Some of you reading this may be thinking, the broader question is, WHO should be using
solar power? Homeowners? Small, medium, or large businesses? Elementary, secondary,
and/or high schools? Community colleges and universities?
Think of the answers to these questions as not so much that it should be COMPULSORY that
solar power be used. Look, I do not advocate the compulsory use of solar power. These
articles that I’m writing, I hope you’ll find them anyway) are to be informational in the sense that
it will help you decide whether you can implement solar power or not … as well as what it
will cost, in general, if you do.
I’ve been thinking lately, it might be as useful for homeowners to implement solar power as
it would be for the others (businesses, educational institutions, etc.). The reason is
that most people are not at home during the day when the Sun providing solar power!
Rather, the homeowners (or their children) are at some business working, or at some school
So let me genaralize this discussion for now by just talking about businesses. First,
let’s ask some questions about the feasibility of solar power. Then in future
installments, we can tackle the details as of cost, implementation, etc.
So lLet us suppose you run a small business. Let us also suppose your building has a flat
roof. Here are some suggested questions that need to be answered. My goal is to open a s
saeries of articles that will hopefully provide some general answers to determine whether
it’s a good idea for your business to implement a partial or a full solar power system.
So nwo the questions … Can you lay the solar panels flat on your flat roof? Or do the
panels have to be set an an angle? If the panels must be at an angle, do they have to be
pointed in a particular direction? Or does it matter all that much? Do the panels have to
be steered to track the Sun as it traverses from East to West over the course of a day?
How many hours per day can your business generate a useful amount of electricity from solar
power? Does it vary due to cloud cover, rain, or even snow? If so, by how much?
What type of electrical appliances would it be most practical to power with solar panels?
HVAC? Lighting? Computers? Things with motors, such as refrigerators, freezers,
compressors? Welders? And so forth?
Finally, would it be best to keep the solar power system separate (independent) from the
power company? Should your business sell power back to the power company? That is, should
you have a separate breaker panel for the solar panels from the electric utility breaker
panel? Should you go with a grid tie system or an off grid system?
So there are some things to think about above. In future articles, I will try to provide a
useful cost analysis of what solar panels can do to provide power to each of these things.
Hopefully, it will help you to decide if, what, and how much you want solar power to serve
your electricity needs.