The benefits of solar panels are numerous. You have a form of energy that is pollution-free. This means a form of energy that decreases our reliance on fossil fuels. It also means something that is low maintenance, pays for itself a thousand times over, and can be installed just about anywhere. As more and more people look for ways to live a green-friendly, grid-free lifestyle, the appeal of solar panels becomes clear.
Yet there are naturally some potential disadvantages that must be considered. The initial costs can be high. They can take up a lot of space. These are things that should be kept in mind.
One concern many share comes down to reliability. Obviously, cloudy days aren’t going to produce quite as much energy as the brilliantly sunny ones. At the same time, can one rely on their solar panels all through the year? What about winter?
Yes, you can fully power your home all year round with just solar panels. Here is what you are going to want to keep in mind.
Powering Your Home All Year With Solar
While no one will deny that your solar panels will be somewhat less effective during the darker months of the year, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their use year-round. It simply comes down to understanding several key factors. Considering the investment that we’re talking about, it just makes sense to want to get the most out of what you have.
Here are several ways in which you can make that happen, saving considerable money and energy in the bargain:
- Understand what you are getting into: Before you even get started, keep in mind that it takes approximately one thousand square feet of space for solar panels to meet the energy needs of an average home. In order to take advantage of the other tips we are going to run by you, understand that you are going to need every single one of those feet!
- Location is key: Where you live in the United States is going to play a large role in the amount of energy you can generate each year from your solar panels. Although the southwestern U.S. gets the most sunlight, this doesn’t mean you’re out of luck anywhere else. Simply make it a point to understand how much sunlight is going to be available to you, based on where you live in the country. Knowing how much you stand to gain can help you to optimize your opportunities.
- Pay attention to the tilt: How you tilt your panels is going to be crucial in getting the most energy from the sun. Tilting your flat-plate collector to your site latitude will capture the most energy. If you have a roof which faces south, you’re in luck. That is the best type of roof with which to establish your panels. You should also consider adding fifteen degrees to your tilt during the winter, and then subtracting fifteen degrees from your tilt during the summer.
- What about cell type? This is another major consideration that must be kept in mind. Tiltable panels are going to be your best bet, since this gives you the best possible degree of flexibility. If you live in the southwest, consider a flat-panel system, as these can gather up the most possible sunlight all throughout the year.
Some people opt to utilize a hybrid approach to getting their power needs met. This involves combining the power of wind with the power of the sun. The idea is pretty straightforward. What you get is the wind picking up the slack during the cloudier/darker months of the year. The rest of the time is going to be handled by your solar panels. While this option works for many people, some prefer to focus entirely on solar panels.
Yes, it is generally possible to power your home all through the year with solar. While this can vary from one location to the next, you are generally going to find that you can power your home from one month to the next. Simply keep in mind the suggestions that we have highlighted above. In doing so, you are going to be able to get the most from your panels. You will also want to understand that the process of optimizing your solar panels is often a matter of trial and error. You may find that you have to try several different things, in order to get the results you are after. You will certainly need to make adjustments to your panels as the seasons are going to demand. That is perhaps the most important thing to remember.