Your Questions About Solar Panels

Nancy asks…

What time do rooftop solar panels give back surpless electricity?

I've been told that when you don't use the electricity supply from the solar panels, the electricity is stored up, then at a certain time later in the day, any electricity not used will be fed back into the grid. Is this correct, and if so what time?

ssadmin answers:

In the practical sense, that's a good model for what happens.

Technically, here is how it actually works.

When the panels are producing more energy than you use (perhaps in the day, when the occupants of the house are at work), the panels drive the electric meter backwards. So say your meter reads 50000 kWh in the morning. As the meter was being driven backwards, the energy was consumed by your neighbors, or others nearbly on the grid (and presumably they paid for it). By nightfall, the meter may read 49985.

So you get home from work, and turn on the TV and lights. The sun has gone down, so the meter starts running forward. By the time you get to bed, maybe the meter reads 50002, equivalent to your buying back the electricity you “sold” during the day. So you only pay for 2 kWh for the whole day, the rest having been “supplied” by solar.

But it gets better in areas with a guaranteed Feed-In Tariff (FIT). In those places, the price to sell electricity to the grid is actually more than the price to buy. So you could sell one kWh during the day at (say) triple the price you buy at, then use three kWh at night, and still come out even as far as money.

Jenny asks…

What would be the life span of solar panels in space?

I know the life span of solar panels on earth is around 20 year, but to me it seems that the life span of a solar panel in space would be longer due to there being not as environmental effects.

ssadmin answers:

From my pov, it will be forever unless its being dmg by other effects or element in space etc like rocks, heat, flares and etc. Depend the solar panel is able to adapt in the the different region of the solar system.

But you ofc have to modify it for it to be use in space and what kind of possibility it will face

Sandra asks…

Are solar panels worth the expensive charge in the beginning?

Solar panels are very expensive to purchase and install. Is it worth the hassle in the beginning, or is the product too small to make a difference?

ssadmin answers:


Solar panels and associated systems cost a lot to build install and maintain.

You will get years worth of electricity from the grid for the same cost.

It's not worth retrofitting a house with solar. It might be worth building a new house designed for solar energy use depending on where you live in terms of amount and intensity of sunlight as well as the cost of electricity from the grid.

Chris asks…

What is the best roof pitch for solar panels?

I am building a shed in Western Australia and will be putting solar panels on the roof to generate electricity. Need to know what the most optimum roof pitch is for solar panels.

ssadmin answers:

Tilted at latitude is typical for solar electric, so if you're at (say) 35 degrees south latitude, you'd face your roof to solar north (magnetic north is close enough), and have it pitched up 35 degrees from horizontal.

If consistent power throughout the year is more important than total power, you might tilt at 15 to 20 degrees higher, to catch the short winter sun.

If you're at a very low latitude, you would want some tilt so that the panels don't collect water and dirt.

If you're in a place that gets snow, you'll want a pitch steep enough to shed the snow (possibly with a little encouragement from a long-handled broom).

Robert asks…

Where can I find solar panels and how to install them inexpensively?

I already change all the lightbulbs in my apartment for energy saving ones. I drive less so my car doens't emit that much. I would like to know more about solar panels

ssadmin answers:

We just installed 2 solar collectors a year ago, and it wasn't cheap. That's the downside. On a postive note, over a year's time, we've cut our natural gas bill in half (the solar collectors are heating our water). Looking at it that way, they pay for themselves. To answer your first question, we obtained ours from a friend. If you live in an environmentally retarded area, it might be difficult to find them. There are venues online where you can purchase them. Try Amazon, ebay…or just Google it.

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