Considering Solar Power Options For Your Home

Posted on: 29 December 2021

Solar electric systems are an excellent way to offset your energy costs throughout the year or replace your energy needs completely. Working with a solar systems contractor to build and install a solar electric collection system that will support your needs can provide power to your home well into the future and save you move that you can use on other things. 

Solar System Designs

When considering a move to solar electric generation for your home, you need to determine how much energy you need and how to achieve that goal. Often working with an electrical contractor that specializes in solar systems is an excellent place to start.

Solar systems require exposure to the sun for as much of the day as possible, so homes with an unobstructed south-facing roof often achieve the best light coverage and can generate a lot of electricity during the day. The solar system size will also play a role in the amount of energy harnessed, so covering the entire southern roof with solar panels might be something you want to consider. 

If your home does not have a southern exposure, you can install solar panels on a ground mount, an elevated pole mount, or the roof of an outbuilding like a garage that faces the correct direction. The system's design will take all these factors into account to collect the amount of energy needed and store it for use later. 

Storing Solar Power

Solar energy can feed your home directly during the day, but if you want to have power at night, your electrical contractor will need to install a storage system to allow all the energy collected to be stored in batteries for use later. Solar systems with a lot of storage and production can often achieve so much electricity that you can't store or use all of it. 

If you are making more electricity than you can use, selling that excess to the local electric company is often something to consider. Most solar systems have a regulator and controller in the system that allows collection, storage, and use all at the same time, but the system needs to be large enough to allow that. 

Using a lithium-ion battery system for storage offers the largest storage capacity, and it will last a long time. However, lithium-ion batteries are expensive, so often lead-acid batteries are used and work very well in most solar storage systems. The upfront cost of sealed lead-acid batteries is lower than the lithium alternatives, there is little to no maintenance required, and they are incredibly safe, making them an excellent choice for residential solar systems. 

Your contractor can go over the storage system options with you and can recommend a specific battery type that they have found to work well for storage. If you are concerned about cost, let them know upfront so they can take that into account, but keep in mind that the better the batteries, the more dependable the entire solar system becomes.