Home Solar Energy

This overview of the Home Solar Energy systems available is an important read for anyone on the look out for the best domestic energy efficient system to provide heat and electricity for their home and for their budget.

Find the best ways to take advantage of this relatively new energy technology, gain insights on which type of installation would best suit your home as well as the surrounding environment and find out how you can collect this free energy and help reduce your energy bills.

This year started with the bad news that utility prices were on the rise, everything suddenly seems to be costing more, and living really is more expensive. For this reason many homeowners are looking for new ways to cut back on the total cost of running a home.

Money saved from costs to provide electricity as well as heat space and heat water within our homes and money saved from the cost of using all our appliances and lighting our homes can go towards high mortgage repayments.

With all the talk of a recession, capturing free energy from the sun that you can use in your home is a hugh inducement to install a home solar energy water heating system or a Solar Photo Voltaic power System.

picture of a Solar Panel

Solar heating water or solar producing electricity requires totally different technologies and so when you see solar panels on someones roof it's is not immediately obvious what they are collecting all that energy for unless you know what type of system you are looking at.

Home Solar Energy Options

We are using the energy from the sun to power two very important energy types, being to create electricity and to create heat.

Electricity which we turn into power is gained by using photovoltaic panels which are commonly known as "solar panels".

Solar heat which we use to heat space and heat water is gained by using solar collectors.

So, these two energy collecting types convert to basically three different domestic solar power options available to us today:-

  • The first using "individual photovoltaic panels" is simply to recharge batteries

  • The second system using "solar collectors" is to heat the water supply or space within the home

  • and the largest system uses a group or an "array of photovoltaic panels" to run the electricity in the home

Home Solar Energy - Recharging Batteries

This is the most economic installation which allows you to simply feed off the energy you have collected in a deep cycle battery.

Although this sytem can be considerably expanded upon by adding an array of solar panels, a whole lot more batteries to store more energy and inverters to convert the DC into AC for your use with AC electrical appliances... this is not a practical way to start to set up a whole house solar energy system.

However if your sights are set at smaller daily energy needs and expectations or you are looking for a small solar energy system for off grid to use when you are travelling (to recharge your telephone or your camera batteries - or to give you light when you are camping, you can read more with this article on Solar Panels to Charge Batteries

Solar Water Heating Systems

The most economic and by far easiest and most common solar panel installation in the home is that for heating water.

This is the solar power installation that has the shortest payback time - when you actually finish paying for the equipment and the installation and then energy this system produces really is free for your use, you are just left with the usual maintenance costs that come with any equipment.

There are two very different systems available today which are the tried and tested evacuated-tube collectors and the new flat-plate collectors.

  • Evacuated-Tube Collectors

    The most common is a system known as "Evacuated-Tube Collectors" which works using glass tubes that enclose copper pipes and a non toxic liquid. The liquid is heated through the glass by the photons in the suns rays, and as the liquid gets hotter, the steam produced heats the copper pipes which in turn heats the water.

    Picture of evacuated-tube solar water heating system

    This type of system has been used for over 10 years now and so is a proven and successful method with a solid track record.

    One reason that the market was open to allow for the development of a different system was because of the large size of the solar collectors hardware.

    Size can be a problem if you don't have adequate roof space or ground space to house the equipment properly, and at the same time install in the right position for optimum sun throughout the day, all year round.

  • Flat-Plate Collectors

    This is a relatively simple alternative whereby water cascades between two textured sheets and is heated by the sun and the energy created heats your stored water.

    Because in this case the sheets form a double layered flat surface with a black matt finish, this system looks a lot more like typical solar panels although it is not at all related to those solar panels produced to collect energy for electricity.

    One great advantage is that it is easier to install than the evacuated-tube collectors and initial costs are considerably less, however the percentage of efficiency as a solar water heater is less than the older, evacuated-tube method.

you can read more on home solar water heating systems with this article on Solar Water Heater Tips - for more detailed information on how these systems work.

Home Solar Energy Systems

"Photovoltaic panels" are commonly known as "Solar Panels", but you now know that there are different types. This is the one that everyone initially wants, the solar panel that will take away their huge electricity bill. Unfortunately it doesn't quite work out that way, but you can have a measure of success with carefull planning.

It is good to have an understanding of how the photons from the sun are collected and stored - especially now as we are on the edge of a breakthrough with regards to the big battle of size, weight and price over capacity and feasability and usability.

Solar panels are changing beyond the normal oblong panel that we are used to seeing. Soon solar equipment will cost a fraction of what it costs now, and be able to capture more of the suns energy - and finally we will have better options for storing that energy for evening use when most of us use more.

Like many people I am quite passionate about the future of solar energy - but for now... feet on the ground, here is an article giving information on what electricity producing photovoltaic systems are available today, here at Home Solar Energy System Options

Home Solar Energy - Summary

There is a lot of confusing information that you can read and hear concerning the different solar energy installations and that may be one of the main reasons why more households do not already have any type of solar systems installed.

The other reason is of course the price.

But, when you start doing your calculations based on your yearly consumption and cost, you will find that at least installing a home solar energy hot water system makes financial sense to you now and will be an important positive selling point if you should decide to sell your home.

Now solar energy systems are becoming more accepted, and solar arrays are right now going up onto roofs all around the world thanks to different government incentives which have helped to greatly reduce the payback time by going towards covering some of the set up costs...

It is well worth keeping a sharp lookout for any solar-electric rebate program that may be available to you, to give you a head start on installing a home solar energy system at your home.

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