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About Solar Energy
Solar power is energy from the sun that is transformed into thermal or electrical energy.
Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable resource source available, and the United States has some of the richest solar resources worldwide. Modern innovation can harness this energy for a variety of usages, consisting of producing electricity, supplying light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial usage.
Solar power makes it possible for house owners to utilize the sun to power everyday life: running your air conditioner, washing clothing, viewing TELEVISION, cooking dinner. All while reducing your carbon footprint, and without burning fossil fuels or putting a strain on the electrical grid. And while the ecological advantages of solar power are significant, numerous residents discover that the benefit, unique functions, and expense savings of owning a solar power system are even more enticing.
Top Ten Advantages of Solar Energy
#1 Significantly reduce and even eliminate your electrical expenses
Whether you're a property owner, service, or nonprofit, electrical power expenses can comprise a big part of your month-to-month expenditures. With a photovoltaic panel system, you'll produce complimentary power for your system's entire 25+ year lifecycle. Even if you do not produce 100 percent of the energy you take in, solar will reduce your utility costs and you'll still save a great deal of loan.
#2 Make a terrific return on your financial investment
Solar panels aren't an expenditure-- they're one of the very best ways to invest, with returns equaling those of more standard investments like stocks and bonds. Thanks to substantial electrical energy bill savings, the typical American property owner settles their photovoltaic panel system in 7 to eight years and sees an ROI of 20 percent or more.
#3 Safeguard versus increasing energy expenses
One of the most clear cut advantages of photovoltaic panels is the capability to hedge energy prices. In the previous ten years, domestic electrical energy rates have actually gone up by an average of three percent yearly. By purchasing a solar energy system now, you can fix your electrical power rate and safeguard versus unpredictable boosts in electrical energy expenses. If you're a company or house owner with ever-changing capital, going solar likewise helps you better projection and handle your expenditures.
#4 Boost your home or business value
Numerous studies have actually found that homes equipped with solar energy systems have greater property worths and sell faster than non-solar houses. Appraisers are significantly taking solar installations into consideration as they value homes at the time of a sale, and as property buyers end up being more informed about solar, demand for residential or commercial properties equipped with photovoltaic panel systems will continue to grow.
#5 Boost U.S. energy independence
The sun is a near-infinite source of energy and an essential element of achieving energy self-reliance in the United States. By increasing our capacity to produce electricity from the sun, we can likewise insulate our country from price variations in international energy markets.
#6 Develop jobs and assist your regional economy
According to The Solar Structure, the solar market added tasks at a rate almost 12 times faster than the general U.S. economy in 2015, representing 1.2 percent of all tasks in the country. This growth is anticipated to continue. Because solar-related tasks tend to be higher paying and can not be outsourced, they are a substantial factor to the U.S. economy.
#7 Safeguard the environment
Solar is a fantastic way to decrease your carbon footprint. Buildings are accountable for 38 percent of all carbon emissions in the United States, and going solar can substantially reduce that number. A common property solar panel system will remove 3 to four heaps of carbon emissions each year-- the equivalent of planting over 100 trees each year.
#8 Show your commitment to sustainability
Sustainability and business social responsibility are crucial components of an organization's culture and worths. They likewise produce bottom line results. Increasingly, customers and neighborhoods are acknowledging and rewarding companies that choose to run properly. Services are finding that "green" qualifications are an effective motorist of customer acquiring decisions, developing goodwill and enhancing company outcomes.
#9 Start Saving from Day 1
Solar purchase power arrangements (PPAs) and solar leasing has actually made it possible for homeowners to go solar for little or no loan down.
Many property owners opt to fund their solar panels with one of the "pay-as-you-go" financing alternatives. This means that a third-party business-- the solar service provider-- owns the planetary system and takes care of installation, upkeep, monitoring and repairs. You simply pay the solar provider for electrical energy-- less than you would've paid the utility business.
Since June 2013, 75% of all American homes have access to pay-as-you-go solar.
#10. Solar is a Secure Investment
The energy companies are infamous for their varying and unreliable electrical power prices. There is clearly an upward pattern.
With photovoltaic panels and basic math, we can calculate how much electricity will be created, and most significantly, at exactly what price, for at least the next Twenty Years (fixed energy expenses).
What are the various payment options?
