Summer is here! The days have suddenly turned from grey, overcast and wet, wet, wet to blazing days of glorious sunshine. Long may it last! Wouldn’t it be great to do more than just enjoy the sunshine though? Now that Summer is here, it is time to make the most of the free energy the sun provides us.
Have you ever imagined the possibility of using the sun as a source of energy to power your home? Yes? No? If you’re reading this blog, then you more than likely have more than a passing interest in doing this. Solar cells have been commercially available since the 1950`s but the basic working principles were first discovered more than 160 years ago.
Harnessing solar energy is becoming more popular as costs decrease and the potential for homeowners to save money on bills and earn income from exported energy increases. On top of this, with the introduction of backup battery storage it is possible to use energy from the sun even at night.
What better way to cool, heat and otherwise run your home than by harnessing free energy from the sun. Of course, although this can be done all year round – Summer provides the most hours of sunlight.
First, it is important to understand how solar energy is harnessed. Photovoltaic (PV) cells, or solar cells, come in many different shapes and sizes and are made of electricity-producing materials. When sunlight shines on a PV cell, the absorbed light generates electricity. Because PV technologies use both direct and scattered sunlight to create electricity, the solar resource across the United States is ample for home solar electric systems. A PV system generates clean, cost-effective power anywhere the sun shines and in New Zealand, unless you’re under a rock during summer, the sun will shine where you are.
Another way to tap solar energy is by collecting the sun’s heat. Solar thermal power plants use heat from the sun to create steam, which can then be used to make electricity. On a smaller scale, solar panels that harness thermal energy can be used for heating water in homes, other buildings, and swimming pools.
Have you ever noticed how sunlight streaming through a window can make your home feel warmer, even on a cold day? If so, you’ve seen passive solar heating in action! People can design or remodel buildings to take advantage of heat from the sun during the winter. It helps to have large windows that face south (the side that gets the most sunlight everywhere north of the Equator) and are not shaded by other buildings or trees. A good design often includes overhangs, movable awnings, or blinds that block the sun during the summer when people need to cool their homes instead of heating them.
The electricity generated by solar panels is 100 percent renewable, predictable, and reliable. Solar energy production can be very accurately predicted—meaning you know how much you can expect your system to produce before you even install it.
Every home owner should consider installing a Solar powered electrical systems as a feature. The benefits are fantastic, particularly the cost savings and impact on the environment. However, there are certain factors that can make homes ideal (or not) for installing a solar power system. Consider these factors when deciding whether or not you should have a solar power system installed in your home:
- You own your home
- Your roof has a face without too much shade
- Your roof is in good condition
- You have significant energy bills
In addition to major environmental and energy cost benefits, solar energy offers several unique features that make it an extremely attractive option for many home owners, especially those concerned with energy security and independence. Unique benefits of solar power include:
- Low maintenance: Once your solar panels are installed, there is only basic yearly maintenance and cleaning to keep them in good working order.
- Consistent and constant power source: We know that every day the sun will rise and set — and we even know when it will happen.
- Energy security: The sun answers to no one and it’s available with no limits, offering superior energy security to those who harness its power.
- Silent operation: Unlike noisy generators and power plants, solar panels make no noise as they create energy from the sun.
- Low space requirements: Solar panels do not require much space, and they can be mounted almost anywhere.
- Roof protection: It’s important that your roof is in good condition when your solar panels are installed, but keep in mind that your solar panels may offer a level of protection.
- Off grid living options: In some remote areas, it is extremely expensive (and potentially cost prohibitive) to tap into the electrical power grid.
- Solar panels are built to last: Most solar panels should last for about 25 years.
- Solar energy system inverters often last 10 years or more: While solar inverters don’t last as long as the panels themselves, they typically have a usable life span of about 10 years or more.
Really, there are more benefits to going solar in the Summer than in any other time of the year. Not only will installing solar save you your money but it will also increase the value of your home.
Contact esolar.co.nz on 0508 449 274 to get help in harnessing the natural energy from the kiwi summer sun and switch on to a new solar energy system for your home!