Posts Tagged ‘solar heating’
» posted on Sunday, November 14th, 2010 at 3:47 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 227 times
GetSolar Staff. Sunday, November 14th 2010 09:00
Some businesses and homeowners are motivated to go solar because they want to reduce their environmental impact – but for others, it’s all about the potential savings. By reducing the consumption of grid-sourced energy, solar power can slash a household or business’ energy bills significantly. But can a solar installation do more than break even and have a positive return on investment?
The answer is yes – with some caveats.
In most cases, solar arrays will have a payback period – the length of time they take to pay for themselves through energy savings – of no more than 15 years. (Solar water heating systems, which are much cheaper than home solar installations, have a shorter payback: Because they only cost a few thousand dollars, they will pay for themselves in far fewer than 10 years.)
In states with robust solar incentive programs, solar installations can take much less time to pay off. In places like California – which often have rebate programs at the municipal level – or New Jersey – which requires utilities to pay clean-energy producers for the power they generate – solar projects’ payback can be surprisingly short.
Yet even solar installations in states without strong rebate programs can pay for themselves in short order.
On November 12, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiled chemical distribution company Walsh & Associates, which recently put 416 solar panels in place at its warehouse. The array’s $500,000 price tag was offset by a 30 percent federal tax credit and a one-time, $50,000 payment from utility Ameren – but Walsh assumed the rest of the installation cost.
Even so, the company expects its solar project to be paid off in just six to nine years. The reason for the quick payoff is that Walsh will cut its energy spending sharply: By going solar, the firm will slash its $36,000 annual energy bill to just $1,500.
Assuming the array has a 25-year useful life, the chemical distributor anticipates that it will enjoy a return on investment of half a million dollars. Homeowners who go solar shouldn’t expect to save $500,000, but they, too, can see a positive ROI by installing a solar array.
Solar has environmental benefits, of course – but it’s hard to ignore the economic ones.
By Vicki Terwilliger (staff writer email@example.com)
Published: October 31, 2010
vicki terwilliger/staff photo At the Wasilus home, a wind turbine, left, overlooks a ground-mounted solar thermal panel hot water system and rooftop photovoltaic PV solar panels.
Some Schuylkill County homeowners are giving their neighbors something to talk about.
As a partner and installer with Control Alt Energy, Auburn, Andy Wollyung said he’s seen inquiries about solar and alternative energy sources soar among local residents. Often, referral is by word-of-mouth.
“We’re still seeing a growing number of people interested. It’s the talk of the town. People say, ‘I’ve seen this installed,’ and it strikes a big interest in a lot of people’s eyes,” Wollyung said.
Two Barry Township families have had their alternative electricity systems in place and say they’re happy with the investments and savings. Ted and Marie Reinoehl and Mike and Karen Wasilus, all of the Ashland area, shared details about their experiences.
The state’s decision to remove the rate caps on what electric companies can charge is what prompted Mike Wasilus to start looking into alternative energy.
“I was looking to get ahead of the rate cap removal. I contacted Control Alt Energy and things took off from there. We started with the solar/thermal water heat, then the wind turbine and finally the solar panels.”
“Also, the federal and state tax credit and rebate programs played a major role in our decision-making. Without those programs, the projects would not have been good business decisions,” Wasilus said.
Their home is heated and cooled by a heat pump and is entirely electric.
The ground-mounted solar/thermal water heater, a Sunda brand system, was installed in September 2008. It immediately cut 15 to 20 percent from their electric usage, they said.
The Skystream Wind Turbine made by Southwest Windpower was installed in March 2009.
“It has had less of an impact on our electricity savings. I’d say about 10 percent savings,” Wasilus said.
Sharp brand solar photovoltaic PV panels were installed on the rooftop with a Fronius inverter in October 2009.
“They are awesome and have had the biggest impact on our electricity savings. They easily cut 30 to 40 percent from our electric usage. For comparison’s sake, the solar panels have been installed six months less than the wind turbine, yet the solar panels have already surpassed the amount of electricity generated by the wind turbine by 75 percent.”
“Knowing what I know now, I would double the capacity of the solar panel system and bypass putting up the wind turbine,” he said.
Wasilus said he doesn’t regret installing the wind turbine, it just may take a bit longer to recoup his initial investment.
The initial investment cost for all systems, he said, was offset by the federal tax credits offered, at about 30 percent. The solar-panel cost was also offset by the state’s Sunshine program that offered about a 30 percent rebate on the installed cost of the system.
“The payback period is a tough question to answer, because the tax credits and rebates are constantly changing. For me, both solar projects will have a much faster payback than the wind project. I’m looking at about eight years on the payback for the solar projects and probably at least 12 years on the wind project. As far as savings, I would say as a percentage, I’m saving about 60 percent off my electricity bill with these projects. Obviously, for someone who has other forms of heating or cooling, the saving percentage would be much greater,” Wasilus said.
The kilowatt hours generated by the PV panels in almost a year were 4,100 KWH, Wasilus said, and the wind turbine generated 2,100 KWH in a year and a half.
