Q. Are you thinking of your future needs when purchasing solar?
BUY OR UPGRADE NOW WITH THE FUTURE IN MIND.
A few years ago, many buyers of residential solar did not consider the efficiency of their panels. If they wanted a 5kW system they could buy 20 panels with 250W or 23 less efficient 220W panels. Most customers never imagined they would in the future need more than 5kW of solar and in many homes around 20 to 32 panels will fit on the roof. That was the old solar.
But with the emergence of battery storage as a smart way to harvest the light during the day and then to use this electricity at night, panel efficiency has become a very important consideration.
Considering that the future of electric cars is coming fast, with most vehicle manufacturers announcing electric car models in a few years; you might want to expand your solar system in the future to power the electric car. The worldwide CO2 reduction could be enormous if we are able to utilise our roofs to generate some of the fuel for our cars. In short in the future one might want 4-5kW of the solar system for day use and 1-2kW of solar for the batteries to use at night and then to fuel the car one would need another 4-6kW of solar to power the car(s) via solar. Overall suddenly there is the need for a 10 -12kW system. With 260W panels, this would mean one needs to fit at least 40 panels.
So, it is important today to buy a system with future expansion capability in mind, both for batteries and future Electric Vehicles.
The same applies if you are looking to upgrade your current system, and this may be brought about by system failure or the changing needs of your family. Rather than just replace inverters and panels based on your original need (which may be 5 to 8 years ago) look ahead to the future (more kids, fewer kids at home), and the opportunity to embrace new technologies (batteries, electric cars)