Solar energy technology has evolved over the years with the ability to take you completely off the grid, even if you live in a residential area. If you imagine a solar-powered house, you see a cabin in the woods where the only energy you can get is from sun and wind, or you see large, unattractive panels on roofs where people are constantly worried about their electricity consumption. Imagine not being able to enjoy the big televisions, multiple refrigerators, or even living without air conditioning in a hot climate? These views of solar capabilities are very different today as the demand for solar energy has become vital in this economy. Getting off-the-grid is no longer just a dream, but is becoming a reality for residential and commercial real estate.
The technology and know-how of solar panels have developed more efficient and affordable systems that you can install for your home. While the solar option is still more expensive to install than conventional power, with fuel and utility costs rising, the demand for solar power is rising – and the industry is ready to meet that demand. Many new homes are built with solar panels on the roof that are less intrusive than the huge panels of the past. Today’s solar panels are much more efficient and can convert an abundant amount of energy with a smaller size than in the past. This makes them more inconspicuous and while a solar panel on a roof will still be visible, it will blend in significantly with your building and even look very attractive and “modern”.
The generation of solar electricity is really a new concept for some people. The “old” off-the-grid stereotype doesn’t fit in today’s economy with its advanced technology. Nowadays, when you see houses with solar panels on the roof, these houses are often also connected to conventional utilities. By using a combination of traditional energy and solar, these homeowners can drastically reduce their electricity costs and not sacrifice their lifestyle at all in the way they use electricity. It is very likely that today’s homeowners can produce a sufficient amount of solar energy to meet their needs and even have excess energy that they can sell back to the utilities for a change, rather than pay for the energy they consume. .
Installing a solar panel on your roof does not cost as much as many expect. The local and federal governments subsidize the cost of installing solar panels for homes in many ways. There are at least 10 federal incentives you can get for installing renewable and efficient energy. Most federal programs include tax credits, corporate and individual exemptions, and special loans and grants for home mortgages and renewable energy production. Most if not all states also offer incentives, including local rebates, property tax incentives, sales tax incentives, and much more. Some states even cover up to 70 percent of installation costs. If you are considering installing solar panels for your home, here are a few facts you should know to help you make the decision to go solar.
About solar panels for homes
Solar panels, or photovoltaic systems, convert sunlight into electrical energy. Each solar panel is usually composed of a group of about 30-40 solar cells made with crystalline silicon or some other type of sun-absorbing material. The materials they are made of are very efficient at absorbing light. Each solar panel is simply a series of solar cells all connected together and encased in a shielding housing with a clear face to let the sun in and a solid back. The entire panel is sealed to prevent moisture from affecting the panel.
The part of the solar cell in which the sunlight is absorbed is considered electrically negative and the bottom of each cell is considered electrically positive. When the sun is absorbed into the silicon cells, electrons are knocked loose and travel from the top (electrically negative) to the bottom (electrically positive) layer. This electrical energy generated by the sun is passed through the contacts in the top layer and passed through the circuit array, producing electrical power.
Effectiveness of solar panels in your region
Under optimal conditions, solar panel systems can produce enough electricity to power all the lights and electrical appliances in a typical American home, and even keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The efficiency of your solar panels really depends on your location. Solar panels are installed on the surface of your home that gets the most sun exposure: in southern climates, it’s the north side, and in northern climates, the south side.
If your home doesn’t get an average of six hours of constant sunlight a day all year round, you won’t be generating as much energy. Also, the sun shines more strongly in some areas than in others. A home in less sunny areas will need more solar panels to produce the same energy as a home with fewer solar panels in a sunnier area.
Not enough sunlight?
Even if you don’t get enough sun to generate electricity to meet all your energy needs, you can still benefit immensely by installing solar panels for your home. Most modern homes with solar panels installed are not completely off-the-grid. Many homes use both solar panels and conventional utilities. By doing it this way, they lower the cost of their electricity usage and are less dependent on the conventional power they get from the utility company. They’re not completely off-the-grid, but they can still save energy while continuing to use all the appliances they’re used to.
How much will solar panels cost?
If you don’t go the “hybrid” route of being partially on the grid and supplementing your energy with solar, you should expect your installation to cost more. Getting completely off the grid generally costs about $12 to $15 per watt. This equates to $12K to $15K per kilowatt hour of energy you want to produce. Compared to over $35K per mile that the utility company would charge you for laying power lines to your location, solar power is much more cost effective. If your home is in an isolated area where commercial electricity is not available, the only way to get electricity is to rely on solar power. The cost of installing solar panels far outweighs the significant disruption to your electricity bill as a result. Still,
Solar panels are a fantastic way to save on energy and raw materials. By combining solar energy with wind turbines and other alternative energy sources, you can be completely self-sufficient. To successfully reap the benefits of alternative energy, you must make every effort to make your home energy efficient by installing things like Energy Star appliances, efficient light bulbs, efficient cooling and heating systems, and other efficient appliances. In addition, separate special energy systems can be used, such as solar and geothermal water heating systems for your pool and/or bath, with portable solar panel systems for areas where you do not always need electricity and, in general, just to learn about your habits in the field of energy consumption to ensure your home is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.