Here are some of the many benefits you gain by powering your home with solar:
- Reduce or eliminate your existing electricity bill from the local utility.
- Stop contributing your money to dirty energy.
- Know that you’re supporting clean energy technologies.
- Lead the way to the future.
- Enjoy having power when utilities are disabled by storms.
You know you want to have solar panels, but there’s a lot to learn first. Here at Solar Piper you can get the information you need to make the right choices for your property. We have articles about solar panels, solar energy and solar installation costs. Be sure to use our solar calculator to help you determine the size and budget for your solar energy project.
The time has come for more people to tap into solar energy. Every plant on Earth is already doing it!
Can Solar Energy Give Me Enough Power?
Many factors need to be considered to determine if solar energy can meet the needs of any individual property.
Some of the most important factors are:
- Location – Your latitude and climate zone influence how much sun you receive and how often it is cloudy. A cloudy wet climate reduces the solar radiation your property will receive whereas a dry sunny climate receives more. Other things about your location that matter are space and shade. If you have limited square footage where you can place solar panels to collect solar energy, then your solar energy is limited. The same is true if large trees or buildings block the sun from your property.
- Power usage – Simply put, how much electricity do you need? A small cabin with a water pump, a few lights, and a small refrigerator will have low power needs compared to a three-bedroom family home running several televisions and computers, a large refrigerator, other appliances, and maybe even an air conditioner. Commercial buildings running equipment will need even more power.
- Budget – If you can only afford to install a limited number of solar panels, then you can only harvest so much power regardless of space and power needs.
Whatever limits may be in place on the solar power you can access, you have options for creating the best system possible. Analyzing your current energy usage, which is called a load analysis, and finding ways to reduce your load can substantially boost your ability to power your lifestyle with solar.
The technology exists to support your goals. Grid-tied systems let you fall back on other electricity sources when you’re solar panels can’t meet needs. Battery back up systems collect electricity when the sun is providing more power than you can use at that moment.
Don’t let naysayers discourage your pursuit of solar energy. The sun lavishes the Earth with approximately 3,850,000 exajoules per year. Human consumption of electricity all over the globe only amounts to about 1 hour’s worth of the total solar energy hitting the Earth.
Learn About Solar Panels
At this site you will find everything you need to know about solar energy. In brief, solar panels combine many photovoltaic cells that use silicon semiconductor wafers to convert solar radiation to electricity. This is achieved because silicon is a material that has a photoelectric effect. This means that the photons in light cause its electrons to start moving. A top layer of silicon receiving light in the photovoltaic cell releases the electrons, and the bottom layer attracts the electrons. This movement of electrons results in power that can be harvested as electricity.
Choosing Your Solution: Grid-Tied or Off-Grid
You don’t have to spend much time researching solar panels for your home before being confronted with the choice between grid-tied systems and off-grid systems.
Both systems use solar panels. A grid-tied solar system means that the property is still connected to the large utility power grid just like any building. When solar power cannot meet the building’s power demand, then it pulls electricity from the utility. Conversely, if the solar panels on a grid-tied system are producing more power than the building needs at any given moment, then the electricity is typically fed into the grid. You will get energy credits toward paying for power that you might use later.
Residential and commercial properties that are already connected to the grid often remain grid-tied after installing solar panels. This is often convenient for owners, but it also might be necessary if the property size and location limit the solar energy that can be collected.
An off-grid solar system is completely autonomous. It is not connected to a power grid. The property does not have utility power to fall back on if solar power collection is not meeting demand.
Remote properties that have no access to utilities are obvious candidates for off-grid systems.
Choosing which system to install depends on many things like personal goals, local building codes, energy needs, and so forth.
Cost of Solar Installation
Solar power is no longer prohibitively expensive. Increasing consumer demand and improved technology have greatly lowered costs and increased output over the years.
Use Our Powerful Solar Calculator
We’ve built a calculator to help you make decisions about how to add solar power to your home. Use it to find out how much a solar power system would cost to meet the energy needs of your property. This tool lets you focus on the precise figures for your home. You’ll get a handle on how much power your property can collect and what your baseline needs are for electricity.
Solar energy powers the entire biosphere of the planet. We hope our resources help you plug your life into the sun.