All around the world renewable energy is being invested in, from the national level to local communities. And now clean energy systems have become accessible for your home. Are you interested in using clean energy at home but don’t know where to start? Here at Venta, we are passionate about renewable energy, as all our Airwashers are manufactured in a facility powered entirely by wind energy, which is why we want to share the opportunities for harnessing clean energy at home with you.
No matter the reason for wanting to invest in a clean energy system for your home, the process can require quite a bit of planning. From analyzing your current energy usage to following local codes and knowing which system is right for you, there are several factors that need to be considered. Just know that in the end, you are gaining energy independence and are helping the environment for future years to come.
How much energy do you consume at home with your current system? What is your energy goal? These are questions that need to be answered before you consider making the switch to solar, wind or any other form of energy. Perform an energy audit for your home so you can see where your energy consumption is the most. Check to see how many of your current appliances are Energy Star rated.
Make sure you are cleared to install small clean energy systems at your home by abiding by local codes and regulations. Each state has different parameters for installing clean energy systems which can determine if you are allowed to use a stand-alone system or if you need to be connected to the electricity grid. If you’re in an apartment building or belong to a building association, be sure to check with their standards.
When choosing a clean energy source, it’s best to research the different options for which will be best for you. Know that wind and solar, which are the most popular forms of renewable home energy systems, can be used by themselves, together, or with existing fossil fuel systems. When combined, these systems are referred to as hybrid systems.
The following are the most common types of clean energy systems you can install at your home:
The installation of a photovoltaic system is a reliable and pollution-free source of electricity for your home. If traditional power lines are inaccessible or too expensive to reach your home, solar panels are a great alternative. Solar panels use direct and scattered sunlight to create electricity, so they are most effective in regions of abundant sunlight, like the southwestern US.
Solar’s performance is measured upon its ability to convert sunlight into electricity. There are several types of solar cells which are the basic building blocks of a photovoltaic system. Different types of silicon make up the majority of solar cell semiconductor materials. Thin film has also emerged on the market, acting as a dual functioning product that can be used for solar panels as well as roof tiles, shingles and building facades.
Additional positive features of solar panels include:
For a complete detailed description of how photovoltaic systems work, you can learn more from the folks at the Solar Energy Industries Association here!
At-home solar power is becoming a very popular industry. Here are a few retailers where you can get information about installing solar panels for your home:
Another one of the most common forms of clean energy systems that can be easily installed at home are small wind turbines. Wind energy is a pollution and emissions-free source of electricity that is also extremely cost effective. Installing a wind turbine at home can lower electricity bills by 50-60%. At-home wind turbines are an effective source of electricity for remote areas and places that can’t get accessible power or utility lines, similar to solar panels.
For an at-home wind turbine to be a quality investment, it is best when they are placed in open areas and on an acre or more of land. To determine if a wind turbine will be effective in your area, you can gather wind speed data from a variety of places. Airports often report their wind speeds so you can get an idea of average wind speeds in your area.
The higher the tower, the more effective it will be as wind speeds increase with height. This however can cause problems, as it is typical for residential areas to have restrictions on the height of structures. You would need to consult with your local zoning officials or neighborhood association for that information.
Wind power is just as popular as solar. To see what options are out there, check out these suppliers and buying guides:
A bit more of a sophisticated clean energy system, microhydropower electricity systems use the energy in flowing water to produce mechanical or electrical energy. Access to flowing water is required for this system. Microhydropower requires multiple equipment parts including a turbine, pump or waterwheel to turn the energy from the water into rotational energy.
There are a variety of benefits from using a microhydropower system for clean energy at your home. Maintenance is minimal and the systems tend to have a long lifespan. The financial incentives include income tax credits, property tax exemptions, state sales tax exemption, loan programs, and special grant programs for partaking in clean energy initiatives.
You can find out more information on how to plan a microhydropower system at your home by following the US Department of Energy’s guide here.
Looking to get the best of both worlds when it comes to clean energy? A hybrid system may be the most effective for your home. Wind speeds tend to be low in the summer and high during the winter, while sunlight is abundant in the summer as opposed to the winter. Each system’s peak operating time is different, so you’re more likely to generate more power as your system will be working no matter what the conditions are.
Many companies produce these systems and consider them to be the best choice for a “highly efficient, low-cost, renewable energy hybrid device for any environment.” A system that can generate power once the other is unable to is a no-brainer for those looking to produce clean energy at home.
Clean energy at-home has never been more attainable. More and more, there are news reports that entire countries are running off of 100% renewable energy. The fact that you can now power your home off similar technology is a huge breakthrough in the clean energy industry. Which form would you be willing to try at home?