Solar energy is not a theoretical or impractical source of renewable energy, especially with today’s green technologies. It’s about time it actually went mainstream, cheap enough for humble homeowners to buy and install. But despite the fall in the price of solar panels, many still can’t afford turnkey panels. It is still a significant investment to switch to solar energy today and generate your own electricity at home. However, this should not frustrate you. Instead, it should be a source of inspiration to design, build and install strong and durable DIY solar panels. Many naysayers say that making your own solar panels is very technical and you can never make it work on your own. You could never be more wrong. Here are some handy tips that can help you get started with your own DIY solar panels.
Start with the heart of a solar energy system
PV modules are the heart and soul of the solar energy system. These are the contact points of solar radiation that enable the reaction necessary to convert thermal energy into electrical energy. But solar panels can be expensive. The good news is that you can build your own DIY solar panels by purchasing solar cells, the building block of a working industrial solar system. Solar cells can easily be purchased over the internet. The price of these cells depends on their rated “class” (class A, B and C – A has the best quality). If you want a long-lasting homemade system, go for Class A solar cells. A typical DIY solar panel may have at least 32 solar cells stringed together to produce at least 18 kilovolts of electricity. These numbers should help you estimate the size of your DIY solar panel project.
Frame Of The Solar Cells
You can then frame the solar cells in a simple container (preferably wood for ease of assembly). Solar cells are fragile, so you need to be careful when working with them. This requires a strong frame to hold the cells strong enough for external installation. panneau photovoltaïque The frame or container also houses the wiring (series wiring from the framed solar cells) and the diodes, completing your DIY solar “panel” assembly. Pay special attention to the frame construction. No building skills are required for this. This is just a simple promise of quality that ensures the longevity of your DIY solar panels.
Protect the solar cells from the weather
Be sure to cover the front of the solar cells with Plexiglas. This ensures the longevity of the panel by protecting its surface from the elements. Simply use silicone caulk to secure the plexiglass to the front of your DIY panel frame. Make sure the wires are sealed and protected with electrical tape. Solid soldering work can also do a lot to ensure that the connections in the cell row last a long time.
Mounting option for solar cells: buy a kit!
If you’re struggling to get everything you need to assemble your own solar system at home, you can purchase an all-inclusive kit that comes ready to use. This may be more expensive than buying the components separately, but it ensures you have the right components to start your DIY solar panel project from the start. A solar panel kit can cost around $200 – a steal to start your own solar energy project.
A solid installation will make a difference
You may have good DIY solar panels and a working system of batteries and inverters, but if you don’t install your panels correctly, you can be sure your system won’t last as long. You have to consider the structure of your platform. It must be able to fully support the panels. Positioning also plays a role in the longevity and efficiency of your panel. If you’re not sure you can do a good job installing the entire system, ask for professional help. They have the expertise and knowledge to get your system up and running in a very short amount of time.
Buy quality components for solar energy systems
If you want your solar energy project to last, buy system components that are known to last and have the warranties necessary to ensure just that. Your initial investment is worth every penny. Even if you start small and did it all yourself, you can increase the profitability of your DIY solar panel project by ensuring it lasts and increasing its economic and environmental gains for you and the planet.
Solar panels produce greener energy and free electricity – myths and facts
The aim of this article is first to dispel any myths you may have heard about solar energy and also to take some of the luster out of the slick sales pitch of the company that intends to sell you their product. Of course, no manufacturer or installer would be biased towards their products and would ever exaggerate the efficiency of solar energy to you or mislead you about what solar production will actually do and what their capabilities are…right? The one thing manufacturers and sellers are unlikely to do is voluntarily describe the disadvantages and limitations of solar panels.
Many households have a very rosy, optimistic view of the difference solar power will make to their lives and their household energy bills, and while installing solar panels will reduce your energy bills by a proportionate amount, it won’t completely off-grid, or remove you Your need for a connection to the gas and electricity suppliers. In short, solar energy is not an alternative form of electricity generation or a way to live “off the grid”, solar energy is only a means of reducing your electricity bills.
Many homeowners are under the illusion that investing in solar energy will heat their home during the winter months. This is actually almost impossible, just think for a moment about the time of year when the days are coldest and shortest and the sun is weakest and lowest in the sky. This inevitably happens in the months of October to March, which inevitably are also the times of the year when your household uses more energy. It’s kind of ironic that the time of year when you need the most energy for heating and lighting is also the time of year when your solar panels are performing the least, likely only putting out a fraction of that magic number that nominated photovoltaics are giving out to you compared to promoted seller.
An average household array of photovoltaic panels produces up to 3900 watts (3.9 kW) of usable energy, although under ideal conditions, e.g. B. on a strong, cloudless sunny day in midsummer, is a maximum value. Photovoltaic panels will still produce an impressive amount of energy on a cloudy day in midsummer, although it is highly unlikely that they will produce 3900 watts continuously throughout the day. The real numbers are likely to be far lower and will certainly fluctuate constantly, depending on local conditions and, of course, the strength of the sun.
