Think Before You Install Solar Panels on Your Home

install solar panels on homeMany people have made the choice to go green and for good reason. We are quickly depleting our planet’s natural resources and there are greener options available that can save quite a bit of money in the long run. One popular option is solar power. Solar power is plentiful, cheap and clean and more and more people are beginning to use it to get the energy their home needs.

Deciding to install and use solar panels is quite an undertaking which requires some careful consideration. The following article contains some things you should think about before deciding to install solar panels on your home.

One thing you need to think about is the amount of sunlight your house gets on a daily basis. The sunlight is what will give you the energy for your home. If your house gets a lot of sun, you should get enough energy. If your home does not get very much sunlight, you might want to rethink solar panels. Depending on the size of your house and the size and amount of panels you install, you will need quite a bit of sun to get you the energy that you need.

Next, you will need to decide how big of a system you need. This is dependent on how big your house is and how much energy you consume. You can look on your electric bills to determine your energy needs.

You also need to consider cost. If you are looking to save money, solar power can save you money in the long run. The initial set up is quite costly, though. Are you ready to endure the steep price? It might take some number crunching, but cost is a huge factor in this type of endeavor and you need to make sure this is something you are comfortable with.

With any type of construction some areas require certain licenses and permits. You will need to find out if there are any special requirements for the area you live in. Without following the rules in your area, you could get into quite a bit of trouble (even if you did not know about the rule).

Another thing you need to consider is the installation of the solar panels? Can you do it yourself? Or will you need to hire someone to do it for you? If you can do it, that is great and you will save yourself a lot of money. If you need to hire someone, you will need to consider the cost of using a professional to install the solar panels.

There are a few different types of solar panels and it is best to educate yourself on them before choosing one. In this instance it might not be best to choose the cheapest, depending on your needs.

Outfitting your home with solar energy can be quite an undertaking, but the rewards are really worth the time, money and energy invested. Use the information from this article to make the most informed choice you can about installing solar panels on your home.

What can green energy do for you? It can reduce your reliance on the almighty electrical grid, lower your energy bills and reduce your footprint on the planet. What are some things that you can do to help? Read the following tips and techniques to learn how you can use green energy.

Solar Panels

If you own or run a business out of your home, you are aware of the energy needs of a business. Look into solar panels for your business and use it as a marketing strategy when attracting customers. Many people support green technology establishments. Over time, you will gain extra business, which will help pay the costs of solar panels, and over time, you end up paying much less on your energy bills.

TIP! Use cold water for laundry, whenever you can. Nearly 90% of the energy that is consumed when you wash your clothes is taken up heating the water.

The green energy industry is doing very well these days, and creating many new jobs all the time. Think about changing careers or advising children to prepare themselves for working in this industry. There are a lot of jobs that are linked to going green, such as a wind or solar technician.

When you are installing a solar energy system such as solar panels etc, you want to be sure the batteries you will be using to store the solar power are situated as close to the solar cells as possible. This helps to prevent any power loss in the cable. It also lowers the possibility of shading the cable cells and lessening their output capacity.

TIP! Think about heating your water with solar water heaters. If you live in a sunny climate, you can use a solar water heater year-round.

If you can’t get renewable energy like solar to do your whole house, see if it’ll power one room. For instance, just installing enough solar panels to provide hot water helps a lot.

building diy solar panels

On-demand water heaters work great as a green device. Traditional water heaters heat water all day long, even when hot water is not needed; this wastes energy. An on-demand water heater instantly heats water when necessary and saves energy.

TIP! Solar panels can be easily installed on your home and are used to collect energy from the sun for use in your home. There are some things that should be further looked in to before doing this.

It’s a great idea to seal the freezer and fridge so you don’t waste energy. If the seal is broken it may cause the refrigerator to keep running, which ends up wasting lots of energy, and costs you extra money on utility bills. In your door, place a piece of paper. If it easily slides out, your seal probably needs to be replaced.

Air flow can be better controller when stormed windows and doors are installed in a home. Storm windows are good at cutting down on the cool air that tries to get in. Storm doors and windows can increase a home’s energy efficiency by up to 45%, which can have great impacts on utility bills.

TIP! All energy efficient products will include the Energy Star designation and logo. Appliances that designate themselves as being ENERGY STAR compliant are those that have met guidelines set by the U.

Don’t drink bottled water. Water in bottles is usually just municipal water, and the process of bottling uses a great deal of energy. If you want to drink tap water but don’t trust the source, consider buying a filter for your tap, or even a Brita water jug.