We have many flexible purchasing agreements for customers who would like to install a new home solar system. There are three different payment options, making them a viable choice for customers of all budgets. The payment options include Lease, PPA, and Purchase.
- Low, fixed payments each month
- System insurance for 20 years, including maintenance
- Flexible end-of-term options, including system upgrade, lease extension, and free panel removal
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
- We own the solar panel system
- $0 down for installation
- Customers only pay for the solar energy that they use
- Customer pays for the system upfront and owns the system
- System monitoring and maintenance for 20 years
- Receive 30% federal tax credit
- See a return on investment within 7-10 years
What happens when the contract for my lease is finished?
We provide our customers with a few different options for when their lease contract is up. Customers can upgrade their equipment to the newest solar technology available, extend the agreement, or have the panels removed at no cost.
What is the warranty?
The Lease and PPA include a 20-year warranty during the lifetime of the system. This warranty exceeds that of most other solar installers’ warranties.
Frequently Asked Questions
Solar Generator For $700-$800?
I'Ve Been Shopping And Really Don'T Know What To Get.
-Goal Zero Sherpa 120
-Goal Zero Escape 150
-Humless Roadrunner (Has Hand Crank, Good Lithium Battery)
-Instapark® Mars20s-Sp30 (Although Only $400, This Way I Can Get Two For Backup)
-Nature Power 40400 1800-Watt Power Kit With 40-Watt Solar Panel
-Grid Eraser Portable Solar Generator ($2500)
-Extended Power Outage (Like Hurricanes)
-Heat At Night
-Warm Water If Needed (For Freeze-Dried Food)
-Boil Water If Needed To Drink
-Medical Devices (Ie. Nebulizer For My Dad)
-Charge Rechargables (Laptop, Batteries, Phone)
-Small Fridge (Nice To Have, But Secondary)
Not Too Many Reviews Out There. I Never Worked With Solar But I Guess I Should Start, So I'M A Total Newbie.
Any Maintenance Tips?
Vis-a-vis bad reviews, I keep giving the Eden Pure (and their similar knock-offs) line of heaters the lousiest reviews I can, but they're still around, too. There's a small, hard core of people who think the things are made of unicorn horns, and the rest of us recognize they're actually unicorn farts. But it's the horny ones that buy them, so that keeps Eden Pure in business.
Before you start shopping for solar power systems, you need to establish how much power you need. Add up the amperages of all the things that are likely to run at the same time, multiply that number by how many hours per 24-hour day they will run, and that's how many amp-hours you need. Multiply that number by how many volts each item runs on, and that's how many watt-hours you need.
Now we can start talking about system capacity.
If you have an electric water heater, drop that desire right now. You'll be bleeding money from the jugular before you get a big enough system to run a water heater.
If you have a heat pump or electric resistance heat OF ANY SIZE, drop that desire right now. Refer back to what I said about the water heater. Converting sunlight into electricity, into chemical electrical potential (battery-stored electricity), back into heat is a Get-Poor-Fast scheme. You'd do much better to design and build a solar heat collector with storage capacity. That would also provide hot water, or at least warm water that didn't need much heating. Your energy gathering efficiency even from halfwitted homebrew will far outstrip the efficiency of even the very best, lab-results-only photovoltaic (solar electric) system. NOTE: it is super easy to do way better than "halfwitted homebrew," even a car is a very effective flat plate solar collector. Just park it in the sun.
For cooking or water purifying, you're better off to have a couple of gas burners and a 20-lb propane tank. If you never need it, no problem. But when you do need it, 20 pounds of propane gets a lot done, and you can take sponge baths with water heated on the burner. The whole time you're not using it, it just sits there, waiting until needed. That's tough to beat.
A Mr. Heater portable propane heater can do most of your heating if you don't mind everybody in the house all staying in the room with it. That would be best, it would maximize the good of the heater's output.
Considering your dad's need for a nebulizer, maybe a direct vent wall heater would be a better choice. They're out there that can run on propane and again, if you never need it, the fuel just sits there, waiting. No problem. A 20 pound tank of propane will run a 7500 btu heater (admittedly that's not a lot, but if you're in a mild climate it may be plenty, especially with all the house's tenants all in one room staying warm) for more than two days nonstop. Conserve the heater for running mostly at night when it's coldest and you can stretch that out pretty far.
