Solar Panels For Your Home

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Solar Panels For Your Home

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About Me

My name is Neville Pettersson and I have created the this site to help regular home owner’s like me make their own

energy at home. For more info about me check out the about page here. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and Pinterest.


Solar Panels For Your Home

With rising energy costs, caused by both supply and tax issues, many people today are opting to become more energy-independent through the use of renewable energy sources. The most common method today for generating renewable energy for general household use is by the installation of a
rooftop solar panel system on or near the home.

In deciding are solar panels worth it for your home, of course many costs must be considered. These include the solar panel cost (plus the parts), the cost of the installation if a professional does it, and the cost savings in utility bills.

In order to evaluate these costs it would be helpful if you had a basic understanding of what exactly constitutes a domestic solar power system. This will also put you in a better position to determine if you could possibly build your own solar panel system.

Surprisingly, the basic parts of a solar panel system and how they work together is reasonably understandable to the layman. We begin with the solar panel itself, which may either be purchased complete at the retail level, or you could learn to construct your own solar panels yourself. Naturally, the latter costs much less. If more than one panel is used they can easily be connected to work together by using MC4 (multi-contact) connectors.

Since raw solar-generated electricity comes in the form of direct current, you will also need a device to convert the electricity to alternating current, which will be usable in your home. This device is called an "inverter". For larger systems you may also want to have what is called a "module optimizer". When several solar panels are linked together, but are drawing energy at very different rates, (for example if one of the panels was in the shade much of the time), then much energy can be lost. Module optimizers compensate for these differences and keep the whole system operating efficiently.

These are the major parts a solar panel kit might include, along with safety and disconnect switches, as well as grounding lugs. Switches are needed both to make sure that too much energy and heat doesn't build up within the system, and to switch between using solar and conventional electricity.

Grounding lugs simply ground the solar panels for safety. Of course there is more detail, but there are several guides available that explain clearly how all of these parts work together, and how to install them. While caution must always be used when dealing with electricity, a growing number of average people are discovering that installing solar panels is both wise economically, and feasible by the do-it-your-selfer.

Continued below....

Solar Panels For Your Home


While a fully professionally installed, residential solar panel system can cost up to $30,000 or more, there are three main ways by which this cost may be substantially reduced.

The first is through technological improvement. Many wonderful advances are being made every day which bring down the cost regardless of how the system is installed. The second is by deciding to install the system yourself. Professionals do have legitimate skills, but they also have overhead and many other expenses that require them to charge a great deal for their services. All of these extra costs, which have nothing to do with your solar panel system, can be avoided by doing it yourself. As mentioned, there are many quality guides that can walk you through all of the steps safely and accurately.

A third way to reduce costs is to actually build the solar panels yourself instead of buying them pre-manufactured. A commercially made residential solar panel can easily cost $1,000.00 or more. However, a well-guided do-it-your-selfer can construct his own panels for as little as $200.00 each or less, sometimes, much less. This obviously becomes a worthy consideration when making a plan. A further benefit in terms of DIY cost for
building your own panels is that in many cases used parts will work quite nicely and that could represent a great savings.


Just as it is important to become familiar with the parts of a solar panel system if you are considering making the move to solar energy, so it is also important for you to be able to knowledgeably compare and contrast different features and components of various solar panel systems which are currently on the market. The following are some terms you will likely encounter when reading about such systems and a brief explanation of what they mean.

The first thing to notice when comparing solar panels is what type of solar cell is being used. There are three basic types.
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient solar panels, but they are also the most expensive to make. Polycrystalline solar cells are commonly a little less efficient regarding power than mono-crystalline cells, but because of their shape more of them can fit into each panel.

Finally, a third technology employs amorphous/thin film panels, which are less efficient, but carry the advantage of allowing non-inter-connecting cells. They also absorb certain kinds of light better and it is predicted that their cost efficiencies will greatly increase in the future.

There are also several different types of solar panel ratings which should be compared. Some of them include rated peak power (this is the maximum sustained power output of the panel, assuming the level of light falling on the panel averages one kilowatt per square meter). This is the main rating to look at.

Another type is the nominal voltage, or Vn. This is simply the system voltage the panel is designed to be used in. Voltage at peak power (Vp) is measured across the panel when the panel is producing peak power. Likewise, Current at maximum power (Im) is the maximum current available from the panel at peak power. Finally, the Open circuit voltage (Voc) is the maximum voltage available from the panel with no load attached.


As with anything else, there are
solar energy pros and cons. However, along with the tremendous savings available to the self-installer (and builder) of solar panel systems already discussed, there are also other advantages of solar energy and doing it yourself. Other financial benefits include receiving subsidies from the government for solar use and the ability in some areas to sell back unused solar energy to the local utility company. Your property value even increases with using solar technology.

In addition, solar panel systems reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, and produce zero carbon emissions. This makes them terrific for the environment. They are also relatively easy to maintain since there are no moving parts.

Finally, your friends and family will likely be very impressed when you show them the solar panel system you installed (and perhaps even built) yourself. Maybe they will even want to hire you to put in a system for them!