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Six simple steps to estimate the cost of a solar energy system

Six simple steps to estimate the cost of a solar power system

Energy Systems Solar is not cheap. However, it is important to compare them in the context of other improvement projects for the home. The buyers of homes and realtors view a solar photovoltaic or solar water heating system and a significant improvement on the value-added-  “similar adding a deck or renovating your kitchen. Also, unlike a deck or kitchen remodel, including the gain on your energy bills.

Solar energy systems are often an injection of additional funds, as well: many government and public services through attractive financial offer from the United States the incentive to reduce initial capital costs associated with a solar energy system.

Here are some foolproof ways to estimate the cost of a solar photovoltaic or solar thermal and determine if a solar energy system makes sense for you. Let’s start with a photovoltaic Home (PV).

Step 1: Estimate the house electricity your needs

To begin, it is good to have a sense how much electricity it uses. You better point of comparison if you know how many kilowatt hours (kWh) used per day, per month, per year. Your bill for public services should include this information.

Of course, the electricity bill will also show their costs and many utilities include a graph showing how the monthly energy consumption / cost varies throughout the year. This will help you assess the highest energy consumption and how season.

Residential construction

If you are building a new house, you should estimate based application type of equipment will be installed and the Chamber of square feet. The pross call this “burden”.

To calculate the expected load, create a chart to record use watts for each device. Each unit – “if a water heater, lamp, computer, or in a refrigerator  should have an identification plate showing its power. Or you can get information from the manufacturer’s website.

Some amps and voltage of the list only label to reach watts multiply the two together (amperage Watts = Voltage x). In another column, record the number of hours each device is intended to operate. After many hours and watts to estimate the watt-hours of use per day. As it is difficult to foresee all electric charges (can be a problem at all tedious exploration toothbrushes and a portable charger), you can add a multiplier of 1.5 sure.

Step 2: Predicting the Future

In 2005, average electricity prices Residential United States ranged from 6 to about 16 cents per kilowatt-hour depending on where they lived. The average retail electricity and trade have increased by about 30% since 1999 and the upward trend should continue, especially overhead costs for coal and hydropower to generate electricity and to increase. So think about your electricity needs of the house and the present and future costs by over another.

Step 3: How much sun do you get?

The Florida Solar Energy Center has conducted a study to examine how a system of 2 kW photovoltaic would if installed on a very efficient energy through the area Continental United States ( 380-04 /).

The study accounts for all factors affecting the performance of a photovoltaic system, such as the effect of temperature PV cell, the number of hours of peak sun in different regions, and the efficiency of inverter to convert the energy sunlight from DC to AC.

Since the study implies, solar photovoltaic systems work anywhere in the United States. Even in the North or in “rainy Seattle”, a photovoltaic system can pencil if designed and installed properly. In New York, or New Jersey, a one kilowatt system should produce about 1270 kilowatts of electricity per year, in Seattle, a system should kilowatt produce about 1200 kWh per year. In the Southwest, of course, these reports are much higher.

Solar contractors in your area can help determine the ideal size for your solar photovoltaic system.

Step 4: Size your system

In general, solar photovoltaic systems sized between 1 and 5 kilowatts are usually sufficient to meet the electricity needs of most households. One of the advantages of network systems attached that you can use solar PV to supplement or offset some of its electricity needs, so you can size your system based on your budget and always added to the system later if needed.

In addition, as a side note, here is a golden rule to remember to help you calculate the physical space of the PV system may need: square foot yields 10 watts. Thus, in full sun, one square foot of a conventional photovoltaic panel will produce 10 watts of power. A system of 1000 watts for example, may need 100 â € “200 square feet area, according to the type of modules used.

Step 5: Know your repayments

Many states, local jurisdictions discounts, tax credits and other incentives to landowners to installation of residential photovoltaic systems and solar domestic water. To see a complete database of incentives available for the visit of renewables .

At the federal level, you can enjoy a tax credit of 30% (up to $ 2000) for the purchase of a residential solar system at least until December 31, 2008.

Step 6: Run the numbers

Although the cost of a solar photovoltaic depends on the size of system you want to install, the electricity tariff, the amount of kilowatt-hours expected to generate, and the State / Rebates or tax credits that might be available, the formulas for calculating the yields are substantially the same.

For those who appreciate have the forms, the use of those listed below to make a quick estimate the approximate amount of a photovoltaic system could cost you.

Retail price for solar photovoltaic
Building Permits +
– Credit $ 2,000 federal tax
– Tax Credit for State and Local Government or refund
– Provision of utility or other incentive
= Net investment

Kilowatts of electricity generated from PV per year
kilowatt hours of use per year x
KW PV = annual energy

Annual kilowatts of photovoltaic
x type current residential electricity
= Annual $ saved

Excess annual production of PV
x $ credit applied per watt
= Annual value measurement net

Of course, a more accurate assessment can be done by a professional. Working with a contractor solar energy for size and the price system right for you. As with any major purchase, do not hesitate to ask several offers from different contractors.

Much suppliers of solar energy will provide a complete estimate. Useful information to know includes:

– Total cost for the operating system (cost Work for the design and installation costs and equipment)
– Team (Mark and model)
– The permit fees, if
– Taxes, if
– Federal tax credits
– State or local funds tax reductions or jurisdiction
Utility Refunds –
– Expected renewable energy certificates or credits Net metering
– Operation and maintenance cost estimates
– Projected savings

Solar Thermal (also called Solar water heaters)

Solar thermal systems capture the sun’s energy to heat water and are one of the systems the most viable renewable energy. Are used to heat hot water tanks and / or heating system. A system of solar pool heating Another type of solar thermal system designed to heat a pool or spa.

Usually, it is worthwhile to study the feasibility Economic installing a solar water heater If you have an electric water heater with utility rates of at least 5 cents per kilowatt hour and tax credits or discounts available. (It may even be worth changing a gas water heater if your costs are at least $ 8/million BTU).

The formulas for calculating the cost of a water heater plots are similar to the estimated cost for installation photovoltaic solar energy. Many solar energy professionals can help determine which system is best suited for you.

Heat your pool with solar energy

Although some provinces offer financial incentives to use energy Solar heated pool or spa, in general, using solar energy to heat your pool is a “manifesto” in a return on investment view.

The electricity used to heat a pool during the swimming season often amounts to the same amount of energy that households without-pools consume over one-year. The combination of a solar power system to produce heat for indoor with solar energy to conserve heat generated more heat can maximize the efficiency and extend your swimming season.

Most installers recommend a collection of solar energy used to heat a pool is a size of about half of square meters surface of the pool. The solar panels last 10 € “20 years and come with a guarantee of 10 years.

How long it takes to achieve balance in the cost of your solar system Power Pool depends where you live. In California or other parts of the Southwest, will have a balance in one to three years, but places like “north” as Canada, a system of solar pool heating pencils on a longer time period.

About the Author

Find more solar panel and solar power information at Cooler Planet.


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