Solar energy (or solar power) is the energy we generate from sunlight. Through a process known as the photo voltaic effect, we can convert energy from the sun’s rays into electricity that can power our TVs, refrigerators, lights and other appliances.
Solar Panels Material and Information?
Solar cells are made primarily from silicon, a chemical element with conductive properties. Exposure to light changes silicon’s electrical characteristics, which generates an electric current.
A cell is a small square of silicon (about 6” x 6”) with electrical contact plates on the face. Solar panels are made by laying out a grid of these cells on a protective back sheet and covering them with glass on the front.
Panels come in 60 and 72-cell configurations. If you want to know when you might choose one over the other, read our breakdown of 60 vs 72 cell solar panels.
It takes multiple panels to provide power to a typical home or office. A collection of panels in your system is called an array. Panels wired into the same inverter are known collectively as a string of panels.
Parts of a Solar Energy System
To generate your own energy, you need a complete solar
power system. The necessary components:
- Solar panels
- Batteries (If required)
These are connected by smaller components like wiring, fuses, and disconnects.
You can also add equipment to monitor your system’s output online, which helps troubleshoot any issues with shading or defective equipment.
Pros and Cons of Solar Energy System
Here are some reasons why you might choose solar over
another source of power:
- Lower Electric Bills
- Remote power
- Improve Property Value
How long do Solar Panels Really Last?
Most manufacturers guarantee under warranty that their panels will be at least 80% efficient for 25 years.
When the warranty is up, the panels don’t break down. They simply keep working at a reduced output.Panels tend to be extremely reliable. A study by National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed that over 75% of panels outperformed their warranty.
Is Solar Energy a Smart Investment?
In most cases, solar energy happens to cost a lot less than what you pay the public utility for electricity.
The utility company bills you for electricity. The national average is about 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity used.
A kWh is simply a measurement of how much electricity you use. You can check your energy bill to find out how much you use each month in your household.
If you use 1,000 kWh / month billed at 12 cents / kWh, the power bill comes to $120 every month. That’s $1440 per year.
Now let’s look at how to get that done with solar. We’d recommend something like this 7.8 kW system, currently listed for $9,791 at the time of publication. It would cover 100% of the energy usage outlined above.
The federal tax credit shaves 30% off the purchase price, so you pay $6,853.70 for the equipment.
By generating your own power, you get to pocket $1440 every year that you are paying to the utility every year. After 4.76 years, you break even on savings. This is known as the “payback period” – how long it takes for your system to pay for itself.
Lastly, panels are warrantied for 25 years. Over the life of the warranty, the system pays back your investment 4 or 5 times.
Not only is solar energy good for the environment, but it also makes financial sense.
Co – Generators
Cogeneration or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the combined generation of heat and power. It is not a single technology, but an integrated energy system. Cogeneration first involves producing power from a specific fuel source, such as natural gas, biomass, coal, or oil. During fuel combustion, cogeneration captures the excess heat which would have otherwise been wasted.
The captured heat can be used to boil water, create steam, heat buildings, etc. For instance, in the oil sands, steam is required to produce bitumen. By using cogeneration, energy companies can simultaneously produce steam for production and electricity on site. By minimizing waste, cogeneration plants generally convert 75-80% of the fuel source into useable energy, in comparison with conventional systems which only covert about 45%.
When the heat captured is used to produce electricity, the process is referred to as combined cycle.
Cogeneration has multiple economic and environmental benefits. By reducing the amount of fuel needed to generate electricity and heat, companies that use cogeneration increase self-sufficiency, decrease costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants.
Globally, cogeneration is becoming more widely adopted for meeting heat and electricity needs. Cogeneration technologies provide over 11% of electricity needs in Europe. China and India are expected to increase power production through cogeneration by 28% before 2030. Cost-efficiency improvements and demand for climate change mitigation will increase the adoption of cogeneration.
Doors & Windows
Doors & Windows
Install energy efficient windows
Windows are huge energy waste, which can add 10-25% to your total heating bill.
In warmer climates, heat gain through windows may cause a problem. In
addition to minimizing heat loss, low-e coatings on windows can reduce heat
gain by reflecting more light and lowering the amount of thermal energy
diffused into your home.
