The solar industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and we are extremely excited to be a part of these changes. Technology is advancing, prices are reducing, and incentives are expiring. It is especially important to think about disappearing incentives impact your strategy when exploring solar for your home. Here are some of the main changes we expect to see in the solar and battery world:
Higher Efficiency Modules
When we first got into the solar game in 2007, the top-of-the-line modules we sold and installed were 170W with a 12.89% efficiency. They retailed at a staggering $700 per panel! Today, we can provide our clients with 370W per panel, boasting efficiencies of over 21%, with a retail price just shy of $500 per panel! So that is double the production at half the price! Solar panel technology is not changing as rapidly as battery technology at this point. While it is not plateauing, per se, it is certainly not improving as rapidly as the past decade-plus. We typically see an increase of 10W in capacity every 6 months to a year.
Hetero-Junction and Bi-Facial Solar Modules
These updates in technology involve advanced bi-facial cell designs for increased energy output. The cell would utilize more available sunlight reflected from the rear side material which would capture that light and turn it into even more energy.
Manufacturing is expected to explode in the battery market, especially with the increase in EVs on the road. Increased supply leads to lower pricing, but demand is going through the roof! Just since 2018, costs for home battery storage have been reduced by nearly 50%!
With battery storage already gaining popularity, demand is increasing by the day. At Rectify Solar, we strive to work with our clients on a long-term strategy when it comes to installing a solar system at their home or property. In 2017, given the changing rules from utilities on net-metering, we started selling and encouraging our clients to opt for hybrid inverters to prepare for future battery storage. While grid-tied systems are still valuable and the industry standard, most of our clients are preparing for the future by purchasing these hybrid inverters so all they must do is plug in a battery and go.
DC Power is the Future
It may sound counter-intuitive, but DC is the future of electricity. Solar panels, HVAC systems, home batteries, LED lights, car battery systems, and more are all powered by DC electricity. AC power is required to transfer that energy over long distances, but once that power enters the home, most of it is converted to DC anyway. Think about all the AC/DC converters you currently have on devices in your home right now.
In 2019, Rectify Solar was invited to be the installation and integration partner with Purdue University to retrofit a 1920s home into the home of the future, which is powered 100% by DC power. Once finished, this home will be the first DC-powered home since Westinghouse overtook Edison Power. The DC house we are helping to create is going to be safe using patented technology. It is an extremely exciting project to be a part of and will be used to create the standards for future additions to the NEC (National Electric Code).
There is more to come with the DC house and future solar technology! To learn about the latest and greatest tech available, schedule some time with an energy advisor below.