Use of Solar Photovoltaic Panel Utility
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|So, you got that great idea to become independent from your local Hydro utility. Looking at all electrical energy price increases, getting independent is a splendid idea! Our provincial government keeps tinkering with green energy supply plans and the recent edition of the governments lip service to small energy supply in Ontario is called MicroFit. To check the latest version of traps and obstacles prepared for you, courtesy of our provincial government, go to your local utility website, for example the Toronto Hydro. But please, do not despair and do not blame your local utility company. These things tend to change with changing governments. For example, some European countries like Germany, UK, Denmark and several others have a very reasonable and properly working policies regarding small energy suppliers. In Ontario we are still teething. Keep up the positive thinking and see if You measure up to energy independence!
The First step will be checking your electrical energy production means. Living in Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga and the GTA will limit you to the use of photovoltaic panels. It is very unlikely anyone will allow you to install a sizeable wind turbine or a biofuel plant on your property. Today's solar panel, the size of 1mx2m can produce, in Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga and GTA, up to about 250 Watts per hour for a yearly average of 2.5 hours per day. That means one panel can safely produce 0.625 kWh a day or about 225 kWh on an average year. I came up with the above numbers after extensive research from available websites, aiming at opinions of real solar system owners in the GTA.
The Second step is checking the size of your installation. The maximum allowed for the MicroFit program is 10kW of generating power, which is equal to 40 panels of the considered size. In the best case scenario it would require 80-100 square meters of installation surface. Realistically you could mount only 8-10 panels on the average sized roof. This leaves you with a potential of 2-2.5kW of installed power on your roof capable of producing 5-6 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar energy on an average day. Your window of independence from the local hydro utility is becoming significantly smaller, but possible.
The Third step in our exercise, is to curb your electrical energy consumption. To be completely independent from the local hydro utility your household has to consume not more than 5-6 kWh per day. That is where The Green Electrician is helpful. The amount of electricity you consume as of today is likely to be at least triple of that you can produce. Read The Worst Offenders and Minor Offenders pages of our website to determine how much of a lifestyle change you can bear to get to a different level of independence from the hydro utility. The Green Electrician is here to provide You with excellent technical support when you decide to rearrange your house.
The Fourth step is actually building your independence, panel by panel. A good place to start it, and get some experience before committing a large amount of investment, would be the case discussed in the chapter Go Outdoor and Solar. And keep in mind, by the time you will be ready to dive into it, the rules and regulations in Ontario for a small energy supply could become more bearable. When it comes to actual design and the build of your expensive photovoltaic energy system, The Green Electrician would leave it for a larger and more experienced solar system installation company.
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