Green Energy

Solar Power, it’s here and a very effective source of Green Energy


The Basic’s

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.

The Cost’s and efficiency

Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs.

Better technology has been key in boosting the industry, from the use of diamond-wire saws that more efficiently cut wafers to better cells that provide more spark from the same amount of sun. It’s also driven by economies of scale and manufacturing experience since the solar boom started more than a decade ago, giving the industry an increasing edge in the competition with fossil fuels.

The average 1 megawatt-plus ground mounted solar system used to cost $3.11 per watt in 2007. $1.14 per watt in 2016. The U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab expected costs of about $1.20 a watt now declining to $1 by 2020. By 2025 will be cost 73 cents a watt, a 36 percent drop, compared with today according to Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis for New Energy Finance.

Power Storage

The sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day. Depending on the size of your solar farm, excess energy generated can now be stored in insulated battery bunkers for use during the evenings based on your industry hours or feed the grid during peak times for maximum return of investment. Farming in Mexico has been doing this for a few years now running water pumps during the evenings using this technology almost putting them “off the grid”.

How many panels do I need

That is really based on where you live. If your house uses 48 kWh of electricity per day (about average). If you live in Arizona, where the average solar insolation per year is around 6 kWh/meters squared/day, you’ll need 53 square meters (574 sq ft) of 15% efficient solar panels. If you spend the extra money for 21% efficient solar panels, then you’ll only need 38 square meters (409 sq ft) of solar panels. But if you try to power the same sized house in New Hampshire, where the average solar insolation per year is around 4 kWh/meters squared/day, you’ll need 80 square meters (861 sq ft) of 15% efficient solar panels and 57 square meters (615 sq ft) of the 21% efficient ones.

Can I do this myself

Sure you could. Start small, get an understanding of what you are dealing with. Power your entire garden front and back with LED lights with a simple 100 watt system with a photovoltaic switch that will switch them on at night. Just remember – the more panels, the bigger the KW. The bigger the KW the more dangerous it gets. Please consult with an experienced installation technician before you get into higher KW range.

Want to feed the grid, you going to need a licensed electrician.