Saturday, September 23, 2017

What is the Cost of Using Solar Energy



A techno-economic assessment will prove the economic feasibility and sense of buying a solar electric system.

First, let’s consider grid-tied systems.

If you are planning to buy, build yourself or have built a grid-tied system, such an evaluation should by all means take into account expected future price of grid electricity over the period of the guaranteed solar system lifecycle, along with any potential income from other existing investment options.

The evaluation of a grid-tied system will provide you with enough data to compare the overall net income of your investment in solar PV system (like RENOGY SOLAR SUITCASE ) with other existing alternative options to invest your money taking into account:
price of solar hardware
installation costs
annual operational expenses
generated ‘free’ solar energy offsetting these expenses.

By assessing how much money you can save from solar electricity you can take an informed decision whether it is worth investing in solar electricity or your money would be better invested in other financial instruments, i.e. bank accounts or other possible investment options you can find at your disposal.

First of all, by performing a techno-economic assessment, you are going to find out:
What is the cost of using solar energy
How to calculate total solar power you need to use and install
How to determine how much area you need to install your PV modules and which type of PV modules to choose taking into account:
Your solar installation area
Various types of modules available on the market
Your budget

Once you have chosen your type of PV module, you will find out how to calculate how many PV modules you need to install and the overall cost of your solar system.

Then you are going to find out:
How to calculate your solar energy production costs
How much you can save by a PV system over its guaranteed life cycle
The payback period of your system.

The peak photovoltaic power needed to be installed on your roof can be calculated by the formula:

Installed solar power, Wp = Daily energy target, Wh x PSHx SLF

This formula however can be expressed otherwise:

Daily energy target, Wh = Solar generated electricity, Wh =

= Installed solar power, Wp x PSH x SLF

Let’s assume you have an area on your roof, enough to install 30 solar modules, of rating 150 Wp each. The installed ‘peak’ solar power of the PV array is:

Installed solar power = 30 modules x 150 Wp each =

= 4,500 Wp or 4.5 kWp

If you assume system losses factor for your grid-tied system 0.75, and the average annual value of PSH for your location is 4, then the 30-module solar array will generate:

Installed solar power x PSH x SLF = 4.5 kWp x 4 x 0.75 = 13.5 kWh of energy daily

Your possible next step can be to estimate how much money you would get for this amount of energy.

If for electricity you export to the grid you get paid $0.08 per kWh, then each day you will get on average:

13.5 kWh x $0.08 per kWh = $1.08,

which means that per year you will get:

365 days x $1.08 per day = $394.2

If you multiply the daily energy offset target by the electricity residential rate, you will get the money you could save by implementing a grid-tied solar system.

If your daily energy target is 7.7 kWh and the residential electricity price is $0.07 per kWh, then you are going to save

7.7 kWh x $0.07 per kWh = $0.54 per day

and

$0.54 x 365 days = $197.1 per year

By comparing these two values you can estimate which option is the preferred one for you:
Either export the whole solar energy generated to the grid, and get paid while still using grid electricity and cashing on the difference, or
Export just the surplus of solar energy generated during some hours of the day to the grid to offset the money you pay the grid when solar energy is not available, i.e. at night.

It should be noted that annual electricity production might vary from year to year due to natural variations in weather and climate.

If your utility offers net metering, you will probably get paid the full retail price for the excess electricity produced by the PV system

Now, let’s deal with stand-alone systems.

You will find out how maintenance cost of a stand-alone system is calculated by the example below.

Let’s have as an example the following stand-alone system:
840 Wp installed solar power,
1,012 kWh annual energy output or 2,770 Wh daily energy output,
It is able to charge a 24V-battery bank with capacity of 470 Ah.

The system will require an inverter with rated continuous power of at least 840 W.

If your stand-alone system contains an inverter, it should be replaced after 12-15 years of operation. So, if a stand-alone system has a lifespan of 25 years, the cost for inverter replacement should be included in the maintenance cost.

If we assume inverter cost of $1 per watt, based on the needed inverter with 840 W rated continuous power, the inverter will cost:

840 W x $1/W = $840.

Such a price distributed over 25 years of operation will result in average inverter maintenance costs per year as follows:

$840 ? 25 years = $33.6 or about $34.

More important however are battery maintenance costs.

A lead-acid battery is to be replaced after every 5 years of operation. At the moment a typical battery price is $1 per Ah.

