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Subject Solar energy systems to supplement my conventional energy?
Author Sascha
Please forgive my lack of knowledge about solar energy, but I do have a que=

I have been reading information on the sales of equipment but not seeing a =
lot on different applications. My question is, are there systems on the ma=
rket that will supplement my conventional energy rather than installing a t=
otal energy package. In particular running my hot water heater, well pump a=
nd maybe some outside lights and receptacles from one central source area?=

Sam Smith
Fayetteville, NC

Hi Sam,
There's several different possibilities in fact.

For Electricity:
You can purchase a small grid tie solar system which takes the power you produce from a solar panel array and pumps it back into the grid. This will in effect make your electrical meter go backwards when you are producing more energy than you are consuming. You start of with system like this at a price of around $4000 to $5000. You can more panels on later or add on another system as your budget, time and interest permits.

For Air Heating:
A exciting new (new to us here at the Alt E Store) is the SolarWall air heating system. This mounts on to the side of your home or the roof, heats up fresh outdoor air and pumps it in the home. It has received very strong recommendations from the US DOE for its efficiency and low cost. It has a typcial payback period of 3-6 years.

This system is to be used in conjunction with your existing air heating system. This system will blow warm air in through it's own vents, blowing down into a room or through a wall. If it can't heat the room up all the way, that's where your home's normal heating system does the rest of the work. So this solar air heating system heavily offsets your need to run your traditional heating system.

Solar Water Heating:
Our Heliodyne hot water heating system performs in a similar way to the air heating system in that it works in conjunction with the existing heating system. It also has a payback period of 3-6 years, which is great if you look at it in a purely investment terms. This system goes on your roof, cycles a heated liquid down to a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is mounted right on top of your hot water heater and transfers the heat to the water. You can see these systems by going to:

Water Pumping:
We have many different solar water pumps. The advantage to almost all of our pumps is that they tend to be much more efficient than AC pumps. Thus they don't require as many solar panels or the extra expense of an inverter. You can see all of the solar water pumps we offer by going to:

If you're looking to create an independent solar powered system - one that is not connected to the electric utility grid - we can also help put a quote together for you. The first thing you'd need to do is to determine the number of watt-hours you'll be consuming on an average day. We go over all this and how to size the solar panels and your battery bank at our Alt-E University:

Once you know the load we can help you out. Of course, it's even better for us (less work for us!) if you can tell us how many watts of solar panels you want, how large of an inverter, etc. Then we just put together a quote for you.

Hope that helps!

kind regards,

'Making Renewable Energy Affordable'(tm)
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