Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Build Your Own Solar Power System

The First Battery And Electronics System

Build Your First Solar Power System! Beginner Tutorial Easily Explained, Budget Friendly

The original electronics consisted of an old 12v marine battery that I repurposed, a Coleman Air C60 charge controller, and a 400 watt inverter. That was all I needed to manage the battery and keep it from overcharging. If you are new to solar power and how it works, the charge controller is a device that regulates the charging on the battery. When the battery becomes completely full, it is designed to stop most electricity from going into the battery. Without a charge controller, the battery would eventually boil out and become ruined. If you are extremely new to solar, you might wonder why there’s a battery. Even though it’s possible to run loads without a battery, they would shut down every time the sun goes behind a cloud. The battery is there to make sure there is a stable, clean stream of power to your loads. Also, it can store electricity for night, as I have it do. Be sure to look at the highlighted notes on the pictures for more information.

Solar Energy Systems Budgets

Solar energy systems have different budgets. Some are way too much costly and very expensive. This arises when its time to purchase your solar energy components after sizing your solar energy system. These different budgets are also influenced by various factors and points to consider when installing/sizing for your system.

Factors influencing different sizes/budgets of solar energy systems

There are key points and issue which cause a difference in solar energy systems sizes and budgets. Below are main issues and points that cause the variation:

Generation factor of solar panels

Same Solar panels have different generation factor in different climates . For instance, in Thailand, the generation factor is 3.43 and in countries in Europe, the factor is 2.93.the factor is used to calculate the total watt-peak rating for your solar system.

Areas with high generation factor such as Africa receive more sun hour than those with a lower generation factor. So the high the generation factor the less watt-peak of your solar system. And that means the solar panel size will be reduced and thus the cost of solar panels also reduces.

A generation factor for solar panels is not a characteristic owned by the solar panel. Generation factor arises when you think of how much sunshine is in a given area. And for how many hours the place receives full sunlight.

Usage of solar components

Types of appliance

Type of solar components used

Type of current

Type of your solar system

Why Would You Build Your Own Solar Panel System

Forewarning: were not a solar panel installer, and we cant speak to exact amounts of how much installations cost and how much the market price of solar panels is at the time of this article. However, as a solar energy company, we can speak to the feasibility of installing solar systems and whether we think you should dive into building your own.

Having a professional install something costs money. If youre considering DIYing your solar panels, this clearly isnt your first rodeo. However, home solar panels arent your typical set of IKEA furniture where you can essentially furnish and build an entire house.

Solar panels are intricate and require a certain amount of trade knowledge to install them correctly. Therefore, to save money, you must spend time researching and carefully following the directions on your solar installation kit. What you save in cash might not be worth the time it takes to accrue the knowledge you need to do the job right.

That said, if youre installing a panel system on, lets say, your RV, boat or tiny house, then the process is much less complex than in a multi-panel system that must be wired into the electricity grid. Therefore, it might be worth looking into.

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Main Types Of Solar Power Systems

You have three choices for solar energy systems to power your homes and property:

  • Grid-tied Your solar array is directly connected to the public electric utility which you pull from when energy demand is higher than your system output. Any excess is sent to the grid. In most places, the electric company credits your bill.
  • Grid-tied with battery backup This alternative allows you to store excess electricity produced from your solar panels at your home in a battery backup. If your batteries become fully charged, surplus electricity is sent to the grid and you get paid for it in most cases. To meet your household needs, the battery pack is activated and extinguished before the utility takes over in peak demand times.
  • Off-grid In this solar setup, you are completely independent from the public utility supply. Whatever your solar array outputs is all you have. You may attach a battery backup to avoid outages.
  • During the research and planning phase of your DIY solar project, youll have to ask yourself:

    How To Build A Solar Panel

    Off Grid Solar Power : 20 Easy Lessons How to Build Your ...

    This article was co-authored by Guy Gabay. Guy Gabay is a Solar Energy Contractor and the CEO of AmeriGreen Builders, a full-service solar energy, roofing, HVAC and window installation company based in the greater Los Angeles, California region. With over eight years of experience in the construction industry, Guy leads the AmeriGreen team focusing on bringing an educational approach to energy efficient home upgrades. Guy holds a B.S. in Marketing from California State University – Northridge.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 14 testimonials and 88% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,177,266 times.

    Solar energy is a renewable source of energy that not only benefits you but the environment as well. With the effort you put into making a homemade solar panel, you can help prevent environmental pollution by reducing fossil fuel usage.XExpert SourceGuy GabaySolar Energy ContractorExpert Interview. 4 August 2020. Whats even better is that youll save money on you electric bill. To build your own solar panel, youll need to assemble the pieces, connect the cells, build a panel box, wire the panels, seal the box, and then finally mount your completed solar panel.

