Solar Power For The Home

Using solar power for the home can significantly reduce power costs. Subsidies and rebates make domestic solar power a good investment

Using solar power for the home is an idea that has been around for a long time. Until recently, the size of the solar panels that are needed to convert sunlight into electricity, their low efficiency and the high cost of the equipment and installation were major barriers to its use. Technological advances and the growing size of the industry have resulted in a sharp reduction in costs and as the use of solar power increases, greater price reductions can be expected.

Even with falling prices, the initial cost of solar power for the home is high and will, depending commercially generated power costs and the power consumption of the home, be equivalent to a few years’ worth of electricity bills. But with the instability of fuel prices and their upward spiral, the breakeven point for a domestic solar power system is reducing. The important thing to keep in mind is that once the initial cost has been recovered, future power is free and the maintenance costs of the system are almost nil. Additionally, many states are now offering rebates and subsidies for domestic solar power installations and these can result in a major reduction of the investment needed and utilizing these can reduce the breakeven point to a great extent.

The modern home consumes a large amount of electricity and it is often difficult to install a system that will meet the full power demand. The space needed for installation of the solar panels is a major constraint as is the often negative effect that the panels, mounted on the roof, have on the look of a home. However, even a system that generates a part of a home’s power needs will result in a significant reduction in the utility bills.  And with the latest solar panels technologies now available, the size of the solar panels and their electricity generating abilities have increased dramatically and even a small solar array can generate a surprising amount of power. Modern solar panels are made keeping architectural aesthetics in mind and incorporating them in a new construction or retro-fitting them to an existing structure need not result in the defacing of the building that was the price a homeowner had to pay in the past.

When deciding on installing solar power for the home keep in mind that it is a long term investment that will pay for itself over time. Additionally, it will have an immediate impact on the value of a home, which will increase. And, of course, using solar power is one of the most environment friendly things a homeowner can do.

Installing a residential solar power system may appear to be a complex job, but the reality is that it is quite simple. There are even do-it-yourself kits available on the market and a homeowner who enjoys DIY jobs can, perhaps with the help of a local handyman, do the installation himself. Using energy efficient home appliances and lighting systems can dramatically increase how much of the total power load a domestic solar power system can meet.

The Benefits of Solar Panels

Discover how the average homeowner can utilize the benefits of solar panels.

Solar panels utilize the energy from the sun to create electricity and it is when the sun is shining directly on a solar panel that the solar panel is at its most effective.  

There are a range of different solar panels available for purchase.  An 80W panel will produce 80W of electricity when the sun is shining directly on it while a 120W panel will produce 120W of electricity in direct sunlight.  In the absence of direct sunlight, the panel may fail to produce its maximum electricity.  Do not be fooled into thinking that solar power panels will not be in use when the sun is not shining, however.  Solar power panels will continue operating to some degree at night, drawing energy from starlight or street lights.   

A small solar power unit is ideal for charging a laptop battery or a cell phone while a larger solar power unit can be used to supply the energy to power a whole home and all the appliances within it.  Solar power panels can be used outside to generate pond fountains, without the need for an additional power supply.

Homeowners will make the most of solar power by ensuring that they do not waste energy.  Homes which waste energy will require a greater number of solar panels.  It is advisable for homeowners to inspect their homes to determine ways in which they can conserve energy before they install solar power panels.  

When it comes to finding out the required amount of solar power panels, it is essential to consider the monthly electricity usage of the household.  Next, determine the daily household electricity usage and the total amount of panels required to meet this.  The amount of electricity used will vary between the summer and winter months so it is important to take year-round electricity usage into account.  Solar power panels are likely to generate a greater amount of electricity in the summer than in the winter.

It is a common misconception that solar power is too expensive to be of any benefit to the homeowner.  With the range of stores selling solar power panels, it is possible to purchase panels at inexpensive prices.  Solar power panels can be found for a variety of different prices.  It is essential that individuals considering solar power panel installation do their research to find the best solar power panels for their needs and budget.  

