Do I Need A Solar Storage Battery
A home storage battery lets you store the electricity generated by your solar panels to use at night or on a cloudy day.
You may want to consider a system that includes battery storage. The Tesla Powerwall is the best-known solar battery, but there are many other brands in the market. Generally, however, storage batteries don’t make full economic sense yet for most homes.
Read more: How to buy the best solar battery storage
Solar Thermal Costs Considerations In Bc
Solar thermal systems are complex systems which can be installed in various different configurations depending on application, geographic location and site conditions.
The average cost for installing a domestic solar hot water system is about $6,000 for a small family. Evacuated-tubes are about 20% to 30% more expensive than flat-plate collectors.
A solar hot water system can provide water heating needs all year round. In the summer, it can provide up to 100% of hot water needs and in winter it can provide up to 25%. A solar hot water system can easily be integrated with your existing domestic hot water system to provide you with hot water all year round.
The true savings realized with installing a solar hot water system will depend on the type of system installed, its location and your home’s existing hot water system. For example, solar hot water systems are most efficient when used to heat a swimming pool. A professional contractor can help you design and install the most optimum solar hot water system for your home.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need
- The power output of your whole solar system matters more than the size or number of panels.
- The higher each panels nominal power rating , the fewer panels youll need .
- If you have plenty of roof space, you might find it more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency and just use more of them.
- Most solar panels are about 1.6 square metres in area, but they vary in length, width and power output.
CHOICE tip: Fewer panels can mean a quicker installation.
An example: You could use four 250W Jinko panels, taking up 6.5m2 of roof space, to make a 1000W array. But four 327W Sunpower panels would take up the same overall area and form a more powerful 1308W array .
Don’t Miss: How To Qualify For Solar Panels
Calculating Solar Power Costs
Once the above costs and benefits are determined, a solar system can theoretically be evaluated using the discounted cash flow method. Outflows at the beginning of the project would consist of installation costs , and inflows would arrive later in the form of offset electricity costs .
Rather than using DCF, the viability of solar power is usually evaluated by calculating the levelized cost of electricity , then comparing it to the cost of electricity charged by the local utility. The LCOE for household solar will typically be calculated as cost/kilowatt-hour – the same format commonly used on electricity bills. To approximate the LCOE, one can use the following equation:
LCOE = Net Present Value of the Lifetime Cost of Ownership / Lifetime Energy Output
The useful life of a PV solar module is generally assumed to be 25-40 years. The cost of ownership includes the maintenance costs, which must be discounted to find the NPV. The LCOE can then be compared to the cost of electricity from a utility remember, the relevant price is that which occurs during times at or near peak PV solar production.
Planning A Home Solar Electric System
There are a number of steps to follow when planning to power your home with solar energy. After choosing which option is best for you to use solar , follow the steps afterward that apply to you. Your solar energy installer and local utility company can provide more information on the exact steps you will need to take to power your home with solar energy.
Also Check: How Much Solar Power Do I Need
Connect The Electrical Components
The next step is to connect the electrical components properly. Since the wiring, determined by the type of solar system is already in place, fitting the parts should not be a challenge.
If the system has a battery backup, the number of components will be many. In this case, make sure connections between the panels, charge controller, battery, and the inverter are all correct. You can then direct the power from the inverter to the main electrical control panel of the house.
Renogy 175 Watt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
If you need a little flexibility, we recommend Renogys 175-watt flexible monocrystalline panel. Just like Renogys rigid panels, this flexible panel is powerful, sturdy, and long-lasting. Its also super lightweight and slim .
Renogy also makes 50-watt and 100-watt flexible solar panels. And of course, they also sell kits with everything you need, like this 100 watt kit.
Read Also: Should I Get Solar Power For My Home
Solar Panel Installation Process
The most common location for the installation of solar PV panels is the roof. Most roofs typically have the desired specifications for the installation, so that panels get the maximum sunlight.
Nevertheless, if installation on the roof is not applicable or desired, the solar panels could also be mounted on the ground. You just need to make sure that there are no objects blocking access to the sun.
The following steps explain solar panel installation on a roof:
Its Time To Harness The Power Of The Sun
If you want a flexible and eco-friendly power source you can use everywhere, its hard to beat solar. Solar panels let you harness the suns natural energy to charge up your batteries, anywhere you go.
Flexibility and freedom are huge reasons that adding solar panels to your RV is so popular. With solar power, youll be able to really get away and you wont have to worry about finding a shore power hookup. As long as the weather is good, youll be able to keep your batteries charged indefinitely.