So, the task is to calculate the costs for batteries during the stand-alone system’s lifecycle.

We assume that the battery cost for the first 5 years is included in the system cost.

If battery cost of $1 per Ah is assumed, for the next 25 year of the system lifecycle the costs for a battery bank of 470 Ah would be:

470 Ah x (25 years x 5) x $1/Ah = $2,350.

Such a cost distributed over 25 years of operation will result in the following average battery maintenance costs per year:

$2,350 x 25 years = $94.

Furthermore we could assume an MPPT charge controller with estimated price of $700.

MPPT charge controllers come with a typical warranty of 5 years. We could assume that you would need at least one additional charge controller for replacement.

Hence, the price of the additional MPPT charge controller average annual maintenance costs would be:

$700 x 25 years = $28

The total average annual maintenance cost of an off-grid system comprising a battery, an inverter and a MPPT charge controller would be:

Total average annual maintenance costs =

= Average annual inverter maintenance costs + Average annual charge controller maintenance cost + Average annual battery maintenance costs = $34 + $94 + $28 = $156
The next question is how to calculate the energy production costs.

For a grid-tied system without power backup, to calculate how much money you can save by selling electricity to the grid you need to assess your costs for producing solar electrical energy.

For a stand-alone system however, the most important is to buy a system that matches best your daily energy consumption target. Then on the basis of the cost of the energy generated, and on the basis of the large amount of money saved from paying for utility interconnection, you can calculate the money you save from being off the grid.

The energy production costs averaged over the lifespan of the off-grid solar system are calculated as follows:

Solar electricity production costs =

[Solar system initial cost + (System lifespan x Operating costs per year)] x (Annual solar electricity production x System lifespan)

PV system initial cost, a.k.a. CapEx, is the cost for implementing the whole system, including: site survey, system design, construction works, obtaining permits, equipment delivery and installation, and system commissioning
System lifespan is assumed 25 years
Operating costs, a.k.a. OpEx per year, are system maintenance costs. The most essential part of the operating costs is related to battery and inverter replacement. During a 25-year lifecycle the inverter should be replaced at least once, the charger controller might be replaced at least once, while the battery should be replaced every 5 years.

Costs for implementing an off-grid system are always higher than costs for implementing a grid-tied system without power backup due to the higher complexity of the former.

If system implementation cost is estimated $7 per watt-peak and the installed solar power is 840 Wp, the initial cost of the solar system is:

$7/Wp x 840Wp = $5,880.

Furthermore if:
System lifespan is 25 years,
Yearly generated energy is 1,012 kWh under existing environment conditions, and
OpEx is $156 as described in the section about calculating showing the average annual maintenance costs,

the energy production costs over total lifespan of the solar system are calculated as follows:

Solar electricity production costs =

= [Solar system initial cost + (System lifespan x Operating costs per year)] x (Annual solar electricity production x System lifespan) =

= [$5,880+ (25 years x $156)] x(1,012 kWh x 25 years) = $0.39/kWh,

which results into annual costs incurred by solar generated electricity as follows:

Annual solar electricity production x Energy production costs =

= 1,012 kWh x $0.39/kWh = $395
Now, it’s time to asses how much you could save from being off the grid.

Let’s say you have to pay $8,000 to get connected to your local utility grid. Let’s also assume the current grid electricity price of $0.125, along with a 5% rate of increase thereof.

This means that for a period of 25 years the average grid electricity price is $0.25, while at the end of those 25 years the grid electricity price will be $0.42.

If the energy generated annually by your system is 1,012kWh, then upon average grid electricity price of $0.25 which corresponds to current electricity price of 0.125 raised with 5% per year, within 25 years you would pay for grid electricity:

1,012 kWh x 25 years x $0.25/kWh = $6,325

So, the total cost for getting connected to the utility grid and use the grid electricity to cover your daily energy needs would be:

$8,000 + $6,325 = $14,325.

The just calculated value is actually the total savings from being off the grid during the system’s lifecycle.

Your annual spend on grid electricity would be

$14,325 x 25 years of operation = $573.

The just calculated value is actually the annual savings from being off the grid or in other words your potential annual expenses on grid electricity.

As a follow-up of the above example, your annual cost incurred by solar generated electricity would be:

Solar electricity production costs x Annual solar electricity production = $0.39/kWh x 1,012KWh = $395.

So, within a 25 year period you would save annually:

Annual spend on grid electricity – Annual costs incurred by solar generated electricity = $573 – $395= $178.

