Grid-Tied Vs. Off-Grid Solar Power System – Which One Is Best?

When installing a new solar power system at home or in the office, most people often get confused about selecting the right type of solar energy system. This is mainly because of the lack of understanding of different solar technologies in the market, like on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid solar systems. If you’re investing in solar equipment and aiming to benefit from it for years to come, you would want to make the right choice and understand how each type of solar technology can be utilized.

What’s The Main Difference Between Grid-Tied And Off-Grid Solar Systems?

Grid-tied, also known as the on-grid solar system is connected to the utility grid, whereas the off-grid solar system is not connected to the utility grid. You may also need to attach batteries, and sometimes, a backup generator with your off-grid system, while in case of a grid-tied system, you don’t need batteries.

An on-grid mechanism requires the use of fewer components as compared to an off-grid arrangement. You don’t necessarily have to attach energy storage devices, sophisticated control electronics, or backup generators to your grid-tied system.

A grid-tied solar panel is cheaper and simpler to install than its counterpart. Having a stable and accessible grid near your residential or commercial property favors installing an on-grid system. However, if you’ve got an unstable or non-availability of a grid in your area, installing an off-grid solar power system will make more sense.

Energy Storage Concerns

The difference between the two solar power systems (off-grid and on-grid) revolves around storing the generated energy. Every solar power equipment requires a designated place for energy storage so that the stored electricity can be utilized later as per requirements.

Energy Storage In Grid-Tied Solar Power System

The access energy generated from an on-grid system gets sent back to the grid. Your grid-tied solar panels feed electricity into the utility grid, which can be distributed to nearby areas. As a result, you get to receive credits for energy generated by your on-grid solar panels. This allows you to use electricity throughout the day from your utility grid even when the sun goes down.

Energy Storage In An Off-Grid Solar Power System

Off-grid solar mechanisms have no access to the utility grid, so you need to find another way to store energy, such as a battery device with dedicated storage. It’s mandatory to attach batteries with your off-grid solar power equipment due to a lack of access to the power lines.

Excess Energy Production With Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems

Any excess electricity produced with an on-grid solar system can send it to the utility grid it is connected to, and you’ll get compensated for it depending on your power supplier’s policy.

Excess Energy Production With Off-Grid Solar Power Systems

Any excess electricity produced during the daytime by the off-grid solar system will be sent to batteries for storage. You can access and use the stored energy in the evening and night when the system is not producing electricity.

You can enhance the capacity of your off-grid system for increased energy storage to cover your electricity needs during cloudy weather. However, in case of abnormal weather conditions for several days in a row, your off-grid solar apparatus may not produce enough electricity to charge batteries and fulfill your energy requirements.

Power Outages With Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems

When using an on-grid solar system, you get to receive non-stop electricity from the utility grid. However, if the grid goes down, you won’t be able to receive electricity unless you’re using an on-grid solar power system with battery backup. This means that you can only use electricity in case of a power outage if you add batteries to your on-grid system.

Power Outages With Off-Grid Solar Power Systems

An off-grid solar power system operates independently from the utility grid. In case there’s a power outage in your locality due to some uncertain weather conditions, your off-grid system will continue to supply you with electricity, thanks to the solar energy stored in the batteries.

Dandelion Renewables provides environment-friendly solar energy solutions to its residential and commercial clients across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Check out our professional solar power services in detail or contact us for personalized care.

Tips For Buying A Solar PV Panel System For Your Home

The Sun provides Earth with immense energy, and if we could harness its full potential, even for one hour, it would be enough to meet global energy needs for one year. Unfortunately, we are only able to collect a fraction of this energy, but doing so using solar panels can make a significant difference. What a fantastic ability it is to be able to turn raw sun energy into electricity!

Buying solar panels for your home can be a rewarding experience as you’re taking a step towards protecting our environment. It can also be a daunting experience as there are rules for safe system design that can vary for different locations. There are many aspects to consider before purchasing the system.

Buying a solar photovoltaic (PV) system is a long-term investment that you’re going to want to enjoy for many years to come. Therefore, it is important to make this decision understanding the different system design options, the constraints and opportunities unique to your home, and how you can choose the best system for your home.

Get Recommendations

The first step after you’ve decided to purchase a solar PV system is to ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives who are already using PV panels in their homes or offices, for their recommendations. Often the best buying tips for solar panels come from people who are already using them. They’ll inform you about their experience with a specific brand and warn you of any problems they’ve faced. This way, you’ll be careful to learn from their experience to help avoid issues they may have encountered.

