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A Guide on Solar Power Production and Cost-Effectiveness

Posted on 28. Jun, 2012 by in Solar Panels Cost

A Guide on Solar Power Production and Cost-Effectiveness

A Guide on Solar Power Production and Cost-Effectiveness

Solar power is the new buzzword as an alternative to conventional electricity, which can help people in putting a check on their electricity bills. In places where there is an abundant supply of sunlight, solar power can help you save on your electricity bills to a great extent. As long as the sun shines, its radiations can be used to produce electricity. Despite the initial expenditure involved in installing a solar system, such as solar panels, flat plate connectors and batteries, solar power generation can be quite cost-effective in long run. Consumers that use solar systems in their home can enjoy energy independence from the local electricity supplier as well.
 
Solar Power Production
 
Three most common types of solar panels are amorphous panels, mono-crystalline panels, and poly-crystalline panels. Flat plate collectors are used for generation of solar electricity as well. In case of flat plate collectors, solar radiation is directly used to heat water supplies in home and offices.
 
Cost Effectiveness of using Solar Panels
 
Over past few years, cost of buying and installing solar panels has been reduced to a great extent. This has been further facilitated by the federal tax credits you gain when you install solar panels at your home. Cost can be further saved if you use solar power even in the smaller and portable devices like solar-powered lights. Such devices have smaller solar systems that can power only one single light, but can eventually save you a significant amount of money over time.

Solar Power Production

The ongoing evolution in solar energy utilization is also causing a decline in the cost of generating and using solar energy at your own building. Plus, the increasing competition in the solar system market is another factor that is causing these prices to fall at a rapid pace.
 
Energy savings that can be made using solar systems with the solar roof panels can cover its installation cost within 5 to 10 years. Considering that most systems are guaranteed to have a life span of around 25 years, production of electricity after the first 5 to 10 years will be simply profit. Also, many systems can be linked up with batteries or solar generators to store the excess electricity they produce. If your average use of electricity is low, you can even sell electricity to the local electricity supplier and earn some additional passive income. Also, you earn incentives given by the state and federal governments if you install energy-saving devices like solar panels and flat-plate collectors at your home or office buildings.
 

Solar Panel Installation For Home Electrical Power

Posted on 22. Jun, 2012 by in Solar Panels Cost

Solar Panel Installation For Home Electrical Power

Solar Panel Installation For Home Electrical Power

Installing a Home Solar Panel is a great way to save energy and reduce your cost of living. Nowadays, with more and more people desiring to have one in their own homes, the price of a home solar panel is already affordable for an average person.
 
This is where a solar power system for home is very effective as it can save thousands of dollars per year in electricity charges. Installation of a home solar panel is relatively inexpensive compared to solar panels installed for mass production of power.
 
Making your own panels at home is easy and with the right guide you will successfully assemble your own panels quickly and for a fraction of the cost of similar retail panels. It's fun, affordable, easy to do and eventually you'll be able to eliminate you electric bill altogether. The fact is that there are now many new solar gadget models that are a lot smaller and very easy to install. This kit is the perfect solution for anybody as it is extremely easy to install and maintenance free.
 
Solar power system for home installations from a specialist can be very expensive, so be sure to ask for a quote first if you choose to have someone else do the dirty work for you. Therefore,installation can be done personally, albeit if you feel it is such a technical project, then there are professional help that can do the laying and installation for a fee. Other expenses would be for the other parts of the solar electric system, installation and some for the maintenance.
Plenty of alternative areas to investigate before getting carried away at the solar panel price and ordering an immediate installation. However: before contacting your local alternative energy supplier to buy a solar panel or photovoltaic kit, it would be wise to consider the easy steps for making your own solar panels for less than a fifth of the price. Try to survey the market and compare the different makes, models and specs that are available for your home solar power system. That way you will know that you are getting the best price. Or you can find proper and complete all in one guides that will cut your research time and money significantly.
 
It is easy to do it yourself installing a home solar panel, it is not as difficult as many people thought. Home solar power panels are easily affordable, if you dedicate a little time a care to make it yourself, this is what allows it to let you save money on your excess power bills. If you are looking to save the most money, then you need to look into a do it yourself guide that can help you build the system and install it with minimal assistance.

