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Frequently Asked Questions about the Photonic Kit of the Guerrilla Solar

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The campaign Guerilla Solar: plug it to the Sun makes the Photonic Kit GS120 available to the citizens that want to join the crusade in favor of access to renewable energies in the domestic scope. It is a solar appliance only available in Spain that generates clean and renewable energy from home. 

Here we want to respond to the questions most frequently asked from persons interested in acquiring a Kit and joining in the Guerilla Solar of the Terra Foundation .

How much time does it take to recover the investment in the Phototonic Kit?

The truth is that this is not a relevant question. Or maybe it is. How much time does it take to recover the investment in a 42 inch television screen that is worth approximatey 800 euros? We could imagine the hours of happiness that pass in front of it, following soccer games or watching pay per view movies. We can think of what we could learn about nature, since when seeing a documentary in large size, one can imagine that there are details invisible at 20 inches. So yes, maybe we should think that our television of 42 inches is wearing out every hour, and that logically, it consumes energy up to 275 watts each hour, with the corresponding emmissions of associated CO2.

The Photonic Kit GS120 is an item of pleasure just like the 42 inch television screen, although in this case, pleasure comes because it is an appliance that instead of consuming, generates electricity, and every hour that it is exposed to the Sun can produce up to 110 Wh in Spain.

Counting with the best conditions of solar radiation and of orientation in the installation, it can be calculated that the economic return of realizing investment in the acquisition of the Photonic Kit GS120 is of approximately 20 years. This value is calculated as part of a cost of €805 of PVP, half of 1,200 hours of the yearly rate (for such a yearly production of 144 kWh) and assumming a billing cost of kWh of 17cents of euro, with an annual incremental cost in kWh of 5%.

Therefore during the estimated useful life of the Kit (which can be more than 30 years), the recovery of the investment is guaranteed, although it is long term and it isn't possible to obtain large economic benefits. Also we can consider that the Photonic Kit GS120 of the Guerilla Solar allows us, for 10 cents a day, to contribute to the reduction of 10% of our greenhouse emmissions. In any case, as we've already said, obtaining this benefit is part of the point, given that the Photonic Kit GS120 is essentially a militancy product against climate change and in favor of renewable energies in the domestic scope.

What savings of energy or CO2 emmisions are supported?

Although it only produces 144 kWh per year, it can assume 10% of the domestic consumption of electrical energy per person (supposing an energy consumption average of 1,800 kW per year and 3 inhabitants per dwelling in a Spanish house). Each one can calculate, reviewing their power consumption, the percentage that permits savings. The interesting thing is that this energy is no longer produced from fossil sources, implying a savings of emmissions. Each hour it is working, the kit will be saving up to 34 g of carbon dioxide (CO2). Following with the example, of the television, this instead would result in the emmission of almost 100 gr of CO2 in each functioning hour. Along their 25 years of useful life and considering that their first 3 1/2 years are of recovery of the energy expenditures of the manufacturing (energy payback), the Photonic Kit GS120 allows them to avoid the emissions of 1084 kg of CO2, with an economic cost of €1 for each kg of CO2 that has stopped issuing. To cope with the climate change we could reduce our CO2 emmissions by planting trees. Another option is the restitution of part of the energy consumption with the generation of energy by renewable energies, like the solar energy photovoltaic. In this case, rather than promoting the absorbtion of CO2 that has already been admitted, the idea is to save emmissions before they are generated, to directly generate energy as a part of an inexhaustible source that doesn't contaminate, like the Sun is.

Actually, in the field of photovoltaic energy, there exists technologies very light and inexpensive, like the panels of thin film or of cadmium telluride. But it still is too soon to consider this technology being at the height of silicon monochrystaline cells, that have demonstrated their great efficiency and durability. The solar panel of the Photonic Kit GS120 is formed with silicon monochrystaline cells of the manufacturer Sunways, of maximum quality. We could have chosen cells of lesser quality in order to have a lower price, but we have chosen it because the components of this kit of the Guerrilla Solar are of the highest durability, and because to participate in the campaign is to set an example for future generations.

Is it legal?

This Kit is put together by a panel and an approved invertor for grid connection. The sum of both logically generates a legal product because no one can imagine that one can start a pileup in a home plug to generate only 400Wh a day. That can be the energy that is consumed in a pair of hours hunging in the internet with a desktop PC. To plug the Photonic Kit GS120 is an act in favor of the renewable yet it is also symbolic given its low generating power. With respect to the physical instalation of the Kit, it is prepared to be mounted vertically and horizonatally. Given that it should be placed in the outside in order to recieve exposure to the sun, municiple regulations may exist that impede its location. For example in exterior facades, as is with the municipal orders that prevent the instalation of apparatuses of climatization or of antennae on balconies and facades. If you have your own facade or it is inside and not apart of public space, you should have no problem installing it vertically. On the other side, in the same way that we have a pot in our garden or terrace, if this has the correct orientation we can locate our kit as if it was a "plant" energy generator, like the chloroplasts of vegetable leaves.

It is evident that some municipalities have power to regulate even if we can or cannot have a garden. However, any municipality that prevents putting the phototonic kit like how it should be, a generating sculpture of the energy in favor of the environment, will demonstrate an unsustainable attitude. For this motive, we have also driven the campaign Councils for Energy Democracy, for this shortcoming of their time is covered in favor of the citizens that can also participate in the action for the environment.

Is it possible to recycle the panel once its useful life has ended?

The useful life of the photovoltaic model is expected to improve in the next 25 years. After demonstrating electrical energy during all this time, the efficiency of the photovoltaic cells can decrease because of aging. In the case of getting to the end of its useful life, it is expected that the PV recycle program already will be functioning. This program provides the separate collection and recycling of the models, financing for their own photovoltaic producers in consonance with the objectives to set long term for the European Union relative to corporate responsibility.

The photovoltaic models contain valuable materials that can be recovered and reused in new photovoltaic models or in new products. The processes of the recycling industry exist for the chrystaline cells, like in the case of the Photonic Kit GS120, like for cells of thin film. Materials like glass, aluminum, and other semiconductor materials are economically valuable when they are recovered.

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