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Tips for Building and Installing a Home Solar Power System

Updated on March 27, 2012


In today’s technological advanced age we have a lot of options on how to get power to our homes. Those that are into the new Green technology have come across ways like solar, wind, and even some homes have geo thermal. Of course this is depending on where you live in the country. But, the one source of power that is consistent throughout the world is sunlight. Solar cells collect the sunlight and convert that into useable energy for your home.


The bad news is that solar energy panels and installation professionally installed can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The good news is that for a much cheaper cost you can make your own solar panels at home for a fraction of the cost. All you need is a Do it yourself blueprints which can be found at many sources on the web and a few parts you can get from online stores or your local hardware store.

Before you get started, here are some things you need to know about solar power systems.

Obviously to be able to obtain sunlight you need a piece that can do that they are called solar cells. Buying single solar cells or multiple solar cells is not expensive I have seen many for sale on eBay and craigslist. You can even find people throwing them out from local junk yards so make sure you check there as well. Now the cell is only one component but is considered the main component so make sure you get enough to make at least one cell from 20 by 20 cells blocks.

There are a couple of other things you will need and I will list them here.

1.       Power Invertor – changes 12v DC – to 120 AC current

2.       Charge Controller – Prevents the cells from overcharging and running them

3.       Solar Batteries – they will store the extra power not used during the day

4.       Zoning – not all but some cities have ordinances you need to follow prior to installation so make sure you check for proper permits and specs before you start if needed

Along with supplies you need to learn some basic vocabulary that involves the process of solar energy. For example the word “grid tie” and “Off the Grid” Grid tie means that you are still tied into your electric company. Off the grid means that you have enough electricity in your home that you are 100 percent efficient. It can be great to be off the grid but a lot of times people stay on the grid to help put more clean power back into the lines which your electric company will actually buy from you.

Solar panels can be installed on many different types of surfaces. Usually they are roof mounted so always have your roof inspected prior to installation to spot any potential problems. Also other locations can be on the ground that is angled towards the sunlight. Also active solar trackers and passive solar trackers can be very helpful but they are also the most efficient and cost prohibitive. It will actually follow the time table of the sun and a small motor will always angle it to get the best sunlight. But whatever you decide having this technology will save you thousands over the years.

Now this is just an over view of what you will need and some of the basics of solar installation. Below are some more links for more information on how to do it yourself.


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  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

    Very informative and I wish I were a handyman.