solar roof on home

The Basics of Residential Solar Energy Use

photovoltaic panelsIn a world full of promises in reducing carbon footprint and eventually helping conserve nature, nothing is more relevant and sensible when it comes to innovation than solar power systems. This type of system, used both in residential and commercial settings, is a smart and efficient solution for lowering electric bills and consequently promoting energy efficiency.

Since you are reading this post, it only means you are interested in the installation of a solar power system at home. But before you make that significant investment, it is imperative that you learn how residential solar energy works. This way, you’d be able to appreciate more what it can do to improve your life in general.

First of all, a solar energy solution is a difference maker. It does not only help you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars through a more efficient use of energy (minus the reliance on fossil fuel), it also makes you an important contributor in preserving the environment.

To fully understand how solar energy is used in a residential setting, let us focus on the three indispensable components of a typical solar photovoltaic system, namely the solar panels, inverters, and net meters.

Solar Panels Are the Heart of the Entire System

solar powered roofThe installation of a solar panel system at home is getting increasingly popular these days, especially for homeowners who no longer can stand the rising utility bills. But the biggest question for those who are new to this concept is how are those solar panels going to provide electricity? Well, the answer is simple, but the mechanism goes through a complex process. First, solar panels are installed in order to collect energy from the sun. It is for this reason why they are typically installed or found on the roof, where there is maximum exposure to the sun’s rays. The moment sunlight comes into contact with the solar panels found on top of the roof; the same panels will collect the photovoltaic cells and convert them into direct current or DC electricity. This is where the solar panels’ job ends and the start of the conversion process for another essential component.

The Inverter

solar roof on homeThe second essential component of a residential setup for a solar panel system is the inverter. We talked about how the panels gather energy from the sun and convert it to DC electricity. From there, the DC electricity is transferred to the power inverter. This electronic device is responsible for converting DC into AC electricity, or alternating current. The inverter has an indispensable role since without it there is no way for your home to utilize DC electricity. The only solution is to convert it first to AC because it is the kind of electricity that powers a home or building. The AC electricity is accessible via the wall outlets, where you plug in appliances and devices like the TV, microwave, fridge, and others to use them. So, if the solar panel serves as the gatherer of raw energy, the inverter processes it for real-world use.

Net Meter

The net meter is the third essential component of a residential solar energy system. Its role is to direct the power flow to and from the utility. It also is responsible for keeping track of the power that’s being produced by the solar panel system.

Keep in mind that in the daytime, the energy produced by the system powers the home, which means you no longer are forced to buy electricity from the usual power grid. But at night, the solar panels do not produce energy since there is no sun, which means the only option is buying electricity from the grid. It sounds like a very complicated process, but thanks to the net meter, you don’t really have to worry about any of it.

In case your solar panel system produces more energy than you consume, the extra electricity generated is distributed to the grid and everyone else in your neighborhood gets to use it. With the net meter installed, you get credit for the surplus energy your system produced in the form of being required to just pay the net amount between what you used and what you put back into the power grid.

Liquid-Based Active Solar Heating

What You Need to Know About Liquid-Based Active Solar Heating

Liquid-Based Active Solar HeatingActive solar heating systems are increasingly becoming a trend in residential settings nowadays. As the name suggests, it takes advantage of an infinite and sustainable source, which is solar energy. What it does is it heats either air or liquid before transferring the product (solar heat) to the interior space for use. For the most part, this system comes equipped with a storage system in case consumption is lower than the produced solar heat. In times when the solar energy system fails to produce enough for space heating, a home usually has a backup system that provides the additional heat. Some small and medium-sized residences use space heaters as backup. On one hand, a liquid-based system is preferred when storage is integrated. The same system is best for radiant heating systems, absorption heat pumps and coolers, and boilers paired with hot water radiators. It is important to note though that both liquid and air-based systems are capable of supplementing conventional forced air systems.

More about Liquid-Based Active Systems

solar energy usesIf you have a conventional central heating system at home, you should know that a solar liquid collector is a perfect complement to it. These collectors are practically the same to those components used in solar domestic water heating systems. The most common variety is the flat-plate collectors, although you also have the option to choose either the concentrating collectors or the evacuated tube.

