By now we have all heard about solar panels in Franklin, 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 Franklin, 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 panels are up. The sun is out. No electricity is being produced. Arrrg! Let's talk about some of nominal problems you might run across with your solar panels.
Solar panels are so reliable that we are surprised when something actually goes wrong. Temperature fluctuations, severe weather, lightning and static electricity are all examples of things that affect them. Here are some things you might need to know in order to fix your solar panel.
If your panels are wired in series-parallel or parallel, then you can test individual panels by covering at least four of the cells in the panel. The output should drop by half or more. If it does not, then that panel is not working. Look for the problem in that panel, or other panels that are wired in series with it.
Usually, PV modules have a bypass diode in the junction box. This keeps the cells from overheating if they become partially shaded for an extended period of time. Occasionally, lightening can cause a diode to short out and the module's voltage will drop. If the array is 24volt and is unlikely to get sustained partial shading, you can remove the diode. In a 12 volt array, you can remove the diode without bypassing it. In any other situation, replace the diode with a silicon diode. Be certain that the voltage rating is 400 volts or more, and that it has an amp rating at or above the modules maximum current.
Advantage and Disadvantage of Solar Energy
Many of us know that solar energy is a good thing, but few really understand why. Therefore, I compiled a comprehensive list of solar energy advantages and disadvantages that will enable you to make an educated decision whether on not Solar Power is right for YOU.
Solar Energy Advantages
1. Saves you money
- After the initial investment has been recovered, the energy from the sun is practically FREE.
- The recovery/ payback period for this investment can be very short depending on how much electricity your household uses.
- Financial incentives are available form the government that will reduce your cost.
- If your system produce more energy than you use, your utility company can buy it from you, building up a credit on your account! This is called net metering.
- It will save you money on your electricity bill if you have one at all.
- Solar energy does not require any fuel.
- It's not affected by the supply and demand of fuel and is therefore not subjected to the ever-increasing price of gasoline.
- The savings are immediate and for many years to come.
- The use of solar energy indirectly reduces health costs.