Due to the recent hurricane, a lot of people are now interested in backup batteries that will allow homeowners to still have power in the event that the utilities go down. Click here to learn why Sonnen is the best option!
The US Solar Electric Industry, including both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations could achieve a milestone by installing a gigawatt of new capacity in 2010!
That's enough to power 200,000 homes, and it's double capacity installed in 2009.
Rhone Resch, the president & CEO of Solar Energy Industries Assocation (SEIA), which organized the event with the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), said:
"We now live in a world where you can be born in a solar hospital, get educated in a solar school, go to a solar college and while there drink beer brewed at a solar brewery.
Get married in a solar church, go to work in a solar office building, watch your favorite baseball team in a solar stadium and live in a country protected by the world's best armed forces powered by solar. And I'm hopeful that when I get to that magic age, my kids have the opportunity to put me in a solar-powered nursing home. The breadth and depth of solar in our lives is amazing."
Nationwide, electricity rates have increased an average of 4.4% per year over the past 35 years, twice that rate in some parts of the country.
At the local level, Florida Power & Light (FPL) is asking for a $1.3 billion annual increase in base rates, which amounts to about $12.40 per month for the first 1,000-kilowatt hours used.
FPL dubiously notes that declining fuel costs will more than offset that increase for its customers. Regulators will vote on the increase in the beginning of 2010. As you probably know, the Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) is not an energy producer and their goal is to buy all of their power from FPL within the next couple of years. This means rising prices at FPL will be passed onto LCEC and its customers.
One way to offset the inevitable rise in the cost of electricity is to become a small-scale energy producer at your home and/or business. Incorporating solar hot water and solar electricity (or PV) technologies into residential and commercial buildings can significantly offset the rising price of fossil fuels. As you move towards less reliance on nonrenewable energy from the large utility corporations, you´ll gain some independence from the utility companies, reduce your monthly bills, and minimize the impact our energy use has on the environment.
The first step is to apply the basic principles of conservation and efficiency to all of your energy choices. Then consider your energy appetite and needs, your site, and the resources available to you. A solar thermal system to heat hot water for the home, business, and/or pool can reduce about a third of your electric bill. Photovoltaics or solar electric will generate free electricity for decades and allow you to send power back to the grid. Think through your renewable energy choices carefully, speak with a solar professional, and evaluate how you can become a small-scale energy producer as there are numerous options.
You will immediately start saving money with solar technologies because the energy from the sun is free so rates will never increase!
Here's a lesson for you on the basics of solar electricity --
The direct conversion of sunlight into electricity is known as photovoltaics or PV for short...
Photovoltaics (PV) is a technology that uses semiconductors to convert solar radiation into direct current electricity.
If you live in south Florida, the next time you drive across Alligator Alley take note of the many small modules powering the lights along the road, or the next time you stop at a road construction site notice the modules powering the signage.
After many decades of improvement and a decrease in the cost, solar technology is becoming more common in the United States.
For the home, there are two categories of PV:
- Grid-tied - where the home is connected to the utility grid and supple- ments energy needs by generating its own electricity with photovoltaics; and
- Off-grid, where the home is located too far from the utility cable so it generates all of its own energy with PV systems and often other sources.
Residential and commercial grid-tied PV systems, or supplemental power systems, have become the largest growth sector for PV.
There are four major components that make up a batteryless, grid-tied PV system:
- PV modules
- The inverter
- A mounting system and
- The balance of system (or BOS).
The PV modules generate DC electricity from sunlight.
They are grouped and wired together into what is called a PV array. The DC electricity is converted to AC electricity by the inverter and fed to the utility.
Mounting systems are the structures that hold the PV modules and they vary depending upon the type of roof. Finally, the balance of the system includes the module wiring, combiners, junction boxes, and disconnects.
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