What Is Solar Energy Equipment
Solar energy equipment consists of the components that make up a solar energy system. The installation of the equipment allows for the harnessing of the suns energy as well as its conversion into the electricity that is necessary for the home or business in question. Among the solar equipment, we also find several of the key components, such as solar panels, inverters, and racking systems.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In Alberta
The cost of home solar panels will be largely proportionate to the installed capacity . Larger solar arrays can be installed a lower rate, in terms of $/W . An average solar power system will cost around $12,000 to $25,000 and be installed for approximately $2.00/W to $2.75/W.
The $/W is how much bang you are getting for your buck, like$/sq.ft. in the flooring or painting industry. The lower, the better.
The cost of solar panels in Edmonton is comparable to the cost of solar panels in Calgary, Red Deer or other major hubs in Alberta.
How Does Solar Impact The Value Of My Home
A 2017 study suggests that solar homes sell for 3.74% more than comparable non-solar homes. That comes out to about $15,000 more on average for homes evaluated in the study.
Solar is a major selling point, so long as the homeowner owns the solar system. Leased systems are a different story, as the home buyer must agree to take on the contract and lease payments from the solar installer.
We took a deep dive into the study to see what else we could learn. Check it out here: Do Solar Panels Increase Property Value?
Also Check: How To Charge Solar Panel
Watersentinel Inline Deionized Water Garden Hose
About the Product
Last on our review of solar panel cleaning tools is this inline hose. The WaterSentinel garden hose is a non-invasive way to remove hardness from the water before cleaning solar panels. It comes as a tube that fits between your garden hose and the nozzle.
The WaterSentinel SF-20W Inline Hose comes with a flex extension and a tube. The tube contains DI media, which dissolves minerals in hard water. On the other hand, the flex extension connects the tube to the nozzle of your garden hose.
Besides deionization, the tube also filters the water that goes through it. It comes with a sediment pack on the inlet and outlet, which helps to remove substances like chlorine, sand, rust, dust, and slit from the water.
So, overall, the quality of the water that comes out of the WaterSentinel SF-20W Inline Hose is pretty topnotch.
To use the deionized water garden hose, attach the inlet end of the tube to the outlet of your garden hose. Then attach the outlet end of the tube to the inlet end of the flex extension. Then lastly, attach the outlet of the flex extension to the open end of your nozzle.
Besides offering a 2-way water purification process, the it is pretty durable. It is also easy to use, much more so than complicated large deionization systems. However, one drawback is that it can only be used for a limited number of washes.
- It is only useful for a limited number of solar panel cleaning sessions.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need
The number of solar panels you need depends on your homes azimuth and roof tilt as well as how much electricity you use. You can only install as much solar power as your home or business needs.
1kW of installed solar power will produce approximately 1,000 to 1,200kWh of solar energy annually. This number may be larger or smaller based on your tilt and azimuth.
The average home in Alberta uses roughly 7,000kWh of electricity per year. This means the average home will need roughly 14 to 18 x 400W solar panels to cover their annual energy needs.
If you use 2x the electricity of the average Alberta home,you will need 2x as many solar panels to be net zero electrically.
Also Check: How To Calculate Kw For Solar Panels
Other Regulation For Reference
- 1 RCNY §105-02. Requirements for the Approval of a Property Tax Abatement Application for the Installation of a Solar Electric Generating System
You may also need to comply with other City agency requirements, for example: Fire Department , Departments of Environmental Protection , Department of Transportation , Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to name a few.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Solar Power
Here are some reasons why you might choose solar over another source of power:
- Renewable: Sunlight is an infinite resource. Its not like oil, which we remove from the Earth and spend when we use it. The suns rays can be harvested for energy over and over again without depleting the source.
- Lower Electric Bills: As a replacement for grid-tied properties , solar power costs just a fraction of what you pay the utility company each month. A properly sized system can drop your electric bill to $0.
- Remote power: If you live in a remote location, it may be too expensive or impossible to run power lines to your house. Solar power systems generate energy when you cant hook into the power grid.
- Improve Property Value: Homes equipped with solar systems sell for 3.74% more than equivalent homes without solar. Solar homes sell for $14,329 more on average. Read more about how solar impacts property values. Off-grid solar also enables you to buy affordable undeveloped property in rural areas.
Here are some drawbacks to consider before going solar:
Read more: The Pros and Cons of Solar Power.
