Solar for your home use has become more famous throughout the long term. An enormous piece of this move is credited to the huge carbon contamination on the ozone layer.
This has required the world to move towards a greener future in endeavors to diminish fossil fuel byproducts in the climate. Also, the most sought-after answer for this is the utilization of sun oriented power.
Solar power produces power through energy from the sun. With the expansion in the use of sun based power for private use, this article will cover what you want to be aware of this environmentally friendly power energy.
From how it functions, it’s appropriateness for your home, legitimate establishment, the different funding accessible, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Understanding Solar Power
Sun based power is transforming the energy delivered by the sun into power. Photovoltaics and Concentrating Sun Power are the two principal advances in this cycle.
Photovoltaics (PV) is ordinarily known as sun powered chargers (solar panels). Similarly as the name recommends, this innovation utilizes panels to change daylight into power.
PV is mostly used in residential buildings. The other technology is Concentrating Solar Power (CSP).
Unlike the former which uses panels, CSP uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight into a receiver which is then turned into electricity. CSP is mostly used in large power plants.
Factors That Affect Solar Panel Efficiency
Several factors affect the efficiency of a solar panel for your home. A portion of these variables incorporate the material utilized for building the panels.
On the chance that the material is of a greater quality, it will produce solid power. The nature of the material likewise straightforwardly relates to the adequacy of the sunlight based chargers in creating power for your home.
Other factors affecting solar panel efficiency include:
Solar panels rely on the sun to produce electricity. This means if the weather is gloomy, the amount of sun rays reaching the panels will be minimal.
Hence this will affect the electricity output in your residence. But if it’s snowing, the effectiveness of your system will increase.
This is because of the bright white color of the snow. Hence it reflects sunlight and increases the amount of sun rays that hit the solar panels.
solar panels are less effective in environments with high heat. It is estimated that such conditions reduce the efficiency of solar panels by 10%-20%.
The effect high temperatures have on solar systems is due to thermodynamics. The simplest way to understand this effect is that inside the panels are electrons.
And when there’s too much heat, they move around too much, reducing the voltage and making it harder to produce electricity.
Angle and orientation
You should install your solar panels at an angle that receives the most sunlight. There’s no rule set in stone for the angle and orientation because this is dependent on your roof and location.
For example, if you have two properties in Oregon and Washington, you will not position your panels at the same tilt. The ideal angle for solar panels in Oregon will be different from that in Washington.
How Much Power Might Solar Create For Your Home?
As referenced above, solar power yield relies upon various factors like size, material, and climate. However, the average electric consumption by US residential houses is about 10632 kWh.
Therefore to determine the amount you want your solar panel to generate for your home, you will have to calculate your total electric bill. On average 17 to 20 panels are enough to replace the electricity usage of most houses.
In addition, to calculate the amount of power your home will get in a day, you’ll use the solar panel wattage and the number of hours the panels receive sunlight. For instance, if your solar panel has 300 watts and receives 6 hours of direct sunlight, the total power output will be 18000KwH.
300 W X 6 = 18000KwH.
However, it is impossible to predict how much sunlight you will receive every day. That’s why it is best to refer to estimated exposure charts produced by solar installation companies.
This is because they have years of experience installing solar panels in your neighborhood and have data to back up their claims.
Understanding Net Metering
Net metering is one of the financial incentives for homeowners who use solar at home. It works in a way that the homeowners are attributed for the excess energy they send to the national grid.
This attribution is in the form of credits. When your solar panels produce more power than you need for your home, the excess is sent to the electricity grid.
And you are rewarded with credit for donating that excess power. In a scenario where your solar does not produce enough electricity, the national electric grid produces the shortage for you. Therefore the credit you received is used to cover your electric bill. Net metering also has a policy.
It is called utility net metering policy.
Net Metering Policy
This policy controls the credits you get. For instance, some policies offer one credit for a one-kilowatt hour you sell back to the grid.
The net metering policy will also determine if your credits roll over. If your credits roll over, it means you can accumulate credits for months and use them when there is not much sunlight, for example during winter.
Solar net metering policy varies from state to state. Apart from the credits, some states offer property tax breaks.
Currently, 38 states including Washington offer net metering. Overall net metering is beneficial as you get to save on monthly electric bills and reduce strain on the electric grid.
Financing Solar For Your Home
There are certain financial factors you need to consider when thinking of installing solar for your home.
The cost of solar panels
The cost of solar panels has significantly reduced over the years. This can be attributed to the shift of focus to renewable energy.
Particularly solar energy. Currently, the highest amount of money you can spend on solar panels is about $30,000.
And the rate can go as low as $5,000. Of course the price is dependent on the type of solar panel you want. The different types include:
- Monocrystalline panels which cost around $6,000- $9,000
- Thin-Film Solar Panels which range between $6,000- $9,000
- Polycrystalline Solar Panels at an average price of $5400- $6000
Available Incentives and Rebates
The government rolled out incentives and rebates as a means of making more people conform to the use of solar energy. The Information Database of State Incentive for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) has thought of a rundown of motivations and refunds for property holders who decide to utilize sun powered energy.
One such motivation is the government venture tax break called Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The cost of installing solar panels is not cheap and ITC comes in handy by deducting 26% of that cost from your federal taxes.
Thus helping you save more money. However, as of January 2023, the federal Investment Tax Credit is at 30%.
It is expected to stay at this rate until the end of this year. After which it is to fall back to its original rate of 26%.
In addition, stimuli vary from state to state. For example, some of the incentives and rebates for Smart Solar Energy in Grant Pass Oregon include;
- Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders
- Net Metering
- Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC
- Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit
Financial Options For Solar Panels
There are different financial options you can explore as a homeowner for your solar installation.
Just like there are home loans such as mortgages, there’s also solar loans. There exists financial institutions that allow homeowners to add solar as part of their mortgage.
Such institutions include Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration.
This is where you lease solar panels from a company for a specific period.
Power purchase agreement
A power purchase agreement (PPA) is an agreement whereby a solar company installs solar energy at your property at no initial cost. The cost and the amount you pay are only reliant on the amount of energy you will consume using solar panels.
This cost is typically lower than the utility rate. And can be billed monthly, yearly, or over some years depending on the agreement.
What you should keep in mind when choosing a financial option is your budget and your goals. If you have a short term goal, loan and leasing might be wise.
But if your goals are not short term, buying might be a smarter financial decision.
Factors to Consider Before Installing Solar For Your Home
The inclination of the roof and your geographical location
The placement of your solar panels will depend on your location. This is because the sun shines at different angles in every area.
The ideal rooftop installation in Oregon will not be the same as that in Michigan. For example, the ideal solar panel tilt for Corvallis is 45 degrees while that of Seattle is 48 degrees.
The total energy your home needs
The amount of energy your residence needs will determine how many panels you purchase and the size of panels you buy.
Cost of installation
You need to know the different financial options you have to cover the cost of the project.
You should choose a reputable company that has quality panels and equipment. This will ensure your solar system serves you for a long time.
Maintaining Solar Panels
Solar panels require minimal maintenance. You don’t need to wash them as the rain carries away any dust they might have accumulated.
Apart from reducing the world’s carbon emissions, solar for your home helps you cut costs on your electricity bill. And with the different incentives and financing options available, more people may lean towards the use of solar energy in homes.