Cut energy usage while cooking by making better use of your oven’s light. Even if you only open your door one time to check on a dish, significant energy can escape. By using the light, you can look in the oven window instead of opening the door.

TIP! One very easy way to save money on your heating bills is to dress more warmly around the house during the winter months. Even just a lightweight sweater keeps you two degrees warmer, and a heavyweight sweater will keep you four degrees warmer.

Everyone talks about green energy, but not many are actually using it. The preceding article has given you a starting point for making your home more green without spending a lot of money.

Simple Green Energy Tips Anyone Can Practice

Although many people have heard of green energy, it’s not exactly clear what it is to most folk. Look no further than this article to find out what you should know about green energy tips. You can use green energy in your home to cut costs!

TIP! Save money on heating and cooling costs with a digital programmable thermostat. You can program your thermostats to use less energy when you are sleeping or are usually not home.

You can use bio-fuels to heat your house. Oil, wood and animal or vegetable fats are used to make this fuel. A propane furnace can be converted to use these types of fuels, or fuel blends. Fuels are anywhere from 20-99 percent biodiesel. Before you try to use this kind of fuel inside your house, just make sure you speak to a professional.

Maybe you can use solar water heaters instead of traditional heating methods. This option is only applicable in areas that do not reach freezing temperatures. If you live in a warm climate, you can use a system that pumps your water through the solar heater before coming out of your pipes. Don’t get rid of your conventional water heater though; you may need it if it’s cloudy when you’re ready to use hot water.

TIP! Help reduce the cost of green energy by increasing the demand for it. You have a lot of clout as a consumer, and you have to right to use that clout to demand clean technologies.

Don’t use bottled water anymore. Bottled water comes from other city’s taps, so lots is wasted in the process. If you don’t trust tap water in the community, buy a reusable bottle with a filter.

In the summer, set your thermostat five degrees warmer than you normally would. This can provide a 20 percent savings on the costs of cooling your home. Use fans to cool your home whenever possible.

TIP! A good green energy technology tip is to use a water heater that is on-demand. The older models are constantly running, which ends up wasting energy.

Thawing frozen food in the refrigerator is an unexpected way to save energy. You will find that this is one of the safest options for thawing your meats, and you will also help to cool the other foods in your refrigerator by allowing your frozen products to release cold air as they thaw.

Shade your windows from the sun to prevent energy usage. Another option is installing darkening shades. Keeping your home cool in the summer means you will not be tempted to use the air conditioning as much. You will save both money and energy in the process.

Green Energy Tips See Green Energy In Action

By infomatique from Flickr.com

Many people forget to turn off machines and lights that they aren’t using, even though it seems obvious. If you were to get in the habit of turning them off, it would cut down tremendously on your energy bill costs. Think in advance about what you need to do, and make it a habit to turn off anything that you are no longer using.

It is very important that you check your oven’s seal to ensure that heat does not escape when it is used. A broken seal can easily cause your oven to use up to 50% more energy, so make sure to check the seal of your oven periodically.

Green Energy Tips Using Rechargeable Batteries

Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. Traditional batteries generally end up in the trash, which heads to landfills; this can prove quite harmful to the environment. One way to help out the environment and your pocket is to invest into some rechargeable batteries. Choosing rechargeable batteries over traditional types will save you a lot of money over time.

TIP! A microwave is a more energy efficient appliance than a stove, so consider using it more often. Any time you cook something on the stove or in the oven it tends to use up a ton of energy.

While turning your lights off to save energy is old advice, it’s still relevant. Shutting off your lights when you leave a room is a simple act, but it will surprise you by the amount of energy it saves. You will also save on your electric bill.

If you currently use fuel oil for home heating, ask your local technician how you can switch over to biodiesel fuel. You might even find that you can switch your system to partial biodiesel without having to purchase parts or hire a contractor to perform modifications. Biodiesel is a better fuel because it has a cleaner burn and is more efficient.

TIP! Look for appliances that have the Energy Star sticker or logo. If your appliance has an ENERGY STAR logo, then it falls within the guidelines set by both the U.

Now that you understand the basics of green technology, you are now ready to start using it in your home. If you want to make your home more eco-friendly, try some of the tips you just read. The use of environmental friendly green energy should be used by everyone.

Tips On How You Can Get The Most Out Of Green Energy

Green Energy Television Interview

Solar panels help to save money and conserve energy. There are several good reasons to consider solar panels for your home, from eco-friendliness to government incentives. This article describes other simple and effective ways to make your home green and energy efficient.

TIP! Check out all the different resources your community has available for energy. Look into the cost of operating your home with each of your options, keeping in mind any recent changes to legislation about energy costs.

