Business

Homeowners cash in on solar power

Federal Way resident and business owner Jim Davis installed 10 solar panels on his own roof. He now owns and operates Pacific NW Solar Inc., a business that teaches individuals how to do exactly what he did. - Jacinda Howard/The Mirror
Federal Way resident and business owner Jim Davis installed 10 solar panels on his own roof. He now owns and operates Pacific NW Solar Inc., a business that teaches individuals how to do exactly what he did.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard/The Mirror

Ever since the dawn of civilizations, mankind has worshipped the sun, mostly with religious connotations as the giver of life and light.

Today, we can take advantage of the sun by converting its power into electrical energy to light, heat and cool our homes. When we produce solar energy, we displace the use of fossil fuels that can cripple our economy and leave our country vulnerable to foreign entities.

Because we rely so much on fossil fuels, there never has been a better time for the average homeowner to make the conversion of there home into a solar house. A solar house is any house that makes good use of the suns energy through the use of active and passive solar and gains more energy than it uses. But, most homeowners don’t really understand the specifics of active or passive solar; what they want is solar power that can reduce or eliminate that ever increasing monthly electric bill that shows up in their mailbox.

One of the best ways to tackle the monster electric bill is by implementing the use Photovoltaic Solar; this involves purchasing solar panels that are installed on your roof that feed DC (Direct Current) electricity into an inverter which magically exits the inverter as AC (Alternating Current) electricity. The AC electrical current is then fed into the homes circuit breaker box to power all the electrical items that we use to power our homes. The process that uses solar panels to feed electricity into our circuit breaker box is known as “Grid-Tie.” If you install enough solar panels on your roof, you can eliminate your monthly electric bill. If that’s not enough, add more panels and your utility company will be paying you.

Most people that live in the Puget Sound area believe that Photovoltaic Solar isn’t feasible due to the number of cloudy days. Nothing could be further from the truth. With the advent of the Hybrid Amorphous/Monocrystalline Solar Panel, electrical energy is produced during cloudy conditions. This is why Germany, which has a similar climate to ours, has become the second largest solar electric producing country in the world.

Another reason people hesitate to go solar is they believe the cost is prohibitive. Again, not true. The cost of a 2-kilowatt system, and this is a potent system, can cost as little as a 4- to 5-year-old used car.

In 1931, not long before he died, Thomas Edison told his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone: “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle it.”

Jim Davis is a sales manager with Pacific NW Solar Inc. Contact: jdavis@pacificnwsolar.com or (253) 632-0447.

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