Jul 172010
 

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Solar panels have become a practical and an increasingly attractive great energy source for the home. This could be attributed to three main causes; namely, the ever increasing costs of conventional energy, the decreasing costs of improved solar panels for homes and incentive programs offered by governments that make green energy an attractive option.

In the United States, more than 10,000 homes are powered entirely by solar panel systems. Besides, several hundred thousand homes use solar panels for their energy requirements. That leads to significant savings on electricity bills. Subsequently, the use of conventional resources (fossil fuels, etc.) is reduced, resulting in less environmental pollution.

The cost of installation for a regular home can run from $18,000 to $20,000 if carried out by a professional installation company. Such high cost prevents families from using solar panels. However one can save on installation costs through tax credits and state rebates. Also,you can do it yourself, and then the cost would only be approximately 30 % before tax credits and rebates.

You do have 2 choices: a stand-alone system that requires battery or a system that is tied to the grid.

A good upgrade to your house would be to convert to grid-intertied solar energy system. Planning ahead is the key to successful conversion.

First, estimate the amount of energy you need based on historical consumption data. You should select the right size of your solar energy system. An oversize system will produce more energy which you could send to the grid, but you can only get credit and not cash for it.

Next, determine if your house is suitable for a solar panel system. These factors are to be considered:accounted for: available space on the roof, building location and climatic conditions. A good estimate of roof space is 80 to 100 sq. ft. per kilowatt. A building should be oriented towards south for the system to be efficient, and there should be no objects that may obstruct sun rays.

Though it is possible to mount the solar panels on poles, solar panel systems are as a rule mounted on roofs. With the help of stainless steel bolts, the frames are attached to roof rafters. The panels are then installed on the frames.

Solar panel kits are readily available in the market. There are vendors who offer their wares on the Internet, but it is not recommended to buy from them unless you have experience with installing them.

Typical set of hardware you need for a stand-alone system without a battery that is connected to the grid includes: solar panels, utility-interactive inverter, power meter, roof mounts, a couple of heavy duty safety switches, wirings and conduits. A DIY kit for a 1-kW system would cost you a little over $3,000.

If you don’t have experience in this area, you are to select a reputable supplier who is known for excellent service. It is prudent to purchase DIY kits with accompanying installation manual that at least has enough illustrations. The supplier should preferably have telephone contact, and even better, could send an engineer in case you run into a problem with installation. Or if you are a lucky guy and have a friend who had prior experience with installing home solar panels, then ask him to lend a hand in the purchase of the hardware and in the installation.

Many people have proven that solar energy can save you both money and the environment. With the variety of improved, affordable solar panels for homes and businesses, solar electricity is the best option for the majority of individuals, so go back to that home improvement project: install a solar system for your home.


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 Posted by at 3:25 am