The sun is always shining, and it’s never too hot or cold outside! You can generate your own electricity using the sun’s free energy with little to no environmental impact! Here’s the basics of setting up a solar power system in your home.
Types Of Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels
Before you begin construction of your solar power system, you need to get the proper hardware. You have two options here: Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline. Don’t worry too much about which one is better, as both have their own perks!
Monocrystalline solar panels are more commonly found and thus more highly rated than polycrystalline solar panels. They’re also more expensive, but they convert light into electricity more efficiently.
Polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper than monocrystalline solar panels and are more easily found and thus more commonly used. They don’t quite convert as much light into electricity as monocrystalline solar panels do, but they still do pretty well for the price.
Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels require a few extra steps in order to maximize their potential. Here’s a quick guide on how to maximize the output of your solar panels so you can start generating electricity as soon as possible!
Getting The Most Out Of Your Solar Panels
The first step in getting the most out of your solar panels is to maximize the amount of sunlight that hits them. To do this, you need to take into account the position of the sun in relation to your home and the orientation of your panels. You can also increase the amount of light that your solar panels absorb by cleaning and maintaining them well.
To determine how much sunlight your solar panels can actually absorb and convert into electricity, you need to consider a few things. First, check the orientation of your roof and whether or not it has the proper sloping that allows for easy penetration of light. A roof that is too flat or low will make it harder for the sun to penetrate and hit the solar panels.
Next, check the direct versus reflected sunlight. If you have a direct sunlight exposure (i.e. no obstructions between you and the sun) your panels will more easily absorb it and thus generate more electricity. If you have a lot of shade or an obstruction between you and the sun, then you’ll have to choose a time when the sun is not directly above you in order to get the most out of your solar panel setup.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?
Once you determined that you have proper sunlight exposure and your roof is sloping, the next step is to figure out how many solar panels you need. This will depend on how much electricity you need and whether or not you want to be renewable energy independent.
If you’re not familiar with how much electricity you need, then it’s a good idea to look into buying a power meter for home use. These devices will tell you the amount of electricity that you’re using at any given moment as well as how much of it you’re producing. When electricity is produced in excess of what is being used, it is usually stored in a battery for later use.
A good rule of thumb is to multiply your daily usage by about 2-3. This will give you an idea of how many solar panels you’ll need to set up. Once you have your daily usage, divide it by 14 to determine the total number of solar panels you’ll need to set up to be energy independent.
Note: Some people prefer to use the actual sunlight exposure instead of multiplying it by 2-3. The numbers can vary, but this is a good place to start when figuring out how many solar panels you need.
Where Should You Site Your Panels?
The final step that you need to take is to determine where in your home you will site your solar panels. This is more of a design consideration than an electricity production one, but it’s still important to take it into account if you’re living in a tiny home.
If you have a small home with no rooftop space, then you have a couple of options here. You can either build a roof extension using wood or steel beams to provide an additional room for your attic or you can go up on the roof and start attaching the solar panels directly to the structure. If you can find a good location on your roof that is both sunny and protected from the wind, then you should do your best to site your solar panels there.
Protecting Yourself From The Elements
One of the most important things to consider is protecting your home from the elements. This is especially important if you have a rooftop installation and it’s far away from the house. If water is leaking from the panels or the elements are damaging the electronics inside, then you’ll have to take some time to track down the problem and fix it.
Problems like these are more common than you’d think, especially if you have older or more inefficient solar panels. The best way to prevent these issues is by installing a rainwater tank to collect all the water that rains from the sky. This way, you can easily monitor and check for leaks while still having access to the water when you need it! Keeping the water clean is also a good idea, so make sure that your tank is properly cleaned at least once a month with the proper chemicals.
There’s a lot more that you need to know about solar power, but these few steps will help you get started. Be sure to take your time and do your research before making any big purchases. You’ll be much happier with your decision if you do some research first and make a plan!