Cheaper Solar Power
Cheaper solar power with easier roof top installation
Over the past few decades, the cost of solar power has dropped so much that factors that used to be kind of afterthoughts are now becoming very significant. In some commercial rooftop projects, the panels themselves are now less than half of the total cost, with the rest going to installation, power electronics, etc.
This means that we’re now at the point where figuring out an easier and quicker way to install the panels can provide bigger benefits than a new cheaper/more efficient solar panel technology. Thankfully, there are some nice low-hanging fruits to be harvested there, since a lot of rooftop solar panel installations have been kind of ad hoc and sub-optimized.
As has been shown in other industries, a lot of efficiency can be gained from standardization, integrating and simplifying processes (f.ex. what used to take 10 steps now takes 4..), and going for economies of scale.
A good example of this is Solon’s SOLfixx PV system, which you can see in the pictures above. The company claims that its system can reduce the time needed for solar power rooftop installation by more than half, greatly reducing costs (labor costs alone are about 30% of the total cost of a solar rooftop system — how much you save depends on local labor costs).
Solon is just used as an example here, but other companies are doing similar things. These types of innovations can make solar power more affordable, both to companies with lots of flat rooftops that could be used to generate power, or for citizens who own homes and would like to generate their own clean electricity.
Progress is continuing to be made in the design and simplicity of mounting systems for solar power. Part of choosing a Solar Contractor is evaluating the mounting system they use for installing the panels. All are not equal.
One consideration that is important is how the mounting system looks from the ground and to all that pass by. The mounting system can enhance the look of the solar power or make the panels look out of place on your roof. Comment by Don Ames
all are not equal.