Thursday, 12 November 2009

Why choose home solar energy?

Climate change and escalating energy costs have driven many people to consider using solar energy. Home solar energy can be a viable way to provide much of your hot water, central heating or pool heating requirements for your home. Solar energy can also supplement your home's lighting and other electricity needs.
The sun is an unlimited source of free and clean energy. The quest to harness this energy began many years ago. Solar energy has become a viable alternative to provide or supplement the power for your home. The sun's energy consists of heat and light. Both are used as a source of free energy.
The sun's heating or thermal power is commonly used in sunny climates to supplement the hot water requirements of many homes. Thermal panels are mounted on the roof of the home. Water is circulated through a series of pipes and stored in a tank ready for use. These are very effective in sunny climates and have even been used with some success in climates with few sunshine hours.
Photovoltaic panels transform the sun's light directly into electric current. This electricity can be used to provide lighting for your home or to provide power for your home appliances. Surplus energy produced during daylight hours may be stored in a battery. These cost of these units at this time makes their use for large appliances prohibitive.
Home solar energy has some great advantages. Once the initial installation costs have been met you will have a long-term supply of free energy. While you may not eliminate the power grid completely, you should be able to produce savings of anything from 40-80% of your monthly energy bill. Solar power is clean and environmentally friendly. There are no emissions such as those produced by burning coal. Although generally clean, nuclear energy produces potentially dangerous waste that could present long-term problems for our planet.
As with everything under the sun there are disadvantages. The sun's power is only available during daylight hours. Thermal panels are not effective during prolonged periods of overcast weather and at night. Photovoltaic panels do not work at night. The cost of solar powered hot water panels will be covered quickly by the electricity savings achieved. Unfortunately the cost of photovoltaic panels is still prohibitive. At current costs it takes many years cover the initial layout. But as the technology develops these costs should fall, making this type of solar energy more affordable.
The provision of hot water is one of the major costs in most homes energy bills. Solar Energy can effectively reduce that cost by providing some of the hot water requirements. In the right climate, solar panels can supply most of the hot water requirements. This hot water can also be used to power the home's central heating system.

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