Solaire Energy installs photovoltaic solar panels. This is solar electricity that is generated when photovoltaic solar panels collect photons from sunshine and produce voltage. This solar electricity is usually connected to utility power lines and produces a credit towards your electric bill. It can also be stored in batteries for emergency backup power, or for off-grid systems.
In Pennsylvania, a 1 KW photovoltaic system produces about 4-5 KW hours per day. Many homes use about 20-30 KW hours per day of appliance use, not including electric heat or air conditioning. Obviously, a large PV system would be needed to power an entire home, unless steps were taken to drastically reduce electric use. Most customers purchase smaller systems that are grid-tied and also take steps to conserve electricity.
So, how does it work?
Photovoltaic (PV) systems consist of photovoltaic panels wired together and mounted to a south sloping roof with no shading. The PV panels produce DC current which is usually wired to an inverter. The inverter changes the DC to AC current and supplies it to your electric panel box. PV systems can be any size if they are connected to a utility grid. The larger they are, the bigger the credit will be to your electric bill. To power your entire building off the grid requires careful sizing of the PV system to your electric load. A stand-along PV system requires a bank of deep-cycle batteries for storage.
Small stand-alone PV systems can power specific applications, such as outdoor lighting or water pumping. Small PV systems can also provide emergency backup for critical systems such as furnace ignition and emergency lighting.
Solar energy systems do not produce air pollution, water pollution or greenhouse gases. Using solar energy can have a positive, indirect effect on the environment when solar energy replaces or reduces the use of other energy sources that have larger effects on the environment.
Passive Solar Energy
Passive solar energy is solar heat that warms your home or workplace. To capture passive solar heat, the building or addition must be designed and built with ample south facing windows to collect sunshine and heat absorbent surfaces to collect the warmth of the sun. Good passive solar designs also include overhands that shade windows from summer heat when the sun is high in the sky.
Cost and Savings
The cost of installing a solar power system varies based on size, located and KW production desired. Most residential applications run between $12,000 to $30,000. Obviously, the larger the system, the more costly to install.
The payback period for solar systems also varies. Usually, payback periods range from 5-15 years. This is determined by KW produced vs. KW used.