Top 20 reasons to go solar

If you are trying to decide if Solar is right for you, here are our top 20 reasons to go solar.

It’s environmentally friendly clean energy

Solar panels are made from silicon (sand) and the environmental impact and safety risk associated with the manufacture of solar cells is negligible compared with conventional energy sources such as coal, oil and nuclear power.  Batteries on the other hand are not so, but they can be recycled so like may things, how environmentally friendly solar is has a lot to do with the individual.  In general solar energy is at least 10 times more environmentally friendly than fossils fuels.

It’s Renewable

What can I say, almost all energy ultimately comes from the sun as Oil, Coal and Gas are essentially the result of nature storing sunlight in the ground over millions of years.  But so as long as the Sun keeps shining solar will continue to be renewable as opposed to Oil, Coal and Gas which, at the rate we are using it up, will only last another 100 years at the most.

It’s available anywhere the sun shines

self explanatory i think.

It’s a local resource

Well the sun is not so local but its by-product solar radiation is.  If it wasn’t how do you explain sunburn … hmm!!

Durable

Many solar systems can last over 30 years.  Unfortunately batteries only last around 10 (or less if you don’t look after them) but there is a lot of activity in this space so I’m anticipating (hoping) demand will address this issue soon.

Cost saving

In my case it was cheaper to install solar than get power connected to our property, and we are saving around $200 a month by not having a utility bill.

Easily installed

Many small solar kits are as easy as plugging in an appliance.  Larger systems are a bit more complicated but well within the abilities of most people that take the time and effort to research.  I will post an article on how to install a larger system one of these days so keep posted.

Low voltage

The lowest recorded voltage for death by electric shock is 60V as most DC systems are 24 Volts or less they are deemed safe with regard to electric shock.  But there is still a risk of fire so always be careful and ensure everything is done safely.  Note.  If you connect a AC inverter to your system that operates above 110 volts please be very careful and ensure you follow your local regulations and guidelines as these voltages can kill.

Little or no trenching required

If you’re using mains power you will need underground or overhead power lines to connect to your electricity provider.  Conversely because the solar system is normally installed on or close to your home, no or very little trenching is required.

Battery backup

We have an off gird system (24v 900 amp hours) which means we are not affected by power cuts or brownouts.

Dark sky

Typically solar systems use LEDs or minimal lighting which means less light pollution … see more about this problem here http://darksky.org

Tax Credits

Many countries provide grants and tax credits for renewable energy installations, I highly recommend you do the research on this as it could save you a lot of money.

Self Sufficient

Nothing screams ‘I’m self sufficient’ louder that having an off grid solar system.

Increases the value of your property

This speaks for itself.

You can do it yourself

It’s true, with nothing more than a computer and access to the internet I was able to research, purchase most of our solar systems and teach myself how to install and maintain it.

Fixed power costs

No unexpected utility bills or increased power costs.

Less electricity loss

There is a lot of energy lost in storing and retrieving power from batteries and in producing the batteries and solar panels in the first place, but other than this and your initial investment it costs nothing to produce.  Essentially solar radiation is a by-product of the enormous nuclear reactor in the sky we like to call the sun.  But this is not the same with regard to dirty energy produced using coal, oil or gas if you consider the energy it took nature to create and man to extract plus the 8% to 15% lost in the transmission from the plant to your home.  Now also add the environmental cost associated with the emissions from these carbon fuel sources and how much energy it will take to clean it up, there is no comparison so don’t every try to get into a debate with me on this …

Creates jobs and economic growth

Solar systems need to be installed and maintained, much of the labour associated with is sourced locally, this in-turn drives economic growth and job creation in rural areas.

You can make you money (in some cases)

In my case it was cheaper to install solar than get power connected to our property.  But if you had a grid attached system and you produced excess power, many power companies will credit your account for power fed back into the power grid, some people have actually made money doing this.

Its cool

Hey don’t get me wrong, its not the reason we went solar … but it is cool man.

top 20 reasons to go solar small-solar-system-with-lights

Above is a small solar system running lights only.  If you only run lights and the batteries are close to your lights, its a lot more efficient to run 12v DC Led lights directly off the batteries.

But if you are running a lot of lights and appliances i.e a medium to large size home, then it will most likely be a lot cheaper to invest more in panels, batteries and use an AC Inverter … the reason for this is a bit complicated, but it has a lot to do with DV vs AC and voltage drop, amperage resistance, cable core sizes and cost differences between DC appliance and AC appliances.

I hope you enjoyed our top 20 reasons to go solar if you interested in learning more have a look at some of the solar items we use in our off grid home.  http://offgridguide.com/product-category/solar/

 

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