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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Solar power

for Solar power

Certainly, installing solar panels in your home or business today is a cost-effective decision. This is attributed not only to potential savings of up to 50% in energy consumption but also to the low maintenance required and the long lifespan of the installation, making it a solid and profitable long-term investment.

Approximately 6 to 7 500W solar panels are required to achieve the necessary energy output to cover the average consumption of a household. It’s important to note that this is an approximate value, as the efficiency of a photovoltaic system depends on various factors that need consideration for its operation.

Solar panels can operate even when they don’t receive direct sunlight, as is the case on cloudy days. This is because, even if the sun is obscured by clouds, some of its radiation reaches the Earth’s surface and can be harnessed by the solar panels.

The average payback period for photovoltaic solar panels ranges between 7 and 8 years. However, these figures can be reduced by considering other factors in your installation, such as the lifespan of the solar panels.

Typically, photovoltaic solar installations have a guaranteed energy production for 25 to 30 years. Most solar panels continue producing electricity beyond this period, with the initial 25 or 30 years considered the lifespan of a solar panel.

Before proceeding with the installation of solar energy in your home or business, it’s crucial to consider the following requirements:

  • > Identify current energy consumption.
  • > Validate the location, ensuring that solar panels receive optimal sun exposure without obstructions like trees or objects causing shadows.
  • > Have suitable roofs that meet the specifications and regulations required for such installations.
  • > Select the most suitable installation type for your needs and specific conditions.
  • > Commit to regular maintenance of the photovoltaic system to ensure optimal performance over time.
  • > If the installation is in an urban environment, your advisor should guide you on the current regulatory regulations in your country. This allows you to validate the type of installation you wish to implement for maximum benefits.

Self-installation poses the risk of placing panel lines at incorrect distances, leading to potential shading issues and a notable reduction in solar panel power.

Frequently Asked Questions for Solar power

for Solar vehicle re-charge

It’s essential to have your charger installation performed by an authorized installer. Only through this can you obtain the installation certificate and the corresponding warranty.

In Latin America and the United States, electric vehicles can be charged using different voltage levels:

  • > Home charging: Typically utilizing a standard voltage of 120 volts in the United States and 220 volts in most Latin American countries. This charging option is slower but convenient for overnight charging at home.
  • > Level 2 charging: Requires voltages of 240 volts in the United States and 220 volts in Latin America. This charging option is faster than home charging and is commonly found at public charging stations and some homes with special installations.
  • > Fast or Level 3 charging: Utilizes voltages of 480 volts or more. This is the fastest charging option, available at high-power charging stations in urban areas and some service stations. It’s crucial to verify the charging specifications of the electric vehicle and the charger used to ensure the correct voltage is supplied.

The energy consumption of a vehicular electric charger can vary depending on various factors, including the charger’s power, the vehicle battery capacity, and the current state of the battery charge. Chargers typically have a rated power expressed in kilowatts (kW). To calculate energy consumption, you can use the formula: Energy consumption (in kilowatt-hours, kWh) = Charger power (in kilowatts, kW) × Charging time (in hours). It’s important to note that this is just an example, and actual consumption may vary based on specific charging conditions.

The average consumption of an electric car varies by model and driving conditions. For example, city EVs often have lower consumption than those on the highway. Urban environments allow electric cars to maximize energy regeneration during braking and stops, enhancing efficiency. Lower speeds and smooth accelerations in the city contribute to lower electrical consumption compared to high-speed highway driving, where air resistance can have a more or less significant impact, depending on the vehicle’s aerodynamics. However, an average consumption can be estimated between 15 and 30 kWh per 100 kilometers.

It can take as little as 30 minutes or less to charge a typical electric car (60kWh battery) at a 150kW rapid charging station from empty-to-full. If you use a 7kW public charger, you can expect to achieve the same in under 8 hours and around 3 hours using a 22 kW chargepoint.

Yes, charging an electric vehicle at home will increase your energy consumption, as you are using electricity to charge the vehicle’s battery. However, the increase in energy consumption will depend on various factors, such as charger efficiency, vehicle battery capacity, the frequency, and duration of charging, among others. It’s worth considering that charging an electric vehicle typically consumes less energy than fossil fuels in an internal combustion engine vehicle. Most homes can accommodate the increased energy consumption associated with electric vehicle charging, especially if done overnight when energy demand is lower.

For Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, the most common connector types for charging electric vehicles include:

  • > Type 1 Connector (J1772): A common standard in North America used for both level 1 and level 2 chargers. It is compatible with most electric vehicles sold in the region.
  • > Type 2 Connector (Mennekes): Although more common in Europe, the Type 2 connector is also found at some charging stations in Latin America and the United States, especially in public places and certain electric vehicle brands.
  • > Combo CCS Connector (Combo Charging System): This standard combines a Type 2 connector for AC charging and two additional pins for fast DC charging. It is gaining popularity in North America and some parts of Latin America, especially at fast-charging stations.
  • > Tesla Connector: Tesla vehicles use a proprietary connector different from the aforementioned standards. However, Tesla provides adapters so that Tesla vehicle owners can charge at public charging stations with different connectors.

