North Carolina Energy Partners


Solar Energy

Harnessing the power of the Sun

The future is here today!

  1. 1.Thermal Solar, also known as solar water heating, is used most often for heating swimming pools, heating water used in homes, and space heating (radiant) for buildings.  This is the most efficient, cost effective and popular way to harness the sun’s power.  With tax credits*, the systems can generally pay for themselves in five to seven years, and then perform for another 20 to 25 years with minimum maintenance. 

Two basic techniques:

    Drain Back Systems. State-of-the-art, fail-safe freeze protected with thermal limiting (active, indirect):
Collector water is separate from potable water and the collector water drains into a special tank to prevent freezing and overheating concerns once potable water reaches the proper temperature or if no sunlight (heat) is available.

    Glycol Systems: Indirect Heating, Differential or Photovoltaic (PV) Controlled Antifreeze Protection (active, indirect): Collector water is separate from potable water and contains non-toxic anti-freeze material.

  1. 2.Photovoltaic or PV (pronounced: foh-toh-vol-tay-ik) is a relatively new technology. It is the conversion of sunlight to electricity.  It is direct, so that bulky mechanical generator systems are unnecessary.
    Photovoltaic Systems, “PV” or solar electric is the new kid in town.  The first photovoltaic effect was discovered by Edmund Becquerel, a 19-year old French experimental physicist in 1839. Albert Einstein received a Nobel Prize in 1923 for explaining the photovoltaic effect. Unlike a solar hot water system, which is essentially a plumbing device, PV uses semi-conductors and sunlight to make electricity. The more solar modules a PV system or array has, the more electricity will be generated. DC electricity can be “inverted” into alternating current (AC), so it can be useable power for a home or business, which can off-set or even eliminate the electric bill.

Some advantages of photovoltaic systems are:

  1. Bullet PV arrays can be installed quickly and in any size required or allowed.         

  2. BulletThe environmental impact is minimal, requiring no water for system cooling and generating no by-products.

  1. 3.Pool Solar: Whether you use your pool for recreation, relaxation, or for your health, a warm pool adds to your comfort.  You can now enjoy a heated pool and swim longer by harvesting the bountiful solar energy.
    It also adds months to your swimming season, wherever you live.  Solar pool collectors are made out of different materials.. If you'll only be using your pool when temperatures are above freezing, then you'll probably only need an unglazed collector system.

  1. 4.Passive Solar systems are self-sufficient buildings which rely on natural principles instead of mechanical systems to provide a non-polluting source of heating and cooling.
    Used by the Greeks in 2 BC, who designed entire cities with south facing east-west orientation to take advantage of the Sun’s changing patterns in the sky Primarily focused on design, a southern exposure on the east-west axis, concrete floors, strategic plantings, properly sized and placed windows,thermal mass and overhang lengths for roofs are important to functionality.  Most Southern facing homes can garner some of the benefits of passive solar energy.
Solar power is by far the Earth's most available energy source, easily capable of providing many times the total current energy demand of the Earth.

Energy from the sun can be used in many ways. Light is the most common way we take advantage of solar energy to light buildings via windows and skylights. Heat or thermal, such as passive solar room heating, solar hot water and pool heating are other applications of solar “thermal” energy. Used by man for hundreds or maybe thousands of years, the energy from the sun remains constant and predictable.  Photovoltaic or “PV” (also sometimes called “solar electric”) harnesses solar energy by directly converting sunlight into electricity. Thermal solar pertains to the heating of water and heating devices that are heated by water.  NCEP offers various levels of detail to help clarify the basics of these systems and how they may be deployed to meet the energy needs of your home or business. In all applications, the panels or collectors need to be installed to face as close as possible to true South.  PV is more sensitive to shade than water heating applications.


North Carolina Energy Partners utilizes the finest solar engineers and installers in the State.  They average over 20 years of experience in engineering, designing and installing solar applications.  Read on and give us a call with specific
questions or to schedule a visit to your site.  Almost everyone can benefit from the energy of the Sun!  Call or email today to hear how you can tap the power of the sun.

There are four basic types of solar energy applications that businesses and homeowners utilize in North Carolina:

As you can see below, solar panels and collectors can be attached to almost any type of roof surface:

*North Carolina Energy Partners is not in the business of dispensing tax advice.

Please consult your tax professional for specific advice before proceeding.

Your energy savings start with an assessment – Call today  336-402-4118


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