Decide on the Types of Panels

A few years ago, people would have had to use monocrystalline solar panels for their limited roof space. These panels were the most efficient type of solar panel but were also more expensive than alternative types such as polycrystalline. With the advancement in the polycrystalline panel, bifacial, and thin-film technologies, there are more choices available and selection of the most cost effective solar panel for your home can be more complex. Solar panel selection takes into consideration a balance between roof space, solar panel dimensions, electrical characteristics and the goals for solar power generation.

Make sure to check the performance warranty timeline, the nominal power ratings of the panels, and the installed cost per PV watt ($/Wpv) of the PV system.

Solar contractors can help you evaluate the options and select the best solar module for your home.

Get Solar Quotes From Different Companies

It is a good practice to get quotes from different companies. This will allow you to compare prices and quality between the providers. However, you should bear in mind that the cheapest panels may be using inferior components to reduce the upfront cost, and buying them may cost you in the long run with more maintenance, lower reliability, and efficiency degradation.

While you’re on the lookout for good quality and reasonable prices, look for the company’s reputation and knowledge base as well.

Check For Certification and Warranties

Checking for certification and warranty of panels is an essential step before making the final purchase. These certifications show that a particular solar PV module and other solar components have undergone testing by an independent, certified laboratory, and they meet the advertised specifications. Similarly, warranty, for a substantial period, builds your trust in the product and the company.

At Dandelion Renewables, we provide solar, wind, and power conservation solutions to our customers based in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. We have a complete range of certified products and services relating to renewable energy at reasonable rates. Visit our website dandelionrenewables.com, or you can contact us here to get a free quote.

Eco-Friendly Cost-Saving Opportunities for Alberta Beekeepers – Energy-Efficient Beekeeping

By integrating modern-day beekeeping concepts like ‘solar honey’ with energy-efficient bee farming techniques, beekeepers in Alberta can discover serious cost-saving opportunities.

In a somewhat shocking report published in September of 2019, the Alberta Beekeepers Commission reported some of the lowest honey yields in nearly 4 decades. Compared to the past three-year average, over half of all Alberta beekeepers noted seeing their annual honey yield decline by as much as 50 percent.

The report reveals the need for identifying innovative cost-effective farming approaches that bring together energy-efficient technologies with eco-friendly beekeeping best practices.

Report: Net-zero concept for indoor overwintering beekeeping

In November of the same year, Dandelion Renewables’ expertise was sought by the Alberta Beekeepers Commission (ABC) with support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to propose the economic feasibility of energy-efficiency improvement opportunities. This included the design concept for a net-zero indoor overwintering beekeeping facility for the Alberta commercial beekeeping community.

This futuristic study sought ways of reducing the carbon footprint and improving the environmental sustainability of indoor overwintering beekeeping farms of Alberta. Additionally, it looked for methods of achieving net-zero without using fossil fuels as a heat-source, while providing all of the energy required to run the equipment in the facility including building heat.

Going net-zero simply means that a the facility operation generates the same amount of energy as it consumes, on an annual basis. Integrating renewable energy generation with the facility results in a net-benefit for the environment. The benefit comes from offsetting the amount of grid-sourced energy used, since the Alberta electrical grid is primarily fossil-fuel powered.

30% of the 9,240 hives in the net-zero facility concept were overwintered indoors. Compared to a conventional facility, the net-zero facility’s energy cost would be slightly higher, due to using electricity and heat pumps instead of natural gas as the main heating source. With the implementation of grid-tied solar photovoltaic power generation, the net-zero facility realizes an annual power saving of about $11,000 in the first year. The indoor overwintering climate control system also led to a 2% decrease in hive losses with the net-zero concept, which translates into savings of up to $16,632 per annum.

The cost of setting up the proposed net-zero facility was estimated to cost $222,796 more than a comparable conventional commercial beekeeping facility. The cost premium for net-zero upgrades are expected to have a 13.6% internal rate of return on investment over a 30-year life and 9-year payback.

The net-zero concept eliminates up to 74.08 tCO2e per year of GHG from the atmosphere that the conventional facility would emit.

