With a forgiving latitude and a higher-than-average number of sunny days every year, the Peachtree City area is an appealing place for homeowners wanting to test out a home solar installation. Whether you want to reduce your reliance on the power grid, protect the environment, or just watch your electric bills drop or even disappear, here are five things to think about before retrofitting your Peachtree City home for solar power.
Location matters. If nearby vegetation, terrain or buildings keep your home in the shade, you may not want to go solar. If your roof gets at least five hours of unobstructed sunlight (on clear days, of course) year-round, though, your home could be a good candidate for a solar retrofit! You have options. Besides all the different brands and installations available, there are two major systems to choose from: photovoltaic solar systems that convert sunlight into electricity for your home, and solar water heaters. Solar water heaters can save you up to 30 percent on water heating, and are popular for heating pools. The contractor is key. You should ask your contractor how much experience the company has with solar installations and ask for a quote. Contact any references …
If you are thinking about installing photovoltaic panels on your Georgia home, it’s important to understand the different factors that can influence the solar performance and output. Modern solar arrays are lightweight, have no moving parts, use highly reliable solid state electronics and, best of all, can give us significant energy savings. However, there are other performance factors that you should consider when planning a new installation and comparing specifications.
Power output: This is the maximum amount of power in watts that a system can generate. This can be expressed as a “peak” value or the “average” over a day. Energy output: This represents the power output multiplied by the time and so is expressed in watt-hours. However, more useful values such as “watt hours per square meter” can be used when comparing specifications. Conversion efficiency: This is the percentage of incoming solar energy that the photovoltaic panels actually convert into electricity. New technology is enabling higher conversion efficiencies, which can have a big impact on the efficiency of a solar installation.
If you are considering retrofitting your Peachtree City area home for solar, you will need to look at your existing electricity use, implement measures to increase energy efficiency and comply with local codes and requirements. You will also need to understand the technology options available and decide if you want to operate your system on or off the electric grid.
Electrical load analysis
Evaluate your energy consumption patterns before selecting your solar system components. This will enable you to choose the right photovoltaic (PV) system size for your home to maximize your energy savings. Begin by performing a load analysis, which includes:
Recognizing your current consumption trends Examining your utility bills for the past year Calculating your energy consumption
Connecting to the grid
When a grid-connected PV system does not produce enough power on its own, it can use power from your utility’s grid. When this type of system produces excess power, in most systems the power provider is obligated to purchase the extra power. With net metering, your provider pays retail price for excess electricity you send back through the grid.
Plugging your home into solar energy will lower your energy consumption, and it’s useful to learn the solar basics as you go forward. Our region receives enough solar energy to make using sunshine a viable option to create electricity. This guide defines the terms you’ll run across as you explore your solar options.
Photovoltaic – This term describes the process that solar light goes through in its conversion to usable electricity. Photovoltaic module – A module is a single solar panel. It could be small enough to power a rechargeable battery or large enough to generate power to run appliances. Solar array – If you use two or more panels, you’ll have a solar array. Panels in your array should have the same voltage, and together they feed your home directly. You can also store the energy in batteries to use at night or on exceptionally cloudy days. Solar cell – These generate the power from the solar panel or array. The most common size is 12 volts, and cells can be connected to generate more voltage. Solar cell efficiency – Essential to solar basics, learning the cell’s efficiency helps you determine how much potential power the solar array will provide. Some of the light hitting the solar panels won’t …
Solar attic fans reduce extreme attic heat during hot Georgia summers. That’s exactly why our cooler winter season is the best time to install one. In the heat of the summer, attic temperatures soar to 150 degrees—definitely not the ideal time to be up in the attic installing an exhaust fan. Solar exhaust fans boost your attic’s inadequate passive ventilation system, increasing the airflow between soffit vents and roof vents and reducing temperatures as much as 40 degrees.
Getting the job done now positions you to derive a number of benefits next summer when temperatures soar:
Acute heat concentrated in the attic conducts through ceilings and can raise the temperature in rooms directly below as much as 10 degrees. This offsets the effect of your air conditioner, causing it to run longer to meet thermostat settings and use more energy. Reducing attic temperatures to 100 degrees or below may result in as many as 10 percent fewer “on” cycles of the central air conditioner during an average summer day. Excessive heat in the attic also deteriorates wooden structural components. Sub-roofing exposed to continuous high temperatures may buckle, eventually resulting in roof leaks. In addition to heat, humid air accumulates …