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Thinking of going solar? Consider these things.

Burns Lake Solar Blog Sunset

For this week's blog, I am just going to copy and paste the second article we published in the NW Connector. Not original, I know, but hopefully useful!

(The picture has nothing to do with the article, just thought it was a beautiful picture!)

Here is the article:

So you are back again. Welcome to today’s solar discussion, brought to you by Burns Lake Solar and the letter E.

Have you ever considered “going solar”? Well, if you have, here are some things to think about.

There are three main things, really.

#1 solar exposure #2 what do you want to run? #3 what is your budget?

#1, solar exposure. Seems like a no-brainer, but first off, do you have a space on your property that is clear of trees or other obstructions and is facing the sun, that is facing south? And for how much of the day? If you don’t have sunshine, you can’t have solar. If you have a little bit of sunshine, you need more panels. Are you willing to cut down trees that may be casting shadows on the panels? Panels are essentially useless if they have any shadowing on them.

Thats about all to say about that, let’s move on.

Carrying on to #2. What do you want to run?

The biggest thing to keep in mind here is that electric appliances that create heat use a ton of energy. Unless you have seriously deep pockets, running things like your electric stove, electric dryer, hot water heater, car block heater, and space heating with power are out. We have a propane stove, propane hot water heater, and propane dryer. We also heat our vehicles with an in-engine diesel heater rather than plugging them in.

Other things that sneakily create heat and eat your power are incandescent light bulbs and self- defrosting fridges and freezers. !

The other thing to have a look at that will make your solar adventure more successful is efficiency. (E is for efficient...) If you aren’t using it, turn it off. Your Starlink at night? Shut it off. And you know how so many things have all those cool little lights on them, that are on all. the. time? Minimize them. Invest in more efficient appliances if you can. !

Before you talk to anyone about going solar, have a good list of what you want to run off of electricity, and for how much time. Rack your brain, the better your list is, the better your system can be tailored. Gaming for 6 hours a day? Don’t forget to include the computer or large-screen TV. Like toast? Coffee? List them for however long you use them a day. Have air tools and a compressor? Include that. You get the idea.!

Solar power systems can be designed as big as you want, to run whatever you want, but that gets into

#3, what is your budget?

That’s pretty simple, really. How much money do you have to spend? A Solar power system can be sized to run whatever you want, but the cost can be prohibitive. In your budgeting, remember that if you are off-grid, you will no longer have a bill from BC Hydro to account for, and if you are grid-tie, that bill can be offset. But factor in things like a back-up generator and fuel for it, depending on how big a solar array (solar panels) you want to have. More panels, less fuel. Now that we have upgraded to more solar panels, we rarely have to listen to our generator run.

Well, that’s the end of this week’s ramble. Next week we will do some number crunching.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Our ad is at the back of the Connector.

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1 comentário

Great article. Makes me realize all that we need to consider!

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