Read Also: What Is The Cost Of Solar Panels For A House
Energy Pricing And Incentives
The political purpose of incentive policies for PV is to facilitate an initial small-scale deployment to begin to grow the industry, even where the cost of PV is significantly above grid parity, to allow the industry to achieve the economies of scale necessary to reach grid parity. The policies are implemented to promote national energy independence, high tech job creation and reduction of CO2 emissions. Three incentive mechanisms are often used in combination as investment subsidies: the authorities refund part of the cost of installation of the system, the electricity utility buys PV electricity from the producer under a multiyear contract at a guaranteed rate, and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
With investment subsidies, the financial burden falls upon the taxpayer, while with feed-in tariffs the extra cost is distributed across the utilities’ customer bases. While the investment subsidy may be simpler to administer, the main argument in favour of feed-in tariffs is the encouragement of quality. Investment subsidies are paid out as a function of the nameplate capacity of the installed system and are independent of its actual power yield over time, thus rewarding the overstatement of power and tolerating poor durability and maintenance. Some electric companies offer rebates to their customers, such as Austin Energy in Texas, which offers $2.50/watt installed up to $15,000.
What Equipment Do You Need For A Home Solar System
The popularity of the green design movement has now spanned over two decades and quickly moved from corporate led initiatives to the private sector, specifically, solar panels uses for homeowners.
Appeal continues to grow as new technologies make it easier and more affordable for the installation of mini solar panels, the availability of used solar panels, and the tax credit allocation that can be used by consumers and corporations choosing to switch to the solar system for electricity. Many homeowners who would like to opt for the conversion to a home solar system may feel they are unqualified to make an educated decision about the process.
Here is some general information homeowners need to know in order to begin the discussion of introducing solar panels and other eco friendly energy saving devices into their home.
Recommended Reading: How Many Homes Use Solar Power
Is My Home Good For Solar Power
Most homes are suitable for a solar panel installation. Some homes are more capable of generating solar energy than others though, but overall, the solar energy potential in Alberta is fantastic.
If you are building new, consider designing your home for solar panels.
The ideal tilt and orientation of solar panels is due South at a tilt close to the latitude. For Edmonton, the latitude = 53 degrees but a 45-degree tilt or a 12:12 pitch is nearly identical in energy production and is a much more common pitch/tilt.
If your home does not have a 12:12 pitch facing south, dont worry. There will be energy losses, but nothing detrimental.
The average Alberta home has a pitch of 4:12 or approximately 18 degrees. If this home is facing due south, it will experience approximately 9% energy losses relative to the ideal tilt/azimuth.
If you your home is facing East and West that is ok too. Some energy is lost, but the solar panels can still generate 100% of your annual demand.
East/West faces do provide advantages though. Homes with gables running North/South typically have a very large area to install solar. The additional area often makes up for the slight drop in energy output. Similarly, East and West faces will generate lots of energy in the morning and evenings, when people use electricity the most, helping the payback period of solar power.
Vents, chimneys, trees and other shading sources will negatively affect your solar power system.
What Is Needed To Install Solar Panels
It is a simple process to install home solar panels. Your solar contractor should take care of the entire process for you. Below are the documents required for solar panels on homes:
1. An electrical permit. This is pulled by a Master Electrician and lets the local electrical authorities know what work is being completed and where. Homeowners can pull their own permit, however we do not recommend completing any electrical work unless you are a qualified electrician.
2. A micro-generation application from the Alberta Utility Commission . This allows you to export your solar energy back to your electrical retailer for a credit. You will see a Micro-Generation Credit line appear on your monthly power bill to see exactly how much energy you exported that billing period.
3. A development/building permit. This is not required in every jurisdiction,but is sometimes required.
4. Grant Application. Depending on what classification the solar installation is you may be eligible for rebates or incentives. Once again, we will complete this step or as much as possible for you. Most grants require a few different documents to receive funding. As of 2019, the Alberta Residential and Commercial Solar Program has been withdrawn and is no longer accepting applications.
Commercial solar power systems most often require a building and development permit, both of which will involve more engineering work.
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Portable Solar Panels
How Do I Generate My Own Solar Power
Harnessing the suns energy for your own use begins with putting together the right components for your needs. If you’re ready to go solar consider starting with a few basic solar power components. You’ll want to add to your system as your needs grow and as you experience the benefits of solar energy.
- Solar Panels Your source for electricity and to charge batteries to power your car, truck, motorcycle, ATV, boat, personal watercraft, RV, home or appliances. Sold individually or in solar power kits, begin by determining the number of panels you’ll need based on your intended use.
- Charge Controller If the sunlight is too bright for too long, the voltage produced by the solar panels has the potential to damage the batteries. As such, a charge controller is required to regulate the charge, thus preventing overcharging and ultimately increasing battery life and performance.
