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Solar Power Cost

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How Much Your Residential Solar Power Will Cost

The cost of solar power for your home will depend on a number of different things. Where you live, how much power your household uses, whether you buy the panels new or used, how much sun your property receives, incentive programs available to you… etc, will all have an impact on the cost of solar power at any given location.

So just how much will it cost? Well a better question we should be asking ourselves is… What will it cost us if we do not invest in Solar Power? With the effects of Global Warming, pollution from fuels, and waste generated from power plants, we are effectively killing our most precious resource. If we do not begin to change the way we generate and use energy, we will no longer have a habitable earth to live on. We will be handing down a dead planet unable to sustain life to our children, where there will be no clean water to drink, no fresh air to breathe, or nutritious food to eat. It is time to join a movement that is for the prosperity of us all. A movement that needs your help, and all you need to do for it is save money while saving the earth.

The cost for residential solar energy generation varies greatly depending on several factors. Lets take a look at a few of them.

1. How much electricity do you need?

This should is the first question you need to ask yourself. Do you want to go 100% solar, or maybe you will want an integrated system that ties into the electrical grid to replace some of your electricity needs. The first step is to figure out how much electricity you use. Looking at your utility bill can do this. KWh or kilowatt-hour represents the usage of electricity. 1 Kilowatt-hour is equal to 1000 watts of electricity used in one hour. Lets use this example bill to show you how it is calculated.

This bill’s total kWh for the month is 460. So lets divide that by 30 to get a daily representation that will equate to 15.3 kWh a day of electrical usage. Now to get the wattage we need per day from our Solar Panels we will multiply our daily kWh by 1000 which gives us 15300 watts of usage a day.

460 kWh x .3 = 15.3 kWh x 1000 watts = 15,000 watts

Now that we have the total watts of electricity we need to generate a day we can work on the next factor.

 

2. How much sunshine do you get at your location?

This is actually easier then it sounds NASA has created the NASA Surface Meteorology and Solar Energy site which will be able to give you all the information you need for this next step.
For the solar panel estimator select the Insolation Average, Min and Max, and the Radiation on Equator-pointed Tilted Surface parameters. Note the yearly average figures you find for your location. Insolation means the number of hours in a day that a solar panel will produce its rated voltage.

3. You will also need to know what size, or wattage of panels you wish to use.

Keep in mind when picking out panels that you’ll want to only use the same type and size. It is fact that panels with different electrical characteristics do not work together very well. There are many types and sizes what you want is really up to you. So just for this example we’ll go with a 175-watt solar panel. Note that a higher wattage does not mean the solar panel is of better quality.

4. Now you will have to adjust for inefficiencies in your system.
What I mean by this is that when we talk about energy coming through a system, we mean that energy courses through different devices in a chain IE: charge controller, inverter, batteries. Every step of the way loses us some energy, so we want to only put things in the chain that are absolutely necessary and are in good working order. There will always be some loss to the output level. It’s just the way it works. The only thing we can really do about it is to make sure our system is as efficient as possible. If you are thinking about buying a manufactured system this information should be available from them, otherwise figure between 50% – 70% efficiency. I’ll average for example and use an efficiency of 60%.

You may have noticed when you looked at the NASA site that insolation values can go up drastically for tilted panels, or positioning panels to face towards the sun. Because of this your annual average of Insolation can almost triple. So lets use a tilt of 45 degrees in our example.

So if we went for horizontal positioned panels we would need 39 panels at 175 watts each.

If we went with the 45-degree angle we would need 34 panels at 175 watts each.

Now you can shop around for better prices but the 175-watt panels we are using for this example are $580.00 each.

Horizontal: 39 x 580 = $22,620 USD.

45 Degree angle: 34 x 580 = $19,720 USD.

I realize this seems like a large up front investment however you are adding value to your house, also making it up with non existent energy bills, selling energy back to the utility company’s, and last but not least getting tax breaks and other incentives from the government. While buying manufactured panels and having them installed may be the easiest way to get solar energy flowing through your home, it is also by far the most expensive Solar power Cost.

Solar Power Information Solar Panel Cost

The solar revolution has been happening for the last 20 years and is now really moving fast. It has taken a long time for the technology to become affordable enough for everyday people to utilize. The best part is the technology is increasing at a rapid speed. Solar panels or photovoltaic cells as they are sometimes called (photo = light, voltaic = electricity) are what’s used to generate solar power from our Sun.

Unfortunately not much energy is created by one single solar cell, which means that lots of them are needed, drastically raising solar power cost. The biggest problem with solar power is in the price you must pay to buy systems and have them installed.

There are so many reasons to install solar power into your home that it makes no sense not to anymore. More and more benefits are being discovered everyday. The solar power cost of a residential home is dramatically reduced due to the fact that after the initial investment of installing solar panels, the energy created is 100% free. Older methods of energy creation that pollute the atmosphere like coal and nuclear technology are rising in price and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. You can even sell the solar energy to the utility company’s making you extra income. And with the benefit of the positive effects on the earth that comes with not needing to use negative forms of generating energy, you can feel good about what you’re doing. Solar panels are 100% environmentally friendly, no pollution at all!

