By now we have all heard about solar panels in Norfolk, MA and how great they can be for the environment and how much money they can save you on your utility bills, right? Solar energy is a hot topic right now and everyone wants more information on the subject. This is just a quick review of the ups and downs of using solar panels to provide energy for your home. The Bad news first.
The Bad – The initial set up costs or residential solar systems can be too expensive for most homeowners, up to $20,000 to professionally outfit a household. It can be a hassle to get a zoning variance, depending on your community you live in, if you need one. (Most communities don’t but if you live in a big downtown city, well….)
The Ugly – Most people don’t think about this but the amount of energy you can use is dictated by the sun. If you don’t have a have a backup system, it’s possible to run out of power! Either you need a good battery system to have power available when your not generating it or you need to remain connected to the energy grid in your local area. Not too many people seem to mention this when talking about solar panels.
What If I Get Solar On My Home or Business in Norfolk, MA?
You will save energy by converting your home to use solar power and you will be conserving resources for future generations, and lowering your impact on the planet. You can also be paid by your utility company for the excess electricity you might generate. You can make money using solar power too! Not a lot to be honest, but some is better than none. Your property values will increase when you use alternative energy sources to power your home. The government also provides tax credits for certain solar applications. Cha Ching!
The public has developed a far greater interest in recent years about the search for renewable resources. Solar energy is one of the shining stars of the movement, for its low cost of implementation and efficient rewards in the form of electricity. Many people choose to put solar panels on their roof, either with DIY kits or buy purchasing pre-made panels. There are pros and cons to each, and to using solar energy in general. The pros seem to far outweigh the cons in many cases. The biggest pro is the benefit to the environment.
Traditionally, people have torn through fossil fuels and coal since the industrial revolution in order to feed the high demand for energy that modern society requires. This has led to carbon emissions and a depletion of natural resources. By switching over to more renewable energy sources such as using solar panels on the roof, you can make a difference from the comfort of your own home, without suffering any major drawbacks. The government is providing a greater incentive to switch over as well, by offering tax breaks and rebates as part of a stimulus package to encourage more people to make this change in their household energy usage.
The only con seems to be that solar energy can be inefficient in areas where the sun doesn't often shine, and can be subject to changes in weather patterns. This is combated with the use of batteries that store up the energy, however if there is a long period without sunlight, as in certain parts of the Arctic, then this will not be the best energy method of choice. However, in most cases, solar energy is a viable and convenient alternative to the environmental damage caused by other overuse of electricity, or nuclear power. Small steps like these can make a big difference.
Solar Panels - The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY
As with the traditional electrical system, there are basic equations. Other than the basic equations for home electricity, there are equations used to determine amounts of electricity produced by solar radiation; and solar panel area needed to produce a certain amount of energy.
Of course, we should start at the beginning with the standard electrical definitions and equations. Newton of force is the force used to move 1 kilogram (about 2 pounds) to the speed of 1 meter per second while the force is applied. A Joule is the amount of energy exerted to do work with 1 Newton of force. Energy is measured in Joules. Power, also known as watts, is the amount of energy divided by time (usually seconds); in other words joules per second.
Power = (Area of solar panels in m2) x 150 watts/m2 x (Hours of sunlight)
Knowing the basic math of Solar Electricity, we are able to determine the amount of solar panel area and/or electricity being produced.
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