What Determines the Price of Home Solar Panel Installation?

People are leaning toward installing solar panels to have a “green” source of energy that would eventually cost them nothing. However, the price point is one of the major concerns that worry homeowners. People feel more inclined to check the price tag on solar panels to decide whether they are going to go for them or not. Just like any renewable source of energy, the initial cost may sound very expensive, however, afterwards, the fuel price comes down to zero. The average cost swings between $15k and $25k, this gap in the range of prices depend mainly on the solar panel size.

But other than the size of solar panels, what other factors affect the price of home solar panel installation?

1. The Size Of Solar Panels

The cost of solar panels is calculated by dollar per watt depending on how much electricity you need to generate. A bigger system requires more work to install and that’s how the size affects the cost of installing solar panels. 2kW would averagely cost around $4k, while solar panels that would generate 25 kW costs $53k.

Crunching the numbers, it does sound that solar panel cost a lot more than average electricity bills paid per month, thanks to low-interest solar installment plans, buying big solar panels won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

2. Variation Of Price Between States

Solar panel prices may seem like they’re all the same across all states, however, you can use the same exact solar panels at two different states and you will get different costs. The reason behind these variations depends on the cost of electricity in every state. Let’s take Washington, for example, the cost of 6kw generated from a solar panel will cost around $9k, while the same in New York will cost $12k.

Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses

The prices definitely seem costly, however, if one thought about the overall cost of electricity from solar energy and normal sources, solar is definitely cheaper.

3. The Quality

Prices differ according to the manufacturer brand; prices can range from $13k up to $17k. The local Sandbar Solar not only provides high-quality panels, complex commercial and residential setups, but also cares about the community by sponsoring many events with their eco-friendly Solar Trailer.

Other than the panel brand you are going to choose, other factors must be kept in mind; the experience of the installer, racking equipment, cost of electricity by state and the location also affects the prices. So, when you are choosing the brand for the solar panel installation project, you need to be careful and consider all the factors and aspects.

Clean Energy

Choosing a renewable source of energy is the best thing one can do these days. The greenhouse effect that is caused by coal, petroleum, and gas will put an end to the earth at some point. It’s our responsibility to go “green” to save the Earth for a better world.

Other than that, even if you don’t care about the environment, a clean source of energy that depends on wind or the sun, would definitely cost you a big amount at the beginning, but in the long run, they are cheaper sources of electricity.

Make Your Pool More Sustainable Now!

The word sustainable has no single definition since its meaning changes to different people over time. But simply put, sustainability is the use of practices that creates the least blueprint to the environment. When you choose materials or implement policies that promote environmental awareness, you are practicing sustainability.

A pool is not a pool without water, electricity, and chemicals for its maintenance and operation. With this in mind, is it possible to own a pool without damaging the environment?

The answer is yes. There are many ways to have a highly sustainable pool. Here are some of them:

swimming pool maintenance

1. Use water-neutral method

Water-neutral pools have water-saving and water-harvesting devices like water reservoirs to collect rainwater that can replenish the pool. Another way to save water is by installing backwash-minimization systems to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain the swimming pool. The upfront cost for buying water-neutral devices can be expensive, but considering the benefits they offer, they are practical tools in the long run.

2. Use eco-friendly technologies

Another way to make your pool greener is to use eco-friendly accessories such as LED lights instead of the usual halogen bulbs. LED lights use less power than other types of lamps. This means that they consume less electricity too, which means it lets you save on money. They are also easier to automate, so you can set a timer for them through your mobile phone. If you have older pools that come with halogen lamps, you may consider changing them for LED bulbs.

3. Harness the power of the sun

There is nothing more satisfying than taking a dip in a warm pool. However, running your pool heater consumes a lot of electricity which causes a surge in your electric bill. Installing additional 2-3KW solar panels on top of the pool heater can cover the cost of running pool accessories. You can connect the pool pump to the solar panel and let it run between 10 am to 3 pm while the sun is up. This solar pool setup will save you a lot of money later on.

If there is a downside to installing a solar panel, it’s the fact that it needs ample space and the right location where it can get a lot of sun rays.

4. Use a thermal pool cover or solar “bubble blanket”

One of the simplest ways to prevent pool heat loss is to cover the pool when not used. Pool covers help in heat retention, reduces evaporation, lessens the need to top up the pool, and maintains chemical balance.  Thermal covers are specially designed to withstand strong UV, which helps retain the heat more. Thermal blankets with the highest R-value work best in heat retention.

5. Keep your pool clean

Cleaning the pool is a lifetime responsibility. Skimming the pool to remove visible objects, vacuuming the walls and floor to loosen up dirt and algae, and using chemicals to remove bacteria and other microscopic organisms are all part of the cleaning process.

Typically, pool cleaning needs your pool pump and water filtration to run to replenish the pool and backwash the filter to remove the debris. However, there is a better way to clean your pool without wasting a lot of water and electricity.

swimming pool maintenance

Using an automatic pool cleaner (also known as pool vacuum) to maintain the water’s good condition is efficient and eco-friendly. A pool robot saves a lot on electricity since it has its own pump and filtration system, meaning you don’t need to run the pool system while cleaning. A pool vacuum has four different types: suction-side, pressure-side, pressure with booster pump, and robotic.

Some of the best pool cleaners only use the same amount of energy as a standard light bulb or about 5 cents per hour. If it takes three hours for them to clean, it translates to an additional 15 cents on your electric bill. This amount is definitely lower compared to running the pool’s pump and filter at the same time.

A pool robot also comes with filters for collecting debris. The dirt is trapped inside the device, not in the pool’s filter system. This process reduces the need to apply chemicals and performs backwashing to clean the pool’s ducts and filter system.

How to Make Your House as Eco-friendly as Possible?

