Alternative Energy Sources For Your Home
The installation of alternative energy sources in and around your home carries the obvious benefit of allowing you to generate your own power, and hence reduce your energy bills from national suppliers, but also allows you to benefit from the government's feed-in tariffs, wherein you are paid for the electricity you generate, but don't use.
Solar panels are typically installed on the roof of your property, but can also be freestanding. When roof-mounting, you can choose to have panels installed over your existing roof, or install solar tiles, which replace the existing tilework. Whilst solar panels work best in sunny weather, they still remain operational in cloudy conditions.
Given sufficient garden ground, you could consider installation of one or more wind turbines, or install small turbines on the roof of your house. It's estimated that the UK receives around 40 percent of the wind energy blowing over Europe, making it ideal for the installation of domestic turbines.
The Scots have made an industry of hydro-electric power, with around 10% of the country's power provided by hydro-electric schemes. A number of these are pumped storage installations; during high demand, water is released from a high-level reservoir to generate power, and in low demand periods, the same water is pumped back up to the reservoir, ready for later release when high demand returns.
Few home owners will find themselves in the position to create a dam with built-in turbines and pumps, but for those lucky enough to find their home beside a free-flowing river, there may be scope for a waterwheel installation.
In addition to generating your own electricity, there are techniques you can use for directly generating heat for your home, rather than generating electricity to power a heat generator;
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Below the surface, the temperature of the ground around your home remains fairly constant, so the installation of a ground loop, circulating a water/anti-freeze mixture around a network of pipes, can draw heat from the ground to warm your house. Longer loops will draw more heat, but will require more garden space in order to operate.
The heat from the sun can be used to warm domestic water directly, rather than using solar panels to generate electricity, then heating the water with that electricity. These generally use some form of pipework array within the panels, and tend to be far less effective in winter.
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Make use of solar power in your home to save money, as explained in more articles by Keith Barrett. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.