For Maximum Output of Solar Energy in Upstate New York, Look for Monocrystalline Panels, Rodney Wiltshire Says
Upstate New Yorkers spend part of every winter digging out of heavy snow. But even in upstate New York, electrical engineer and co-owner of Empire Solar Rodney Wiltshire says, solar installations can save money and increase energy security.
The key to making solar energy work in cold-winter cloudy climates is finding the dealer who can sell and install the right panels for your climate.
Thin-Film Panels Don’t Work Well in New York
If you lived in the Sun Belt your solar panel installed would probably recommend an option known as a “thin-film” solar panel. These panels are made from an amorphous, non-crystalline semiconductor sprayed onto a flexible panel. They are easy to install, even on a surface that is not flat. They generate power efficiently in bright sunlight. And because they are flexible, easy to install, and a little cheaper upfront, they pay for themselves faster—if you live someplace like Arizona.
The problem with thin-film panels is that they need bright, direct sunlight to operate efficiently. They don’t generate power very well on cloudy days. They don’t capture the sun’s rays when it rains or snows. For homes in the Hudson Valley, another kind of solar panel is required.
Rodney Wiltshire Recommends Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Hudson Valley homeowners need monocrystalline solar panels, Empire Solar owner Rodney Wiltshire says. Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a higher grade of silicon that is compressed into a single crystal in each panel.
The single-crystal structure of these panels allows electrons activated by sunlight, even by dim sunlight, to flow freely. Increased conductivity equals increased productivity in cloudy weather. Single-crystal panels are sturdier, last longer, and stay structurally sound even under heavy snow. They can also be smaller than other kinds of panels, so they take up less space on your roof. But they look great as an architectural feature of their own.
Just How Much Does an Average Solar System Save Rensselaer County Homeowners?
Solar New York estimates that a 5 kW home solar system installed in the vicinity of Troy, New York will cost $13,090 to $17,710, not counting any tax credits. Over its 20-year useful life, it will generate $26,683 to $36,101 worth of power. That’s equivalent to 76 percent to 103 percent of the average homeowner’s electric bill. There will be times when the power company is paying you! Achieving these kinds of savings, however, requires working with a company that knows New York.
Empire Solar co-founder Rodney Wiltshire graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He worked in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear program and spent some time working as an Independent System Operator on the state’s electrical grid, before returning to Troy to open Empire Solar. Rodney and his wife Joleen returned to Troy to raise their family and get involved in church, school, and youth sports coaching. Rodney Wiltshire is your neighbor who cares. Call Empire Solar with all of your questions.