I think your best setup would be this:
A small, modest solar system to provide constant power for your dad's nebulizer and a couple of dedicated, low-amperage outlets for recharging communication and entertainment devices (kids can't live without their games anymore. Suggestion: wean them off those things and onto books, which work even when the batteries die). That will be very affordable.
Then invest in a couple of burners and a couple of tanks of fuel. 20 pounds of propane cooks a LOT of meals.
Then invest in the purchase and installation of a single direct vent wall heater. Purchase another tank of fuel.
That's it. You're ready for the apocalypse. Skip water heating for the whole house, it's wasteful in this paradigm. If you have a solar heating system you won't need to worry about it.
NOTE: if Peter W weighs in on this question, take a good look at his answer, he's good at this stuff too.
Good luck with it.
How Much Does It Cost (If Pretty Cheap) For Every Thing I Would Need To Run My House On Solar Energy?
I Want To Run My Two Bedroom One Bath Apartment On Solar Power, But I Need It To Be Cheap. I Need To Know How Much It Would Cost For Every I Need, And Where To Get It All. I Hear Its Cheaper To Build Solar Panels Your Self.
True, it is cheaper to build solar panels yourself, providing you have the skills needed. But Nanosolar now is a different story. Nanosolar is largely produced as an inkjet operating on an aluminum foil roll, so that it produces many square meters of solar collector for the cost of one traditional panel. There is not any product available that will make solar electricity cheap compared to nuclear generated electricity, other than Nanosolar. You might want to look up Nanosolar.com
Can A Solar Panel Kit Be Connected To Both Batteries And The Grid?
My Parents Recently Purchased Some Off Grid Solar Panel Kits And Where Commenting On How They Want To Slowly Purchase Enough Panels To Be Able To Run The Entire House. What I'M Wondering Is If It Would Be Possible To Eventually (Once We Produce Enough Energy To Power Up The Entire House) Have These Solar Panels Connected To The Grid And Keeping The Batteries So That They Could Have Them As Storage (They Pretty Much Want The Best Of Both Worlds). To Us, Non Experts, It Makes Sense That This Could Work, Since The Solar Energy Would First Fill The Batteries As If It Where Just Any Other Electrical Device, And Then The Excess Power Would Run Into The Grid, But Is This Actually Possible?
Hi PhOeNiX, yes, it's possible. Our home has been doing it for 13 years, and so have thousands of others. There are three basic types of solar powered homes. First is the stand alone, this is a home or remote property that does not have grid power. You can use solar, wind, micro hydro power, or any combination. These devices charge your battery bank. Then you have a large inverter that convertes the battery power to household AC. As long as your batteries have enough power to run the inverter, the house has power. Almnost all systems like this have a generator for that occasional shortcoming in weather, or over power use period, like when you have company for a week and its calm and cloudy.
The second is the "grid tie." This is a solar or wind system usually, with no batteries. The solar/wind power feeds directly into a "grid tie inverter," that synchoronizes with the grid frequency, and feeds whatever it can out into the grid. Since your home is connected to the grid as well, it uses the power from your inverter as well, and since your inverter is on the same side of your meter as your home, anything you produce first reduces what you import from the power company, so it reduces your bill. In a sense, you are using the grid as your battery. The only drawback to this is if the grid goes down, so does your house, even if it's sunny out. Many people do not realize this until it's too late.
The third is called by many names, "hybrid," "utility interactive," and a few others. Ours works this way. You have what is basically a grid tied system, but the inverter also has a battery input. It keeps the battery bank charged, or "floating" as they say, and feeds all power produced into the home and out into the grid, but if the grid goes down, it disconnects from the grid and continues feeding just the home as long as the batteries can keep up. The solar/wind source keeps trying to charge the battery during this time. Usually systems like this have small battery banks, enough for maybe one night without grid or solar and wind power. Batteries are expensive and perishable, so most people, like ourselves, don't like to throw too much money at them. Ours uses 4 Trojan golf cart batteries, about $400 USD retail. I suspect we could run our refrigerator, freezer, some small electronics and a few lights on them for about 12 to 15 hours.
