You may be surprised by how far the cost of solar electricity for the home has come down in the last few years. Even better, tax rebates and other incentives are available from the government if you convert your home either partially or completely to solar or wind energy. If you think that installing your own solar panels is beyond your finances, then an alternative is to obtain your electricity from a green energy supplier -- check out what is available in your area. Such suppliers will provide only green, renewable energy supplies -- such as solar power, hydro-electricity, and wind power. The important point is to ensure you have carefully thought out precisely how much electricity your home needs before you start looking at the different ways of obtaining your own green power -- you may be surprised at how easy it is to build your own solar panels, for example.
The first question is: How much electricity will you need from your green power supply source? The different designs of solar panels will deliver different amounts of power, and you ought to get it right. Try to determine how much electricity you use every day -- look at the bill from your current electricity supplier to find this. You should look through a whole year's worth of bills if possible so that you can determine how much your monthly consumption varies from month to month -- when it gets dark earlier you will need more light, in the winter you will need more heating, when it is hot you will need more work from your air conditioning, and so on.
If you decide to go with solar power you need to understand that different designs and different arrangements of the photovoltaic cells used in solar panes work at different efficiency ratings, and also may have differing warranties attached. A solar panel offering fifteen percent efficiency with a one-year warranty will not be as valuable to you as another offering thirteen percent efficiency but which comes with a lifetime warranty. It's a good idea to talk with friends and neighbors, or even strangers over the internet, to find out their experiences with solar panels, and how the differing solar power efficiency ratings affected their purchasing decisions -- and whether they turned out to be good decisions. Talk also to differing installation engineers and suppliers -- they will be able to provide alternate insights, but beware of their motivations!
The different designs for solar panels for your home also have differing efficiencies, and there are in general three different types of designs for solar panel systems. First comes the grid-ties system, where your own solar panels are tied into your current electricity meter; in this arrangement you will primarily be using electricity from your solar panels, but when there is little sun or you need to use more electricity that your solar panels can supply, then your electric company can provide you with backup. Second is a grid-tie with battery backup: in this arrangement any excess electricity is stored in your batteries, and any excess over that is then fed back to the power company -- you are providing them with electricity! Finally, there is the stand-alone system where again you have a battery but now you are not connected to the power grid.
When you have done your research, you understand the differing efficiency ratings for the differing solar panel designs, and you are aware of the different arrangements for connecting to the power gird (or not), then you are ready to begin shopping. Conversion to home solar power should be thought of as an investment: it will cost to start with, but very quickly it will pay for itself, and then you can begin to benefit from the lower bills from the electricity company -- plus you will be taking steps towards saving the planet!
Autor: Charles Egerton
Are you serious about saving on your electricity bills? Make your own solar panels and relax in the knowledge that you saving money and helping to save the planet -- visit my blog at http://solar-power-efficiency-and-you.blogspot.com/
Added: April 29, 2009