25 Feb DIY Solar Panel Engineering Tips
People who are looking to help save the environment have probably thought about getting solar panels at one point or another; however, one of the biggest downsides of solar is that it can be quite expensive to set up. Sure, solar panels will decrease your energy consumption in the long run, but the return of investment can take quite a while depending on the particulars of your solar power system. The high cost is one of the most formidable barriers to entry, and it also explains why solar panel adoption rate is not as high as it could be.
Save Money by Building Your Own System
One solution to the high-cost problem of solar is to build the system yourself. This doesn’t mean that you will be creating the panels from scratch because you will still be buying the parts and pieces from reputable stores and shops. However, you will be assembling and installing them on your own, which will save you a lot of money in the process since a huge chunk of the expenses comes from the installation. Because solar power is a relatively new piece of technology, not very many people know about it, which means that there aren’t many people actively installing. Since demand is high and supply is low, these installers can command a higher price. However, as long as you know what you are doing, you can do it yourself and sidestep these charges.
Another advantage of building your own system is that you get to understand what goes into it. Not only will you learn a lot more, but you will be able to do some basic troubleshooting and repairs down the line as you will be very familiar with the system.
Investing in just a few panels at first also significantly cuts back on the expenses just in case you find that solar power isn’t for you. If, on the other hand, you do decide that you want to fully commit to solar power, then you can add more panels to your set-up as your savings allow. Since you already know how to install one, adding more is a relatively simple task.
Tips to Install Your Own Solar Panels
The first thing you will need to acquire are well-priced solar panels. They are relatively easy to buy nowadays as you can find them on eBay and Amazon. The market has many different brands to choose from including American, Japanese, and Chinese labels. American brands are typically more expensive, but they often have better warranties and service plans since they are locally made. It is also advisable to buy the Polycrystalline cells as they are the most cost-effective.
Measure out the exact dimensions and make sure that everything is built as a square. Not only is this the most cost-effective shape, but it also allows for easier additions later if you decide to expand your system. Make sure that the measurements are exact, for it is a lot easier to change them now than to remake them once you’ve soldered the joints and set the wires.
Find a reputable instructor or instruction manual (the internet is a great source). Also, carefully follow the manual that came along with your solar panels. It might seem daunting, but with a little time, effort, and patience, you can get your own solar panel up and running for a fraction of the price.