Finally, Solar Panels for Home-Owners

by:Longsun     2020-04-29
Finally, some answers! Without a doubt, many have wondered whether or not switching to solar power was right, or even possible, for them. The whole concept can be very confusing, and homeowners have every right to be cautious; questions such as 'Can my roof hold solar panels?' and 'Can I afford it?' are just a few of many. With all the benefits of free electricity and reducing the demand on nuclear and coal power, it can be said that solar power is a smart choice no matter what, so here are a few points to help you determine whether or not making the switch is possible. Can my roof support solar panels? It's safe to say that the answer to this question is 'most likely', although it should be mentioned here that not every solar array must go on the roof. A solar panel weighs just 3 or 4 pounds per square foot, and is fastened to the beams that support your roof. The reason for putting photo-voltaic units on the ground is usually because the roof was facing the wrong direction, or was overly shaded. Can I afford it? Interestingly enough, this depends on where you live and what day it is! Government rebates are constantly being approved from state-to-state, so timing is critical. Hypothetically, let's say you live in Pennsylvania and completed your 10 Kilowatt solar project in September of 2011. During that time, there was a grant for a state-wide incentive program: for a homeowner, this meant 50% of the cost of install plus equipment could be reimbursed. Furthermore, because this system produces roughly 10,000 Kilowatt/hours every year, the owner of the system would be eligible to receive 10 Solar Alternative Energy Credits (SAEC's) per year, one for every 1,000 kW/h produced. On average, one of these credits is worth $200. There are literally hundreds of grants, rebates, loans, and 'loan guarantee' programs available; by doing a little bit of homework thousands of dollars can be saved. Not to mention that generating free electricity rather than paying 18A� per kW/h will save almost $2,000 per year on your electric bill. Can I do it myself? Absolutely! While mounting solar panels yourself is not as fast as hiring a professional install company, it isn't as hard one might think, and will shave a huge chunk of change off the final cost of the project. This money can then be used to hire an electrician to wire and configure your inverter (every solar array includes an inverter, which converts the DC power from the solar panels to the AC power that your house uses; setting up this inverter is an important part of the process, and should only be attempted by a professional). So, what's the first step? You'll want to do a site-survey. This is basically another way of saying 'take a good look at your property and find the spot that gets the most sun'. Is the roof in good condition and relatively south facing? Also, look for any trees should be removed in order to get more sun. Before you decide on the size of your system, make sure you can't cut down your energy use by investing in Energy StarA� windows and appliances; less energy usage means less solar panels you'll have to buy. Finally, check out your local building codes for any ordinances that deal specifically with photo-voltaic arrays and building projects in general. Remember, never stop doing your homework! There are always new incentives and rebates being announced, and you will have dozens of choices when it comes to exactly which manufacturers you'll use for PV panels and inverters, so it's important to be an educated consumer.
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