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Solar Systems: Your Guide to Solar Energy

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The use of solar energy has grown in popularity as a way to produce electricity for home use. Solar energy systems can be installed quite easily in most traditional homes to provide at least a portion of the power. Although there are multiple forms of alternative energy, going green with the use of solar energy seems to be one that most of us consider when reviewing these alternative energy options.  The capabilities of using solar energy to power residences has been around in society’s mainstream for quite some time. There are multiple advantages to solar systems, but first you should explore all the options before committing to this type of technology.

On the plus side, there is the fact that there is no pollution produced with this type of system. It is highly renewable as well, and does not produce any greenhouse gas into the air like so many conventional fossil fuels. These small things tend to add up over time when a great number of residences is considered. While most forms of energy have limited quantities, solar power has an almost unlimited supply. It is also not subject to the laws of supply and demand. And it is not dependent on production and importation from foreign countries either. This is especially important when politics interfere with the free trade system that has been set up. Solar power can be produced freely without the need for outside assistance.

Another great thing about solar systems is that they actually need little in the way of maintenance. They have come a long way since the early days when this technology was not very reliable and broke quite readily. With new advancements in this area, this is no longer the case. The panels produced today will generate power for many years.

A solar system installation can effectively take a house off of the grid. Power outs can become a thing of the past. There is also the degree to which the power company raises their rates constantly. A solar unit can significantly reduce the amount of energy that must be purchased from these suppliers.

Although the technology has come a long way, the sun doesn’t shine enough on some days to completely power a home. This is why the power company can be used as a backup to purchase energy only when it is needed. It effectively acts as a complement to the traditional power hook up to the home.

Since these types of solar systems can be scaled as necessary, the right size will depend on the homeowners needs. It can help to downsize the electric bill significantly. The right combination of solar power and electricity from the utility companies will have to be figured out.

The only known disadvantage to implementing solar power systems is the relatively high cost of purchasing and installing the system. Although costs have come down, it may still take several years for the system to pay for itself.  Solar panels can not produce electricity at night, and will produce less on cloudy days therefore the ability to store solar energy for later use is also quite important. Three of the most common solar  storage panels are  flat-plate collectors,  focusing collectors and passive collectors. It is important that you understand the types of solar panels, and the capabilities of each.

Solar energy is a great way to augment the power of a home, but do your research and evaluate all your options before making a decision.