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Solar Energy

Todays topic is brought to you by the letter E for energy. Photovoltaic cells are designed to harness the energy from sunlight and turn it into useable electric energy. This energy can power something as small as a cell phone or as large as a house. It depends on a few key elements: system size, space available and available sunlight.

Solar panels have come a long way in the last few decades and have become relatively cheap and efficient. I’ve just installed a ~10kw system on my home today which provides 101% of my energy needs. This means not only will I save $250/month on my electric bill, but through the net metering program I will be able to sell a little power back to the power company. Before you buy Solar panels there’s a little research you should do in advance. I went with AKE for my solar panels because they had good warranties, micro inverters on each panel, low interest rate loans and a large enough system to support my needs.

Other types of renewable energy sources include: hydroelectric, wind generators/turbines, solar thermal, geothermal, wave generators, magnetic turbines and biofuel. Each has merits and drawbacks, but all of them are green, clean and electric producing machines. The environment you live in will determine which one will work best for you. Here in Florida sunlight is abundant year round, but in Alaska it’s only abundant half the year. So in Alaska wind turbines and geothermal might be used to compensate for the winter months. While solar thermal is an interesting use of solar panels, it requires a power plant to use effectively so you won’t hear about them for residential use.

I could talk about solar panels all day, but the important thing is that it works for you. Keep in mind in the USA we have one more year to break ground on a solar panel system and still earn a 26% tax credit on residential systems. Meaning you will definitely get a tax return and it will reduce the cost of going green. I hope this information helped. If you have any questions feel free to message me directly and if I don’t know the answer I know where to find it.

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