Other Energy-Saving Opportunities in Commercial Beekeeping

Dandelion Renewables is committed to achieving economical, farm-specific, energy-efficiency solutions, to benefit Canadian farms and the environment. Dandelion Renewables worked with multiple farms in Alberta to highlight the following beekeeping farm equipment categories that possess a lot of potential for cost-savings:

Vehicles

Beekeeping farms can invest in vehicle fuel efficiency improvement. They can also consider renewable diesel for their existing diesel trucks in a bid at reducing GHG emissions. Hybrid trucking technology is available in Canada today, and battery-electric-vehicle (BEV) trucking is expected to be more commercially-available in Canada in the years to come. These vehicle technologies are expected to offer some great cost-saving opportunities for beekeepers in Alberta and other provinces. One aspect of beekeeping that aligns well with opportunities for BEV trucks is that the majority of trucking occurs during the warmer months of the year. Summer temperatures support higher operating efficiencies for the current battery technologies entering mass production for BEV trucks.

Honey Heat Exchanger

The net-zero concept proposes replacing the conventional electric heating elements in the honey heat exchanger with a plate heat exchanger. The heat-exchanger transfers heat from an electric heat-pump hydronic hot water into the fluid flowing through the honey heat exchanger. The heat-pump is capable of delivering the same amount of heat as the electric heat elements, while using 2-4 times less electricity.

Space heating

During the winter months the heat sources are an air source heat pump taking heat from the overwintering room, and geothermal heat-pump acts as an extra heat source during periods of extreme cold, as the temperature of the ground, lower than 10 feet, remains around 12°C all year long. So pumping a fluid to circulate both in the ground and in the intended space is a massively efficient way of keeping the space heater.

Lighting

It’s common for beekeeping farms to use lights offering varying degrees of energy-efficiency. Dandelion Renewables proposes switching to LED lighting which consumes the least amount of energy.

Motivation for energy conservation

The founders of Dandelion Renewables have always been concerned about the destructive side-effects of a ‘consumption-based society’. The creation of Dandelion Renewables was a logical step for the company’s beliefs and skills to merge. Our work inspires us to discover better energy choices that allow us to sustain and remain in harmony with nature. Contact Dandelion Renewables today.

Solar Windows and Solar Buildings: Understanding Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems

Semi-transparent solar cells are a relatively new solar technology that allow light to partially pass through the panels while also delivering light-to-electricity conversion. The possibilities offered by semi-transparent solar panels include their integration as skylights and windows of buildings, referred to generally as building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV). The semi-transparent characteristics of BIPV technology also has the potential to improve the efficiency (conversion rates) for the photovoltaics themselves.

Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems

Crystalline silicon-based modules are presently used for making building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs). But due to the opaque nature of silicon, other photovoltaic candidates with the potential to be made truly semi-transparent are quickly gaining attention.

These include kesterite-, amorphous silicon-, chalcopyrite-, cadmium telluride- (CdTe-), organic-, dye-sensitized-, and perovskite-based systems. Of these, amorphous silicon-systems have been extensively researched in the semi-transparent solar cell field, because of their low-temperature fabrication processes.

Lately, researchers are showing interest in alternative systems like perovskites as well as their inorganic counterparts, owing to the greater efficiency gains that these systems have exhibited. The main challenges with these alternative chemistries for photovoltaics are the instability or degradation of the materials over time, compared to the leading silicon-based solar cells.

In the context of BIPV, these systems present a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Let’s examine those.

Challenges of Transparent Solar Technologies

Two key challenges faced by researchers of transparent solar technologies are the limited efficiency of transparent solar panels and their tendency to change colors of the light that enters them.

Several experiments have been performed to repurpose conventional solar cells for use on glass. However, it is difficult to achieve the kind of transparency that is necessary for this type of use with conventional solar cells.

Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrator

Professor Richard Lunt at Michigan State University decided to take a different approach than conventional solar cells. He made the concentrator using thin-film with organic materials that can be placed on any flat, clear surface. It is capable of harvesting energy from ultraviolet and near infrared wavelengths, which are invisible to the eye. The visible spectrum of light passes through the concentrator unhindered thus achieving a high level of transparency.

This was developed and named by researchers at Michigan State University in 2017. The concentrator looks like normal glass and is capable of providing clean electricity with minimal impact on the building aesthetics.

“Highly transparent solar cells represent the wave of the future for new solar applications,” said Richard Lunt, the associate professor who was heading the research team at MSU.

