Monday, March 4, 2013

How to Add Solar Energy When Designing Your House Plan

solar energy and solar panel for Ghana

Ghana has experienced quite a bit of economic growth in recent years. This, in part, has transformed the country from a low-income to a lower middle-income socioeconomic status and enabled more people to build new homes. The 2000 Population and Housing Census reported a total of 3.7 dwellings in Ghana with an annual growth rate of 2 percent. This means that 2.3 million new homes are expected to be built by the year 2025. Unfortunately, growth like this is often accompanied by growing pains of some sort.

Power Blackouts

For Ghana, there is not a large enough power supply to keep up with the growing demand. As a result, the entire country has been experiencing blackouts as the Electric Company of Ghana has been load-shedding to manage the supply shortfall. This is expected to continue for the next several months according an article in Africa Review. The government is working with the Electric Company of Ghana as well as other entities in an effort improve the infrastructure and add approximately 3,000 additional Mega Watts to the country’s power grid by 2015. This may or may not be enough to keep up with the growth and demand. For this reason, developers are encouraging those who are in the planning stages of home building to add solar energy features to their house plan.

Solar Energy Options

Ghana’s location near the equator makes it an ideal place to harness the sun’s energy and convert it to much needed power. Following are a few options you may want to consider.
  1. Solar Panels - When most people think of solar energy, they automatically think of large solar panels attached to the roof of a home or business. This is a viable option, albeit one of the more expensive ones.
  2. Skylights or Solar Tubes - Skylights or solar tubes are a more affordable option. Solar tubes are essentially the same thing as skylights but they are smaller in size and work better when roof space is minimal. Either option will reduce the need for electricity by flooding frequently used rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens with natural light.
  3. Solar Water Heater - Water heaters require a lot of energy. A solar water heater can reduce a household’s energy consumption anywhere from 50 to 70 percent.
For additional ideas or more detailed information on adding solar energy features to your house plans, contact Ghana Homes architectural services.

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