In this system, a heat transfer or working fluid like an antifreeze or water will absorb the solar heat. In a perfectly timed manner, the controller will then operate a circulating pump, the purpose of which is to move the fluid through the collector. As the liquid flows in rapid fashion, temperature increases to a limited range, usually from 10° to 20°F (5.6° to 11°C), while moving through the collector. If there is a smaller volume of liquid that’s heated to higher temperature, what happens is that there is a tendency of losing heat from the collector, thereby rendering the system inefficient. The liquid will find its way to the storage tank for use later, but for the most part, a heat exchanger receives it for immediate use.

Heat Storage in a Liquid System

One of the most interesting things about active solar heating in liquid-based systems is that solar heat is stored in tanks of water, or in some situations, in the masonry mass of a radiant slab system. For a tank-type system, heat produced from the working fluid is transferred to a distribution fluid in a heat exchanger exterior. Sometimes, it is done within the tank. The storage tank can either be pressurized or non-pressurized. The choice really depends on the design of the overall system.

When choosing the ideal storage tank, there are certain factors you must consider, including the cost, durability, quality, size, and where you plan on placing it. In some instances, it is conveniently located in the basement. But if there is no space, it usually is placed outside of the house.

Heat Distribution for Liquid-Based Systems

Heat Distribution for Liquid-Based Solar Energy SystemsThere are several ways to distribute heat using a solar-heated liquid. The most common are the radiant floor, central forced-air systems, and hot water baseboards or radiators. One of the simplest is by way of radiant floor heating in which solar-heated liquid will circulate through the pipes installed in a concrete slab floor. In fact, radiant floor heating and liquid solar heating systems are a perfect match because they allow for the production of heat at very low temperatures.

Furthermore, if a system is designed with utmost accuracy, there is a chance that the need for a separate storage tank is eliminated. However, it also is worthy of mention that majority of modern systems still use tanks since they make it easier when it comes to controlling temperature.

Finally, a liquid-based system can also be incorporated into a forced-air central heating system. The most basic setup includes that of placing a heat exchanger or heating oil in the main room air return duct before reaching the furnace. When air returns from the living space, it is heated as it passes through the solar heated liquid. The furnace is then responsible for supplying additional heat as needed.

reasons to invest in solar energy for your business

Top Reasons to Power up Your Business Using Solar Energy

solar energy for businessesBusinesses of all forms and sizes have one thing in common – the commitment and will to minimize operational costs as much as possible with the intention of maximizing profit. As an owner or manager of a business establishment, office, or company, it is no surprise that you constantly look for solutions to convert capital into revenues, but it is easier said than done. Thankfully, modern technology allows you to integrate new things in order to operate your business in a more efficient manner. For example, you can explore the concept of using commercial solar energy in your place of business to significantly cut energy expenses.

Through the installation of solar panels and a sophisticated solar power system on your building, you’re getting unprecedented benefits you never even thought of previously. Here are some great reasons to power up your business using solar energy:

  1. Using commercial solar power systems effectively reduce operating costs.

    There is a recent study that confirmed the outrageous money businesses shell out for the use of electricity. Accordingly, the average business or commercial property owner is spending about $2,000 per month on electric bills alone. That’s a huge amount of money, especially if you consider the fact that you can cut off about $500 of that amount per month if you decide to install a solar power system. While you may be thinking that it won’t make any sense since you still are paying money upfront for the installation of a new power source. However, a solar power system in a commercial setting is intended for long-term use, which means that $500 difference per month will turn into thousands of savings in the next few years. What’s even better is that solar power systems are not known to require hefty maintenance costs.

  2. You should consider solar energy in the place of business because it promotes financial stability.

    commercial solar powerHomeowners face the burden of increasing energy costs each year. Business owners face the same problem, too. Even if you are committed to being prudent in the office when it comes to using electricity, you definitely will still feel any increase in energy costs, and for the most part, it hurts. Well, you could have used that money you’re forced to pay for added energy expense for venturing into new investments. Thankfully, you still have time to make a critical decision, say like purchasing and installing solar panels and using solar power systems for your building. Doing so effectively lets you avoid the increased chances of paying high energy bills. The best thing about solar photovoltaic panels is that they gather energy from the sun, in turn, converts it into a usable form for generating electricity. So, even if there is a forecast of increased electricity costs, you won’t be utterly affected by it if you have a backup solar power system in your commercial building or property.

