Solar Energy in Vermont
We Make Solar Simple
We are often amazed as to why some people want to make solar seem so technical and hard to understand. The basics, whether it be photovoltaic (electricity) or hot water, can be clear and straight forward when proper planning is conducted. We don't dwell on how you will help save the planet because to us, and we think you, green is the color of money.
At the Home Comfort Warehouse, we follow a three step approach to ensure your money will be well spent:
Importantly, these three steps are conducted before you open your wallet.
Now's a great time to invest in "Three C's" of energy - clean, comfortable and convenient
If you consider the financial incentives available to invest in solar energy and the annual increases we all see from the electric utility, propane or home heating oil supplier, you don't just have to be a green person to understand solar is one of those rare purchases you make in your lifetime that pays for itself over time. Solar simply represents good value. See www.dsireusa.org for the latest in state and federal purchase incentives. Contact your electric utility and ask what is their "feed back" rate. Most utilities in our area will credit you for surplus electricity fed back to them at a higher rate than what you buy it for. Some towns in New Hampshire provide property tax relief.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems use a series of cells, normally made from crystalline silicon, that produce a small direct current (DC) when exposed to sunlight. These cells are combined to form a module, or panel, and when numerous modules are configured together into an "array," the system can generate an appreciable amount of electricity with no moving parts, noise or emissions. Clean, comfortable, convenient. A PV system tied to your local utility's grid requires the use of an inverter that converts the DC power to AC power. AC is what your appliances use as well as the utility. A visit to our Vermont store is the best way to understand how a grid tied PV system works since we are one of few retailers in New England that actually have a working 2.5 kWh system. Here you can actually view how the system is installed, wired and operating. Our inverter is connected to our computer and through a series of bar graphs easily reveals exactly how much power we are generating by the year, month, day and hour.
Since our geographic area experiences freezing conditions, we only deal with a "closed-loop" system which is most popular and versatile. This system consists of collector panels usually mounted on the roof, a circulating pump, expansion tank, a hot water storage tank with built in heat exchanger, a solution of water and nontoxic propylene-glycol antifreeze, insulated piping, expansion tank and a controller.
The piping loops from the collector panels to the heat exchangers and back again hence "closed loop." The pipes are filled with the solution and are insulated to keep the temperature of the solution hot as it travels outside. When the sun shines on the collectors it heats the solution. The circulating pump comes on and the hot solution begins to flow through the loop. It enters the storage tank where its heat is transferred to the water awaiting your consumption. On cloudy days, the water will travel to either your existing hot water tank to be heated more fully or to an instant hot water heater.
In our showroom, we have a full size collector and pump on display. We also have a model detailing the piping.
Home Comfort Warehouse is a financially sound business in the alternative energy industry since 1997. We are in a unique position to show our customers the real product, not just a brochure, because of our 6,000 sq. ft. showroom in Vermont. Here you can see a working PV system and full size modules of both PV and solar hot water. This can help you visualize the system's aesthetic appearance on your home.
We are fully insured and employ 6 full time factory trained employees. We have under contract an individual with over 25 years solar experience. He serves as an advisor for large projects. Home Comfort Warehouse is a member of "United Buyers Group" - a 140 retail member buying group that has negotiated favorable pricing with the solar equipment manufactures listed below. We purchase directly from these manufacturers, bypassing the distributor so common in this industry. This purchasing power results in us being able to offer you very competitive quotes.
Sign up for an on-site evaluation in Vermont or New Hampshire
NESEA- Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
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