Automatic light sensors including motion detection should be installed. If nobody is using the room, the sensors will turn the lights off; this saves energy and money. Remember the lighting outside, too.

Save some electricity by removing the battery from your laptop computer and running it on AC current when you don’t need to be mobile. Its battery continues to draw energy, even when it’s full, so removing it while your computer is still plugged in can conserve some kilowatts and prolong the life of the battery.

TIP! Responsible light usage should be a top priority in your home. During the months when sun is brightest, avoid using lights before a certain time of day.

One way to reduce energy consumption is to lower your thermostat in the winter. Consider setting your thermostat to 60 degrees during the night or while you are away. If you heat is set at 60, you are not using much energy. The result will be minimized energy usage and maximized dollar saving.

TIP! You can drastically reduce your heating bill using room-specific heat sources. You can implement a floor-heating solution that has a main board.

If you are trying to conserve energy in the summer, be sure to keep your shades drawn to block out the sun. Keep blinds closed and curtains drawn. By using heavy window covering you house will remain cooler which will decrease the amount of air conditioning needed. You will save energy and money as well.

The next time you decorate your home or tree for the Christmas holiday season, use LED lights instead of standard light strands. There are many studies from the U.S. to back this up. The Department of Energy has shown that the United States could conserve over 2 billion kWh of electricity if all households switched light types. That is enough electricity to power 200 thousand homes for a whole year. Even if you don’t care about those big numbers, you should care that you can personally save money by going green.

Energy Costs

Try to communicate to people as much as possible through email rather than traditional means. Use paper as little as you can. This will help the businesses you deal with cut down on energy costs, and it will also save you a lot of money on energy costs too. That helps the environment for everybody.

TIP! Considering the purchase of a new boiler could save you money in the long run. Older boilers were not created with energy conservation in mind, but newer boiler varieties are more efficient.

An uncommon option for those consumers who see themselves as very green is to have a home made from straw bales. Straw is a great form of insulation as well as being inexpensive to use. For those who don’t want to make an entire home from straw bales, try a small structure.

Solar panels are easy to install and can collect sunlight for energy. However, before doing this, you need to consider a few things. Think about how much sun your house typically gets. If your home is mostly in the shade, or if you live in a location that receives little sun, your power gain may be minimal.

TIP! Search for available rebates when you use renewable energy. Sometimes, you will find that a local utility company can give a rebate for the total price of the upgrades.

Use solar energy to provide hot water cheaply. Buy a hot-water system that is solar-powered. There are direct and indirect circulation systems available. Indirect is the best choice if you have pipes which often freeze in the winter.

As you have learned, choosing green energy for your home has many more benefits beyond the savings you will see in your monthly bill. They are easy to install and purchase, and could last for a long time. Adding solar panels to your home not only modernizes it, but makes it more environmentally friendly, as well.

DIY Solar Power Systems For Homes Using Solar Panels

Today we consider solar power systems for homes as being the latest technolodgical breakthrough of the 20th and the 21st centuries. Yes the technolodgical advances have been  great but capturing solar heat by do-it-yourself methods is not completly new.

Solar Power...

Since way back in time, we as humans have always made the best of the heat from the sun’s rays. The homes of these early peoples were caves and the such, but they new about the benefits of having the exits facing east, south east, south and south west directions to capture heat from the sun. Certainly we have learned far superior methods and the means of utilizing this solar power to heat our homes, read on to learn some tips to improve your homes heat efficiency.

If your a bit of a handyman or indeed a handywoman, probly it has gone through your thoughts about instaling your own solar power system. If your experienced in electrical instals and are not to afraid of heights, you will have the most of what’s required to set up your own solar power systems. If your not that experienced but are the type of person who learns quite readily, then there are plenty of tutorials to get you up and running.

Some calculations will need to take place before starting out. Measuring the area of roof space available for placing solar panels combined with your kilowatt hours of power that you consume each month. Next calculate what wattage can be gained per solar panel and work out the numbers of of panels you’ll require to provide you with the kilowatt hours you consume.

Government bodies of many countries have set up site where they make expected solar radiation averages for various latitudes. These figures will be useful in giving you the expected number of solar hours for your particular area, be it north or further to the south. Armed with these figures you will now have a better idea of what solar power can be gained from the area of roof that you have.

Solar Power Systems For Homes

Find out as much as you can about solar power systems for homes that are available to you. Many of these companies who sell solar panels will give you advice on how to install them and where on the roof to put them.

