Are you tired of costly electricity bills and unscheduled power blackouts that last for days? In this post, learn the advantages of off-grid using solar power systems in your home or business premises.
In this simple guide, you will learn:
- Advantages of using solar energy in homes and businesses
- Uses of solar energy ;
- Concentrating solar heat (CSP) for thermal heating
- Use of solar panels to produce electricity for lighting and powering appliances
Read Next: Solar electricity systems-What you need to know
Why go solar? Solar power advantages
What are the top benefits or reasons why you should invest in a solar power installation in your firm? The following are the best 7 advantages of using solar as further explained in the section below:
- Eliminate or reduce your electricity utility bills
- Reliable and cheaper back up system during black outs
- A necessity in remote areas without grid connectivity
- Make money through solar farming
- Add value for your real estate projects and property
- Create jobs in local and national economy in the green energy sector
- Reduce green house emissions
By using solar you can eliminate your electric bill completely or reduce it to an extent that electricity utility costs are no longer a significant portion in your monthly budget. Since solar systems are durable for up to 25 years, you can save a lot of money beyond its installation budget. In its lifetime. A solar panel system can save you between $10,000 and $30,000 over its lifetime.
Solar power systems are cheaper and reliable power back up systems during blackouts and supply interruptions. As of 2018, the average annual duration of electrical outages was highest in Nigeria at 4,600 hours, 420 hours in Kenya and lowest at only 50 hours in South Africa.[ii] A solar power system can tap the free solar energy saving you losses in idle business hours or purchasing expensive petrol for generators.
Use of solar power for homes is a necessity in remote areas without electricity grid connectivity. In the sub-Saharan Africa region, its only 46.75% of her population that has access to electricity[i].
In some states, solar farming is a lucrative business opportunity. You will tap solar energy by installing many solar panels on your rooftops or ground. You can then channel the excess power to the national grid and earn income from it. Where this is not available, you can arrange with your neighbors to set up community solar power plants to produce energy for own use and sale. The average solar farm profit per acre lands somewhere between $21,250 and $42,500
Installing solar Power systems can appreciate your property value with up to 4%, compared to similar homes or property without solar. Todays property buyers are interested in clean and renewable energy to protect against environment. If you are in the real estate industry, consider having solar power systems to add value to a property.
You can also go solar to promote job creation in your national or local economy. The clean energy economy creates opportunities and better pay for the skilled, low-and middle-skilled workers. Many solar companies are the micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs), involved in consulting, export, installation and maintenance of solar systems.
Going green helps your business, government and development partners goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It does this in two ways. First the electricity power that solar panels produce is completely emissions free. Second, installing solar energy in your premises reduces your demand from the national grid. Many of them in many countries rely on fossil fuels like coal and petroleum, that produce metric tons of carbon pollution each year.
Uses of solar energy in homes and businesses
Are you wondering how you can use solar energy in your home or business? You can harness solar light and heat for almost any use anywhere. Most of the exiting uses include solar electricity and solar heating.
- Solar electricity Install photovoltaic solar panels to convert sunlight into Direct Current (DC) electricity. Since DC has minimal uses in businesses and homes like lighting and powering electronics, Invest in an inverter to convert DC to alternating current (AC) which is the same energy form in national grids. This energy is ideal for powering home and industrial appliances like computers and coolers. the other option is solar lighting.
- Solar heating uses concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. You will install some special mirrors to reflect and concentrate the sun’s energy towards a tower or a receiver to generate heat that can be used for many uses like heating shower water, ventilation or heating swimming pools etc.
Having understood two methods how solar energy is used: solar electricity and solar heating, here is a list of 3 ways you can use solar energy in your business or home.
Harness solar energy using solar panels and store in solar batteries to power DC and AC electronics at home or business. Today you can get many smart energy devices that uses low watts like daylight solar bulbs that are cheap and efficient. If you are wondering what you can power using solar power, here is a summarized list of solar items you can buy from Amazon.
- Cell phones and Tablets
- Music speakers
- Thermostats and Air conditioning
- Visor radios
- Mini-Fridges and Freezers
- Rechargeable flashlights
If you are looking for an affordable method to improve security and efficiency in your home or business premises, solar lighting is the best solution. The outdoor solar lighting systems are easy to install. Modern ones are wireless, on one side, the lamps have a solar panel that captures and converts sunlight. On the other side, the lamps are fitted with very efficient LED bulbs and thermostats. You will incur no electricity bill as you enjoy natural lighting. You can install solar outdoor lightings on driveways, home compound or livestock pens.
The best outdoor solar flood lights available in markets are motion sensitive only lighting when there is movement making them energy efficient, others are sold with a remote controls, cameras and automatic day light sensor to you go on or off even in your absence. You can shop for flood or security flood lights with sensors and camera from amazon.
Solar energy in water heating system is an old application. Modern rooftop water heating systems are more efficient durable with a payback period of 5-10 years than early versions. You will install a rooftop water cell that absorbs sun heat energy to heat cold water running through it. It is pumped and stored in a solar water heater. You can use the hot water for all home uses like showering, laundry and housewarming.
Heating swimming pools using solar is the other major application by the real estate and hoteliers. Cold water runs through a CSP collector, gets warm and it is pumped back to the pool. A swimming pool heater costs between $3000-$4000. They have a pay back period of 1.5-7 years.
This article is an informational guide if you are looking at why you need to consider installing solar in your premises. It summarizes the economic, environmental and other benefits of harnessing light and heat energy from the sun. Its second part covers on various uses of solar electricity and concentrated solar power (CSP) power uses. These include outdoor lighting, heating shower water and swimming pools and powering business and home electronics and appliances like computers, fridges and tvs.