With the price of conventional energy sources increasing, more and more people are looking for alternatives. One such alternative is solar power. Those in the know say that solar power is the energy source of the future, and for good reason. It is clean, renewable, and more affordable than most people think.
If you’re considering whether or not to install solar power in your home, there are a few things you should know first. First, find out what the local zoning laws are regarding solar energy. Most places do allow for residential solar installations, but some require a commercial license or permission from the town council. Knowing this will help you decide which path to go down.
Go For Cost-Effective Solutions
Installing solar power can be quite the investment. The systems can cost from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, not to mention the down payment that you’ll need to make. The good thing is that it’s an investment that will pay itself off in energy savings. In most cases, you’ll end up saving more money in the long run than you spent on the system.
Sometimes, though, it’s not about the money. You might want a solar-powered system for environmental reasons. If so, you might have to look into the towns and cities’ recycling programs, as well as what types of services they offer for electronic equipment and components. Some places will even take old refrigerators and freezers as payment.
The price of solar power will come down over time thanks to manufacturing efficiencies and improved technology. Right now, residential systems can be purchased for as low as $60/month, which is remarkable when you consider all the perks that come with rooftop solar energy.
If cost is a concern and you don’t want to invest in solar power, there are still ways to generate your own energy. You could set up a small wind turbine or a solar powered generator. If you have a large enough space, you could put in a solar photovoltaic array. When sunlight meets the electrical charge, it produces electricity.
Rooftop Solar — The Preferred Solution
For most people, the ideal spot for installing a solar power system would be on the roof. Rooftop solar is a great option because it is usually located in an area where there is ample sunlight and it can generate electricity round the clock. The only downside is that most homes don’t have roofs that are large enough to hold a system.
Other options include attached racks or walls that are built above the garage. These places work fine too, but the drawback is that they don’t offer the same level of convenience as a roof-mounted system. Still, if you have the space and can find a suitable place, they are more than viable alternatives.
One of the most common questions people ask when it comes to solar power is, “Where should I put it?” The answer is simple. Position the panel so that it gets the maximum sunlight throughout the day, pointing it toward the northeast or southeast corner. This is usually the most efficient position, due to the fact that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, allowing for the maximum amount of sunlight to be harvested.
Make sure that the panel is pointed in the direction that the sun will travel during the summer months and that it is not facing any direct sunlight during the winter. This can cause serious overheating, thus rendering the system inoperable. In most situations, southern-exposure panels are preferable to northern-exposure ones, as the latter are more prone to overheating.
Beyond the location and angle of the panel, there are other things you should consider before installing solar power. The first is the height of the tower on which the panel is mounted. The higher it is, the more efficient it will be. However, if it is too high, it won’t be able to capture enough sunlight, leading to power loss. The second consideration is whether or not you want an inverter with the system. Inverters are a necessary part of any solar-power system, as they are what turn the raw energy from the sun into usable electricity. Without them, the energy would be lost.
Some people prefer to use regular old lightbulbs rather than LED lightbulbs, which are more energy-efficient. If you opt for regular bulbs, it will increase your energy bill by about 10%. However, if you decide to use LED bulbs, your energy bill will go down by about 25%. Another advantage of using LED light bulbs is that they last much longer, making them less wasteful. When they do eventually break, you will have to replace them, but the cost is usually less than what it would cost to replace a regular light bulb.
If you decide that solar power is the right choice for you and you want to learn more, do your homework and become an expert. There are many tips and tricks that you can learn, which will make the process much easier. You’ll be able to find the cheapest solutions, as well as the ones that produce the most energy. Just remember that with solar power, the more you know, the better you will be able to judge the appropriate angle and positioning of the panel. Be sure to consult with an expert to get the best outcome from your investment in solar power.