To find out whether or not the solar panel to be purchased is a bargain, it is necessary to consider the amount of Watts of power that will be received for the money being spent on the panel.  Be aware of the amount of energy an appliance requires for its successful operation.  Two 60W light bulbs or one small microwave oven can successfully be powered by one 120W solar panel.

The cost of installing the panels will also need to be considered.  Solar power panels can be installed by a knowledgeable homeowner or by a professional.  The majority of modern solar power panels come with 25 year warranties.  These panels can withstand all weathers and can be installed on almost any kind of roof or surface exposed to sunlight.  

Solar Panels Installation

Solar panels installation is critical to how a solar power system performs. The correct installation of solar panels can increase operational efficiencies greatly.

Once you decide to go in for a solar power installation for your home, you need to consider the question of installing the solar panels. These panels are the large flat devices that capture sunlight and use photovoltaic cells to convert it into electricity. They more sunlight they get, the more electricity they produce. Proper solar panels installation is critical to how efficiently they function.

The first stage of solar panels installation is to identify the place where they are to be mounted. One of the most common locations is the roof because the panels are out of the way and will not block passage. Those who are replacing or remodeling their roof can consider the use of solar shingles which are like small solar panels and replace the traditional roofing shingles. Those with free space at the front or rear of their homes can also look at using pole mounted solar arrays. Another option that may be looked at is the use of Thin Film solar panels. These do not require and support and can be rolled out like a carpet on a flat surface. However, they need to be firmly fixed in place to prevent wind moving them and in places that get a lot of snow, they could get covered and this will reduce their operational efficiency. While convenience and the way the panels affect the look of a home are important factors in choosing where they are to be mounted, they are not the critical factor.

The key issue is to ensure that they get the maximum amount of sunlight. That means placing them in a location where there is the least shade and where they can be aligned to face the direction that afford the most direct reception of the sun’s rays. It is important to look for branches and other things that may block the light as the sun moves across the sky and remove them.

Those who live in places where direct sunlight for extended periods of time is a problem could use Triple Junction Laminated solar panels. Standard panels react to only one wavelength of light, but Triple Laminate ones react to three frequencies and will respond to low or indirect light and work under these conditions.

Another factor to be considered in solar panels installation is whether to install the system on-grid or off-grid. In the on grid option the system is connected to power company circuit and unused power is fed back into the grid. This reverse flow causes the meter to run in reverse and the lower monthly meter reading will be reflected in a lower monthly electric bill. The off-grip option is independent of the grid and unused electricity is fed to storage batteries from where is can be drawn later to replace or supplement grid supplied power.

Installing solar panels involves a lot of options and variables. It is a good idea to spend time researching options before making a decision or to use the services of a solar installation expert to help in making the right choices.

Solar Home Panels

The cost of solar home panels is now very attractive. Using solar power can result in major savings on electric bills.

With the growing awareness of the fact the electricity costs will continue to increase and that thermal power is doing irreparable damage to the environment, the concept of solar power for the home is changing from one that is desirable to one that is almost essential. The main impediments to the widespread use of solar power for residential purposes are the way solar panels affect the look of a home and their cost. New advances in technology have changed the picture significantly and neither of these issues is any longer a major constraint.

Solar home panels work by collecting sunlight and converting it into electricity. Obviously, the larger the panel, the more electricity it can collect. In the past that meant gigantic arrays that had to be mounted on the roof. This ruined the look of a home and also sometimes damaged the structure. Modern panels are more efficient and are smaller in size and weight. Manufacturers are also aware of the affect that the panels have on the appearance of a building and are designing them in such a way that, while they cannot be completely hidden, they no longer stick out like a sore thumb. Architect are now designing homes that integrate solar panels into the overall design. Incorporating solar power into a new construction or adding a solar power system to an existing building need no longer make it look like something from a science fiction movie.
As for the cost of solar home panels, these too have reduced. The average price for a standard size panel is about $900, which works out to $12 per watt. Installing panels to provide power to a small or very energy efficient home can cost around $20,000 or more. While this may sound like a very large amount, there are two factors that more than justify the expense. Firstly, many states are offering homeowners’ rebates and subsidies on residential solar power systems and these can, in states like NY and NJ go as high as 70% of the installation cost. When these subsidies are factored into the total cost of the solar home panels, the economics become much more attractive.

