The call for renewable options for energy has become ever more imperative each and every day. We need to act right now on fine tuning our best alternative sources to avert the impending problems we will surely have regarding energy supplies. One of the most viable sources is solar power. This alternative source has been around since day one of our galaxy’s birth. To ignore all the possibilities that can come from this source would be blatantly ignorant.
Within the make-up of solar energy produced by photovoltaic means, there is an inherent reliability. In addition, solar energy is in the process of becoming more and more cost effective for the average homeowner; and is by far the most environmentally friendly of the other renewable energy systems available. Currently, the average lifetime of solar modules is 25 years, although there is one manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty. Also, there are a few companies that offer solar roofing shingles; this could replace traditional roofing materials, and can simplify the entire solar power system. Solar power systems are available in a vast range of sizes; everything from a portable battery charger, all the way up to and including a large power plant.
Sizing a system for a home or business is not as complicated as one might think. Just like learning to ride a bike when we were growing up; once we knew how to do it, it wasn’t difficult at all. Currently, most systems installed are tied to (wired into) the utility’s grid. In this scenario, many people are starting out with a smaller sized installation that typically starts out at maybe 25% of their home’s average kwh (kilowatt/hour) usage. You would not need to include any deep cycle batteries in your system cost; that can add up to one half you total cost. When you are tied to the grid, your backup system becomes the grid. Another plus for starting out slowly and installing a grid tie system sized in the 25-50% range of total energy usage, is that the grid tie power inverter can be adapted to an off grid system. This way, you can add additional modules as you can afford them and inevitably reach a full 100% of full load. Then all you need to do is purchase your deep cycle batteries to supplement any additional power requirements, and you’ll be off the grid!
As we are currently still in the beginning stages of installing solar power systems on residential applications, some are still of the mindset that pre-packaged systems are the way to go. Going this route can possibly bring the initial cost down somewhat; however, there are a good number of people in the industry that feel taking a more customized approach is more beneficial. More often than not, going the cookie cutter approach can leave more room for error, as even pre-packaged systems end up needing additional items to make them work with your particular project.
The use of solar energy is making good progress in our current day society in several different ways, although residential applications are taking the greatest strides. In some locations, going the solar energy route is pretty much mandatory, particularly in remote areas of the world. As our planet is becoming evermore reliant on technology, we can not afford to run out power. Combining solar energy along with all other forms of power should keep us all out of the dark for many years to come.