installing solar panels for home use

Installing Solar Panels For Home Use

Technology constantly evolves in terms of ability, function, ease of use, accessibility and of course cost.

Solar energy is no stranger to these developments and the capability to get off the grid or become more energy independent has never been greater and easier.

The picture that some of us get when we think of a solar powered home as a cabin, out in the sticks which is not connected to any utilities and the only options are solar power, wind turbines or even hydro setups.

The perceptions of not being able to use major appliances such as fridges, large screen tvs, may have been valid a few years ago, but the reality nowadays is that solar has advanced so much that the efficiency of solar panel setups is so good that the levels of electricity that are produced can be significant and useable for all homes.

Generating your own power to supplement your mains electricity or going off grid completely is really possible and a reality for many residential and business owners.

Solar power technologies have developed to such an extent that it is now very easy and affordable to install solar systems, yourself for your home.

Clearly there are costs with solar and the initial purchase and installation will cost you some money and, even though you’ll have this initial outlay and it may seem expensive at first when you consider the ongoing costs of the power that you get from the grid, and that that power is produced at a power station somewhere which uses fuel – and that fuel prices – oil, gas, coal and others are always rising, then, over the long term, that initial investment and financial outlay to buy a solar panel system, will soon be recovered.

The other thing to think about is this – once you’ve recovered your cost – you’re in profit, the power that your solar panel setup produces isn’t costing you any money at all. So, essentially you are getting free power, for as long as your system lasts.

These benefits are being understood by house builders and you’ll see that many new houses are now coming complete with small solar arrays on their roofs, both to help home owners to save money but also they understand that people are genuinely interested in alternative energy production and selling a home with a ready to go solar system is an added benefit and attractive to potential buyers.

For a lot of people the concept of generating their own electricity that they can use in their house is something that they don’t fully understand or grasp.

Many perceptions are of ‘old technology’ which is totally alien to the types of technologies that are available today.

When we drive around and see homes and businesses with solar panels on their roof tops, these buildings are generating their own electricity but they are also connected to the grid as well.

By using this mix of traditional grid power and solar power they are able to slash electricity costs but still retain their ability to use as much electricity as they need.

The energy that their solar panels are producing is used first, by the appliances in the building and, if any extra power is required, for example the building is using more power than the panels can generate, then that extra power is taken from the grid.

So, instead of simply taking all of the electricity from the grid, the solar power is used first and is then ‘backed up’ by grid supply.

This allows the owners to make some great savings on their power and, if they generate more power from the solar panels than they need, then this power goes into the grid. In some areas the owners can receive payments from the utility companies for the electricity that they pump into the grid system.

In some parts of the world the cost of a home solar installation can be part met by local and federal governments who often subsidize the costs of purchase and installation. There are often tax incentives or special loans and grants to support people that want to install solar panel systems for home use.

If you are thinking of installing solar panels for home use then here are a few facts to help you with your decision.

How Solar Panels for Homes Work

Solar panels, known also as photovoltaic cells or systems work by converting daylight into electrical energy that can be used.

When you see a solar panel this is, in reality, a group of individual solar cells that are connected together to make a single, large panel.

The individual cells are made from silicon compounds or similar which are highly efficient at absorbing light.

The cells, once connected together are then housed in a metal framed enclosure with a clear front panel and sealed to prevent damp and damage.

The front of the panel that faces the sun is the negative electrical side of the system and the rear the positive. When daylight hits the front of the solar cells, it agitates electrons which travel from the negative side of the cell to the positive side. This movement generates what we call electricity.

By combining the cells and connecting them together, the amount of electricity adds up and increases to a level that becomes useable.

How effective would solar panels be in your area?

Under best conditions solar panel systems can provide enough electricity to power everything in a typical home. The efficiency and levels of power really depend on location and positioning of the panels.

Solar panels should always be installed in an area that gets the most sunshine – north of the Equator this will be on a south facing roof, wall or other area.  South of the Equator this would be north facing.

Bear in mind that is some areas the sun shines more often and a solar system in a sunny area will be more productive than one that receives less sunshine.

You don’t think it’s sunny enough?

One of the common myths about solar panels is that they need sunshine to work.

