12 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Solar

Going solar is one of the most expensive decisions you will have to make in your lifetime, probably after buying the house and the car. Before you make this decision you need to ask yourself few questions, here are the 11 questions to ask yourself before going solar.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Solar

12 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Solar.

Question #1: Why should I go solar?

This is the first question you should ask yourself, why do you want to go solar? We all know that there are many benefits of going solar, but what is yours, do you want to go solar because you want to reduce your electricity bill? Do you want to go solar because it is politically correct? Do you want to go solar because you want to save the planet? Do you want to go solar because your neighbor or friend did it? there is no wrong answer here, but you should know the real reason why do you want to go solar.

Question #2: Is my house right for solar?

This is one of the most important questions on this list, is your house right for a solar system? in order to answer this question you need to consider three factors.

The amount of sun that your house receives?

If your house is located in between trees and has a lot of shadows or in a country where there is little to no sun, then it is not possible to install a solar panel system on your house.

The cost of electric energy in your local area

Some areas have a very low cost of electrical energy, if this is the case, installing a solar panel system does not make economical sense, unless you want to do it for other reasons.

The direction your roof faces

 Southern-facing roofs spend the most time in the sun in the northern hemisphere and can allow you to purchase fewer panels while still producing enough energy for your home.

Question #3: Who should install my solar panels

Do you have a background in electricity? can you install your own solar panel system? or do you have to hire someone or a company to install solar panels for you? this is a  very important question to ask yourself before going solar.

Question #4: Do my electricity bill justify going solar?

Again, If your reason to go solar has to do with reducing your electricity bill, this should be one of the first questions to ask yourself. 

If your electric bill is too small, it does not make sense to go all the process of going solar, in order to go solar you will need to seek permissions from your local government and electricity provider, this will cost you money plus the cost you will have to pay your solar installers.

Question #5: How many solar panels do I need?

This question goes hand in hand with the last question, in order for the solar panel installation project to make sense financial most companies will want to install a minimal amount of solar panels, the company I used to work four they wanted the customers to install a minimum four panels, some companies they want you to install at least 8 solar panels.

Question #6. How I will finance my solar panel system installation?

There are different ways to finance your solar panel system, depending on your state, country, and the solar company installing your panel.

Some governments offer rebates and tax relief packages, some companies offer loans, some people like to pay with their own money, you need to consult your solar installer for this, they should have more information.

Question #7: How much will the solar panel system cost?

Talking about finances, you need to know how much your solar panel system cost, on average in the  USA the cost of installing solar panels is $22000, but that will depend on how much in the percentage of the electricity bill you want to save.

It will not cost the same to save 50% of your bill as to save 100% of it. Your solar installer should be able to calculate this and tell you how much it will cost.

Question #8: How much money do I save with solar?

Most people go solar in order to reduce their electricity bill, some states will give you tax rebates, which means that for the next tax year your tax payment will be much lower.

A cash-purchased system will usually put 100% of your power bill back into your pocket. If you purchase your panels with a loan, the loan payment would ideally be lower than your monthly power bill, allowing for automatic monthly savings. All in all, after ownership, the typical system on an optimal home will pay itself off in 6-8 years.

Question #9: What type of solar panel I should look for?

There are many types of solar panels out there, from different manufacturers, different sizes, technology, and that produce different amounts of power.

Question #10: How long will my solar panels last?

Most solar panels manufacture claim that their solar panels have a life span of 25+ years, but you should ask your solar installer about this information and they should be able to answer the question.

My recommendation is you should pick solar panels that are expected to last for at least 25 years.

Solar panels will decline in efficiency over the years, most of the time this is due to dust and getting dirty, to make sure they still produce electricity with the highest possible efficiency make sure you clean them more often.

Do solar panels have a warranty?

Most solar installation companies will offer you some kind of warranty for their installation, but you need to ask them few questions regarding their warranty.

What will happen to the warranty in case of a natural disaster? What will happen to the warranty if you move or sell the house? can you break the warranty? under what conditions? all these questions must be answered before committing to the solar panel system installation.

