The decision to install a photovoltaic system (solar panels) on a person’s home isn’t one that should be made lightly. That’s because for all the energy savings these systems yield, there are a number of considerations as well. Since many homeowners don’t know very much about solar power they often will spend far more on things like the installation cost as well as the system itself. So in the interests of saving money and maximizing energy savings, those who are interested in installing a PV system will want to ensure they purchase the right system and install it correctly. Here’s how:
Before any PV system is installed, it’s vital for the homeowner to assess his or her residence in order to determine if it is indeed suitable for solar panels. Many PV providers will perform this assessment themselves, but homeowners can do a basic check. That means looking at the roof of the residence for any flat areas with no obstructions. These conditions are ideal for solar panels, and if the homeowner does have a flat area on a south-facing roof, it can mean lower installation costs.
That said, PV systems can be installed on a number of different types of roofs and in a number of different areas.
Solar panels are most effective when installed on a home with reduced energy costs. And it’s best to make a home as energy efficient as possible before installing a PV system. That means adding insulation and utilizing power-saving light bulbs such as CFL bulbs. The point of all this is that an energy-efficient home doesn’t require as many solar panels to function, and that can end up saving the homeowner thousands of dollars on installation costs.
The right size
It’s vital for those interested in a PV system to size their needs correctly. Otherwise it can result in added costs. The size of the PV system is directly related to the homeowner’s energy needs. For example, those who would like solar panels to cover 50% of their home’s energy needs can use past data collected from their utility provider – measured in kilowatts – to determine the size of the panels. The PV company can provide these calculations.
Many areas offer things like tax write-offs, solar credits and utilities rebates for installing a PV system on the home. Many utilities even offer something called “net metering,” which recycles excess power stored from the panels back into the main utility grid. This recycling is when homeowners with PV systems can see their greatest utility cost reductions.
Purchase or lease
There’s no getting around it, the cost of installing a PV system can be expensive, often prohibitively so. Purchasing solar panels will cost the homeowner thousands of dollars, often even 20,000 or 25,0000. But purchasing solar panels isn’t the only option. There are contractors out there who will lease PV systems to the homeowner while they retain ownership and take on maintenance responsibilities. Many times homeowners can lease a PV system for no money down.
These are just a few things average homeowners will want to keep in mind when considering a PV system. By adhering to the above tips, homeowners can ensure they don’t spend anymore than the bare minimum for a quality system.
Margaret Walters is a keen green writer actively promoting the use of solar panels in Australia.
Solar panels are attractive for primarily two reasons. First, they have a lot of appeal because of their “renewable energy” tagline since renewables are the in-thing now. They’re trendy, and those who find an opportunity to implement them will often do so for that reason alone, regardless of the costs and benefits. The second reason would simply be the opportunity to save money on electric and energy bills.
All green peace aside, solar panels can be an extremely practical energy solution for your home. Depending on how your home is set up, where you’re located and how much sun you get will determine whether or not solar energy is a practical solution for you, in your particular situation.
So how do we tell whether or not our homes and living situations are ripe for a solar panel inclusion? Let’s cover some of the major factors.
Surrounding Topography and Direct Sunlight – If you don’t get a lot of sun to your home because of shade trees, mountains or other topographical factors, then installing a solar panel, or even including one in new construction probably isn’t your best bet.
The amount of energy that those panels will draw depends heavily on how they’re positioned and how much exposure they get to direct sunlight. That means that even if you live in an area where there are typically a lot of thunderstorms and cloud cover, Seattle for example, your return isn’t going to be as good as it would be in other places.
Stage of Homeownership – What I mean by stage, is whether you are in a position as a homeowner where you’re either getting ready to build a new home, move into a new one or if you’re considering solar panels as a solution for a home you’ve lived in for a long time.
Ideally, those who are getting ready to construct a new home are in the best situation to incorporate solar panels for a variety of reasons:
Solar companies will often include the full price in with your mortgage, taking away the sting of the typical five figure price tag.