Panels in sunshine will generate more power that’s true, however, solar panels work from daylight and it’s the intensity of the light that affects power. So, even on a rainy day, your solar panels will be generating power – they just won’t make as much as they do on a sunny day.

One of the great things to remember is that you can install solar panels alongside your existing grid power and this is the route that most modern homes take. Doing it like this means that all of the power that you generate will be used first in your home, before you use grid power.

You will save money and your bills will be lower.

My self installed solar panels have reduced my electricity bill by almost $100 per month, and I live in an area that gets lots of cloud, lots of rain and not a great deal of direct sunshine.

How much do Solar Panels cost?

On average a solar panel currently works out at about $1 per watt. So a 100 watt solar panel will, on average be around $100.

There are exceptions to this and I have seen panels of this wattage on sale for less than $90 online.

This panel from HQST is 100 watts and is currently less than $100 on Amazon.

You can see the latest price here.

installing solar panels for home use

Choosing Solar

If you choose to go solar then you will save money on your electricity costs.

It may take a while for the cost of the solar setup to be recovered via your bills but once paid off the power that they generate doesn’t cost you anything.

Solar panels are a great way to save on your energy costs and to reduce the resources that you use.

If you combine solar with other renewables such as wind turbines or home hydro power systems then you can really make some savings.

For many though, these other technologies may not be easy to introduce, but you can get benefits in other ways.

To get the most from your solar setup you should look to use energy efficient appliances, efficient lights such as LED light bulbs, make sure that your home is well insulated and consider your home heating and cooling.

For example you can save money on air conditioning costs by installing a solar powered attic fan.

These devices remove hot air from your roof space, cooling your home and, because they are solar powered, there’s no electricity costs. As they are cooling your house, the air con does not need to work as hard.

We’ve looked at some solar powered attic fans before and you can see the article and reviews via this link.

solar powered attic fan

It’s clear that nowadays, solar panels installations for homes are of real interest to home owners across the world.

Solar has been around for years but it’s only in recent times that it has become accessible and affordable for the general population.

We’ve seen that installing solar panels for home use will save us money and will help us to reduce the levels of grid powered electricity that we use.

Also we now understand how panels work and that we don’t need to be in sunny areas to get the benefits that solar power can provide.

We know that we can combine solar with our existing home power system and that we don’t have to give up our current electricity supply.

We also know that any solar power that we produce will be used first in our home, before any grid power, so we save money by generating our own power and that by having solar panels we increase the attractiveness of our house if we ever look to sell it.

Installing solar panels for home use does not have to be an expensive project. 

Of course, you can employ the services of a business or contractor who will install a system for you.

But, why not think about the DIY option?  

There are a number of kits available that provide you with almost everything that you need to undertake a DIY solar installation for your home.

Well within the reach of an average DIY’er these kits are easy to install, simple to setup and you get the great feeling of satisfaction from knowing that you are making power from a system that you installed yourself.

And you’ll save money too.

Installing Solar Panels For Home Use - DIY Kits

ECO-WORTHY 960W Solar Panel 12V Grid Tie System

  • ECO-WORTHY 960W grid tie solar power system for saving home electricity costs
  • Easy to install with pre-drilled holes on the back of panels for fast mounting and securing. Each solar panel comes with 90cm 12awg cable with MC4 Male/Female quick connectors
  • By-pass diodes are pre-installed in waterproof IP-65 rated junction box to minimize power drop caused by shade and ensure excellent performance in low-light environments
  • The grid tie power inverter is the most efficiency and technologically advanced inverter for solar power system, save your utility bill
  • Low cost and easy installation–it can make full use of all types of buildings’ surface that face to the sun in the city as well as fast and easy installation of solar modules and grid tie inverter. It just needs very low maintenance costs

ECO LLC 1800W Home Grid Tie Solar Kit

  • Power Generation Plan—1.8 KW Solar Power Generates Average 7kWh of Electricity Per Day for Home.
  • Flexible Use of Electricity—In cloudy days when the power supply is l the sytstem automatically takes power from the grid to support your needs.
  • Corrosion-resistant aluminium framed solar panels. 
  • Grid Tie Iverter—converts the power from your panels into the power that your home needs so that you can use it.