  3. You transform your company into an environment-friendly place.

    But the use of solar energy in a commercial setting is not just about running a cost-effective and efficient business. Doing so will transform your company into a place that contributes to saving the environment. So, how is that possible? Well, using solar panels for generating power in buildings corresponds to a significant reduction of your property’s carbon footprint. The image of your business or company as an environmentally responsible entity surely will make a good impression. So, aside from the fact that you’re advertising your business or brand with a noble cause, you also help in securing a place to live for the future generations.

  4. You even get to save money during tax time.

    reasons to invest in solar energy for your businessFinally, there even is a very good chance that you get eligibility for tax credits or write-offs once you commit to the installation and use of solar power systems for your business or commercial establishment.
    If you do not know it yet, photovoltaic panels are classified as capital improvements, which mean it is highly possible for the government to give you the qualification for tax credits. As a result, you again have the chance to save money and at the same time, it also improves your return on investment.

residential solar energy

Most Notable Advantages of Going Solar

residential solar energyHomeowners in the U.S. fancy a comfortable atmosphere inside their dwellings, which is why this country accounts for a huge percentage of fossil fuel consumption to light up, heat, and cool residential settings. While the reliance on heating oil, natural gas, and electricity won’t go away at least in the foreseeable future, it is good to know that an increasing number of homeowners now realize the value of finding more efficient and renewable energy sources. This is where going solar makes a good case for consideration.

If you’ve heard about solar power systems installed in homes, then it’s safe to bet that you at least have some idea how it works. Now the question is do you have enough information on the advantages it presents to a homeowner like you? Well, if you still aren’t convinced to install solar panels in your home, maybe the information provided below might change your mind.

  1. First of all, going solar opens up the possibility of saving thousands of dollars in energy expenses. You can’t deny the fact that a big percentage of your monthly income is spent on paying energy bills. But if you add solar panels to your home, there is a chance of saving at least $100 in monthly energy costs. Since solar power systems, including the panels installed on top of your roof, are expected to last for decades, it means the upfront cost of installing them is not really a concern if you can save thousands of dollars in the long run.money saved from using renewable resources
  2. Unlike other alternative energy sources, one of the best things about going solar is that you begin saving from the first day you use the new system. This is made possible through solar purchase power agreements and solar leasing, wherein homeowners can avail of the option of installing a solar power system with very little upfront cost or minimum down payment. There’s a practical option of working with a third party company, usually the solar provider, which owns the system and handles the installation, maintenance, and repairs. Your responsibility in this arrangement is to simply pay the company for the electricity, but a lot cheaper compared to the electricity you’re paying to the power grid or utility company.
  3. There also is a low payback period in going solar, which in turn is a significant advantage for homeowners who are utterly concerned about expenses in the long run. For instance, if you decide to purchase in cash, the payback period is less than ten years. It means you’re getting a return on your investment in the shortest span of time possible.
  4. return on investment from solar panel installationOf course, there always is the notion of increasing the value of your home if you choose to install a solar power system. If you plan on selling your home in the future, you expect to get a reasonable purchase price mainly for the integrated solar power system. Obviously, prospective home buyers see it as a convenient addition to the home. With a property reinforced with solar panels, it corresponds to lower electricity costs in the years to come. So, any buyer will most likely be willing to pay for it.

Another reason why it is overwhelmingly advantageous to install solar power systems at home is that you eventually get qualified for tax credits and incentives. If you live in the U.S., you should be lucky enough to know that the government is quite serious about giving due credit to homeowners who embrace the initiative of using renewable sources of energy. In fact, there’s a chance that in choosing a solar power system that’s worth $25,000, you may be able to save around $7,000. That right there should be enough to convince you to take the necessary step in switching to a solar powered system. Best of all, the sun provides the energy for this system to use. Unlike fossil fuels, the sun is an infinite and unlimited resource.

renewable energy and the environment

Should You Go Solar in 2018?

solar panel installation serviceEven with so many different ways to light up, cool, and heat a home, arguably the most efficient and environment-friendly of all is going solar. It is true that the upfront costs of installing a solar energy system at home are high, but the fact that you are significantly improving your energy consumption while reducing carbon footprint is enough reason to consider it. This year, nothing has changed – going solar still makes a lot of sense.
Let’s take a good look at the best reasons why solar energy is what your home needs this:

1 – It reduces or even gets rid of your monthly electric bills in their entirety.

