Solar Power Systems

Alternative Energy Systems for Your Home

by Joe Cooper

Solar panels and shingles are not the only route to creating a green home.  Other systems such as hydro and wind systems offer energy and cost savings as well, and many of them are smaller and easier to install.

Harnessing the Sun through Solar Generators
Solar panels are not just available for rooftops, but can also be installed on poles that maximize their position to receive sunlight as well. Small-scale electrical systems, such as road signs, in remote locations often use pole-mounted solar panels,
Homeowners can also use these types of solar panels, which connect directly to the home's power source. They are typically much more affordable than solar panels or shingles, and can be installed strategically on your property to increase energy efficiency and blend naturally with your home and its landscaping.
These systems are traditionally made from corrosion-resistant material and can withstand harsh weather, just like roof-mounted solar panels or shingles.

Put the Air to Work: Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are not just for show on hilltops--they also come in smaller sizes for residences and small businesses. They convert wind energy to utility power and can connect directly to your circuit breaker.
Wind turbines usually cost around the same as solar panels, at around $30,000, depending on the size and the electrical output. However, be sure to check with your local city government before installing a wind turbine system to adhere to local zoning laws and codes.

Hydroelectrics and Your Home
A hydroelectric generator is another alternative to solar energy. These generators function like batteries, and when it rains out, can be productive enough to power an entire household.
Other hydroelectric generators function like AC power systems, converting power to more typically usable forms. With installation, many hydroelectric power systems cost around $10,000 for a medium-sized home.

Alternative Improvements Come Protected
Just roof-mounted like solar panels or shingles, these alternative energy systems usually come with 20-25 year warranties, which last nearly as long as the life of the systems themselves. You can rest easy knowing you are taking advantage of natural energy, and knowing your investment is protected while you experience energy savings as soon as the system is installed.

American Wind Energy Association
Green Living Ideas
Utility Free
The Home Know-It-All

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes home services and design articles and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American literature from UCLA.

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