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Friday, 4 March 2011

Solar Power for your home

Solar energy in the home involves the capturing of solar radiation from the sun for use in light and heating.
In most cases solar panels are placed on a roof of the building and the sunlight is captured and transformed into electricity.

Photo credit: A.Siegel
The benefit of using solar energy for the home is that it is cheap (you don't pay for sunlight) and long term can provide a return on investment if you decide to sell your home.
The use of solar technology is improving considerably and the costs of setting up has come down in recent years.

Before installing a solar system in your home there are costs to take into account such as the cost of installation and cost of the components.
whether you use it for heating or electricity , you may want to calculate your break even costs which means how much energy will you need to produce versus how much the amount of money spent for installation and future maintenance.

There are many subsides or tax reductions out there available from the government to help you towards the cost of your home solar power system.
This will vary from country to country.

To have solar energy set up for your home, you have a device which allows for the sunlight to be collected, the panels are made from light absorbent material and are efficient because they work constantly. The solar panels are boxes that consist of a clear sheet such as glass , with a dark absorber inside the panel at the bottom, which traps the heat , this is all contained in an insulated system to stop heat escaping .

Once the heat is trapped using rocks, water or other liquids, vents or pipes transfer it to a place where it can be stored until used.

Solar energy designed for the home are produced using photovoltaic systems.
In order to have a greater benefit from solar energy, the home has to be well insulated with energy efficient appliances to reduce energy use, a good place to start would be to try and minimise wind drafts in your home if there are any.

A good setup of your home can would typically be a 4.5 kw pv system, a 2.64kW system can also work.
Before setting up a solar system you will need to be aware of how much sun you can generate per day in your location, as this will be the ultimate decider of whether you can install a PV system that will work best for your electricity needs.
Solar panel will need to be placed in a position with a good view of the sun with minimal shadow , such as a roof.
Most solar equipment for the home is fitted using licensed engineers, this is for safety reasons.

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