Taking advantage of the sun for energy just seems right to us at A-Star. Given the ever-growing popularity of the technology, it’s cheaper than ever to install solar panels in your home or business. It’s a practical and affordable alternative that carries little to no risk. Solar panels are guaranteed to make a big difference in your energy bills, and are also good for the environment, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and also helping to diversify the economy.
With the amount of sunlight we get in Calgary – we average about 2,396 hours of sun each year – the conditions are perfect for making solar a smart choice. For those considering using this alternative energy source, the City of Calgary has developed a Solar Potential map where all building owners can check about the practicality of using solar energy to power your home or business. Many properties are capable of collecting a moderate to high yield of KWHs daily. According to ENMAX, the average Alberta home consumes about 7200 kWh of energy a year, which requires a solar panel unit of between 5.5 and 6 kilowatts in size to power completely.
How Solar Panels Work
Solar panels are made up of a number of photovoltaic cells linked together. They work by permitting photons – which are actually particles of light – to collide with atoms and knock electrons free, which then produces energy. Additional components of the panel then allow the electrons to be tuned into usable power.
Solar panels produce DC electricity, which is converted into AC electricity by metal conductive plates on the sides of the cell, also called an inverter. AC electricity can be fed directly into electrical panels to power homes and businesses.
Solar panels connect directly to the city grid so that any additional electricity you generate can be fed back into the system for other people to use. The goal for any owner of solar panels it to hit a “net zero” ratio, which means that you are consuming the same amount of power you are creating. Most systems come with a monitoring apparatus that will allow you to check your consumption throughout the day. Keep in mind, however, that although you may not be taking any power from the grid, all Calgarians must still pay for their connection through Transmission and Distribution fees.
Which Way Which Way Does Your Property Face?
Solar panels are most effective when mounted on the south- or west-facing parts of a roof. In addition, your roof should be in solid structural shape and there should be no trees or foliage obstructing your panels’ ability to collect sunlight. Also be prepared to keep trees well trimmed so there is no chance of leaves and branches dropping and impeding your panels’ operation.
How Much Can You Save?
In 2017 the Government of Alberta created a rebate program for solar panel installation for residential and commercial buildings. The rebate is 75 cents per watt, and caps out at up to 30 per cent for homes and 25 per cent for businesses of the cost of installation.
Warrantees for solar panels can last up to 25 years, which means they are a solid investment. They are reliable and durable, having been manufactured to withstand all kinds of weather, including hail and snowstorms. Maintenance is also minimal.
Increase Your Home Efficiency to Make the Most of Your Solar Panels
To make the most of your solar panels you should use them in concert with a home energy efficiency program. While they will obviously collect a lot of sunlight hours during the summer due to our extra-long days, season-specific electrical system stressors can cause usage to rise. Make sure to teach your family or employees about the value of keeping windows shut, turning lights out when not in use, and properly using curtains and blinds. Natural light is wonderful during the day, and by keeping blinds open just slightly you can take advantage of the sun and also keep rooms cool. At night, closed blinds and curtains add insulation, which keeps room temperatures regulated.
Solar Panel Installation by A-Star Electric of Calgary
A-Star’s electricians are certified in solar panel installation for homes and businesses. We will assist with permitting, connecting to the grid, and micro-generation applications. We can also perform a review of your electrical panel to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency so you can be sure you are getting the most out of your solar panel system. Contact us today to find out how we can work together to make your home or business function at its peak capacity and help keep our planet green.