Any company or business set up would certainly like to reduce their electricity bill to save on their monthly expenses. Some minor measures such as using LED bulbs or avoiding having electronic devices stand by can reduce electricity bills by small amounts.
However, the best alternative to achieve the goal of reducing electricity bills is to install solar panels. Here we have reviewed some ways to understand how to reduce our electricity bills by using solar energy.
Table of Contents
1. Photovoltaic Solar Panel System
A photovoltaic solar system consists of photovoltaic solar panels and an inverter. Inside the plates, there are solar cells, components responsible for directly converting sunlight into electricity.
As the boards generate energy, not all energy is used in the buildings, so the inverter converts them to power for other purposes like lighting community bulbs. The sunlight during the day is adequate to sustain energy consumption.
You can install photovoltaic solar panels in your home by installing a complete system or a partial one. In the first case, you will fully supply the energy needs of your home. This system allows you to disconnect from the electrical network and use energy only from the sun.
In the second, only part of your house will run on solar energy. For example, you can choose the kitchen or the living room. That area of your home will run on solar energy while the other regions will remain connected to the grid.
Types of Solar PV System
There are two types of photovoltaic solar systems: an instant self-consumption system and self-consumption with storage.
i. Instant self-consumption system
With an instant self-consumption system, you will instantly consume the electricity produced by your solar panels. For residential photovoltaic installations, the production consumed on-site generally varies between 5 and 30%.
It comprises installing solar panels on the roof of a house connected to the electricity grid. Not having to install a battery lowers the cost of installation. In addition, sustainable energy is generated since dawn and is saved every month. You, therefore, consume free electricity, regardless of the prices charged by the distributor.
ii. Self-consumption with storage
The corresponding solar panels are installed to receive the power consumed monthly without connecting to the grid. The use of a battery is necessary to accumulate excess energy and use it when the sun goes down.
When selecting the power storage system, we must consider the number of cycles, service life, depth of discharge, efficiency, safety, and price. Modern and efficient lithium-ion storage systems offer a high power capacity. It is conventionally somewhat more expensive than the following since the battery has a high price.
- This system is easy to use both during installation (no electrical or engineering knowledge required, you can assemble it yourself) and use and maintenance.
- The arrangements are easy to maintain as you hardly need anything.
- The life of the kit is quite long as the solar cells last for about 25 years, enough time to pay for the equipment.
- The facilities are prepared for all kinds of adverse weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about bad weather or when there is heavy rain or wind.
- The system allows energy to be stored in batteries in the event of an emergency.
- If the demand for energy increases, you can always increase the power at any time by adding new solar panels.
- It is necessary to make a high initial investment to install solar energy panels.
- Solar energy might not fulfill the power needs of a home due to its limited production nature.
- If you do not possess any charge storage utilities, you might face trouble during gloomy or rainy periods.
Solar shared community allows more community members to invest and buy the power of a system hosted on an appropriate site. For example, a landowner may have a surplus field that receives enough sunlight making it an attractive place for solar electricity.
A group of society members can establish a shared community solar site on the new pristine field. All community members can invest a portion of the initial cost and reap the benefits of solar energy once the system goes online.
- The shared solar community includes sharing of investment, so it is affordable for every household.
- For the shared solar communities, It is beneficial to set up solar street lights.
- It needs considerable investment.
- It is not appropriate for inadequate lighting in compact houses and apartments.
3. Solar Water Heating System
The solar water heating system comprises solar collectors (plates) and a thermal reservoir (Boiler). Solar energy for water heating is called thermal solar energy, which uses the sun’s heat directly.
It uses solar plates or vacuum tubes to capture the energy and transfer the heat to the water. The plates absorb the solar radiation, transporting the heat to water that circulates inside their copper pipes.
Also called Boiler, the thermal reservoir is the place where the heated water is stored. It consists of copper, polypropylene, or stainless steel cylinders that are thermally insulated with polyurethane.
