What Can I Use Solar Power for in My Home or Office?

If you’re thinking of solar power as an option for your home, then congratulations. Taking steps towards renewable energy is a worthy cause. There are many options with solar electricity in terms of how much you want to use, how you want to combine it with other sources and installation options. Solar power is expensive to install in homes and offices and must be done by an electrician, but once installed, there is only the negligible cost of maintenance to worry about, and the savings attached with the use of this power source. It’s worthwhile thinking about the energy that you use and whether solar power can realistically meet your demand.
Ratio of energy usage – how often do you use what?
Being connected to the national power grid means you can use as much energy as you need (or want) to use. The only danger is the potential epic bill you may receive. Relying on solar power alone means you will have a limited amount of energy available to you. Think about how often you use electricity around your home and whether solar power alone can power your home. Usually it is used in combination with wind-power or the grid. More about that later.
Solar power’s capabilities, in terms of your home or office, will depend on whether or not the building is appropriately built and located to support the installations required. You will need to consider the following things:
Is your roof sufficiently unshaded and North-facing to gain the maximum benefit?
What size and scope is right for you? You will need to talk to your electrician or installer about this.
Can your roof support the panels required for power generation?
Many buildings will not meet the criteria for complete solar power support but a partial installation is a good option and will still save you money.
Installation options.
Solar power is an intermittent energy source, meaning it is only available when the sun is shining directly on whatever collection method being used, whether through photovoltaic solar panels (PV) or the mirrors and lenses of concentrated solar power (CSP). The effectiveness of solar power relies on it being stored when not being immediately used. There are two main solutions to this problem. Rechargeable batteries are the traditional way of storing power, and are usually installed in systems where solar power is used mig welder for sale near me used conjunction with other alternate energy sources such as wind power. The other option is to use a Solar Bonus Scheme. This means that the energy you produce is fed into the national grid, gaining you credits with the power company. Effectively you are using the grid as a storage unit for your electricity. This has the added benefit of guaranteeing you power at all times, but means you are still connected to the grid. Talk to an electrical services company about what is best for you, your home or business.
Possible sacrifices you’ll factors affecting supply have to …

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Retrofitting a Roof Mounted Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panel


You’ve decided how many solar panels you need, you know the size of the panels and you know how you want them to be laid out. Now you’ve got to work out how to get them safely up to the roof, secure them and be certain that they will stay there.

This article describes some of the steps to take when carrying out a retrofit roof mounted solar PV installation. We don’t go into any classification of manufacturing processes detail about the electrical side, this article concentrates purely on the mechanical aspects of a typical retrofit PV installation.

We hope it will provide a useful background for clients and contractors who are considering the installation of a solar PV system.

Assessing the Roof and Identifying Risks

This part should be carried out on first inspection and referred to throughout the system design stage. A record should be kept of what you find (ideally with pictures). Some of the key aspects relevant to roof mounting solar panels and the potential dangers, include:

Fragile roofing materials, including insecure, inadequate, corroded or broken roof fittings, anything that the installer or materials could potentially fall through if weight was applied.

Any protection at the roof edges to stop the installer, tools and or materials falling i.e something to stop a person or equipment sliding down the roof and over the edge.

The presence of asbestos, lead and other contaminates that could cause problems if cut, damaged or disturbed. Remember to also look at flashings, guttering, pipes and pipe insulation.

Insecure, inadequate, rotten or broken roof supports and rafters that may not be strong enough or big enough to handle the increased weight loading or provide a secure connection for the mounting feet.

Existing waterproofing and flashings, any damp, staining or corroded areas may be an indication of underlying instability.

External influences such as the proximity of power lines that may cause difficulties or dangers during the installation.

Moss, lichen or anything else that may be slippy when walked on.

Once you have this information think about and record the ways in which the issues that you have identified could affect the installation including:

The suitability of the equipment that will be installed in relation to the mounting area.

The suitability of the equipment that will be used for the installation.

The safety of the installation team.

The safety of others who may be using the building or be close to the building whilst the installation is taking place.

The long term effect of the increased weight loading on the structure.

Any uncovered problems that could be made worse because of the PV installation or spread to affect the installation at a later date.

Once you have considered these factors you are then likely to have a good idea of the best way to overcome these issues and progress, whilst reducing risks and selecting the most suitable equipment for the PV system itself and the equipment needed to carry out the installation.

In many …

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How Effective Is Solar Power?

The sun is the source of all our power. A statement not untrue, albeit a little misleading. The sun’s radiation is the origin of all the power sources we use today, affecting chemical changes to create everything from nuclear power to the much greener wind power. But how do we harness the sun’s energy, and how effective is it? A worthy question. After all, solar power is almost eternally available and, most importantly, free.
In theory, solar power can power everything on earth. In practice, it’s a matter of logistics. Solar power is the conversion of sunlight to electricity through either converting it directly to photovoltaics (PV) or by concentrating solar power (CSP), using it to boil water into steam, which then generates electricity. Since the sun is only emitting radiation on any given point during daytime hours, and is affected by elements such as cloud cover, it needs to be combined with a method of energy storage. Solar power’s potential is vast, and could easily supply all the energy in the world, hundreds of times over. However, the problem lies within the cost. Although the cost is coming down, solar power panels and plants are very expensive to produce.
How it works
The energy released from the sun is radiation – light and heat. This can be harnessed in two ways. Firstly, by using panels containing photovoltaics, which absorb the radiation and convert it into direct current energy. Photovoltaic devices are a type of photodiode, which means photons of light from the sun knock electrons within the device into higher states of excitement, thus generating electricity. The other method is by concentrating solar power by means of mirrors and lenses onto a point, which can then be used to heat up water, converting it to steam and then energy. Think of a kid using a magnifying glass on an ant colony, then magnify that heat (excuse the pun), and you can see what kind of energy can be produced.
Comparisons with other sources
Solar power is still behind fossil and nuclear power sources in terms of power generated, but its benefits for the environment far outweigh its polluting cousins. Water generation, although greener than fossil and nuclear, still requires industrial wastewater treatment technologies dams and can alter landscapes dramatically. Wind power is comparable, in terms of a renewable energy source, but wind turbines can be loud, take more time to install, require maintenance and are more susceptible to weather damage.
Storing types of wood used in mid century furniture energy.
As an intermittent energy source, solar power must be stored if it isn’t to be used immediately. In power plants, the energy is stored either as heat in a heat-retaining material or as pumped-storage hydroelectricity, meaning the energy is used to pump water from a lower reservoir to a higher one. In home-based solar power storage, the solution is usually a series of rechargeable batteries that can store the excess electricity.
Is it a realistic way of powering …

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