How do I know which solar company to trust?

You are going to invest a considerable large amount of money with them, you need to know if you can trust them, if they have a website check for testimonials, ask them if they are certified, ask them if they have done federal projects and what was the outcome.

Also, you can Google the company name and add a review to it, for example, you can Google energoboost review, if you can find people complaining about this company it is better to stay away from them.

Final words

Those are 12 questions to ask yourself before going solar. I hope these questions helped you in some form and thank you for reading.

Why Go Solar Energy- 5 Benefits of Solar Energy

More people are turning to solar energy, but did you ever ask yourself why go solar energy? if this is the case in this post, I am going to share with you the 5 benefits of solar energy and answer this question.

Why Go Solar Energy

Why Go Solar Energy

Shifting from traditional sources of energy to renewable energy especially solar has many benefits, it is beneficial to your personal finance, the economy as a whole, and the environment.

Saves money

It is true that the initial cost of installing solar energy is high, most people can not afford it, but remember after installation, there are little maintenance and the system can run for more than 25 years.

Since the cost of running solar energy is minimal, you should expect to get back your invention in 5 to 7 years depending on your energy consumption. After that all the energy you get from the system is free.

This saved money you can spend it in other areas of your life or you can save it, also remember that real estates that have solar energy installed on them have a higher price than that does not have solar energy, just having solar energy at your house you will increase it is value.

On a larger scale, if American households switch to other types of alternative energy including solar energy, the nation’s spending on imported oil will greatly decrease.

It is environment-friendly

Apart from the initial construction phase of solar panels, solar energy production is very environment friendly, it does not produce pollution, dust, or noise during the energy production, since there are no moving parts involved 

The issue of global warming will not go away. So if you want to do your part to save this planet, drawing your power requirement from the sun will make a great difference.

It is sustainable and renewable unlike gas, coal, and oil that most utility companies use. It does not produce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, or carbon dioxide as byproducts so it doesn’t pollute the air. Since it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases, it doesn’t contribute to global warming.

Using solar energy reduces the demand for fossil fuels and reduces the nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources.

You can get government grants

As I said before, the initial cost of installing solar energy is pretty high and this discourages many people from installing solar energy.

Some states and countries offer rebates, tax credits, and grants to all people who are installing solar energy. Some states like California offer federal tax credits as much as $2000 and an upfront rebate that covers 20% to 30% of the total system cost. 

In Mexico, the government can offer up to 50% of the total cost of the solar energy project if the total cost of the project does not exceed 2,000,000 Mexican pesos. These offers are relatively good considering the substantial increase in energy cost in recent years.

There are many states and countries that offer different types of rebates, you just need to figure out what offer they have in your state or country.

Note: Due to the increasing number of households who want to switch to alternative forms of energy, the incentive levels decline. Check with your state government the rates it offers if you are going to make a switch.

It is dependable and requires little or no maintenance

The production of solar energy does not contain moving parts, since there is no part that is moving there is no need to oil them or replace them more often.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells that are used in solar power systems are capable of providing electricity for a very long time. Originally developed for space use, PV cells require little or no maintenance.

The proof is, most satellites orbiting earth use PV cells that are in harsh environments, not maintained but are still working properly. The manufacturers of solar panels can give as much as a 25-years warranty. Talk about quality and dependability.

It helps improve the quality of life

The energy you produce from your home will improve your personal and collective life, after recovering your initial investment ( it will take between 5 to 7 years on average), all the energy you generate is free, this means you do not have to pay for the energy and you can use that money to improve your life.

You can invest that money, you can pay for insurance, you can travel, all these activities will help to improve the quality of your life.

In the collective sense, saving the planet one watt at a time if done collectively will help reduce the effects of global warming.

It will also reduce the demand for coal, oil, or gas power plants that emit harmful gases. In turn, using solar power helps clean the air and improves the quality of life of every individual.

Soalr energy can reduce demands for other non-biodegradable materials

In order for the power companies to distribute power to every home, they need materials necessary in building these systems of power lines like electric cable and steel.