ImagePhoto Credit: Michigan State University (https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/transparent-solar-technology-represents-wave-of-the-future/)

Thin-Film PV Technology

Thin-film PV technology is being used to develop BIPV photovoltaic solar glass to harness electricity production and visible light transmission. The thin-films used for making BIPV systems can be transparent or opaque. For this reason, thin-film BIPV systems are increasingly being sought for a wide range of purposes, including:

  • Solar greenhouses
  • Facades
  • Canopies
  • Skylights
  • Curtain walls
  • Electric vehicles
  • Electronic displays

Thin-film offers the following advantages compared to traditional silicon modules:

Efficiency at poor angles

Thin-film solar remains efficient even when it isn’t optimally positioned to receive direct sunlight. This allows thin-film solar to be used in unconventional ways, for instance, vertically on buildings.

Performance in low lighting

Thin-film solar needs as little as 10% sunlight to operate. This translates into increased annual electricity production as well as a more consistent energy yield.

Comparable costs

The installation costs for thin-film solar cells are nearly the same as their traditional alternatives.

Robust panels

Thin-film solar panels are rigid and tough. They use laminated glass to increase their overall functionality, which is highly resistant to weather damage.

Increased heat resistance

Thin-film solar has higher tolerance for heat. You don’t need to ventilate them to achieve optimal efficiency.

Wavelength-Selective vs Non-Wavelength-Selective Semi-Transparent Photovoltaic Technologies

Semi-transparent photovoltaic technologies can be grouped into wavelength-selective and non-wavelength-selective variants depending on how they absorb sunlight.

Non-wavelength-selective systems generate electricity through the absorption of a broad spectrum of solar rays, including the visible spectrum of photons. At the same time, they’re also able to transmit light through the segmented placement of opaque solar cells. In some cases, the transmission of visible light is achieved via the use of thin photoactive materials. Non-wavelength-selective systems include amorphous silicon-, chalcopyrite-, kesterite- and cadmium telluride-based systems.

Wavelength-selective transparent & semi-transparent solar panels use photoactive materials that harvest near-infrared (NIR) or ultraviolet (UV) light preferentially while emitting the visible spectrum of light. These solar cells convert the NIR and UV light into electricity while allowing the visible spectrum of light through, which can be used for illuminating any space, including greenhouses with plants requiring certain light wavelengths for growth.

The Future of Transparent and Semi-Transparent Solar

Transparent and semi-transparent solar panels are a new and exciting form of solar technology that delivers solar energy from a material that resembles clear glass. This type of solar is a work in progress. Research is underway to further refine these technologies and increase their efficiency rating.

When transparent solar glass is placed on conventional glass, the two become indistinguishable. The widespread adoption of these systems is being considered in windows and ceilings of buildings as well as automobiles and electronic device displays.

If you would like to discuss the integration of semi-transparent solar panels to your next innovative building project, get in touch with Dandelion Renewables, the solar contractors for numerous Canadian communities, farms & businesses. Contact Dandelion Renewables today.

The Village Of Ryley’s Solar Project Is An Inspiration For Others

There are always those early adopters who lead the way when it comes to embracing change. Going solar is no different. Using conventional power sources, electricity costs for the Village of Ryley would run as high as $14,000 a year, plus an additional $5,000 in distribution and service charges.

The village council sought a solar power solution that would enable them to achieve net-zero. A site to the east of the lagoon has been earmarked for the project. The project aims to generate sufficient power using solar power as a renewable energy resource to offset their annual electricity consumption.

Quality renewables consultants can be hard to find

There are several issues authorities like a village or town council may face when embarking on such projects. Renewable energy technologies are an advanced field with a steep learning curve. The most cost-effective solutions often embrace the latest innovative technologies and methods, which is one of the areas where Dandelion Renewables provides excellent value for customers. Some solar contractors have yet to hear about the technologies that Dandelion Renewables offers.

Keeping pace with the tremendous amount of research taking place in solar, wind and renewables is equally if not more complicated. For this reason, a renewables consultant that can walk you through your options, recommend the best courses of action, and still remain a cost leader, is a rare gem that can be hard to find.

When Ryley council met on December 17, 2019 and decided to acquire the solar power system, they were faced with a similar situation. The council had been investigating the solar initiative since 2018. It received proposals from Dandelion Renewables and other solar contractors. Dandelion won the bid.