In the solar collector, the rays pass through the glass of the collector cover, and they will heat the fins, which are made of copper or aluminum. The heat then crosses the fins into the tubes (coil), usually made of copper. After that, the water inside the coil heats up and goes directly to the water heating system’s reservoir.
The function of the thermal reservoir in the residential solar heating system is like a water tank. It is responsible for making the stored water always stay hot in the solar heater.
- It helps in immediate savings of up to 80% of gas consumption.
- Solar Water Heating System can recover its investment in an approximate period of 2 years.
- It can reduce the usage of Fossil Energies.
- The system requires a high initial investment in the equipment.
- The water of the filter requires continuous replacement every two years.
- There is no heat generation process during the night.
- It also needs a Gas Network connection.
4. Portable solar technology
Powering consumers’ electronics has become an everyday use of solar energy in today’s world. Solar chargers like Anker’s Powerport can charge anything from a mobile phone to a tablet or e-reader. There are even solar-powered flashlights that can be charged by sun exposure.
For those curious about the top products in the field of solar technology, check out this list of top 10 uses for solar devices:
- Mobile Phones
- Music speakers
- Solar air conditioning
- Solar dryers
- Solar radios with viewfinder
- Freezers / mini-refrigerators
- Rechargeable flashlights
- The technology is straightforward to use; it doesn’t require immediate technical assistance to assemble.
- The device in the technology can be easily aligned with the sun.
- They use a renewable source of energy.
- They help to contribute to a healthy environment for future generations.
- In comparison to other innovations, they are expensive.
- They don’t work when there is no sun, like on cloudy and rainy days.
5. Solar Lighting
The easiest way to improve the efficiency of your home is to add outdoor solar lighting to your property.
Unlike traditional outdoor lights, solar lighting does not require a complicated configuration. The lights are wireless and benefit from sunlight during the day to avoid the need for electricity powered by the grid at night.
Although solar lights are not yet as familiar as solar panels, they quickly join the range of LED bulbs and smart home thermostats. They are a cheap product that can reduce electricity bills and improve the efficiency of your home.
- They help in reducing pollution.
- These lights can last for more than ten years before they need to be replaced. Often their materials are also recyclable and non-polluting.
- They require minimal maintenance.
- The investment cost may be high initially, but it is worth energy savings and return on investment. For its lifetime, the investment recovers itself in the form of savings in an admissible time.
- The sun’s intensity is not always adequate, which can prevent us from having a continuous flow.
6. Charging stations
There are dozens of portable chargers with photovoltaic panels.
They will not generate enough energy to run a household appliance, but they will undoubtedly charge your laptop, camera, or tablet.
These chargers are slate-shaped and consist of photovoltaic cells. They are made of a semiconductor material (mostly silicon).
This material achieves optimal input and efficiency compared to other semiconductor materials.
As soon as the sun’s light particles contact the silicon, the energy is transferred. Silicon releases electrons and all that is left is to channel them to obtain current.
The amount of energy generated is proportional to the amount of light received. The power provided by the solar charger can currently be used or stored in a battery.
- We can place these portable solar chargers anywhere. The only condition that these chargers have is that light must come from the sun.
- Depending on the type of charger, we can store energy for a long time. The storage time can last up to months or even a year for some devices.
- In addition, the use of a solar charger eliminates the need for additional costs. All you have to do is buy one and get free solar power.
- The charging is slower than a conventional charger. It usually takes up to twice as much time. The sunlight should always be optimal for a full charge.
- As with other solar-powered devices, the main disadvantage is that this technology will be useless in winter and with heavy rainfall.
Solar Power today is emerging as the best alternative for fossil fuel. This source helps us reduce our energy expenses and plays a vital role in conserving our environment. Above all, there is no risk of discontinuation of solar energy.
Let’s say no to electricity bills and yes to solar energy.
(Last Updated on September 8, 2021 by Sadrish Dabadi)