There are so many questions about Solar Energy, and I guess for us as South Africans the biggest one would be Will Solar Power save me money?
The Short answer is, yes.
However, you have to do some analysis to understand why. A key feature of solar energy is that it is a long-term investment. It’s as if you’re prepaying your electricity costs all upfront. Then you reap the benefits for many years to come.
A solar system allows you to generate the amount of electricity you require (or a portion of it). So what does this mean?
It means simply by integrating a solar system with the electricity grid, that a significant part of your electrical bill is taken care of for the next 25 years.
Our current fuel prices are constantly climbing, so even if you were to invest in a generator, you would likely find yourself paying almost as much for fuel towards a generator then as for the car you drive to work each day. Keeping this in mind, add that little thing called the electric bill on top.
So the reality is that you could find yourself in five to ten years paying a small fortune in South Africa at the rate we are going..
So instead of burning coal that emits large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, why not make the right choice and switch to Solar energy and save.
So ask yourself, when will the right time be to switch over to Solar energy?
A month from now?
a year from now?
five years from now?
Can Solar Power My Whole House?
Yes! One of the common misconceptions about solar power is that you run only certain items with the power that is produced.
A grid-tied system will save you a certain percentage of your monthly electrical bill.
While an off-grid system will remove your monthly electrical bill completely.
For example, you could offset 10%, 50%, or even 100% of your monthly electrical usage.
The solar system ties into your home’s electrical system and simply provides power as it is produced. The amount of your usage that can be offset by solar depends on the size and angle of your roof, as well as your budget. Many customers do offset their entire electric bills with solar.
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How Solar Power Works for Dummies
Solar panels make electricity from sunlight. The end.
Just kidding! It’s a little more complex than that.
Solar panels are comprised of solar cells. These cells collect sunlight, which makes electrons move inside them. This creates a DC electrical current.
The cells are wired together inside the panel and the current travels through the wires and out of the panel. All of the panels are connected together, and their collective energy produced travels down wiring to an inverter. The inverter is the brains of the operation and is what converts the DC electricity made by the panels into AC electricity.
From there, the AC power goes into the electrical system of your house or business and is used just like regular power from the utility. If your house has more power than it needs, the extra will be pumped onto the grid. In this case, it goes through a bidirectional meter that keeps track of power going both ways.
While there are more components than this in a solar system, this should give you a decent idea of how a solar system works in general. The important thing to know is that it works like a charm and it can offset your electric bill.
Why Solar Power is the Best Energy Source
Solar is the best source of energy for several reasons.
Obviously, we’re a solar company, so we’re a little biased. But when you think about all that solar has going for it, we think you’ll agree.
Renewable. One of the biggest benefits of solar power is that it’s renewable. No one has to go out and drill for solar power. It never runs out, and it’s available anywhere. If the world can get away from utilizing finite sources of energy like fossil fuels, we’ll all be better off.
No maintenance. When you invest in a solar energy system, you don’t have to worry about maintenance or moving parts. With wind energy, for example, you have a turbine that is turning non-stop. That requires some kind of lubrication and you’re counting on moving parts never wearing out. With solar, nothing is moving or wearing out. You just install the system and forget about it.
Independence. With solar, you can achieve a degree of independence. When you buy your power from the electric company, you’re at their mercy. When they raise their rates, you have to agree to pay them. You can’t really go down the street to another utility. When you install your own solar equipment, it allows you to control the cost of your energy production. You buy the system one time and that’s your total cost for energy.
Are solar power systems really worth it?
The answer to that question depends on several factors that are specific to your situation.
Consider these factors when deciding whether to invest in solar:
What do you pay the utility? The cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour is one of the key factors to consider when considering whether solar is an appropriate investment. In South Africa, this should be a no-brainer seeing as we already pay an arm and a leg for electricity
Your roof. You may not have the perfect roof for solar, but if you have south-facing, east-facing, or west–facing roof space that is not shaded then it may be ideal for solar.
In cases where trees shade the whole roof without trimming or removing them, solar isn‘t going to work.
The number of panels that can fit on your roof can also be negatively affected if the roof has many obstructions.
In most cases, some roof panels can be installed, but the size of the system may be restricted.
Time frame. When deciding whether solar is worth it, you should also consider its timeframe.
You can almost consider solar as a way to prepay for your electricity several years in advance.
You buy a system that produces power for the next 25 or 30 years.
The advantage of doing it that way is that the cost of the system is much less than what you’re going to pay the power company over 25 or 30 years just to buy electricity.
Some people look at what seems like a bigger investment to get a solar system but don’t compare that to 25 or 30 years of electricity costs. You have to look at the big picture and think of solar as an investment that will pay off big in the long run.
Will Solar Power Take Over?
Solar power is a long way from becoming the dominant form of energy production in the world.
Currently, less than 1% of the power generated on the grid comes from solar power. With that being said, thousands of people and businesses across the World are going solar every year.
At some point, solar may overtake other forms of energy as the most predominant source of energy. However, there is a long way to go before that happens.
Why isn’t solar more widely used?
