Tips to use the power of solar panels for your home most effectively
1. Reduce the electricity consumption of the building
If you want to save on electricity costs – with or without PV – you should first eliminate devices and appliances that use too much of it. These include standby devices, incandescent light bulbs and water heaters. The lower your overall consumption, the greater the part of it that you will be able to cover using solar PV.
2. Install LEDs instead of light bulbs
Usually the largest single cost factor is lighting. Obsolete light bulbs only use about ten percent of the electricity to make light. 90 percent are lost as heat. They produce heat rather than light, because they are based on a glowing filament made of tungsten. Modern LEDs use almost all of the electricity to make light. You can clearly notice this from the fact that they stay cool. And because it does not heat up so much, it lasts much longer. In addition to that, the price of LEDs has come down so much, that exchanging them for regular light bulbs pays off within one or two years.
3. Turn off standby mode
Many electrical devices like kitchen appliances, TVs, computers, game consoles and HiFi systems, also consume electricity when they not in use and on standby. Considering the number of electrical devices in a normal house, the standby consumption can really add up. For that reason, such devices should be physically separated from the circuit by using switchable sockets.
4. Make hot water electrically
If you are producing solar electricity, is a good advantage to convert your hot water systems to electric boilers. Instantaneous water heaters also allow the heating of water close to the tap`. The water temperature can be adjusted to exactly what is desired. The demand for hot water is more or less the same over the course of the year. During the late spring and summer, that demand can entirely be met by solar power. That increases the level of self-consumption. A combination with special hot water heat pumps can also make sense.
5. Run high-consumption devices during the day
Those appliances in the household with the highest electricity demand are the dishwasher, the washing machine, the tumble dryer and the kitchen stove. These can easily be equipped with timer switches, so that they run during the day, when the solar generator on the roof is producing a lot of output, which can be used directly. A high-wattage stove might be a challenge for PV by itself. In this case, a solar battery can be used as a buffer for short-term load peaks. Because it is not just the number of kilowatt hours on the roof that has to be sufficient, but also the currents made available at short notice. This determines if a storage unit is designed for the capacity of the solar panels for your home.
6. Do your gardening on solar electricity
Solar electricity yields are highest between spring and autumn. This is also the time of year when the garden requires the most work. You can very conveniently run electric lawn mowers, hedge trimmers or lighting off solar electricity. If you have a solar battery, you can use it to power LED lights in your garden in the evening and at night. A garden sauna can also be heated up using surplus electricity during the day, so that it is ready for use in the evening.
7. Heat electrically during the transitional periods
If your solar generator is run in combination with a sufficiently large storage unit, you can use infrared radiators to take the chill out of cooler evenings. Such radiators come in a variety of nice designs, even in the form of bathroom heating mirrors. As long as they only use little power and are only used for additional heating, they are a good way to use up solar electricity. Once the electric heating from solar power no longer suffices, you will have to buy in electricity from the grid. Or you switch to a more efficient thermal heat pump system.
8. Energy storage increases efficiency
Between early 2014 and 2020, the price of stationary lithium batteries has fallen by more than 60 percent. This trend is expected to continue. What size to choose depends on the building’s electricity demand and the size of your solar generator.
Without energy storage, you can make good use of about 50 to 80 percent of the solar electricity for your own house. A battery can easily take that up to 100 percent. If you do not base the own consumption just on the solar generator, but on the electricity demand of the entire house, the following general rule applies: Without storage, you can meet about 30 to 50 percent of your electricity demand directly from solar. In combination with a solar battery, this can be as much as 90 percent. To meet your entire electricity needs over the course of a year, you need a second generator. It is usually simpler – and less expensive – to use the power grid. During the winter, your needs can be met through green electricity from a certified utility.
9. Switch to e-mobility
Almost as useful as solar batteries can be electric cars and vehicles – of any size. From the lawn mower to grandpa’s (or the friendly neighbors) electric wheelchair to pedelecs and e-scooters for the family. All of these contain lithium batteries which can conveniently be charged with solar electricity. Ultimately, there are electric cars that can be used to go shopping, for short trips or to commute to work.
10. Get aid choosing your panels
Experienced technicians can support you when it comes to consumption of the solar panels for your home. It can be helpful to go step by step and check your energy consumption with professionals.
Get in touch with us today and receive a completely free assessment in your energy usage as well as an estimate of what solar panels will best suit your necessities.