Monday, March 22, 2010

Solar Powering Your House


We all want to make use of the solar energy, using to power our houses. Although it’s not as simple as just placing some modules on your roof, it’s not very difficult to do either.

The first thing to consider is the direction of your house as every roof does not have the correct orientation or angle of inclination to take full advantage of the sun’s energy.

Ideally, non-tracking PV systems in the Northern Hemisphere should point toward true south, but orientations that face in more easterly and westerly directions can work too, with decreased efficiency howsoever.

It is also important to incline the solar panels at an angle as close to the area’s latitude as possible in order to absorb the maximum amount of energy all round the year.

You can increase the energy production level by using a different orientation and/or inclination for the morning or afternoon, or the summer or winter.

Obviously, the modules should never be put in a place where they are shaded by nearby trees or buildings, no matter which time of the day or the time of year it is, to maximize production.

If you have a roof that is unshared and southward-facing, then you will need to decide the size of system you need. This might be a little complicated as electricity production through solar means depends on the weather, which is never completely predictable, and your electricity demand may also vary.

However, you can solve these issues easily with a little help. Use the meteorological data to find out the average monthly sunlight levels for different geographical areas. This takes into account rainfall and cloudy days, as well as altitude, humidity and other more subtle factors. Design your system for the worst month, so that you’ll may have enough electricity all round the year.

Together with this data, and your average household demand which you can find out through your utility bill, you can easily determine the number of PV modules you’ll need.