It takes a long time to change the perception that it’s not a viable source of energy. Solar has been around for a long time and for the vast majority of its existence, it wasn’t affordable. This has lead to an ongoing perception that it’s too expensive and not realistic.
The utility companies also generally don’t like people to go solar, because it reduces the amount of power that they can sell. Many of them have done everything in their power to try to squash solar from going mainstream.
Although solar is a long way from taking over the world, that doesn’t mean that it’s not the best option for you. For many people, it’s still the absolute best way for them to generate power. Don’t let the fact that most people don’t know about solar yet deter you from making the decision that’s best for you and your family.
So from us here at Dealhut, we would just like to thank all the people from around the world for teaching us about solar and trying to make this world a better place.
So here are a couple of links to those sites that are dedicated to Solar Energy
Solar Magazine, a popular online solar PV media outlet, shares information on the latest technology, trends, and news in the industry.
The publication covers several key areas in the field, including financing, legislation and policy, research, markets and trends.
In addition to solar news pieces and in-depth articles, Solar Magazine also provides insightful industry explorations in the form of interviews and events coverage of conferences, exhibitions, and seminars.
The publication focuses primarily on the solar energy industry in the United States, China, India, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
One of the top platforms in the next-generation energy space, Greentech Media offers market analysis and research, industry news, conferences, and other events targeted at professionals working in the clean tech energy field.
Greentech Media covers a variety of topics on solar, grid edge, storage, wind power, and hybrid energy.
SolarPro Magazine ran from October 2008 to November 2018, and was a go-to source for solar power news for industry professionals.
While you can no longer get your hands on the print version of the magazine, you can find each of their past issues on their website in digital form.
SolarPro Magazine has 62 past issues, featuring advice on generating new commercial leads, managing projects, and utilizing different solar technologies.
The complete catalog is free to access with website registration.
The Solar Energy Industries Association, also referred to as SEIA, is the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry.
It represents the interests of solar manufacturers, installers, and other organizations promoting and supporting the development of solar energy.
Renewable Energy World
Renewable Energy World offers in-depth coverage, whitepapers, webcasts, and case studies related to the solar industry across the globe.
As a comprehensive news source for renewable energy information, the publication also covers energy efficiency, wind power, geothermal energy, hydropower, bioenergy, and related operations, maintenance and storage.
Renewable Energy World is also the supporting publication of POWERGEN International, DISTRIBUTECH International, and HydroVision International, which are major events for the international renewable energy industry.
Looking to get your solar news in a bite-sized form?
You can subscribe to the Renewable Energy World’s e-newsletter to get snapshots of the latest solar news delivered to your inbox each week.
Solar Power World
Solar Power World is one of the top U. S. media outlets offering news and educational materials on solar installation, development, and tech.
The publication produces new content daily covering the latest industry trends, solar power news, advice on running a solar business, forecasts for the future growth of the solar sector, and more.
The site provides numerous additional educational resources including podcasts, videos, webinars, whitepapers, and event coverage.
It also features comprehensive model databases for storage batteries, solar racking and mounting products, panels, and inverters.
Once a year, Solar Power World also publishes the Top Solar Contractor list featuring U.S.-based companies that provide EPC contracting, development, construction, installation, electrical work, and other solar-related services.
Launched in 2008 for international solar professionals, PV Magazine focuses on the latest solar news and worldwide market developments.
PV Magazine USA, the U.S. sister publication of PV Magazine International, features a range of topics specific to the United States solar energy market.
The publication covers several key areas of the industry, including markets, policy and finance, residential and commercial installation, utility-scale PV and storage, manufacturing, R&D, and technology.
PV Magazine also hosts a number of events and webinars, and features solar industry job postings from across the country.
Solar Industry Magazine
Solar Industry Magazine offers solar energy news pieces on a wide range of topics.
You can find news articles on business operations, community solar projects, development, energy storage, environmental issues, financing, installation, manufacturing, policy and regulation, and more.
The publication defines its ethos as offering “industry participants probing, comprehensive assessments of the technology, tools and trends that are driving this dynamic energy sector.
From raw materials straight through to end-user applications, we capture and analyze the critical details that help professionals stay current and navigate the solar market.”
In addition to current news coverage, the online publication offers a complete archive of its past print issues in downloadable format, dating back to January 2013.
While Solar Industry Magazine is no longer available in print, you can subscribe to its digital newsletter.
Solar Builder Magazine
Solar Builder Magazine has gone through several transformations since its humble beginnings in 2011.
The publication currently provides headline news in the solar construction market and is available as a print subscription. It also offers its readers a free e-newsletter.
The magazine’s website also features buyer’s guides for solar industry products such as PV modules, inverters, and mounting gear.
Each year Solar Builder Magazine recognizes innovative, complex, and striking solar sites with its “Solar Builder Projects of the Year” awards.
Contractors, manufacturers, and developers can send in submissions throughout the year and the top winners, as selected by voters, are awarded with Gold, Silver, and Bronze designations.
Additionally, Solar Builder Magazine offers information on upcoming conferences, seminars, and trade shows.
Other educational resources available to readers include a directory of courses and webinars that can help professionals expand their knowledge in the solar field.
A little info from Bill Nye the Science Guy and Richard Komp