The long term savings in terms of ever escalating electric bills is the other major plus point. Once the system is installed, the electricity it produces if free. Even if a domestic solar power installation does not meet the home’s full power needs, the electricity it produces will reduce the consumption of commercially generated and costly power. This saving should not be evaluated only in terms of current power costs – the expected increases over the next few years must also be factored in. When this is done the benefits of solar power in the home become more apparent.

A competent home handyman who enjoys DIY projects will be able to achieve even more savings by building and installing his own panels. With the right information, guidance and materials, a standard size solar panel can be built for as little as $200 to $250. With appearance and cost no longer major hurdles, there is little reason not to invest in solar power for the home.

Solar Panels For The Home

Solar powered homes are the future. Installing solar panels for the home is easy and economical.

When most people think of a solar powered home they picture large buildings with huge ugly solar panels mounted on the roof. They also think of limited electricity availability with the associated restrictions on using flat screen TVs, air conditioners and other power hungry domestic appliances. But that is an image of the past and today it is possible to get solar panels for the home that are less obvious and intrusive and are more efficient in the amount of power generated.

Modern domestic architecture takes into account the need for alternate power sources and designs can be created that accommodate the need for solar panels for the home. These panels, which are smaller in size than those of a few years ago can be integrated into the building structure in a way to make them an integral part of the design. They will still be recognizable as being what they are, but are far less obtrusive and out of place.

The fact remains that solar power is today still more expensive than power from traditional sources. But with the steady rise in fuel and energy costs, the difference is narrowing rapidly. The cost of solar power varies depending on the geographical location of the installation and the application, but a ball park figure would be in the region of about $15,000 to $20,000 per kilowatt hour. This may sound very high, but keeping in mind that there are no monthly bills to be paid and that maintenance costs are negligible, the economic viability is worth considering. Many states are offering subsidies for renewable energy programs and even more are offering sizable rebates to those who go in for solar power in their homes. States like New York and New Jersey give homeowners rebates of up to 70% of the installation costs. Additionally, in the case of a home in a remote location, the huge cost of extending power lines – often as high as $ 20,000 and more – makes solar power even more attractive.

In most cases, installing solar panels for the home will not make it completely energy independent. Modern lifestyles are very energy dependent and domestic power consumption is increasing. Going completely “off the grid” is possible, but except in the cases of remote locations, rarely cost effective in the short and medium term. Additionally, mounting solar arrays to meet the total energy needs of the average home will require a large number of panels to be fitted both on the building and in surrounding open spaces which is usually not viable both in terms of aesthetics and space availability. Another factor is the differing amounts of sunlight in varying parts of the country. A home in New Mexico will be able to generate more solar power than one in Vermont.

However, solar power is the trend of the future both in financial and ecological terms and installing a solar power system to reduce a home’s dependency on commercial power sources makes a great deal of sense. With the rapid advancements in solar technology and falling costs, retro fitting an existing home for solar power or integrating it into the design of a new home is an option not to be ignored.

Best Solar Panels For Your Home

There is a good article on MSN that talks about the 3 best solar panels for your home.  Solar panels are one of the best (if not the best) options for renewable energy for your home.  There are many great benefits of using solar energy for your house including cheaper electrical bills and tax breaks.  This article talks about the 3 best solar panels for a home which are:

Most innovative Solar Panels (Westinghouse Solar)

Most bang for your buck (Kyocera Solar Panels)

Most efficient home solar panel (SunPower)

You can read the full article here.