Here comes the ultimate question: what is the payback period of an off-grid system?

Considering the above examples, if solar system implementation costs are $5,880, and your potential annual expenses on grid electricity are $573, the payback period of the solar system, compared to the situation if you were connected to the grid, would be:

System payback period, years =

[Solar system initial cost + (System lifespan x Operating costs per year)] x Annual spend on grid electricity = ($5,880 + (25 years x $156)) ? $573 = 17 years.

If your odds to be connected to the grid however are from zero to none, and hence calculating payback period in regard to grid does not suit you, you might want to explore the payback period of your off-grid system with included maintenance expenses. In such a case the payback period of your system would be:

System payback period, years =

[Solar system initial cost + (System lifespan x Operating costs per year)] x Annual cost incurred by solar generated electricity = ($5,880 + (25 years x $156)) ? $395 = 25 years.

If the herein provided method for estimating feasibility of your investment in solar energy looks kind of cumbersome, you can use our handy, simple and fast online calculator included in the Gold Package for advanced evaluation of off-grid systems.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WHAT IS A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM?




WHAT IS A SOLAR POWER SYSTEM?

Also called a solar electric system or photovoltaic PV system, solar power systems use solar panels to collect photons of light from the sun and use them to create an . To learn more about solar PV systems, please our page How Do Solar Power Systems Work.

A photovoltaic PV solar power system is a collection of components which, when used together, produce electricity from sunlight that can be used for a variety of purposes. There are several different types of solar photovoltaic systems including the following:

  • Grid-tie (no battery)
  • Grid-tie (with battery storage)
  • Off-grid (no battery)
  • Off-grid (with battery, DC-only)
  • Off-grid (with battery AC + DC)


All of the system types listed above begin and end with the photovoltaic array, consisting of one or more solar panels, which converts electromagnetic radiation in the form of sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. This is true for any residential, commercial, or industrial solar power system. And, depending on whether or not a system includes batteries, a solar PV system will also include a charge controller, which regulates the charge to the batteries, and an inverter, which converts DC electricity to AC electricity. A PV system also includes cables and wiring that connect all the system components together into a complete system.

Our wide selection of solar electric systems come in various wattage configurations, or sizes. We have residential solar power kits that are capable of powering a home. We also supply solar lighting kits for lighting up a dark sign. Providing power to scientific or oil and gas patch sensing and telemetry in remote locations is easy using our pole-mount solar kits. The list of examples of applications that can be powered by a solar power system is long and includes numerous military and federal, state, county, and municipal government applications, transportation including street lights, traffic control, rail, and even satellites and space stations. There is even a start-up company attempting to perfect their solar roadway invention. Also you need solar charge controller, Renogy MPPT Charge Controller will help your solar system to work better than ever. If you want to make your system more reliable and efficient than ever before, you definitely need Renogy MPPT Charge Controller.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How Maine’s courts can help domestic violence victims achieve justice: First, know thyself



Decisions rendered by the courts can contribute to saving people’s lives or hastening their death. But judges’ orders are only as good as the information provided to them about a case and the training they’ve received. They can’t know what they don’t know. In the same vein, court administrators, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the public can’t know what they don’t know about how their judicial system operates and succeeds or fails. They should.

In the 10th Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel report, released April 24, a group of 30 advocates, attorneys, health care workers and police recommended many excellent potential reforms to the way Maine works to prevent and respond to domestic violence. The panel, which reviewed 21 intimate partner or intrafamilial homicides that occurred between April 2009 and September 2013, presented specific ideas for improvement in various sectors, such as law enforcement, health care, prosecution and the Department of Corrections.

Suggestions for one sector — the judiciary — deserve emphasis here. The system that applies Maine’s laws is often overlooked as part of the response to domestic violence, and it can seem isolated from and intimidating to the public. The truth is that there is much the state doesn’t know about how Maine judges and others make decisions when it comes to family matters, protection from abuse orders, and criminal domestic violence cases because no one tracks the outcomes or has researched the trends.

The ideas in the panel’s report ranged from simple recommendations, such as making sure judges use legible handwriting in filling out protection orders, to more substantial refinements, such as considering a requirement that the exchange of children happen in supervised visitation centers when a protection from abuse order is in effect, and creating a way to document the status of weapons confiscated during the protection from abuse order process.

