Recently, we were approached by a potential customer who had just purchased a new home and was interested in implementing a solar power system to produce electricity for his new state-of-the-art residence. Before making any purchase decisions, we first need to examine the capabilities of the solar panel system he had seen online, so we can recommend the most suitable technology for his home.
Which Type of Solar Panel System Is Suitable For His Home?
As mentioned earlier, our customer found a commercial-grade solar power system online, which consisted of four mono-crystalline solar panels that were attached directly to a battery charge controller (included in the package). After examining the system in-depth, we estimated that his home has a daily electricity demand of around 500 kWh, which is sufficient to operate all of the electrical appliances in the residence (excluding refrigeration and air conditioning units).
However, if he has any kind of an idle electrical device – like a blender, coffee machine, or dishwasher – then he will most certainly need additional electricity from the grid to power it. So, in that case, he will need at least a six-panel system to cover all his electrical needs.
Additionally, with all the technology these days, most buildings generate enough electricity to operate all of the electrical appliances on site. So, the only thing that may stop the building from generating its own electricity is the weather conditions – like heavy snowfall or strong wind – preventing the rooftop solar panels from operating at their full capacity.
Solar Panels Vs. Other Types Of Electricity Production
If you’re thinking about implementing a solar power system in your home, it is important to understand the difference between solar panels and other types of electricity production. While solar panels are a great solution to generate electricity, it isn’t the only one. There are other technologies, like wind turbines and water turbines, which can be used to produce electricity.
As its name implies, solar power generation is based on harnessing the energy of the Sun – using photo-voltaic cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity. This is in stark contrast to wind turbines and water turbines, which first need to be converted into mechanical energy, before they can generate electricity.
This makes solar power more efficient and attractive, since you’re not expending any extra energy to produce the electricity. In fact, solar power generation uses less energy than any other conventional electricity production method. Additionally, since the Sun is always available and will never run out, the cost of electricity produced by a solar power system is expected to remain stable over time – unlike the costs of electricity from oil, gas, or coal-powered plants, which increase daily and dramatically due to the ever-rising cost of fuel.
How Does Solar Power Work?
Before being converted into electricity by the photovoltaic cells on your solar panel system, sunlight is first split into its component parts – using mirrors or lenses – so that each part can reach the cells. The most common form of cell array used in residential settings is the monocrystalline cell – which is also the most efficient and the most expensive type. It’s made up of a single layer of crystalline silicon, with each cell measuring about 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) across diagonally.
Each cell is connected to a series of silver wires, which are then connected to the terminals of a direct-current (DC) capacitor bank. The DC capacitor bank is then connected to a battery charge controller (included in the package), which in turn is connected to an external utility transformer (we’ll discuss power wires & connectors below).
The monocrystalline cell is efficient, since it allows for the maximum amount of sunlight to be captured for conversion into electricity. It’s also expensive, since it’s the most efficient type and the most difficult one to fabricate. Due to its complexity, the process of monocrystalline cell fabrication is highly automated, and each step has to be performed with precision. There’s nothing haphazard about the way these cells are made – from start to finish, the process is highly organized and controlled.
Power Wires & Connectors
There are several different ways that you can connect your solar panel system to the electrical grid, so you’ll need to decide which one is the most suitable for your home. As mentioned earlier, your solar panel system will connect to the battery charge controller via a set of power wires, which are then connected to an external utility transformer.
The most common form of external utility transformer used in residential settings is the step-down transformer. It has fewer turns than the high-voltage (HV) utility transformer, and so operates at a lower voltage – like 115 VAC (or 230 VAC for some countries). A step-down transformer has two sets of input and output lines, with each line having four pairs (4 X 1), connecting each cell to a separate bank of DC capacitors.
How Do I Install A Solar Powered System?
Installing a solar powered system at home can be rather tricky, especially since it’s not practical to do it yourself without professional help. The first thing you’ll need to do is remove all of the existing electricity generators from your home (like ceiling fans, heater, or air-conditioner).
Depending on your skills and the type of help you have access to, you can either install the solar panels themselves or have professional installers do it for you. Even if you’re not handy with tools, hiring a professional to do the installation is still less frustrating than trying to do it yourself – especially since this can be highly dangerous if not done correctly (especially if there are any appliances left plugged in when the power gets cut off).
The next step is to cut a small hole in your roof, so that the Sun can enter your home freely. Ideally, you’ll want at least four to six hours of direct sunlight each day, so have this area of your roof examined regularly by a professional installer to ensure that your solar panels are receiving sufficient sunlight. If this is not the case, then either move the panels or find a way to raise them higher (you can get rid of any overhangs that could possibly block sunlight).
Once you have the solar panels in place and connected to the battery charge controller as discussed above, you can connect the individual wires coming from the panels to the appliances that you’ll want to use. Remember: Do not connect the Positive (+) lead of the solar panel to the Positive (+) lead of any other appliance, nor the Negative (-) lead of the solar panel to the Negative (-) lead of any other appliance. Doing so can cause serious and potentially fatal electrical shocks to you and your family.
Besides the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of solar power, another major consideration when selecting this energy source is the location of the generating farm in relation to your home. For example, if you live in a desert, it may not be the best solution to generate electricity there, as you may need a lot of water to cool down the panels. Additionally, in places far from the equator, sunlight hours are extremely limited – making it difficult to produce enough electricity to be useful.
Although solar power is a clean and renewable source of energy, it’s not always the most practical choice for your home. The above information should provide you with a general idea of what is entailed in setting up a solar powered system at home, as well as how to choose the best solution for your home.