Having chosen the solar panels, you can now work out and buy the batteries you will require to store your energy along with a power inverter, mounting fixings and cable. The power inverter will be used to convert DC into AC current  for use in a domestic situation. In order to receive an efficient amount of power, at a reasonable speed, always choose a good quality power inverter.

There are many online suppliers today to choose from, so choose wisely and buy from well known and trusted suppliers.

It’s always much better using a two man team when performing a diy solar panels installation. The most suitable candidate to use as your help would be someone else who to was about to put up solar panels. That way you to could be their helper and the learning curve for both parties would be priceless. If this situation was not feasable, then paid help could be another alternative to ease the heavy lifting.

Solar modules can be star rated, so keep an eye on what your purchasing to avoid disapointment. Often governments who opporate a grants scheme will require panels with a certain rating. Often these grants and tax credits can be fairly substantial and will keep your costs to a minimum. Something to bear in mind and take into the equation when planning your diy solar panels project.

Hopefully you were able to take something from these tips and has helped you to make up your mind, whether or not to install one of these solar power systems for homes in whatever country you reside. Bearing in mind the long term savings and the fact you are doing your bit regarding global warming, should give you a cosy feeling.

Effective Use Of Solar Energy

It is currently completely possible to be able to utilize solar energy for private usage in your home. Previously the price of solar energy devices made it almost impossible to do so and although there are solar energy advantages and disadvantages, these days the advantages are winning. Effective use of solar energy will save you money on your utility expenses in the long term, plus the fact, it also fits the bill for those who are concerned about environmental issues. This write-up will definitely present you with some strategies on precisely how you can make use of solar power around your residence as well as the benefits it delivers.

Effective Use Of Solar Energy Panels Being Erected On A Home

There is an assorted array of solar energy types, all being suitable for one purpose or another. You might wish to buy one sort of solar energy device that costs a substantial amount of money, but gives more of a guarantee of better quality. If funds are not available to you at the time, there are also more affordable options available to you, such as a diy solar panels project. Project sizes can range from simple 12v solar panel to keep a vehicle battery charged, to a full roof covered with panels.

Possibly the simplest and also most cost effective option is what’s termed as passive solar power, this doesn’t utilize any sort of mechanical or electrical devices. It basically is dependent on the heating up of components that are found around the home, like your chimney, windows or water storage locations.

Thermal renewable energy such as solar power  accumulates the rays of the sun, which in turn converts them into electric power. You will require solar panels to accomplish this. There are various amounts of solar power that can easily be generated with the capture of these sunshine rays.

What Can Be Achieved With An Effective Use Of Solar Energy

There are choices of solar panels available.These can be made for heating systems, making energy, cooking, as well as being able to be re-distributed. This enables you to make an effective use of solar energy to heat your property, cook your meals, warm up your water as well as power your automobiles.

There are times where people have had their automobiles running on electrical power as well as employed solar energy that will charge any batteries required to run them! Apart from protecting the environment, it also saves on the use of gas.

You will possibly have noticed the gardens as you pass by them at night time, where they have lights that light up pathways etc. These have been powered up by the sun during daylight hours and can provide a lit up, comfortable area for sitting out in a warm summers evening.

You can make use of solar power to be the heat source for  your home in numerous ways. An effective use of solar energy panels could be utilized for powering up an electric furnace heating system, as well as using passive solar power that will heat up other elements of the building, that will be released in the evening.

Like warming your home you could apply solar energy to make adequate electrical power to operate any appliances and gadgets in your property. The renewable energy is turned to real electrical power that can be hooked up to a power generator installed in the home. Heating of water can also be accomplished with the use of solar energy. This can be done with the use of a hot water tank which is solar powered and stores the passive rays of the sun, alternately you can run an electric hot water tank from the electric produced from the solar panels system.

This article may have with any luck, offered you a strategy of how you are able to apply solar power to be responsible for running  your home. Nevertheless it will hinge on the amounts of energy that will be used. That being said, you will certainly save on your bills by converting at least a portion of the home into a solar powered system.

Now that we have seen that It is nowadays, completely possible to have  and also make effective use of solar energy for private usage in your home at a reasonable cost, you now have to way up the benefits. Yes, previously the cost involved with solar power energy devices made it unimaginable to afford these earth friendly solution. Today it is possible to  warm your house, roast your meals, heat the water, power up  your autos, etc and be saving the planet at the same time.

Are Photovoltaic Panels The Same As Solar Panels

Chris asks…

Can Photovoltaic Panels Fully Power a House in the Mediterranean?

