Solar Electric System
one in getting
started with any solar power setup in your home is to perform an energy
audit. This is where you evaluate the amount of power (in
kilowatts/hour or kilowatt hours) that you'll need in any given day.
You will also need to take into account the site where your home is
located. Geographical considerations such as climate, number of peak
hours of sunlight per day, number of days of peak sunlight per year,
and average rainfall will play a big role in how efficient a solar
system you can design.
electric system will need, at the very least, the following
a collector (usually solar panels);
a mount (to put it on);
an inverter (to convert 12 volt DC power to 110 volt AC power);
a circuit breaker or fuse box
and fuses & switches (to regulate the power
transferring from the panels to your outlets and/or storage batteries);
(optional) one or more storage batteries;
(if you get a battery) a charge controller (to keep from over- or
undercharging the battery and severely reducing its lifespan);
Once you've purchased all the elements of the solar system you've just
designed, installation is fairly easy, though the simplicity of
installing a solar
power system does not
mean you should necessarily do it yourself.
There are numerous advantages to hiring a professional installer with
training in both electrical systems and solar electrical systems,
including knowing how to set everything up to code, should the building
inspector ever have
the need to look it over (ie. for insurance purposes).
you find the right solar professional, they will instruct you in
those parts of the installation that you are capable of and allow you
to do some of the work yourself, saving you on some of your labor costs.
Even if you don't decide to have a professional
install your solar
system, it would be well worth your while to consult one with your
design to make sure it's a viable design, one that's taken all the
necessary considerations into account. For example, there is a wide
selection of panels, controllers, inverters, and batteries, each one
manufactured with different requirements, each one not necessarily
interchangeable with the other.
To further minimize the chances of incompatibilities between components
in your solar system, consider purchasing all the elements of your set
up from the same company and consulting with someone on their sales
team that is knowledgeable in solar
In fact, many companies sell solar kits that contain all the components
you would need to set your house up with solar power, with the
certainty that all the components are compatible.
Whatever you decide, you don't have to break the bank to try and
supplant your entire power
grid reliance with solar power right away and all at once. If you're
interested in availing yourself and your household of the multifold benefits of
solar power, start small. Get yourself a single solar
and see how well that works for you. When you're ready, add on more
panels, batteries, etc., one at a time as you can afford it and as your