Over 80% of solar installations are made on rooftops thanks to several factors that make this location ideal. Panels placed on the roof are able to capture the most amount of sunlight on most properties, and it is an unused out of the way location that rarely interferes with landscaping or other home design features. When making roof solar installations, it is a good idea to consider several factors so as to avoid damaging the value of the property and creating more expense.
Life of the roof – it often takes several years for property owners to recover the cost expended on installing solar systems. Many of the current systems are estimated to last about 20 years. It is important to ensure that the roof on which these installations are made will last just as long. Those that do not consider this factor may end up paying much more to disassemble the solar system and reassemble it should the roof require replacement. If you are installing a new roof to accommodate solar power installations, consider solar shingles for your rooftop.
Shading – some properties tend to have tall trees or taller neighboring buildings that may interfere with the amount of sunlight that will land on the panels. The amount of direct sun exposure matters greatly, so ensure that your pick a roof position that allows for maximum exposure for as much of the day as possible. If difficult, consider investing in photovoltaic cells that have the best absorption rate, even under low light conditions.
Maintenance – it is not just the installation of solar panels that matters. Solar systems have a long life that is best promoted when maintenance is adhered to. It is necessary to regularly check on such issues as plants growing around the panels, and water drains being clogged. The roof design should allow for easy access to the panels so that property owners can easily inspect and carry out maintenance work that will prolong the life of their solar systems.
Rooftop solar installations, whether panels or shingles, are popular, but for some homeowners, they may interfere with the aesthetic feel of the property. If you prefer to not change how the home has been designed, and have extra space to work with, then consider a pole-mounted solar panel. Flush mounts are another option that while they are installed on the roof, offer the least amount of interference with the existing roofing installed thanks to the fewer contact points created.
Summer is one of the most expensive seasons for homeowners thanks to the efforts that must be made to make living spaces tolerable. Air conditioners and other cooling appliances can be quite expensive to run and will often break down due to overheating. Many try their level best to put into practice strategies that will limit the amount of money that will be spent on the electricity needed to power these appliances. For many homeowners however, the best way to slash these costs and enjoy a boost in property values is to invest in solar air conditioning. There are typically two types of solar conditioning units.
The most common in both North America and Asia is the absorption chiller AC units. These units make use of a component referred to as the solar absorption chiller that absorbs thermal heat from the sun’s rays through a heat transfer fluid (HTF). When the fluid passes through the solar absorption chiller, the heat energy is used to power it and supply the desired solar air conditioning. This type of solar AC is simply designed and is often cheaper to run than those powered by electricity. They do however make use of small amounts of electricity to power such components as the fan motors and pumps push the HTF through the chiller.
The other option is direct current (DC) powered solar air conditioners. These units differ from alternating current (AC) powered air conditioners in the manner current is converted. With the commonly used inverted solar panels, current is converted twice. The initial DC power generated in the panels is inverted to AC and then back to DC upon entering the air conditioning unit. AC powered units are more expensive to run as they require panels to deliver the same amount of power as DC powered units.
DC powered air conditioners skip this conversion and directly deliver DC power to the unit, thereby reducing power loss and lowering running costs. With special components designed to better handle voltage fluctuations, DC powered units are able to run dependably. Inverters are eliminated from the design of these types of air conditioning units. Many manufacturers also make use of improved compressors and fan motors that help cut down on energy consumption during the startup process. In fact, normal air conditioners can consume five times as much power during the startup process as DC powered solar conditioning units.
Another feature that makes DC powered units popular is that when they achieve the set point, they switch to a low power mode that keeps the unit running, rather than have it switch off and on again when temperatures rise again. By continuing to run on low energy, more power is saved as compared to the multiple times a larger amount of power is consumed with multiple startups.
Depending on your budget, it is a good idea to consult with your electrician on which choice of solar conditioning unit will work best for your residential or commercial property. Whichever option you choose, investing in a solar powered cooling system will definitely lower your utility bills, and allow you to quickly recoup your investment.