Depending on how much you are willing to invest in solar energy, there’s a chance you no longer will pay for electric bills. It is no secret that the cost of using electricity comprises one of the biggest portions on your monthly expenses, but the installation of a solar panel system means you are generating power from the sun, which in turn is free. This type of system is designed to last for more than 25 years. Just imagine your savings within that period.

2 – Investing in a solar panel system is well worth it.

reduce energy bills with solar panelsAgain, most homeowners do not give that much attention to the purchase and installation of solar panels since they are a quite pricey upfront. What those people don’t realize is that solar panels give you a definite return on your investment immediately after installing and using them. The substantial savings you get out of your electric bill to suggest that in less than ten years, you expect to see a return on investment of at least twenty percent.

3 – If you purchase and install a solar panel system this year, you’re in a way protecting yourself against the impending rise in energy costs.

There is no argument as to the ability of a solar panel system in reducing expenses related to the use of electricity and energy. But more interestingly, the installation of a system that relies on a free source means you don’t have to face the pressure of having to embrace an annual 3% increase in residential electricity prices. Even if you plan on using a solar panel system merely as a backup, it still does not deny the fact that you no longer have to pay more to use more electricity. In the end, you can use the money you’re supposed to pay for the increase in your electric bill.

4 – You should consider installing a solar panel system since it effectively increases the value of the property.

solar roof after installationIf reduced energy bills are not enough reason to convince you to invest in a solar panel system, how about the prospect of substantially increasing the value of your home? If you are planning to sell your property in the near future, having a solar panel system installed in it means you expect to get a very good price out of it. In fact, property appraisers give a “thumbs up” to homes with solar installations, especially this year when more buyers appreciate the integration of technology in homes to make them more comfortable to live in. A solar panel system will surely entice prospective buyers to consider your home, and what’s even better is that you have the edge in the negotiating table, thanks to the high demand for properties with a practical and efficient energy solution.

 

5 – You are in a way protecting the environment.

Finally, going solar in 2018 means you help in protecting and promoting the environment’s cause. Much has been said about America’s contribution to carbon emissions. In fact, homes and buildings are responsible for almost 40% of all carbon emissions in this country. But should you decide to go solar, you significantly reduce that number. To be specific, the average solar panel system installed in a residential setting allows the slashing of three tons of carbon emissions every year.

solar energy reduces air pollution

Does Solar Energy Really Help the Environment?

solar energy and the environmentIt is good to know that more and more homeowners are increasingly becoming aware of the environmental impact of relying heavily on fossil fuel to keep their indoor spaces as comfortable as possible. For the past two decades or so, there has been an increased level of awareness and activity geared towards the use of more sustainable sources in the production of energy. There isn’t any doubt that solar power is the most sustainable of all. But while some people think of it as a “free” source of electricity, heating, and cooling, there is more to it than meets the eye. In this article, let us talk about how using solar energy helps in saving the environment.

1 – Solar energy helps in the prevention or reduction of water pollution.

Did you know that thermoelectric, oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy plants require tons of water for cooling? While it seems to be a natural process to use water for cooling, the problem is doing so leads to water pollution. In fact, about 70% of water pollution in the world is attributed to coal-fired power plants. Thankfully, there is an alternative and it comes in the form of solar energy. As a renewable source, it does not pollute bodies of water. Industrial plants can use solar photovoltaic cells to generate power for cooling. Obviously, these cells do not need water to generate power since they get it from the sun.

2 – Solar energy also helps in significantly reducing air pollution.

solar energy reduces air pollutionThe production of electricity in the U.S. alone accounts for a little over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. So, every single time you turn on the lights, plug in the fridge and watch TV, you’re literally contributing to global warming. While it sounds unbelievable, you better believe it. If greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, they do not just reduce air quality but also increase the likelihood of extreme weather like devastating hurricanes, severely cold winters, and huge snowstorms. But if the conventional ways of producing electricity at home are supplemented by a solar energy system, you are in a way mitigating or reducing the damage to the environment. Again, solar power does not create any by-product. There even are times when you produce more energy through the solar panels than what you need, thereby adding some to the power grid and helping everyone in the neighborhood get power without the need to use fossil fuels.

