Handyman alert: solar energy power kits have arrived. The renewable energy explosion has people opting to add solar energy power to their homes. Some are going all out and totally off the grid, while others are wading in slowly. For the handyman, installing a solar energy kit is not difficult. Everything needed arrives in one package.
All the homeowner has to know is how to choose a solar power kit and they are just steps away from using Earth friendly energy, for some if not all of their energy needs.
Solar power kits come with detailed instructions for the handyman to follow. This should be the first thing you look for in the review or description of the kit, unless you are purchasing it to be installed by the pros. In that case ask them for recommendations.
Another decision you need to make is whether or not this is a stand-alone system, or do you plan to expand it later. Regardless of the initial answer, I recommend you purchase a kit that is expandable. You may decide later that you do want to expand. Having a system that is easy to upgrade may save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
I Use How Much Power?
There are easy and hard ways to determine your power needs. You can research every item in your home to determine how much power is used and multiply that by your best guess of how many hours per day you use each one. This can be a tedious process that at best gives you an estimate of your power usage.
Alternately, and probably simpler, would be to call your power company and have them access your records for the past year. They can tell you what your average monthly use is then you can divide that by 30 days to get a daily average.
Armed with your average power usage needs you can purchase your solar energy kit. You might want to purchase a kit that covers only a portion of your needs and upgrade later. Doing this lets you see how solar energy performs in your home and keeps your power company as a backup.
No matter what percentage of power you are going to replace, find out if the system you are buying includes a battery backup source. Battery backups are a must if you absolutely cannot tolerate the occasional blackout. However, they can be expensive to maintain and must be replaced over time.
There is a way to avoid both being without power and the cost of a battery backup. Keeping your power system partially on the electric grid will eliminate blackouts and at the same time any excess solar power you produce is sold back to the power company.
Last, but by no means least, check into the dealer you are considering buying from. Even as a do-it-yourself project you are spending money. Make sure that the company is reputable. Ask around; make some calls to ask questions. If they are hesitant to answer your questions, find another dealer.
Opting to install a solar power source in your home is a wise and money-saving decision. Kits are available that take the leg work out of buying all the different parts. Choosing your solar power kit is as simple as determining your energy needs and finding a reputable dealer. Being Earth Friendly is getting easier every day.
Cheaper Options to Solar Power Kits
Many people go for the expensive option and pay a company to do the complete installation of a solar energy system. The main benefit of this is that installation is hassle free, plus you will get some sort of a guarantee.
The down side to a professional system is that due to high cost it can take very long time for the system to actual start saving you money.
Have You Thought About Building Your Own Solar Panels?
If you had a shopping list of all the parts you need to build a solar panel system and step-by-step instructions on how to wire the system together, you could actually build your own solar power system for under $200.
You may not be aware, but there are now some great “how to” guides available on Internet that provide step-by-step instructions on how to build a solar power system. Some are much better than others and the best ones even include video instructions. These guides are aimed at anyone who is capable of using a drill and doing some basic wiring.
Out of all the DIY guides on renewable energy systems, my recommendation is Earth-4-Energy. You can get a quick insight into this guide by watching this YouTube Video Review of Earth4Energy.
Originally posted 2009-04-28 19:46:43.