Friday, 3 July 2009
Types Of Feasible renewable energy for domestic homes.
Below are the types of renewable energy groups that can be implemented into a domestic home.
Solar Panels: Domestic Grid Tied.
Solar panels are NOT a cheap option but are a low maintenance option for anyone considering using renewable energy to supply part of their electricity needs at home. To give you an idea of costs associated with a solar PV installation then budget on £6.00 per watt of installed solar, considering you will need (for a three bed roomed typical family home) something like 3000 Watts of solar panels on the roof to give you electricity for free (Most of the time - On Average) then you are looking at an £18,000.00 investment with a typical payback time of 15 to 25 years!
Solar Panels: Remote Building / Shed / Workshop / Hobby Shop.
I would recommend Solar PV panels for a remote type building where you only require a small amount of electricity, i.e. Low energy CF lighting / domestic sockets for laptops / low energy appliances etc. The great thing about remote power is you have the solar panel connected to a battery bank via a charge controller which looks after the batteries and keeps them charged and ready for use. From the battery bank you have an inverter to convert the batteries power into domestic 230VAC (Volts Alternating Current)
Solar Hot Water Panels: Domestic Use.
There are 2 main types of solar hot water panels 1. Flat plate collectors 2.Evacuated tubes collectors. There is much debate over which technology is the best and I am not going to go into the 'for and against' argument here but in my opinion if you are here to look for the best way of reducing your gas or electricity bills then installing Solar Hot Water panels is the way to go. In the UK we could produce at least 70% of all our hot water requirements from the sun that shines on our house roofs! That is one big saving for the average UK home. If you think that you might pay £3,000.00 for a simple solar hot water installation and your hot water heating bill comes down by 70% then the payback time for the installation is not too far away!
Wind Turbines: Domestic Grid Tied.
Wind turbines mounted on the side of your house are one way to reduce your electricity bills considerably. When you hear the phrase 'Grid Tied' all it means is that the electricity the wind turbine produces is pushed back in to the electricity network grid, in effect if the wind turbine is producing electricity in excess of what you are using then your meter will run backwards lowering your electricity bill. This is one way to save money but when the grid goes down (In the event of a power cut) your grid tied wind turbine automatically disconnects from the grid so you have no power! Great for energy saving, no good at all if you want to keep on using power in the event of the national grid shutting down (Power Cut).
Wind Turbines: Off-Grid Power / Remote Power / Shed Power / Workshop Power.
If you require power away from the electricity supply then a wind turbine is a great option. They typically output 12VDC or 24VDC and can be used to charge a battery bank for later use via an inverter. They are much cheaper than Solar PV but you must remember that the wind does not blow all the time so you may want to consider combining a wind turbine with some solar panels.