For example if the roof tiles were photovoltaic or there were simply many photovoltaic panels on the roof. If it is possible how much would it cost?
The house is in Greece and is about 3 beds/ 1 kitchen/ 1 lounge/ 2 bathrooms.

admin answers:

You would need a room full of environmentally unfriendly batteries to provide power after sunset and so this is not exactly a green solution. It would probably be greener to rely on traditional electricity after dark.

Use PV panels for daytime power by all means and solar water heating for the house and, if you have one, swimming pool. If you need space heating in winter (I’ve been in Athens in sub-zero temperatures) you might consider ground source heating if you have enough room or can have a bore hole.

Do NOT get a domestic wind turbine unless the house is in an exposed location. Most never repay the carbon invested in their manufacture and shipping and do not generate enough electricity to break even before they wear out.

The economics will all depend on subsidies and local prices for electricity and equipment. PV panels are expensive and would take about 20 years to pay for themselves in the UK without the subsidies, solar water heating is a much quicker payback and has been in use in Greece for over 20 years. Ground source heating may not be worthwhile if it is not cold for long enough.

John asks…

Where Can I Buy Dye-Based Photovoltaic Panels? I Would Prefer Them Due Simply to Their Lower Cost.?

Dye-based photovoltaic panels cost a tenth as much as silicon panels.

admin answers:

I have not heard of a practical dye-based panel so far.

They may be lower cost than silicon, but that doesn’t mean lower cost per watt. They may have 1/10 the cost per area of silicon, but I think the power output is much, much less than 1/10. If the link you cite is what I think it is, then the panels you make there produce microamps of current. A typical silicon wafer will give on the order of 5 amps of current (thousands of times more).

It’s also poor economy when the dye-based panel wears out in a year, and needs to be replaced.

Paul asks…

Are Solar Panels and Photovoltaic Panels the Same Thing?

I’m doing a science project, and one site states that they are different, while other sites use “solar panels” and “photovoltaic panels” interchangeably. So are they the same thing, or are they different?

If they’re different, how do they differ?

Thanks!
Oh, okay. Thanks! :)

Are there any solar panels that heat up air, too?

admin answers:

“Solar panel”, is a pretty broad term. It could be used to describe photovoltaics (PV) but it could also be used to refer to solar heating or other methods. However, in common language “solar panel” usually refers to PV.

Maria asks…

Looking for a Reliable Source for Monocrystalline Photovoltaic Panels?

Hello,

I am planning on building a photovoltaic power plant between 10 – 50 kW power.

I’m looking for a manufacturer/dealer of monocrystalline photovoltaic panels who meets the following citeria:

1. low price
2. good quality
3. TUV, CE certificate for the panels (cannot import into EU without the certificates)

Sources anyone?

admin answers:

Shop in china, HUDIWAILING
B and Q in England (all over) big brand
LEAIDER
in france

Brows the other posts and pages on this site http://diysolarpanels.org.uk

Laura asks…

Are Solar Photovoltaic Panels Expensive to Purchase & Install? Can I Self Install or is This a Pro Job?

admin answers:

It is expensive if you just look at the price and say Wow! That is a lot of money. But when you compare it to renting electricity for the next 30 years and total the cost.. Well you end up making money.

You should find the package system you want which comes with instructions on how to install photovoltaic panels. Install the parts of the system you can and hire an electrician to run the wires and make the connections. You could save a great deal of money doing it that way.

Mounting the solar modules on the roof is by far the hardest part of the whole install. The inverter and charge controllers all have a Pos and a Neg markings and so does the solar modules making the wireing hookups easy. However to hook up to the utility you have to have a building inspector sign the paper showing he has inspected it. Catch 22 is you have to have an electrician sign the permit or the building inspector will not approve the system. If you install it wrong your home could be flaged as unsafe and you could end up being put out of your home till the wireing is brought up to code.

It would depend greatly on your particular skills and how big a project you have in mind i.e. number of photovoltaic panels you intend to install.

 

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Certificates

Joseph asks…

Renewable Energy Certificates Does This Mean That They Use 100% Renewable Power?

This is from a website that I use, that says they’re 100% green. But the wording makes me think that they’re not exactly.

Their page says
“Since generating wind energy on site isn’t feasible, they are offsetting all of their electricity use with wind-generated Renewable Energy Certificates

What does this mean exactly?

admin answers:

From Wikipedia:

“Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) [...] are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities in the United States that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource (renewable electricity).”

So they’ve more or less bought enough wind power to run their operation. That’s really about as well as you can do if you’re on-grid, and it’s certainly a good step if you care about these things.

Since you can’t tell one electron from the other on the grid, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say “we bought XXX MWh of power from a wind producer and we used XXX MWh of power as well, so we used 100% renewable power.”

