When it comes to DIY solar energy, the topic itself isn’t really that complicated. With the availability of parts, and the lower cost of solar cells, building your own solar panels is easier than ever before.
A solar energy system can quickly reduce or eliminate your power bill, and by choosing DIY solar energy you’ll save as much as 90% over the cost of having a system installed. Best of all, as long as the final wiring is done by a local electrician, your DIY solar power system still qualifies you for government tax rebates, further reducing the cost of your solar panels.
When you choose the do-it-yourself solar route though, there are some little things you can do to increase the ease of your conversion to solar energy. In this article I want to give you five tips to help you get the right start for your DIY solar energy projects.
DIY Solar Energy – 5 Tips
Sometimes the success is in the details. It’s often the little things that can make all of the difference in getting the right start. DIY solar really isn’t that complicated, but these 5 simple tips will help you make the most of the time and money you invest.
1. Start with the right instruction – A professionally written DIY guide is a much better starting point than possible misinformation you got from somewhere else.
2. Build Solar Panels According to Those Instructions – Next, use those instructions when you build your panels. Don’t decide to save money by using cheaper parts (ie. broken solar cells), or lower quality materials. Choose the best parts, and follow the step-by-step instructions included in your guide.
3. Use ISO Certified Breakers/Inverters/Controllers – Do not build your own charge controllers, inverters, or buy radio shack switches. A single solar panel is only 12Volts so the risk of fire is almost nil. On the other hand, when you wire 10 of them together the voltage and amperage increase. Be sure to use a certified charge controller and DC inverter. These parts are inexpensive and will reduce the risk of fire.
4. Have An Electrician Do The Final Wiring – Especially if your home is already tied to the power grid, have an electrician do the final wiring for your DIY solar energy projects. This will ensure you aren’t dealing with the high voltages coming from the grid. In many places it’s also against the law to wire to the power meter in your home (unless you’re an electrician).
5. Check Your Panels Once a Year – Once you have your DIY solar energy system wired in, be sure to check your panels once a year. Make sure that they are still sealed well, and if you used a material like plywood as a backer, don’t forget to ensure they stay painted.
If you follow these simple tips, your DIY solar energy system will work harder for you right from the start. With solar power installed in your home, simply checking on it once in a while will ensure that you get to use renewable energy for the next 25 – 30 years (the life expectancy of your panels).
John O’ryan works as a builder/installer of Solar Energy solutions. He also runs a site that helps others choose the right solutions to go green and save. You can read about the top 5 guides to go green and save on his site DIY Solar Guides [http://www.diysolarpanelguides.com/blog/]. You can also get the video version of this article here: DIY Solar Energy [http://www.diysolarpanelguides.com/blog/diy-solar-energy-10-tips.html].
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