Get Started on Using Solar Energy

November 2nd, 2010

If you wish to make a contribution to saving the environment and at the same time, would not mind seeing your electricity bills diminish dramatically, there is no better time to take advantage of using solar electricity than now. More people have had photovoltaic (PV) panels installed in their homes and have been seeing the benefits of lower costs of ownership through the introduction of renewable energy certificates and other rebates. Businesses are also being encouraged to introduce energy efficiencymeasures and incentives exist for the introduction of targeted initiatives.

There is of course, no better place to get started than in your own home. If you would like to know the basics of having PV panels installed, here is a round-up of what you need, what to expect, and how to go about your plan. But there is one important attribute that you must possess to be able to make the option work: the passion to make a change and generate electricity from renewable sources. Whatever, your motivation, action is important.

Solar Panels

First of all, you would need an entire solar panel system that usually includes the PV panels, wiring, an inverter, and brackets. The number of solar system manufacturers continues to increase and with the growing amount of competition, prices have become more competitive making installation of a solar power system more affordable.

The inverter is responsible for converting direct current energy absorbed by the solar panels from the sun’s rays into alternating current to feed your electrical system. An inverter meter would indicate the amount of renewable energy you are generating on a daily basis.

A Sunny Location

Although a lot of people living or operating their businesses in locations that do not see sunlight for most of the year have been using solar electricity, installing a solar power system in an extremely sunny area has its advantages. It is recommended that you set up the PV panelsfacing the north for them to get maximum exposure. There should be no structures or trees blocking the sunlight. The rooftop is the most common location for installing the solar panels.

Batteries

For off grid premises, battery arrays are often required to store any excess solar electricitygenerated by the system. If you are connected to the grid, you will receive the benefits of feed in tariffswhereby your power company will pay you for the electricity you generate. The process is called gross and net metering. Governments in Australia encourage the use of solar power by offering incentives in the form of solar rebates and/or renewable energy certificates, which are obtained by homes and businesses using renewable energy sources.

How much do I need to spend?

The amount you need to invest for a solar power system would depend on your energy requirement. In Australia, it is possible to get a smaller system for as little as $4,000.

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