Solar and Wind Energy:
How to Make Electricity at Home a Feasible Option
The Truth about Making Your Own Electricity
For years you’ve been hooked with your utility company’s electric power grids. Life at home seems so convenient: you watch your favorite TV shows, listen to music, charge your iPod or MP3 player, reheat food using the microwave oven, prepare foods using food processors, and go on through your daily tasks without thinking where this electricity comes from. Then, after depending on coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy for more than a century, the world slowly becomes more conscious of using renewable resources.
As numerous countries take advantage of renewable energy sources such as the sun, wind, and heat, more companies, both public and private corporations, manufactures solar panels and wind turbines that are suitable for residential use. However, the first developed photovoltaic cells or solar cells were very costly and not readily affordable by the average citizen. Through the years, the demand for solar cells, solar panels, and wind turbines increased steadily and the production cost of materials are reduced through the ever developing technology, making production of solar and wind energy equipments more affordable and opening the way for mass-production. Solar panel installations, primarily, have largely expanded to residential areas due to the efforts of the government. The reduced cost and the incentive programs offered by the government make ‘green’ energy a viable option for residential users.
Even with the availability and affordability of solar and wind energy, not many people shifted gears, hesitant that their investment may not pay off.
Not everyone is giddy with the thought of making electricity at home. In addition, the cost of solar panels is still uncomfortably high for the average Joe. The problem is trounced by the introduction of do-it-yourself solar power systems. See Happy Testimonials
DIY solar panels introduce ways on how to make electricity at home. The idea is mostly devised by handyman and skilled individuals who wanted to use green energy but are not willing to pay thousands of dollars to the company who are distributing and installing solar panels. Making your own solar power system and installing it may seem like an arduous task.
However, the thought of saving thousands of bucks and accomplishing such a worthy project is enough to put your heart out on the job.
Solar Power Videos
Due to its availability, solar power is the most utilized out of all the renewable energy sources. As early as the 1900s, solar power is used as back-up power source for satellites, water heating, and space heating. When photovoltaic cells become available for residential use, the government encouraged the people to use solar panels to power up their homes. In exchange, the government pays complying residents a certain amount for every kilowatt per hour (kWh) that the solar electricity generated.
Benefits of Solar Power Systems
Aside from the incentive programs the government offers, making electricity at home using solar power provides promising benefits:
Renewable. You are sure to harvest sunlight for as long as the sun rises every day. You don’t have to worry of its depletion even in the years to come.
Cost-effective. Solar panels are more affordable compared to the old days. This is made possible by the changes in technology and reduced non-module cost, allowing cheaper production of the materials use in manufacturing solar panels. There are also DIY solar panels for individuals who can’t afford ready-to-install solar panels, which can be constructed and installed for just several hundred bucks.
Return of investment. Even if you pay several thousand dollars for solar panels and installation, in the long run, you get your investment back. A certain percentage of your solar power system purchase can be declared as tax credit. If the government offers 30% of tax credit and you purchase a $2000 power system, you can reduce $600 for your computation of investment returns. The remaining $1400 will be returned slowly as you use your solar panels and save on the power grids cost. It can take 10 years before you can break even but during that time, you don’t need to worry about electric bill surges.
Maintenance-free. Solar panels are durable and are basically maintenance-free after you’ve installed it. It takes 20 to 25 years before you may need to replace it. By that time, you already profit from your investment.
Drawbacks of Solar Panels
Solar panels are ideal for places that receives steady to high levels of sunlight all year round. In countries where there are several seasons, solar power systems are only useful during summer or hot days where the solar panels have sufficient sunlight to harvest.
DIY solar panels can be quite arduous for individuals who are not adept or have the proper skills. While some guides and instructions are easy to understand, some people are not suited for handyman jobs, limiting the people who can actually make electricity through solar power systems.
Another drawback of solar panels is the issue of disposing storage batteries. There is still no certainty on where and how to dispose the batteries without harming the environment.
Wind Power Systems
Like solar power, wind power is a prevailing green energy supported by the government. Many residents who live on windy states or areas are more willing to use wind energy than solar power.
Advantages of Wind Energy
Wind Power Installation Videos
Low cost. Compared to solar power system, residential wind energy system requires less capital, making it more cost effective to make electricity at home. Solar photovoltaic cells cost 40% higher than wind power systems that generate the same amount of electricity.
Reliable power generation. This fact is based on year-round generation of electricity. Since solar power systems are dependent on its sun’s exposure, climate changes can affect how much electricity the solar panels generate. Whereas wind energy has a more available source all year round.
Higher power generation. Large wind turbines generate more electricity compared to solar panels. A whole house covered with solar panels may still lack electricity to power all its appliances. A large wind turbine can generate power for several houses.
Drawbacks of Wind Energy
Location is also a limitation of wind power systems. A huge wind turbine requires a large space where you can set it up and make it operable. Remote farms and remote communities can benefit from wind power systems but an urban community with closely located homes cannot take advantage of wind energy. If it’s not windy on your area, then there are limited to no benefits of using wind energy.
Just as lack of skills affect do-it-yourself solar panels, it also affects wind turbine set up and installation to make electricity at home. Although wind turbines are generally easier to install, you still need strength to set up the turbines and some knowledge on electric wirings to ensure that you store the generated power to the storage batteries.
Disposal of the storage batteries are disadvantages as well. Like solar power systems, wind energy use storage batteries to store the generated electricity. However, there is much controversy on battery disposals, opening doubts to the environmental-friendliness of wind and solar energy.
Many people are also concern about the safety of using wind energy, both to humans and to the bird population.
How Much can You Save from Solar and Wind Power Systems?
Putting aside the incentives offered by the government and the tax credit from using solar and wind power systems you can save much using green energy.
While it may be a nice idea to power your whole house with green energy, it may require lots of solar panels and a huge wind turbine, which may not be applicable to your location. One solution is to use solar or wind energy as an alternative or back-up source from the power grid.
To calculate how much you can save, take note of how much power your solar panels or wind turbine generate per day, and the amount you pay for every kWh. If your solar panels collect 5 kWh of energy per day and you pay 10 c/kWh, then you are saving 50 cents per day, equivalent to $15 of your monthly electric bill.
It may not be much compared to how much you actually paid for the solar panels or wind turbine, however if you make electricity at home by DIY power systems, then you’re in for a treat. Not only did you learn how to make electricity but you also save 15 bucks from your monthly bill.
In a Nutshell
Renewable energy sources are expected to become more affordable option to power grids. It can even replace electric grids in the coming decades as both the government and private sectors work together to make a powerful effort to promote green energy.
In the long run, making electricity at home is the more viable option compared to power grids. The idea of generating electricity without causing pollution and harsh environmental effects makes solar and wind energy an ideal solution to the world’s power needs. With the depleting non-renewable sources, it won’t take another century before power grids are replace and it’s time to make electricity more renewable even at home.
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