    Also Check: What Can I Power With A 100w Solar Panel

    How To Build Your Own Diy Solar System

    Designing and installing a solar array for personal use can be a daunting but rewarding challenge if you know what youre doing. Find out all the pros and cons as well as the ins and outs of solar DIYing here.

    Green Coast is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page. Learn more.

    Fully powering your home, vehicle, cabin, or boat by the sun in 2020 has never been easier. For starters, the International Energy Agency recently stated in its 2020 Outlook report that solar energy the new king of electricity is the cheapest form of electricity ever created. So, significantly reducing or even eliminating your utility bills with DIY Solar is a near certainty now.

    Better yet, the cost of materials needed for home solar has plummeted in the last decade . The biggest reason for the price drop lies in the photovoltaic panels themselves: 90% reduction in price from $2/watt to a measly $0.20/watt!

    On average, in the United States between 2010 and 2020, the cost of installing a residential solar system fell from $7.50/watt to $2.50/watt.

    This means your upfront costs are lowered, and your payback period is shortened. In as little as 5 to 10 years if youve done everything right its reasonable to believe that your DIY solar system will begin making money for you. This is great for both you and the planet.

  • Wrap up on DIY solar
  • Rating Of Solar Panel:

    The solar panel size should be selected in such way that it will charge the battery fully in one sunny day.

    During the 12hr day time the sunlight is not uniform, and it also differ according to your location on the globe. So we can assume 4 hours of effective sunlight which will generate the rated power.

    So total power output of Panels = 12V x 40Ah = 480Wh

    Power to be generated per hour = 480 / 4 = 120W

    Also Check: How Many Solar Panels To Make A Megawatt

    Please Don’t Leave Without Your Comments

    MagicStarER from Western Kentucky on July 17, 2016:

    This video is actually not mine, but I found it on YouTube. So I don’t know about the refrigerator.

    V4U from Gwalior on July 17, 2016:

    Well, this is perfectly explained. A nice hub to go through. Geothermal is the another option as renewable source of energy. You should go through my hub on geothermal energy. I hope you would find it interesting.

    Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on June 20, 2014:

    I see a refrigerator in your kitchen, but you did not mention it specifically. Are you running your refrigerator off of this system?

    reddawn5297 from NY on February 26, 2012:

    Nice hub! I’m looking into building a small off grid solar system. I mainly want it to run my lights first and hopefully build up from there.

    adair_francesca on December 04, 2010:

    Nice hub. Solar power systems are really great. I hope that many people will use it in generating power to their homes.

    knickick on November 21, 2010:

    That’s nice one. Also this solar power generator . You can read a lot about solar power generator. 😀

    amillar from Scotland, UK on September 04, 2010:

    Very interesting – thankyou.

    JON EWALL from usa on July 11, 2010:


    Before constructing your own solar system, check with your local building department.Building codes will establish regulations and permit requirements that may restrict the location of your panels Check my site for additional information.


    Which Type Of Solar Panel Is Best For Your Diy Solar Project

    DIY BASIC SOLAR SYSTEM: Your very own solar power system on a budget

    There are three major types of solar panels available for residential projects.

    Monocrystalline solar modules consist of 60 or 72 solar cells made of silicon uniformly black in color covered in glass and framed in metal. Each cell has rounded white edges. Monocrystalline panels are slightly more expensive than other types, but considerably more efficient. They convert up to 23% of sunlight to electricity.

    Polycrystalline solar panels also contain 60 or 72 solar cells, each one perfectly square in a mottled blue color. They convert about 15%-17% of sunpower into usable electrical energy. Polycrystalline panels are slightly less expensive than monocrystalline modules.

    Thin film solar cells are lightweight and flexible sheets of a photovoltaic material applied to a solid surface like glass. Thin films are even less efficient than the other types, usually only 10-13%. They are also cheaper.

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    Pros And Cons Of Diy Solar Panels

    DIY solar panel installation allows you to save more than having a professional do it for you.

    Solar kits have become more affordable than a pro service, which can cost at least $7 per watt. Therefore, a 5kW system is around $35,000 before incentives. Installing on your own means you do not have to pay for the installation expenses, giving you about $4-per-watt or a total of $15,000 worth of savings for a 5kW system.

    Making a DIY solar power system becomes easier every year. There are tons of solar kits online or at a local hardware store to help you get started. You can get a complete home solar array and start installing it. With a professional installer, you may be required to wait several weeks so the company will get the equipment and give you the schedule of the installation.

    Net solar metering is also a benefit in which this solar incentive lets you store energy and send the excess to the grid. Many companies will repay you for the electricity you produce.

