Solar energy is a free and inexhaustible resource to fulfill the world’s energy requirements. All thanks to superstar Sun that we receive an incredible supply of solar energy.
In the past few decades, solar power was not very effective, and people chose non-renewable resources for energy production because they were affordable and readily available at those times.
In the mid-1950s, scientists at Bell Labs, New Jersey, discovered an efficient way to increase efficiency to turn sunlight into electricity with silicon PV cells. Following that, solar research and industry have achieved milestones by constant advancement and improvisation.
In the 21st century, we have the option to transport, store, and use solar energy in different ways.
The last few decades showed the mirror to the world when growing energy demands, environmental issues, and associated illness came into the spotlight. To deal with these issues and promote renewable energy, the U.S. Department of Energy is actively working.
The U.S. government and energy department sponsor, fund, and donate for the installation of solar panels regularly. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy funds for testing of PV systems according to proposals and guidelines.
Energy companies invest with government agencies for the promotion, development, and research of solar energy. Although there is no such thing as absolutely free solar panels, you can dive into this article to find out about the scheme.
The first thing that should come to your mind is how to get solar panels for free!
There is no such thing as free solar panels unless sponsored by a government organization to advocate green energy. However, we can definitely get free or cheap solar panels that are used or sent in recycling houses.
Before we discuss this in detail, let’s start from the very beginning.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is clean energy but flow-limited. They are recyclable and do not release pollutants. It is responsible for reducing levels of carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases. It is an economically reliable and environmentally friendly option.
Renewable has a vision of sustainable development, aiming to save the planet from non-renewable resources and their harmful effects.
Ways To Getting Solar Panels For Free
Solar energy is true, an economical and long-lasting option to choose from renewable resources. But harnessing the sun’s free energy isn’t for free. It requires experts to install and invest in upgrading batteries, inverters, etc. Furthermore, if you are looking for a better way to decode free mantra, here we go-
Solar panel installations are not free of cost, but they work on solar financing options. One could sign a contract with a solar installation company which can be
- Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
- Solar leases
According to both these contracts, the respective solar company will process your request and install solar panels in your house without any cost or negligible amount.
In this long-term contract, they will handle maintenance and other issues regarding solar panels. Now, the solar panels on your roof produce power, and you just have to pay the bill for the electricity you use. Apart from reduced electricity bills, you contribute to green energy.
Although you don’t own solar panels on your roof, you just pay for the power supply used.
If you don’t want to go with a PPA Agreement, you can go for solar loans. It will also add advantages like solar incentives and rebates in your area.
Coming back to Solar Power Purchase Agreement, keep the following things in mind-
- These are long-term contracts from 15 to 25 years.
- Always decide after market research and discussing with a field expert.
- Keep an eye on the quality of solar panels installed.
- Track and check reviews of brands of panels and inverters.
- Understand the terms & conditions properly before signing the contract, especially the upfront cost, installations, and finances.
- Confirm about processing and terms of your tax and credit income.
Next, we’ll check more available options out there!
- If you are looking for pocket-friendly options, you can seek the services of solar panel repairing shops. They have some pieces with minute issues or when the owner shifted to another improvised solar panel option. You can use this fixed piece with some modifications.
- The recycling center is also a hub for people who are looking for affordable solar panels.
- Sometimes, when the house owner cannot shift solar panels or if they are installing new, advanced ones, you can directly buy them from them at an affordable price.
- Keep an eye on government schemes and the U.S. Department of Energy providing solar panels out of proposals and a new scheme.
Is Your House Ready For Solar Panels?
Before you consider solar panels, you need to make sure your house is ready for this.
Since 2010, the demand for solar panels has increased dramatically. Americans are choosing the sun’s energy to power up the houses for domestic and commercial uses. It is increasing the value of the property as well as saving money on electricity bills.
Solar panels work according to altitude, climatic conditions, rooftops, size, and shape of the slope. Solar panels are known best for energy production if the roof is south-facing. If you don’t have a personal roof to install a solar panel, you can contact community solar services.
There are various government and private organizations that provide complete guides, rules, and regulations associated with the installation, maintenance, and benefits of solar panels.
How to Repair Solar Panels?
Solar panels require minimum maintenance to function if they are new. Regular cleaning to remove dirt, debris, leaves on anything obstructing sunlight to reach panels is more than sufficient.
