All You Need to Know About Home Solar Kits

There are many reasons why people might want to go solar for their energy power in their homes. For one reason home solar kits can save you tons of money on your electric bill. Also if you ever plan to sell your home having solar panels installed increases your home’s value. This is also a great investment and is able to produce returns long term as well.

Solar panel kits for the home can be purchased from many retailers and they can be quite easy to install and very efficient. To make the right decision on the size of the solar system you need you will first have to consider a few things. It will first depend on your daily energy usage and your hours of sun daily. The typical cost of a solar panel home kit all depends on two main areas, and they are components and installation. These residential systems can be installed for as little as $2000 dollars to $50,000 or more.

Solar panels have been talked about for some time now, but until the recent new roof installations only the rich seemed to have solar powered energy sources installed on their homes. When you opt for solar power you are not only making an ethical statement you are also saving money on your electric bill for your home. Installing these panels in your home is way more than about just saving a few bucks here and there. You are making an important commitment to the environment and making a broad statement about your choice for home energy.

If you ever decide to sell your house you will also be able to get more for it if you have these economical solar panels installed. Of course you will need to do the research before opting for solar panel installation. One thing you will need to consider is if you will install the panels yourself or have them professionally installed. Also you will need to contact your local electric provider and find out their rules and regulations concerning solar panels. They all have a bit different standpoint on the matter and you will need to find all of these things out before installing these panels.

Solar energy truly is the choice of the future. It is no longer just available for a few who are lucky enough to afford it. It is becoming widely available to people of all walks of life. Check into it online today and see if solar energy is the best for your situation. It can save you stacks of cash in the long run and help the atmosphere as well.

Ten Questions to Ask Before You Select a Solar Installer

What You Need to Know When Selecting a Solar Installer

With the summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to start looking for a home solar energy system. Before you scroll through the phone book to find the number of a local solar professional, there are a number of important considerations that you have to take into account to find the right solar installer for your solar power system project. Knowing what questions to ask can make the difference between an exciting journey into renewable energy and an endless stream of problems with your new solar energy system.

  • How many solar energy systems have you installed?

Ask if the professional has experience with grid tie or off grid solar energy systems. Also, ask if the installer does mostly solar panel residential or commercial systems. This would indicate that the contractor has a history of involvement with the industry and is familiar with many different brands and components.

  • What do you recommend for my property?

As a potential solar client, keep your interests up front. If a solar contractor arrives at your door, communicate your interest in going solar, and find out what they recommend for a solar power system on your property. Chances are you already have a site selected – but find out what your contractor recommends before showing your hand. In this manner, you’ll confirm that the installer recognizes the importance of site selection. If they show up without a solar pathfinder or SunEye in hand – try someone else! The most important decision of a solar energy system is selection of a site.

  • Do you have any formal training in home solar energy installations?

A good installer will be one that has received extensive training. For instance, many solar panel manufacturers offer continuing education classes to solar contractors. These classes help familiarize the contractors with the intricacies of their unique solar energy systems. You might want to ask a potential installer whether they received formal training with the particular brand of solar equipment you hope to buy.

  • Do you have any certifications?

A number of national and state organizations, like the North America Board of Certified Energy Professionals (NABCEP), offer certification programs to help distinguish capable professionals. The NABCEP board in particular holds its installers to some of the highest standards, and many states now require homeowners to use a NABCEP-certified installer before they can participate in financial incentive programs. NABCEP’s on-line Installer Locator makes it easy to find a certified professional in your area.

  • Do you have references?

To really test the reputation of a solar installer, consider asking them for references from previous clients. Contacting past customers is a great way to determine whether a company’s claims of customer service ring true. Many installers will be happy to show you pictures of completed solar power installations – it’s a sign of a job well done!

  • Does your installation team include an experienced electrician?

Many solar energy systems require complex electrical components and unfamiliar hardware, so an electrician’s expertise is very important. However, not all licensed electricians are familiar with solar energy systems, so it’s important to ask whether the electrician working on your system has received solar-specific training and possesses experience installing photovoltaic energy systems.

