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Domestic Solar Panel Resources, Guides and Plans
My name is Neville Pettersson and I have created the this site to help regular home owner’s like me make their own
Solar power, when converted to AC electricity, can be used to supply almost any electrical device(s) in a household. In addition, the sun's energy can be used in the form of heat for other home uses. It's really just a matter of scale.
More of the sun's energy being collected means more energy available for use. When
a solar panel system is connected to a home it usually takes one of two forms. A
system that is set up to be "on-
The other set-
Along with the supply of general household electricity, major home systems supported by solar power for homes include a solar hot water system, air heating and cooling, and pool heating.
A solar hot water system does not simply supply electricity to a conventional hot
water heater. Instead, the sun's energy is harnessed directly in the form of heat
and then either applied directly to water ("closed-
A solar heating system can be somewhat similar and is usually either "passive" or "active". In a passive solar heating system solar energy is absorbed directly into specific building materials that have the property of slowly releasing the heat throughout the day. Examples of building materials used for this purpose are concrete and tile. On the other hand, in an active solar heating system heat is absorbed directly into solar collectors and then sent throughout the home using fans and/or pumps.
Finally, the benefits of a solar pool-
To estimate the real cost of electricity over the lifetime of an installed solar power home system, a couple of calculations will need to be made. As will be explained, to arrive at cost of electricity per Kilowatt-
In simple terms, the "life cycle cost" is the total cost of all components that will EVER be used during the lifetime of the system. As a benchmark, choose the component that will last the longest. Let's say you choose the
Now, consider all of the other components of the system and their average life spans. Let's say you expect your battery to last 15 years. Accordingly, over the life of the system you will need two batteries, so that cost should be counted twice. Then add that number to the $10,000 for the solar panel component and keep going in likewise fashion until all the parts are correctly accounted for and you arrive at a total life cycle cost.
It is the total amount of money you will expect to ever pay to run the system for
its entire lifetime, including all replacement parts. Of course, this number may
be adjusted to account for any rebates, government subsidies and/or tax breaks which
you expect to receive and to which you would otherwise not be entitled.
Next, to estimate the combined power generated over the lifetime of the system, take the rated power of your entire system measured in Kilowatts, and then estimate the total hours of usable sunlight per year in your location. Multiply these together and then multiply that number by the lifetime of the system, in this case 30 years. This will give you the total amount of Kilowatt-
Finally, we simply divide the total amount the system will ever cost by the total
power ever produced by the system, and that will give us a cost per Kilowatt-
Another option in your cost analysis is to use an automatic calculator. Typically, instead of estimating the total cost of electricity plus installation over the entire lifetime of the system, these calculators just try to estimate an appropriate size of system for you, the initial cost of installation, and savings to be expected immediately. These calculators are very useful too, but just remember that they do not attempt to come up with a number as precise as we calculated by hand above.
Having said that, in the U.S. a typical automatic calculator will begin by asking for your zip code. This is to determine the average amount of sunlight for your area. It will then ask for the specific name of your local utility company in order to compare costs. Finally, it will ask about how much electricity you use in a month to determine the scale of their recommended project size and monthly initial cost savings.
One advantage of using these automatic calculators is that they are pretty good in accounting for all the incentives and government rebates, etc., to which you would be eligible. Those are automatically accounted for without you having to do any research.
One disadvantage is that the final numbers are not as exact as the calculations we
did by hand because they do not take into account for the expected life span of the
entire system and thus the cost of replacement parts. The automatic calculator will
only give immediate results, whereas the calculation by hand will give you the whole
picture for many decades.
One of the fastest growing users of solar power is the United States. In order to encourage people to switch over to solar power, local, state and federal governments, and even utilities offer a variety of incentive programs, rebates, and other monies. Every state has different programs, and here we will see some of what is available in Texas, a large, populous state with greater-
Citizens of Texas would be eligible for all national incentive programs provided by the federal government. These include several grant programs, home building tax credits, renewable energy tax credits, energy efficiency tax credits, other tax reductions for renewable energy use, an energy efficient mortgage program, and a residential energy conservation subsidy.
Texas also has several incentives built into its state tax code. These include a tax exemption for solar and wind powered energy devices, a "Deduction of Cost of Solar Energy Device From Taxable Capital" statute, and a franchise tax exemption for solar energy devices used by businesses.
Several large Texas cities also have local programs which promote solar use. These include Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. This is just a small snapshot of what is available in just one state. The point is that no matter where you live, there are probably multiple opportunities to take advantage of monetary benefits offered by city, state, and federal governments. It is well worth the time to investigate these programs and figure their savings into your decision to go solar.
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