Understanding Home Solar Panels | Solar Energy
The FAQs about Home Solar Panels
As more and more people consider converting to solar energy for home consumption, discussions about installing home solar panels occur often.
True, industrial installers consider solar installation a routine task, but they are trained and experienced.
For the rest of us, it is not such an easy matter to build your own solar panel. To start with, unlike the pros, we usually have no experience in this area. Secondly, every installation is different. Each residential unit comes with a distinct set of challenges that the DIY er must analyze and conquer.
This article addresses frequently asked questions. You'll find a discussion of the types of home solar panels, how to know if solar power is suitable for your residence, what you will need in terms of supplies and equipment, and basic information about a solar panel installation.
You'll also find a recommendation for a Green Energy DIY guide that's well worth a look.
Do you Have Adequate Sun Exposure?
or is there too much cloud cover?
Before you go looking for solar panels for sale, your first order of business is to determine whether or not your house or lot receives enough sun exposure to justify the financial outlay. If you reside in an area in which frequent cloud cover blocks off the sun's direct rays, then you could be looking at a long wait before you recover your expenditure.
In this situation, other forms of alternative energy such as wind power or magnet motors may work better for you.
Assessing the amount of cloud cover versus the amount of direct sunlight is not as difficult as it sounds.
Numerous websites provide special tools and technologies that give you this information in a matter of minutes. Depending on the web site, you might be able to navigate to location using a map-like image, or you may be asked to enter the details. The technology provides you with an assessment of whether installing solar panels is worthwhile in your case, and if it is, the technology suggests the optimum method of laying your home solar panels.
What is the Best Type of Solar Panels for Your Home?
or does one size fit all?
After determining that your locale has adequate sunlight, your next consideration is which type of solar panels you want to use. There are two types: flush panels or tilted panels.
Typically, commercial installers simply align the panels with the slant of the roof. In most cases, this is a satisfactory solar panel installation.
However, based on your location, a different alignment may be preferred.
Also, if the roof of your home is flat, it may be wise to install your panels with a minor tilt. A completely flat solar panel installation tends to collect debris such as dust, dirt, rainwater and dead insects. All of these will reduce the efficiency of your installation.
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What Fittings Are Needed for DIY Solar Power?
what if my house is not suited to solar energy?
The good news is that solar power for homes is not dependent upon the type of roof on your house. Every type of roof will handle a solar panel of one sort of another. With a little thought and the willingness to persevere, you will find a system that works for you.
Typically when you build solar panels, you attach the brackets or posts using steel pins or steel bolts. This hardware has the ability to pierce the joists or rafters. Many DIYers, when installing the panels on a tilted roof, first set a long rain on the brackets, and then slide the panels into this rail
Challenges can arise if the roof has an unusual tilt, or if the roof’s initial construction utilized a non-traditional building method. Nevertheless, these challenges can almost always be overcome.
How to Assemble the Array of Solar Panels for your Home?
do I need more than one?
An individual photovoltaic module (PV) produces a small amount of power. Therefore, home solar power installations often contain several panels. This is referred to as a photovoltaic array, or simply an array.
DIY solar panels come in pieces, which you arrange to form a grid structure. This is not a difficult task to perform. Using rails as mentioned above makes it easier.
Most installers attach the panels to one another, as well as to the rail or brackets. This affords additional strength.
Solar collector panels also require supplementary connections for the supply and return feeds. These connections are above what you need for the PV panels. As the name suggests, the collector panels collect the sun's energy. The PV panels convert this solar radiation into electricity.
Once the panels are affixed, you then attach a conduit or trunk to connect the panels to a device known as an inverter. The converts the direct current in the PV panels to the alternating current that is needed for home use.
Your DIY solar panel installation is accomplished. Depending on your geographic location, you may want to include weather proofing to protect your installation from the elements.
Sustainable Energy Links
- UCS: Independent Science, Practical Solutions | Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical
What's the Best Solar Panel DIY Guide?
which guide is getting the buzz?
Before you spend a penny on anything else, you might want to acquire a DIY guide to home solar energy.
Construction companies have a saying worth remembering: They say, "Plan Twice. Build Once."
By starting out with the best information available, you will save yourself the time, money and the frustration that comes with having to redo some aspects of your conversion project.