Can I have a 100% fully solar power home without making any compromises on energy usage?

If I build a house or convert an existing house, even if i have to fill the whole roof with solar panels, is this possible? I mean, heating, hot water, TV, appliances, Washer, Dryer, PC and all the electricity I need, even floor heating, absolutely zero compromises and zero usage of any other source but solar panels, even if I want to put floor heating in the whole house, is this possibly or is it just me dreaming?

20 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In theory, yes - on a clear day we get around 1000W per square metre in the UK so a large enough array of solar panels for both electricity and heat, plus a massive storage battery system, could run a house.

    In practise, the cost would be astronomical as you have to guarantee sufficient storage capacity to run the house for days at a time during bad weather, and have enough generation capacity to recharge the system quickly as well as running everything.

    Most energy efficient buildings use mains electricity and use the grid as the 'storage' system; you are paid for power you produce when there is excess, which offsets the cost of electricity when your (small) storage system is depleted.

    Re. the underfloor heating: The best system is an integrated air conditioning/heating system using a reversible heat pump setup with an underground 'heatsink'. You dump excess heat several metres underground from the air conditioning, then pull it back for heating.

    You get roughly 3KW of heat transfer for 1KW of power to the heat pump.

  • Amy
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    You would need a couple of types of solar. Solar water heating is an efficient way to make hot water directly from the sun, rather than making electricity and using that for heat. With enough storage, you can store the heat in a large tank and use that heat in your radiant floors even on cloudy days and night time.

    Then you can use solar panels to charge batteries to power the rest of the appliances that run on electricity day and night.

    Don't get me wrong, while it is possible, it will be very expensive to do it without cutting back on your usage. Generally people who go off grid, they cut back their usage to make it more cost effective.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    There is a step-by-step video guide online right now that can show you how to reduce your power bill by making your own solar panels.

    Take a look at it:

    Why pay thousands of dollars for solar energy ($27,000 average cost) when you can build your own solar panel system for just a fraction of the retail cost. You can build a single solar panel or you can build an entire array of panels to power your whole house.

    Some people are saving 50% on their power bill, some people are reducing their bill to nothing. But what’s most impressive is that just by following these instructions some are even making the power company pay them!

  • GABY
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Of course, if you are on the grid so it can give you the 24/7 power you must have. You simply look at your total KWH usage over a year, then install a system that will collect that much power during the sunny times. The system will be very expensive, especially if you live where you have a lot of cloudy/rainy/snowy days, but it can be done as long as you have enough area for the panels.

    For example, here in my town the sun shines like almost every day, and we hardly have a real winter, so it is probably one of the cheapest areas to do this. A system for my 2000 sq. ft. home to cover 100% of my usage will cost about $40,000-$50,000, depending on type and area of roof and mounting requirements. If I make a lot of money and pay a lot of taxes, I can get $10,000 or more in tax credits (That is I get to use some of your hard-earned your money to pay for my system????), and my electric company will also give me some rebate. My total electric costs for a year is about $2600. As you can see it will never pay for itself because the equipment will need replacing long before I get my money back not even counting for any cost of interest on my money, but if you are wealthy you can do it for the good of the earth. Of course if you live in an area where the days are not always sunshiny, then the cost will go up because the system must be larger as the days /hours of sun are increased. Cost also may go up if a very cold area.

    You need to be on the grid because in most areas the electric company will "Buy Back" or "Credit" you with all the power you produce over what you need during sunny times. This offsets all the time you are using power from the grid. Nights and cloudy days. Don't even consider an "Off-Grid" system with batteries for storage because the system must be even larger and more costly, or you must be willing to not have AC or Heat on it.

    Source(s): Engineer 40 years. Love Solar energy, but hate Solar Salesmen and others that lie about the real cost of solar power. Just go to your electric companay's web site. Many, if not most, have info on rebates, tax credits, cost, etc. Ours even has solar system calculators to help size your system and estimate costs.
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  • Rover
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    I have PV panels and I don't get 100% but if on a reasonably sunny day you plan your appliances usage you can maximise the savings i.e, Dishwasher, followed by washing machine and then dryer etc, etc, the savings are very significant. If you face south, west or east go for it, even if your borrow the money say at 7% your return will be at least 12% tax free.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Even the most energy-efficient homes would have to have extra solar panels that are off of the roof. That's possible if you've got a fair amount of space to work with.

    If you scale back on your energy usage, then it starts becoming possible.

  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I would think that you would have to have a huge house and not use a large part of it. I would put a bunch of panels in your yard. That will kill two birds with one stone. Your kids can invite the neighbor kids over an play hide and seek in your yard. Lets just hope that they don't run into the panels with their ATV or bicycles or something. That might electrocute them depending on how the panels are wired up.

  • 9 years ago

    No, you cannot.

    There are people in the US who do this, and go completely off the electrical grid.

    But they have to buy special refrigerators and washing machines. They can't use a dryer, and rarely use a TV or computer.

    And they don't heat their home with electricity.

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    5 years ago

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    5 years ago

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