How Solar Panel Charge Battery?
For meeting temporary needs, solar power is the sole renewable energy that’s used. Environmental and energy planning ought to be on precisely the same level. Solar power is a large portion of the nation’s future.
Solar Panels - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Solar Power For Home
You want power, and you want it now! Watts and Watts of power, kilowatts per hour of power. But the power company keeps hiking up your rates, making your power bill more oppressive than a mid-west summer day just before a thunderstorm releases enough power to light up a city. Where did that storm get it's power? It's all SOLAR power, naturally. With a solar panel array, some batteries, diodes and switches, you know you could have all the power you need! Solar power is free, renewable, and available virtually everywhere on Earth, once you have the equipment to convert it to electricity. What does it take to make solar power? At the heart of any solar power system is the solar cell. Cells come in a number of flavors. A solar cell is a silicon semiconductor, usually square or rectangular and is available in various sizes to accommodate many applications, from tiny calculator cells, to larger cells grouped in arrays that power houses and buildings. When sunlight strikes the surface, an electric current is generated.
How many Watts?
First, it's a good idea to know how much power you want to generate. The simplest way to determine how much power you need is by calculating Watts. Lights and appliances are rated by how many Watts they use. For instance, to generate all the power you need for that Ac unit you installed during last summer's big heat wave, you need to know how many Watts it uses. A small Ac unit needs about 500 Watts; medium and large units will use 1000-1500 Watts or more. By adding up the number of Watts you use each hour, you can figure out your usage. How do you know how many Watts you need for your whole house? Simple, look at your power bill, or call the power company and see how many kilowatt hours (kWh, 1000 Watts per hour) you typically use per month. An appliance that uses 1000 Watts, left on for one hour, uses 1 kWh. The average cost of one kWh ranges between around 8 and 20 cents in the USA. Most cells used for home arrays are 4, 5 or even 6 inches, and produce approximately two watts of power, under optimal (direct sunlight, warm temperature) conditions. Cells are typically attached to frames of wood or metal in groups of 18, 36, or 72, producing 36, 72 and 144 Watts (at 2 Watts per cell) respectively. 72 cell panels retail for around $500-700. For DIY solar panels, you can save even more money by buying the cells and building the panels yourself. What does it take to build a panel your self?
Do It Yourself
How to Build Solar Panels at Home
Building solar panels at home has never been easier. Cells can be purchased online for around $1 each, often with other parts included. A package of 72 cells, plus a diode, that keeps the power flowing in only one direction, and wire to connect it all together can be found for $100 or less! If you also buy a frame for $40, you will save a bundle compared to $500- 700 per manufactured panel. That's a potential savings of $360-560 per panel! All it takes to make your own solar panels at home is a little know-how, some basic tools, and good instructions. How much can you actually save on your power bills?
Saving Money on Your Power Bill
It's easy to start small and build up your system as you learn, but will it really save you money? The answer is yes, and no. Yes your power bill will get smaller as you add solar power capacity to your system, but you have to consider how much power you could buy with the money you spend on parts. Going solar is an investment, and it takes time to recoup the initial money you invest. Factors to consider are the cost of the tools and supplies, and your time and energy compared to the amount of money you will save on your power bill over time. Just as important, however, is the satisfaction of having a solar power system that you built yourself, and the pleasure of opening your power bill and seeing it get lower and lower. You might even be able to sell power back to the power company and get a check instead of owing them! Beware though, if you've built the system yourself, the power company may not allow you to sell power back for safety, since most do it yourself home owners are not certified electricians, and the system is not UL listed. Check with your local utility company for regulations. The pleasure you get from hearing your air conditioner kick on, as you sit back and relax guilt free, knowing that you won't owe the utility company a dime for the electricity, is the most satisfying reason of all to build your own solar power system.