How Can I Create Efficient Home Solar Panel Systems?

When considering installing home solar panel systems, you will want to ask yourself the following two questions: “Do I want to include batteries for storing electricity?” and “How much of my home do I want to power through solar energy?” You’ll need to assess your current energy consumption to know how powerful your solar system should be.

The main components with home solar panel systems are photovoltaic solar panels, a power converter, an extra power switch, and a battery pack (if you choose to use a combination of both solar and grid energy). When purchasing photovoltaic panels, make sure they can produce at least 250 watts of current. A good standard to use is a total of 5,000 watts for your home, which requires you to buy 20 of the 250 watt panels. You’ll also want to figure out what type of solar panel to use from the three main types: Conventional silicon solar panels, Rigid Thin Film Solar Panels, or Flexible Thin Film Solar Panels. While silicon solar panels are very effective, they work best in direct sunlight. On the other hand, rigid or flexible thin film solar panels efficiently produce energy in indirect sunlight, and are light weight. If you go with traditional solar panels they are housed in aluminum frames, which is both durable and light weight. They are affixed to mounts which are screwed into your roof.

Typically for residential purposes, both solar power and conventional grid power are used in combination to provide energy to your home. With home solar panel systems configured like this the installed panels power you during the day and the conventional grid powers your home at night. To get the most bang for your buck with this type of solar panel system it’s best to use your home appliances during the evening or night time so that you use the grid energy. If you decide to only use solar power without the grid, you’ll need to install a battery bank to store the excess energy collected from the sun’s light.

Ok so let’s talk about how this process works. The electricity coming out of the panels is called direct currents (DC). It will use a power inverter to convert the DC power into household, or AC power (alternating current). This power inverter will cost about $2,000 and about $400 to install. The power inverter will need to be connected so that the electricity can travel to your service panel or breaker box. If you are using a combination of solar and grid power, you most likely would want to have two service panels or breaker boxes so that the solar panel can be shut off if need be.

A great benefit of using home solar panel systems is that if you were to use minimal energy on sunny days, you will end up the storing additional energy with your utility company, resulting in a credit to you from your utility company. So you can think of your utility company as being a giant battery that stores your excess solar power as a credit waiting for you to cash in. Check with your utility company for details and any fees that come along with it. Also remember to look into any Federal Tax credits, which you can apply for up until 2016.

By incorporating home solar panel systems into your home, whether used solely as solar power with a battery back up or used as a combination of solar / grid power, you’ll greatly reduce your energy consumption. Fairly easy to install, solar panels can either be mounted on your roof (if purchasing traditional solar panels), or glued directly to your roof (if purchasing thin film solar panels).

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