Solar panels are a bit of an investment, but theyll let you truly maximize your RVing experience. With solar power, theres no limit to where you can go!
Also Check: Is Pine Sol Good For Laundry
An Electric Panel With Sufficient Capacity
One item that many homeowners dont consider when beginning the solar installation process is the rated size of their electric service panel . Up through the 1960s and 1970s, standard-sized homes were usually built with electric panels rated at 100A . But for newer , the larger 200-amp panels were standard.
Electrical code rules limit the size of a solar energy system that can be connected to a home, depending on the rating of its service panel, so thats another item that the installer will want to know. If a home needs a larger solar energy system than the service panel will support, there are several ways to accommodate this and may include upgrading the size of the panel from 100A to 200A . Our licensed electricians can easily perform this task either before or along with the solar panel installation. However, as with all work, this will add more time and cost to the project and should be kept in mind during the budgeting stage.
Is Your House A Good Candidate For Solar
The ideal candidate for solar is a house that has:
A New/Young Roof
The typical roof lasts about 20-30 years. If your roof is old, please put a new roof on before installing solar on it. Solar systems last at least 25-30 years, or longer. If the roof structure is old, you may need to get a structural engineer to verify the load imposed by the solar system is adequate.
If there are trees or other obstructions that cause the majority of your roof to be shaded, then solar might not be the best option. Maybe Im stating the obvious, but the panels need sunlight for them to work, so more shade means less available energy.
The more solar panels you put on your roof, the more solar production they are capable of. However, if you have obstructions like dormers on your roof, those areas of the roof will provide less area for panel. Obstructions also make the installation more challenging and often create shade in mornings and afternoons when the sun is lower in the sky.
A South-Facing Roof
At least in the Northern hemisphere, the south side of any building gets more sunlight, so south-facing roofs can generate more electricity. However, dont be disappointed if you have an east/west roof, since its not a deal breaker they lose about 20% in output when compared to a solar array oriented south.
Recommended Reading: How Is Solar Energy Sustainable
How Can I Ensure My Solar Panel Installation Goes Well
Make sure you don’t end up with panels overhanging the roof. Where panels are fitted just above the existing roof, it’s good practice to leave at least 30-40cm between the last panel and the roof edge to allow for access and to minimise the risk of strong wind blowing the panels off.
There is a file available for download. . This file is available for download at .
*Online survey of 1,116 Which? Connect members with solar panels on their home in June 2021.
Solar Power For The Home: Costs
Solar power is capital intensive, and the main cost of owning a system comes upfront when buying the equipment. The solar module will almost certainly represent the largest single component of the overall expense.
Other equipment necessary for installation includes an inverter , metering equipment , and various housing components along with cables and wiring gear.
Some homeowners also consider battery storage. Historically, batteries have been prohibitively expensive and unnecessary if the utility pays for excess electricity that is fed into the grid . The installation labor cost must also be factored in.
In addition to installation costs, there are some further costs associated with operating and maintaining a PV solar array. Aside from cleaning the panels regularly, inverters and batteries generally need replacement after several years of use.
While the above costs are relatively straightforwardoften a solar installation company can quote a price for these for a homeownerdetermining subsidies available from the government and/or your local utility can prove more of a challenge. Government incentives change often, but historically, the U.S. government has allowed a tax credit of up to 30% of the system’s cost.
You May Like: How Much Does Solar Panels Cost In Ghana
What Is The Best Solar Power System For Home
The right solar power system for your home depends on what you want out of the system.
If youre just trying to save money on your electricity bills with the added bonus of powering your home with renewable energy, then a grid-tied solar system is probably best for you. Grid-tied systems are especially great if your utility offers full-retail net metering.
Hybrid solar power systems are better suited for homeowners who live in areas that have access to the grid, but still experience frequent power outages. In most cases, solar batteries wont save you any additional money, so youre really paying for the peace of mind of having a battery backup bank when the grid is down. Hybrid systems are also popular for homeowners who want to maximize the amount of clean energy they use to power their home.
Off-grid systems are best for homeowners who dont have access to the grid. Whether it’s a rural farm or a cabin in the woods, off-grid solar systems let you have the electricity that you otherwise might not have. However, going off-grid requires some substantial lifestyle changes, as you really need to be conscious of your energy consumption.
Orientation The Key To Peak Performance
In Australia, solar panels can face north, north-east, north-west or west. One of our retail solar partners will work out the best direction and angle for panels on your home. They’ll account for the suns path all year round. This means your solar system will be working hard, summer or winter, 365 days a year.
