There are many ways to increase energy efficiency and
lower power bills.
A lateral strategy is to generate electricity at home. With energy bills increasing, more and more
homeowners are opting for installing residential solar panels. Why?
Radiant energy is a green, renewable energy source.
Installing Photovoltaic energy systems reap tax credits from the federal government.
Each conventional solar array can produce 10 Watts of power. The newer thin-film solar panels are even more efficient.
The 10 Watts is based on a 1 square foot array of silicon solar cells. This means each individual cell produces .5 Volts. The amount of energy produced may be increased by stringing on more arrays.
More Methods of Reducing Home Energy Consumption
Implementing green energy generation is not the only way to save on utility bills. Additional methods include applying solar window film, changing to tankless water heaters (also called on-demand), as well as stepping up the central air conditioner to one with a higher SEER rating.
How Much Does it Cost to Shift Off the Power Grid?
Its no wonder that this is the primary question that comes up: whats the bottom line, anyway? A recommended method of judging this is referred to as the dollars-per-Watt ratio. How does it work?
Assuming a solar array costs $1000 and generates 200 Watts, the dollar-per-Watt ratio is $5.00.
When shopping around for this kind of renewable electricity, another tool is called the conversion efficiency ratio. This one calculates the quantity of sunlight a particular solar grid unit, or array, can absorb and store as electrical current.
Higher numbers are desirable, as might be expected. Most panel manufacturers talk about numbers from 12% to 18%.
Leading PV (Photovoltaic energy) Solar Panel Manufacturers
Many companies are joining the alternative energy game. Lets list 6 of the most reputable solar
General Electric Company.
GE knows a thing or two about solar power generation. They initially got started by purchasing AstroPower in back 2004. Their GEPV 200 offering costs just over $1000. This is an extremely durable model. GE advertises that it will withstand wind up to 125 MPH. Very handy in hurricane country.
Both Hurricane Ike and Katrina have recently shown us that grid power can be off for days. Power from panels can keep the refrigerator and the air conditioner going as well as providing a way to keep wholesale rechargeable batteries charged up.
Yes, its the copier people? Theyve diversified to help homeowners reap power from the sun. Their Kyosera KC200GT model boasts 200 Watts.
Its conversion ratio is rated at 16%. They will include a DC to AC converter for an added price. This is needed since homes run on AC current.
This brand name is most frequently associated with Sharp Televisions. They have also diversified into this market; in fact they've been at it since the 1950s. Theyre also the worlds biggest producer of solar cell technology.
Not only for these arrays, but also for watches and calculators. Their Sharp NE165U1 model provides 155 Watts.
Another great name for a renewable energy technology company, isnt it? ES implements what they call String Ribbon technology. This is a fancy term for the economical process of manufacturing silicone wafers that they use. They offer a 195 Watt model that costs around $939.
British Petroleum Solar Panels.
BP markets their BP Solar SX-170B starting at $759. This model generates an impressive 170 Watts of electricity. They offer the BP Solar Energy Tile as a roofing system as well. Currently, this system available in California.
Suntech was awarded the contract to power up the Bird's Nest Stadium for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games. This was a major marketing opportunity for them. Their STP180-24/Ab1 delivers 190 Watts at a price of $849.