DIY Solar Panel & Solar Power Kits – No Mechanical Degree Required
One thing you can do to eliminate your electric bill is to invest in DIY solar panel or solar power kits for your home – but do you need to have a mechanical degree, or be a gear-head to figure it out? If you are living off the grid, you want to rely on outside services as little as possible. Self-sufficient living can be accomplished more easily when you go green, but sometimes the technology can be intimidating. The good news is, today’s home kits are much easier to understand and install. By installing solar panels yourself, you eliminate the costs of professional installation and other service charges. It could be helpful for you to seek out a guide on DIY solar panel and solar power kits before beginning your work. And with the vast resources of the Internet, there are also many e-books and DVD’s available online, as well as online forums to assist you.
The things to keep in mind as you consider DIY solar panel systems are which solar cells to purchase, what you will need to build a box to hold those cells, what materials you will need to wire them, the tools needed to set up your DIY solar panels and the general steps needed to build your home solar power system.
Standard solar cells are 3″ x 6″, generating 0.5 volt and 3.5 amps. The majority of people building DIY solar panel systems build panels that have an 18-volt output. Solar cells are typically sold in groups of 36, 100 or 108. If you buy pre-tabbed cells, this will make the job of wiring much easier later. Be careful about what you pay, as it affects the quality of your system. While cheaper cells save you money, they do not produce as much energy as better-quality solar cells.
When building a box for your DIY solar panel cells, wood is the easiest material with which to work. You will need to figure out the dimensions and layouts of your boxes. It is ideal to use wood that is about 3/4″ thick on the sides and plywood on the backs of the boxes. You will need clear covers for the boxes — you can cut lexan or plexiglass to fit over the boxes. Use additional wood such as fiberboard to attach the solar cells to the substrate in the boxes. Once you cut all of the wood, you can paint it and screw it together. Make sure to drill holes so that the wires have outlets from the boxes. By building the boxes and putting together the components on your own, you can save up to 75% of the typical costs associated with professional installation, and luckily it’s not rocket science.
So, Are Solar Power Kits Better Than DIY Solar Panels For The Newbie?
Alternatively, solar power kits can be purchased from any number of manufacturers through their websites directly or through auction sites. These kits usually come with solar panels, charge controllers, wiring to connect the panel to the battery and hardware to mount the systems. Solar power kits are more expensive than DIY solar panels but they still save you money over electricity. It is a good compromise if you do not want to shell out the costs for a professional but also do not have all of the required skills or time for DIY solar panel system.
The main parts of your kit will be the solar panel, battery and regular circuit. You should mount panels away from buildings, fences, trees and other obstructions so the panels can receive maximum sunlight. Once installed, many of kits can stand for 300 days without charging. After you install the solar power kit, if the solar panel does not actually power the station then ensure that the wires are securely placed and the battery is not corroded.
There are many advantages that come from installing your own solar panels. The sun is an alternative, renewable resource that can power your entire home or it can be an emergency backup. You can choose to power just outdoors, like patio lights, heat for swimming pools, or power tools. Either way, be confident that you can most assuredly tackle this project on your own, without having to be a master carpenter, electrician, or mathematician. All you need to do is simply evaluate your skill set and budget and decide on which works best for you, DIY solar panel systems or solar power kits.