I often read on the Internet crazy ideas from panel owners who want to operate room heating and radiant heaters exclusively with solar panels in the winter months or are thinking of doing so. At 6pm on a freezing December night your photovoltaic panels are not providing power, certainly not the 2kW / 3kW required to power a single electric space heater!. Even on a typical winter day with a weak sun in the sky, solar panels only produce a fraction of their summer output. It’s actually quite perverse that photovoltaic panels produce the most electricity and are most efficient during the hot summer months, often when household energy use is at its lowest. Of course, you can still make money by selling this unused energy back into the utility grid during the summer months using the feed-in tariff scheme, but to get the most out of it, you need to actually buy and own your modules rather than have them from an alternative energy company “rent”.
Suffice it to say that to get the most out of your solar panels you actually need to buy them outright, rather than becoming one of the ‘rooftop hire’ schemes where in the UK the alternative energy company gets the lion’s share of the profits, and You’ll only save around £70 to £100 ($150 to $180) a year off your electricity bill for a 25 year period.
Also note that most electricity costs increase each year in response to feed-in tariffs paid to those who own their panels. Believe it or not, homes with photovoltaic panels actually subsidize themselves to some degree because the payoffs they get from selling their energy back to the grid are reclaimed by the energy companies, who raise the cost of the electricity that they sell to you, and of course with solar panels , you still need to use electricity, especially in the winter months, and your bills will keep increasing, as will households without any form of green energy generation.
If you can afford it, buying these panels is always the wisest and most profitable option, rather than having a company rent your roof for 25 years for a small saving on your annual electricity bill, especially since that saving is likely to be every year decrease as the electricity you need to buy becomes more expensive, mainly due to more and more people installing photovoltaic panels.
Another thing to consider when purchasing these types of products is the warranty length that the panels come with. It’s okay if the panel companies promise a return on your initial investment in 10-20 years if their products work reliably and at the same time operate at peak efficiency. But what happens if the product fails or goes wrong out of warranty and before that original “investment” has been returned?
When I look at the warranty periods of some popular brands of photovoltaic panels, I realize that there are two commonly used terms when it comes to solar panel warranty periods and they can be a bit confusing for the homeowner. Therefore, I will do my best to explain what these warranty terms entail.
Workmanship/Material Warranty – Broadly includes the period for which the installation is guaranteed. Typically, this is the longest of the two warranty periods offered by solar panel manufacturers. This warranty covers the installation of the panels ie the build quality in terms of fitting the panels to your roof, the wiring between them and the inverter/meter etc. If the fixings holding the panels to the roof should fail then this will would be covered by this warranty.
Manufacturer Warranty – This is far more the relevant warranty period in terms of nuts and bolts as the panels themselves are inevitably the most expensive part of the entire solar panel installation and should they fail these are the things that cost the most to replace.
If you look at the various solar panel manufacturers on the internet, the average manufacturer’s warranty period on panels is around 5 years. Of course, if the modules fail due to a manufacturing defect, they will be replaced/repaired under warranty.
But let’s consider for a moment the fact that you’ve paid up to £12,000 ($20,000) for an installation on your property and the product carries the popular 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee. They calculate that the payback period from purchasing your panels will take 10 years to breakeven by selling your unused electricity back to the utilities. In fact, you have a period of 5 years between the manufacturer’s warranty and when you have effectively repaid the installation costs. So what happens if the product(s) breaks down or needs servicing in the ‘no man’s land’ during the post-warranty period?
Well, in short, if you own your panels, you will have to pay for their repair and for any maintenance, which then increases the initial installation cost and increases the payback period. If you need multiple repairs or panel replacements within the expired warranty period, this period may be significantly longer. Perhaps it would be better for manufacturers of alternative energy products to guarantee their products for a lifespan exactly equivalent to an average household payback period? or maybe the government should pick up the slack, too, since it seems keen to introduce green energy as a means of saving electricity.
Since some people promote solar panels with a lifespan of up to 30 years, why isn’t this reflected in the actual manufacturer’s warranty period?
The other myth related to solar panels is that it increases production output. This may be true in America or Japan, where the most popular solar panels are made, but the uptake of solar panel installations does not benefit UK manufacturers as few of them are based here.
There are also veils of doubt slowly being lifted over the true “green” aspect of solar panels and their place in the energy food chain. Yes, solar panels do indeed replace some of the electricity that would otherwise be generated by gas or coal burning or the nuclear power industry, although solar is likely to generate only a fraction of the energy needs of the UK, or indeed any other country at any one time.
There is also talk that solar panels require more energy to design, manufacture and export than they are likely to give back through green energy production over their projected life cycle, which according to the figure given on some manufacturer warranties is only around 5 years!.