Residential solar energy is becoming a more popular as our world continues to look for new sustainable and renewable energy sources. Solar energy is abundant and free, and new technologies are being developed that are making it more affordable and practical to harness this clean energy source for our daily lives.
Residential solar power is simply energy from the sun that has been converted into electricity to run your home. Not only can it replace your existing power sources, but in can get you completely off the grid, so that you never have to worry about a power bill ever again. In some cases, if your solar power system produces more electricity than you require, you can even sell it back to your power company!
How does residential solar energy work? There are several different ways it can operate in your home. One is with photovoltaic cells. These cells are connected together in a solar panel. The more panels you have, the higher the output. These panels collect solar energy and convert it into low voltage electricity.
Solar power isn't the alternating current, or AC that is found coming off of your power box, it is direct current, or DC power. You convert it to AC with a solar inverter. Another challenge with DC power from the sun is that there are going to be times when there isn't a lot of sunlight available. This problem can be solved in different ways. One of them is to have battery back up. When the sun is out, and producing more energy than you can use, it is stored in the batteries until you need it.
Depending on where you live, you can also use the sun's energy for heating your home's water. Water can be heated by the sun, up to sixty degrees or more. While this may not be comfortable enough for bathing, it is certainly warm enough for doing laundry and other applications, and it can save you up to 40% on your heating bill. How this works is instead of solar panels with light absorbing cells, these are panels that have a series of tubes running through them. As the water passes through the tubing, the heat of the sun warms up the water.
Even if your home is not ready for using solar power systems yet, there are many other ways that you can save electricity. If you can go through your home and replace as many energy wasting appliances as possible with higher efficiency products, you will see a significant reduction in your power usage.
One perfect example is your hot water heater. Many people think that they need a tank water heater in order to have enough hot water. No matter how energy efficient a tank heater is, it uses excess energy because the tank has to be maintained at a certain temperature constantly. Instead, try installing a tank less water heater! These heaters only heat up the water during usage, and when you aren't using it, there is no power consumption.
Another way you can save on electricity is by replacing all of your conventional lights with compact fluorescent bulbs. These not only use half the electricity of a standard bulb, and depending on where they are located, they may only need to be replaced every three years.
There are many other ways you can save electricity, and the new solar technologies that are being developed are making daily life both simpler and more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Try using a solar power battery charger, a solar backpack, or solar power roof vents to start saving energy and choosing a greener and more environmentally friendly lifestyle!