Mandy asks…

Where is the best place to reach thousands of Filmmakers online?

http://www.GoingGreenFilmFestival.com

With the motto “REthink, REplenish, REcommit”, the GOING GREEN FILM FESTIVAL launches its official call for entries on July 15, 2009.

The festival’s first place prizes include Hybrid electric bicycles, a tree planted in their names in Central America, Africa or Asia, as well as Fuji Film and screenwriting software.

A pending Grand Prize will include a HYBRID CAR!

$20 of all entry fees will go towards Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) which produce clean energy.

The CATEGORIES ARE are:

* GREEN PRODUCTION, where a film’s production worked to lessen the carbon footprint left on the planet

* OUR PLANET, where the film’s topic covers third world issues, ecology, nature or the environment; and

* HYBRID/ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION, where the film features a hybrid vehicle, bicycle, electric scooter or public transportation.

Films can be any genre, but must be between 20 minutes and 120 minutes in length and have been completed between 2008 and 2010.

Earlybird/Discount Deadline: August 31, 2009.

Submit by going to: http://www.GoingGreenFilmFestival.com

WIN a PAIR of VIP PASSES to attend fest by subscribing to our newsletter.
Send an email to: goinggreenfilmfest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

admin answers:

IMDB.com

Chris asks…

I have a Lot of Inventive Ideas About  Renewable Energy but no Money to  Build a Prototype, any Company/Person that can Help?

I have all these inventive ideas from renewable energy to engine modifications, but my down fall is finding the right people to work with to bring this ideas to fruition. I don’t have the money to patent it let alone build a prototype. I need a reputable company or an honest individual that wouldn’t take my ideas and dump me. I have attained certificates in Electrical Engineering and Automotive Engineering and in merging these acquired knowledge I ‘ve come up with a lot of ways to make waves in the engineering department. With a couple of belts, gears and shafts a lot of modifications can be made to change the operational features of an engine. So if there is any company that you know of or any individual that would like to get into partnership with me, please contact me via email.

admin answers:

Hmmm, please be careful, there are a lot of sharks in those waters.
Write your idea down send it off in a certified letter to yourself and then hang on to it in case you ever need to prove it in court.
Same applies if you do find a partner, send all info in a cert letter and then to a safety deposit box.

People will beat you unconscious for a burger.
Careful when they seem to eager to hear your ideas and give nothing in return

Betty asks…

Whats The  Better Job Wind or Solar Technician?

I was thinking about getting a certificate in renewable energy. . I was wondering if I should focus on wind or solar. Which one has a better future and pays more? Also is installing/maintaining a wind turbine harder to learn then solar? maybe I can learn both but focus on the harder of the two for my classes and learn the other one on my own. If anyone has some insight or has done these things id like to know what they think

admin answers:

It is good to know that you are looking into both of these energy sources as your career. I can tell you that it will not be an easy choice but, either way, you will be making a good choice. These careers are booming and there is a lot of opportunity and room to grow in these industries.

I, personally, manage a wind energy facility in Northern California. I lucked out and my site is not very remote. As others have alluded to, they usually build these sites in some very lonely places. I have had my share of being remote but I would not have changed a thing when I look back on it. Your home is where you make it and that is the important thing to remember. Keep in mind though that wind farms can be put up just about anywhere but solar needs to have plenty of sunshine to keep it going. This corralates to a dry environment or a green environment. Take your pick.

Specifically speaking about wind energy, there is no comparison in my book. In wind you have the best office in the area. 300′ is a long way up but the views are outstanding. Solar will keep you land locked and that can get pretty boring. The turbines, themselves, are some amazing machines. I have come to work everyday with a smile on my face because of the machines I get to work with.

The pay can be very good depending on what you want to do. Technicians that travel from site to site are easily seeing $100k a year. This path was not for me as I prefer to be home with my family every night. Technicians who are dedicated to a particular site make, on average, $19-$25 per hour to start and then go up from there. I am not sure about solar so I do not want to pass judgement on their pay scale.

Career progression can be very quick in both industries if you play your cards right. I began in this industry in 2007 and now manage an entire site as the Plant Manager. I have esentially reached the top of the totem pole in the field as it is the Plant Manager who is the lead guy at any project. My next options are to (a) stay in the field where I feel comfortable and enjoy it (b) go to a corporate office and sit in a cubicle every day. However, do not be lead to believe that it is that easy to progress. It takes determination and brains to do it but it can be done.

Overall, go with wind energy and you will not be disappointed. It really all comes down to what interests you the most.

