You are looking for solar power for homes. You have heard of DIY kits and it sounds both inviting and intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Below, you’ll learn about the three common types of solar energy and how you can gradually increase your use.
When they hear the term solar power, most people think of solar panels, and they are often the most visible form, but not the only type of solar energy you can harness. Your range of options includes three different types of solar components.
You can choose the components that suit you. Here is an overview of what exists.
Solar cookers: You may not have heard of a solar cooker, but it is actually the most common implementation of solar energy. You can think of it as a slow cooker powered by the sun. It’s a lot more flexible though: you can bake, boil or roast with the solar cooker. They are not expensive at all, just nested cardboard boxes. A small box will cook for a family of five with no fuel other than the sun and no smoke or emissions.
Solar generators: This is what most people imagine when they think of contemporary solar energy. The generator is an inverter connected to a panel of photovoltaic cells. If you’ve heard of a solar lighting system, this is what they described. Solar generators store electrical energy in batteries for later use. These systems allow some users to operate devices without paying electricity bills. Solar panels are not that difficult to manufacture and only cost around $ 200.
Solar thermal systems: These are the most ambitious systems. Thermal systems are updates to some of the older consumer technology. Basically, it’s a solar panel that transfers heat from the sun into a water tank. They heat your water. Blow air on the pipes and they heat your house. When you think of the big, expensive systems of the 1980s, that’s what they installed. My dad installed cells on his roof and heated a water tank made from an old gas station gas tank that occupied a bay in his garage. The systems are much more efficient and much cheaper these days.
If you google these terms you will find 1) the systems are not that complicated these days, 2) you can find maps on the internet, 3) the quality of maps and guides varies a lot and makes a big difference in terms of whether you can actually complete the project. Most of the plans you will find are terribly drawn out or very technical and complex and difficult to follow.
However, get some great deals and you can start using solar power for homes cheaply and with just a weekend or two of your time.