If solar panels stop working, check the solar monitoring system, switches, obstruction on panels, physical changes, and inspect the solar meter.
In case if the problem persists even after taking the above measures, you will need an expert to repair the solar panel. Prior knowledge can help you fix primary issues with panel settings, but a field expert will consider all the factors such as resolution, inverter, wiring, etc. Since solar panels are usually non-movable, they only need to be checked for damage and cleaned 2-6 times annually.
Are Used Solar Panels Effective After Repairing?
Solar panels have a shelf life of 30 years. As the demand for solar panels is increasing with steady improvisations, solar panels are also getting into recycling at an early stage. The U.S. solar panels market is expanding. The department also has a policy structure to recycle or dispose of solar panels.
The silicon photovoltaic cells and other improperly disposed solar panels end up in landfills, releasing toxins and harmful chemicals. Yes, solar energy is environmentally friendly, but a legal rule for the disposal of such parts is needed. We need to consider long-lasting effects at the other end.
Recycling or reusing solar panels is complex and expensive, and this process sometimes leads to affecting components of solar panels.
After repairing sometimes, these parts may reduce the energy production. Although small off-grid parts can be refurbished, larger ones don’t produce enough power after going through the process of recycling.
When getting an old solar panel is not worth it?
There are several ways to improve the energy output of solar panels, but is it a good choice to buy used solar panels?
As we discussed earlier, the process of specific repairing or recycling is complex. Solar panels get a second life in the recycling market, which is a better option than ending up as landfills. The recycling process can make them repurposed for smaller projects. Many web platforms successfully connect sellers and interested buyers. After the finished lifespan of the solar panel, it might reduce efficiency by a few percent but does not make it of no use. These solar panels work fine with a smaller project.
Overall it is not a liability to use repurposed panels. Since California is the largest marketplace for solar, it carries a responsibility to approach innovative recycling programs for the future of solar energy. Especially after Senate Bill 489 passed by California, solar panels affect power production after prolonged use.
With a bit of effort, you can change the outcome of thousands of panels stored in warehouses. The solar degradation rate is 0.5%, making solar panels work with 90% efficiency for 20 years. Before we wrap up this part, have a look at what else you could do with solar panels-
- Use them to charge your smartphones while traveling, trekking.
- Use it for insulation.
- Use it for a single purpose in domestic areas.
- Use it for a green living house.
- Make a stand of it.
- Use it for comparatively smaller projects.
Solar energy has been the most opted option in renewable resources, but it comes with its pros and cons. There are researches been conducted to increase efficiency, better technology, easy installation, and other features.
Solar energy has opened gates and windows to new opportunities for learning, space projects, power campaigns. It is also the first choice for power generation in institutions, industries, and houses.
Due to early research and development, the U.S has successfully created an environment with affordable and accessible electricity for the entire country. Today 3% of U.S electricity is generated from solar photovoltaic and concentrating thermal power.
Due to judiciousness and active working modules, the U.S has grown its power capacity to provide electricity in about 15-18 million homes with solar energy. Power generation by solar panels primarily functions based on climate and latitude and varies from state to state.
According to the reports of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the highest solar voltaic capacity are in Arizona, Mexico, Nevada, California, North Carolina, Texas, and New Jersey.
There are different incentives and tax relaxations associated with the installation of solar panels, but you need to know there is no such thing as ‘free’ solar panels. Either they are sponsored by the government, signed on a lease, or with a second life.
However, recycling houses and warehouses always welcome you to choose good pocket-friendly options for smaller projects or small purposes. There is always maintenance, installation, and a field expert you need to check on; otherwise, you are good to go to choose green energy. A happy planet equals a long and healthy living.
Sustainable development provides substantive support and capacity building to promote awareness on climate change, global warming, the importance of renewable resources, etc.
Solar energy is widespread among other renewable resources due to efforts in installation and its efficient output. There are various solar panel exchange programs, government schemes, and other company outreach activities.
Sun’s energy needs non-biodegradable components to convert solar energy into a power supply. In the project of caring for the planet, one needs to understand not over-utilize natural resources and not create landfills with components or parts used to harness renewable resources.
Emphasize brand and quality even when you are installing used or second-hand solar panels as with the qualitative product, the efficiency of solar panels works like magic.
Human needs are without limits, but the concept of sustainable development carries a responsibility to develop the present without making a compromise to future aspects.