Solar homes. Many people talk about them, although few in the U.S. do
more than talk. They are said to reduce utility bills. Some say a
solar home cuts utility bills drastically. Some are able to sell
excess power back to the power grid. Savings are not automatic,
however. Steps must be taken to make the solar home efficient; to
conserve the electricity that is produced.
Ways to conserve solar photovoltaic power in the home must be found.
The home owner must actively seek out ways to make those photovoltaic
(PV) panels on the roof as efficient as possible. Photovoltaic power
is free, but it cannot be generated in unlimited quantities. It is
important to take measures to use it to best advantage.
Of all the ways to conserve solar photovoltaic power in the home, the
most important is probably replacement of power-gobbling electric
appliances. Home lighting can also be changed to conserve solar
photovoltaic power (PV power). Finally, power usage can be reduced by
making every person in the solar home conscious of conservation
12 Ways to Conserve Solar Photovoltaic Power in the Home
1. Shop for energy-efficient appliances and home electronics for your
solar home. Most products in this category carry EnergyGuide labels.
These labels give an estimate of the products' energy consumption or
energy efficiency, and show the ratings of similar appliance models.
In the U.S., appliances and home electronics that meet strict
Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
energy efficiency criteria carry Energy Star labels.
2. Replace an electric water heater in a solar home with an energy-
efficient propane or natural gas heater. Connect the new water heater
to a solar water heater system. The sun will preheat the water, and
the new unit will have less work. Wrap the water heater with thermal
wrap to retain heat.
3. Replace the solar home's electric furnace with an energy-efficient
propane or natural gas unit. Install a solar panel air heater to
reduce the work load of the new furnace. If you are building a new
solar home, consider passive ways to heat the floors and air, further
reducing the workload.
4. If the solar home is in a hot, dry climate, use an evaporative
cooling unit in place of an electric air conditioner.
5. Check weather stripping around all windows and doors. Seal cracks
and openings. Stopping air leakage in and out can improve indoor
climate control in every season.
6. Insulate the solar home well. Insulation will keep heat or cool air
from escaping. It will also keep outdoor cold or heat from entering
7. Use heavy, insulted drapes and window shades/blinds in the solar
home to keep out hot or cold air, making cooling and heating units
work more efficiently.
8. A serious solar home owner can save even further by using a solar
oven for cooking whenever possible. Especially good in hot climates or
summer months, a solar oven will cook food with solar energy, and
avoid heating the home. Money is thus saved in two ways.
9. Control of computer usage is another of the many ways to conserve
solar photovoltaic power in the home. Monitors should be turned off
whenever the computer will not be in use for 20 minutes or more. The
CPU and monitor both should be turned off when the unit will not be
used for 2 hours or more. Power down or sleep modes should be set.
10. Replace light bulbs with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent
light bulbs. If every U.S. home replaced just one light bulb with one
of these bulbs, we would save more than $00 million in annual energy
costs. To the solar home owner, such savings are vital.
11. Maximize your use of daylight, turning on lights only when
necessary. Use windows to advantage, and install skylights where
12. Landscape your property to block the heat of summer sunlight,
permit winter sunlight. Deciduous trees near the solar home will shade
windows in the summer, and let warming sunlight through in winter
Ways to conserve solar photovoltaic power in the home are not limited
to these twelve, but if these alone are used, the increase in
efficiency will be tremendous.
Create Electricity At Home: http://homeenergymi.key.to/
On Thu, 9 Jul 2009 22:06:54 -0700 (PDT), Terrell Mccarthy
These are both bad advice. Propane or natural gas is less efficient than
electricity in heating, and will become less so as more efficient means are
developed to generate electricity. If you have electric resistance heating, you
can improve the efficiency with a ground-source heat pump. Of course direct
solar heating is best of all. But the advice given by 2 and 3 above are clearly
meant to make solar PV look good by shifting the burden from electricity to
fossil fuels. But the burden is still there.