3 – The use of solar energy effectively reduces the creation of hazardous waste.

solar energy reduces hazardous wasteEvery year, the world produces about 400 million tons of hazardous waste. Just by reading that kind of number will cause chills to many. While there are initiatives of disposing of hazardous waste safely, it can’t be denied that a huge percentage of it lies in areas where it causes pollution and harm to people and the environment. A significant percentage of hazardous waste comes from fuel used in generating electricity. So, if more people make the switch to the use of solar power, there will be an expected reduction of radioactive waste production. Also, it can lead to reduced need for fuel transportation and the issue of radioactive waste storage.

While you are busy contemplating on the little ways to reduce your carbon footprint, like when you’re beginning to value the concept of recycling and the use of biodegradable materials, you can take it to the next level by installing a solar power system at home. It is true that the upfront cost of installing one is high, but you sure will get a return on investment in a short period. Just imagine having to heat and cool your home using renewable energy for the most part. It means you save a lot of money since you no longer have to buy as much oil, natural gas, or electricity to be comfortable inside. Aside from saving money, the noblest intention of all is when you know you are helping preserve the environment for the future generations.

solar power cooling system

Why Consider Solar Power Heating and Cooling?

solar power HVAC systemYou probably already know at this point how solar panel systems work. If you have been paying attention to the news as of late, then you are aware of the impending increase in electricity costs for this year. As a homeowner who always wants to squeeze as much as you can out of your hard-earned money, the prospect of having to pay more for the same energy consumption is just way too unfortunate. The good news is there are alternative energy solutions that not only allow you to significantly reduce your electrical bills but also help in the environment’s cause. One of those solutions is a solar power heating and cooling system.

If you decide to explore the potential of heating and cooling your home using solar panel systems, then you are sure to benefit from it in so many ways, including the following:

1 – Energy Savings

If you have been allotting a significant percentage of your monthly income just to ensure your home has a comfortable and ideal temperature inside, then it’s time for a change. Investing in a solar-powered heating and cooling system translates to huge energy savings. Even if the pricing upfront for its installation is considerably high, you’ll get a return on your investment in the quickest time possible.

2 – Concept of Sustainability

Arguably the biggest concern for traditional ways of heating and cooling a home is that they use fossil fuels. The processing, as well as the use of these fuels, leads to the release of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Also, these resources are finite, which means they eventually will run out. This right here contradicts the very essence of sustainability. On the other hand, solar-powered heating and cooling is the complete opposite as the system obtains its energy source from the sun. By embracing this kind of system, you are creating some kind of sustainable future for your family since the sun’s energy does not run out or cause any harm to the environment. There are no carbon emissions involved, and best of all, it is free!

3 – Very Little Maintenance

solar power cooling systemUnlike when you are running a conventional type of HVAC system, maintaining a solar-powered heating and cooling system requires very little maintenance. If there is reduced cost in maintaining the equipment, it means you also save money in the process, not to mention avoiding the usual hassle of having to call technicians every single time you need to clean or tune your equipment up. One of the best things about solar energy systems installed in homes is that while they efficiently cool and heat your home, they also produce enough energy to power up your lights and appliances. With all that capacity, it’s unbelievable how little the maintenance is.

The Basics of Solar-Powered Cooling

In a world that’s become so reliant on fossil fuels and other unsustainable means of cooling, an efficient solar-powered system is certainly a welcoming and promising prospect. Well, it actually isn’t just a prospect right now since many HVAC companies and contractors are now offering installation services for solar-powered cooling equipment, which by the way harnesses the sun’s energy to function. The most salient advantage of this type of system is the fact that it significantly reduces your carbon footprint.

 

Heating Equipment Using Solar Energy

During winter, heating accounts for more than half of the home’s energy use. The use of traditional sources of heating like oil, propane, and natural gas remains as the primary option in homes in the U.S. However, it could all change in the near future with the introduction of solar-powered heating, which not only reduces your heating costs but also allows you to contribute to the good cause of saving the environment. Just imagine a world where everyone relies on the sun’s energy prowess to heat their homes and fossil fuels no longer hold that much value in the market. The best thing about solar energy is you won’t be buying or getting it from a supplier for a cost. As long as the sun is up, there is energy to be converted.

solar panel inverters

How Solar Energy Works in a Residential Setting

residential solar energy useThere has been a lot of debate as to how the world eventually will supply itself with the energy it needs for its people to remain comfortable. Everyone relies on fossil fuels to keep a desirable temperature inside their homes. Whether it is for heating or cooling, it seems like there no longer is any other convenient way to produce energy. Well, there is one that’s self-sufficing and sustainable, yet not a lot of people think it is convenient. We’re talking about solar energy.
Obviously, the biggest advantage of solar energy is that you don’t have to pay for it, at least right after you paid for the installation of the components up front. As the term suggests, solar power harnesses the energy from the sun, which of course is for free. It is particularly helpful if you consider how expensive it is to use other sources of energy, especially fossil fuel. For the most part, solar energy is converted into electricity in the typical residential setting.