If using an EV, which gets an average of 3 to 4 miles per kWh (let’s use 3 in this case), you will use about 375 kWh a month. Using the U.S. household average of about 16 cents per kWh, charging an electric car at home would cost nearly $60 per month.

Going electric means you get to skip pricey trips to the pump, which is one of the biggest draws for making the switch. A 2018 study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that the average cost to fuel an electric car was $485 a year, compared to $1,117 for a gas-powered vehicle.

15 to 20 years. Today, most EV batteries have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years within the car – and a second life beyond. It’s also worth noting that EV battery technology is still evolving, so as tech develops we expect batteries’ lifespan to increase – as well as becoming cheaper, smaller and even lighter.

You can charge your electric car using standard 120 volt(V) home outlets (Level 1), 208-240V outlets like those used by your dryer (Level 2), or dedicated 480V+ public fast chargers (DC Fast Charging). The time it takes to charge using each of these three options depends on your drive and the size of the battery.

The answer is a definite yes. Most of us are taught that water conducts electricity so it feels like an EV and rain wouldn’t mix. But the technology powering electric cars is specifically designed to protect the vehicle and drivers from any kind of electrical shock. EVs are safe to charge in all weather conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions for Solar power

for Energy Storage

For domestic purposes, energy storage in lithium-ion batteries is considered one of the most efficient. It’s drawback is that its efficiency lasts until the battery begins to degrade. 

For large-scale storage, hydroelctric pumping is considered the most efficient storage system in operation.

There are several types of energy storage:

> Batteries. There are various forms of batteries, including: lithium-ion, flow, lead acid, sodium, and others designed to meet specific power and duration requirements.

> Thermal. Thermal systems use heating and cooling methods to store and release energy.

> Mechanical Systems.

> Emerging Technologies.

Electricity can be stored in a variety of ways, including in batteries, by compressing air, by making hydrogen using electrolysers, or as heat. Storing hydrogen in solution-mined salt caverns will be the best way to meet the long-term storage need as it has the lowest cost per unit of energy storage capacity.

A home battery can add over $10,000 to the cost of a solar panel system, but there are several scenarios in which you can take advantage of energy storage, including: You can avoid the highest kWh prices on a time-of-use tariff, or when the price of electricity changes depending on the time of day. Additionally, energy storage adds value to the property where its located, making the investment worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions for Solar power

for Hurricane preparedness

Storms, accompanied by heavy wind and lightning, are major causes of power outages. However, people and animals can also cause the power to go out.

For example, most outages during hurricane season are caused by equipment damaged by storm surge. It only takes crews 2 to 3 hours to repair downed wires, but when storms are bigger, you can be without power for days and sometimes weeks.

Many people think it is a myth that you need to unplug your home appliances during a storm, but that actually isn’t the case. In fact, there is no better way of protecting your home appliances than unplugging them from the wall socket.

Small, portable solar, gasoline, or diesel-powered electrical generators can be used to provide electricity. These should only be operated outdoors and can be temporarily connected by properly sized extension cords to limited electrical equipment in the home, such as refrigerators, freezers, or heaters.

The two common power sources available immediately after a huricane are gasoline and the sun. Demand for gasoline is usually highest before the hurricane, therefore gasoline is scarce and expensive immediately after the storm. The sun is always available and the sky is usually clear after a storm, making solar energy the most available power source after a huricane.

The size of a backup power generator needed to power a house depends on your power needs. Some homes may require more power usage and appliances during a power outage, while others may only need a few running. A generator that can provide between 5,000 and 8,000 watts would be enough to power a typical house.

Frequently Asked Questions for Solar power

for Lighting

Yes, solar lighting systems use batteries to store the electricity generated by solar panels so that the lighting system can operate at night or during periods of low sunlight, and to help ensure consistent operation. Without the batteries, the solar system wouldn’t be able to function at night.

Solar LED lights needs sunlight to work but they do not necessarily need direct sunlight. In fact, these lights can still get charged and work on cloudy days or in areas with partial shade. The solar panel will still collect energy from the sun even if it is not exposed directly.

Most solar lights run between 6 and10 hours on a full battery charge. This is purposefully designed so that lights can run all night after a day of average sunlight.

Solar street lights are designed with waterproof features and equipped with battery storage systems. During the design phase, considerations are made to ensure functionality in certain rainy conditions. Therefore, solar street lights can operate normally during rainy days.

If the battery is empty, solar lights typically take between 4 and 10 hours of sunlight to fully charge. If they are placed in an area with full exposure, lights installed in the morning will most likely work that night.

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