New construction makes it much easier for you to place the solar panels in the ideal spot, as you’ll be able to work with the solar company and your contractor to install the panels where they’d get the most direct sunlight. This kind of flexibility isn’t available with a home that has already been built.
Installing the panels in a new home also gives you a better opportunity to conceal them, or have them installed as more aesthetically pleasing roof shingle-style panels.
If you’re not building a new home, don’t throw in the towel yet. It’s not a deal breaker. Though if you are, and you’re interested in incorporating solar power, you’ll have a much easier time getting the job done right and getting the most out of your panels.
Risk of Power Outages – The practicality level of solar panels goes up a few notches if you live in a place where you lose electricity often. Solar kits can be set up to act as generators in the event that you lose power.
The downside is that if you live in an area where you lose power often, you probably live in a stormy area, which means less direct sunlight.
Whether or Not you’re Settled In – Solar panels, depending on what size you install can save you a lot on your monthly electric bill, though you’ll typically need to give it around eight years before the panels pay for their original cost.
If you plan on staying in your home for the long term (or at least more than a decade), solar panels are far more practical, simply due to the fact that you will make money off of them.
This is another way that new home construction is a friendly scenario for going solar, since most people who build their home plan on staying there permanently.
Deciding – Solar panels are definitely a trendy option, and while they can save some people a lot of money, they’re not for everyone.
Take these factors into consideration and use them to decide how practical solar energy would be for your home. It’s a big investment, so make sure to take the time to be absolutely sure that they’ll pay off for you in the long term.
Natasha Risinger blogs about energy. Her aricles have appeared on personal finance and eco blogs. Click here www.texaselectricityproviders.com for Texas electricity.
There are several factors that need to be considered when calculating the number of solar panels needed to power a home. These include:
* Current Energy Usage
* Sun Availability and Weather
* Roof Space and Incline Angle
* Solar Panel Power Output
Determining the number of solar panels needed to power a system is one of the most challenging to figure out. However, there are a variety of information sources to help estimate the number and sizes of panels needed to power a home.
The first step is to calculate the number of watts of electricity used on a daily base to power a home. Many electric utilities include an analysis of their customers’ electricity usage with their bills. There are online tools to determine your usage if one has not been provided. Of course, the consumption of electrical power is highly variable throughout the year. The objective is to look over an entire year to determine the average usage per day.
The size of a solar powered system can range from being just a supplemental source of electricity to one that is totally off the electrical grid. This needs to be understood before the number of solar panels can be determined.
Because solar panels draw on the sun’s energy for power, it’s important to factor in the geographic location of the solar panel system to determine how much solar energy is available to be extracted.
The type of seasonal weather patterns and number of sunlight hours per day need to be determined.
The amount of roof space, incline angle and polar orientation to the sun need to be considered to determine the amount of direct sunlight available to the solar panels. The orientation of the solar panels toward the sun can produce a wide variance in the amount of electricity that can be captured.
Solar panels are manufactured in different sizes and configurations to produce a specific amount of wattage under optimum operating conditions. Solar panels are designed to produce a specific number of watts under peak conditions. They can vary from 50W to over 500W of electrical output. Once the other variables are calculated, you will have a good indication of the number and sizes of solar panels needed to match the current electrical usage.
This online calculator can help to estimate the available solar power for all the states in the U.S.. It also calculates the number of solar watts needed to cover 100 percent of current electrical usage off the grid.
Batteries are needed to store the solar electricity for use after peak sunlight hours. This battery bank designer can help to explain and configure a solar storage system.
About the author:
This article was written by the team at Infinite Energy a Perth based solar panel company. Find them on Google +, come and see their fantastic showroom at 49 Labouchere Road, South Perth, WA, 6151 or give them a call on 1300 074 669.
