Consumers thinking about solar power often consider their carbon footprint on a larger scale. They look to decrease emissions, choose environmentally friendly options for household lighting or when they camp out in an RV. When you consider purchasing a 280 watt solar panel, you are making a conscious decision to impact your environment as little as possible.
If you are considering the purchase of a solar panel, realize that a 280 watt system takes a lot of lifting. Engage professional installers for the task. They know how to get your PV system to the roof safely, how to align your panels with the sun, the best way to secure the item, even which of the location options works best. For example, the roof offers only one possibility.
They will take the angle of the sun into account and whether the roof provides your best option. If you can get away from shade trees this way plus aim your panel to get plenty of sunlight, your roof has other advantages. Get your solar system away from potential damage caused by impact from soccer balls, stones, and from vandalism of a more deliberate nature. Also keep the space you have instead of giving any area to a ground mounted system.
Ground mounting provides advantages too. Your heavy panels need not be lifted up with the use of special safety and lifting apparatus. With an open space and plenty of sun coverage in front of you, ground mounting may offer a simpler installation choice. When neither the roof nor your lawn quite suits, a pole mounted solar panel allows you to get away from shade, adjust access without concern for the slope or direction of your roof, and even permit manual adjustments throughout the year.
Such work, however, can be costly and time consuming. If you have the money and are thinking of joining several 280 watt panels together, think about a tracking device. This method of finding PV energy uses a computer to direct the angle and direction of your panels so as to make best use of existing solar energy during all seasons.
Critical safety and location questions include weather. What weather do you experience? If you can expect hail stones the size of golf balls, be wary. Though tough, your silicone panel is covered in glass and laminated. As an outdoor tool, you can expect your panel to withstand some things, but if the hail kills local livestock think twice about location. Also consider wind. A strong, persistent gale can rip a panel out of position if unprofessionally fastened to a roof, pole, or not completely cemented to the ground.
Then again, you may be taking your panel on the road, and it would make a good size for this kind of activity. Use solar power to make tea in your motor home. Establish solar panels at a summer-use beach house where most of the electricity usage happens at night anyway, giving you ample time to make power during the day and little need of it during the few short hours of darkness.
The idea of saving power forms one of many benefits to using solar energy. Set-up a battery bank with inverter to store the sunlight energy when you are outdoors all day playing at the beach or riding your bicycle. In some places, options even exist to sell power back to local providers when you have too much.
Originally posted 2010-05-26 19:55:13.