It was a fairly simple decision. During bid review, the council noted that the other solar contractor’s proposal was significantly higher at $341k minus $119k of solar rebate for a cost of nearly $222k. Dandelion Renewables offered a solution that met Ryley’s goals for a total cost of $249k minus $107k of solar rebate for a cost of $132k ( 40% lower cost ! ). After adding the fence and transformer cost, the total cost of the project is $175k.

The village council also noted that, “Aside from being more economical, the advice, guidance and recommendations provided from Dandelion have been significantly more accurate and useful than those from the other solar contractor.”

Another notable fact of the project is that it uses land that is not desirable for other developments. The initiative shown by the Village of Ryley is likely to energize a plethora of related solar ideas and project potential that could contribute to the local economy for years to come.

The project is estimated to be completed in the last half of 2020.

If you are looking for an experienced renewable energy consultant who can help your community successfully achieve net-zero solutions using the most cost-saving innovative technologies and methods, then you’ve come to the right place. At Dandelion Renewables, we’re committed to offering residential, commercial, industrial, utility, and farm-specific solutions for solar power and other sustainable energy-efficient endeavors. Contact Dandelion Renewables today.

The Town Of Viking Takes Advantage of the Alberta Municipal Solar Program

What is the AMSP?

The Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP) facilitates Albertan municipalities in the installation of micro-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on lands and facilities administered by the municipality.

According to the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) website, municipalities can avail the AMSP to get rebates of up to 30% of the total solar power project expenses. Under this program, a municipality can apply for rebates of up to $1.5 million.

To incentivize municipalities to participate in the program, there is a first-time applicant bonus rebate of $0.25/watt offered to the municipalities that haven’t used the AMSP funding so far. The bonus is capped at a maximum amount of $250,000.

Rural municipalities like Viking are taking advantage of the solar program and showcasing its benefits to the rest of the community.

The project, which will be completed in a few months, involves the installation of 2,880 ground-mounted solar modules with a capacity of 1.05MW; that size solar PV system can produce enough annual electricity for 215 households.

Six acres of swampy prairie land to the east of Viking has been earmarked for the solar power plant.

AMSP

Other municipalities are also joining Viking

Viking isn’t the only municipality that has decided to meet a notable chunk of its energy demands through renewable sources.

Prior to this, the town of Raymond, which has strong Japanese and Mormon community roots and enjoys the best solar resource in the province, has also embarked on an ambitious solar power project. After hearing the benefits of the Alberta Municipal Solar Program, the town’s council decided to install 2,983 modules with a net capacity of 1.16 MW.

Municipalities are expected to play a crucial role in achieving the province’s goal of meeting 30% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030. In fact, more than 62 municipalities have already availed the AMSP for a net installation of 16,318 solar PV modules with a capacity of 6.1MW, according to data found on the MCCAC website. These figures are subject to change as more municipalities join the program.

The MCCAC is a partnership between the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, and the Government of Alberta.

Benefits of the AMSP

Besides municipalities, non-profit community-related organizations can also join the AMSP program if their project is based on land or facility owned by a municipality.

The AMSP funded solar projects lead to new job openings, reduce the emission of harmful gases and save communities thousands of dollars annually on power bills.

Small- and Community-Scale Renewable Power Generation in Alberta

This is not the only solar opportunity offered by the province of Alberta. There are other fundings and grants offered by the province as well as different cities throughout the province of Alberta. For instance, the city of Edmonton offers the EcoCity Grant and the Residential PV Incentive program. The latter targets residential rooftop solar PV installation.

By introducing solar PV programs for individuals, businesses, and communities, the government of Alberta is enabling Albertans to participate directly in solar power generation.

How to Choose a Solar Contractor?

Choosing a reliable solar contractor is one of the biggest challenges faced by municipalities looking to achieve net-zero. The Alberta Solar Providers Directory and the CanSIA Member Directory offer a comprehensive list of solar providers in Alberta.

Shortlist some vendors and discuss your solar requirements with them. At the same time, inquire about the vendor’s experience in installing solar PV systems.

Inquire about their experience. How long have they been around? Do they have the required solar PV installation certification? How many solar PV systems have they successfully installed?

You should also ask for 4 to 5 references from the companies you’re considering.

If everything looks good, request a complete proposal from the top vendors. Compare their proposals and award the contract to the winning bidder.

