Solar and Wind Turbines
Residential wind turbines

Using Solar Energy To Power Your Home

The sun is where all energy on the earth comes from. Solar energy has been used for thousands of years to heat homes and water, but only recently has it been reliably converted to electricity to power your home.

    

Solar panels take the suns energy and convert solar power into electricity that you can use to run everything in your home. These systems, called renewable energy systems, can harness enough solar energy so that your reliance on the power company is severely limited. The first thing you have to know is how these solar energy systems work.

How A Solar Energy System Works

All solar energy systems have three things in common. The first is that they all use photovoltaic panes as there power source. These correspond to the turbines and fossil fuel generators found in large power plants, just on a much smaller scale. The second is that the all have a power storage unit.

This stores the incoming energy so that you can use it later. The last component of the system is the load. This is how much energy your home draws. You need to understand the capacity and draw or energy gained that all three of these components either add or subtract to the overall system.

There are three types of solar energy systems. The first kind is on grid. These systems are on the local power grid and supplement the power received from there with the solar energy. In the event of a blackout, the energy system in the home will go down because there is no way to balance out the load. Any extra power can be sold back to the electric company.

The next type is off grid. Off grid systems are not connected to the local power company. These systems generally will store the power in batteries or in the system itself. In the event of a blackout, the system is fine. Extra power can be used to heat water or air. The last type is an on grid plus battery. These systems have a battery back up to the electric company or the solar energy. In the event of a blackout the system can still run off the battery. In addition power can be sold back to the electric company or stored in the battery.

Now you have the basics of how different types of solar energy systems work. Before you even consider installing one in your home however you are going to need to come up with what your average usage for a month is. Before you do that, I would suggest making your home as efficient as possible. Replace all your current bulbs with florescent, get a new fridge, make sure all your windows are double pane, and replace any of you electric appliances with gas if you can. After you do this you will have a good idea of how much power you use and can come up with a solar energy system that will meet your needs.

    
Solar Power and Wind Energy