Solar Panel Manufacturers

Throughout the last decade mankind has tried to evolve various new techniques to save and produce various forma of energy. We cannot live without basic sources of energy. We need oil, we need electricity. We just cannot do without it. As days are passing by fossil fuels are nearing their end. Global Warming and other serious anti- environmental issues have gripped the entire globe. Every country is fighting to do their own bit. Solar energy is the most sought after source of energy production. The basic reason is that we do not need to buy sunlight and thus there is no cost to procure the input or raw material. Various multi national companies have thus jumped into this modern line of business. A lot of companies have become popular around the world in this trade. Let us discuss on some of the renowned ones.

Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation or HSC is a worldwide leader in manufacture of solar power panels. They are well known in production of solar grade silicon, photovoltaic cell materials and polycrystalline silicon. Based in Michigan, USA this company is by far the global leader in this business. Closely followed by is a Russian giant, known as Complex SiTec. They are known to manufacture Monocrystalline silicon cells, solar panel modules and components. Also very popular is the Chinese giants. Tianwei New Energy Holdings Co Ltd is a fifty year old company. It is the leading company in power transmission and has the biggest transformer plant in the world. Timminco Limited is a Canadian company which manufactures solar energy through silicon grades. They are also known to manufacture silicon metals. Photowatt Technologies is a French multinational company which specializes in photovoltaic cells, modules and batteries. The unique point about this company is that it and a research and development wing which is working all day long every day to develop and achieve better breakthroughs in the field of solar energy.

It is needless to say that countries like USA, England, China, France, Russia, Japan, Canada, Germany and even India are doing a lot to develop better solar power panel systems. Even the slower countries are picking up the art very steadily. The various solar power manufacturers around the world get huge subsidy from there individual governments. The individual leadership does a lot to support these companies to perform steadily without any interruption. These companies are doing a service to mankind. Nowadays a lot of potential companies have come up in the developing countries also. It is because every country is aware of the fact that we need to use this modern source of energy to the best of our ability. Scientist all over the world are working together to invent modern techniques. These various companies have evolved from huge shaped and sized models to compact and portable models. From rigid panels to flexible and easy to move panels, we are coming up with new techniques. All we need to do now is to use it for the betterment of our today and to protect our future.

Install Solar Panel

As we move further into the 21st century, mankind is really taking the problem of energy sources seriously. If we need to provide a better security and facility to our future generation we need to switch to this modern mode of energy production. The threats of global warming and other intoxicating substances which are spreading across continents are making it very difficult for the governments of all big countries to keep a control on the consumption of fossil fuels.

Instead if we all want to do something good for our society and also try and save some amount of our hard earned money then all we need to do is to move towards using solar panels and reducing the usage of electricity. Installing a solar panel would mean that you spread clean air around your house and also you save a lot of money from being wasted. The process of installing a solar panel is very easy. To start of we need to understand the purpose of installing a solar panel. We need to understand why and to what extent do we require the solar energy to be produced. Then what is important is to have a thorough study of the climatic condition around. Together with that you need to understand geographically where your house falls. Say for suppose the production of solar energy would be maximum if the location would have been on the equator or close to it. We also can calculate the amount of power that we actually need. This depends solely on our personal style of living. Then if we believe to be a DIY expert ourselves then we can buy the parts from a local hardware dealer and then could install it with the help of an expert. Or else you can call for the various companies and they would themselves send their representative to demonstrate and install the entire model.

The process of installing a solar panel is very simple. After we cut the plywood into the shape of a large board, we need to place the photovoltaic cells along the plywood as mentioned in the manual. They need to be placed in an order so that all are exposed to sun’s rays. The copper wire and the plywood are drilled properly so that the wires do not fall out of place. A glass sheet is placed to protect the silicon cells. The finished solar panel is painted and cleaned. Then the entire setup is then constructed on such a high level area so that it gets full exposure to direct sunlight.

