Energy Source Info

Here is where I am with my information gathered for this energy comparison diagram. Will be condensing this, and creating the diagram next!

Solar Panels:

Cost – Pay off time

  • 3 kW
    • Average US cost = $3.26 per watt
    • $9,780 – 30% Federal ITC discount = $6,846
  • 7 kW
    • Average US cost = $3.26 per watt
    • $22,920 – 30% Federal ITC discount = $15,974
  • 10 kW
    • Average US cost = $3.26 per watt
    • $32,600 – 30% Federal ITC discount = $22,820

Energy produced

  • 10 watts per square foot
  • 300sqft = 3 kW
    • 3,643 kWh = annual
  • 700sqft = 7 kW
    • 8,499 kWh = annual
  • 1000sqft = 10 kW
    • 12,150 kWh = annual

Lifespan

  • 30 Years – panels
  • 5-10 Years – Battery for Inverter
  • Maintenance
    • PV panels cleaned occasionally

Site Specific Conditions

  • Your system should be installed where the panels will be exposed to the most sunlight
  • South-facing roofs are ideal for solar because they get the most sunlight over the course of the day. However, a solar panel system on an east- or west-facing roof can still produce enough energy to reduce your electricity bills, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Solar panels can be installed on roofs with a pitch between 15 and 40 degrees. Even if your roof is flat, you can still go solar as long as you mount your panels at a good angle.
  • It’s easiest to install panels on a large square roof. A general rule of thumb is that for every kilowatt of panels you want to install, you will need about 100 square feet of roof space. A typical home system will require about 500 square feet of space to install solar panels.
  • Solar panels are compatible with most roofing materials, including composite, wood, cement tile, slate, tar and gravel, or metal.

 

 

 

Solar Thermal – Solar Space Heating

Cost – Pay off time

  • $10,000 – $20,000
    • Can be reduced up to 50% from rebates and tax credits

Lifespan

  • 20 years

Energy produced

  • They do not produce energy, they simply absorb the sun’s heat

Maintenance

  • Annual inspections
    • Collector is clean and not shaded;
    • Collector is sound, sealing and glazing are not cracked or yellowing;
    • Fasteners connecting collector to roof are sound;
    • Piping and wiring are well-connected, well-insulated, and without damage;
    • Roof penetrations are well-sealed;
    • Pressure relief valve is not stuck completely open or closed;
    • Pumps (in active systems) activate when the sun is shining; and
    • Pipes are free of mineral build-up.

Site Specific Conditions

  • Most solar space heating systems are installed on the roof or on the ground adjacent to the building. For best results, solar collectors should be installed such that they:
    • Receive direct sunlight between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. year-round; and
    • Face south (though they can be oriented up to 30% toward the southeast or southwest).
  • Solar thermal systems are more forgiving than solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.  Solar PV panels need to be installed facing due south and are very sensitive to shading.

 

 

 

 

Wind

Cost – Pay off time

  • $8,000 – $50,000
    • Can be reduced up to 50% from rebates and tax credits
  • Annual returns on investments range from 10%-20%.

Lifespan

  • 25 years

Energy produced

  • A typical home would require one or more small wind turbines with a 5 kilowatt (kW) generating capacity to meet all of its electricity needs. Individual small wind turbines can produce from 1.5 kW to 10 kW of electricity.

Maintenance

  • Once every few years
    • Check and tighten bolts and electrical connections as necessary;
    • Check machines for corrosion;
    • Adjust the guy wires on tower-mounted turbines for proper tension;
    • Check for and replace any worn leading edge tape on the turbine blades, if needed;
    • Replace the turbine blades and/or bearings after 10 years if needed.

Site Specific Conditions

  • Area where average wind speeds equal 10 mph
  • Tower-mounted installed at height between 30-140ft

 

 

 

Geothermal

Cost – Pay off time

  • $15,000 – $40,000
    • Can be reduced up to 50% from rebates and tax credits
  • Annual return on investment (ROI) of 5% – 20%
  • A single system can reduce the cost of heating by 50% – 70%, and cost of air-conditioning and hot water by up to 50%.

Lifespan

  • Heat pumps = 25+ years
  • Underground pipes = warranty of 50 years

Energy produced

  • Uses the earth’s energy to provide heating, cooling and hot water

Maintenance

  • Ground Source Geothermal systems are relatively easy to maintain and require minimal maintenance.
    • Have fewer mechanical components than other systems and most of the components are installed underground, thus protecting them from extreme weather .
    • The components inside the house are small and easily accessible for maintenance.
    • Have one of the lowest relative operating and maintenance costs of any HVAC system available.
    • Maintenance and service are easy and do not require specialized training, giving the owner more options for maintaining and servicing their equipment.

Site Specific Conditions

  • Geothermal systems have two key components:
    • The Heat Pump – it is usually installed in the utility room and mostly out of sight.
    • The pipes – They are laid underground next to the property.  Depending on the type of system, you will require anywhere from a under a third of an acre to over an acre of land to lay the pipes.
  • A typical installation can be completed in about three days.
  • The underground pipes can be installed as either as:
    • Open Loop System:  These systems are generally installed in locations that have access to underground water source, such as a well.   The system is linked to a well casting and draw water from there to circulate throughout the system as a heat source.
      • Installation of open loop system is generally cheaper to install than closed loop systems.
      • On the downside, they tend to use a lot of water.
  • Closed Loop System:  This is the most common type of installation and the loops can be installed either horizontally or vertically.
    • In a horizontal installation, a loop of pipes is installed 3-8 feet underground.  While this is most cost effective option, it requires more land to lay the network of pipes.  A typical home will require between 1,200 and 2,000 feet long loop of pipes.
    • In a vertical installation, a smaller loop of pipes is laid deep into the ground (typically between 150-500 feet deep).  It’s a more expensive system to install, but may be more suitable for properties with less available land or if the ground freezes for extensive periods during the year.
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