dimanche 26 novembre 2017

Solar power technologies pros and cons

Controversy over alternative energy  


The costs of solar energy(part 4)


  Photo-voltaic solar panels system on your households who produce electricity are photo-voltaic cells, connected together to a solar module, who transform solar radiation into electricity. Generally, several modules are grouped together to form an installation. They are usually installed on the roof so that the slope is sufficient for the snow to slide on the walls of glass and to better capture the brightness of the Sun.
   DC power generated from solar radiation is used to power a device or recharge a battery. The power must first go through an inverter before being converted to 110V and routed to the house. Generally, people are connected to the electricity grid and work with a battery, because they can get supplies from the electricity company if their needs are not met by solar energy. Off-network users use batteries that provide power, regardless of brightness and variations in demand. In eastern Northern-America, these batteries provide a stable diet during the shorter days of autumn and early winter.
   All that consumes electricity can be powered by photo-voltaic panels, namely lighting, appliances, computers, small electrical appliances. However, for anything that generates heat, such as heating the house and water, it is better to use another technology: solar thermal energy. Indeed, it is more efficient and less expensive to generate heat with this technology.
   By cons, the costs are very important if you have the idea of converting your single family house into solar energy. But the investment can be worth the cost, even in Quebec. In Quebec, it is estimated that electricity produced with photo- voltaic panels cost six times more than the price of residential electricity. A kWh produced with solar photo voltaic energy costs about $0.42 compared to the $0.07 per kWh requested by Hydro-Quebec.
   Even if Hydro-Quebec does not go to the residence or if the cost of connection to the network exceeds $15,000 to $20,000, it is advantageous to install solar panels. It all depends also on where you live, how much you pay for your electricity in kWh in your state or province. How much you spend on electricity each month and how much you think you'll be saving with your solar panels system each year...
   For example, the average annual electricity use for Canadian and U.S. households is 11,000-kilowatt hours (kWh). Multiply that by the national average electricity rate as of September 2016 ($0.1287 per kWh) and you'll find that the typical American family is spending over $1,400 a year on electricity alone.
   Then, you'll have to consider also the volatile nature of electricity prices, determine what utility rates will be in years to come. When you compare the cost of utility electricity with solar home, you should keep in mind that you can expect electricity rates to increase annually. Over the past decade, national electricity costs increased by 2.2% per year.

Average solar panels installation:

  • System size: 5 kilowatts (the national average)
  • Electricity demand: 11,000kilowatts-hour per year (national average)
  • Utility rate inflation: 2,2%
  • Percent needs meeting by solar panels: 84%
  • Electricity rate
  • Ownership of the solar panels is assumed

The annual solar energy production of solar systems:

  • 3kW                    4,260 kWh
  • 4kW                    5,680 kWh
  • 5kW                    7,100 kWh
  • 7kW                    9,949 kWh
  • 8kW                   11,360 kWh
  • 10kW                 14,200 kWh
  • 12kW                 17,040 kWh
  • 15kW                 21,300 kWh


Cost of electricity in kilowatt per hour:

  • Quebec:           7 cents kWh
  • Toronto:         14 cents kWh
  • Moncton:        12 cents kWh
  • Chicago:         17 cents kWh
  • New-York:      29 cents kWh
  • Boston:           30 cents kWh

So, if you live in a place like the province of Quebec, it'll take you as 4 times longer to get your return of investment on your solar panels system compare with how much you pay for your electricity bills in Boston, Massachusetts or in New-York.

Examples of costs for equipment (installation included)

Prices are approximate

Example 1

Medium sized family households
Not connected to the utility grid's

24 panels = 2,880 watts / $15,000
12 batteries / $6,000
Other equipment / $7,000
Total: $28,000

Example 2

Chalet, weekend use
Not connected to the utility grid's

8 panels = 960 watts / $5,000
6 batteries / $3,000
Other equipment / $4,000
Total: $12,000

Example 3

Small hunting & fishing hut, RV
Not connected to the utility grid's

2 panels = 240 watts / $1,250
2 batteries of 12 volts / $400
Other equipment / $550
Total: $2,200



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