Consider the local permitting and inspection fees

Most people know about the installation fees that are associated with home solar systems. But there are also the local permitting and inspection fees that most people don’t know about. The permitting and inspection fees alone can add $2000 to $3000 to the installation fees. So when you get a quote from a local contractor, be sure to ask all the necessary fees. If you only consider the solar panels and installation fees, they don’t seem to be that bad. Keep in mind that the solar panels and installations fees are only 60 to 70% of the overall cost. Permitting, maintenance, and future repairs are another 30% that you don’t usually think about right away. Consider all the necessary cost before you decide on installing solar systems. Will you still be able to offset the cost in 10 years? Are you going to stay in the house that long?

The cost of solar homes

Most people use passive solar heaters to heat up water for their homes. Others use solar cells for electricity. If you’re considering solar panels for electricity, the cost of purchasing and installation can be overwhelming. Not all families get to recoup the investment. In today’s economy, every few people know that they will get to stay in the same area for more than 10 years. You never know when you would have to relocate. Sometimes to areas beyond commuting. When you sell your home, the solar panel investment might not add too much value to your house.

Yes, you can argue with the potential buyers, but it’s a buyer’s market right now so sometime you don’t have an option. If your new job is waiting and the old paycheck is done, you will have to sell and relocate. Very few families can carry two mortgages at the same time. So think about the recouping time vs the benefits before you decide on installing solar panels. But one thing for certain is that you’re helping the environment.

The cost of solar panels can be offset by the savings

Solar panels are expensive. They’re not a small investment that you make on your roof to save a few bucks a month on your electricity bill. The average cost is around $10,000 or more. And that’s just for the solar panels. The installation fees are added and can vary largely depending on your area. You can get the 30% federal tax credit and other rebates. But it is still a large sum comparing to other home improvements. You might not ever to recoup the amount it you’re going to move in a few years. With today’s job market, you just don’t know when you have to move out of the area.

However, if you’re already retired or near retirement, or have a job that’s tenured or self employed, solar panels can be a good investment. It might take you years to recoup the cost, but you’re doing something good for the environment and you will recoup eventually. Just won’t happen in 5 or 8 years.


Properly controlling moisture in your home is important

Properly controlling moisture in your home will improve the effectiveness of your air sealing and insulation efforts, and vice versa. Thus, moisture control contributes to a home’s overall energy efficiency. Be sure to use humidifier in winter and dehumidifier in the humid summer months.

The best strategy for controlling moisture in your home depends on your climate and how your home is constructed. Before deciding on a moisture control strategy for your home, you may first want to understand how moisture moves through a home.

Moisture control strategies typically include the following areas of a home:

  • Attics
  • Foundation
    • Basement
    • Crawl space
    • Slab-on-grade floors
  • Walls.

In most U.S. climates, you can use vapor diffusion retarders in these areas of your home to control moisture.

Proper ventilation should also be part of a moisture control strategy.


Source: EERE

What are the benefits of Active Solar Heating Systems?

If you’re thinking of installing active solar heating systems or are just wondering about its true benefits, all I know is that it is the most  cost-effective when they are used for most of the year. Which means that you need to have good solar resources. AZ, for example, will be a good place to have solar heating. If you currently use electricity, propane, and oil heat to heat your house, solar heating system will make the cost go much lower. You might be able to receive sales tax exemptions, income tax credits or deductions from your state government also.

It’s true that the system will not come cheap. The cost of an active solar heating system starts from $30 to $80 per square foot of collector area installed. But your fuel bills will be reduced so much even just in the first month. You can even use it to heat water and to generate electricity. If you’re also environmentally responsible, it will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. So if you know that you’ll stay in the house for a long time, then invest in a system.

Source: EERE

Outdoor solar lights are very easy to install

Outdoor solar lights are very easy to install and virtually maintenance free. Plus they provide free electricity. You can purchase them at any home improvement stores. Most outdoor solar lights have solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. And then the electricity is stored in batteries to be used at night. The price of solar lights have become cheaper and cheaper. You can buy half dozen for around $25. They basically need no installment. Simply follow the instructions and place them wherever you would like to.

They will work in any areas as long as you receive adequate amount of sunlight during the day. You don’t need to live in a bright sunny area to enjoy solar lights.

Since outdoor solar lights have become so inexpensive, check with the manufacturer to see if replacement bulbs or batteries are available. Some units do not provide replacement options. In other words, they are pretty much one time use. Once the bulbs are out, you have to get new ones.

Source: EERE

What is Concentrating Solar Power?

Concentrating Solar Power’s (CSP) relatively low cost and ability to deliver power during periods of peak demand—when and where we need it—means it can be a major contributor to the nation’s future needs for distributed sources of energy. Large-scale concentrating solar power technologies include parabolic troughs and power towers.
There are more than 350 megawatts of parabolic trough systems connected to the electricity grid in southern California. Photo credit: Warren Gretz. Illustration: open domain.
Parabolic troughs have a proven track record as a technology that can function effectively for large-scale power needs. They currently provide the least expensive way to produce solar electricity. Parabolic-trough systems concentrate the sun’s energy through long rectangular, curved (U-shaped) reflectors. The reflectors are tilted toward the sun, focusing the sun’s energy on a pipe that runs down the center (focal point) of the trough. The sun’s energy heats oil flowing through the pipe, and the hot oil then is used to boil water in a conventional steam generator to produce electricity.

Power towers have also shown their efficiency in demonstration projects and one is in commercial operation in Spain, but they are not yet in use commercially in the United States. A power tower system uses a large field of reflectors to concentrate the sun’s energy onto the top of a tower, where it heats a receiver filled with a heat-exchange fluid, such as oil. The heated fluid is then used to generate electricity in a conventional steam generator. Systems using molten salt as the heat-exchange fluid retain heat very efficiently, enabling them to produce electricity up to three hours after the sun has set.