The Installation Of Solar Panels

No system will work by utilizing solar energy without the installation of solar panels. These panels are made using photovoltaic or PV cells and they are responsible for converting sunlight into DC or direct current electricity. Solar panels, therefore, act as the collectors of sunlight, which means they are installed outside, usually on top of the roof to get maximum exposure to the sun.

Inverter

solar panel invertersAnother indispensable component of the residential system that uses solar energy for electricity is the inverter. The device is responsible for converting DC electricity generated by the PV cells of the panels into alternating current or AC electricity. Without the inverter, DC electricity is rendered useless in a residential setting.

Electrical Panel

Next, the converted AC electricity is then sent to the electrical panel from the inverter, the purpose of which is to power up the usual things inside the home that need electricity, including but not limited to most appliances and lights. In most settings, the electrical panel is usually called the breaker box.

Just like other electrical setups in homes, there also is a utility meter that serves to measure the energy use. The thing is it works backward when your system generates more power than you need at the moment. The surplus solar energy offsets the energy needs you expect as the night arrives. Obviously, there no longer is a way for the solar panels to collect energy from the sun at night since there is no sun. This actually is the reason why some homes and businesses use solar power as the backup system for a conventional electrical setup. It is a way of ensuring that when there is no sun for several days, say like in rainy seasons, there still is a standard or conventional way of producing energy via the usual power grid.

But then again, it still can’t be denied that having a solar energy back up at home saves you a lot of money you normally would use to pay for electricity bills. In case you are consuming more energy than the system is able to produce, you get that power from the grid. Well, this right here will make you realize how important and convenient having a solar energy backup is. The cost of power you’re using at night is offset once the sun rises up. What’s even better is the fact that the energy you’re using during the day is as clean as it can get since it naturally comes from the sun. Simply put, there is no burning required or emissions produced.

 
Finally, you need to realize that generating more solar energy than what you consume in average is helpful to the community as the surplus energy is distributed to the grid and use somewhere else. Isn’t that a noble act in itself? If you decide to invest in solar energy one of these days, you are in a way helping your community and the world as a whole.

image of a solar powered water heater

How Solar Water Heaters Work

solar hot water heaterAlso referred to as solar domestic hot water systems, a solar water heater is undoubtedly the most efficient of all methods of heating in a domestic or residential setting. This cost-effective home heating strategy is ideal not only because it literally does not need the purchase of any kind of fuel for heating, but because there is very little or minimal operational cost. The fuel used in a solar water heater is sunshine, which obviously is a sustainable and infinite commodity.

How A Solar Water Heater Works

A typical solar water heating system utilizes two important components – storage tank and solar collectors. But more importantly, solar water heating systems are classified into two different types; the first one being the active solar water heater and the second one is the passive system. The former takes advantage of a sophisticated set of parts, including circulating pumps and controls. The passive system, on the other hand, does not have those parts.
As for the active solar water heating system, the variants are divided into two: direct circulation systems and indirect circulation systems. Direct circulation systems use pumps in order to circulate household water through the collectors and distributed to the different parts of the home. Direct circulation systems have limited compatibility since they only are recommended in climates where freezing temperatures are uncommon.

image of a solar powered water heaterIndirect circulation systems on the other hand use pumps in circulating a heat-transfer and non-freezing fluid via the collectors and through a heat exchanger. The system heats the water before it is distributed into the home. In contrast to a direct circulation system, this one is best used in areas known for their freezing temperatures.
Meanwhile, passive solar water heating systems are preferred over active systems for the reason that they are more affordable to install. However, the long-term costs could be detrimental since they are also known to be inefficient. Nonetheless, they are known to last longer than active systems and are more reliable when it comes to function. Just like active solar water heating systems, there are two different types of passive systems. These are the integral collector-storage passive system and the thermosyphon system. The first type is ideally installed in temperatures that don’t normally fall below the freezing point. Furthermore, they also are best used in homes that experience a lot of daytime and night-time hot water needs.

