Renewable Energy technology can be daunting and confusing to wrap your head around. Let us help you try and sort through the madness. Here is a list of our most Frequently Asked Questions and their answers...
Solar power is probably the cleanest, most viable form of renewable energy available and it can be used in several forms to help power your house. Many gardens now use solar lights or solar garden water features. The availability and wide use of solar power in gardens shows exactly how versatile it is as a source of energy. The technology and the systems are becoming smaller, more compact and better looking than when they were first created and used. Early examples of solar power systems can be seen in California where, in the 1980s, enough solar power panels were installed to power over 10 million homes.
Simply put photovoltaic panels and other forms of solar energy work by converting some of the energy in sunlight into a clean form of electricity that can be used in our houses. The PV cells consist of a positive and a negative slice of silicon placed under a thin slice of glass. As the photons of the sunlight beat down onto the PV cell they knock the electrons off the silicon. The negatively charged electrons are attracted to the silicon but are trapped by the magnetic field that is formed from the opposing fields. Small wires on the silicon catch these electrons and when connected in a circuit an electric current is formed. This reaction gives Direct Current electricity though, and it must be passed through an inverter to be converted into an Alternating Current used in our homes to power any electrical items. Some of the power is lost in this part of the process as the inverter is only around 95% efficient but this is a much greater efficiency than was once available.
The nature of the PV cell means there is little or no maintenance required and there are no moving parts; this means that a typical PV cell can last up to 40 years with no work besides an annual cleaning.
There are several ways to use solar power around the house and not just for powering. You can use it to heat your hot water, heat your pool or even your central heating or if you have plenty of roof space and a reasonable amount of sun you can get a grid tie system; a grid tie system means that not only can you power your entire house but during those times when you create an excess of electricity you can sell it back to the grid. An efficiently solar powered home will be able to reasonably create between 75 and 100% of their own power and because of the grid tie system this means you may not have to pay for electricity ever again.
The fact that solar panels can only gather sunlight during the day is often touted as a major drawback to solar power. However, it is possible to draw the power off into a battery source for later use. In fact, this is the way outdoor solar lights work-- they draw energy during the day to power nighttime illumination.
Some systems can produce more electicity than is used each month, essentially bringing your net electricity cost to $0. It does not, however, eliminate the need for a connection to your electrical utility.
Cost of a personalized system is based on various factors, such as the size of the system, your location and any available incentives. To get an estimate right now, please use our Solar Estimate Calculator tool to give yourself an idea based on input provided about you.
Contact us today and let us start the process.