I get a lot of questions about when solar makes sense vs. geothermal. Both alternative energy technologies harness the power of the sun. Solar captures the energy of the sun by exciting electrons in silicon and capturing that energy in wires. Geothermal takes advantage of the solar heat stored in the ground, which is about 50-55 degrees year round just a few feet below the surface.
You need to make the change to energy-efficient light bulbs if you haven’t already. Many people stay away from these because of the initial cost. However, if you can wrap your mind around the cost of solar panels to save money later, then you’re capable of doing it with energy bulbs. It will actually save you money!
Make sure you buy the right type of solar cells. Photovoltaic cells are cheaper. Avoid going for grade B cells. You cannot get the desired output. Avoid wax dipped cells also. Chinese el paso solar cells are cheap, but they are not of high quality. Do not buy them if you want your solar panel to be durable.
Get a conventional condensing boiler (not a combi) and a solar twin coil water cylinder. A twin coil cylinder has one heating coil that is connected to your boiler and the other (the lower one) connects to the solar panel. Unvented (mains pressure) cylinders give better water pressure for showers etc, but the cylinders are more expensive since they have to withstand high pressure. If you already have a vented cylinder (with a header tank) you may want to simply replace this with a vented twin coil cylinder. A solar energy twin coil cylinder is not much more expensive than a single coil cylinder and it gives you the option of adding the solar panel very easily at a later stage. So since you plan to add solar at a later stage you should definitely ensure that you get the right cylinder now.
Solar panels are rated from 1 watt to 300+ watts. Most solar panels up to 135 watts are 12 volts direct current (12vdc). Most solar panels over 135 watts are 21 to 40 vdc.
Nowadays, you can barely pick up a newspaper or watch a news programme on TV without hearing some mention, however insignificant, of the term solar energy.
Make this world a better place for you and the next generation to come. Start converting electric lights to non-polluting solar powered lights. It would be a tough start yet you can do it. Be sure that you know what you’ll need aside from the solar panels and bulbs. It won’t take a week to finish the installation. Others can even do it in one day. Make sure that you charge the solar lights during the day so you won’t be having problems using them at night. Others prefer decorative solar lights for their outdoor living spaces. You can choose colorful and attractive lights too. After all, they are still non-polluting.