When it comes to cutting down on those huge power bills, the best thing that you can do is to install a solar electric system for your home. And when it comes to installing a solar system for your home, you can either connect it to the main electric grid or opt to go off-grid. And when you go off-grid, you would be power independent and you would not have to rely on any central electric grid to provide you with the requisite power. Simply put, you would no longer receive any power bills or for that matter, have to deal with any major blackouts or power outages.
Here’s how you go about installing an off the grid solar electric system for your home.
The first thing that you need to do is to figure out your current power requirement. When it comes to installing a solar system in your home, you need to assess your power requirement first and then plan accordingly. Just installing the solar panels on your roof without a clue as to your current power requirements is moronic in the extreme. Remember, you are planning to go off the grid which essentially means that you would not have any backup power source to depend on. So use some of the tools like a load calculator, to work out your current power requirements so that you can install the required number of solar panels on the roof.
Calculate your solar power requirement
Now that you have calculated how much power you require for your home daily, the next step is to figure out how many solar panels you need to install to generate the required power. This can be a little tricky for some, so you may want to get some professional help in calculating your solar panel requirement and getting the same installed on your roof. But if you still plan to handle it on your own, then you need to work out the approximate sunlight hours or hours when the sun would be directly over your panels or calculate it as half-hour, when sunlight hits the panels at an angle.
You would need to have optimal batteries that you can use to store solar energy. Various options are currently available, which you may want to check out.
Solar charge controller
Before you assume that you can directly transfer power from your solar panels to your battery, you should know that you need a solar charge controller. A solar charge controller enables you to transfer the power from your panels to your battery bank. Essentially, the charge controllers come in two types, PWM as well as MMPT. In simple terms, if the voltage of your battery bank matches up to the voltage of the array, then you can opt for a PWM controller. Otherwise, you may have to go ahead with an MMPT controller.
Once your batteries are charged with residual solar power, you need to find a way to convert the same to usable power. And that is why you need a good inverter. Just remember that your battery comes with DC so if you are using DC in your residence, then you can skip this part. However, if most of your household and all the electrical appliances run on AC power, then you need to use this inverter to convert the DC to AC seamlessly. Also, you may want to know that inverters are designed to work only with specific voltage battery banks and therefore, you may need to do some research, well before you install those panels.
Now, you should be able to get your off-grid solar electric system up and running. You may also require a few breakers, fuses and other accessories but these should do the trick. Remember, if at any point, you find some of the information posted above a little overwhelming, then you would be well advised to call in a professional to handle the installation.
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