The concept of solar power sounds easy, right? You just need some equipment to harness energy from the sun and convert it to the power your home needs to operate lighting and appliances, like air conditioners, refrigerators, and hot water heaters.
In reality, the capture and conversion of solar energy to power a residential home can be far more complicated than it appears, but it is still a worthwhile goal. If you are intrigued by the idea of using free energy from the sun to power your family's home, this basic advice can help you get off to a good start.
DIY solar kits?
Those who want to dabble with solar power before moving ahead to equip their entire home may consider purchasing a DIY solar kit from a local or online discount store. While these kits can help introduce the basic concepts of solar power to those who are new to the idea, they should not be expected to provide real power for an average-sized home.
If you purchase a solar kit as an educational endeavor, consider using it to provide small power needs, such as a powering a security light or lighting for a small workshop. Once you are familiar with the concept, it will be easier to understand what will be needed to provide solar power for an entire home.
Grid-tied or off-grid?
Another critical concept for new solar users to fully understand is that all solar power is not the same. Initially, homeowners may feel that going off-grid with a complete solar system is the path they are most interested in. After all, the thought of never having another power bill can be intoxicating.
Unfortunately, going completely off-grid may not be possible for most homeowners who live in area where regulations require that their home remain attached to public utilities and services. The most applicable situation for off-grid solar power is more likely to be when the home is in a very rural area where public utilities are not readily available.
Grid-tied solar systems are the most commonly used forms of solar for the average homeowner. By remaining connected, homeowners are able to utilize the power their solar panels generate before accessing grid power. If the home's solar system creates an excess of power, most electric companies will purchase that power from the homeowner.
Converting to solar power can be cost-effective, as well as helping your family avoid blackout situations, such as when an ice storm damages power lines. If you would like to learn more about using solar power in your home, discussing your situation with a reputable residential solar power company can provide the information you need.