You May Like: Is Solar A Good Career
Main Components Of A Solar Panel System
Below are the basic and general components and devices which needed for a solar panel system installation at home. Details of each device is given below each section.
Solar panel also known as Solar Cell or Photo Voltaic Cell is the backbone of solar power system. There are some types of solar panels such as polycrystalline and monocrystalline. Monocrystalline is more efficient and little bit expensive as compared to polycrystalline solar panels. The selection criteria for a solar panel are different i.e. space, warranty, efficiency, technology type, cost etc. Keep in mind that output is the king when selecting a proper solar panel for residential solar power installation.
In general, the solar panel is directly connected to the charge controller but there are different connection of solar panel arrays such as series and parallel connection which depends on load calculation and specific energy requirement for home appliances, battery bank connection, roof surface space, climate and peak sunshine hours.
In fig below, a 120 watts, 12V and 10A solar panel is shown which produce 12V DC supply for direct battery charging and DC load can be directly connected through it via charge controller.
There are multiple types of charge controllers are available in the market such as follow:
In fig below, a 5-100 Ampere MPPT Charge Controller is shown which can be used for 12-48V battery bank and the max rating for solar panels system is 170A, 150V.
Ordering Equipment: Choosing The Panels And Inverters And Getting Your Installation Scheduled
Now that youre set up with the proper paperwork, your installer will be ready to place an equipment order through their primary distributor. At this point, you will have already decided on the equipment your system will include that decision occurs before the contract sign that details the total costs.
However, if youre looking for advice on equipment selection, here are some things youll need to consider. The two primary components youll need to evaluate for your system are solar panels and inverters. Your installer will likely recommend a particular brand for each, and will additionally offer a few alternatives. Durability, efficiency and aesthetics are the primary factors most homeowners will use to compare the various brands .
To be certain that youve chosen the right equipment for your system, spend some time researching microinverters vs. string inverters vs. power optimizers and look into the best-rated solar panels on the market. Evaluating your equipment options can help you feel prepared for the ordering and shipment stage of the installation process.
Once the equipment ordering process is complete, your property is added to your installers queue.Your equipment will likely arrive on the day of your installation, which can happen whenever your paperwork is approved . Time until install also depends on how many projects your installer has in their queue. If possible, try to get your solar installation done in the winter when solar companies arent as busy.
Don’t Miss: How Is Sole Proprietorship Taxed
Solar Thermal Systems For Hot Water And Heat In Your Home
Solar thermal systems convert sunlight into heat energy through solar thermal collectors, usually mounted on rooftops.
These collectors circulate a fluid which is heated by the sun’s radiant energy. The heated fluid can then be pumped through a heat exchanger to heat water, provide space heating for your home or even heat your swimming pool.
Run These Cables Into Your Home
Its now time to run these cables directly into your home. You can drill a hole through the shingles, run the wires through and use roof caulk to seal-off whats remaining to ensure no water makes it through. You have TWO options as to what you want to do with that energy.
Do you want to use and store it for later use, or do you want to simply use it yourself and when you are not, feed it back into the grid and let others use it. The latter is called Net Metering, and this is options from state to state .
We will dive deep into the system if you wanted to store it for later using batteries, but first.. lets quickly cover what you do if you want to do Net Metering and feed excess back into the grid.
BONUS Step 6.5. Net Metering, How Its Done.
Lets say you want to do Net Metering and use the solar energy for yourself, and when you are not, feed it back into the grid. To do this, youll need to run your DC current from the panels, through an AC inverter.
For example, if you have 4x solar panels putting out 400 watts MAX, youll need to do next is get a 400 watt alternating current power inverter. Using that inverters AC current, you can then wire it into your homes electrical service panel which feeds electricity into your household.
In the event that your solar panels produce MORE electricity throughout the day than you actually used, your electrical meter will spin backwards, putting the excess electricity back into the grid for others to use.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does It Cost For 1 Solar Panel
What If I Live In A Listed Building
The UK is awash with historical beauty, and although this means our streets are often overflowing with alluring architecture, it also means some houses need planning permission before they can install solar panels.
Listed buildings essentially celebrate a houses historical architecture. If your home is a listed building, it means that it needs to be part of a planning system to protect its historical characteristics.
If you manage to get listed building consent to install solar panels, youll still need to get planning permission on top of this. Think of it as an extra layer of protection for your unique home. Consent is usually dependent on the placement of your panels, and the current condition of the listed building.