Who makes the cheapest solar panels


Photovoltaics in comparison with other types of regenerative energy generation

Compared to other types of use of renewable energy sources - such as switching to a green electricity provider - electricity generation with solar systems is somewhat more complex, but it offers numerous advantages:

  • Solar modules can be easily integrated into roofs, look very aesthetic and add value to your property.
  • In contrast to wind turbines, solar modules have no maintenance-intensive and failure-prone moving parts.
  • Solar modules do not cause any disturbing noises or vibrations.
  • The higher value of the electrical energy can easily compensate for the greater expense of photovoltaics compared to solar thermal systems that only produce heat.
  • A solar system pays for itself after just a few years.
  • With a solar system, you become an active participant in the energy transition and set a clear signal against climate change.
  • With a solar system, you make yourself independent of the large energy suppliers who still generate their energy with fossil fuels and whose tariffs are constantly rising.

However, these differences do not mean that photovoltaics are generally better or worse than other types of regenerative energy generation. Solar power and solar heat, for example, can complement each other very well. Like solar thermal energy, photovoltaics is also particularly suitable for use in private one or two-family houses with an installed power (maximum amount of electricity that the solar cells can produce under standardized test conditions on the available area) of up to 10 kW. In 2013, more than 71 percent of all newly built systems were built in this power range (cf. BWK 4-2014).

Is it possible to store energy with photovoltaics?

As a builder of a photovoltaic system, you don't need to worry about security of supply. During the cold spell in winter 2012, such systems even supported the grid. While France had to import around 7 percent of its electricity requirements, Germany remained an electricity exporter. In the household, electricity storage devices, which store the excess energy in the systems, ensure sufficient reserves. Later, when the self-generated energy is insufficient to cover consumption, the systems' storage systems can be used. In addition, systems with power storage have the advantage that they can bridge power failures.

Photovoltaics to generate electricity

How do solar power generation systems work?

Electricity through photovoltaics: In solar cells made of a semiconductor material, electricity is generated by sunlight. This is direct current. Since the solar power that is generated in a single solar cell is low, these cells are combined to form solar panels. However, most of the electricity that is needed in the home is not direct, but alternating current. Therefore, the electricity generated by the solar system is passed through an inverter, which converts the direct current into the required alternating current.

Which roof shape and which roof orientation are suitable for generating electricity through photovoltaics?

The greatest power yield is obtained when facing south at a 30-degree angle. These optimal conditions are most likely to be achieved on a flat roof with an appropriate substructure. Other roof shapes such as gable, hipped or pointed roofs are also in accordance with

very well suited and good efficiencies of at least 80 percent are achieved at angles between 10 and 50 degrees. Of course, before installation, it must be checked whether the roof is stable enough to accommodate the photovoltaic system.

What does a photovoltaic system for electricity generation cost?

The costs for such a system consist of the price for the solar modules, the substructure, the inverter, the cabling and the labor costs. A larger system is cheaper to build than a small one. In private households, systems with an output of five to eight kilowatts (peak value) are usually installed. A roof area of ​​40 to 70 square meters is required for this. These systems cost between 8,500 and 13,000 euros, but these investment costs are amortized very quickly due to the long service life of more than 20 years.
Find out more about photovoltaic costs with the Q CELLS solar calculator.

When is a photovoltaic system worthwhile?

Photovoltaics for power generation pays off more clearly for you, the more of the generated power is consumed itself. The installation of an additional energy storage device can help you with this. Excess solar power can be fed into the public grid and is paid for with the feed-in tariff. The amount of this feed-in tariff depends on the point in time at which the plant was built; the lower the feed-in tariff, the later the plant is put into operation. The electricity price saved for self-consumption (self-consumption) is usually higher, so it is most worthwhile for you if you also use the electricity you generate yourself. The lifespan of a solar system is at least 20 years, nowadays often more.

What funding options are there for photovoltaic systems?

For photovoltaic systems, there are low-interest loans from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau. The amount depends on the type and size of the system and on whether it is a new building or the renovation of an old building. Specialist companies, which exist in every major town, advise not only on dimensioning and construction, but also on funding options for such systems. There are specialists such as the Q.PARTNER of our cooperation partner Q CELLS in every major town. They can give you competent advice not only on dimensioning and construction, but also on the funding options for solar systems.

Checklist: What do I need to generate electricity using photovoltaics?

If you want to use photovoltaics to generate electricity, you need:

  • Solar panels / solar modules
  • Substructure for the roof
  • Inverter
  • storage battery if necessary
  • Electricity meter
  • appropriate cabling

Photovoltaics for heat generation

How do photovoltaic systems for heat generation work?

Photovoltaics for heat generation: This technology is also called solar thermal. The photovoltaic system consists of solar collectors that are heated up by solar radiation. A liquid absorbs this heat, flows to a heat exchanger and there transfers the heat to the heating system or the hot water system of the house. Then it flows back to the solar panels.

Which roof is suitable for generating heat using photovoltaics?

For systems that are intended to support heating, roofs with a roof pitch of 50 to 70 degrees are ideal. The main output of these systems should occur in spring and autumn. In contrast to solar modules, solar collectors can use diffuse radiation very well. If the system is only to be used for hot water preparation, it is best to orientate it southwards.

What does a photovoltaic system for heat generation cost?

If the system is to be used for hot water preparation, about 1.5 square meters of collector surface are required per person. In addition to the solar collectors, a hot water tank with a size of around 80 liters per person is required. For a four-person household, this results in an approximate price of 4,200 euros. If the system is used for heating support, around 16 square meters of collector surface are required for a four-person household. A larger storage tank is required and the installation of the system is more complex. The price therefore rises to around 9,300 euros.

Checklist: What do I need to generate heat using photovoltaics?

If you want to use photovoltaics to generate heat, you need:

  • Solar panels
  • Support structure
  • Liquid pump
  • Heat exchanger
  • corresponding lines

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Further photovoltaic topics

Solar modules

Solar modules convert the incoming sunlight into electricity. Here you can find out more about photovoltaic solar modules.

Solar modules

Photovoltaic tax

In certain cases you have to pay taxes on your photovoltaic system. Here you can find out which taxes are included.

Photovoltaic tax

More about photovoltaics