If you have been involved in Home Improvements, you could well have wondered whether you could
install solar power DIY. This will appeal to those who have a good head for heights, as their will
be a good deal of work on the roof, and those with decent electrical skills.
If you do not have these skills, you will need to develop them before you start a Home
Improvement Project like this. There are a number of courses available on the internet that can
help you with this area of training.
To help you decide whether you are up to Solar Power DIY, we have put together these few tips
for you to consider.
Calculations - There are a number of calculations that need to be considered,
right at the outset, to determine whether Solar Power will be feasible for you.
Roof Area - You will need to calculate the available roof area, that is the
amount of space that Solar Panels could be fitted to, that is facing in the correct direction.
Electric usage - calculate the number of kilowatt hours of electric that you
make use of each month.
Solar Panel output - Research the output of the Solar Panels available to you
and with this information you should be able to calculate the number of panels you would need to
produce all of the energy you require.
In the USA information is available from the Federal Energy Agency about the average solar
radiation for your location. This will tell you the solar hours which multiplied with the output of
the maximum number of Solar Panels you could fit, will provide the maximum power you could expect
from your Solar Installation.
These figures will obviously be higher in a southern location than in a northern one. But is
locally variable due to altitude, angle of roof, direction and shade.
Free Advice - Enquire of the companies that you are considering purchasing
Solar Panels from to see if they have any advice for your particular situation. As there are now
many companies that will supply panels to the Solar Power DIY market, you will need to research
into the different solar panels that are available.
It is wise to settle on an established, reliable company. Such companies can give you good
advice on installation, including examination of your roof and advise on where best to place the
Add ons - Choosing the right Solar Panels is just the beginning in this Home
- Batteries - will be needed for storing the power ( these will need to be deep cycle
batteries capable of many charging cycles)
- Electric cables - to carry the power from the panels to the batteries, it is
important that the distance between the panels and the batteries is as short as possible due to
the power loss during transfer
- Mounting frames - to fix panels to the roof
- Power Inverter - which converts DC to AC electrical current, is needed to enable the
Solar Power DIY can be integrated with your house's electric system. Don't be tempted to
go for a cheap Power Inverter as this could be expensive if you have to replace in a few years
time. A good quality Inverter will last longer and help to provide a steady supply of
Don't just depend on the information you can glean from the internet, ensure you research the
supply companies before you part with your hard earned cash. Ask friends and neighbours that have
completed similar projects for recommendations.
Instalation - Solar Panel DIY on rooves really is a two-person job. You really
need a friend or relative to help you with this part of the project. Someone with experience of
working at heights would be invaluable. Solar Panels are quite heavy and an awkward shape to carry
for one person. This is an area to spend some time on considering how to complete this in a safe
and efficient manner.
Qualifying Instalations - Energy Star rated Solar Panels are required in the
USA to be able to claim the 30 percent tax credit available for Solar Power.
In the UK the whole installation has to be completed by an accredited company for you to be able
to claim the feed-in tariff from the Power companies.
So Solar Power DIY in the UK has to be approached in a different way to enable making use of
Solar Power. This can be done in the following ways :-
- Battery powered equipment that can be re-charged with Solar Power.
- External lighting is one area that can be transferred over to Solar Powered equipment, this
includes garden paths as well as sheds and garages.
- Swimming pools can have their water heated through Solar water heaters.
- Solar Powered extractor fans for Bathrooms and kitchen and toilet areas, these individual
fans work independently of the home electric system.
- Caravan and Motorhome equipment
- Canal boats and other leisure craft equipment
- Car battery trickle chargers
- Mobile phone chargers
Hopefully these tips have aided your decision on whether to install a solar power system. In the
long term the savings can be quite considerable and you will also be doing your bit in your nations
response to climate change.
- Solar Water Heating
When it comes to house hold bills, one of the biggest can be for producing the hot water your family needs. So Solar Water Heating has to be worth investigating. This use of Solar Power should certainly make savings on your electric bill, and could well pay for itself within 2 to 4 years.
If you have been considering investing in a solar system and possibly install a solar water heater, the following advice could help you make your decision.
- Solar Energy Pitfalls
Solar Energy Pitfalls
- Solar Panel pay back time
Solar Panel pay back period will become more and more important as the world's population grows and moves toward a developed lifestyle. Energy consumption will continue to increase, and prices rise increasing the desire for home energy generation systems and Going Green.
Recognising whether your system will save you money over the long term will be an important factor in choosing your particular system.