ECO LLC 3000W Off Grid Solar Panel Kit 48V Complete Solar System

  • ☼Package Include- 8pcs 160W mono solar panels+1pc 60A controller+1pc 3000W 24V inverter+4pcs solar cables+4pcs 100Ah batteries+6pcs Y branches+8 sets Z brackets.
  • ☼Power Generation Plan-Under ideal light conditions, the electricity output is about 4 kwh per day.
  • ☼Complete Off-gird Solar System-It is a complete off grid solar system with 2pcs 100Ah batteries,what you need is to connect them into a 24V solar system.
  • ☼Solar Panel- Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades as well as withstand high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa), Lightweight anodized aluminum frame and reinforced Safety and anti-Reflection coated glass 3.2mm thick (tempered + patterned)
  • ☼Warranty-1 Year product warranty

AUECOOR 800W Solar Panel Kit: 8x100W Solar Panels with 1000W Grid Tie Inverter for Home Use

  • This panel is designed to withstand high wind and snow loads, offer weather-resistant outdoor durability and longer life span. Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades.
  • High efficiency and output : This solar panel module conversion efficiency can comes up to 20.5%, It has excellent performance even in low-light environments.
  • Easy Installation: Compatible with different AUECOOR mounting systems such as Z-Brackets, Pole Mounts and Tilt Mounts.Diodes are pre-installed in junction box and a pair of 90cm cables with MC4 connectors are installed on the panels for easy connection
  • Warranty:6-year material and workmanship warranty,25-year power output transfer warranty;friendly 24H/7D service.Solar kit will be delivered in multiple packages .
  • This grid tie power inverter is the most efficiency and technologically advanced inverter for solar power system, save your utility bill. The inverter protects the system from overload, low voltage, over voltage, over current, reverse polarity.

ECO-WORTHY 1KW Complete Solar Panel System Kit with Battery and Inverter for Home

  • 4kwh daily output depends on the sunlight availability, supply for the off grid life,power for fridge and small A/C,etc.
  • Complete system with 200Ah battery and 3.5KW inverter, easy setting up.
  • Combiner box offers safety protection, with 10A fuse for each string, anti-backflow diodes and lighting protection.
  • For charging battery and a backup power, suitable for off grid shop,isolated cabin,garage,shed and remote agriculture,etc.
  • 1 year warranty and 24/7 technical support team, call ECO-WORTHY hotline whatever any question or concern you have.

ECO LLC 2000W Home Grid Tie Solar System Kit 20pcs 100W Mono Solar Panels & 2000W Grid-tie Inverter

  • Power Generation Plan—2 KW Solar Power Generates Average 7.2kWh of Electricity Per Day for Home.
  • Flexible Use of Electricity—In Cloudy Days, When the Power Supply is Insufficient,Automatically Obtained Power from Your State Grid System to Supply Your Load.
  • Solar Panel— Corrosion-resistant Aluminum Frame Allows the Panels to Use for Decades,As Well As withstand High Winds (2400Pa) and Snow Loads (5400Pa) Outdoors.
  • Grid Tie Inverter—Make Full Use of All Types of Buildings’ Surface that Face to the Sun In the City As Well As Fast and Easy Installation of Solar Modules and Grid Tie Inverter. It Gust Needs VeryLow Maintenance Costs.

ECO LLC 1300W 24V Off Grid Solar System Kit 8x160W Solar Panels and 3000W 24V Pure Sine Inverter and 4pcs 100Ah 12V Batteries

  • ☼Package Include- 8pcs 160W mono solar panels+1pc 60A controller+1pc 3000W 24V inverter+4pcs solar cables+4pcs 100Ah batteries+6pcs Y branches+8 sets Z brackets.
  • ☼Power Generation Plan-Under ideal light conditions, the electricity output is about 4 kwh per day.
  • ☼Complete Off-gird Solar System-It is a complete off grid solar system with 2pcs 100Ah batteries,what you need is to connect them into a 24V solar system.
  • ☼Solar Panel- Corrosion-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades as well as withstand high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa), Lightweight anodized aluminum frame and reinforced Safety and anti-Reflection coated glass 3.2mm thick (tempered + patterned)
  • ☼Warranty-1 Year product warranty