With the world on the brink of catastrophe due to the harmful effects of non-renewable energy sources, solar power systems have started to gain popularity. Many home solar power systems have emerged to provide man with an environment-friendly option with no or very little additional cost.
In fact, solar power systems are considered the best choice for the money-wise as it is also deemed to be more efficient compared to fossil fuels and other traditional sources of energy. To top that off, it can save you big bucks and allows even those living off the grid to enjoy the benefits of electricity.
Understanding Solar Power and Its Benefits
Solar power is energy harnessed from the sun and converted into electricity through processes like photovoltaics (PV). Most solar panel systems available in the market today utilize mirrors or lenses in gathering light, which is transformed into electricity.
Because of this, solar power is considered as a great investment since having it as the main source of electricity in a typical American home means savings of as much as $1,430 in a year. This is based on the national average of electricity used in a year (11,000 kilowatt-hours) and rate ($0.1301 per kWh) as of November 2017.
What You Should Know Solar Power System
Benefits aside, homeowners who are looking to install solar power system as either an alternate or the main electricity source for their homes should know the following information before making a decision.
According to experts, a solar panel system requires more maintenance compared to traditional power, but not much. In fact, once they are installed, there should be only one thing the homeowner needs to do during its entire lifespan: keep it clean.
Removing dust, bird droppings, and other debris is necessary to maintain the original amount of sunlight the solar panels get to keep the electric current flowing. If not, these can cause a decrease in production of as much as 7 percent.
Aside from that, there’s virtually nothing else that needs to be done except enjoy the benefits of having tapped renewable energy.
Since solar power panels are typically placed along the roof, the location of your house and surroundings can affect the amount of electricity harnessed from the sun. If there are a lot of buildings blocking the sun’s rays, you might want to reconsider adopting the renewable energy source.
On the other hand, trees that are taller than your house also provide shade, so you should think about trimming them down if you want to have a working solar power system.
Insolation rating is the metric used to determine the level of solar radiation that reaches the ground for a given period. It varies from place to place and can be a huge factor in the efficacy of your solar panels. It is also needed to determine the number of panels needed to harness the energy you need as high insolation means more power output.
The coverage area is another factor that determines the number of panels needed to power your home. Unlike what most people think, a bigger house doesn’t necessarily require more panels. Instead, the appliances and other things that are being powered every single day is the determining factor on whether a home needs more panels. In short, you need to know your average daily power consumption in kilowatt hours.
The cost of a solar power system tends to be its biggest drawback even though the price of materials needed have significantly dropped. Now, it is measured based on your expected electricity consumption. For example, a 5-kiloWatt system that can power your house with 600 kWh in a month can cost up to $40,000.
Fortunately, some states offer tax credits for homes with a solar power system, which can be as much as $23,500 if you live in New Jersey.