Chosing a Home Solar Electricity System

What You Should Know Before Purchasing a Solar Power System for your Home

Getting home solar electricity is much more affordable today than it was ten years ago. In fact, many state governments are currently offering tax rebates to persons who choose to convert their systems to home solar electricity.

But, if installing a complete photovoltaic system to supply your home electricity is beyond your financial capabilities, there are also programs available which enable you to purchase your utilities from an accredited green energy supplier.

Green energy suppliers offer utilities which are fueled only by renewable resources, such as solar electricity, hydroelectricity, and wind-generated electricity.

If, however, you have decided to switch to utilizing a solar electricity system in your home, it’s important to determine your electrical needs before you start shopping or planning.

  • How much power you need – The first thing to determine is how much power you will actually need for your home. Different arrays and solar panel set-ups offer different wattage outputs. Its important to take a the time to to determine what your average daily electricity usage will be. You are also looking for a number that takes the entire year into account, and affords for the different amount of energy you will use during summer and winter months. Most of us use more lights, heaters, air conditioners, etc., during different times of the year. So you will usually find that you use more electricity during some months, than you do during others.
  • The quality of the product – When shopping for the right photovoltaic system to supply your home solar electricity, make sure to research the quality of the product. A product which offers 13% efficiency, with a lifetime warranty, will be far more valuable than a panel offering 15% efficiency with a one-year warranty. If you know of neighbors, friends, or even strangers who are currently using home solar electricity, ask them about it. Try to learn more about the differences amongst different types of systems. You should also take some time
    to interview installers, and research different manufacturers as well.
  • Decide on your system – You will eventually need to make a final decision as to what type of system you will use, in order to supply your home with electricity. Generally three types of photovoltaic systems (which use solar panels) used to supply home solar power:
    • The first type is a grid-tied system. In this system, your solar panels are tied in with your existing power meter. You use both the electricity supplied by your panels, and, if and when needed, electricity from your electric company.
    • The second type of home solar power system is a grid-tie with battery backup. With this system you collect electricity from your solar panels, fill your batteries for emergencies, and send the excess back to the electric company through your power meter.
    • A stand-alone system – This is very similar to the grid-tied system with battery backup, except that you are not connected at all to any major power utility. This is the type of system which would be employed when living off-grid.

Once you have educated yourself on the different home solar power options that exist, you will probably be ready to start shopping.

For further and more complete information on this subject, you might want to invest in a comprehensive but simple-to-understand guide on home solar electricity.

Remember, converting to home solar power is an investment. Financially, you will reap the rewards over time. You may qualify for tax credits and other incentives as well. You will also reduce the harmful impact of polluting fossil fuels on today’s environment, which may be the most important benefit of all.

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