Living in a solar home helps decrease your carbon footprint and reduce expenses at precisely the exact same time. It may also enhance your income if the machine generates extra power which can be offered to the grid. But a solar home has some disadvantages in comparison with a traditional dwelling. Challenges include insufficient sunlight, capacity limitations and system maintenance conditions. All these challenges can be met with preparation and planning, but it pays to know about them before making the switch to solar.
Not Enough Sunlight
Sunlight is needed to provide a supply of electricity which will be converted into electricity by the photovoltaic panels. If the sunlight available is weak or inconsistent, you may not find enough electricity. Even at the Southwest, which receives plenty of solar power, the location of your home makes a difference. Solar panels should be situated so they face the sunlight for as many hours a day as you can. Shadows in deep valleys or from high mountains can present a challenge. Weather patterns like overcast skies also diminish solar power available. An experienced contractor will help make certain your system is designed to capture the quantity of energy needed. If you don’t reside in the high arctic in summer, darkness falls every night, and the energy supply stops. Many solar homes utilize a battery bank to store energy collected during the day for use at night.
Batteries can be pulled down quickly in the event that you run a whole lot of appliances simultaneously. For instance, a small system may be unable to handle the load from a television, a microwave and a hair dryer at exactly the exact same time. To prevent this problem, be sure the system is designed to provide the quantity of electricity needed. The Department of Energy has published design recommendations and guidelines for solar systems. Solar home owners become quite aware of their energy use, and adapt their habits to reside within the limits of the system.
Backup Power Source
It usually happens right once you want them most: the batteries will not hold a charge. No battery lasts forever, and certain conditions like cold temperatures can reduce the lifespan of a battery. Again, this challenge can be overcome with planning. Make sure you have a backup power source. Most off-grid solar homes incorporate an emergency energy source like a diesel generator for all these situations. They might even have at least two kinds of renewable energy systems to keep a steady, reliable supply. On-grid homes could switch to electricity from the utility program.
Elbow Grease Required
Most owners of traditional homes rarely have to think about their electricity systems. While a solar system isn’t necessarily high-maintenance, it does require time and effort to keep it in top form. The panels must be kept clean to maximize energy capture. Bird droppings and tree sap can be an issue in warmer months. In winter, snow and ice may have to be cleared away. The electrical components of the system will also need routine maintenance and eventually, replacement or repair. A professional contractor can assist with the maintenance requirements to ensure reliable power distribution.