With the gradual improvements in solar technology over the past 15 years, many early solar customers are considering a solar system upgrade. Some people want to add more panels because their electrical demand has increased. Some people have inverters that are past their warranty. Some people want better system monitoring. And some people are doing a home renovation and want to re-use their existing panels.
Not surprisingly, the most common reason for an upgrade is to add battery backup capabilities to keep their lights on and their fridge cold. Systems based on older string inverter technology (and some microinverters), need an inverter upgrade to be compatible with the latest lithium ion battery technology.
Thinking back on the equipment we installed 20 years ago to today, a lot has changed. Solar panel efficiency has gone from 14% to over 22%. Inverter efficiency has gone from 93% to 99%. Monitoring (while still somewhat complicated) is now standard. And, perhaps most importantly, battery storage systems are automatic, more reliable and have 10-year warranties.
Remember, the 26% tax credit applies to solar and battery upgrades. So if you are thinking about a solar system upgrade, are about to re-roof or do a home renovation, or want to add battery storage, please listen to this week’s Energy Show. We will review the latest solar technology, detail what’s involved in upgrading, and provide useful tips to ask your solar installer so that you get the best solution for your home.