These require energy to produce and contribute to greenhouse gases emissions. If we can cut the demand for power plants and switch to alternative energy, we can also reduce the demand for these materials and help the environment.

Final words

That is it, those are five reasons why you should consider going solar today, it will save you some money, it will give you the sense of purpose of helping the planet, and improve your personal and collective quality of life.

In terms of rebates and grants, make sure you check with your local government to see if they of any kind of rebates and/or grants. 

The History Of Solar Energy

Solar technology is not new, actually, it started long from 7th Century B.C. to today. In that period humans started out concentrating the sun’s heat with glass and mirrors to light fires.

In today’s society, we use solar energy for everything, from powering buildings, powering vehicles, heating steam for production, heating water for households, the use of solar energy is endless. Today I am going to share with you the history of solar energy from the 7th-century bc to today.

The History Of Solar Energy

The History Of Solar Energy from the 7th Century B.C. to the 1200s A.D

7th Century B.C.

Around the 7th century before our era, human beings used Magnifying glass used to concentrate the sun’s rays to make fire and to burn ants.

3rd Century B.C.

Greeks and Romans use burning mirrors to light torches for religious purposes, this is the period many societies start to worship the sun.

2nd Century B.C.

As early as 212 BC, the Greek physicist and mathematician, Archimedes, used the reflective properties of bronze shields to focus sunlight and to set fire to wooden ships from the Roman Empire which were besieging Syracuse.

20 A.D.

Chinese document use of burning mirrors to light torches for religious purposes.

1st to 4th Century A.D.

The famous Roman bathhouses in the first to fourth centuries A.D. had large south-facing windows to let in the sun’s warmth. 

6th Century A.D.

Sunrooms on houses and public buildings were so common that the Justinian Code initiated “sun rights” to ensure individual access to the sun.

1200s A.D.

Ancestors of Pueblo people called Anasazi in North America live in south-facing cliff dwellings that capture the winter sun.

The History Of Solar Energy from 1767 to 1891.

1767

Swiss scientist Horace de Saussure was credited with building the world’s first solar collector, later used by Sir John Herschel to cook food during his South Africa expedition in the 1830s.

1816

Robert Stirling built heat engines in his home workshop. This engine was later used in the dish/Stirling system, a solar thermal electric technology that concentrates the sun’s thermal energy in order to produce power.

1839

French scientist Edmond Becquerel discovers the photovoltaic effect while experimenting with an electrolytic cell made up of two metal electrodes placed in an electrically conducting solution—electricity generation increased when exposed to light.

The 1860s

French mathematician August Mouchet proposed an idea for solar-powered steam engines.

1873

Willoughby Smith discovered the photoconductivity of selenium.

1876

William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day discover that selenium produces electricity when exposed to light.

1880

Samuel P. Langley discovers that when radiation falls on the wire, it becomes very slightly warmer. This increases the electrical resistance of the wire.

1883

Charles Fritts, an American inventor, described the first solar cells made from selenium wafers.

1887

Heinrich Hertz discovered that ultraviolet light altered the lowest voltage capable of causing a spark to jump between two metal electrodes.

1891

Baltimore inventor Clarence Kemp patented the first commercial solar water heater. 

The History Of Solar Energy in the 1900s.

1904

Wilhelm Hallwachs discovered that a combination of copper and cuprous oxide is photosensitive.

1905

Albert Einstein published his paper on the photoelectric effect (along with a
paper on his theory of relativity).

1908

William J. Bailey of the Carnegie Steel Company invents a solar collector with copper coils and an insulated box.

1914

The existence of a barrier layer in photovoltaic devices was noted.

1916

Robert Millikan provided experimental proof of the photoelectric effect.

1918

Polish scientist Jan Czochralski developed a way to grow single-crystal silicon.

1921

Albert Einstein wins the Nobel Prize for his theories (1904 research and technical paper) explaining the photoelectric effect.

1932

Audobert and Stora discover the photovoltaic effect in cadmium sulfide (CdS).

1953

Dr. Dan Trivich, Wayne State University, makes the first theoretical calculations of the efficiencies of various materials of different bandgap widths based on the spectrum of the sun.