- Power Inverter The power inverter serves a dual purpose, either converting the low voltage DC to the 120 volts AC needed to run appliances, or charging your batteries if connected to a utility grid or an AC Generator. Unless you plan on using battery power exclusively, you’ll need a power inverter.
- Batteries Your batteries store the solar energy for a consistent power supply over time, even when the sun isn’t shining. Deep-cycle or marine batteries are recommended as they are designed to be charged and discharged repeatedly.
Which Battery Type Is Best For Solarflooded Sealed Or Lithium
Solar batteries fall into three main categories. From least to most expensive, they are:
- Flooded lead-acid
- Sealed lead-acid
Flooded lead-acid batteries use a tried-and-true technology that is more than 100 years old. They require monthly maintenance to stay operational. The main task is refilling the battery with distilled water, which evaporates during the charge cycle.
Sealed lead-acid batteries also use a lead-acid chemistry, but are sealed to prevent off-gassing. They are also maintenance-free, which removes the need for monthly checkups. Go with a sealed battery if you dont mind paying a bit more for convenience.
Lithium batteries are the premium option. In addition to being maintenance-free, they charge faster, endure deeper discharge cycles, and have a longer lifespan. They cost the most up front, but could last 2-3 times longer than the other options.
We compare the most common solar battery choices in our lead-acid vs. lithium battery breakdown.
Recommended Reading: How To Become A Solar Dealer
What Is The Best Solar Power System For My Home
Numerous solar power systems are being sold on the open market, and each one promises excellent results. It is going to come down to finding the right source and making sure they are well-reviewed.
Your goal should be to go with a system that is reliable, durable, and efficient. Please see our the list we have compiled of the best solar panel brands.
With a proper solar power system, you are going to maximize how the photons are turned into usable energy for your home solar panels. It would be best if you took the time to go through relevant reviews and focus on the markets best option.
Minimum Sunlight Requirements For Solar Systems
It used to be assumed by most people that solar power was only a viable option in parts of the world that were largely sunny. However, modern solar systems are increasingly efficient, which opens up solar power to parts of the world that would not be obvious at first glance. So what are the actual minimum sunlight requirements for a solar installation?
This determination depends on the actual amount of available sunlight both direct and scattered and how that figure compares to the electricity required from the proposed installation. To help make this determination, solar systems output is typically measured in kilowatt-hours per square meter or watts per square meter . It is also vital to note that PV panels can vary in their efficiency, so the specific efficiency needs to be factored in when comparing potential configurations and other solution considerations.
The bottom line is, even scattered sunlight can provide solar power. The key question then, become:
Also Check: Can I Use Pine Sol On Tile Floors
Guidelines For Submission Of Solar Installation Project Plans
Prior to submission to the DOB, the applicants review of the proposed solar energy system design should cover all existing electrical, rooftop, and structural components affected by the proposed scope of work, as required to verify Code-compliance. Based upon the complexity and scale of the project, the information provided on the drawings should show a clear description of the work required for the project.
Although DOB does not mandate the organization and style of construction documents, the guidelines outlined in this chapter should provide a consistent approach for preparation of construction documents that will facilitate the plan review process. In many cases, the project may involve the documentation of existing systems and should clearly identify new versus existing systems.
Labor And Material Costs
Depending on whether this will be a DIY project or a contractor is going to assist, the cost of a home solar panel system will vary.
For example, the labor required to safely uninstall an existing electrical system could be one of the largest expenses of the process of a power systems solar conversion. However, this initial cost pales in comparison to the long term cost savings of the renewable energy used.
Additionally, the price for initial set up and ongoing maintenance are significantly reduced compared to their original introduction. New technology again continues to make advancements in the available processes of affordable installation. The overall cost of the initial setup to convert to solar energy will depend on a variety of factors. Regardless of the facility being converted, most materials are available for purchase online, often at discounted prices.
Also Check: How Much Does It Cost To Go Solar In Florida
How Do Solar Leases / Solar Ppas Work
Under a solar lease agreement, the solar installer builds a system on your property, but they still own the equipment. It is the installer who gets to claim the Federal Tax Credit and any local incentives. The installer rents the equipment to you for a monthly fee, and you get to use 100% of its production regardless of how much power it generates.
Power purchasing agreements are similar to leases. The solar installer builds a system on your property and claims the tax credit. The only difference is that instead of renting the equipment, you pay a flat rate for the power you use.
Both PPAs and leases lag quite a bit behind personal loans in terms of lifetime value. Visit our solar financing page to compare all three options in depth.