Solar Is Accessible In Remote Areas
There are many remote areas in the world where it is almost impossible to access clean water and electricity. These areas are mostly found in underdeveloped countries, but that doesnt diminish the importance of the crisis. The good thing about solar panels is that they dont rely on anything.
Whether there are nuclear plants near the area or not, the solar panels work independently and only need to be installed.
There are many rural areas where people have understood the gravity of the situation and have installed their very own solar panels.
They produce clean energy, and there are no electricity blackouts in the house anymore.
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Use Solar To Dry Your Food
There are various ways of making food last longer, which is also termed as food preservation. One of the longstanding techniques is drying or dehydration which was used as early as 12,000 BC. In as much as the modern techniques in existence today werent available then, people still successfully managed to preserve their food.
What Im I trying to say? My point is, you can save on energy by using solar food dehydrator for food preservation. Instead of heavily relying on the refrigerator to prolong the longevity of food staffs such as vegetables, fruits, and or even meat, you can use the free suns energy to dehydrate and keep them in good condition for future use. Solar dehydrators work by collecting heat from the sun as using it to dry food.
Maximising Your Solar Investment
Maximising your solar investment doesnt have to be hard work. It simply requires small behavioural changes which could see you reap the benefits! Unless you have a battery or storage device, the solar power you generate also needs to be used during the day. Here is some great energy saving tips to help you get the most out of solar!
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How Much Electricity Will Solar Panels Save
Solar panels are one of the best and fastest advancing forms of renewable energy on the market, and its easy to see why they are so popular. They help to save energy that would have otherwise been taken from the grid, they cut your energy bills, and they can make you an excellent financial return. While the initial costs can be a little high, the payback period is comparably short, so dont cut them out just yet.
How Much Will You Save
The annual output of a solar PV system depends on a range of factors including its size , orientation, and your location there is more sunshine in northern Victoria, so the annual output of the PV system is larger. The typical annual output for common system sizes in Melbourne and Mildura are shown below:
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Installation May Not Be As Expensive As You Think
Whether you want to buy or rent solar panels for your home, there are several state and third-party programs to help you lower your upfront costs.
- The Massachusetts Solar Loan Program includes an interest rate buy-down, income-based loan support, and a loan loss reserve for qualified programs to help you get started.
- Lease your panels or sign a power purchase agreement through a Third-Party Owner .
- The TPO will install panels at your property, and then you buy the electricity generated at a below-market rate to save money.
- Additionally, there is often no upfront cost associated with a TPO, and they are responsible for any future maintenance.
Reduce Your Electricity Use
During daylight hours, youll be generating electricity even on cloudy days, but if youre using more power around your home than your panels are generating, or during the evening when your panels are not generating any electricity, youll be supplementing this by importing electricity from the grid.
Reducing your electricity use can help lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint. If youre claiming a Smart Export Guarantee tariff, youll receive a payment for every unit of electricity you export. Remember to turn devices off and avoid standby.
See our energy saving quick wins for more tips to reduce your energy use.
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Solar Cookers & Water Heaters
Imagine how much Liquefied Petroleum Gas and electricity a family of four would consume on routine activities such as cooking and heating water for bathing or other purposes. And the ensuing bills eat into the household income.
A household that uses solar cookers, solar water heaters and solar inverters not only saves more money but also helps reduce electricity and LPG consumption. Again, a solar cooker and water heater may have some inherent drawbacks since they work on solar panels. However, in the longer run, solar panels on these devices result in significant savings of both energy and money.
How Much Do Solar Panels Save On Energy
Many homeowners wonder how much solar panels will actually help you save on electricity use and cost. However, because they are expensive to purchase and install on a home, its important that the benefits outweigh the cost of investing in them.
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Utilities As A Free Battery
In states that allow solar owners to sell back to the grid at the same price the utilities charge consumers, the utilities complain that they are being used as a free battery. While that policy may achieve environmental goals by encouraging home solar panels, it could become financially unsustainable for the utilities. Nevada in particular has tangled with this issue. The state sharply reduced the rate utilities paid PV supply sellers in 2016, which caused a backlash. Two years later the state raised the rates to 95 percent of the retail rate consumers pay.
The current study acknowledges the dilemma. As rooftop solar and large, photovoltaic power stations grow, electricity grids will not be able to accept more afternoon power, unless new uses of cheap afternoon electrons grow, Benson said.
