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Solar Panels in the City

Posted by Mr Solar on 20th Oct 2014

When you think of someone who has the space and the house for solar panels do you imagine them living somewhere in the country, with open land surrounding them? Do you think that solar panels have to take up a large amount of space, and because of this aren’t meant for people living in a more cramped environment? Do you fear that since you’re not out in the open there might be too much stopping sunlight from reaching solar panels? A city is a crowded, busy place. But it can also be a wonderful place to start your journey of using solar energy. So no, living here doesn’t mean you can’t do your part towards helping the environment.

Small Steps are Still Good Steps if they’re in the Right Direction

Maybe you only have a small amount of space. Say for instance that you do have roof space, but not enough to install the amount of solar panels that it would take for them to be your primary source of energy. Then consider just installing however many you can – you will still be paying less for electrical bills.

Of course, this information is probably only helpful to those who live in a small single family home in the city. What if you live in a building with others? How do you use solar energy then? Is it even possible to install solar panels if this is your living situation? And more importantly, is it worth the time and effort?

Apartment Living

If you live in a high-rise apartment building, you’ve probably given up hope. You don’t have a roof to put solar panels on. And you certainly don’t have a yard – not even a small one. So how can you possibly use solar panels?

Well, there actually is a type of solar panel that may work for you. You can get a portable solar panel – or two, or three. Choose how large or small you want your panel to be: there is something for everyone. A power module is sold with this type of solar panel: this is what the panel will be plugged into. Then the module will need to be plugged into an electrical outlet in your apartment.

But how will the solar panel get any sun? If you have small deck off of your apartment then place it out there. You might even be able to place it inside if there is enough direct sunlight, or open a window and place it on the windowsill.

If you are on a budget and don’t care if your solar panel is that big – you may even be more comfortable starting with something small – you should know that you can buy one of these portable panels for just twenty dollars.

It won’t help save that much money in electricity – but it will be a step in the right direction, and that sometimes that is more important. The first step can lead to another, and then another and another. On the other hand, if you never start taking any steps – well, then you may never realize your dream. And if your dream is to live in a way that is more environmentally friendly, a solar panel (yes, even if it is just one small one at first) is a great start.

Challenges aren’t Unique to the City

Living in a city is definitely different from living in the country: and can pose more difficulties for using solar energy. Since you may not own much of the land around you, be prepared for some challenges. You can’t just make a change if something is making utilizing solar power difficult – the way you could if you owned more of the area around where you live. You may also find that the local laws and regulations are giving you more of a headache. Just make sure to research what you will need to know, so you are following all the rules. But then, you will need to do this no matter where you live.

The truth is that there are challenges to using solar panels in any area. Some city locations are perfect for them. Some more isolated areas just won’t work. But be sure to persevere and consider all of your options before you give up, because you’re doing this for a good cause – a very good cause.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/nyregion/solar-energy-slowly-grows-in-new-york-homes.html?_r=0

http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/how-to-go-solar-in-your-apartment/

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