Aside from the good press and excellent tax savings that come from commercial solar, the utility savings for most companies has been enormous especially as utilities continue to hike up their rates on a frequent basis.
However, these can be very big jobs and it is important to make sure that any company looking to hire for this work finds a very capable professional company to do the work fast, to do it right, and to make sure the entire process runs as smoothly as possible.
An online search is one of the first places to start when looking for commercial solar design and installation specialists. Look for those providers who have a large number of high positive reviews, but also look at any negative reviews.
Google each company name and look for news stories not only on page one, but page two of Google as well. This will give you a full idea of the local provider’s reputation.
Ask for previous work done and references. If they have a long history of commercial solar installation, then there should be no problem with getting a few happy companies willing to give a recommendation based on positive experiences with past work.
Solar panels that are designed for commercial usage do tend to be larger than those that are used for residential homes. These are most often 77 inches by 39 inches and designed with maximum efficiency in mind to give businesses the most bang for their buck.
Installation will take a bit longer as well and can be a few days. If the project is absolutely massive it may take a few weeks but this will be communicated up front so the business owner knows what to expect, what the timeline is, and they can work out any specific issues that might come up during that time frame.
Aside from being good for the environment, in most states companies can receive both federal tax credits for going solar as well as federal and sometimes state rebates for going solar.
This also provides massive amounts of free or extremely inexpensive energy while cutting down (or in some small business cases, eliminating) the need to collect energy from a utility. This can add up to serious savings over time even after the initial rebate and tax benefits.
In addition to this because of the battery setup of solar power you may be able to weather through a power outage affecting the rest of the area on stored energy alone. Add in that in some areas you can get a PBI (performance based incentive) where utilities must pay you for excess energy you provide and you can see where the investment in solar can be a smart business move.
Deciding to go with a commercial solar design and installation is a smart move. Not only does this lead to long-term energy security and much more control over utility bills and expenses, but the addition of commercial grade solar panels often adds value to the property and can be a great PR move. The upside here is absolutely incredible.]]>
The generated energy can be stored in backup batteries to be used at night. Any excess energy generated during the daytime can be injected back into the grid, earning you reasonable premium tariff for each kWh generated. Although you might have several options on where to have the panels installed, it would be advisable to consider rooftop solar panels.
Having solar panels installed on the roof increases their exposure to sunlight while minimizing obstructions increasing its efficiency. Outlined below are some of the reasons and benefits of investing in rooftop solar panels.
With the solar panels installed on the roof, they should generate enough electricity to power most applications in the home or business during the day. This means you will see at least a 70% reduction in electricity consumption from the main grid. This is, of course, assuming you are still connected to the grid. The best thing with this is that you can dedicate the most basic applications to use solar, while only heavy-duty applications remain connected to the grid.
Unlike other investments, you are guaranteed higher returns once the solar plant is installed. While it may take some time for the solar system to pay for itself, it is just a matter of time before you start using free energy.
Most solar panels have a warranty period of around 25 years before their efficiency starts to decline. Depending on the size of the solar system, your investment should have broken even within four years of purchase. With electricity bills hitting record highs, you won’t have to worry about such bills once the system is set up.
As a rule of thumb, solar panels will generate more energy when exposed to sunlight. That said, investing in rooftop solar panels ensures optimal sunlight exposure. This means the panels will be producing energy optimally which results in lots of free energy to use. Any extra energy generated is pushed into the grid system, earning you valuable points which can be redeemed whenever you switch to grid power.
Solar panels work by converting light energy into electricity. It is one of the cleanest ways of generating electricity without depending on fossil fuels. In addition to this, solar energy is 100% renewable as the solar panels will continue generating energy when the sun rises. As an added advantage, your home or business continues to have electricity even after there’s a power blackout. You don’t even have to use a gasoline-powered generator to get electricity.
Having a solar plant installed in your property automatically increases its market value significantly. Homes with rooftop solar panels (in the same neighborhood) cost much more than those without. For this reason, investing in a solar system is one of the best investments you ever made.
Be sure to conduct your due diligence to determine if your roof will support these solar panels. Factors such as price, quality, and condition of your roof should be considered when making the switch.]]>
These breakthroughs include ‘solar skins’ that allow for solar panels to blend in with the roof of the property, reducing the visual footprint of the installation.
Solar power storage, long one of the technology’s barriers to widespread acceptance is also evolving in leaps and bounds.
Ground-mounted installations are also becoming more popular. A solar installation in this configuration (which tracks the passage of the sun) allows even those homes that have roofs that were previously unsuitable for solar paneling to enjoy its benefits.
Taking a closer look at just why home and business owners should consider solar reveals that the technology has a variety of benefits. Here are just some of these:
The most obvious reason that property owners should consider solar power is that it is a renewable energy source. It is simply a resource that will not run out in the foreseeable future (the sun is expected to be around for at least the next 5 billion years). As a species, we simply have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels which are a finite resource (and highly polluting). Solar is one of the ways to do this.
