Solar Panels vs Solar Blinds – Recently there has been a great deal of interest in finding alternative sources of energy to reduce our domestic reliance on fossil fuels. Solar panels have been popular for some years, but there is a new kid on the block – solar blinds. When looking at the question of costs and benefits of Solar Panels and Solar Blinds, it is worth considering how the numbers and performance add up.
Solar Panels vs Solar Blinds – The Bottom Line
Solar Panels vs Solar Blinds – Things you may not know about solar blinds
Solar Blinds are only guaranteed for 5 years
If the motor fails the product becomes useless
In British weather conditions, there are a lot of days when it is sunny, but we want the blinds up i.e. not collecting power in order to let the light and warmth in!
40 – 60 W in a South facing window could generate around 60kWhrs per year if the blinds were permanently down. The average household uses 3,300kWhrs per year.
If you pay the UK average of 14p per kWhr then this would only save you around £8.40
Finally, the power will have to somehow be cabled from the window blind via an inverter into the electricity supply to the house in order to make it available to use, or to store in a solar panel battery.
The versatility of Solar panels
If you live in a flat and are unable to install solar panels, here are some more efficient ways to invest your money and join the solar revolution:
Find a community energy scheme such as the one organised by MaidEnergy. There are lots of groups around the country that will allow you to invest in panels, which they then install. You benefit from a decent return on your investment and the knowledge that you are helping to fund installations of solar panels, just not actually on your roof.
Speak to other residents and together approach the leaseholder. It may be that they would be interested in installing panels on the roof of your flats to reduce the bills on their landlord supply, if you did a little of the leg work for them.
If you do have just a little roof space, you would be better off looking at even a small solar panel installation.
Solar panels are getting more efficient all the time.
Whereas a standard panel cost £250 in 2014 and produced 225W, a 320W panel now costs as little as £100.
A 6 panel install could cost you as little as £3,000.
These new 4 busbar solar panels have advanced glass and surface texturing allow excellent performance in low light environments. They are guaranteed to still produce 80% of their output in 25 years.
Inverters that turn the DC power from the panel into useable power in your home are also getting smaller, lighter and cheaper. What’s more they too are now guaranteed for up to 20 years.
Sophisticated apps can show you the output of your panels on your phone at any time and you can divert extra energy to a battery, you’re your water heater, or even your electric car.