Solar Generated Electricity and You Part 1 … An Introduction.

Business leaders have a wide variety of reasons to like solar – it helps reduce their impact on the environment and saves them money. This could be why a ton of companies – including Nike, Starbucks, and Walmart – are pledging to work toward using 100% renewable energy.

There are a lot of leaders investing in solar in places you might not think of, like Richard Branson’s support for a solar energy provider of rooftop systems in West Africa. If solar makes good business sense to these leaders, it can make good sense for your home, too!

Traditionally, the sun has provided energy for practically all living creatures on earth, through the process of photosynthesis, in which plants absorb solar radiation and convert it into stored energy for growth and development. Scientists and engineers today seek to utilise solar radiation directly by converting it into useful heat or electricity.

The African Heritage Foundation (AHF), Registered Charity No. 1112 is of the opinion that Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean should be more advanced in the use of solar radiation in the application of converting it to electricity due to the right weather conditions in the region. Barbados has taken advantage of solar radiation for a number of years in another area and as such many homes on the island enjoy daily hot water. Why then have Barbadians not been more proactive in the usage of solar radiation and its conversion to electricity in their homes?

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A lack of education and cost may be the leading factors that have prevented Barbadians from capitalising on using solar electricity in their homes.

The AHF, in an attempt to educate Barbadians and our readers regionally about solar generated electricity and how the average person can take advantage of this system, will be partnering with "Attic Developments Ltd."  This company has all the required equipment and the know how to transform your home into an energy saving and environmentally conscious space.

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In starting its partnership with Attic Developments, the AHF asked that a few questions be answered on solar generated electricity for the benefit of our readers. It is hoped that as our education series on "solar generated electricity and you" continues, you will contact Attic Developments and have them assist you with your move to renewable energy.

Questions 

1. How exactly does the solar generated electricity system work?

Photovoltaic panels on the roof convert sunlight into electricity. This can be fed directly into a grid-tied system or stored in batteries for use in an off grid (stand alone) or utility interactive battery based renewable energy system. Photovoltaic systems convert solar radiation to electricity via a variety of methods. The most common approach is to use silicon panels, which generate an electrical current when light shines upon it.

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2. Do I have to have a lot of space to set up a system in my home?

Minimal space is required. Attic Developments can assist you with determining where would be the best space to set up your solar electricity system.

3. I am renting and I pay for the utilities. Can I install a temporary system that will not damage the landlord's house? Can a system be used in an apartment?

Yes on both counts. A small system can be lightly attached or need not be attached at all.

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4. Explain what is meant by on and off the grid? If I install your system, will I still get a electricity bill?  

Whether you get a bill depends on how much energy you generate in comparison to what you use. Each kilowatt (kW) peak of photovoltaic (PV) power capacity produces 5 kW hours of energy on an average day. So you can check your electricity bill and divide by 30 and then multiply by 5 to determine how much solar you would need to install to completely offset your normal usage.

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An electric grid is a network of synchronised power providers and consumers that are connected by transmission and distribution lines and operated by one or more control centres. When most people talk about the power "grid," they are referring to the transmission system for electricity that is provided by the local utility company. If you have a solar system that produces all the power that your household needs, then you do not have to be tied to the grid. This is considered off the grid and you will not get an electricity bill from the electric company.

In our next feature on renewable energy and solar generated electricity, we will take a look at how you can start integrating solar generated electricity into your homes as soon as possible and the associated costs.

For more information on solar generated electricity and installation please visit the Attic Developments facebook here ... https://www.facebook.com/Attic-Developments-Ltd-1429543597363980/ or call Mr Andrew Simpson at (246) 437-8188.

"We need to invest dramatically in green energy, making solar panels so cheap that everybody wants them. Nobody wanted to buy a computer in 1950, but once they got cheap, everyone bought them."

Bjorn Lomborg

You are invited to ask questions at it pertains to solar generated electricity and you.

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