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As you may have known, a solar panel is a device, which does the work of converting light energy from the sun to electrical energy. It consists of PV cells, which absorb rays from the sun and convert them to DC current used in powering electrical appliances in the home. So let’s get to the cost of solar panels

The fact that that the cost of generating electrical energy from traditional sources is increasing on a daily basis makes the installation of solar panels the best option to save yourself some money.

How much does solar panel cost?

This is one of the most common questions people ask when they hear about how solar power systems can reduce their cost of electricity. People tend to wonder, how much exactly does it cost and is it indeed worth installing?

Well, the cost of solar panels will depend on different factors such as the size of the solar panel, the size of your home, and even your geographical location.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NERL), the cost for residential solar panel systems did drop with as much as 61% as of the year 2010. What then is stopping you from having one installed in your home?

On the average, the cost of a solar panel system ranges from $1.5 to $3.5 per watt. This means that how much you pay for your panel would depend also on the size of your panel system.

For instance, if you are using a 5 kilowatts solar panel system at the rate of $3 per watt, the cost would be calculated thus:

Size of solar panel system = 5 × 1000 (a kilowatt is 1000 watts) = 5000 watts Cost per watt = $3 Cost per system = 5000 × 3 = $15,000

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In likewise manner, if you are going for a panel system of higher or lower size, its cost will vary not just based on the price per watt but also based on the size of the system. Typically, residential solar panels of between 3-8 kilowatts capacity costs between $4,000 and $16,500.

Balance of solar system

The solar panel system as you know consists of various components asides the solar panels themselves. These other components have to be paid for and they constitute about 20% of the total cost.

For instance, there are the mounts, the inverters, wiring, and other minor components that need to be fixed. It could cost you as much as $3,000 for these components.

Other costs to consider

Here are some other costs you should be ready for as you are planning to have the solar power system installed in your residential or official buildings.

Installation cost

Surely, buying a solar panel is one great step forward but that is not all that is to it. You would need a professional solar panel installation engineer like me to have it installed rightly for you.

Typically, cost of installation would depend on the state you reside however; I have done lots of professional solar panel installation works to know that cost of installation is affordable especially if you bargained right with your installer.

Operational costs

Included here are maintenance cost, repair cost, monitoring cost and even insurance cost. Now, this is the point where you have to have to cut cost as much as you can.

For instance, monitoring costs may not really be necessary. Maintenance cost could be needed only once in a while and hopefully, you may not need to make any repairs if you purchased your solar panel system from reputable vendors (I can help you with information on where and how to purchase durable solar panel system).

Incentives

Finally, the total cost of a solar system would be dependent on the area where you reside. For instance, in some places, there is availability of tax credits, rebates and even grants, which you could be eligible for.

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The solar market no doubt flourishes where there are financial incentives available. You will find out that in such areas, you could cut as much as 50% off the total cost you would have incurred trying to install the panel system.

How does solar system size impact cost?

It is important that you know the average cost per watt however, what exactly does that mean for you? What does $2.5/watt mean for you?

You should know that the cost of installing the solar power system in your home is dependent on how much electricity you wish to generate, this means a bigger system will cost you more. The reason is that you will need more labor to install it and you will also need to buy more equipment to support the larger capacity of the system.

Solar panel installation pricing in some states in US

StateCost per watt ($/W)Solar panel cost for a 6 Kw systemSolar panel cost for a Kw system
Arizona$2.76$11,011 – $13,498$18,352 – $496
California$2.94$11,455 – $14,652$19,092 – $24,420
Colorado$3.18$12,876 – $15,362$21,460 – $25,604
Washington D.C.$3.27$11,278 – $17,760$18,796 – $29,600
Florida$2.72$10,656 – $13,498$17,760 – $22,496
Iowa$3.39$14,519 -$15,584$24,198 – $25,974
Maryland$2.84$11,011 – $14,208$18,352 – $23,680
Michigan$3.24$12,032 – $16,739$20,054 – $27,898
North Carolina$2.84$10,612 – $14,608$17,686 – $24,346
New York$3.10$12,077 – $15,451$20,128 – $25,752
Source: Energysage market

Solar panel pricing in Nigeria

Nigeria is gradually embracing this cost-saving means of generating electrical power. I could help recommend for you available leading solar panel vendors in Nigeria if you want solution to your electricity problems.

You can purchase 10W solar panel at the price of 6,000 naira while a 100W solar panel starts at around 20,000 naira at the average. Also, price would depend on whether you are purchasing the monocrystalline or the polycrystalline solar panel. The latter is usually more costly than the former.

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Solar panel size (in watts)Average cost
10N6,000 – N20,000
20N9,500 – N20,000
50N14,900 – N35,000
80N16,500 – N45,000
100N20,000 – N80,000
120N25,000 – N90,000
150N29,000 – N80,000
180N45,000 – N80,000
200 (Mono)N39,000 – N85,000
200 (poly)N43,000 – N95,000
250 (Mono)N45,000 – N 150,000
250 (Poly)N50,000 – N150,000
300 (Mono)N62,000 – N200,000
300 (Poly)N70,000 – N200,000
Source: Naijatechguilde

You should note that just as solar panels come with different watts, they also come with varying output voltage. This means you can get a 200 watts solar panel offering 12V, 24V output etc.

In addition, when purchasing your solar panel, it is important that you do not consider just the price. You should consider the quality and reputation of the brand as well as the solar panel system size your home needs.

Things to know before purchasing a solar panel system

While it is wise to compare price offers from different solar panel vendors and contractors, it is not right for you to focus on just the price. You should also check out the following factors:

  • The durability of the solar panel: A durable solar panel should be expected to last up to 2 decades thus; you should ensure that you are covered by a warranty. You should look out for about 10 years warranty against manufacturer’s defects and as much as 20 years warranty for energy production of at least 70% of the rated value.
  • The amount of money it saves you: As much as solar panels differ in price, they also differ in the amount they can save you. It is true that the most expensive ones are not always the best but it is also true that in most cases, the expensive systems produce more energy. You’d be surprised that you will recover its costs as many times as electricity bill savings.
  • Knowing the efficiency of solar panels: You can calculate your solar panel efficiency by dividing its rated wattage by the available area. A 320W solar panel is more efficient than a 250W solar panel. One major advantage of using solar panels with high efficiency is that the use the space that is available more efficiently.

You should ask for a detailed budget of the installation project from your solar installers. You can contact me, I would provide you with every detailed information you need as regards purchasing and installation of your solar panel system. I will provide for you a cost that would cover the delivery of the solar panel and its components as well as the cost of installation and maintenance.

By Naihcotech

Your can as well read:

Solar power system
off-grid solar system-the pros and cons

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