You’re living in the land of eternal sunshine. It’s always bright. The heat beats down on you. It’s time to make the most of it. Not only can you do your part to save energy and therefore the environment, but in the long run, you can reduce the costs of your own utility bills. Here, we show you how to make it happen.
How Does a Solar Panel System Work?
Certain materials can be made to produce electricity when light falls on them. Solar panels and an built-in inverter use this effect to convert energy from sunlight into electricity for your home. Any excess energy can be fed into a battery storage system, so you can use the stored power later (at night, for example).
Panels have varying degrees of efficiency. This is simply a measure of the panel’s electricity output (in watts) compared to its surface area. Generally, the higher the efficiency, the more power you can get from your panel, and it might mean that you have lower installation costs too.
That said, if you have plenty of roof space, it might be more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency, you’ll just have to use more of them.
This may come as a surprise, but although solar panels are meant to sit on roofs in direct sunlight, they actually become less efficient as they get warmer. Some panels have better temperature tolerance than others (look for a lower “temperature coefficient”), and are therefore a better choice in hot climates such as Dubai.
Correct installation is also important – that’s why panels should be installed in a way that allows air to circulate underneath the panels to help keep them cooler.
Points to Consider
One benefit of solar panels are that they are usually guaranteed for 25 years. What isn’t really talked about is the fact that it is just the solar panels that are expected to last that long – but the inverter needed to run the system and provide the electricity is not so durable.
Therefore, when you’re doing your calculations, you need to consider the fact that you’re going to have to spend a significant amount of money somewhere in the middle of the lifecycle for changing out parts.
To give you a rough idea, the Sunny Boy 8000 will probably last 10-15 years, and a new one currently costs around 10,000 dirhams, including installation.
Another thing to think about is that the roof on your house generally doesn’t last as long as these systems. So, let’s say you have a 10 year old roof. It is very unlikely that it’s going to last as long as the panels.
What do you do then? If you have a leak, or have to do any other work on the roof, you have to deal with the solar setup first.
Next is the question of who is going to look after the system. Make sure that the company you choose has been around a long time, so you don’t have to rely on service from someone else later on, and you know you can go back to them to follow up if there are any issues.
This company provides you with a feel-good factor if buying locally made products is important to you. Located in Fujairah, Microsol is the first solar-cell manufacturer in the UAE, and the largest in the Middle East.
The company is ISO 9001-2000 certified, and currently in the final stages of acquiring ISO 14000 certification. Microsol established its solar cell line in 2003, and currently has a capacity of 150MW per annum.
All their solar-cells are certified internationally by (VDE) German certification body. They currently only offer consultation and installation services, so you’ll need to find someone else to do your maintenance and servicing. To see whether they are the right supplier for you, have a look at their website here.
Empire Solar Industries
Empire Solar Industries is a privately owned company based in the UAE which has sister companies in South Africa and the USA. Their products can be found at retailers worldwide, and include solar panels, solar water heaters, energy storage batteries, and individual system components.
Due to the uniquely hot weather in Dubai, ESI tests their products in this harsh climate to ensure longevity, resulting in a reliable and worthwhile long-term investment. To see their products, check out Enterprise Solar Industries. They also offer a free, no-obligation quote.
Hollandia Solar is a reliable supplier and integrator of renewable energy products and long-lasting solar solutions. With an office in Tecom (Dubai) and a further presence in over 10 countries, they have a professional team that includes electrical engineers, system designers, and technicians.
Their goal is complete customer satisfaction, and they believe in after-sales services and availability of spares at all times. The company has invested in significant inventory levels to ensure quick deliveries and replacement when needed.
Their products include solar panels, solar batteries, and inverters, as well as solutions for indoor and outdoor solar powered lighting and water heating. Go to Hollandia Solar to find out more.
Bhatia Brothers offers solar (photovoltaic) and solar water heating solutions for residential use. Solar systems offered include off-grid as well as grid-interactive systems. They also offer a range of other solar powered products.
Solar water heating systems (and all their other products) are from reputable and reliable manufacturers. For more information, to request a site survey, or for help with maintenance, servicing, and repairs, you can visit their website here.
Vista Eco Solutions
Vista Eco Solutions offers energy efficient and water management solutions through various high quality solar products to residential customers. Vista Eco Solutions provides the latest technologies in solar thermal water heating systems and solar photovoltaic energy systems for rooftops.
They are the authorised distributor in UAE of Austrian Gasokol and Energetica Energietechnik (as well as several others). That means they are able to provide absolute state-of-the-art solar products and the highest quality of full service projects including the planning, design, installation, and maintenance of the solar powered systems. Check out their website at Vista Eco Solutions.