You may have seen the stories about people choosing to forsake modern conveniences and live ‘off the grid’ – independent of the utility companies that provide us with electrical energy. Individuals are able to generate their own electricity using solar panels, which they can install on their rooftops. This article will tell you about some of the options available to you if you’re interested in trying this out for yourself. It will cover such topics as where to begin, what kind of support you might need, and what equipment you will need in the first place.
How to Get Started
If you’d like to learn about how to go solar, the first thing you should do is contact your local energy provider. They will be able to give you an idea of what type of installations are available in your area and which ones are suitable for your home or business. You may also want to contact the solar manufacturer, as some companies specialize in making solar-ready homes and businesses. Once you have an idea of what supplies are needed, you can begin making a list of the equipment and materials you will need to purchase. This article will not go into great detail about how to install solar panels on your roof, but there are plenty of online resources that can help you get started (see resources below).
Equipment You Will Need
- A photovoltaic (PV) panel or solar generator
- A battery bank (recommended for storing energy generated during the day)
- Series circuit wiring (allows for more efficient electricity generation)
- A charge controller (to keep the battery bank at a manageable level)
- Sockets (to connect your charge controller to the battery bank and PV panel)
The PV panel or solar generator is what generates electricity from the sun’s rays. Once you have one installed on your roof, you will notice that you begin to produce your own energy, which you can use as you need it. To make the most of this amazing invention, you will want to install a battery bank to store the energy produced by the PV panel or solar generator. The battery bank can be either rechargeable or non-rechargeable (i.e., one that cannot be recharged).
If you use the non-rechargeable type, you will need to purchase a separate storage device to hold enough electricity to power your home for the day – about 15 to 20 hours (these batteries are generally built into your solar unit).
The series wiring refers to the way in which the wires from your solar unit are connected to each other and to your electrical appliances and fixtures. Different regions of the country require different series wiring to be done in a different manner. For example, in some areas of the country, it is required by law that all your wiring be done in a horizontal manner (i.e., along the roof line). In other regions, it is necessary to tuck the wires underneath the shingles (for military and some commercial buildings).
To start generating your own electricity, you will need to connect your PV panel to the battery bank and to your home’s electricity grid. You will also need to have the charge controller (which is a specialized device that regulates the flow of electricity) installed to prevent overcharging and damage to your battery bank and household appliances. When connecting your PV panel to the battery bank, you will need to follow the guidelines set by the local energy provider. Once you are connected to the power grid and have the charge controller installed, you can begin enjoying the many benefits that solar energy provides.
One significant advantage of having solar energy is the ability to generate electricity at all times. This is especially useful if you are located in a region that gets a lot of sunlight and is therefore able to generate a significant amount of electricity. If this is the case, you may want to choose a system that is tied into the grid, so that you can continue generating electricity even if the power goes out for some reason.
Where Can I Buy All This Stuff?
If you decide that this is the direction you’d like to go in, it’s time to start looking for places to purchase all of this necessary equipment. Fortunately for you, we live in the age of the internet, and with a little bit of research, you will be able to find any information you need. For example,
- The PV panels can be purchased from most major retailers, such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart
- The battery bank can be found at most hardware stores or online retailers
- The charge controller can be purchased online or at most major retailers
- Series circuit wiring can be purchased at most hardware stores or online retailers
- Sockets can be found at most hardware stores or online retailers
Even if you decide to go with a ready-made system, you may still need to purchase some of the items listed above. However, you will likely be able to find a great deal on almost all of them if you shop around. Remember to invest in quality items that will last many years of heavy use. You can also find a great deal on used items if you are looking to cut costs.