When considering solar, roofing has to be considered as well, since a sound roof is a pre-requisite. The majority of the physical work and risk related to a solar installation are also related to the roof. If the roof is not in an acceptable condition for solar installation, then it would be an ideal choice to replace the roof.
Replacing the roof at the time of solar installation leads to saving time and money along with providing a clean finish.
Planet Connection provides roofing and roofing plus solar solutions, including Cool Roofs, Roof Integrated Solar, Composite Shingle, and Concrete Tile from industry leading manufacturers such as CertainTeed, Shingle Master, and GAF. Depending on the situation, you can elect to replace the entire roof or just the roof under the solar panels. In either case, you can choose to perform a roof integration installation for a clean, integrated finish. This cost of installing a new roof, especially partial re-roofing just under the solar panels, is not as high as many may believe.
A cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs can be made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles.
Cool roofs material are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs can be made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles. Standard or
dark roofs can reach temperatures of 150°F or more in the summer sun. A cool roof under the same conditions could stay more than 50°F cooler and save energy and money by using less air conditioning.
Benefits of Cool Roofs
Reducing energy bills by decreasing air conditioning needs
Improving indoor comfort for spaces that are not air conditioned, such as garages or covered patios
Decreasing roof temperature, which may extend roof service life. Beyond the building itself, cool roofs can also benefit the environment, especially when many buildings in a community have them. Cool roofs can:
Reduce local air temperatures (sometimes referred to as the urban heat islandeffect)
Lower peak electricity demand, which can help prevent power outages
Reduce power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury, by reducing cooling energy use in buildings.
Cost and Energy Savings
A cool roof does not necessarily cost more than a non-cool roof, especially if you are installing a new roof or replacing an existing one. However, converting a standard roof that’s in good condition into a cool roof can be expensive. Major roof costs include upfront installation (materials and labor) and ongoing maintenance (repair, recoating, and cleaning). Additional cool roof costs include specialized materials and labor.
Cool roofs can save money several ways, including energy savings, rebates and incentives, HVAC equipment downsizing, and extended roof lifetime. One way to estimate how much energy you would save by installing a cool
roof is by using the Cool Roof Calculator.
Heating & Cooling
Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC)- the technology of indoor and automotive environmental comfort. Composed of their own specific equipment.
About half of the overall energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. Our company makes sure to consider your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system since it can have a big effect on your utility bills and comfort.
Heating- responsible for over 40% of home energy use.
Air conditioning contribution to energy bills- on average, only makes up 6% of the total energy use of your home.
Upgrades to ventilation can improve your energy efficiency. A ventilation system is composed of a network of ducts, which distributes hot and cold air throughout your home. Proper insulation and maintenance on these ventilation system can reduce heating and cooling expenses by up to 20%.
IMPROVE YOUR HOME LIFE
A “Smart House” is a home management system that allows home-owners to easily manage their daily lives by:providing for a lifestyle that brings together security, energy management, entertainment, communications, and lighting features.
A “Smart House” system is designed to be installed in a new house.
More savings can be gained when a smart home system offers several energy management options that have the potential to reduce a home owner’s utility bill by 30% or more per year depending on the options installed.
Solar carports are overhead canopies built to cover parking areas, and are distinct from panels installed onto a preexisting carport structure. Solar carports have many things in common with ground mount solar panels, which are angled panel modules installed on the ground rather than on a rooftop.
Both ground mount solar and solar carports eliminate the need for a surface on which the panels could be mounted. The primary difference between a solar carport and a typical ground mount installation is that carports are taller in order to make space for a car to park. Otherwise, the two are quite similar and each offer the benefit of allowing installers to orient the panels at the most optimal angle for sunlight exposure.
The great advantage of solar carports and solar patio covers is that they don’t require additional land the way ground mount does. As a result, solar panel carports offer a more efficient use of space than ground-mounted panels. Certain states, like Massachusetts, even have incentives for solar canopy structures over ground mount. If you are concerned about efficient use of space, you should consider a solar carport over a ground-mounted system.
Overall, solar panel carports have less restraints or conflicts than ground- mounted solar, and can be considered preferable under many circumstances