Setting up your Home with Solar Power

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Setting up your home with solar energy systems

More and more people are getting interested in residential solar power systems as the price of energy skyrockets. As a result more companies are developing and providing solutions to consumers so they can easily purchase and install their own systems.

Setting up your home with solar power is actually quite inexpensive for low-end systems and can be accomplished by anyone who is familiar with electrical systems.

Setting up your Home with Solar Power

Plan your home's solar system

The first step is to establish a plan for your system before you make any purchases. all appliances, lights etc or if it is for emergency use and backup only. Perhaps you need a system for the cottage which does not have power from the local utility or you want to participate in a net metering system were you sell your excess power back to the local electrical company. All of these solutions are possible, however they require different components to be added to your system to provide sufficient power and to meet the specification requirements of the local utility.

A basic emergency system to run a few lights will require a limited residential solar power system that can be built for something in the range of $600, while a more robust systems to run all of your lights and appliances can run into thousands depending on how much power you need. If you plan to sell power back to the utility, you will need to purchase a better quality inverter and a net metering system. The inverter is needed to convert DC to AC voltage and meet the specifications of the electric grid for a clean sine wave.

Solar powered home components

Setting up your home with solar power will require the following components regardless of the size and the number of KW's that you plan to generate. All of your components will need to be sized for the amount of power you will generate. There are a number of companies that can help you with the final design of your residential solar power system.

Battery Bank:
Batteries are required to store the electrical energy generated during the day by your solar panels. They should be wired in parallel and they also should be the sealed type so that you do not need to worry about hydrogen gas being generated or the fluid levels running dry in them if they are left sitting for several months.

Solar Panel:
A solar power panel of the appropriate size or capacity needs to be purchased and mounted in a southerly facing direction to maximize the power generation from 11 am to 2 pm during the day. More expensive systems can rotate and follow the sun, however this is typically beyond the reach of most consumers.

Charge Controller:
This device manages the charge to your batteries to ensure that they do not overcharge and also prevents electricity running back into the solar panels when they are not generating solar power. It is a good idea to purchase a charge controller for your residential solar power system that can handle additional solar panels in case you want to add more in the future.

Inverter:
This is a must if you plan to run any AC appliances or lights. There are cheap inverters which will provide a sine wave, and most appliances will run off this inverter, however spend a bit extra on the solar power generator to get one that generates a higher quality sine wave to run all of your appliances including microwave units.

Design your solar powered home to power all appliances

Net Metering System:
This is also a must have if you are planning to sell excess power to your local utility. It is a good idea to contact the utility to see which units are pre-approved for use by them.

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Setting up a Solar Powered Home