1954

Photovoltaic technology is born in the United States when Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson develop the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell at Bell Labs—the first solar cell capable of converting enough of the sun’s energy into power to run everyday electrical equipment.

1955

Western Electric began to sell commercial licenses for silicon photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

The Mid-1950s

Architect Frank Bridgers designed the world’s first commercial office building
using solar water heating and passive design. 

1956

William Cherry, U.S. Signal Corps Laboratories, approaches RCA Labs’ Paul Rappaport and Joseph Loferski about developing photovoltaic cells for proposed orbiting Earth satellites.

1957

Hoffman Electronics achieved 8% efficient photovoltaic cells.

1983

Worldwide photovoltaic production exceeds 21.3 megawatts, with sales of more than $250 million.

1986

The world’s largest solar thermal facility, located in Kramer Junction, California was commissioned.

1994

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory develops a solar cell—made from gallium indium phosphide and gallium arsenide—that becomes the first one to exceed 30% conversion efficiency.

1996

The world’s most advanced solar-powered airplane, the Icare, flew over Germany. 

1999

Cumulative worldwide installed photovoltaic capacity reaches 1000 megawatts.

2000

At the International Space Station, astronauts begin installing solar panels on what will be the largest solar power array deployed in space. Each “wing” of the array consists of 32,800 solar cells.

Final words

That is it, that is the history of solar energy, the timeline of important events regarding solar energy from 7th century BC to early 2000.

The Risks Of Using Solar Energy

When people talk about solar energy, all they really talk about is how much this alternative form of energy source is a great source for power and electricity, and how this source of energy can help you save a lot on your utility bills.

The Risks Of Using Solar Energy

However, there are certain things and aspects about solar energy that should be discussed with people, especially since solar energy is now being integrated into constructing modern-day houses and structures, and is even now becoming a viable source for power and electricity.

One of those things that should be discussed involves the risks of using solar energy. This article will try to present to you some facts and information about the risks involved in using solar energy.

Before we can discuss more about the different risks, let us first discuss what solar energy is, and how it is produced in order to understand its different risks.

Known Dangers of Solar Energy

For those of you who don’t know, solar energy is actually produced from a process that occurs within the sun known as nuclear fusion.

Nuclear fusion is actually the very same process that is involved in nuclear power plants, and actually employs the same basic nuclear physics laws that apply to atomic bombs. This is definitely a major cause of alarm for most people.

Aside from that, add the fact that the main energy source for solar energy is actually hydrogen, which is a form of gas that is highly explosive, and that is definitely something that you should be aware of.

Hydrogen is a tremendously destructive component that can be found in H-bombs, and also produces dangerous fallout for those exposed.

These known dangers of solar energy may sound very threatening, but these are not the only things that you should be worried about, for solar energy could also have other not known dangers that could pose a risk to your health.

Solar Energy Radiation

Right now, we are all actually being subjected to the sun’s background radiation, which could be dangerous if exposure to it exceeded a certain level.

There is really nothing we can do to prevent being exposed to such background radiation other than to simply avoid sun exposure.

However, if your home uses solar energy to power up your house, you might find it more difficult to do. Since solar energy technology harnesses the power of the sun by concentrating the sunlight and using its energy to light up your home’s light bulb, you could very well be irradiating your entire home, something which could cause skin cancer later on.

Blindness from Solar Energy

Another danger that could stem from using solar energy to power up your different gadgets and electronics at home is that it could cause blindness if you were to expose your eyes to too much radiation from them, just like staring directly at the sun for too long.

Solar Energy Fire Hazards

Since most solar collectors basically concentrate the sunlight that they are able to collect from the sun, it can be a fire hazard, especially since fire can very easily start if there were very high concentrations and levels of solar energy.

These high and dangerous levels of solar concentrations could easily ignite combustible materials, making it a possible hire hazard on any home.

These are just some of the risks that solar energy could pose on you, so make sure that you do some research first before deciding on whether you want to get and use solar energy technology for your home or not.

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