Maybe you’ve considered solar energy – even if only for a brief moment – only to dismiss it as too complicated and too expensive, or maybe you’re seriously considering a project, but don’t know where to start. With this Instructable, I hope to demystify the not-really intimidating process of installing solar panels in your home. We’ll review the parts of a solar panel system, the things you need to consider when you’re planning, and how you can save money on and even get free money for your project. At the end of the day, you’ll know what to look for and what to keep in mind with any solar project. If you’ve been thinking about going solar, there’s no better time than now to do it. Government financial incentives are still ripe for the picking, the cost of photovoltaic PV cells is falling every day, and you’ll probably be the first person on your block to make the jump.
Solar Info: The Down Low on Everything Up High
I am going to go completely off grid! How much is this device going to save me a day, month or year? How long will it take to pay for itself? The daily solar power you put into the tank is basically taken off your power bill. So it depends on the wattage of your panels, solar conditions in your area and your hot water usage. Typical daily power requirements of a 40 gallon tank are almost 2 KWh just to keep it at temperature with no use.
Typical grid connected installs of solar panels on homes need a couple of items to get them to work (it’s not just lets slap some panels up there and wire it into the house). Solar panels are DC (direct current), your house is AC (alternating current), so a inverter is needed to create the AC current.
Click the button to see our most recent upgrades: I know that was quick and brief but hopefully it gives you an idea of what our set up looks like and how it works. As you see we have two 65 watt solar panels for a grand total of watts. This solar setup was pretty basic. We had it installed at the Monaco factory when we picked up Windy in February Basic, Medium and Heavy use.
They had the most amazing, and efficient, RV Solar set ups we have ever seen. These are nice guys we met on the road who are doing cool things with solar power, and we felt the RV community needs to meet them!
Our Simple DIY Home Solar Power System
Converting my van Tagged With: Have you got engine charging up your battery supply as well? Mike Hudson Alright Andy, yeah that is a good point. I never thought of something as sensible as that. There are so many precautionary measures I could take but things would never get finished if I did them all.
Aug 07, · Connecting Multiple Solar Panels. Theses are the Diodes that I use, they are the same ones that are used when building the panels. Find them here. There are 3 ways to connect solar panels; parallel, series, and a combination of parallel and series.
You can catch his whole YouTube series here. Videos include everything from assembly , set-up , add-ons and plenty of personal mods from folks looking to build the better mousetrap. There are even videos on solar panel kit performance during rain and snow. If you want to get some insight of just what you can do with your newly-harnessed solar power, definitely check these out. Preppers represent a good number of the solar kit shoppers, which only makes sense.
Nobody anticipates contingencies like a prepper. To make room for even more solar kits, he shows how to build a wooden rack that can add three, making a total of 18 solar panels. Incidentally, LDSPrepper— who actually has a whole series of solar panel videos worth plowing through— repeatedly credits another YouTuber, econewpower, for helping him get started. This guy supplies his own treasure trove of solar panel kit how-to videos: I think there are five parts in this series, plus he has other DIY solar videos on hand.
Whether it be for emergencies, saving electricity costs or going green, solar is a solid alternative energy that, in extreme cases, could potentially save you and your family from losing creature comforts, food supplies or even lives.
Home Made Solar Panel Why pay lots of money or any money for a program that shows you how you can make your own solar panel as you can get this for free? Visit Home Build Solar System on http: Those systems are mostly made from materials you can buy locally in your DIY shop and materials which are easy to get online. Its time to harvest the sun and get your electricity for free.
The first thing you want to do is charge your batteries with a charger. This will insure they are charged to capacity and ready to go at set up. I purchased my batteries new and were only at about 60%. While the batteries are charging, you can set up the solar panels and get them wired up and ready.
The first thing I did was recruit the Survival Husband to do the heavy lifting. Then, together, we decided that we would install the solar kit on the roof of our garage which was angled just right and facing the south. During the summer months, we should get six to seven hour of sun a day in this location. We also agreed that climbing the roof was a task for someone younger — a lot younger — so until my brother and my electronics wizard nephew come to visit, we set things up on our upper patio and to heck with the patio furniture.
It also includes all of the parts you will need: Everything is included for a ground level installation. On the other hand, a roof top installation will require some brackets — something we have not purchased yet. The installation was simple. We just followed the instructions in the manual and things worked. Okay, truth be told, Shelly the Survival Husband does not always read manuals thoroughly so he put the frame together goofy and had to start over.
And then he could not find the power switch on the inverter and thought it was defective.
Doh! Most solar panels are facing the wrong way, new study shows
Knowing what to do with unused renewable electricity is always a dilemma — hooking up to the grid has to be the preferred option. If your residential home is grid tied, i. Then it makes a lot of sense to hook your solar panels to the grid, because instead of losing the unused electricity or having to maintain a bank of deep cycle batteries, you simply feed it back to the grid. You feed electricity back to the grid via your electric meter which measures the electricity in Kilowatt per hour.
If, however, you wish to continue to use mainline electrical while taking a lot of financial burden off of your back then you can do so. This is achieved by wiring the solar panels to .
Most DIY projects related to power around the house are based on consumptions and related limitations. When you’re generating power while the fundamentals are the same, what you need to consider changes significantly. Depending on the specific needs and available hardware how you wire your circuit to your panels could be a lot different. The major is problem is that generation must always equal load. Let’s say you’re using watts, but your panels are generating 1kW. Where is that excess power going to go?
You can’t just turn off the sun. You would need something like a “dump load”–basically a giant resistor to turn the excess electricity into heat. You could turn this into a water pre-heater by immersing the resistor in a waterproof coating in a tank where incoming water can be pre-heated before it reaches your actual water heater. The electronics needed to do this kind of thing are called a charge controller, commonly used in off-grid installs.
Charge controllers typically work in conjunction with batteries, so you’ll need one specifically for a battery-less install, if such a thing exists, or need to modify it accordingly.
How Do You Hook Residential Solar Panels to the Grid?
It contained lists of parts, where to get them and the part I liked best, step-by-step videos. Following along with the videos made the project much easier to complete. Tools You Will Need Me playing electric guitar with my amp plugged into the solar panel You will need some basic tools to build your diy solar panel. You will also need silicone caulk and wood glue. For the wiring, you will need wire cutters, wire strippers, a soldering iron and solder. You can pick up most of the tools at your local hardware store.
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Store How many batteries do I need for my solar panels? Most people start sizing their solar setup by figuring out how much energy they use in their home, then choosing enough panels and batteries to provide that much juice. We’re coming at the issue from a completely different direction. We plan to buy a few solar panels now and then as we can afford them, to hook up the appropriate number of batteries , and to slowly work various parts of our household off the grid.
For example, our first panels might be just enough to power our laptops and a couple of lights, so we’ll wire those gadgets directly into the solar setup, sticking to DC if possible. Since it’s a bad idea to hook old and new batteries together, we’ll probably keep each little system separate, which will cost a little more but will provide backups.
Which is all a long way of saying that we have two 45 watt solar panel kits each of which consists of three 15 watt panels and we’re trying to figure out how many batteries we need to support those panels. My first step is to determine how much energy we’re likely to get from the panels on an average day. You can either size your system based on the average peak sun hours which will give you an over-estimate for the winter and an under-estimate for the summer or based on the winter peak sun hours a worst case scenario.
If you wanted to ensure you had enough power even during the shortest days of the year, you’d want to use the winter peak sun hours in your calculations, but I think it makes more sense in our system to use the average peak sun hours, which is roughly 4.