Solar panels can be used to help power your white goods. Solar power involves the use of photovoltaic panels installed on homes, which convert light into electricity. This electricity can then be converted for use within different appliances, and can also be stored up, or sold back as surplus energy to the Government.
An average solar panel system can generate 2448 kW per year, and provides a safe, clean alternative to fossil fuels. With the solar power industry expected to achieve a value of $3 billion by 2014, and government feed in tariffs subsidizing investment and resale of power, using panels to run white goods has become an increasingly practical option.
When working out how to use this energy, it is necessary to follow some basic steps:
1 – Having the Right Panels
Photovoltaic devices consist of an array of solar cells installed onto a roof. While each individual cell will not generate much power, by joining them together into a module or an array, it is possible to generate between 10 to 300 kW. The amount of energy produced is relative to the amount of sunlight that the cells receive. Once received, this energy can be stored and used during down periods.
2 – Mounting System
You will need a mounting system to convert solar energy into electricity for white goods. The best way of transferring energy is to convert it into a direct current voltage, which can be connected up to white goods. Certain amounts of energy can be stored and transferred for use within systems using grid and solar power. The resulting system, or ‘load,’ enables some flexibility over usage.
3 – Contributing Power
A solar system cannot support constant running of white goods like fridges, washing machines and ovens at present. The exceptions are experimental fridges and freezers, which are designed to conserve energy. The best solution at the moment for general use involves combining grid and photovoltaic energy into a grid tiered system. Energy generated by solar power can be stored and used to reduce a dependence on the grid. At the same time, any excess energy can be sold back at a profit.
The ultimate result is that you can reduce a dependence on electricity bills, with white goods typically accounting for about 18% of annual home costs. The amount by which solar power can be used with white goods will depend on items’ wattage, and their energy efficiency.
4 – Other Features
If using photovoltaic energy on a regular basis, you will need to invest in an inverter to convert direct current into alternating current for different uses within the home. Also recommended are breaker panels, and an electric meter to monitor different levels of electricity.
5 – Safety
While solar power is safe and clean, you will need to ensure that a mounting system for converting energy into usable electricity is equipped with devices like a charge controller, a disconnect and a battery bank. These devices can help prevent overloading a system, as well as making sure that energy isn’t lost.
This guest post was written by Amy Finton.