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Do It Yourself Solar Energy

Updated on October 7, 2012

What Is Solar Energy

 The simple definition of solar energy is "Energy received by the earth from the sun. This energy comes to us in the form of solar radiation."

Many people think of solar electricity when you mention solar energy. The truth is solar electricity is a man made by-product of solar energy.  Solar energy is much more then electricity, it heats the earth, gives us light and helps us grow food. The sun has been supporting life on earth since the beginning of time.

Now, with modern technology we can conver the suns energy into thermal enrgy or electricity. Thermal energy is used to heat water or spaces while electricity has limitless uses. With other energy sources becoming more scarce, the sun may be our best hope for a clean , renewable enrgy source.

The Benefits Of Solar Electricity

There are many benefits to using solar electricity. The first and probably most important to most people is it can save you a lot of money on your energy bill. With energy costs on a constant rise, producing your own solar electricity can save you hundreds of dollars a month. A solar electricity system generally needs very little maintenance and does not have a lot of moving parts that can break easily. Getting a system installed can really be the most expensive part but, later we will look at how to build your own system which will save you thousands of dollars in installation fees.

There are also some very generous state and federal incentives being offered for people converting to solar energy. States such as New Jersey, Colorado an California are leading the way with some of the highest rebates available. In some cases if you produce more energy then you need you can sell the excess back to your local power company. How nice would it be to have them actually sending you a payment for a change?

The Green Benefit. Lets face it, we are reeking havoc on our planet with the burning of fossil fuels and all the pollutants that come from using them.Solar electricity is one of the cleanest, renewable forms of energy with almost no impact on the earths environment. As an example, a typical business converting to solar electricity would offset 2.3 million pounds of greenhouse gases over approximately the next 30 years. That's almost equal to planting close to 6000 trees. What better way to save the planet then to save some cash as well, it's literally win win.

As mentioned before fuel and electric prices are on a constant rise. Another benefit to having a solar electric system is that it will now raise the value of your home in what is now a very competitive market. Housing prices have dropped like a rock and have yet to recover. People want more bang for the buck and need to account for every penny. A solar energy system installed means they will move in to a home that is much cheaper to power and or heat. It has been estimated that a solar energy system can raise your homes value by almost $30,000, not bad.

So to wrap it up in  a few words, having a solar energy system will:

Save you money on your energy bills

Can get you money back from the government

Save the planet by going Green

Raise the value of your home in what is now a very competitive market.

The advantages speak for themselves, save the planet and save money. 

How Soalr Energy Works And Saves You Money

Commercial For Solar Electricity

Why Do It Yourself Solar Energy?

So why would you want to install your own solar power system instead of having a professional do it? The first answer is simple, cost. Professional installers are charging really big money for something that is a lot easier then you may think. The local power company in Long Island, New york claims they want to help us save money with their Solar energy program. What they will do is install everything you need to convert your home to solar electricity and you can actually sell the extra energy back to them. Sounds great right? The initial cost for this however is a little over $200,000. Now you will be saving about $270.00 per month and will be selling about another $230.00 per month back to them. So you make $500.00 per month.What does this mean to you in dollars and cents. With a no interest load( good luck with that one ha.) it will take you 400 months or 33.33 years to get your money back. Now to come back to reality lets not forget you WILL be paying interest on any loan for that amount.Not such a bargain now is it.

So what will it cost to build your own, Do it yourself solar energy system? You can get all the materials for a few thousand dollars at most, usually even cheaper. All you really need is plywood, some wire, a converter box and of course the solar cells. You can find all the materials at your local hardware store or online and building and installing is much easier then you may think. You can realistically have your solar energy system up and running in a weekend. Once installed you will still have all the same benefits as if the big boys installed your system. You will still sell the extra energy back to your power company and save hundreds of dollars per month on your own energy bill.

For step by step instructions on how to build your won do it ourself solar energy system, as well as a great wind energy system check out some of the books above. They will give you everything you need to set up your very own system and

Some Great Solar Products Including Panels


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    • CUZICAN86X profile image

      CUZICAN86X 8 years ago from florida

      Great article!