 

 

 

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Your Questions About Renewable Energy Certificates

Sandy asks…

What are RECs, Renewable Energy Certificates?

We produce green energy and we will get RECs for each 1000 kWh of elec. produced. What are RECs and what are they worth in us dollars?

admin answers:

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Green tags, Renewable Energy Credits, Renewable Electricity Certificates, or Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs), are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities in the United States that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource (renewable electricity). Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are RECs that are specifically generated by solar energy.

These certificates can be sold and traded or bartered, and the owner of the REC can claim to have purchased renewable energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Network, RECs represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects and are sold separate from commodity electricity.

In states that have a REC program, a green energy provider (such as a wind farm) is credited with one REC for every 1,000 kWh or 1 MWh of electricity it produces (for reference, an average residential customer consumes about 800 kWh in a month). A certifying agency gives each REC a unique identification number to make sure it doesn’t get double-counted. The green energy is then fed into the electrical grid (by mandate), and the accompanying REC can then be sold on the open market.

Rices depend on many factors, such as the vintage year the RECs were generated, location of the facility, whether there is a tight supply/demand situation, whether the REC is used for RPS compliance, even the type of power created. Solar renewable energy certificates or SRECs, for example, tend to be more valuable in the 16 states that have set aside a portion of the RPS specifically for solar energy. This differentiation is intended to promote diversity in the renewable energy mix which in an undifferentiated, competitive REC market, favors the economics and scale achieved by wind farms. Current spot prices for SRECs in most states with solar portfolio standards can be viewed at SRECTrade. For example, prices in July, 2010 ranged from $255/SREC in Delaware to as high as $665/SREC in New Jersey.

For more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_Energy_Certificates

Carol asks…

What Doe’s Penny Wong’sPress Release Mean for Renewable Energy Certificates Between now and Jan 1st?

admin answers:

Good question David

From my understanding (and I fully support the amendments to the RET by the way), domestic REC values will be $40 each for the next six months, and the solar multiplier for domestic PV will remain as it was been until then as well. After that time both the value of the RECs AND the amount of PV multiplier will be reviewed and changed as needed which will ultimately mean less capital subsidies for domestic systems. Bare in mind that PV prices have been plummetting lately, which in effect means the subsidy CAN be reduced and system out of pocket costs remain about the same.

If more RECs are generated than needed in that timeframe, the target will be temporarily lifted and then adjusted/corrected as we get closer to 2020.

Hope that helps, and we’ll see how things develop. I’m involved in a sustainability group who will be doing a PV bulk purchase soon – we’ve been waiting for this amendment before going ahead with it as without it, the phantom RECs from the solar mutiplier have been eliminating any net climate benefits.

Edit : I clarified the situation with a policy advisor and if a system is generated now (or in the next six months) the RECs created will count to the 2010 allocation which will mean less slice of the pie for large scale renewables, and therefore the REC is essentially wasted. Advice is to purchase a (domestic) system ONLY if you can defer the RECs generation until after Jan 1st to make sure it will fall into the new system.

Also, here’s the official media release… Http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/minister/wong/2010/media-releases/June/mr20100625.aspx

Ken asks…

How Much do Renewable Energy Certificates Cost?

admin answers:

Thee plants have already taken care of that. Do not pay some one a tax to breath.

Joseph asks…

What Possible Reason Could Anybody Ever Have for Wanting to get a Renewable Energy Training Certificate?

What possible reason could anybody ever have for wanting to get a renewable energy training certificate?

admin answers:

With engineering, manufacturing, agriculture, and customer support all outsourced to other countries what is left are the jobs that have to be done locally. This includes jobs to come to a customers home to survey, install and service their energy use.

Donna asks…

What is Renewable Energy Certificate Programs?

What is Renewable Energy Certificate Programs?

admin answers:

They are programs designed to give you the training needed to pass entry level certification in renewable energy fields.
NAPCEP is one of the better known independent testing bodies, and many companies are available to provide training.

Susan asks…

What is Master Certificate in Renewable Energy?

what is Master Certificate in Renewable Energy?

admin answers:

Master Certificate in Renewable Energy
The Master Certificate is for professionals who’re serious about mastering the business of renewable energy. Boots on the Roof offers a program for it. They explain the details well about renewable energy certificates.

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Solar Panels For Your Home: Your Questions Answered

 

James asks…

I See Solar Panels For Your Home  Being Advertised, Need More Info

Need to find out more information whether solar panels for your home will save energy. If you have solar panels, or have had in the past please inform if they are worth the cost to lower my utility bill?

