Modern civilization is utterly dependent on electrical power. Not only does it light up the night, but also provides instant communications, safe and healthy food storage, and touches nearly every aspect of living. The well-documented problems with fossil-fuel or atomic-powered electricity generating plants have caused many to consider a safer energy alternative, and the installation of home solar panels has become commonplace.
Few people dispute the claim that renewable, non-polluting, and non-radioactive power production is ideal. Turning the sun’s energy into a household power source can be an expensive undertaking, however, and most homeowners need to know that there will be a realistic return on their investment. With so many already existing expenses, adding a solar array should be a carefully made decision.
Location Is Important
If your area is normally overcast, sun-generated power sources may not operate as efficiently. While power production does not cease on a cloudy day, it does decrease, and sunny, arid regions are the best locations for totally solar-powered buildings. It is difficult to estimate the number of sunny days, but the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Resources Assessment has devised a formula to make the calculation more accurate.
Their figures show that many areas of the lower United States receive enough sunshine to make these systems practical as an augmentation of the normal grid, and in some areas may be able to replace the utility sources altogether. Knowing the actual expected amount of available sunlight also makes it easier to estimate the number of panels needed, because most operate on a 7-17% efficiency rate.
Not every home structure is designed to handle these silicon installations efficiently or safely. While not enormously heavy, a large installation can put pressure on any roof support system, and older buildings must be examined carefully. In addition to checking for potential stresses or structural overloads, consider the actual directional orientation of the building regarding daily sun exposure.
If nearby hills or other buildings routinely block the sunlight, electrical production will be reduced, and efficiency will decline. Included in that loss will be some potential economic advantages, including net metering, a practice where excess sun power is actually purchased by the local utility grid, allowing the residential producer to register negative usage with the power company.
Your Investment Will Begin To Pay You Back
Because of the initial start-up costs, adopting this form of clean home energy production must be considered a long-term investment. A combination of net metering, tax breaks and government incentives eases costs prior to the break-even time, which is usually around the ten-year point. After that, the original expenditure will be offset, and the system may then begin making money.
After that time, this investment in the environment will begin to repay you handsomely. Some homeowners have already become electrically self-sufficient, and can ignore the cost increases coming from power companies. A solar array is ideal for long-term homeowners, and maintenance costs are reasonable. Home solar panels last many years, and ultimately prevent tons of carbon dioxide from entering the biosphere.
Learn about the benefits and advantages of choosing solar panels that will meet all of your energy requirements and needs today! Knowledgeable and experienced solar panel installers can give you important advice about selecting the most effective panels.