The Reinoehls, meanwhile, had their solar array panels installed in October 2009 by Maximus Solar, Sacramento. There are 33 panels on the south-facing roof of their 3,200-square-foot home.
“We were trying to look into the future,” Ted Reinoehl said. “We figured electric rates would go up and deregulation was happening, and we were getting closer to retirement and were looking for ways to save money down the road.”
Their home is also an electric-run house. They initially installed a geothermal system, with tubing running beneath their yard, when the home was built 19 years ago.
Over the past 11 months, Reinoehl said they’ve saved about $1,200 in electricity costs.
On average, if the sun is out, the solar panels generate about 40 KWH per day, according to Ted Reinoehl. In checking his records, their panels did generate less kilowatts during the winter and more in the spring and summer months. By comparison, there was 397 KWH generated in the month of November, 64 KWH in December, 400 KWH in January and 1,200 KWH in March.
“I’m so glad we did this, and there were incentives to do so.” Marie Reinoehl said. With five adults living in the home, the system provides the electricity needed to heat and cool the home and for daily usage.
“One of the biggest holdbacks is the initial costs, which can make it prohibitive,” said Ted Reinoehl. “I feel confident within a five-year period of time, it’s paid for.”
» posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 at 12:45 am by Woody Wilson viewed 116 times
Advertising Feature — By Rachel Fallert
May 20, 2010
With energy costs on the rise, it is more important than ever to improve existing homes. New lines of windows, insulation, doors, air conditioner and more are available that not only add value to a home, but are cost efficient in the long run.
FALLERT HEATING & COOLING
A home energy audit is the first step to understanding how much energy is consumed in a home. Fallert Heating & Cooling of South Lyon can evaluate all aspects of a home’s energy use. Proper energy management will keep all systems running efficiently. An energy audit of electrical heating and cooling includes checking insulation, draft stopping, windows and doors, as well as the overall envelope of the home. The assessment will determine the efficiency of the heating and cooling system and how to conserve energy. Corrections in the system will save homeowners time and money.
Just released from GreenEcoClub the DIY Easy-Energy-Audits. This step-by-step guide will show you how to do energy audit on your home like the pros. Easy-Energy-audits
Air conditioners are 50 percent more efficient today than ever before. Homeowners can cut up to half or more of their electric bill when installing a high efficiency air conditioner. Fallert Heating & Cooling installs a full line of air conditioners to suit any home. Planned maintenance is important to keep air conditioners and heating systems operating at peak efficiency. All systems must be maintained in order to keep energy costs lower. Heating systems should be checked in the fall right before the heating season, and air conditioners in the spring before the cooling season.
Geothermal systems are the most efficient way to heat and cool a home. The system draws heat of the ground to warm and puts heat in the ground to cool the home. The temperature of the ground about five feet under the surface stays relatively stable throughout all seasons. Not only is this energy efficient and environmentally friendly, the tax credit for geothermal systems have been extended. Homeowners who install geothermal systems may be able to claim up to 30 percent of the installed cost in tax credits in the year the system is placed into service and it no longer has a cap.
Installing a Geothermal Heat Pump WILL Save you thousands in heating and cooling costs, and WILL Repay itself many times over. Read more about installation
Whether a homeowner is installing a new or old system, planned maintenance is crucial to keep heating and cooling systems operating at peak efficiency. It will not only increase the lifetime of the system but will also ensure it is energy efficient.
Fallert Heating & Cooling is located at 10075 Colonial Industrial Drive in South Lyon. Visit www.fallertheatingcooling.com or call (248) 782-5861.
While many homeowners believe now is the time to pick up and sell rather than invest in their current home, KC Construction believes it is the perfect time to stay put and make some updates that will add value and increase energy efficiency. Making small changes such as new windows, insulation or siding will not only keep a home in shape — it will add value back faster than non-energy efficient homes.
Insulated siding includes custom gapless fit with a layer of polystyrene foam between the home and siding. The insulation can reduce the heating and cooling energy loss through exterior surface walls up to 20 percent. The thermal resistance in insulated siding can reach up to triple the value of other siding options. It is more durable than traditional siding, and it is resistant to pressure and wind, allowing it to last up to 50 years. Insulated siding helps reduce outside noise with a layer of polystyrene foam that acts as a great sound barrier. With all the benefits of insulated siding, including the increased curb appeal, the most appealing of all is the decrease in home energy costs and greater efficiency.
KC Construction provides expertise in all phases of residential and light commercial construction work, specializing in exterior work. The company offers reconstruction as well as remodeling services — anything from one storm door to an entire subdivision.
The company sells do-it-yourself supplies with free usage of its equipment for various projects. Visit KC Construction June 12 for an open house event, featuring manufacturer’s representatives, a car show and give-a-ways.
MECHANICAL ENERGY SYSTEMS
Mechanical Energy Systems is located at 8130 N. Canton Center Road in Canton. Visit www.by-solar.com or call (734) 453-6746.