On the other hand, thermosyphon systems work by way of water flowing through the system once warm water rises and cooler water sinks. A collector is installed below the storage tank so as for the warm water to rise into the tank. A thermosyphon system is known for its reliability, although there is a need to figure out if the roofing design of the home is ideal for it. The reason is that this system incorporates a particularly heavy storage tank. Also, be reminded that a thermosyphon system is, for the most part, pricier than the integral collector-storage passive system.
Majority of solar water heaters need a storage tank that is well-insulated. These tanks are equipped with added outlet and inlet, both of which are used for connection to the collector. For a two-tank setup, the solar water heater works by pre-heating the water before it reaches the traditional water heater. On the other hand, the one-tank system works in such a way that the backup heater is integrated with the solar storage in a single tank.

 

Finally, if you are planning to buy and install a new solar water heater for a residential application, there are some important things you must do first. For example, you need to come up with an estimate of the cost as well as energy efficiency of the model. Also, it is important that you first figure out if the solar resource in your location is good enough. If you live in a place where the sun does not shine for the most part of the year, a solar water heater may not be a practical solution. Finally, learn what local codes and regulations apply to the installation of equipment like a solar water heater.

solar panels for businesses

The Basics of Commercial Solar Power

commercial solar power installationThe concept of a commercial solar energy system is increasingly gaining mainstream attention, thanks to the prospect of saving thousands of dollars on an annual count. While the idea of harnessing the sun’s energy seemed far-fetched a couple of decades ago, the emergence of new technology and innovation, especially in developing solar panels, has made it feasible for businesses and commercial establishments to use power from a clean, efficient, and renewable source.

In this post, let us talk about how commercial solar power works in the simplest and basic explanation possible.

First of all, be guided that the whole idea of solar energy is turning sunlight into usable electricity by way of solar panels. The technical term is “photovoltaic system,” which by the way is made up of one or a couple of photovoltaic modules. One PV module could contain photovoltaic solar cells from 36 up to 72. These cells play a very important role as they are responsible for converting light into electricity. Accordingly, the PV modules are designed to be connected with each other in a series referred to as “array.” Since PV arrays are created with individual and linked PV modules, the best way to describe photovoltaic systems is that they are modular. Simply put, they are easy to transport and convenient to install. In a commercial solar power system, there’s a huge benefit of having to easily expand in case there is a substantial increase in power requirements.

solar panels for businessesArguably the most important component of the entire system is the photovoltaic cell. Although solar power systems wouldn’t work without the panels that are tasked to collect energy from the sun, it is the photovoltaic cell that converts light to electricity. As soon as sunlight comes into contact with the photovoltaic cell, a portion of the light particle called a photon is harvested by the cell. The process of absorption leads to knocking loose from the silicon atom, in turn allowing a positive hole to remain. The freed electron, together with the positive hole, forms a neutral.

In generating electricity, the hole and electron must be separated from each other. Thankfully, the photovoltaic cell comes equipped with an artificial junction layer. Because of this, the freed electrons no longer can return to the positively charged holes. As soon as the electric contacts on the front and rear connect through the external circuit, what happens then is that the freed electrons return to the holes by way of flowing through the external circuit. This is how current is generated. The electrical power can now be extracted from the photovoltaic cell. It has to be proportional to the area as well as the intensity of the sunlight in the same area. Measurement of electricity is in watts.

In a commercial setting, the solar electric system has its brains called the “inverters.” The inverter carries an indispensable role for the entire system to work, just like the solar panels and the photovoltaic cells. What it does is convert DC electricity to AC electricity. The purpose of this is because DC electricity cannot be used in a typical home. The same device also is responsible for monitoring the utility grid and controlling the production of the system. Since it is a highly versatile device, it also is the one that shuts the system down in case there is a power grid or utility blackout.

Although the terms we discussed here are a bit technical for the average business owner, there are a lot of many other references online that will give you more information on the benefit of using solar power systems in a business or commercial setting. This post shows you how the system works, and now it is your responsibility to do more research so as to figure out if it really is a feasible investment to make. You will be amazed at how beneficial a solar power system is, especially if you consider the long-term savings.