Before You Go Solar

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of solar.  We installed solar on our business and I plan to install solar on my home one day.  But, before you install $20,000 ($7,000 after rebates) worth of solar PV panels on the roof, please perform an analysis of your current energy consumption habits. Check out what I did at the business to be more efficient.

 

Lengthwise Brewing Company, my workplace, installed a small solar system that produces 1.2 kWh per hour for five hours a day.  After a quick investigation, I found that the system would not even provide enough energy to power the 25 track lights that provide ambiance lighting!  Each track light bulb was a 50 watt halogen bulb.  Therefore, the math goes like this:

 

Consumption Math (halogen bulbs)
25 bulbs x 50 watts = 1250 watts or 1.25 kWh
The lights are on for 12 hours a day
12 hours x 1.25 kWh = 15 kWh

 

Solar PV production Math
1.2 kWh x 5 hours = 6 kWh per day

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