The study also highlights the need for new research and development to improve the energy inputs, round-trip efficiency and life expectancy of batteries.
Sally Benson is also the director of Stanfords Global Climate & Energy Project, which funded this research.
Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances
On average, appliances are responsible for roughly 13% of total household energy use. When purchasing an appliance, you should pay attention to two numbers: the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost. Although energy efficient appliances might have higher upfront purchase prices, their operating costs are often 9-25% lower than conventional models.
When purchasing an energy efficient appliance, you should look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which is a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy during use and when on standby than standard models. Energy savings differ based on the specific appliance. For example, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers consume 25% less energy and 45% less water than conventional ones, whereas ENERGY STAR refrigerators use only 9% less energy.
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Annual Savings When Using The Electricity You Generate
Most households will use about 15-25% of the energy you generate, though this can change quite dramatically based on:
- Whether you work from home.
- How many people are at home during the day.
- Whether you have an electric vehicle.
- Whether you heat your home or hot water using a heat pump or other electrical heating.
- Whether your cooking is done using electricity.
Instead of sending surplus electricity to the grid, a PV diverter switch can power the immersion heater in your hot water tank, storing hot water for you to use later. On its own, excess solar energy is unlikely to meet all of your hot water needs, but it can help reduce your bills.
Location Can Determine Savings
Where you physically place solar panels on your home, as well as where you live, can drastically affect how much electricity your panels produce and how much money you save on electricity.
Homes located in the south have the advantage of producing energy throughout more of the day because the days are significantly longer in warmer climates. Homes located in the north that dont get as much sunlight in the colder times of the year can still save big on solar panels. One of the advantages of panels in the north have is that solar panels will operate and function best in cooler temperatures.
Another way that location can determine savings depends on your local electricity rates. Solar panels will save more money when you are paying higher electricity rates. Rates in California, for example, are much higher than the national average, and those who live in areas with higher electricity rates will experience much higher savings than the average homeowner.
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How Do Batteries Store Solar Energy
In 1793, Alessandro Volta constructed the first model of the battery. Volta discovered how to successfully convert electrical energy into chemical energy .
He found that in order to produce electric current two different metals in the form of electrodes need to be placed into a solution known as the electrolyte â an ionic liquid that conducts electricity.
When energy converts from chemical to electrical form, battery is discharging and a chemical reaction known as oxidation-reduction occurs.
On the other hand, when energy converts from electrical to chemical form, battery is charging and the process is inverted.
This reaction happens when electrons from one electrode are transferred to the other electrode through the âelectrical circuitâ. The electrode that acts as the positive terminal allows electrons to flow out of it , while the negative terminal receives these electrons . That is how it is possible to store electricity in the chemical form.
This first battery model was known as a voltaic cell and represents generally a value close to 2 volts. It is possible to achieve higher voltages by combining several cells together and summing up their voltage â that is how a battery pack is created.
Generally, with 3, 6 or 12 cells it is possible to obtain battery packs of 6 volts, 12 volts and 24 volts respectively .
Now that you got an idea of the basic principle of how batteries store electricity, you can better understand how they store solar energy.
How To Install Solar Panels Step
While the actual installation can take less than a week to complete, the process of signing a solar contract, completing installation, connecting your solar panels to the grid, and generating electricity can take up to three months. Here is an explanation of the steps to install solar panels.
Before you sign your solar contract, the solar installer will set up a time to visit your home and evaluate your roofs size, condition, angle, and amount of shade. From there, the installer will be able to recommend the right system size and generating capacity for your home. This is the right time to ask the solar installer all of your questions and discuss your energy goals.
The next step is to sign your contract. If you feel the solar installation company is the right fit for you, you can sign the contract whether it is a contract to buy, lease, or a PPA and continue forward with the process.
Once you have found a solar installation company and have signed your contract, you will need to schedule an onsite engineering consultation with your solar technician. This technician will come to your home, assess the structural integrity of your roof, and evaluate whether your roofing or electrical panel needs any maintenance before installation can begin.
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Lock In Your Cost For Electricity
On average, the rates for electricity rise by around 1% every year. As humans continue using more electricity over time, the rates are likely to continue rising. That can pose some problems because with electricity becoming more expensive every year, homeowners need to find ways to power their homes while using less electricity.
