Solar Energy Kits
Solar Energy Kits
Solar Energy Kits include the list of components (articles) we need in order to harness Sun radiation to generate solar power for homes.
So, what are the components of solar energy kits?
- Solar Panels; Solar panels directly convert sun radiation to DC current
- One DC to AC inverter; a different type of solar inverter is used for homes connected to the grid (grid-tied) and for homes not connected to the grid (off-grid).
- Deep cycle batteries; Deep cycle batteries are not needed for grid tie homes (homes connected to the utility grid)
- A charge controller between the inverter and the batteries; obviously, if batteries are not needed, a charge controller is not needed either
- A set of wires in the right length and the right gauges
- Mounting brackets, bolts and other parts needed for installation
Scalability and Sizing
Scalability is an engineering concept that means how a system can start small and grow in the future. The most expensive parts are the solar panels. Solar panels are modular in nature; you can “feel the taste” with one panel or two panels and add more in the future. However, make sure all future panels are similar to the first you purchased. There is only one inverter so buy an inverter that will fit the final size. You can buy a battery or two initially and buy more at later time (applicable to off grid homes). Buy the final size charge controller (needed only for off-grid solar power systems)
Starting small makes sense on grid, off-grid you might need to go to the final size in one shot
To know what is the right size you need to know what is your electricity consumption. This is an easy task for on-grid home because the information is available in the last 12 months electricity bills . For off-grid, you need to sum up the consumption of appliances, lighting and entertainment devices.
Two tips for off grid home owners
- Solar power “lives happily” with wind power
- Heat your water using a solar hot water heater, the most cost effective water heating method
Purchasing, Installing and Maintenance considerations
My advice is to buy a complete kit from one online or offline shop. A reputable shop can provide pre-sale advice, calculate the right size and provide a proper post sale support. I suspect the price on a package deal is less than the combined price of the components
If you like to do it yourself, do the mechanical installation and ask a certified electrician to do the wiring. Or, get a contractor to do a turn-key job
Keep all the manuals and follow the instructions.
Special solar energy kits
Special smaller size kits are available for RV owners and for small boats
A very special category are portable solar systems and portable solar generators
If you have little citizens playing in your home, buy them an educational solar kit such as a toy car energized by solar panel. It is good to expose kids to the benefits of solar energy
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