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GREEN DESIGN BUILD REMODEL

Energy Efficient Home Design and Remodeling in Southern Maine and New Hampshire
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Solar Photovoltaics
Solar Photovoltaics Have Become Very Competitive
 
 

Many homeowners recognize the value of solar technologies but have been leery of the highly visible collectors on their roofs. Although the term "solar power" may be synonymous with best of environmental-friendliness, and freedom from fossil fuel dependence, some types of solar systems have been avoided because of their unattractive curb appeal. For this reason, photovoltaic (PV) modules (which convert sunlight directly into electricity) that are integrated into roofing materials have been developed as an alternative to traditional PV modules that are mounted above the roof on racks. The result is a solar system that is difficult to notice on the roof but has benefits that are hard to miss. Once installed, PV roofing not only protects the home from storms and rainy weather but on sunny days produces free electricity for use in the home.

 

Different types of photovoltaic roofing products compliment many different types of roofing materials including asphalt shingles, standing seam metal roofing, and slate or concrete tiles. The PV roofing products are produced separately from the standard roofing products by PV manufacturers whose products are designed to serve both functions -- as a roofing material to protect the home and as an electrical device to produce electricity. In addition to the PV-active roofing, an inverter, located near the electrical panel converts the PV produced electricity into utility compatible ac electricity for the home. PV systems that utilize battery storage can produce electricity for the home even when the sun is not shinning. PV systems of any type can be small to produce a limited amount of energy or very large with enough power for the home and even at times with excess that is sent back to the utility.

 

Most residential PV systems are used in conjunction with utility-supplied power. Excess power produced during daylight hours can be fed back into the utility's lines, while utility electricity is used in the home when the house demand is greater than can be supplied by the PV roofing. Typical residential PV systems commonly have a peak power production of between 1,200 and 5,000 watts, ac - requiring from between 150 to over 1000 square feet of roof area depending on the efficiency of the PV technology used.

 

 

Copyright 2012 Ronald Sauve All Rights Reserved

This page was last modified on April 06, 2012

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