Advantages of Installing a Solar Energy System
Solar energy is a great way to reduce your electricity bills. Installing solar panels on the roof of your home or business will allow you to generate free, clean and renewable power for use in your house. The savings from this are significant as it reduces your monthly bill by up to 70%! If you’re looking at ways to cut down on your electric costs, then solar could be an ideal solution. Here we look at how solar works, what benefits there are, and why people choose to install them.
Solar Energy Definition
What Is Solar Energy and How Does it Generate Power?
The sun provides us with all our energy needs – without its rays we would not survive. However, most of that energy comes in the form of heat rather than light which means that only around 5-10% of sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface. This leaves 90-95% of the available energy trapped within the atmosphere where it cannot reach ground level. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels can gather and store this energy for immediate or later use.
What Type of Solar Panel Do I Need?
It’s your choice. All solar panels are made up of tiny cells, called solar cells or photovoltaic cells. There are two main types of photovoltaic cells in solar panels: crystalline silicon and thin film PV. Crystalline silicon cells have been used since the 1970s and were originally developed for military purposes. They consist of a single layer of semiconductor material sandwiched between two conductive electrodes.
Thin film technology was introduced in the 1980s and uses multiple layers of different materials including metals, oxides, nitrides and polymers. Both technologies work using the same principle – when exposed to sunlight, electrons move from one electrode to another creating an electric current. Solar panels made of thin film PV are the most popular today, since they’re more economical and easier to install. However, with the lower cost comes a lower efficiency. To learn more, take a look at this excellent post on the types of solar panels at Solar Reviews.com
Why Do People Install Solar Panels on Their Homes or Businesses?
There are many reasons why people decide to invest in solar panel installations. Some may want to offset rising fuel prices while others see it as a long-term investment option. Whatever the reason, if you’re considering investing in solar, it pays to know exactly what you need to consider first. You should also take time to research the best options available and find out about any incentives offered by local authorities. Once you’ve decided to go ahead, it’s important to get quotes from several companies who offer solar installation services.
How Much Can I Save By Having Solar Panels Installed?
Generally speaking, the return on investment is very good. Thanks to the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you could even be eligible for thousands of dollars in rebates for the purchase and installation of solar panels and energy-storing batteries.
You could also be eligible for a rebate for improving the energy efficiency of your home through the Better Homes BC and Better Buildings BC programs when renovating or building a home or business. Renewable energy products are PST exempt too. Own a business? You could be eligible for tax credits as well.
Best of all, you’ll see continued savings after installation, since BC Hydro will credit you when your energy production exceeds the amount of energy used. Combined with the use of smart home products, today’s solar panels go a long way towards creating a net-zero building that generates more power than it uses.
Solar Panels Can Help Save on Home Maintenance Costs Too
Did you know that solar panels can increase the life expectancy of your roof? Roof replacement is a major project for many homeowners and one that comes with a high price tag.
A longer life span for your roof can generate additional savings that many people don’t realize. In our opinion, it’s another tick mark for the “pros” column when you’re trying to decide whether to invest in solar.
The reason is simple: UV rays degrade traditional roofing materials, so having the solar panels cover the roof and absorb the sun’s rays translates to a longer-lasting roof. If you absolutely can’t have solar panels mounted on your roof, you can still use a ground-mounted solution, as directed by a geotechnical specialist and photovoltaic technician, who can advise on the optimal placement to take advantage of all that clean energy.
Will My Solar Panels Work Even When It’s Not Sunny?
The amount of energy produced depends on factors like location, weather conditions and other variables. With the changes in our climate in Victoria BC and increased hours of summer sunshine, it’s a good idea to start harnessing all that solar energy to power your home or business. Even if it’s cloudy, your solar panels will still be working hard for you.
Today’s solar panels are up to 3x more effective than earlier models and have much better low-light performance than they used to. On a rainy Victoria day, you can expect about 20% of peak output, which is just fine when you have stored solar energy as well. This 20% can drastically reduce your energy consumption and your average cost on your electric bills.
Solar panel installation at your home or business is a smart economical decision, provided you have the right conditions and adequate sunlight. Not sure if you want to go full-tilt on a whole-home solar power set up? Some of our clients have chosen to use solar energy to heat their pools and hot tubs, reducing the impact these creature comforts have on their energy bills. As highly experienced electricians, we can take care of the installation of your solar panels, so you can start saving on your energy bills immediately. For more information, email Kobalt Systems or call us at (250) 213 – 3788.