An Approach to Alternative Energy Solutions for the Home By Robert Rasmussen An Engineering Project Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic.

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An Approach to Alternative Energy Solutions for the Home By Robert Rasmussen An Engineering Project Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the degree of MASTER OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

What will this Project Accomplish?  Look into an alternative way to power a given home in South East Connecticut  Understand the science behind photovoltaics  Perform and analysis on a home based on actual data  Determine best energy approach to given home

What is the best energy?  Photovoltaics (PV) are known as solar panels and are currently used to power many homes in the world  Easy to set up  Small carbon footprint  Greatly offset the cost of electricity

What are photovoltaics?  Uses sun light on a semiconductive material to create a current as shown

Home Under Analysis  This home is a 2 story colonial with a detached garage located in South East Connecticut

Home Under Analysis  Has a total of 70 m 2 of roof area to install PVs  Is facing 70˚ from due South  Solar Insolation Levels Average are 3.41kW/m 2

Calculations  Equation shown determines the size in kW of the solar panel system that can be installed.  This equation is used in this analysis

Results  Home uses 771 kWh per month on average

Results  Based on sizing constraints, 40% of the electrical bill can be offset with the use of solar panels  This equates to a start up cost of roughly \$26,850.00  Break even point will be in approximately 17 years

Results

Results  As shown on picture previous, different percentage offsets have different break even points  Solar Panels have an average life span of 25 years  Not all options are cost effective

Conclusion  Solar energy, no matter how popular may not be the best alternative for home use  Different people have different needs  What are you willing to pay?

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