    Video: Battery Selection For Solar Power

    There are various kind of batteries. Car and bike batteries are designed for supplying short bursts of high current and then be recharged and are not designed for a deep discharge. But the solar battery is a deep-cycle lead-acid battery that allows for partial discharge and allows for deep slow discharge. Lead acid tubular batteries are perfect for a solar system.

    Ni-MH batteries and Li-Ion batteries are also used many small power application.

    Recommended Reading: What Amp Solar Controller Do I Need

    How Can I Make A Simple Solar Panel At Home

    How to Build a Solar Panel

  • Step 1: Creating a Template & Putting Frame Together.
  • Step 2: Assembling the Solar Cells.
  • Step 3: Creating Holes for My Connections.
  • Step 4: Gluing the Solar Cells Down.
  • Step 5: Soldering Bus Wire.
  • Step 6: Visiting the Electric Side.
  • Step 7: Adding Even Pressure on the Plexiglass.
  • Rating Of Charge Controller:

    Get Off the Grid Now #1: Build Your Own Expandable Solar ...

    Since our system is rated at 12V, the charge controller is also 12V.

    Current rating = Power output of Panels / Voltage = 125 W / 12V = 10.4 A

    So choose a Charge Controller of 12 V and more than 10.4 A.

    If you like to reduce your system cost you can make your own PWM charge controller. For step by step instructions you can see my instructable on building a PWM Charge Controller.

    You may also like my new 3.0 design of an Arduino MPPT Solar Charge Controller.

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    Assess Your Options For Using Solar

    Purchasing and installing a system that you fully own and maintain is no longer the only option if you want to go solar. Even if you rent your home or don’t want to purchase a rooftop system, there are many programs will enable you to still benefit from solar electricity.

    Below are some of the options available for using solar energy at home check with local installers and your utility for programs available in your area.

    Purchasing a Solar Energy System

    Purchasing a solar energy system with cash or a loan is the best option when you want to maximize the financial benefits of installing solar panels, take advantage of tax credits, and increase the market value of your home, and a solarize program is unavailable or impractical.

    The solar installer will connect the system to the grid, and receive an interconnection permit from the utility. When the PV system generates more power than the homeowner requires, the customer is often able to sell excess electricity to the grid, and when the homeowners electricity needs exceeds the capacity of the system, the home draws energy from the grid as usual. Learn more about grid-connected home energy systems.

    Purchasing a solar energy system is a good option if one or more of the following apply to you:

    Community or Shared Solar

    Consider community solar if one or more of the following apply to you:

    Learn more about community and shared solar.

    Solar Leases

    Solar leases are a good option if one or more of the following apply to you:

    Design And Identify Size Of Your System

    Design and determine the size of your system based upon your energy requires. To determine the number of photovoltaic panels you will need, you require to understand how much energy you prepare to utilize on average monthly, and just how much sun direct exposure you can anticipate throughout the year. Once you understand that, you can choose which brand and model of photovoltaic panel will make good sense for you.

    If you are developing panels for a little task or home appliance, you will need less panels Merely determine the kWh the home appliance will need, then find out the number of panels to build from there.

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    The Cost To Do It Yourself

    The wholesale cost of panels has now gone down compared to before. You can often see that they are priced at $1 for every watt, which makes these panels more economical than ever. Ideally, you should purchase a cell that does not go over $1.3 per watt.

    The easiest way to calculate how much you need to spend is by calculating dollars per watt. Dollars per watt indicates the amount of money the available electricity production costs on average. On average, homeowners pay $3.05/watt, which is the average cost for a 6kW system. It means the whole installation process will be around $18,300 before rebates and tax credits.

    What Are Your Options For A Solar Panel Installation

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    You have options for your installation:

    #1: You can purchase pre-made solar panels or build them yourself and install them.

    #2: You could hire a solar company to provide a full turnkey solution, removing all hassles for you.

    #3: You could hire your own contractor to install them. This option will likely be cheaper than having a solar company install them for you.

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    Planning A Home Solar Electric System

  • Energy Saver
  • Planning a Home Solar Electric System
  • There are a number of steps to follow when planning to power your home with solar energy. After choosing which option is best for you to use solar , follow the steps afterward that apply to you. Your solar energy installer and local utility company can provide more information on the exact steps you will need to take to power your home with solar energy.

    Plug Load Electricity Estimate

    Before we get into heating and cooling, we start with getting an estimate for plug loads the amount of power you need for your household appliances, electronics, well pump, etc.

    This is tricky! No two families are alike, and two families living in the same home can have VERY different electricity bills depending on occupant behavior. Once you start to work with a ReVision Solar Design Specialist, well do a more thorough analysis, and ideally get a professional energy designer in the mix to build a more complex model.

    Skip to The 100% Solar-Powered Home to get your own rough-order-of-magnitude solar estimate built!Some terminology

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