A lot of people are now considering getting sustainable energy systems to produce electricity at their homes. Although setting up a renewable energy system at home takes money, time and research, many are willing to invest that much to help the environment.
A homeowner can install either grid-connected system or a standalone system for his home.
Grid-Connected: Many people prefer to integrate their renewable energy system to the power grid and use it to lessen the electricity provided to them through the grid. A grid integrated system also allows the home owner to sell any surplus energy back to the conventional energy provider. People who use grid-connected units need to install additional equipment called “balance-of-system” apart from the small sustainable energy components. This balance-of-system provides safety when transmitting conventional electrical energy to your loads and ensures compliance with the grid connection requirements.
Stand-Alone: Places that are too distant for electrical utilities use stand alone systems to generate electricity from renewable energy sources. These units are also known as off-grid systems. The balance-of-system equipment includes batteries and charge controller apart from the standard safety and power condition equipment and meters.
Choose the Right Technology
Choosing the right renewable technology for your home requires understanding the workings of that technology as well as considering the availability of the energy resource, the cost of setting up the unit, its location, its size, the regulations pertaining to it and its maintenance and installation.
Some of the most popular renewable energy options are given below:
Solar Electric System: A small PV or solar panel system can generate clean and sustainable energy for your home or office. Solar power systems are also very effective in providing electricity to remote locations that cannot be reached by conventional utility suppliers.
Wind Electricity Systems: Installing small wind energy systems is a very effective and cost-reducing way to produce electricity. In remote locations, wind farms equipped with wind towers are set up, that produce energy for pumping water and operating machinery.
Micro-hydro-power systems: Harnessing the energy of the water, microhydropower systems can produce as much as a 100 KW of electricity, that is ten times more than is required to power up a large house or a small resort.
Hybrid Solar-Wind Electric Systems: By combining the components of both solar energy systems and wind energy systems, hybrid systems can ensure a constant energy supply at different hours of the day. As wind peaks during the night and solar energy can be harvested during the day, a hybrid system can generate electricity whenever it is needed.