Most people are aware of the term “going Green” or green technology. In simplified language it just means conservation. We have already started to change our old habits. Folks are wasting less water, changing light bulbs to LEDs, turning down the heat at night and carrying reusable bags to the grocery store. These are helpful but we all need to be aware that there’s so much more we can and should be doing to “reduce our carbon footprint”. What does that really mean? Well , it means that we desperately need to quit being so dependent on energy that creates co2 and endangers our beautiful blue planet.
Many of us are interested in ways to “go green” such as Wind Turbines, or Solar, but it can be confusing to understand the technology or some feel that it’s just too expensive. It’s always about supply and demand and even more basic than that, it’s about money. The more people that install Solar Energy or Wind Turbine power the sooner the manufacturers will need to be more competitive with their pricing. We all need to be able to afford clean renewable energy.
The use of harnessing the sun’s energy for heating and cooking has been around forever, but with the advances in Photovoltaic cell technology we can not only get things warm,we can now create our own electricity, and it’s finally a good thing to be in hot water!
The discovery of the” photovoltaic effect is first attributed to a French physicist in 1839, but wasn’t really understood until Albert Einstein wrote a comprehensive theoretical study for which he received the nobel prize in 1921. The “photovoltaic effect” refers to photons of light knocking electrons into a higher state of energy to create electricity. The electricity created is DC current which is the same as battery power. To change the electricity to AC current which is what all our home appliances use, you must have a power inverter.
When you decide to get Solar installed there are many things to consider. The solar contractor will come to your home and assess whether you want a roof or ground mounted system. If you have shaded areas you may have to remove some trees or change the location of your system.The ideal location for the array of panels is south facing. If you do have areas of shade, there is a type of inverter that turns panels off and on individually if they become shaded so that there is very little loss of energy and the rest of the array of panels can work efficiently.
The size of your system or number of panels you will need is determined by the amount of electricity you are currently consuming. This information is gathered from 2 years of PG&E bills.You will be interconnecting to the PGE power grid, so they will come to inspect the installation and replace your existing meter. Once the system is installed and has been approved by city inspectors and PG&E you will be eligible for a 30 % Federal tax credit as part of the Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009.