How much will cost to own a solar panel system? This article will help you to make a precise feasibility of your solar panel system.
The economic viability of solar PV systems is determined on the one hand by investment costs, on the other, by revenue of the feed-in tariff (or another model such as Net Metering).
The total costs of a solar panel system do not only include the cost of solar PV panels, solar power inverters, cables, and the PV mounting system but also the planning and installation costs, as well as those for starting up and the Bi-directional meter too.
Here you can obtain an overview of the acquisition costs of a solar panel system in detail.
In recent years, the prices for solar PV panels have dropped. This was due to, on the one hand, the increasing pressure of competition from Asian low-cost suppliers. On the contrary, it is related to the positive economies of scale: the more solar PV modules are produced, the cheaper the production price of each PV panel will be.
The cost per watt peak is a standard used to compare the solar module prices. In the first quarter of 2017 and depending on the quality of selected module, the average price in the USA is between $0.85 and $1.25 per watt peak.
Tip: comparing the price of solar modules according to the maximal power (per watt peak or kilowatt peak), price comparisons on the basis of the size in square meters has very little meaning.
Solar power inverter
The solar power inverters make up approximately 10% to 15% of the investment costs of a solar PV system. The price of a solar power inverter depends considerably on the output of the solar panel system. You can expect the price of ca. $350 per kW inverter power. This means 5 kW-inverter costs ca. $1,750.
Cables and PV mounting system
The wiring of the solar panel system can produce high losses. In order to prevent this, solar cables should have a corresponding large cross section. The bigger the cross section, the more costly the cabling will be, on the DC side as well as on the AC side. The cable cost depends on the quantities purchased, the cross section and the wiring material.
Depending on the material and the resistance of the PV mounting system, here there are other costs to add to the acquisition costs of the solar panel system. In addition to the size of the solar PV system, the costs depend on several factors, whether you decide on a standard or a cross rail system and how high the snow/wind load is.
The average cost of the wiring and the PV mounting system (including installation costs of this system) is approximately 20 % of the acquisition costs of the solar panel system.
The labor cost of installing solar panels
The short answer to this question is $0.50 according to NREL, But a lot of factors can control the final cost of labor. such as the size of the system, location, labor rates, and the complexity of the installation.
In addition to these costs, there are others, such as inspection fees, planning, for permits, and the like. These account for about 20% of the acquisition costs of the solar panel system.
You see here once again an overview of the acquisition costs:
|Solar modules||$0.85 to 1.25 per Wp (30%)|
|Solar power inverter||$0.35 per kW inverter power (10% to 15%)|
|Wiring, PV mounting system||20%|
|Others costs (permits, feed costs, planning, etc.)||20%|