Mar 292010

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There are ten different components that make up a solar powered generating system. Of course you don’t have to use all them. You can pick and choose depending on what type of system you want to end up with.

Just to emphasize that point. For example, if your home gets electricity from the national grid, it doesn’t mean you have to hook your system up to it if you don’t want to.

PV Solar Panels

These solar panels face the sun and convert the suns energy into power. They produce DC electric power in contrast to AC. You can connect as many panels as you like together, this is called a solar panel array. Follow this link find out more about how to build a solar panel.

They are connected in series so the flow of electricity is from to the next one in line. The more panels you have, the more energy you produce.

Direct Current (DC) Disconnect

As the electricity flows from your panels, the first component it hits is the DC disconnect. You do not want to undertake any maintenance on your system while there is electricity flowing through it. The DC disconnect switches of the power generated by your solar panels.

Charge Controller

If you have a battery backup or a battery bank then a charge controller is a must have piece of equipment. If a battery gets over charged it can become damaged. A charge controller is designed to protect your batteries.

Battery Bank

Read up on the different types of batteries and get familiar with them. The type you need is deep cycle. These batteries are often used in forklift vehicles. Do not use car batteries.

Batteries also perform better when they are warm. Do not expose them to the elements; keep them in a garage or some sheltered building. The other thing you might want to think about is getting a battery box. They are great for protection and keeping batteries warm.

Solar System Meter

A system meter is very useful for telling you how much electricity you are using and how much power is left in your batteries. If you don’t have one you do not know if you are producing enough electricity or not.

Main Supply Direct Current (DC) Disconnect

If you have a battery bank then you will need a main Direct Current disconnect. You want to locate it between your battery and your alternating current and direct current inverter. Like the solar panel disconnect, it is very handy for when you are carrying out maintenance on your system.

AC DC Inverter

Both the battery bank and the solar cells generate a direct current. However, all your appliances in your home use AC current. So the inverter converts the DC into an AC current so everything works as it should.

Petrol Generator

You can get petrol and diesel powered generators. If your home is off-grid then it is definitely worth considering adding one of these to your system. The electrical generator can provide a backup to your solar powered system should it be down for maintenance or if the batteries are low.

Alternating Current Breaker Panel

The AC breaker panel switches off the flow of electricity either from the grid to your home or your home to the grid. Every house has one of these; however, you are not allowed to touch it. Which means, when you are ready, arrange for them to connect your solar energy system to the grid.

Don’t be tempted to do it yourself, it is a criminal offence for unqualified people to touch these panels, and you want it to be done correctly..

Electric Meter

As with the breaker panel, you will also have a KWH meter. The meter measures your electric usage and your bill is calculated based on the figures from this meter. So if you send power back to the grid, this will go in reverse.

Video on Different Aspects Of Building Your Own Solar Panel

Learning to build a solar panel is the first step. The second step is to design a system that will work in your home. Go to build a solar panel and get full instructions on how to put it all together.

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 Posted by at 11:00 am