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There is a lingering myth that houses with solar panels could increase energy bills for their neighbors. However, a new analysis brings this thought to bed and shows that solar panels actually reduce electricity costs, even for houses nearby.
How is that? Scientists say solar panels reduce peak demand for stressed traditional grids and reduce the amount of infrastructure dollars that utilities have to invest. By connecting your solar panels to the grid, you are a practical investor in your local utility company.
If you are unsure where to start, this solar panel is a fail-safe option. It’s relatively budget-friendly (solar panels can get expensive quickly) and it works. It consists of PET, EVA and monocrystalline silicon and is anti-reflective and highly transparent. It’s also easy to use and compact, so it’s easy to store when it’s not needed.
If you live in a place with little light, you might fear that solar panels are not for you, but they work actually excellent in poor lighting conditions. The 100 watt high conversion efficiency PV module can charge 12 V / 24 V batteries and comes with a portable folding case. It’s easy to take with you when you go camping and easy to store when you use it at home in the event of a power failure.
If you really want to give it your all, you can’t go wrong with Renology’s 10-piece 300 watt solar panels do. They withstand strong winds and snow loads, are anti-reflective and extremely versatile. These are ideal for residential or commercial roofs, but are also compatible with floor mounting.
Anyone who is new to solar panels should start with a good kit like this from Renology. You get everything you need in a 100W solar panel, a 30A PWM negative ground controller, MC4 connectors, an 8 Ft 10 AWG tray cable, and Z brackets for a RV or boat. It can fully charge a 50 Ah battery to 50% in 3 hours.
In the March issue of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Joshua Pearce, professor at Michigan Technological University, and Koami Soulemane Hayibo, PhD student, their new insights into the cost of solar panels. They say utilities feared solar panels could increase the cost of surrounding homes, possibly due to the idea that these neighbors could be charged higher rates to make up for « missing » electricity customers.
Instead, Pearce and Soulemane provided found that houses with solar panels heavily subsidize their local electricity grids – to the point where their research calls for regulatory reform.
In order to calculate this number, they have broken down the “Value of Solar (VOS)” into a list of parameters: “The avoided costs are: O&M [Operation & Management] fixed and variable; Fuel; Generation capacity, reserve capacity, transmission capacity, distribution capacity and environmental and health liability. “
By looking at each variable with an individual sensitivity analysis and then combining all of these values into a master VOS number, the scientists quantified how much solar-powered homeowners are feeding back into the grid. This is not only their actual excess solar energy during the hours of sunshine, but also the way their investment in modules prevents utilities from investing their own money in infrastructure improvements, for example.
The researchers say this is the first calculation of this type, which takes a holistic view of the cost and savings for utility companies of houses with solar panels. They explain:
Long-lasting lamps that turn on and off automatically and provide up to six hours of light
Therefore, it is important to quantify what solar panel customers are doing for the grid, and to do so when entering the numbers consider. And when it comes to the sun, the devil is in these details:
What does that mean for you? Well, tax incentives and environmental reasons have already made solar modules attractive to many people. If scientists are right, the future could include guidelines that will allow utility companies to consider solar powered homes with even more financial incentives to offset those homes’ contribution to their local grids. That could translate into savings and even lower upfront costs – and more houses to let in the sunshine.
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