I live in the state of Texas and my current rage is 11. per kWh.
Thank you for your time and help.

admin answers:

It cost .7 per kWh here. I added up the cost of my system and I installed it will take me almost 20 years to get my money back. I should be dead by then. Maybe I will sell the house and make it back because it does increase the value of a home.

Michael asks…

How Much Does It Cost to Have Solar Heating installed in My Home?

I am looking to find alternative means of energy.

My electrical bill is astronomical as it is the only source of energy in my home.

I no longer use gas heat as my last heating bill was almost £200.00 a month. So, all sources of energy in my home is certainly electrical in nature.

I am looking to have solar panels installed for home heating and for hot water.

About how much am I looking to throw into this gesture?

Anyone have an idea how to get started?

Your sister,
Ginger

admin answers:

I have made some enquiries on going totally solar and for a hot water service was around £3,000.00..
I am going to totally cover my roof (only 3 sides) with solar panels which will cost around £15 – £20,000.00…
There is talk of  Government paying rebates as incentives to become green on a variety of things.

Donna asks…

Solar panel for your home?

So how does a solar panel work? Where does the energy get stored in? How much does one cost for a small 2 family home? How much money would we save on electricity?

admin answers:

In the short, a solar panel is composed of many solar cells…all tied together and in some sort of a frame for mounting. When energy from the sun hits it, it creates a reaction which can feed electricity through leads to a converter system which takes the Direct Current power and converts it into Alternating Current. If you rewire your house for DC products I suppoes you wo’nt need the converter. But most of these systems are retro-fits.
Batteries provide back up source to the system when the sun goes down.
So solar is converted to electricity through the panel, which goes to your solar system which both provides power to the house and to recharge batteries. The batteries take over when the sun is down.
So you will need to know how much battery capacity you need by calculating the Amp hour rating of your appliances that you normally use at night like Microwave, TV, radio, refrigerator, etc. For some depending on the appliance….water heater (if electric) or stove)
then you need to figure out how many panels you need to provide your normal daily energy use, figure out how many batteries you need, set up a distribution system that gives you what you need where you want it and wa la.
Once done, you will be off the grid and paying nothing from the electrical utility. Some places due to deregulation allow you to sell excess power to local utilities too, but those systems need to meet tight standards.

Richard asks…

What is the Cost of a Home Install for Solar Panels?

I want to install five photovoltaic 200 watt solar panels on the roof of my home in Texas. It is a grid tie system and all the equipment has been purchased already. I received two quotes from solar installation companies and they both want about $20,000 just to connect the wires. Is that normal? Can I just hire a licensed electrician to do the job? Thank you for your reply.
Everything has been paid for already roof mounts, wire, inverters, panels….. everything. I just need someone to do the final connections to the grid. For that the solar installation companies want $20,000. Is there anyway I can get this done cheaper? Thanks.
I don’t think its a waste of money getting photovoltaic panels. My electricity use is 2000 kwh per month at $0.15 per Kwh. So I pay $3600 per year for electricity.

admin answers:

I don’t know about Texas, but in California, doing a self-install does not invalidate the rebate. And it certainly does not invalidate the Federal Tax Credit on form 5695 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-dft/f5695–dft.pdf . Take a look at the form and instructions. I got both rebates installing myself. Florida requires professional installation for their rebate, I think.

You must still be compliant with your local building codes. What you could do is hire a roofer to put up the standoffs and panels, then later, an electrician to hook it up to your service panel. The electrician can run conduit as needed. Or you could do the physical job of putting up the panels, yourself, then call the electrician to hook it up. Just be sure to get all the necessary permits and inspections.

$20k is way too much for just installation. That should buy a 3 kW system, parts included, installed.

If you want to see roughly what’s involved so that you can direct a roofer, you can see a video here: http://www.archive.org/details/DIY_self_installed_solar_photovoltaic_panels

William asks…

Does Hooking up to Your Power Grid, Using Renewable Electrical Sources, Cost Money?

If you have an at home power source like a generator or solar panels does it cost money to hook up to the grid (other than to pay for an electrician)?

I have heard that when you hook up to the grid to send back electricity it costs like 10 grand. Is that true?

admin answers:

When you hook a system up to the “grid” you need to get a permit from the city. You will need to submit plans and get them approved. The cost will depend be determined by your city or county.

It is also up to the utility to allow items to be hooked up to the power companies equipment.

I had a solar system installed and the permits were only a few hundred dollars, the solar contractor had to submit plans for approval and we had to have an inspection before we could start the system.

 

Solar Panels For Your Home

 

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