Of even more interest to the average homeowner is the fact that once the solar system has been installed, the household’s energy bills immediately drop. The household will be supplementing the energy that they receive from the grid with that generated by the sun.
The savings will depend on household power usage and the size and type of the installation of course, but in most instances, these savings will be significant. With the right installation, there is also the possibility of receiving payment for power that is supplied back into the grid, so it’s one of those rare ‘win/win’ situations.
The cost savings don’t end with power alone. Modern installations require very little maintenance, In fact, most will only require that they are kept clean, which can be accomplished with a little DIY a couple of times a year.
If DIY isn’t your cup of tea then it’s useful to know that many solar energy installation companies offer maintenance and cleaning services. The only part of the installation that will require replacement after 5 – 10 years of service is the inverter which converts the solar energy into heat and power.
Making the installation of solar even more attractive many of these companies will offer rental or ‘rent to own’ packages to homeowners. This can significantly reduce the upfront costs of solar.
Although there are currently some downsides to solar, including the costs of power storage and weather dependency, it is almost certain that ongoing research will make these challenges more manageable. It is simply a matter of time. With the research into solar intensifying day by day, the attractions of this technology are becoming almost impossible to ignore.]]>
This article will provide a basic picture of how solar energy is harvested, as well as how it eventually ends up powering homes and businesses. By the end, everything should make a lot more sense.
Everything starts with abundant sunlight. And solar energy is all about catching rays from the most direct possible angle. It is a common belief that heat from the sun is what matters the most. However, the rays from the sun are the true source of solar power. In fact, hot days can actually decrease the efficiency of solar panels, just like cold and cloudy weather. Hence the reason for catching direct sunlight when harvesting green energy.
Solar energy systems do not have to be complex. Because the equipment you need consists of solar panels, an inverter, and a battery bank if you really want one. In basic terms, the solar panels have silicone cells/crystals that can capture and hold energy from sun rays. But this energy cannot be used yet, seeing as it is DC voltage. Homes and businesses only use AC voltage, which means a conversion needs to take place. And this is what the inverter is for.
Consider the converter the middle-man between the solar energy being harvested, and actually putting the energy to use. Every time you want to use green energy, it goes from the panels to the inverter, where the energy gets converted from DC to AC. The solar energy is also ready for use at this point, whether you need it for lights or appliances, it doesn’t matter.
Mentioned earlier is the optional battery bank. This will form part of the system if you want to store the energy you do not use. Keep in mind that without a battery bank, you will have to use solar energy on demand. This also means no renewable energy during the night. If you are still connected to the grid, you can switch between the two sources. But if you plan on living off the grid, it is recommended to have a battery bank in place.
Without any moving parts, solar equipment can last for several years. For instances, solar panels can be effective for twenty years, just like some solar batteries. As for inverters, a quality model can remain functional for up to ten years. But everything depends on the quality of the equipment you invest in.
And what about the sun? There are no worries there as it is set to stick around for another 5 billion years or so.]]>
One of the biggest issues that consumers and businesses alike have faced with this technology is how to store the energy that you capture. The ability to hold on to the energy is one of the major issues in the emerging technologies. At the moment, it is still necessary to use the energy you have or face the reality of losing it.
Because you can only get the energy provided by the sun during the daytime, there is a significant need to be able to maintain the energy that you capture. With the way systems are today, it is very limited in the amount of energy you can maintain and the length of time that it can be kept. This ends up resulting in systems that can only provide power for a portion of society’s needs.
Batteries, of course, can store energy but they are still considered to be fairly inefficient. The best ones are expensive and overall, they have a fairly short life span. This means that for major utility companies as well as for ordinary consumers, it is not the best choice. Currently, scientists are exploring new solar technology that will be able to provide electricity anytime someone needs it.
The US government has been working together with universities and testing a new solar panel that has the battery built into it. Some reports suggest that it can be as much as 20% more efficient and considerably cheaper. In fact, one of the big reasons that it tends to be more efficient and cheaper is the very fact that it is built into the panel itself. Going from the solar panel to an external battery is sometimes inefficient.
One of the most likely factors that will determine if this type of technology will replace other types of fuel is whether or not it can be made to be efficient and cost-effective. One of the things that have driven up the cost is the inefficiency in manufacturing. Currently, most solar cells are made of silicon. In the future, it is expected that the same solar panels will be made of a thin film along with a light coating of cadmium telluride.
Once that technology is available then the cost of solar panels will plummet. The biggest problem they’re having with making that change is the fact that the newer technology is currently unstable. Even so, researchers are finding promising ways to stabilize the material. Once they do then they’ll have a highly efficient and low-cost solar panel. As technology improves and its efficiency improves with it, this is sure to be one of the major sources of modern energy.]]>