Solar Energy Initiatives Inc. is dedicated to reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels by selling thermal and photovoltaic (PV) technologies while building a profitable company. To this end, they are developing one of the fastest growing dealer networks in the U.S. to sell and install solar solutions to homeowners as well as commercial customers.
The company recognizes that energy from the sun can be used in different ways. Most obvious is the sun’s light, which is used everywhere, via windows, skylights, and solar tubes. But the sun’s thermal energy has been used for a long time for passive solar room heating, hot water and pool heating. And improving technology has now led to an increasing use of the sun’s energy to generate electricity, not only in large solar power plants, but at the individual home and business level.
It’s important to remember that the addition of PV or other solar technologies to a residential or commercial building is greatly enhanced by ensuring that energy efficiencies are already in place. Buildings (homes and businesses) consume two-thirds of all electricity generated in the U.S. Today, structures are being built with an eye on energy efficiency, using more advanced heating and cooling systems and appliances, better insulation, and superior windows and doors. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sets guidelines that many builders are embracing. Any reduction in building energy requirements helps reduce the size (and cost) of solar installations.
Although solar water heating systems have been around for years, photovoltaic (PV) systems are relatively new. PV systems use semiconductors and sunlight to generate electricity directly from the sun. The more solar modules being used, the more electricity will be generated. The direct current (DC) electricity generated by PV systems can be inverted to produce standard AC current for use in homes and businesses. Systems can be tied into the overall power grid, allowing any surplus electricity to be “sold” to the grid, reducing or even eliminating user electricity bills. Battery backup systems are available so that electricity generated when the system is on can be captured for use when the grid goes down.
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