  • Do you work with a licensed roofer?

If your solar photovoltaic system will be installed on your roof, contracting a licensed roofer to monitor the stress your new solar energy system will place on your home’s structure would be a prudent consideration.

  • Are you insured and bonded?

Be sure to verify that your installers have sufficient liability insurance by asking to see insurance papers. If the technicians encounter problems, you want to be confident that the installer can cover the cost of repairs and damages.

  • Do you warranty parts and components?

Some solar accessories may not come with warranties from the manufacturers. If this is the case with the specific brand that you’re looking to implement, you should ask the installer if they will warranty the equipment. Whether it comes from the maker or the installer, you should seek coverage for the greatest number of conditions and components over the longest period of time.

  • What is your long-term service policy?

Teasing out the long-term provisions of an installer’s service agreement can be tricky, especially if the agreement is full of legal and technical information. Here are a few points to consider: 1) How many years will service be provided on the unit? 2) What types of repairs and replacements does the service agreement cover? 3) What happens when the equipment doesn’t perform as efficiently as promised?

If you have more questions about home solar energy systems, please visit the SolarTown Learning Center.

Solar Installers: Understand the Jargon

Do you find yourself somewhat overwhelmed when it comes to trying to understand the terminology that solar installers use when describing how their products work and what the various components do? By learning and understanding the basic elements of how solar energy works when you make the decision to install this renewable energy source you will be able to do so in a knowledgeable way. Most people will know what solar panels are, below you will find useful information on why these are normally found on the roof’s of homes and what the other parts do.

Why on the roof?

To be able to get the best results from solar panels they need to be facing north if you live in the southern hemisphere and south if your in the northern hemisphere. To get the maximum exposure to the sun solar panels should be facing towards the equator.

How is electricity produced?

Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells and each cell is made from silicone. During the manufacturing process an impurity is added to the silicone so it can conduct electricity. When the suns rays hit this cell it produces an electron discharge which then creates an electrical charge. The metal grid on the surface of the cells then catches this charge and sends it to the solar panels terminals.

Solar panels generate electricity as a direct current, although the voltage is deemed as low, in the region of 6 to 24 volts. These panels have about a 12 volt nominal output and an operating voltage of around 7 volts and upwards. The electricity output of solar panels can be affected by several factors, the angle at which they are positioned to the sun, the time of day, time of year and the weather conditions all effect the performance. The largest amount of power generated is during the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. As the sun is rising or setting the amount of electricity produced will be less.

Solar Power for the Home

The system that solar installers provide for the home is made up of basically 4 components; the panels, battery pack, an inverter and the charge controller. The panels convert sunlight into power; this is then sent to the charge controller to charge the batteries. From the battery the power goes to the inverter which then converts it to an AC voltage of 120 volts, 60 hertz.

Solar panels

By their wattage is how photovoltaic panels are rated. The higher the watts the more expensive the panels are. To make life easier manufacturers will normally show the wattage as peak sun hours. These are the hours when the sun is directly overhead and having the most impact on the panels.

Charge controller

This is the component that regulates the charge to the battery pack. When the batteries run low power generated is then diverted to them. It will also work to prevent the batteries from becoming over-charged. Do not ever be convinced that a charge controller is not necessary, if the panels were connected directly to the battery it could cause irreparable damage and possibly cause them to explode.

Battery pack

This is used to store unused electricity generated during the day, so that when it’s nighttime or an overcast day the batteries will feed your home. Solar installers will normally use lead acid batteries as they are relatively inexpensive and readily available. The most popular types of battery are the gel cell or AGM types because they are maintenance free and will last longer.

The Inverter

The inverter is responsible for converting the DC current into an AC current for use in your home. Generally there are two types of inverter; sine wave and modified sine wave. A modified sine wave inverter sometimes called square wave is where the electricity’s charge value goes from positive 120V to negative 120V in virtually zero seconds. This makes the square wave inverter more efficient than the sine wave.

Now that you are fully informed of all the components required and how they work it now time to check out some solar installers. Make sure they provide referees so you can discover first hand other’s experience of certain solar installation companies.