Other ideas involve training court clerks on the dynamics of domestic abuse to better help people seeking relief from the court system and to better guide victims on the differences between various types of protection orders, and training judges on when best to order offenders to complete batterers intervention programs.

These are all clearly needed improvements suggested by experts in the field, and they are also just the start. To know what else to change, the state would benefit greatly from having more information about what’s actually happening in the courts. An integrated, accessible, statewide records management system wouldn’t just allow police to accurately gauge an offender’s background and focus resources on high-risk cases, it would provide the tools for the courts and those who work in and with them to know where they can improve.

For instance, how many victims filing for protection from abuse orders don’t follow through with the order in the end, and why? Do judges show gender bias in their decisions relating to family matters or criminal cases in supervised visitation centers Seattle? How many victims of domestic violence are also victims of sexual assault, and are they getting the correct services? What are the conviction rates for cases of domestic and sexual violence, have they changed over time, and why?

Maine doesn’t have answers to these basic questions because its records system isn’t digitized or widely accessible; and it hasn’t received the funding to do the research or modernize its system. Until it does, it will be difficult to know what other, deeper reforms to pursue. It may be that judges’ training should be updated, or the court process itself should be changed. But it’s hard to know what steps to take when the data isn’t clear.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Can Small Business Owners Deal with Poor Credit



A poor credit score can have a huge impact on your personal finances. In some cases it can restrict you from getting certain types of credit or even stop you from getting credit altogether. For individuals, dealing with a bad credit score can be tricky enough, but if you’re hoping to start a business, having a poor personal credit score can create further obstacles. This isn’t to say that those with a bad credit score should forget the idea of starting their own business. In fact, if you know where to look and who to turn to, there are plenty of financing options designed to help those with a poor credit rating overcome this and successfully launch their business.



Funding

Those with a poor credit score often find that they have more issues than most when applying for business funding, as this can often get in the way and prevent lenders from agreeing to provide them with a loan. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a poor credit score, it’s probably best to simply bypass the big banks and look into other, alternative methods of obtaining start-up capital instead. Thankfully, there are various different ways in which entrepreneurs can get funding, even if their credit score isn’t the best. For example, crowdfunding or angel investors are quickly becoming some of the most popular alternative methods of funding a start-up.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

5 Key Ingredients to Host a Successful Business Conference



Hosting a conference can help business owners build credibility and brand for their business. It can also provide you with number of leads to grow your business. Successfully hosting a business conference, however, requires lot of effort and advanced planning. If it is not done right it can do more harm than good to your business. That’s why it is important to pay careful attention to every minute detail and start planning well in advance. Listed below are 5 key ingredients you need to keep in mind to host a successful business conference.

Determine Topic


You need to determine what the conference is about. Selecting a very broad topic will dilute the message, while a very narrow topic will limit the number of attendees. You need to strike a careful balance in selecting the topic that will enable your goal to host the conference and attract large number of attendees you are targeting.

Book Speakers Early


Inviting well-known speakers will help you attract large number of attendees. Those speakers also tend to be very busy so booking their appointment well in advance help you secure their spot for your conference. Once you find a speaker that is perfect match for your conference, get in touch with him quickly and provide him with full details of your event. Make sure you know how much they want to be paid before you confirm a booking too and don’t be afraid to ask them to promote your event socially after they have agreed to make an appearance.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How Online Study Can Boost Your Business Skills


People start small business for number of reasons. Perhaps you are skilled in providing a service or in a trade, and would rather do it for yourself than work for a company or you have a passion for a niche and want to sell products relevant to it. Maybe you have a great idea that you think could make a big impact in a certain market, or maybe you have something you do as a hobby like crafting and think you may be able to earn some money out of it. Because there are so many different types of people who go into small businesses these days, the skills that you have starting out may not be traditional business skills. You may be great at what your business actually does, but all that behind the scenes activities such as managing money, HR, marketing and so on may not yet come easily to you. Fortunately, there are number of ways you can pick up better skills online, in whatever areas of business trouble you most.

Online Degrees

Getting a fully fledged online business administration degree with a college like Arizona State University can be one way to really round out your business skills and become a competent entrepreneur. Getting an online business degree allows you to study in your own time, but also gives access to highly skilled tutors who can answer your questions, as well as giving you a very full coverage of all different areas of running a business.

What is the Cost of Using Solar Energy

A techno-economic assessment will prove the economic feasibility and sense of buying a solar electric system. First, let’s consider gr...