This article was created to analyze the requirements you need to consider if you are thinking about using solar panels to replace or contribute to your existing energy supply.
In the current climate, we depend on energy, generally in the form of gas and electricity, which are based on fossil fuels as the source of this energy. Fossil fuels have a massive impact on the environment and contribute to air pollution and the release of greenhouse gases.
Solar energy is a great source of energy, which has recently been used as a natural energy provider completely free of pollution. It has become possible to collect and store solar energy for use in the hope of replacing other conventional sources of fossil fuel energy.
Sustainable and renewable energy has been at the forefront of energy solutions during the last decades as humanity has advanced in the search for energy sources that do not harm the environment or decrease in supply such as fossil fuels. We need to find a way to secure the future of energy supplies for future generations by changing to more ecologically sustainable systems. Solar energy has increased in importance as the focus is on finding and promoting cleaner energy resources.
Solar energy is available for free, but for it to function as a source of energy it must be harnessed with modern technology. The best thing about solar panels is that they produce energy at the time of greatest demand, during the day, while we feed our labor-saving devices or devices with hunger for energy with which we believe we could not live.
There are two types of domestic solar panels that are the most used equipment to collect and store solar energy: solar photovoltaic (PV), which generates electricity and solar thermal, which only heats the water.
Solar photovoltaic systems are made of layers of a semiconductor material, usually silicon, and when sunlight shines in the cell, an electric field is created. They can be mounted on the roof, incorporated into your existing roof or replace your roof tiles completely.
The solar thermal panels have glass in the front, which focuses the sun’s rays on the pipes that are just behind this front panel. The pipes are painted black to help them absorb heat and contain antifreeze liquid that can heat up very quickly and then be pumped through a coil into the hot water tank and can generate heat of up to 60 degrees Celsius, which is a temperature perfect for your daily shower
Behind the tubes is a reflective silver panel, which reflects the sunlight on the tubes to help them warm up, even faster. This reflective panel also helps to protect the roof. At this time, your home will likely use electricity, gas or other fossil fuel to provide heat, hot water and electricity to your electrical items. You would have to decide how much of your energy needs you want to devote to solar energy.
There are different systems to heat water, provide heat or generate electricity. Then, it depends on the type of system you would like to have in your home and this depends on whether you prefer to convert the sun’s energy into heat or electricity. Of course, you can have both types if you want your house to be fully solar powered and have the room on your roof or your property for the panels you need.
Solar panels for heating and hot water.
The heat generated in the pipes behind the front glass panel is connected to a flat black plate or tank inside the collector panel, which used to heat the water and saves the utility’s use of electricity or gas to perform the same task .
Heating your water with solar energy is a system that works all year round, although depending on your climate, you may need to heat your water through your boiler or immersion heater during the colder months. You will have to have a roof that receives direct sunlight for most of the day. The solar system can be integrated with your usual method of water heating.
Solar panels for electricity.
You can also get solar panels that allow you to generate your own electricity. They are designed to integrate with your existing utility provider and can be used to operate your appliances, lights and other electrical appliances. These panels do not heat the water; They convert sunlight into electric current.
You may also need an inverter, which converts the DC power generated, into AC power, which is connected to your utility provider. Your solar panels can produce more electricity than your home consumes and your utility can credit your account for the excess energy your home generates and returns to the network.
Your utility provider will continue to provide you with energy during the night and even during the day, when your solar energy can not provide enough to meet your demands. Or you can have a solar system with rechargeable batteries that would charge during daylight hours and can be used at night, in the event of a power outage or to offset your energy needs during the day.
If you live in a place that does not get much sunlight or if you have shade from trees or other buildings, you will need more solar panels to offset this and meet your energy needs. The shadow causes a problem because the entire panel needs to have full sunlight to work properly.
Solar panels also work on cloudy days, but produce less electricity and, for obvious reasons, do not work at night. There must be sunlight present to produce energy, so at night, you will use the energy from your batteries or from your utility provider.
How to calculate how many panels you will need
The amount of panels you need will depend on the circumstances of your own situation and needs.
To decide how many solar panels you need for your home, there are some things you should keep in mind:
- The average power your home consumes, which is generally based on the number of people who live in it and the way in which electricity is used in your particular home.
- The location of your house: some houses will have better sun exposure and less shade, which may mean that fewer panels are needed, while if your house is not ideally located or is shaded, you may need much more
- The average number of solar hours per day: this is the maximum number of hours that the solar panel can focus sunlight per day.
If you want to know how many solar panels you will need for heat, follow these simple steps:
- You must first find out on average the amount of energy your home uses per month. You could find out the kWh your home uses when reviewing your energy bills during the last twelve months.
- Then divide this average by 30 to find out how many kWh your household consumes per day.
- This is the number of solar panels you will need.
This calculation is based on its panels that have four hours of solar energy per day:
A 250W solar panel produces 1 kWh per day. If you use 1200 kWh of energy per month on average, divided by 30 days would be equivalent to 40 kWh per day, so you would need 40 solar panels if you want to completely energize your home. If you only want to heat your house or heat your water, you will need fewer panels. If you want to use solar energy only 50% of the time or 75% of the time, you should adjust the number of panels accordingly.
Installation costs of solar panel systems.
The installation of a solar panel system can cost you up to $ 8000, however, there are many incentives of government schemes to obtain panels at a reduced cost or receive credits from your energy provider for any electricity that your house generates but does not use. Along with this, you have the reduced fuel bills in general from which you will benefit, since you will use the free energy generated by the sun, which is not only beneficial from a financial point of view, but also reduces the carbon footprint. leave in the environment.
If you choose to fully power your home through solar panels, apart from the initial cost to set up your system, you will not have to pay any energy bills. Once installed, the overall maintenance costs of your panels and system are relatively low and are often guaranteed for 25 years. You must have your system repaired professionally at least every three years and check it regularly for leaks.
If you are interested in installing solar panels for your heating, hot water or electricity needs, there are numerous solar energy providers that will be happy to visit your home, discuss your requirements and let you know how many panels you may need.
Often, they will provide this service for free and offer you a budget without commitment. It is prudent to have at least three quotes from different companies to determine which company can best fit your budget.