Solar panels can generate enough power to meet the demands of various electric appliances under optimal conditions in a typical American home. Not only this, it can also warm your homes in winter and cool in the summers.
The efficiency of the solar panels depends mostly on the location and availability of the sunlight. Solar panels can be placed at any place of your house provided it is properly exposed to sun. Most suitable position for the southern climate is the north facing side and for the northern climates it is the south facing side.
The places where the sunlight is for less than six hours in a year, the energy generation will not be sufficient. It also a fact that sunlight is more at many places as compared to others, in such case number of solar panels have to be increased.
Not enough sunlight? Even if the sunlight is not sufficient to generate enough power, it is still recommended that you must take the benefit of the solar power. Most of the homes who have installed solar panels still use power from the main grid.
This ensures that the energy bills are in control as the consumption from the main grid gets reduced. They can use the solar energy generated to run the appliances even if the solar energy partly meets their demands.
How much will Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels cost?
Having a hybrid option to use both solar power and power from the grid, the installation cost should be more, using only solar power should cost about $12 to $15 per watt. This means that you will have to spend $12K to $15 K per kilowatt hour of the energy which you want to produce.
Even if you compare it with the power supplied by the utility company solar energy still is very cost effective. There could be places where the utility companies do not supply power; you will have to totally depend upon the solar panels to get the electricity. You can recover the cost of installation in few years by saving the rising bills of the utility companies.
Solar panels are not only cost effective but fascinating too; you become savior of the environment. Another good option is to combine solar power with wind turbines which should generate enough power to meet your energy demands.
Furthermore, you can also reduce the electric consumption by using appliances which are Energy Star appliances, efficient light bulbs, efficient cooling and heating systems and other appliances which consume less power. You can also use separate dedicated systems like solar and geothermal water heating systems for the pool and or for bath which can be done by using portable solar panels for the areas where you do not need power all the time.
If you simply discipline your energy needs, you can produce enough power from solar panels and save on the rising energy bills. Using lights, unplugging the plugs, using natural renewable energy sources like solar and wind can go long way in consuming less energy and also contribute to the environment.