Solar Panel Installation

Solar Panels For Your Home

Posted on 22. Jun, 2012 by in Solar Panels Cost

Solar Panels For Your Home

Solar Panels For Your Home

All around the world people are being hit with rapidly increasing costs of living. For some, this making it ever harder to make ends meet and any way to cut down on the monthly and yearly outgoings is welcomed with open arms. One area that many people are looking at is the investment in renewable energy sources such as solar panels and solar heating.
 
The draw of solar electricity is quite alluring, thanks to the ability to save a considerable amount of money, but at the same time, save over one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions every year. So how much do they actually cost? There are a number of factors that you need to take into consideration when purchasing solar panels for your home in order to know whether or not they will prove to be a solid investment.
 
Types of solar energy
 
There are a number of types of panel, the most common being solar PV and solar heating. The difference is that solar heating is used for directly heating the water supply of the property using the heat from the sun and solar PV uses the sun's energy to produce electricity for the residence (or business). We will be concentrating on this second type of solar power in this assessment of costs and savings.
 
PV stands for photovoltaic, meaning that when the sun's rays fall on a solar photovoltaic module, a certain voltage is generated.

One of the foremost disadvantages of solar electricity comes from the pure nature of the power source – since the sun only shines during the day, this is the only time that electricity will be produced. Furthermore, electricity cannot be stored – it must be used when it is generated, meaning that if there is no demand for the electricity, then it will go to waste.
 
Fortunately, in the UK, the Feed in Tariff, a scheme introduced by the government, allows other homeowners connected to the national grid to use the excess electricity produced and in reward, the owners receive a tax free income every year.
 
How much do you need to invest?
 
Obviously, the cost of an installation is dependent on the size of your installation, which itself is dependent on a number of things:
 
• The surface area of roof suitable for solar panel use.
 
• Your energy usage needs.
 
• Your budget
 
You benefit from greater value for money on a larger system thanks to economies of scale, but a large system can become very expensive very quickly. The typical solar panel installation on a UK home is approximately 3kWp and will cost around £8000 – £10,000 (including VAT at the rate of 5%). Be sure to get quotes from a variety of installers though, because prices can vary quite widely. A 3kWp system will save you around £70 per year on your household bills and prevent around one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
 
How much can I earn through the Feed in Tariff?
 
By installing solar panels you are not only doing your part for the environment and saving on your electricity bills, but you can also earn an income every year for 25 years, thanks to the government's feed in tariff. The feed in tariff was introduced as a way of rewarding homeowners who sell unused electricity back onto the national grid, so that it can be used by other properties. Under the current rate, a typical solar panel installation would earn the owner around £600 per year in Feed in Tariff payments.
 
Should you take advantage of 'free solar panels' offers?
 
Clearly there are many advantages to installing solar panels on your home, but what if you cannot afford the large initial investment? Some companies offer a 'free solar panels' service, which at face value seems very enticing. The catch is that the company takes the feed in tariff payments and you get the benefit of cheaper electricity bills. So, if you cannot afford the initial investment, free solar panels are probably a great addition to your home. If you have enough cash to spend on the other hand, it is a much better investment to buy the solar panels installation costs yourself and earn a nice tax-free income over the following 25 years.

Ten Top Tips When Considering A Solar Panel Installation

Posted on 22. Jun, 2012 by in Solar Panels Cost

Ten Top Tips When Considering A Solar Panel Installation

Ten Top Tips When Considering A Solar Panel Installation

 

What should you consider before having solar panels installed? How should you decide which installation company is right for you? What type of solar should you choose? photovoltaic or solar thermal? Are there upkeep or maintenance costs?

All of these are valid and common questions when considering Solar Panel Installation. It's a big investment and so it's understandable that you will have questions and concerns. I've collated some basic knowledge, tips and advice on how to ensure you find a good company to install your solar panel installation costs  and highlight some of the points you should consider when having photovoltaic panels installed at your property.

Solar Panel Installation

1. MCS Approved Installers

Firstly, and most importantly, ensure that your chosen installer is an "MCS approved installer". MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme and it is an indication to consumers that the installer has been assessed and adheres to standards and regulations that are set by the MCS.

MCS Approved Installers are awarded certification as a result of a thorough assessment of the supply, design, installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies, solar panels.

2. MCS Approved Solar Panels

Alongside MCS Approved installers, make sure that your panels are also MCS approved. MCS Approved Solar Panels also undergo rigorous standards.

