Introduction to residential solar – saving money and adding a level of comfort to your home

by | Jan 27, 2015 | Blog posts, Did You Know?

As the cost of energy continues to increase, some utilities are charging more money per kilowatt hour at peak usage times.  In some locations, power can be unreliable and inconsistent. What can a homeowner do to save money and ensure a level of comfort within their home that is independent of utility power?

One solution is a battery-based inverter. Adding a battery-based inverter can provide a lot of stability to the AC power in your home. The inverter system provides a number of benefits such as:

  • A continuous flow of AC power with the output coming from the utility when it is online, or from batteries when the utility is fluctuating/not available at all – or both when a certain load may require extra start-up power. This improves the quality of power provided to your home and saves money when starting heavier loads.
  • The batteries in the system provide an energy source that are charged by the inverter during non-peak hours of utility use, and used for peak shaving (process of reducing energy purchased from the utility during peak hours when charges are high). This can reduce the cost of energy to your home. For additional security, a generator can be added to the system to provide power and recharge batteries during long power outages.

To enhance the system further, many homeowners are adding photovoltaic (PV) panels and charge controllers to their systems. The charge controllers take solar energy from the PV panels and charge the batteries, which power the inverters. Here are some common reasons why homeowners would choose to install a PV solar system:

  1. Installing solar power will reduce or eliminate utility power expense depending on the design and size of the solar power system. Even small systems will offset utility power costs.
  2. Governments and utilities in some geographical locations provide generous energy incentives in the form of credits or cash to encourage solar power installations on family homes. The utility company will pay you for the excess energy produced by your solar power system when the system is “grid-tied” to the utility.
  3. For remote sites, or where utility power cost is prohibitive, a complete “off-grid” system can be installed to provide all the home’s utility power requirements.

In addition to saving money and providing reliable power, there are environmental benefits to solar power generation, particularly the fact that it is not dependent on the combustion of carbon-based fuels, making solar power clean and pollution-free.

Solar power systems are a viable and long term solution that brings a return on investment, perhaps many times over, for the duration of time you own your home. What are you waiting for – why not go solar?

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