink your carbon footprint as a result of following some really easy energy conservation tips in your house and on the road.

One Response to “A Starters Guide to Buying Solar Panels”


  1. Jona Says:

    How much would it cost to put solar panel in a 1100 sq, ft home for air conditioning? I will not be using a heater but will use a gas stove. If I buy the solar kit from you, will I be able to use it in the Philippines where they have 220V? Will it be easy to install? If so, what type of professional do I need to install it?

    Thanks.

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