Here are some basic facts about solar energy for the home.
A home solar power system has several standard components they are as follows:
* PV Modules or solar panels (to turn solar energy into electricity)
* A charge controller (this is an electrical device that prevents batteries from overcharging and from power running from the batteries into the solar panels).
* Batteries, to store the electricity for night time usage.
* An inverter (an device which changes the electricity created by the solar panels into electricity ready for use in your regular household wall sockets). Solar panels create Direct Current DC and a household runs on A/C Alternating Current.
* In the case of a hybrid home solar system, an automatic switch to get current from the electrical grid, or some other power source such as a generator would be included as well. The advantage of using a hybrid system is that you will not be dependent upon solar energy alone.
* A 1-kilowatt home solar system is sufficient for most households.
* A 1-kilowatt home solar system will provide roughly 1,600 kilowatts per year in a sunny climate (receiving 5.5 hrs of sunlight each day) and about 750 kilowatt hours per year in cloudy climates (receiving 2.5 hours of sunlight each day).
* A 1-kilowatt home solar system is uses about 10-12 solar panels, and requires about 100 square feet of installation area (which could be the roof of your home or a section of land on your property).
* A 1-kilowatt home solar energy system reduces waste and pollution by about 170 pounds. of coal from being burned, 300 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and 105 gallons of water from being consumed each month! A big step toward protecting our environment, in other words.
* With battery back up, a solar energy system can provide electricity day and night, no matter what the weather conditions. Other options, which include back-up generators and grid-tie systems, provide total security.
* On average a 1-kilowatt home solar system takes about 1-2 days to install and costs around US$10,000 (though prices are coming down), but can vary greatly and does not take into account any tax incentives offered by the government for reducing carbon emissions.
* Most systems come with a 5-year warranty, although the solar panels are warranted for 20, and as technology advances some are even coming out with a 30 year warranty.
Installing solar power into one's home is a great way to help clean up the environment and save money as well.