Solar Power for
Homes - What You Need to Know

Some suprising new developments in solar power for homes may make using solar energy in your daily life more possible than you may think!

When choosing solar power for homes, many homeowners have little idea that the systems can be tailored to the specific needs of the home. The most common type of solar energy is produced in solar panels attached to the roof of a house. These panels collect solar energy and convert that energy into useable, electrical power.

In many cases, an inverter will need to be used to convert the power from a one way feed or direct current (DC) to the alternating current (AC) that is used in most homes. The number of solar panels and the amount of wattage produced will determine the size of inverter needed and the number of inverters to be placed on the home. If the power will be stored in batteries for later use, there is no need to include an inverter on the solar panel system.

Moving Away From the Solar Panel

The solar panel is not the only type of solar power generator that can be used in the home. Technological advances have brought solar energy a long way. Today, solar backpacks, appliances, cell phone chargers, hot water heaters and heating and cooling systems have integrated solar panels that work for a specified purpose.

The solar backpack, for instance, can be used to charge a laptop or other mobile device while a student is studying outside or walking from class to class. If the student can find a window seat in class, theoretically the backpack could eliminate the need for electrical charging.

Appliances and cell phone chargers work in much the same way. The solar power that these units use is directed at powering or charging the attached unit and not production of energy for the entire home.

One of the most functional uses for solar energy can be affordably installed in the attic or roof crawl space of a home. Solar fans, powered by the sun, can be used to cool these spaces and reduce the loss of heated and cooled air from the roof of the home.

The units are installed in the roof like skylights and collect energy from the sun to power the fan. An even smaller alternative are walkway and driveway lights. These small solar energy units, collect sun power throughout the day and that energy is used to light the bulbs at night.

Will Solar Power for Homes Work for Everyone?

While solar power for homes may be ideal in many locations, using full scale home solar power systems may not be not practical for every home. The average number of sunny days per year will greatly influence the potential energy output of any solar unit.

In locations where frequent rain and snow are common, the units will not have the direct contact with the sun's rays needed to collect solar energy and convert that energy into solar power. In these cases, the cost of installing solar panels will not be returned via savings in the home for many years.

On the flip side, places like Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States and some parts of Florida where sunny days far outweigh cloudy days, solar energy can be easily collected in amounts large enough to take a home completely off the electrical grid. Extra power can then be sold back to the electric company for credits or cash.

M.S. Rochell is a lifelong, passionate lover of nature and the environment, and the editor of, whose purpose is to inspire and educate ordinary people about the benefits of affordable solar energy. Please visit to learn more about affordable solar power for homes and to access our extensive list of free solar resources.

This article is available for free reprint and MUST include all links and the resource box in the article. Please see our solar energy article guidelines.

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