To receive certification, MCS Approved Solar Panels not only receive product testing, but the manufacturing processes, materials, procedures and staff training also undergo assessment. Certification is only awarded if every step and stage meets the criteria.

3. NIC EIC Certification

All electricians who provide services in the UK should be NIC EIC certified. Solar Panel Installation are no different and you should make sure the company you choose has received certification. You will then be safe in the knowledge that your system complies with national safety requirements as stipulated by the governing body responsible NIC EIC certification.

4. Solar Panel Quotes

Don't rely on the first or cheapest company you find – ask for quotes from a number solar installation companies, and let the companies know that you plan to do this. This should help ensure that you receive competitive quotes and it also gives you a benchmark from which you can compare quotes against quotes. It might give you some leverage to "play" companies off against one another to get that quote figure knocked down a little. Companies only exist to make money, so they won't want to lose a potential customer.

Talk to companies who visit your property to provide you with quotes and ask plenty of questions. This will give better understanding and knowledge of what to expect and what you are told. Consider all your quotes before committing to any one in particular.

5. Cheapest Doesn't Mean Best

As with most things in life, the cheapest quote you can find won't necessarily get you the best end result. That doesn't mean you should opt for the most expensive solar panels either. Find a quote which you feel is fair and just as importantly, choose a company that you feel comfortable about dealing with, a company who answers your questions and takes time to explain the technical side of things in a manner that you understand.

This doesn't just apply to the company's bottom line figure, but also the individual materials and equipment the company quotes for. If you haven't been provided with a detail or itemised quote, ask for one. This way, you will know what equipment and materials you are paying for, and you can compare this to your other quotes.

6. Research!

The technology is constantly evolving and in terms of energy generation for the masses, it is still quite new so there will always be improvements and enhancements being made. Ask your company what products they will be using for your install and take some time to do some background research on them: Are there any problems with the panels? Are there newer versions? Is the price about right? Are there any forums which advise for or against them? Learn about solar panel technology and the terminology used, this will help you avoid being "blinded" by jargon.

7. Calculate Potential Feed in Tariff Earnings

The Government's Feed in Tariff has been extremely influential in the popularity of solar panels. You get paid for all electricity generated from your solar panels, even if you consume it personally. As a general overview, from 3rd March 2012, the rate is 21p/kWh and then from 1st July 2012 the rate of return will be between 16.5p/kWh – 13.6p/kWh. This rate will depend on the number of panel installations completed between March and April 2012. You can also use one of the many online calculators to see how much money you could be earning on your potential investment.

The Feed in Tariff means that whilst your initial investment may be a big outlay, not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you will also generate an income. This takes the investment in solar panels way beyond most returns from other "normal" monetary investments. If you have money invested in savings accounts, maybe consider solar panels.

8. Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Panels

Take some time to decide whether solar thermal or photovoltaic systems would be more beneficial to your property. Solar thermal generates hot water, whilst photovoltaic panels will generate electricity.

If you are unsure as to the system you want, contact companies and ask which system they would recommend. There's no reason why you cannot have both systems installed and if you decide that solar thermal panels are your best option, still consider photovoltaic panels, if for no other reason than it could in theory pay for itself and your solar thermal panel system.

9. RHI – The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive does not provide such a good return on your investment as the Feed in Tariff, but it is still a good incentive that deserves careful consideration. The scheme's aim is to encourage property owners to reduce their heating energy consumption and carbon foot print by providing the following benefits:

  • 0.085p per kWh return for 20 years
  • energy consumption reduction
  • A Government payment contribution

10.Maintenance CostsYou will undoubtedly be told that there are no upkeep or maintenance costs involved with solar, and throughout life expectancy of a solar panel installation, there should in fact be little maintenance or upkeep in regards to the panels themselves. However, the inverter, which converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), will, at some point in the 25 years, need replacing. The cost to replace your inverter will be somewhere near 1000, and so this should form part of your calculation and consideration for solar panels.

Normally, solar systems will be installed on rooftops or high up above the ground in order to get the best exposure to direct sunlight. The result of this is that less able-bodied people may require assistance to have the solar panels cleaned or to clear any fallen leaves or debris from on and around the panels to keep them working at their maximum capacity.

Solar Panel Installation

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