For the majority of households, the electricity bill is the most expensive regular expense to cover. What many do not however realize, there are plenty of simple ways in which this utility bill can be drastically reduced.
Water heating costs make up almost 20% of most households utility bills. By lowering the temperature on your water heater’s thermostat from the default 140 degrees to 120 degrees, you can save as much as 10% on your electric bill. This is a simple change that most people barely feel once implemented. Lowering the thermostat on your air conditioner during hot months and raising it on your heating system during cold months by a few degrees can also have a similar effect.
Cooking at night during summer is another cost saving strategy. When you run cooking appliances during hot days, cooling appliances have to work harder due to the increased heat, adding to your electric bill and their wear and tear. Cooking when it is cooler in the evenings is a better approach. You can reheat during the day, or prepare light salads and barbecue outdoors.
Fixing leaks is also an important cost saver. This refers to leaks within the structure of the home that may allow for cool air to escape during hot months and cold air to penetrate during cold months. Check everything from your roof installation to widow frames to ensure you are not wasting money running heating and cooling appliances that are unable to maintain the temperature in your home efficiently. Also, check for water leaks that may be leading to the waste of valuable hot water.
Investing in an electric fan is also a good idea. During cooler times of the day, you can opt to make use of just electric fans that can provide a comforting breeze. They can also help to improve on the efficient running of air conditioners by helping to better circulate cooled air.
For those who also enjoy long term planning, it is worthwhile planting deciduous trees around the home. As the trees grow, they will help provide shade during hot months that will reduce your need for the air conditioner. During winter, they will shed leaves, allowing sunlight to penetrate into the home and warm the air.
Upgrade your appliances. From heating and cooling systems to refrigerators and stoves, it is a good idea to upgrade the electronics in your home. The selection of energy star rated appliances found today, run far more efficiently than option that were available several years ago. The older the devices you have consuming power in your home, the more urgently you need to make a switch. A little online research or a consultation with a qualified electrician can help you to pick out which appliances you need to improve upon.
Ultimately, the most effective way to cut your electric bill is to invest in solar power. When you consult a qualified electrician, you will find that buying and installing solar panels can be fairly expensive, but you will more than recover your investment over the life of your system. Not to mention, this type of investment does help to add value to a property. There are also new technologies being continually introduced into the market that are making solar power components more affordable than ever before.
Solar Energy International (SEI)'s electric fleet continues to grow! Thank you to Felt Electric and Zach Krapfl for the donation of 3 eBikes. Zach is not only Felt's ebike product manager but installs solar in Paonia. These 100% solar powered bikes are POWERFUL and easily zip staff, instructors and students (like Ibrahim from Egypt) up the many mesas surrounding Paonia, Colorado. ...
SEI's renewable energy playground continues to grow! A BIG thank you to SEI Instructor, Ken Gardner and Gardner Energy, for the way-cool spiral pump which is designed to pump water into a holding tank and run drip irrigation systems. Ken engineered this for a client, however the stream that it was in dried up (due to a golf course) so he donated it to SEI. Thanks to Gabe Stephens, SEI alum, for transporting it to campus. ...
LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER for July 6th Online Sessions! More info: www.solarenergy.org/training-schedule/ View the full 2015 SEI Training Schedule or call SEI Student Services at: (970) 527-7657 x1
As we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence day on July 4th here in the United States, we invite the ENTIRE WORLD to celebrate ENERGY INDEPENDENCE on July 6th as we launch another round of online courses.
* PVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation * PVOL202: Solar Training – Advanced PV System Design and the NEC (Grid-Direct) * PV203 PREP: Solar Training – Battery-based PV System Fundamentals * PVOL304: Solar Training – Advanced Battery-based PV System Design: Series II * RDOL101: Appropriate Technology for the Developing World ...
SEI's electric fleet continues to grow! Thank you to Felt Electric and Zach Krapfl for the donation of 3 eBikes. Zach is not only Felt's ebike product manager but installs solar in Paonia. These 100% solar powered bikes are POWERFUL and easily zip staff, instructors and students (like Ibrahim from Egypt) up the many mesas surrounding Paonia. ...