Solar powered homes : The facts

Solar powered homes : The facts
by James Erwin

Site location, orientation of the house, obstructions to the sunlight, climate and weather are all going to figure into how you set up solar panels for homes. Even when these matters aren’t favourable, there are solutions enabling you to utilize solar energy to power your home. The competence of your solar panel depends on the amount of sunlight it receives, requiring about six hours of steady sunlight the year round. Solar panels work best if they are installed in an angle of orientation facing the sun.

There are two types of solar power, solar electric power which use photovoltaic cells to convert solar radiation into electricity, and solar thermal energy where the sun’s energy is used to heat water.

A good solar hot water panel system is able to provide an average home with around a third of its annual hot water supply. While this may not sound much, it can reduce energy costs by a significant amount. With the integration of solar panels in addition to this hot water system, plus the addition of other renewable energy sources such as residential wind turbines, they can all work together in providing a renewable, cheap and clean source of energy for your home.

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Other concern for homeowners would be the large solar panels would be an eyesore on their roofs. Photovoltaic panel designs, thanks to the recent technology, are now more compact. Today, these panels would look like regular roof tiles, only with the functionality of a solar panel; they can keep out the sun and rain, and with the ability to convert solar energy into electricity, helps out in cutting back electricity bill.

One advantage of using solar energy is that it can be stored in battery packs and chargers, so energy sources are still available even during fall and winter, when there are shorter periods of sunlight.

While it is possible for a household to run completely off photovoltaic electricity using solar panels, this is unlikely in most cases. The costs involving the installation for a whole house with electricity from solar energy would be quite high for the average homeowner. It is preferable to use solar panels together with traditional power supplies. It is much more cost-effective and energy-saving than depending on fossil fuels alone. Although this will not cut back your dependence on fossil fuel, the use of solar electricity in the average home can still provide a substantial amount of electricity, reducing future energy bills.

Installation fees can be expensive, but with the constantly increasing utility rates, having a supporting energy source for your home is a good investment. Not only does it protect you from price hikes and power outages, but you will also be conserving nature by using a clean and unlimited source of energy.

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