Solar panels help you lock in the cost of your electricity. This means that the amount you spend on electricity annually is going to stay the same for the life of your solar panels, except, of course, that youll have to pay for the electricity that your panels dont produce for you.
Homeowners Guide To Going Solar
Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country as an increasing number of Americans choose to power their daily lives with the suns energy. Thanks in part to the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year. You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your homes roof or finding another way to harness the suns energy. While theres no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out whats best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.
How does solar work?
There are two primary technologies that can harness the suns power and turn it into electricity. The first is the one youre likely most familiar with photovoltaics, or PV. These are the panels youve seen on rooftops or in fields. When the sun shines onto a solar panel, photons from the sunlight are absorbed by the cells in the panel, which creates an electric field across the layers and causes electricity to flow. Learn more about how PV works.
Is my home suitable for solar panels?
How do I start the process of going solar?
Can I install solar myself?
How much power can I generate with solar?
Will I save money by going solar?
Can I get financing for solar?
How can I find state incentives and tax breaks that will help me go solar?
Is solar safe?
What does mean?
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Install A Smart Thermostat
You can save money on your heating and cooling bills by simply resetting your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home. And you can do this automatically, without sacrificing comfort! There are several programmable thermostats that make this an easy and automated task. You can save up to 10 percent on your heating and cooling costs by turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees from your normal setting for 8 hours a day!
Its also important to remember to maintain your solar panels so your home solar system is operating to its full potential and youre getting as much production as possible. For more information on how to care for your panels .
How Can You Estimate Your Solar Payback Period
The initial costs of solar panels are often the biggest consideration when going solar, leading many homeowners to question whether solar power is worth it. While most homeowners can expect their investment to pay off in under 10 years, you can get a more specific estimate with a few calculations. If you want to calculate a rough estimate for how long it will take for solar panels to pay for themselves, you can use this formula:
/ = estimated payoff period
Heres an example:
Your new solar system costs $15,000 and you received a tax credit for $3,900 in addition to a $1,500 rebate from your state. In this case, your gross solar system cost is $15,000 with the upfront incentives totalling $5,400. This means that your combined cost is $9,600.
Now, say that your power bill is $100 every month and your solar system produces enough energy to cover your energy needs. Your annual savings is your monthly power bill, multiplied by 12 months, meaning in the first year of having solar, youll save $1,200 on your electricity bills. Some states and utilities also provide incentives that pay you extra for the solar energy your panels generate, like SRECs or the SMART program in Massachusetts: its not uncommon for those incentives to put an additional $600 a year into your pocket beyond your electricity savings, meaning an annual benefit of $1,800.
Solar Panel Installation Cost
Solar panel installation costs normally account for about 10 percent of the cost of a solar system. The average cost for home solar panels is between $15,000 and $25,000, based on the average price per watt of between $3 $5. After tax credits, that cost is normally between $11,700 and $19,500.
If you hire a solar company to install panels for your home, you will have to budget for more than just the cost of the panels themselves. Following is a breakdown of all the factors that go into the total cost of a solar system, according to the Solar Alliance:
Solar Panel Scams: How To Avoid Them And The Biggest Red Flags
It takes just a little homework to dodge a shady solar sales pitch.
Andrew Blok is an associate editor at CNET covering home energy with a focus on solar. He helps people make smart energy decisions with explainers and reviews to navigate the changing energy landscape. He’s a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State. He watches birds in western Michigan.
Solar panels are becoming more mainstream as the residential solar industry in the United States continues to rapidly grow. In fact, the solar market has now surpassed 3 million solar panel installations since December 2021.
But with that comes a lot of excitement and, occasionally, people ready to exploit that excitement for an unethical buck.
While there are few reliable sources on solar panel customer satisfaction, reports of overly aggressive sales tactics and promises that solar panels can’t deliver crop up from time to time. Recently, a news team in Detroit looked at sales tactics by Powerhome Solar, which recently rebranded as Pink Solar, and found customers who paid for systems that generated far less power than they were sold on.
Despite these instances, solar panels can save you money and help expand the use of cleaner energy. With the federal solar tax credit and state or local incentives, you could save as much as you paid well before the warranty on your panels runs out.
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