Solar Installers Get The Job Done Right

Opting to hire solar installers will ensure high quality installation work for outfitting your house to utilize solar energy. The solar energy industry is a highly specialized field. There are few things to take into consideration before hiring an installation professional.

Renewable energy is catching on; however, it is not widespread yet. There are installation professionals that specialize in solar energy. You may need to search somewhat to find some in your area. It’s a good idea to consult online directories that list these professionals by location.

When you pay someone to work on your house for any reason, it is always important to hire reputable professionals. Verify their credentials. One of the best ways to help you decide whether or not to hire someone is to ask for references. Speaking with former customers will give you a better idea of the quality of the work they have performed in the past.

Solar energy installers are not as common as other specialists, such as plumbers, HVAC technicians or electricians. Finding an installation professional may prove to be slightly more challenging than hiring a plumber. You will likely want to do some research about the company in addition to speaking with their previous clients. Many homeowners are careful to check the company out and make sure there are no complaints with them to third parties, such as the Better Business Bureau.

Once you have some solar companies in mind, you may want to request free estimates from a couple of them. To provide you with an estimate, the installation professional will need to look over your home and your energy usage trends. This will give him or her some good information to begin the pre-installation inspection and estimate.

Most solar installers will offer you some sound energy conservation advice prior to beginning the installation process. Solar energy is not cheap. It makes sense to find ways to conserve energy prior to switching over to solar. You will save money by implementing energy saving techniques, whether or not you decide to go ahead and install equipment to use solar energy in your home.

There are many things that you can do to help reduce energy consumption in your home. Some of the most basic tactics include weather proofing your home. By eliminating drafts you will help to keep your heating and cooling costs substantially. Often, draft reduction only requires applying rubber weather stripping to your doors. Other strategies include adding better fireplace enclosures to reduce the amount of draft from the chimney.

Many professionals also recommend installing window coverings to help keep the desired temperature in your house. Certain window treatments, such as heavy drapes can reduce drafts from coming into your home. Adding adequate insulation to your home can drastically reduce heat loss in the winter and keep your house cooler in the summer.

When you hire a solar installation professional, take the time to do your research. Bring in a professional with expertise in the solar industry. Solar installers will help you find ways to conserve energy prior to installing solar energy equipment.

Home Solar Energy – The 7 Components of Your Solar Power System

When starting a new home DIY solar energy project, one of the many question asked by a beginner is: What component parts will I need to complete my solar energy project? Before you start connecting together the individual component parts on your roof, it helps to get a good quality solar guide that will walk you step by step through the whole process of building, installing and setting up your own home solar energy system. Aside from the obvious of time, tools and instructions, let us look at the basic components you will need to go solar.

For installing a grid-tied solar power system for your home, there are basically 7 main components you will need and we will organise these in the order in which they will be connected into your home solar energy system.

1. Solar Panels – In most home DIY installations these panels will be built by you from individual parts. You can order discount photovoltaic cells online, and assemble these into complete 80W, 100W, or 120W Solar Panels. But if you do not have the time or skills to build a solar panel from scratch, there are plenty of commercially available panels to choose from. Once built, individual panels are wired together to make larger solar arrays.

2. Solar Array Disconnect – This is basically just an electrical switch but is an important part of the system. It allows you to disconnect and cut-off the DC power output from your solar panels and array should any repairs be required or if there is a problem with the solar system. This disconnect switch needs to be strong enough to handle the full power output from the panels on a bright sunny day.

3. Battery Charge Controller – Most home solar systems are built with a battery backup included for when the sun does not shine such as on dull days or at night. The battery charge controller ensures that a consistent amount of electrical power is sent to the batteries so that they are not over charged, and to ensure that the backup batteries do not discharge back through the system at night. In many ways this component is similar to your automotive battery charger so will not be too expensive.

4. Deep Cycle Batteries – In order to store the solar power generated by your solar panels, your solar system will need deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries are not the same as shallow charge automotive batteries which are designed with thinner lead plates for cars. Deep cycle storage batteries for solar systems are more robust and are designed for the type of charging and discharging cycles they need to endure. New deep cycle batteries are expensive but reconditioned batteries are cheaper. Better still, you may be able to get old dead batteries for free used previously in fork trucks, golf carts, and electric buggies and recondition them yourself.

5. System Power Meter – This can be optional, but it is listed here as its inclusion will give you a clear way to see how much free solar power is being supplied to your home from your solar panels. Having a system power meter also helps you improve your system to gain the maximum efficiency from your solar installation as well as having the advantage of letting your neigbours know how much money your solar system is saving.

6. Solar Power Converter – Your solar panels generate DC power, and your home runs on mains AC power, the solar power converter converts the solar energy from the panels into usable energy in the home by providing the DC to AC conversion using electronic switching techniques. In practical terms, the converter allows us to run electric drills, computers, vacuum cleaners, mains lighting, and most other mains electrical appliances that can be plugged into the wall sockets of your solar panels. There are many square wave, sine wave modified wave converters on the market but a good quality 1200W converter likely won’t cost you more than $100.

7. Backup Power – This for when the sun does not shine and the batteries are empty. Most systems will include some sort of backup power. In a stand alone installation this would generally be a diesel generator. In a grid-tied system the utility grid itself would provide the backup power through the converter. But a backup power source can also be a wind turbine or a water wheel as part of a small scale hydro system.

Once you have your 7 components installed, your solar power system gets wired into your normal home electrical panel and unless you are qualified, it may be necessary to get a qualified electrician to connect up the system. Now that you know what 7 components you will need to get your home solar energy system up and running the savings made on building your own panels and sourcing the materials will more than pay for the additional qualified help.

So whether you build your own solar panels from scratch or buy pre-made commercial panels, using solar energy to power your home can be easier than you think. With a grid connected system you can even sell excess electricity you do not use back to the utility company who have been selling it to you for all these years giving you an additional income.

Alternative Energy Tutorials is dedicated to helping and showing you what you need to make Solar Energy a reality, and to help you on your way consider downloading one of the solar guides about homemade solar panel construction from the tutorials website ensuring that you have the necessary information to get your solar energy installation working efficiently and effectively the first time.

Home Solar Electric Project – Tips and Methods to a Successful Project

Home Solar Installation Report
CT was widowed several years ago and lives in a home that has been very well maintained. The home has had many upgrades in weather sealing and insulation levels. This is one of those grandma households where you have a hard time getting out of the house unless you have eaten something. An electric golf cart sits by the back door so CT can travel down across the field, across the creek, and up the hill to her sons place.

I have received two bids on installing solar electric at this country home build in the 1940′s. The best proposal is for a 2000kW ground mount array. The open field next to the house provides plenty of room to set the system. A trench will be dug to bring the wires to the inverter which will be mounted at the house. The distance between the array and the house is about 85 feet.

The total cost of the project is $12,800. The power provider ( electric company ) has an incentive payment available for $3,500. Estimated State tax credit will be about $3,255 and the Federal tax credit about $2,790. Total out of pocket cost is $9,300. With tax credits calculated in to the project, net cost will be about $3,255.

The contractor is suggesting that the property value may increase by $4,270. The average monthly utility savings is calculated to be about $17.80. The 25 year utility savings then is $5,340. Payback for the net cost is 15.23 years. Reminder: payback cost does not include future increases in electrical rates and/or important reduction in carbon production.

I will report on the type of panels and the inverter brand in a future article. Right now, I need to get the contract drawn up and over to the contractor for signing.

Stay tuned to learn more about this solar project…it may even power a few lights.

Don Ames