Source: EERE, U.S. Department of Energy

Solar power is the new old technology to save energy

Solar power is the new old technology that people are using to help them save money. With the economy down and prices up, people are looking for new ways to save or even make money, which solar is a good option. With this, you can buy a pre build system that you piece together or you can make your own if you so inclined.

The savings on your electric bill can save you up to 100% of your bill if you get a large enough system. If you build a system that is bigger than you use, you can sell the power back to the electric company for a little bit of profit. This might vary state to state but most states are required to buy your power at market price.

The other plus of solar power is that you save the environment by using the natural power of the sun. If enough people use this way of power, we will all save a lot of money and cut down on carbon, and other emissions pumped into the air by power generation. So help yourself and the earth out and go green. Thank you and use solar power today.

Homemade Solar Power – Save Money by Making Your Own Solar Power System

Article by Jon Osbourne

There are many positives that come with building a solar power system. These positives include, but are not limited to, saving a lot of money on your power bills and helping out the environment. It’s therefore not a big surprise to discover more and more people are starting to produce their own Do it yourself (DIY) Solar Power Systems.

Building your own DIY Solar Power system is a simple and straight forward process, you don’t need to be an expert or have an expert help you out, you just need a clear, easy to follow blueprint and you will have your own system built and producing energy in no time.

The following three steps are crucial in ensuring your homemade solar power project is a success:

  1. Get a good guide: as mentioned above, putting together a diy solar power system is not the hardest tasks in the world, but you do need to make sure you have a good guide, set of plans, to work from. There are a large number of these guides, some not as impressive as others, I highly recommend that you choose one that comes with video as well as written instructions.
  2. Materials: Once you have got a guide to work from you need to assemble all the materials listed in the guide. All of these materials will be readily available at most local hardware stores.
  3. Follow the instructions: Probably the biggest mistake a lot of people make with diy projects is rushing the process and not paying enough attention to the instructions, take the time to read through and study your guide at least once before starting, it will make the whole process that much easier.

As I’ve emphasized in this article, making your own homemade solar power is a relatively easy process, best of all you get to enjoy the substantial financial benefits that come with saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars (depending on your usual consumption) annually of your power bill. In our household we estimate a 70% reduction off our traditional power bill, those sort of savings are substantial and I’m sure you would agree in any times, let alone the current economic ones we find ourselves in, this is a welcome and much needed relief.

So if you are interested in building your own diy solar power project and saving some money, what are you waiting for? Visit the following link for more information on homemade solar power.

As mentioned above there are some great homemade solar power guides and some not so great ones, to read a review of a side by side comparison of the best three available online, take a look at the following link DIY Solar Power kits Reviewed.

Article Source:

A Solar Power Inverter: Its Purpose

by: Anna Williams

A solar power inverter forms an important part of any home solar energy system which supplies enough electricity to get you off the grid.

The inverter converts direct current, which is produced by a solar panel, into alternating current.

There is also a charge controller, which can use excess power to charge your system’s battery, and provide energy without any waste.

In some cases, solar power might be your best solution, if you want to get your home running off the grid. It is also relatively simple to install, and doesn’t require a large quantity of parts and components, in order to produce electricity.

Each system is different, but generally speaking, all you need is:

Your wiringA battery to store electricity inA set of solar panelsA solar regulator or charge controller

Solar panels usually produce 12 to 24 volts DC. Some appliances can run on this power, but most home appliances require 110 or 220 volts AC.

This is where a solar power inverter is needed. It converts the direct current into alternating current.

What is direct current? Direct current, or DC, flows continuously in one direction, while alternating current changes in its direction of flow.

Alternating current (AC) is used because it is a type of electricity which can be carried over longer distances, with minimal energy loss . Oddly enough, however, most household appliances have built in devices which convert the AC into DC, in order to operate.

Various types of solar inverters can be found on the market currently. You might come across some which are pretty cheap. But keep in mind that these might be inferior in quality. Some inverters get warmer when in use – and that heat adds up to a loss of energy.

Different solar inverters use different “loads,” as well. The “load” is the amount of current or energy that the inverter can handle. For home use, you might want to get a solar inverter that can handle a couple of hundred watts, at any given time. These aren’t always cheap, but they will be worthwhile in the long run.

Possibly the best choice of solar inverter is the true sine wave. This type of inverter produces power identical to what you would receive from the main supply grid. When viewed on an oscilloscope, the waves are smooth.

If the true sine wave is beyond your budget, you might settle for a modified sine wave. This gives a lesser quality power than the true sine wave does, but is less expensive.

Getting Completely Off the Grid

If you are looking to get your home running off the grid completely, then get a “stand-alone power system inverter.” With this type of device, you plug the deep cycle batteries in – and it can be installed by virtually anyone.

You can also get a “mains grid inverter,” which draws power from your solar panels, and at the same time feeds excess energy back to the main grid. In some states, you can earn money back from the power companies when you produce excess power and feed it back to the grid.

Installing a Solar Power System in Your Home

When installing a partial or complete solar energy system into your home, there are generally two ways to go about it.

1.Hire a professional installation company to install your system

2.Do it yourself.

The least expensive choice is the latter – do-it-yourself.

There are many high-quality and popular do-it-yourself guides available, which will teach you how to install your own solar power or wind power system at home. These guides often include manuals, instructional videos, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions. For more information on these guides, please see DIY Solar Power.

You can find solar inverters and related solar power products at Solar Power Inverter.

About The Author

For more information on this subject, please visit DIY Solar Power.