If you want to learn more, I would suggest not getting info from open forums online like this one. In my years using and teaching solar power classes at the local schools, I've learned there are two things in vast supply in solar power, sun, and missinformation. It always amazes me how many people are willing to chime in with their knowledge of solar and wind power, who have never laid a hand on a panel or turbine. Try some sources below, and make an effort to get to one of the energy fairs listed in the back of Home Power Magazine, we did 14 years ago, and here we are today. Take care Phoenix, Rudydoo
Does Anyone Know A Good Site For Information On Solar Panels, Power, And All Of That?
I Live In A Really Industrialized City In Mexico, And I Have Worked In Some Of These Factories And Noticed That They Are Very Conservative When It Comes To Power, I Really Believe They'D Do Anything To Cut The Electrical Bill, So Ive Been Wanting To Get Them Into Solar Power, It Would Help Their Pockets And It Be Great For The Environment. Any Thoughts On What I Should Read Up On, Or Who Or What Agency I Should Maybe Contact For More Information. Consider That In This Country There Is Almost No Eco Friendly Activities, Even Recycling Is Very Rare Here.
You should google solar installation companies that operate in California (there are 100's of them) and some of the larger ones may have branches in Mexico. Call them up and see what they can offer.
Be wary of the websites shown in the previous answer. Build-it yourself solar modules rarely work as well as advertised, and have a high tendancy to catch fire. In the US, at least, they are illegal, can't say the same for Mexico, but they are still as likely to catch fire, legal or not.
Have A 40Watt 20Volt Solar Panel, How Many Watt Of Inverter Do I Need?
Have A 20V 40W Solar Panel And It Is Attach To Two Backup Batteries. Just Want To Know Know How Many Watt Of Inverter Do I Need?
Solar Panels Make DC Power (a water well if you will)
Batteries store DC Power (a water tank if you will)
An inverter switches DC to AC power, cleaning and conditioning an AC sinewave for your electronics.
(think of a water treatment plant or small filter in your backpack).
If you want more on this part of the setup, go here for an overview.
The size of your panels determines the total amount of power going into your system.
The battery size determines the total amount of power they can be stored in the system.
The inverter size determines the amount of power, switched to AC, coming out the front.
I don't think you are making the kind of power you think you are...
To troubleshoot your problem specifically,
A. try this calculator for panel sizing.
B. Try these calculators for solar battery sizing
Here is an example of how it would work:
40w 20v panel should hook up to a battery charge controller.
The charge controller tempers the 20v down to 14.4v, so the power from the panels charges the batteries and or runs the inverter properly. (80watts = 14.4v x 5.5 amps afterwards) If the batteries can hold the power, they take it, but if the inverter needs it, that path has less resistance. The inverter takes the power from the solar panels first, and then fills the gaps with the batteries.
Assuming you are using a single, deep cycle, group 31 battery, you have roughly 100 ah of battery tank. Assuming the system is totally dead when you start, with this setup, it would take 17 hours, or over 3 full days of 6 hour sun, to recharge just one battery. The battery we speak of is the same size battery in a F-250, nothing extravagant.
As for inverters, you can pick any size you like, but your panels won't run it; they aren't big enough for that either. No matter what, you will run the inverter from your battery with only 80w of solar. Let's look at the math for your common household circuit first. A standard circuit in the USA is 110v and up to 15 amps.
110v AC power x 15 amps = 1650 watts (aka 20 of your panels)
With only 80 watts of solar, you don't stand a chance (5% of the power).
Now let's ratchet that down a bit...
When you pick a 500 watt inverter, it still must pull 500 watts from somewhere to run. The batteries and solar panels must work together to push the other side. The final equation is balanced (minus inefficiency, which just complicates this part of the discussion)..
12v * 42 amps = 500 watts = 110v * 4.5 amps...
So the 100 ah deep cycle battery, weighing 80 lbs, would be completely drained in under 3 hours, with or without sun.
12v * 42a * 3hrs = 1512 watt hours to run that 500 watt inverter for 3 hours.
1360 watt hours with sun or 1200 without sun
100 ah battery x 12 volts holds 1200 watt hours.
Over 2 hours, the solar adds 2hr x 80 watts or 160 watt hours, best case....
Conclusion, with 80 watts of solar, you would drain the 100 ah battery, in 3 hours, and it would take 3 days to recharge. Make more power first. Then get good batteries to store it. Any inverter will do for most things....