Solar Performance and Cost Benefit
If the cost of conventional energy such as fossil fuels goes up in the future,
the value of the solar investment goes up too.
DOES SOLAR REALLY WORK WHERE I LIVE?
HOW MUCH CAN SOLAR REALLY DO FOR ME?
Radiantec Company is located in Northern Vermont and we hear these questions quite a bit.
Northern Vermont can be bitterly cold and is subject to prolonged cloudy spells,
particularly in November and December and sometimes during the springtime.
Other parts of the continental US are also subject to cloudy spells such
as Buffalo NY and Seattle, WA.
But the answer is "Yes, it is possible to use solar energy in these areas."
It is just not as easy as it is in Colorado. A solar energy system must
be very efficient and well thought out to be practical in some areas, but
it can be done. That is a proven fact.
A solar performance calculation is not hard; basic arithmetic really. We look at four things:
a. The Solar Resource.
b. The energy requirement to be met.
c. The ability to store solar energy for use in cloudy periods.
d. The efficiency of the system.
We will start by looking at a narrative discussion about what solar energy can do.
Click here for the narrative discussion page.
For many people, that will be enough, and you can always consult with Radiantec
technicians. Click here
Then, for the people who are interested, we will present a simple, common sense
analysis method so that the individual with basic arithmetic skills can
figure these matters out for him or herself. Click
Then, for those really interested, we will present carefully collected scientific
data from controlled studies for an in depth understanding of the phenomena.
(Please look in the INFO LIBRARY,
and consult the DOE Report, the Scientific Paper, and the magazine articles.
How long does it take for solar to pay itself back?
A solar energy system is an investment like many others, and should yield
a good return immediately. Consider how much money the solar energy system
saves you on an average monthly or annual basis. Then compare this with
the "opportunity cost" of the money that the solar system costs. The "opportunity
cost" is either what the money costs to borrow, or the money that you forfeited
by taking the money out of another investment.
If you are not making money immediately, perhaps the solar system is not a
good investment and you should not build it. A solar heating system that
does not make good economic sense often does not make environmental sense
Cost benefit analysis for a solar energy system in the Boston, MA area predicts
that the investment will yield about 12% per year. If the cost of conventional
energy such as fossil fuels goes up in the future, the value of the solar
investment goes up too. You should keep in mind that the income from the
solar investment is tax-free. More information about cost benefit is available
in the US Department of Energy Report. (in
the INFO LIBRARY) http://www.radiantsolar.com/pdf/DOEREPORT.pdf