Environmental concerns are more widespread than they ever have been, thanks to high-profile documentaries, a raft of alarming science, and some determined activism from green pressure groups. And these concerns are helping to shape the modern home, too.

There are myriad environmentally-friendly ways in which the environmental impact of your home can be lessened. Some of these involve major investment and upheaval; others, however, offer a considerable return on just a little bit of effort.

solar-powered-home

The good news is that anything that can be done to make your home more energy-efficient will also make it greener. For example, replacing an old boiler with a modern combination one from City Plumbing will tend to yield a substantial improvement, even if it’s not an electric one. Let’s look at a few popular means of making a house eco-friendly, and see which will provide the greatest benefit to your home.

1. Light Bulbs

Swapping out older halogen-style light bulbs for newer LED-based ones can save enormous amounts of energy in the long-term. They’re more resilient, and they’ll pay for themselves within a few weeks. Of course, there’s also an environmental cost associated with manufacturing a new bulb – and thus it may be worth waiting for your old bulbs to fail before investing in a replacement.

LED-bulbs

2. Insulate

If you’re burning gas in order to replace the heat that’s escaping through your windows, doors and walls, then you’re imposing a burden on the environment. Anything you can do to improve the insulation situation will therefore confer an environmental benefit. Often, the best results can be had by improving the situation in the loft.

3. Install a compost bin

Your kitchen will produce food waste, which can be put to use in the garden. Install a compost bin, and use the results to grow yourself some quality vegetables. You’ll be slashing your food miles in the process, too.

benefits-composting

3. Heat Pumps

A ground-source heat pump is a device which draws energy up from deep in the ground, and uses it to help heat your house. Despite the name, the heat-pump can actually help to cool your property, too. Plus, you won’t have the visual upheaval that comes with solar panels. With that said, they’re tricky to install into existing builds, and their efficiency can vary according to the type of soil heat is being extracted from.

4. Photovoltaic Solar Panels

If you can claim a little bit of the energy that strikes your roof, then you’ll reduce the amount of fossil fuels that you’re indirectly causing to be burned. Over the course of decades, again, the investment in solar panels will pay for itself – and you’ll get the benefit of solar grants to sweeten the deal still further.

Will Solar Roadways Ever Be Possible?

In the United States, the primary mode of transport is cars — and when you have many people driving, you need a lot of road. In total, there are around four million miles of paved road in the United States. According to one estimate, that’s more than 13,000 square miles of paved land.

These roads have a big impact on their local environment before, during and after construction. First, there’s a carbon cost to laying asphalt. After construction, when it rains, the impervious surface of the road can carry polluted rainwater directly to storm drains — where the water will run off into the environment.

There’s also evidence that expanding roads encourages people to drive more often, increasing emissions over time.

Without a major shift in the U.S., these roads are likely to stick around well into the future. As a result, environmentalists and engineers want to find ways to take advantage of all that open space and offset some of the environmental cost of roads.

solar-highway

Solar roadways — roads outfitted with special solar panels — have arisen as one possible solution to reduce the environmental impact of roads. If you outfit all these roads with solar energy, you can use that paved land to generate energy. At first glance, it looks like a good idea — but would it work in practice?

Why People Are Interested in Solar Roadways

While solar roadway technology has been theoretically possible for a while, interest in the idea has grown significantly over the past decade. This new interest is likely due in part to the growing availability of new solar technology like home solar systems and batteries.

Changes in road materials may have also made the idea seem more practical. In recent years, rising asphalt prices have many cities turning to concrete for their roads. Concrete is somewhat tougher and more durable than asphalt, meaning concrete roads may be a better candidate for projects like solar roadways, where damage to the road could loosen or destroy embedded solar panels.

Growing knowledge about the environmental impact of travel by car may have also inspired recent interest in solar road projects. After all, if we can find a way to make roads eco-friendly, we won’t need to worry as much about their potential long-term effects on the climate and the environment.

The Challenges to Overcome

No one has attempted a large-scale solar roadway yet — but the first few experimental applications of the technology have not yielded encouraging results.

The Wattway solar road project, built in the Normandy region of France in 2016, lined a full kilometer (0.62 miles) of road with 2,800 photovoltaic solar panels. The project engineers designed panels coated with a special resin containing silicone. The company behind Wattway said the resin was strong enough to protect the panels from the weight of an eighteen-wheeler.

While sound in theory, the project was a disaster in practice. The resin was able to mostly protect the panels from traffic at first, but the sound created by cars passing over the panels was so loud that the village had to limit local speed limits to just over 40 miles per hour.

Three years after installation, there are solar panels peeling off the road and the protective resin is splintered and shattered in many places.

In terms of energy production, the project was also a bust. While solar panels are decent energy sources in well-lit regions of the world, Normandy only sees around 44 days of full sunlight every year. The region’s strong weather, in addition to potentially damaging the panels, further limited the power the panels could collect.

wattway-solar-road-project

On one hand, the Wattway project may seem like a failure of planning. The choice of region, road and materials were all suboptimal. The combination of these mistakes could easily have been enough to sink the project.

However, the Wattway project also shows the serious challenges that engineers will overcome to make solar roadways and other “solar surfaces” workable. To start with, designers will need to use panel materials that are strong, resilient to traffic without generating too much noise and easy to maintain. Project planners will also have to select the right region for the roadway and find a road with the right angle towards the sun for maximum energy production.

What Will Future Solar Technology Look Like?

Growing demand for clean sources of energy will prompt engineers and designers to continue searching for new applications for solar panels. Solar roadways, however, seem likely to remain theoretical in the near future. The challenges of road-ready solar panels and the limited amount of suitable area will probably mean that solar engineers will look elsewhere before turning to projects like a solar panel highway.