Fortunately we are able to utilize solar power in easier and cheaper ways due to advancements in technology and techniques used to create more energy efficient, cheaper, and better looking solar panels. Luckily there are extremely easy ways to lower Solar Power Cost, and also have some fun by making your own solar panels. Doing it yourself can drastically lower the amount of money you’ll spend on your initial investment. I highly recommend trying it out, but be careful when purchasing a kit, they are not all perfect for any situation. You need to make sure you get what is right for you. If you would like more detailed information please visit Solar Power Cost to check out a kit I have used myself and know first hand that it works perfect in any situation.

The Bottom Line

You can reasonably expect to power your home completely with solar power, for $25,000 US dollars including the cost of new batteries. Once installed the system will save you ALL of your power expense for 35 to 40 years.

It may take a while but after a period of 10 to 15 years, the system will have paid for itself (in energy savings) and then it begins to put money back into your pocket for as long as 20 more years. And this is without any subsidies or tax incentives, or taking into account any parts you built or installed yourself. If you do most of the work yourself and take advantage of all the incentives and breaks you are looking at an investment below $10,000 USD.

So in closing thank you for visiting our Solar Power Cost page. New content and more Solar Energy Facts will be published regularly so please visit often, tell your friends, and bookmark us. Also if you would like to join the RSS feed and receive automatic updates whenever a new post is added click on the RSS icon at the bottom left corner of the page.

Solar Energy Facts

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General facts

  • Solar Energy production is better for the environment than conventional forms of energy production.
  • Solar energy has many uses other than electricity production. For instance heating of water with solar thermal energy, water treatment through solar distillation and chemical production through solar reaction.
  • Solar energy can be used to heat swimming pools, power cars, power phones, radios and other small appliances.
  • You can cook food with solar energy.
  • Solar Energy is becoming more popular each day. The world demand for Solar Energy is currently greater than the supply.

Facts about Solar Energy usage:

  • Solar Energy is measured in kilowatt-hour. 1 kilowatt = 1000 watts.
  • 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) = the amount of electricity required to power a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours.
  • According to the US Department of Energy, an average American household used approximately 888-kilowatt hours per month in 2009 costing them $94.26.
  • About 30% of our total energy consumption is used to heat water.

Facts about Solar Energy systems:

  • A typical home solar system is made up of solar panels, an inverter, a battery, a charge controller, wiring and support structure.
  • A 1-kilowatt home solar system takes about 1-2 days to install and costs around $10,000 USD, but can vary greatly and does not take into account any incentives offered by the government.
  • A 1-kilowatt home solar system consists of about 10-12 solar panels and requires about 100 square feet of installation area.
  • A 1-kilowatt home solar system will generate approximately 1,600 kilowatt hours per year in a sunny climate (receiving 5.5 hours of sunshine per day) and approximately 750 kilowatt hours per year in a cloudy climate (receiving 2.5 hours of sunshine per day).
  • A 1-kilowatt home solar system will prevent approximately 170 lbs. of coal from being burned, 300 lbs of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and 105 gallons of water from being consumed each month!
  • About 40 solar cells are usually combined into a solar panel and around 10-12 panels mounted in an array facing due North to receive maximum sunlight.
  • An average solar system usually comes with a 5-year warranty, although the solar panels are warranted for 20.
  • Relying on the battery back up, a solar energy system can provide electricity 24×7, even on cloudy days and at night.
  • Solar panels come in various colors.
  • Solar energy can be collected and stored in batteries, reflected, insulated, absorbed and transmitted.

Sun related Facts about Solar Energy:

  • Sunlight travels to the earth in approximately 8 minutes from 93,000,000 miles away, at 671,000,000 miles per hour.
  • Our sun is also the main source of non-renewable fossil fuels (coal, gas and petroleum), their energy was originally converted from sunlight by photosynthesis over millions of years.
  • Solar energy is responsible for weather patterns and ocean currents.
  • Clouds, pollution and wind can prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the earth.
  • The sun accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of our Solar System.
  • Sunlight on the surface of the Earth is attenuated by the Earth’s atmosphere so we receive only 1,000 watts per square meter of its power in clear conditions.

Other Interesting Facts about Solar Energy:

  • In one hour more sunlight falls on the earth than what is used by the entire population in one year.
  • A world record was set in 1990 when a solar powered aircraft flew 2522 miles across the United States, using no fuel.
  • Fierce weather cost the world a record $130 Billion in the first eleven months of 1998- more money than was lost from weather related disasters from 1980 to 1990 ($82 Billion).
  • Researchers from the Worldwatch Institute and Munich Re blame deforestation and climate change from Earth warming for much of the loss. The previous one-year record was $90 Billion in 1996. Source – Associated Press, November 28,1998.
  • About 2 billion people in the world are currently without electricity.
  • Accounting for only 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world’s energy.
  • Electric ovens consume the most amount of electricity, followed by microwaves and central air conditioning.
  • Third world countries with an abundance of sunlight and a population currently without electricity, represents the fastest growing market for solar energy, with the largest domestic market being the utilities sector.
  • Shell Oil predicts that 50% of the world’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2040.