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Residential Solar Energy

Recent Developments And Most Common Usage

What is Residential Solar Energy?

residential solar energy

Residential solar energy is the use of the sun's power to create electricity to power your home using photovoltaic technology (PV).

There are two types of solar energy that can be utilized in a home solar system. The easiest is passive solar. Passive solar includes many different strategies that optimize natural sunlight and heat. Examples of passive solar energy initiatives include things like landscaping, insulation, use of overhangs and thermal windows. All are designed to make a house more energy efficient and to trap the heat of the sun so that it can be used to heat parts of a home.

The second form of solar energy is the form we generally think of first - a system that uses solar cells and solar panels in a mechanical system that collects, transforms DC current into AC current and stores the electricity for later use. This is often called active solar energy.

How is it used?

Residential solar power is particularly useful in remote areas where it is prohibitively expensive to run power lines from the electric grid to the home. In cities solar energy is becoming more and more popular because of the rising cost of electricity as well as for the environmental benefits of producing energy from clean, renewable sources of power.

Passive solar design is becoming a norm for newly constructed homes. Designers think about how the house is sited, how they can use landscaping to cool homes during hot weather and things like insulation, overhangs and thermal windows to help retain internal heat during colder months to reduce the overall heat loss in a house and reduce energy consumption.

Active solar is also becoming more and more popular. There are many factors affecting the growth of solar power. Environmental concerns, the concern over the supply and demand of fossil fuels over the next 30-50 years and constantly rising electricity costs are all pushing the industry forward. With federal and state subsidies, rebate programs and increases in solar panel efficiency, the price of installing a solar energy array is constantly dropping which makes solar a very appealing alternative to buying your power from the local utility.

New technology, more possibilities

Advances in solar technology are also driving higher demand for solar energy among homeowners. The introduction of integrated solar roofing and solar tiles removes the aesthetic concerns that people have had previously. It eliminates the ugly hardware and frames that used to be required to hold all of the solar panels. Tiles even come in different colors. Most of these roofing tile systems or solar roofs can be installed by a roofer and do not even require an electrician. Concentrated solar energy that employs mirrors or highly reflective surfaces and improvements in solar cell technology are improving the efficiency rates for solar panels. All of these advances make it easier and smarter to invest in a solar energy system for your home.

There are many things you need to consider before investing in a residential solar energy system. We invite you to read more if you are contemplating the purchase of a solar energy system.

You'll find more articles about residential solar energy below and a lot more related to installing solar power in your home in the right column.

Good luck!

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