Your company has decided to take the steps towards a greener future and reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. You have heard about investing in solar energy but aren’t exactly sure what it entails. The solar revolution is upon us and there has never been a better time than right now to invest in solar technology for your business. This blog will offer you the guidance you need and explore the benefits of how solar will not only help the environment, but your bottom line as well.
What is Solar?
Solar power is the conversion of energy from the sun into electricity using a photo-voltaic (PV) module, more commonly known as solar panels. Solar panels use sunlight as a source of energy and generate direct current electricity. Each panel consists of individual solar cells consisting of semiconducting crystalline silicon. These cells are then connected electrically in series and then in parallel to increase amperage. Finally they are connected to a junction box as its output interface to transfer the energy on to supplement your energy source.
A bright idea
The average life-span of a 5 kW commercial solar power system is 25 years. Considering the cost of wholesale energy is likely to rise in the coming years as demand for electricity is steadily increasing, your company can save a lot of money in the long-term by investing now. Most solar power systems will see a return on your investment within 3 to 5 years. If your business is dependent on the energy grid, you’re paying for every kilowatt that you consume. Generate your own energy via solar, and every kilowatt you generate is money saved on your energy bill.
Solar technology has come a long way within the past decade. For the longest time, a solar investment did not make financial sense for the average company. However, recent advancements in solar technology have made it more cost effective. The price of solar modules has dropped almost 90% within the past 10 years as the technology has become much more efficient. This innovation has paved the way for business large or small to consider the investment in solar technology. UrbanVolt’s Solar as a Service makes it financially viable for all businesses to install solar, as our service includes capital investment. Supply, installation and maintenance are also included – your only commitment is to consume the power generated by your new solar installation.
There are many financial benefits to investing in solar energy for your business. The most obvious financial benefit is that it will lower your utility bills. Any power you produce through your solar panels is power that you don’t have to purchase from the utility provider, thus saving you money. Because solar panels have a long life expectancy, you will be saving money on power for the next 25 years. When your system is producing more power than you’re using, that power is sent back into the grid in exchange for an energy credit. Your national and local governments may already offer solar tax incentives, and these will only become more favourable in the future. These financial incentives might not have existed a few years ago, but governments are responding to increasing public pressure regarding climate action legislation.
A greener future
Solar power helps to ensure a cleaner and more sustainable future for the world around you, as well as your company. Solar energy will directly reduce your company’s greenhouse gas emissions. Solar also uses no water and reduces air pollution around your company’s site. Traditional electricity production can use thousands of litres of water each year as it is used to cool generators, process and refine fuel as well as transporting fuel through piping. With regards to air pollution, electricity generated from solar power produces no harmful emissions. The more homes and businesses that avail of solar power means less toxic emissions from fossil fuels into the air.
You might think solar panels will only work when it is hot and sunny and that your local climate will deter you from this investment. While it is true that solar panels will be most efficient when it is sunny, your system can also produce energy using shadows. On a cloudy day, your panels will still produce somewhere around 10-30% of what it would on a sunny day. While some may assume the hotter the temperature, the more potential to produce solar energy, your system will actually work better on cooler days. As the panels’ temperature increases, the voltage output decreases. Even still, the benefits of solar will outweigh potentially bad weather conditions. If the system is sized correctly, the power you put on the grid will offset the amount you take off when the panels are not in use.
So where should you put your solar panels? Depending on your company’s goals and infrastructure, you can install solar on your rooftop, on the ground around your property, or as a carport. Each system has its own benefits and one may work better than others depending on the makeup of your company site. Rooftop solar is an excellent option for smaller properties that don’t have land to spare for a ground mount system. Since roof designs utilise space that usually goes unoccupied, there is no worry over losing active areas on your property.
Ground mounted systems have their advantages as well. If your company is on a large property site, there isn’t as much restriction as a rooftop system. Ground systems also offer future expansion that roof systems can’t if your site’s roof is covered. Ground mounts also benefit from having more airflow to cool the solar panels which leads to higher efficiency. Ground mounts also won’t require penetrations like a rooftop system would. However, ground mounts will require extra landscaping compared to a rooftop array.
Choosing a carport system would also offer immense benefits to your company. A carport system acts as a vehicle shelter supported by posts, basically a covered roof for your vehicles. A solar-based carport system will help to reduce the costs of maintaining a car park. Depending on the design of the carport, it can channel rain and snow to certain areas reducing the cost of removal and maintenance. No extra space is needed as existing space is used as a cover over parked cars. By also providing shade during hotter months, this will prevent cars from overheating. Lastly, this carport can be used to charge your company’s electric vehicles.
Choosing the right system for your business will depend on your energy needs and property details. The potential of solar investment in 2021 is immense. If we could harness all of the sunlight shining on the earth for just one hour, we could use that energy to power the entire world for a whole year. On top of saving money, investing in this technology will add shareholder value to your company as more and more people are demanding companies take charge and fight back against carbon emissions. Revolutionise your business by investing in solar with UrbanVolt’s Solar as a Service.