If you have solar panels and are realising big savings on your utility bills, it does not mean you should use power indiscriminately. It is better to make a power use plan to ensure that you make better use of the free electricity your solar panels generate.
Why do you need a solar energy usage plan?
Your power consumption throughout the day varies. If the evenings are particularly dark or the days are overcast, your electricity demand may be more than what the panels can produce. Your system may import extra electricity from the national grid during this time. Therefore, the energy supplier will charge you for the additional electricity you consume.
A typical solar panel array in a residential building is about 3000 watts or three kilowatts. So, your solar panels produce 3000 watts of electricity while the sun shines during the day, especially if your panels are facing south, as solar panel installation Doncaster professionals advise. Solar panels facing south and tilted at the right angle receive most of the sunlight, producing the right amount of electricity. Still, the production could drastically go down when the day is cloudy.
One way to maximise solar energy usage is to know how much electricity your appliances use. For example, a low-energy light bulb uses 15 watts, while your refrigerator utilises 100 watts. A washing machine consumes about 2,500 watts, whereas a microwave uses 750 watts. A laptop uses more than a refrigerator, at 150 watts.
Production versus consumption
Assuming your solar panels generate 1000 watts steadily during the day, you already know that your refrigerator will use 100 watts. However, the consumption is not continuous because the appliance switches intermittently throughout the day. Therefore, you have 900 watts left, which your other appliances that run on lower power can share.
However, you would be unable to use your washing machine, so you need extra electricity from the grid. Thus, to make the most of your free electricity, combined with the electricity from the grid, you should run high-wattage appliances one at a time instead of running them simultaneously.
Out of the house during the day
In many households, most family members are out, while solar panels produce free electricity during the day. To make full use of the solar energy you produce, you can invest in delay-start timers to schedule when to run your washing machine or dishwasher. Likewise, think of using a slow cooker so your dinner will be ready when you get home instead of using the electric stove for cooking your evening meal when the electricity demand is higher. You will also find it very practical and economical to invest in battery storage.
But if you stay at home during the day, consider using your high-wattage appliances, such as your washing machine and dryer, or your dishwasher during the panel’s peak production house. You could also schedule your ironing during the day.
Now you know that you can make better use of your solar panels by using the most energy when the power generation is higher. Ensure that your panels are maintained and not partially covered by vegetation. Finally, if you have an electric vehicle, use your solar panels to charge it.