The same energy that brightens your mornings and makes your summer vacations unforgettable can also heat your home, generate your electricity, heat your water, and dry your clothes. But most importantly, the use of solar energy can help preserve our environment for future generations. You can also benefit by having greatly reduced utility payments!

One way we can take advantage of the sun is by using its energy to generate electricity by installing a residential photovoltaic (PV) system. To convert sunlight into electricity the system consists of the following components:

  • •Solar panel modules placed.
  •  An “inverter” —converts the system’s direct electrical current to an alternating current that the house uses directly.

You might be thinking, what happens during the night or when it is overcast? When a home requires more electricity than the PV system is generating, the need is met by being connected to the electrical power grid or using a battery backup system, assuring that you’ll never run out of electricity.

What you should know about a PV system:

  • Solar panels can be installed on many different types of roofs.
  • The most important design criterion is to select the perfect position.
  •  If your roof doesn’t match the best possible way to receive sunlight, don’t worry, because the panels can be tilted.

• Are you planning on building a new home? Then it’s much easier, because your architect can design the house and site’s landscaping so your roof can receive the maximum sunlight according to your location.

If you’re worried about the cost of this technology, don’t be. The initial cost of setting up a PV system is compensated by financial incentives and tax breaks that are provided in some locations to help you pay for your system. Typically the payback for an average residential system is 4 to 6 years, after which the energy you are creating will be completely free! You will no longer be buying electricity and living off of the power of the sun.
So the question is… what are you waiting for?

Blog entry is a collaboration of Emilio Dominguez for Christopher Jeffrey Architects

Emilio Dominguez was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1979. After graduating from the University of Buenos Aires —School of Architecture, Design & Urbanism— he has been acquiring relevant experience working for the Buenos Aires Urban Planning Department and several architectural firms in Buenos Aires and New York, as well as working as Assistant Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. His practice has been marked by the search of sustainable design solutions, special interest he shares and develops working with Architect Christopher Jeffrey.

Christopher Jeffrey Architects (www.christopherjeffrey.com)