We have always had free sunlight available to us. But we always had reasonably priced electricity for our houses. But as coal and oil became more expensive, the price of electricity went up as well and continues to do so.
Today, solar power systems, once looked at as quaint curiosities, are becoming more affordable and are more practical. They are also getting easier to find the components to put a home solar setup together. Sunlight has always been there for us, except in the most polar regions which suffer icy conditions most of the year. But with today’s newer technology, the effectiveness and efficiency of solar equipment gets better each year.
As long as your home gets sunlight for a lot of the year, you can make use of solar power. And in the warmer climates, where there is plenty of sunshine, a solar-powered home is very appealing and very practical.
It doesn’t take very much sunlight to make electricity. But you will need enough photovoltaic panels to produce enough electricity for your needs. Some folks find it makes good sense to try to cut down their electricity use at the same time they begin changing to a solar-powered home. With only a few PV panels, you can generate the required electricity for your home. Even if you live in a small house, you can install a solar panel.
One of the biggest problems with modern homes is that they face the street and not the sunlight. This makes it more difficult, but not impossible, to set up all the solar panels correctly. To catch the most sunlight and make free electricity or free hot water, your PV solar panels or solar hot water panels must catch sunlight for as many hours of the day as possible. Effectively this means catching the sun at noon. The mid-day sun is to your south if you live in the US, Canada and Europe, or north if you are in South America, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand.
Solar hot water panels are usually installed on the roof of the building, because this allows the water pipes be short for less heat loss from the hot water. Solar electric panels can be erected on the roof too, but where this is impractical or where the roof faces the wrong way, it is possible to place the solar panels on a separate pole or tower not far from the house. You normally need the wiring lengths to be short, because of voltage drop.
These days solar power systems are more efficient than those of just a few years ago, and they can generate useful amounts of electric power from less sunlight. Today’s solar panels can be installed at steeper angles and still work well. Older panels needed to be as broadside as possible to the sun’s rays. So, even if you’re home doesn’t have an ideal orientation to the south or north of the sky, it should still be possible to generate a useful amount of solar power and solar hot water.
Solar panels are usually attached tot a supporting frame. Some frames are designed so you can change the elevation and direction of the solar panels for winter or summer. (The winter sun is lower in the sky.) As your home solar power system expands over the years, as it surely will, you can add more solar panels and the frames to hold them. You can buy these ready-made, or can build them yourself if you have a few home handyman skills and some simple tools.
Before setting up the solar panels, you need to work out the power consumption of your house. To work out your monthly power consumption, you will need to read through your past electric bills and figure out your average power use. Once you have done that, you can select the right size of your system.
If you have never used solar power before, it would better to begin simply. Leave room for growth too,so that you can expand the power capacity little by little especially if you do not have a lot of funds. Even if you use solar power as an alternative, you will be able to cut your power bills in the future.
For simple projects, you can start working on outside lights, decorative fountains and suchlike. Later on, you can use solar power for your indoor electrical needs.
When installing a solar power system, you will need a DC to AC power inverter. Pick the correct inverter to meet your electrical needs. Even if you are planning a small electric system, It is sensible to get a bigger inverter. That way, you can easily expand it in the future.
If you have limited knowledge about electricity, do hire a trained person or an electrician to connect the power inverter. Your solar power system needs to be properly merged together with your home electrical system. Dangerous voltages are present and you might het electrocuted. Only an electrician can comply with local codes so that your project can be approved officially.
In some countries, your local government may provide incentives to home owners who install solar power. It may even be a tax saving in some circumstances.