Solar Power

Going Green and Saving Money – Solar Panels, Solar Hot Water, and Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency and clean energy: Slash greenhouse gas emissions

They are so many ways to use resources without damaging our environment, depleting our resources, or creating pollution. 

I believe solar power is something that makes far more sense and can impact all of humanity in an even greater way.  Not only are we becoming conscience of our environment, but also we are starting to reduce global warming.

What is solar power?  

Solar power is the solar radiation from the sun that reaches the earth. Solar power has actually been used for thousands of years.  Solar power is used for heating water for domestic use, space heating of buildings, drying agricultural products, and generating electrical energy. Solar power can be produced directly from sunlight using photovoltaic (PV) devices, also referred to as solar panels.  It can also be harnessed indirectly from steam generators that utilize solar thermal collectors to heat a working fluid. 

How do the solar panels work?

Solar Panels generate electricity for both residential and commercial purposes.  It is also an efficient way to produce electricity for more remote areas that don’t have the infrastructure to provide it otherwise.

Grid-connected solar power systems are wired together to form a PV array, pass DC electricity through an inverter to convert it into AC power, and then they are interconnected with a local utility.

Off Grid solar power systems are typically found in remote and some rural areas where the cost of building the utility grid is far too costly. This system using solar power is fully self-sustaining.

Solar Outdoor lighting:

Solar panels can be installed on the existing outdoor light poles to reduce your monthly power bill.  For new lighting, the savings can be seen immediately since you don’t have to install underground conduit and wiring.

Next generation solar technology:

The thin films and building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar electric roofing systems may soon replace the old solar PV in the future.

How does a solar hot water system work?

Solar hot water system uses sunlight to heat the solar collector and then heats the water directly from warm climates or indirectly from climates with extended periods of below-freezing temperatures.  The indirect unit uses the sun-warmed antifreeze solution, which flows into a heat-transfer unit where it warms the water.  Solar heated water is then stored in a conventional hot water tank.  This is more effective than using solar panels for water heating.  Solar hot water system is a great and effective way to save money on your electric bill.  It is especially cost efficient for restaurants, salons, gyms, and hotels as well as residential use.

Energy efficiency improvement with power conditioning systems:

Effective and proper building grounding and surge protection:

Grounding and surge protection is important for personnel safety, as well as a protection against lightning.  It will also ensure the proper working of sensitive electronic equipment and prolong the life of the equipment.

Depending on the soil conditions at your location, corrosion of the grounding system may not provide proper protection from high surges of electricity especially from lightning.  Surge protection should be installed at the main AC service entrance and on any service panel feeding critical equipment.

Power conditioning:

To ensure smooth power supply to sensitive equipment, we use the power transformer and conditioner for harmonic suppression and noise elimination.  This will ensure proper functioning, extend the life of the equipment, and lower the power consumption which can ultimately save you money.

LEED Certification :

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification demonstrates that a building is environmentally responsible, energy efficient, profitable, and a healthy place to live and work. LEED certification also provides environmental and financial benefits. With LEED certification, you will also be eligible for additional incentives, such as tax breaks, and it shows your customers that you and your company are doing your part to protect our environment.

How do you know how much you can save?

The best way to achieve energy efficiency is the combination of power conditioning systems, solar hot water systems, and solar panels as well as using energy efficient appliances.  These steps will dramatically lower your electricity costs. 

You will need to combine all three of the following to maximum your benefits.

For the power conditioning, the company you choose should provide you with free consultation with an electrical metered survey.  The survey will illuminate any problems with your current systems and will show you how you will be able to save the most money.

For the solar hot water system, the company should provide you with an electrical consumption report. This report can show you how much you can save immediately and will give you a general idea the overall savings that you will have over a projected period after it has been installed; normally this is within a two to three year period.

For the solar power systems, the company should survey your building’s roof or in another suitable area and develop a system to meet your unique requirements. The system can be customized to fit almost any budget. This system will also show you your carbon footprint reduction on the environment (the amount of Co2 gas reduction). It is up to you to determine the percentage of clean power you want to produce.

Best of all, solar power is pollution free.  

Natural gas versus solar hot water system:

Natural gas is very effective in heating water and costs far less than electricity in many states.  There may not be any financial benefit in replacing your current natural gas system to solar hot water system, but keep in mind that natural gas still contributes to greenhouse effect.  For a new system, a solar hot water system will be a more cost effective way than natural gas when considering paying for pipeline installation and new gas systems.

Other renewable energy:

The Big Green Fuel Lie“: Ethanol is not a green fuel.
Using Ethanol fuel is increasing global warming more than the use of petroleum products. Ethanol does not reduce our dependency on Middle Eastern oil, and ethanol fuel is only as efficient as the percentage of the gasoline that is used to produce the ethanol. This is obvious when you take into consideration the percentage of corn and extra energy used to produce ethanol.  In order to produce more corn, more crops have to be planted, which kills more acres of rainforests, which has been directly linked to increasing the problems with global warming.

Biofuel:

Biofuel is produced from natural and renewable sources such as vegetable oils. Biofuel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with diesel fuel to create a Biofuel blend. This can be used in diesel engines with little or no modifications.

Hydrogen:

Hydrogen is fuel derived from water.  Electricity is used to separate water into a gas called HHO, also called Brown’s gas or hydroxyl.  HHO burns smoothly and provides significant energy, and it provides the atomic power of Hydrogen, while maintaining the chemical stability of water.

How can you help?

In these times, investing in solar power is the right thing, not only for your wallet, but for the environment as well.  It is environmentally friendly, cost effective, and can provide you with tax incentives.  Changing over to solar power is the most environmentally responsible thing a person can do.  No one company, and no one person can achieve a substantial change for the environment alone.  Together, we can make it happen with use of clean power and at the same time, we will be able to preserve our environment for our children by slashing greenhouse gas emissions now!

Christine, LEED AP, PMP, is a passionate law of attraction practitioner and environmentalist. It is her passion to help others and make the earth a better place for all of us and our future generations. To learn more or for comments, please visit The Secrets to Going Green and Saving Money or 3 Magical Steps Blog.

Search