Solar Energy

By: Josie Bono and Rachel Stout

GO SOLAR AND SAVE THE POLAR!

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How it works

  • The sun shines on the solar panels, generating “DC” (Direct Current) electricity.

  • The electricity is fed into a solar inverter that converts into “AC” (Alternating Current) electricity.

  • The AC electricity is used to power appliances in your home.

  • Any power not required by your home goes into your home’s switchboard into the main power grid for others to use.

Cost

  • average cost of solar panels in South Dakota is $38,428
  • National average is $17,056
  • installed cost of solar panels is between $7-$9 per watt
  • A 5kW system would cost around $25,000-$35,000

Materials Required

  • Solar Panels
  • Sun
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Maintenance

  • little maintenance because there are no moving parts
  • should be inspected for dirt and debris a few times a year
  • use a regular garden hose to clean
  • avoid cold water to prevent cracking

Longevity

  • new solar panels expected to have 40-50 year lifespans and warranties to protect them
  • output shouldn't be less than 80% of rated power after 25 years
  • most companies offer 25 year warranties on solar panels

Uses

  • Ventilation
  • Heat/Power home
  • Indoor/Outdoor lighting
  • battery charging
  • cooking

Cons

  • expensive
  • energy storage is expensive
  • associated with pollution
  • exotic materials
  • requires space
  • intermittent
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