If you would like to request a free quote for the installation of a ground-mounted solar PV system, get in touch with Dandelion Renewables, the solar consultants for Viking and many other Albertan municipalities. Contact Dandelion Renewables now.

The Town of Viking Shoots for Net-Zero on Municipal Buildings

Another Alberta town takes advantage of the funding provided through the Alberta Municipal Solar Program. The Town of Viking, Alberta, is aiming to produce a majority of its municipal electrical needs using solar energy. Following the Town of Raymond, Viking will become the second municipality in Alberta to be net-zero.

Viking town council initially considered solar photovoltaic systems on multiple sites but ultimately decided on one large ground-mounted solar PV system. By consolidating the project into one location, the town will receive greater benefit from the solar funding program.

Our team at Dandelion Renewables is well into the installation phase of the ground-mounted project, covering almost six acres of swampy prairie land. The transformation of a once boggy grazing field into a renewable energy solar power plant, just east of Viking, is projected to be completed this coming spring of 2020.

A total of 2880 ground-mounted solar modules will provide the town with 1.05MW of power. That is enough energy to power 215 average Albertan households year-round!

Stay tuned for progress pictures and updates over the next weeks and months!

Dandelion Renewables is in the 5th Annual Indigenous Green Energy Forum-2019

Edmonton, Alberta, 20/11/2019 — Dandelion Renewables participated in the 5th Annual Indigenous Green Energy Forum at the River Cree Resort and Casino Event Centre, Enoch Cree Nation, Treaty No.6 on November 20th, 2019. The forum brought together Indigenous Leaders, Investors, and experts in Renewable Energy to demonstrate experience and accomplishments towards sharing best practices for Indigenous communities.
Photo: Pipe Ceremony of 5th Annual Indigenous Green Energy Forum-2019 in Edmonton, Alberta About First Nations Power Authority: First Nation Power Authority (FNPA) is the only North-American non-profit Indigenous owned and controlled organization developing power projects with Indigenous communities. FNPA bridges the gaps between industry, government, and Indigenous communities to evaluate and develop Indigenous-owned power generation projects. 5th Annual Indigenous Green Energy Forum Agenda-2019

Farm Energy-efficiency FAQs

Question: Who is authorized to conduct a farm-specific energy-efficiency audit? Answer: The engineering professionals with the technical skills to conduct energy audits and who have experience with farms. Additionally, you can look at Dandelion Renewables Energy-Efficiency case studies, the Agricultural Energy-Efficiency analytical review and financing programs in 2019 for increasing irrigation systems efficiency. Question: What information is required for an energy-efficiency audit? Answer:
  • Bills (Power, Nat Gas, Propane, Diesel, Gasoline);
  • Facility tour of equipment;
  • Operations review;
Question: What is the process of an energy-efficiency audit? Answer: The process includes the following steps:
  1. Measure energy consumption of different equipment.
  2. Identify the most energy-efficient equipment and practices among those producers.
  3. Make farm-specific recommendations for energy efficiency improvements.
Question: What is included in the farm-specific energy-efficiency report? Answer: The report includes recommendations for the most cost-effective opportunities available for the farm to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy consumption. Question: Which farm equipment have the best opportunities to reduce energy consumption and costs? Answer: The major equipment categories vary and depend on the facility type and equipment usage. For example, in commercial beekeeping, we have identified following equipment categories or systems (in order of highest to the lowest potential for annual cost savings per hive):
  1. Vehicles
  2. Heat Trace
  3. Wax Melting
  4. Space Heating
  5. Honey Heating
  6. Lighting
  7. Indoor Overwintering Fans
  8. Pressure Washer Heating
  9. Appliances
  10. Circulator
Question: What are the general parameters of energy-efficiency? Answer: General parameters of energy-efficiency include:
  1. Annual Fuel Savings (MMBtu)
  2. Annual Electricity Savings (kWh)
  3. Annual Cost Savings
  4. Cost of Upgrades
  5. Payback (years)
  6. Internal Rate of Return on Investment (IRR)
Question: How can farmers reduce their energy costs or energy consumption? Answer: For example, for the Vehicles category considering savings options might include (not complete list):
  1. Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Improvement
  2. Renewable Diesel for Existing Diesel Trucks to Reduce GHG Emissions
  3. Hybrid-Electric Diesel Trucks and Electric Trucks