Guest Post by Madeline Binder
Solar energy is rapidly being integrated into American culture as an accessible source of low cost electricity. However, many people are intimidated about converting their homes to a solar energy home. There are two problem that really are keeping people from converting to solar energy, (1) ignorance about the process and (2) concerns about the aesthetics of the panels.
Getting to Know Solar Energy
The first problem that is keeping Americans from converting en mass to solar energy is a simple lack of common knowledge about solar energy. People are concerned about the price and the practicality of converting to solar energy. Fortunately, both concerns can easily be resolved.
What you first need to know about a solar energy conversion is that it is practical for nearly any location in the United States. The conversion process involves installing enough solar panels to meet your energy consumption needs, installing a circuit breaker that connects the solar panels to your homes central grid and installing either a battery or a special transformer that will allow a bidirectional flow of power from your local utility provider.
If you want to be totally off the grid then you will need to select a battery backup for your solar energy power system. This will allow you to store energy that is produced while the sun is out so you have power at night or when the level of sunlight is insufficient to generate enough electricity to meet your needs.
If you want to utilize your solar energy as a supplement to the energy produced by your utility company then you will need a special electronic set up installed which will allow power to be brought in to serve your home as needed and that will also allow your extra electricity produced by your solar panels to be fed into the general power grid. The power that you feed into the grid will be purchased by your local power company, providing you with extra income.
The cost of setting up your solar energy system will depend on a number of factors. For example, the location of your home, the number of panels you set up and the contractors that you select. However, keep in mind that this cost can be somewhat offset by special tax breaks and financial incentives offered by local power companies.
Solar panels have a modern design aesthetic that can be integrated into most homes seamlessly. The key here is to find a way to make the panels a part of your home’s architecture, as opposed to a competing visual element.
Madeline Binder, the author, encourages students to explore the importance of doing solar science fair experiments to raise the awareness of this important aspect of using green energy. Experimental size solar panels are an important materials used for science fairs.