We live in an age where everyone is getting to understand the importance of living green and using energy sources that can’t be depleted. But even for those who are NOT interested in saving the planet, the cost associated with electric bills gets them interested in the prospect of generating solar power.
The first option for those who have enough money and to spare is to get professionals to handle everything. But for those who are more mindful of how each dollar is spent, that isn’t always an option. That’s where solar panel kits come in.
Which Solar Panel Kit Should You Go For?
What you go for depends on what you want to achieve. Are you just interested in powering lights, TVs or something like your laptop? Then all you need to do is just pick from one of the different small solar panel kits out there. They are also good for those who just want to get their feet wet and get a feel of this whole renewable energy stuff. There are different options out there. Here are a few…
1. Starter Kits
These are usually made up of one or two panels and give you a form of backup in the event of a power outage. Although it doesn’t give you the wattage of larger solar panels kits, it’s a good place to start. You can step up without penalty whenever you are ready. Solar setups are usually modular in their designs.
2. Lighting Kits
These kits are meant to power just the lights in your home and nothing more. It is usually recommended that you use energy efficient lighting in order to reduce power consumption.
3. Heating Kits
These will help you reduce fuel usage by a high percentage. You will no longer have to worry about heating bills once you get the right kit and have your system set up. But bear in mind that different kits come with different wattages. Find out which is most appropriate for your home.
4. Fridge and Freezer Kits
These solar panel kits make sure that your refrigerators and freezers are always on even if there’s a power outage. This saves you a lot of money as food stored in them won’t go bad.
There are other options but the important point here is that you can choose how high or low you want to start. You can even sell surplus energy and make extra money. It’s all entirely up to you.
So What Are The Components Of Solar Panel Kits For Homes?
There are different types of kits out there. Some come with only instructions on how to get your set up right. Those instructions can come in the form of manuals and videos or both. They also show you where to get your materials at a good price. This is usually good enough for people who have a measure of experience handling technical projects themselves. It is also a good compromise for folks who are on a tight budget.
That said; some kits have much more. The best ones come with resources and materials to help you set up a solar power system. The details of what is included differ but here are things you can expect…
1. Solar Cells
Solar cells represent the most complicated part of a solar power system. On their own, they do NOT produce much power but, when they come in panels, they add up to give you considerable power.
You have to get your wiring right if you are going to get your batteries charged as your panels draw solar energy. So some kits provide you with wiring diagrams and the right wiring material. You may also have charge controllers added.
3. Soldering Materials
An experienced electrical professional won’t have any problem picking the right solder and soldering iron for his/her project. But for the average person, a little help won’t hurt. So you will find that some kits include the soldering materials for the project. You may even get kits that include the flux used to protect what you weld.
Bear in mind, though, that you may NOT have all you need to complete your project in a given kit.
Why You Should Get Your own Solar Panel Kit
1. You can reduce your bills once you set up your solar energy system. It doesn’t matter if all it powers is just your lights, money saved over the course of a year will be sizeable.
2. You can make money by selling excess power generated to your local utility company. There are people who have scaled things up to a point where they generate more power than they need. You too can over time. There’s no need to rush it. Remember, you can increase your power generation whenever you are ready.
3. You help reduce dependence on solid fuel. That’s one way you can save the earth, reduce global warming and also help your country become less dependent on imported fuel. Money saved on such imports could be spent on other important areas.
4. You can build up your solar energy system little by little over time. Since everything about the technology is modular, you can start with just providing back up power for some appliances in your home and then scale things up until you can sell excess power. Furthermore, the cost of setting it up has dropped and will keep dropping.
5. The value of your home goes up once it is solar powered.
6. You get save up to 30% on federal tax as the government is offering incentives for people to use alternative energy.
Things To Consider Before You Take The Plunge
1. How much should you invest for starters?
Ordinarily, one would just tell you to just go for a full set up. However, you have to take into consideration how expensive it is to set up such a solar energy system. For example, a three bedroom home needs up to 20 solar panels. This should cost you in the neighborhood of $9k. Now add the cost of deep cycle batteries and other components necessary and you could be looking at about $20k or more.
So can you cough up that much for starters? If not, you can start with something more modest and gradually build up over time.
2. Is your home energy efficient?
A home that uses energy efficient lighting and appliances will require less power. How well have you done in this area? What steps have you taken to ensure that you only buy appliance that are energy efficient?
3. What type of home solar panel kit is best for you?
You know there are many different kits out there and you know they come with different components and resources. Have you decided on which is best for you considering your technical ability and budget?