You rarely see solar power systems in city houses but it may be wise to actually invest in one. Not only will solar systems help you save from electrical bills, but it will also serve as back-up power for your home. In the event of a blackout in the city, which is happening more frequently these days, your house will be the only one with electrical power.
Solar energy is not hard to adopt into a city setup. You only need to make a couple of adjustments and follow a few guidelines to put up that perfect alternative power source for your home.
- Problems In A City Setting
In a city, tall houses or small buildings nearby can block sunlight from reaching your house. If this is the case, you need to think and consider different methods of collecting sun rays. Home solar systems run from energy from the sun and without it, you may have to devise a way to collect sunlight. For instance, using wall-brackets to hold the solar panels high along the side of a building can be an option to fix the problem.
The next problem that you may encounter is the position of your house. Is it at a corner street facing east? Or maybe sandwiched by two houses? Or your house is inside a plush subdivision with enough space for a swimming pool?
If the house is sandwiched by two houses, the solar panels that you will install may be at risk from neighbor kids at play. On the other hand, a house located at a corner street facing east is perfect since there are no tall infrastructures that can block the path of the sunlight. A house with a wider space to spare is the ideal home to install a solar power system.
The usual location for solar power systems is atop the roof of houses
With the right angle, solar panels can be laid out in formation along the side of the roof to get enough sunlight.
- The Key Is Creativity
The key to implementing an effective solar power system is to maximize the available space. You can integrate the solar panel systems into almost every surface. For example, there are solar power systems that can be placed atop swimming pool covers such that when no one is swimming in the pool, it can be retracted out to harness sunlight for backup power.
Most often than not, solar energy is used to power the motor of a pool cover, as well as the filtering and cleaning system of a pool. We all know pool motor and cleaning systems run in horse power; therefore, using sun’s power to run these equipment save you on fuel and electricity costs. A solar pool heater can keep your swimming pool warm during winter.
Garage areas are also favorite spots for setting up solar power systems. The solar panel itself can serve as the parking roof for the cars. The wiring can be placed inside the hollow beams that support the solar panels. Some companies even make profit when they use solar panels for the whole parking lot. They save on power costs while at the same time profit from parking fees.
Solar panels and zoning
Before you order your do-it-yourself home solar energy system and start building your own solar panels, you might want to save yourself a big headache (and several thousand dollars) by looking into your local zoning. If you live on acreage in an unincorporated area, you might still be subject to some state restrictions. So it is always wise to ask some questions and do some research at the beginning of your project’s planning process (instead of waiting until the money has been spent!).
If you live in a community that has a homeowner’s association, start there. Find out if there are rules about installing solar power systems (or any structures) on your roof, or if there are rules about the kind of roofing materials you can use. It’s not the end of the world if your discover restrictions. You’ll just have to develop a proposal that your association board will find so appeal that they’ll approve it with ease.
If your zoning comes from your town or city regulations, you’ll need to go the planning office and find out what your local zoning laws say about solar panel installations. It may take you some time to find out exactly who to talk with; it may be the zoning department, or the planning department, or the building code department. But once you uncover the proper authority, find out what permits you need, and what the process is that you’ll need to follow. If there are no town or city zoning codes in place that cover solar panels, you’ll need to research at the next level.
The next zoning authority level is your county. If you can find the county website online, you may be able to get answers without having to visit the county offices in person. Either way, though, you’ll need to find out which department handles zoning and permits, and get your answers there. If the county has no zoning regarding solar panels, keep asking questions. Someone at the county level should be able to tell you whether your state has any laws in place.
You can also approach all of this research by finding local solar power systems suppliers and installers. Since the zoning regulations affect their businesses, they’ll usually know exactly what the laws are, if any. Be sure you ask a reputable, licensed business person, though. And double check their answers, don’t just rely on what they tell you. As with any “home improvement” there are a lot of scams out there that are easy to avoid by doing a little research of your own. Guide to installing a solar electric system