DIY Solar Power

A Few Tips to Help You Prepare for Your
Home Solar Project!

Are you considering the purchase of a DIY solar power system? DIY solar energy systems are available from reputable retailers, but there are several things to consider prior to making an investment.

diy solar power

Consider first:

  • Does the south side of your roof receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day? Solar cells must have sunlight in order to produce electricity.

  • Are you comfortable walking on your roof? The pitch of your roof may determine for you whether or not you will be able to, or want to, install DIY solar panels yourself.

    If you feel the pitch of the roof is too dangerous, then the installation of your solar panels will require a professional.

  • Determine whether you'll be living in your home long enough to recoup the investment you'll make in your diy solar power system.

  • Solar power do-it-yourself systems can be obtained online or through a local retailer, or an experienced solar energy company that provides solar energy kits.

  • Prior to making your purchase, check to see if the company offers technical support, a warranty on the product or its parts, and a resource list of contractors who are qualified to make warranty repairs. This is important information that hopefully you'll never need, but it's good to have it on hand!

  • If you are handy, you can even build your own solar system using a good DIY solar installation manual. I like the Green DIY Solar manual because it is updated regularly, has very detailed, step by step instructions, videos AND a real person to answer your questions if you get stuck.

Advantages of a Do-It-Yourself Solar Power System

  • The initial investment is reasonable at roughly $200, if you are building a system from scratch. That's a lot less than some homeowners pay for their electric on a monthly basis.

  • For larger DIY kits you can pay up to a few thousand dollars, which is still quite reasonable given the energy savings you will begin to see as soon as the system is installed.

  • You can determine the size and design of the diy solar panels to fit your needs.

  • Minimal skills are required – if you can read a manual and understand basic terminology, you can install a solar power system.

  • The tools required can be purchased at your local hardware store.

  • The diy solar power system is portable, so you can take it with you if you relocate to another home.

Disadvantages of a Do-It-Yourself Solar Power System

Although the advantages of installing a solar energy system in your home far outweigh the disadvantages, in order to make a well-educated decision, it's important to know both sides of the issue.

  • DIY Solar panels are fully dependent on the sun, so on cloudy days, they aren't going to function as well, or at all. There are ways you can augment their performance but you need to be aware of what their limitations are.

  • The battery required to power these kits is rather large and cumbersome, so unless you have a convenient space for the battery, it can be unsightly and under foot.

  • If one or more of the solar cells quit working, you'll have to call out a photovoltaic technician. These specialists aren't easy to locate and the service call could be quite expensive.

Smaller homes would be, of course, less expensive to heat and power, so the return on your investment would be realized much quicker. However, if you plan to stay in your home, whether large or small, the investment will be well worth the time it takes to realize the return.

With all of that said, does the idea of selling power back to the power company appeal to you? Do you like the idea of going green in your home and saving thousands of dollars each year? If so, then a DIY energy power system may be just the right choice for you and your home.

›› DIY Solar Power

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