This question about cheap solar power is one of the most frequently asked by people trying to learn about solar energy and its uses.
There is nothing cheap about solar power generation, but that does not mean the units are not affordable! If the location of a home offers a number of sunny days, the cost of a solar power system could be repaid in as few as three to five years, depending on whether or not the home is tied in with the electrical utility grid.
Grid tie ins are the best way to make cheap solar power. When the units have good sun contact and are producing more energy than a home needs, the extra power is forced back into the electrical grid for other homes to use. This over production often results in a credit being issued from the electrical company.
When days are cloudy or in the winter when the home uses more energy than it produces, these credits will pay for the extra power pulled from the local utility. In that aspect, energy bills in the home could, ideally, remain flat even when the solar energy output is less than the energy needs of the home.
Another cost that can help render affordable solar power is the regular maintenance of the pieces in the home energy generator.
If the extra energy is being stored in batteries, a regulator needs to be a part of the system. If battery levels are not regulated, extra power could be fed to batteries that are already full which could reduce the life of the battery.
This means an increased cost when the batteries fail and need to be replaced. The regulator is a small piece in the entire environmentally friendly puzzle that will, eventually, pay for itself many times over.
Upgrading a home solar system with moveable solar panels can increase power production and thus decrease the need for complimentary electrical power from the grid.
These panels are programmed to face the sun at an optimal angle at all hours of the day. When the sun sets, the units reset back to sunrise position and start the move all over again in the morning. With daylight savings time, it is important to change the timer on as needed.
Many households nowadays are affordably making the transition to solar energy gradually, by buying or building one or several new solar panels every year. They save a little each week and once installed, the solar panel immediately begins saving money to repay the expense.
The most experienced solar energy experts recommend this method as a way to get started without overwhelm and without breaking the bank!!
If powering the entire house is not your need, there are smaller alternatives that can produce cheap solar power. We've included many of these options here on this site, as a way to help you begin to get an idea of the many possibilities!
These include outdoor solar lighting fixtures that collect solar energy during the day and use that energy to power their light bulbs at night. These units require very little direct contact from the sun and thus can be used in just about any location.
There are also many new options available in portable solar power devices such as solar battery chargers and even solar backpacks!
One of the smallest and most affordable options in solar energy is the solar panel keychain. These small energy collectors can power a cell phone in just about 12 hours.
While this may seem like a long time, sitting at work or home with the unit in the window is a great way to start out on your alternative energy adventure!
If you enjoy DIY (do it yourself) projects, making your own solar panels is a really fantastic way to not only learn more about solar energy, but to produce it! The materials cost less than $100 if you don't mind spending a little extra time collecting them, or around $200 if you buy the materias new.
Now, it takes a while to learn how to do this, however you will save quite a bit of time by using a DIY solar energy instruction manual. There are several reasons why...
The instruction manual that I like best is Green DIY Energy which provides the most detailed instructions, along with 60 minutes of video instruction (you can get the videos online or on CD) and even more important, responsive and helpful support staff who will answer your questions!
We're developing a growing list of affordable solar energy ebooks and articles that are chock full of information that will help you discover the most affordable ways to solar power your home. Request your copy right here!
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