Solar power has become a common energy efficient source around the world. It is Eco friendly. People are also eager to make this an investment asset. You should know how fruitful returns will be. You must gauge advantages, disadvantages, and risks involved in this investment
Solar power panels help you save on electricity bills. The Government provides concessions on this kind of bills. You can invest in solar power. It is a good business opportunity.
Advantages of Investing in Solar Power
* Solar power is one of the preferred sources of renewable energy.
* A well maintained solar panel can last for around 20 to 25 years. You will directly save on electricity bills. This means you can gain lots of profits from it.
* Solar cells and panels do not make any noise.
* They are free of any chemicals and any harmful elements.
* These panels are easy to install. They last for many years. The maintenance cost is also less.
* Buying this technology can be expensive at first. But it will give you good returns in the long run.
Investment in Solar Power: Things You Should Know
Feed-In Tariffs: FIT is a financial scheme regarding solar power. This provides subsidies to homes that utilize solar energy. The percentage of concession they provide change from time to time. You should be aware of their current scheme. This will help you to plan your investment better.
Location: You have to decide the place where you want to install solar panels. These panels work on energy drawn from the rays of the sun. It is best to select a location to accommodate solar panels that gets maximum exposure to the sun.
Resource: You should know the efficiency of companies that provide an investment plan of solar power. You can directly seek a deal with the government. Private firms are also active agents of investment. You can know more about market players in the solar energy industry. This will enable you to wisely choose a partnership that will be beneficial.
Fixed Costs: The installation cost of solar panels may vary from one company to the other. You need to plan your budget. Keep a track on the spending you do in installing these panels. The price of energy panels, construction, and labor is necessary. You should know about all these fixed costs. This will help you to calculate profit that you can expect realistically.
Variable Costs: You have to also keep in mind some variable costs. This will involve maintenance charges, membership and registration costs, and other legal payments. These may change over time. You should have knowledge of the current cost of all these processes.
Cost of Electricity: As the cost of electricity increases, subsidies to solar power will also rise. But this can in turn trigger effect of inflation. You can have a virtual idea of the money returns you may get.
Inflation: The rate of inflation every year may vary. This can indirectly affect the cost of electricity and installation charges. This may be beneficial as well as a risk for your investment. You need to assess all opportunities properly before investing in solar power.
Author Bio: – This article is written by Sean Campbell from RugsandBlinds.com. RugsandBlinds.com is an online shopping portal dealing with wide range of contemporary styled rugs for bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and many others.
Solar panel installations in US more than doubled in the first half of 2012. This makes the country the third`s largest solar power market. The growth in the rest of the world has also been staggering:
In this article, I’m going to do my best to explain why people buy solar panels. There are many different reasons for why one should install these systems, and from my experience, these are the most common ones:
Most people who invest in solar are what we call environmentally motivated. You would not believe how many people have started to think about their carbon footprint and how they can contribute in the fight against global warming. These numbers are increasing rapidly. People are starting to get aware of what we are doing to our plant and want to help reverse this process.
Then there’s the sense of security that solar systems bring to the table. These systems are very stable: As long as there’s a tiny bit of sunlight, these devices generate electricity. When we are talking about security, we mainly mean that you are not longer fully relying on the electrical power grid to be up and running 100% of the time. Battery banks allow you to store your own electricity for emergency uses.
There’s also another form of security that comes with getting solar panels, and this is closely related to costs. Across the world, the general trend of higher electricity costs does not seem to stop any time soon. Investing in solar power allows you to be protected from further price increases.
The solar panel hobbyist category is quite small. The hobbyists can’t get enough of the technology behind these devices, and they crave more knowledge. There are loads of DIY solar kits on the market. Whether or not this is something to look into or not depends solely if you’re willing to do the amount of work involved in such a project.
Then there are the people looking to reduce their costs. High demand and low costs go hand in hand I assume you are one of them! Note that solar panels are a long-term investment, and are only viable from a financial point of view years down the line. I believe that if you want to purchase a solar system, costs should not be your main motivator.
