Homes Running on Solar Batteries: Is it Beneficial to Homeowners?
Property owners who install solar battery systems receive a lot of benefits like a potentially higher house values, lower carbon footprints, and lower electric bills. But these advantages usually come with significant maintenance and installation costs, and the gains can differ widely from one property to another. This article will help property owners make the financial computations needed to determine the viability of PV power in their properties.
What is solar power?
PV or Photovoltaic solar technology has been used since the 1950s. Still, because of the declining solar module prices, it has only been seen as a financially viable technology for general use since the start of the millennium. Panel size is estimated in terms of the electrical output potential in watts.
How does PVs work? Check out this site for details.
But the usual output realized for the installed photovoltaic system – also known as a capacity factor (CF) – is between 15% and 30% of the output. A three-kilowatt-hour house system running at least 15% CF would produce three kilowatt-hours multiplied by 15% multiplied by 25 hours a day multiplied by 365 days per year = 3,942 kilowatt-hours per year, or more or less one-third of the usual electricity consumption of a household in the United States.
But this quotation may be misleading, since there is little reason to show the expected outcomes. As a matter of fact, PV energy may make a lot of sense for one property but not for their next-door neighbor. This discrepancy can be credited to the practical and financial considerations considered in finding out the viability.
The cost of using solar power in a residential property
Solar power is considered capital intensive. The main cost of owning this system comes upfront when purchasing the equipment. PV modules will undoubtedly represent the most significant single component of the entire expense. Other equipment needed for installation includes the inverter to turn the direct current (DC) produced by panels into the alternating current (AC) used by all household appliances, metering pieces of equipment to see how much energy the device is producing, as well as other housing parts along with wiring gears and cables.
How the war of AC and DC started? Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_currents to find out more.
Some property owners also consider using battery storage units. Historically speaking, batteries have been unnecessary and prohibitively expensive if the utility pays for additional electricity that’s fed into the power grid. The installation labor cost also needs to be factored in. In addition to these costs, there are other costs related to maintaining and operating a photovoltaic solar system.
Aside from cleaning the panels regularly, batteries and inverters usually need replacement after some years of constant use. While the cost mentioned above is pretty simple, a PV installation firm can generally quote a price for these for homeowners – determining the available subsidies from governments and their local utility can prove a big challenge.
Government incentives change, but historically speaking, the United States government has allowed tax credits of up to thirty percent of the system’s cost. Details on the various incentive programs in the United States, including plans within every state, can be found on the DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) website.
In some countries, this type of information is usually available on PV advocacy or government sites. Homeowners also need to check with their local utility firm to see whether it offers good financial incentives for installations and determine what their policies are for grid interconnection, as well as for selling the excess power the panel produces into the grid.
Benefits of using home solar power
A significant advantage of solar battery system installation has a lower energy bill. Still, most of these benefits depend on the amount of PV energy that are produced by available conditions, as well as the way in which utility firms charge for electricity. The first thing people need to consider is the PV irradiation levels available in the house’s geographical location.
When it comes to using panels, having a house near the equator is a lot better, but other factors need to be considered. NREL or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory produce maps for the United States showing the levels of PV irradiation. Tools on their website provide very detailed solar info for certain locations within the United States.
Similar data and maps are also readily available in other countries, often from renewable energy firms or government environmental organizations. Equally crucial is the home’s orientation, for roof arrays, as a south-facing rooftop without objects like trees obstructing the sun maximizes the available energy from the sun. If it is not readily available, panels can be boarded on external supports, as well as installed away from your home, incurring more charges for extra cables and hardware.
Another thing people need to consider is the timing of the power production, as well as how utility firms charge for electricity. Energy generation happens primarily from noontime to afternoon, and it is usually higher during the summer; that is why it corresponds pretty well to the overall power demand in warm climates because it is at these times that AC units consume a lot of energy.
Consequently, this kind of energy is very important because the alternative ways of production (usually plants powered by natural gas) used to meet peak demand tend to be pretty expensive. But utility firms often charge homeowners a flat rate for these things regardless of the time of consumption. It means that instead of counterbalancing the cost of peak production, the property owner’s system offsets the price they are charged, which is closer to the average cost of production.