How To Use Renewable Energy At Home
How To Use Renewable Energy At Home – Thinking of investing in solar panels for your home? What about a wind turbine or a geothermal system? Here are some innovative ways to save energy while reducing your carbon footprint.
When does solar or other alternative energy make sense for your home? Looking for lower utility bills? Concerned about our impact on the planet by burning fossil fuels? Would you like electricity independence?
How To Use Renewable Energy At Home
Today we have more options for using renewable energy than ever before. Energy storage upgrades like solar panels and geothermal heat pumps are also becoming cheaper to install. But no matter how much energy our home produces, it’s important to reduce energy consumption by adopting energy-saving practices.
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In 2018, American residential utility customers used an average of 10,972 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This is about 914 kWh per month. Residential customers in Tennessee used an average of 15,394 kWh more electricity each year. Residential customers in Hawaii use the least on average each year: 6,213 kWh.
You need energy. Understanding this concept will help you decide which system is right for you and which size makes the most sense.
With a large battery that produces energy from the sky – the sun – it’s amazing how little energy we use. Today, solar energy accounts for about 1.6% of US electricity generation and more than 1.4 million solar panels are in use.
Solar arrays (a collection of solar panels) produce energy by absorbing sunlight. An inverter converts the DC (direct current) energy produced by the panels into AC (alternating current) power that runs your home. General guidelines call for 1 kilowatt per 1,000 square feet, or 1,000 watts, but you should work with your contractor to determine the proper amount for your home.
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Roof: For suburban homes, a rooftop solar array makes the most sense. But some communities are looking at solar arrays on Jesus’ roof. In this case, a new generation of solar emitting roofing materials can be considered. They are similar to tiles or slate, but are solar energy absorbers. (It’s not hard to imagine a future where window glass and even house paint incorporate micro-solar energy receivers.)
Freestanding: For larger properties and spacious yards, a freestanding metal frame system may be appropriate. The advantage is that the panels do not depend on the roof or the direction the roof is facing. The shutters can be tilted to take advantage of the sunlight. One innovation is the sunflower-like moving array.
Cost: With so many variables involved—house size, insulation, unit efficiency, geographic location, rates, incentives—it’s difficult to determine the cost of a solar home system. You’ll spend over $20,000 on such a system and pay for it in 10-20 years.
DIY projects to consider: Even if you’re not ready to install a home solar array, smaller projects can generate solar energy for specific tasks. Rooftop solar water heaters can vary depending on a homeowner’s budget and skill level. Costs are $5,000 and can be done for less with discounts and incentives. Solar garden lights add ambiance without raising your electricity bill.
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When to hire a professional: Many companies have been around for years to not only design and install solar systems, but also help with permitting, financing, and utility grid connections. In some cases, you will not pay, and the monthly payment for the system is lower than the current utility bill. When you pay for the system, you own it and then you get the benefits.
Another alternative energy option, geothermal, relies on a very consistent source: the Earth itself. Specifically, geothermal systems are located at least 8 feet below a constant temperature in the ground – about 50 degrees F.
Geothermal systems work by combining heat pump technology with a constant average temperature in the ground to provide heating and air conditioning. Like conventional heat pumps (including refrigerators and portable air conditioners), geothermal (ground source) heat pumps are powered by electricity and transfer heat from one source to another by heating steam and a refrigerant mixture through evaporation cycles. But geothermal systems use very little energy year-round, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. You can expect a geothermal heat pump to be twice as efficient as a top-of-the-line air conditioner and 50% more efficient than the best gas furnace.
Unfortunately, the energy saving benefits of ground source heat pumps come at a high installation cost. The “loop” in a geothermal system consists of pieces of plastic pipe that can be installed horizontally, in trenches, or in vertical, deep holes. Soil conditions and availability of soil determine the type of mulch used. However, installation work can push the system price to $20,000 or more. But once installed, these systems typically provide many years of low-cost, trouble-free operation.
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Like other alternative energy systems, wind generators are becoming more sophisticated and less expensive. In 2018, it accounted for about 6.5% of the energy produced in the United States. You don’t need to live in a wind tunnel. Even a light wind of eight miles per hour can cause damage. But the cleaning area will produce more energy. Most manufacturers rotate the turbine around at least one acre of wood for optimal performance. Obviously, a turbine between tall buildings will not be efficient.
In a typical residential configuration, a wind turbine is mounted on a tower. Turbines should not be placed on the roof because they will cause your house to vibrate. Similar to solar power, an inverter converts the DC power produced into AC power for your home. Concerns about home turbines range from aesthetics to noise to bird mortality. But some users claim that the noise is nothing more than the noise of the power transformer.
Cost: Like solar, a wind-powered system depends on weather and location. More wind, power. For example, a family near Lake Erie in Ohio built a 45-foot, 1.8-kilowatt wind turbine system for $15,000. This includes the turbine, tower, foundation, instruments, inverters, permits, monitoring systems and grid connection. Such a system provides up to 400 kWh of energy, about half of a family’s needs. Such a system can pay back in 12 years.
DIY Option: Due to the size of the equipment, building a wind turbine large enough to power most or all of your home is not considered a DIY project.
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Bottom line: Even if a wind turbine isn’t right for your home, you can get some of your electricity from a wind farm. At least 26 states require a percentage of energy production from alternative renewable sources.
Get the latest Old Home news, reliable tips, tricks and clever DIY projects from our experts – straight to your inbox. Although large-scale action is needed to prevent the negative effects of climate change, people can take steps. reduce your impact (and save money in the process).
The International Renewable Energy Agency has determined that up to 90% of energy-related emissions reductions can be achieved by using renewable energy systems and improving their efficiency.
As a homeowner, there are several ways to implement renewable energy sources for your home. Read on for a list of seven types of commercial renewable energy home systems.
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Photovoltaic panels are what most people think of when it comes to renewable energy sources. These panels can be installed on your roof to generate electricity when the sun shines.
Solar panels have become more efficient and more expensive over the years. Check out local solar companies to learn about installation costs and potential savings for switching to solar.
The biggest downside to renewable energy sources is wind. You’re probably familiar with the large turbines seen on large wind farms, but you may not know that they come in a variety of sizes and are used in residences.
Smaller turbines can be installed on your property if you have some extra space. They can also be connected to the grid to reduce rather than supply your home’s full energy needs.
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Although rechargeable batteries are not power sources themselves, they can be integrated into renewable energy systems to take advantage of the renewable energy you produce.
These large batteries can store large amounts of energy for use when solar or wind sources are not producing.
If you’re not ready to go completely solar, you can use solar energy for specific uses at home. This can significantly reduce your energy costs and consumption.
An example of this type of system is solar water
How Can Home Renewable Energy Benefit Me?
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