You might also well be in the category of the people who are confused and initially just wants to learn more about photovoltaics.
Mathias is an Environmental Engineering student who works part time as a freelance writer at Energy Informative. This site is a valuable resource for those looking to learn more about clean energy technologies and how they can improve energy efficiency in their home.
Irvine has always been a city on the cutting edge of technology, from its very inception. Not only do major technology corporations find a home in the city, but it can boast the University of California, Irvine, as well, doing its part to educate the next generation and keep California, the United States, and the world moving forward. One way for the everyday citizen to help things move forward is very simple – solar electric panels in Irvine.
Cities in Southern California are known for sun, which makes them particularly suited for using all that great weather to power their homes and businesses. Solar electric panels in Irvine are more popular than ever before – as the price of standard electricity rises, the price of solar power remains low. In the current economy, people are looking for savings wherever they can find them, and solar power is one of the ways to do it.
Homes and businesses are not the only places to benefit from solar electric panels in Irvine. The school district started a program to install solar panels on the canopies of parking lots in their schools – it created a savings of $220,000 in the first year. Of course, the school district is now seeking to expand. They hope to save between $5 million and $11 million over the next two decades.
An individual home owner won’t save nearly that amount of money, of course, but the fact remains – this renewable power is simply cheaper. Don’t look at the cost of installation or the cost of the equipment. Instead consider how the power bill can drop to a tiny fraction of what it once was, even down to nothing, once the solar panels start working.
There are likely those out there still worried about the initial price, but there’s no need to fear. California has many rebates, tax incentives, and outright discounts available for those who want to convert to clean energy easily and cheaply. This does not even include the companies that already sell what they have at a low price, even going so far as to allow payment on installment plans – which will be all the more easy to do once the electricity bill drops.
Net metering is the most common way to save money while helping out the community. A solar-powered building almost always generates more power than it needs, even though so much power is used at night. This excess power can be sent to the local utility, in effect moving the meter of the solar home backward, reducing the utility bill often to zero. There are relatively few days in Southern California that see no sunlight, and even overcast days provide some power, which means saving money is easy.
California has made a considerable effort to go green, and it isn’t only because of the effect on the environment. Solar electric panels in Irvine, or indeed, anywhere in the nation, are a great cost-saving measure, for home, for businesses, or even for public facilities, as the administrators of Irvine Unified School District discovered.
What Are The Effects of Changes to Solar Energy Feed-In-Tariffs?
Feed-in-tariffs are the biggest driving force behind integration of renewable technologies into public and private building in the last 10 years; it has caused the huge uptake of solar panels across the world. In recent years changes in silicon production have severely reduced the cost of solar cells technology, making solar technology a great investment. The uptake of solar technology across the world has really caused a huge expansion of the industry from 2010 – 2011, however with many governments deciding to remove grants and reduce Feed-in-tariffs many people have stopped investing in solar energy.
Most solar suppliers and installers understand that some grants and feed-in-tariffs must decrease due to the large strains on public finances over the coming years, though many experts are beginning to see potential problems in the future as investment dwindles. A great example of this is the recent changes in the UK feed-in-tariffs.
The UK Governments changes to the feed-in-tariffs have affected the solar energy industry with lots of high profile clients either reducing the number of solar panels been installed or completely postponing the solar panel projects. A great example of this is the 500 Cambridgeshire council homes that have had solar panels installed. This is less than 25% of the original 2300 homes the authority planned in early 2011.
With solar feed-in-tariffs changed on April 1st, many solar panel companies are looking to diversify into other possible renewable solutions. Some of the major solar panel companies are been forced to expand into new markets aboard or reduce costs. The second option which I fear many solar installers will be forced to make will lead to a massive cut in staff numbers and skilled workers in the industry. Further information is required before the full effect of all the government’s plans will be known.