Used Solar Panel

Used Solar Panels are preferred by people who cannot make huge investments for installation of a new Solar panel. These are also popular among DIY enthusiasts. Since it is very much affordable and we can know about its past actual performance report, many a times used solar panels are of great help. Many people go for used and cheap solar panels as their requirements are in bulk. These bulk purchases are primarily for their office needs, or their factory premises or even for their homes. Many people have a general conception that used panels are bad. They have previously generated a lot of solar energy for its first owner and so you might be very sure, for obvious reasons, about its performance and condition. But still there are certain specific things which have to be looked at minutely before you decide to purchase a used solar panel.

If you come across used solar panels with very visible signs of damage, try to avoid them unless you really do not have any other alternative at your disposal. There are certain very common problems and flaws related to used solar panels. Condensation under the glass chipped or cracks in the glass or broken electrical connections within the panel are some of these. So it is crucial for you to know how to properly repair them. If you are a good DIY enthusiast and have been collecting various components of used solar panels, then you need keep your choices very simple yet effective. There are lots of anomalies which can be fixed easily either through abundant information available on the web media or simply through your own knowledge. Also it has been observed that older models of used solar panels are not very portable due to their bulk. If you have no issues with the size of the used solar panel then only it would be better bargain. Also you should note that the ability to generate solar energy in a used solar panel diminishes over the passage of time. Especially if it has not been properly kept under proper care, then it is almost sure to produce energy much below its capacity.

Most importantly, you require a multimeter when testing for a used solar panel. Be sure to carefully measure both the direct current voltage output and the direct current ampere output. A typical 12 volt panel should give you approximately 21 volts in full sunlight. Panels designed to be connected and utilized in sets of 4 should show around 4 to 5 volts. Even though it is a used solar panel, we should still have a look at the brand. Although you are not quite investing a lot of money, still you need to verify whether the used solar panel is from a reputed brand. Moreover do not purchase a used solar panel from an unverified or unknown source. Ultimately you can never predict your luck. You might land up getting a used solar panel much better off than any new solar panel. Hence, you have to be rational at this context.

Flexible Solar Panel

Normally whenever we think of a Solar Panel what immediately comes to our mind is a huge awkward and bulky structure which occupies a larger portion of our terrace. But on reality the picture is different at least in recent years. With the advent of flexible solar panel the world has started to believe that like computers have been replaced by palmtops, similarly flexible solar panels would replace the contemporary bulky ones.

As the name speaks loudly, flexible solar panel are easily movable, small in size and weight, and most importantly as the name suggest they are flexible in nature. You can just fold them according to your wish and carry them with you wherever you want or feel like. They are ideally helpful while driving or traveling. You could charge your various electronic gadgets or even the car battery. The basic formation of the flexible solar panel is the same as any other solar panel. It is also made of photovoltaic cells and a converter. The technology of thin films is well used in a flexible solar panel. Use of various chemical materials makes it cheaper and gives the desires performance for a longer period. Even if you change your house, the reinstallation process is very simple. Any one can dismantle he flexible solar panel and reconstruct it in a new place.

However the main disadvantage of the panel is that it does not produce the same kind of output as any other grid does. The difference may be as high as being double productive than the flexible solar panels. The choice of it is partially related to your requirement. It still saves a lot from your monthly electric bills. It allows you to travel anywhere and everywhere without any problem. These panels could be made into roll to roll process that would definitely make the cost of production lesser and in turn increase the actual rate of production.

Slowly and steadily we are moving towards the third generation of solar heating panels and we must admit that flexibility is the need of the hour! People would prefer to spend more now and get the advantage from all the spheres and options. You can easily keep flexible solar panels away from children. You need not reconstruct the entire house and think of adjusting the huge bulky structure. Flexible panels are available in all shapes and sizes. Various companies are concentrating on this particular variety. They are cost effective and yet they provide a lot of relief for the entire world. The environment is kept free from dirt and germs. Fossil fuels are used in lower quantity and so the air becomes cleaner. One must say that flexible solar panels have been a revolution in this particular field. The conventional ones are very rigid and they are meant to keep the silicon cells away from wind and rain. However what is more important is the use of solar power panel in every household that is more important than the type of panel.