Looking for some information about solar power.

October 25, 2010 9:45am CST
I'm looking into an inexpensive way to power my home with solar power as I know the electricity bill is going to be sky high around here. I've been trying to do some local research regarding purchasing solar cells for a panel, but I can't find anything. I can't buy anything online, so that's not an option, and I'd rather buy local anyways. I need to know how this technology works to bring power into the house and use less hydro when it's running. I live on a southern exposure, lots of sun during the day in both the front and backyard, so it's ideal for a panel or 2. Despite there being a lot of trees on my property, we still get ample sunlight, but only from the south and west. How would I go about setting up a DIY system, storing the power and transporting it to my home? I'm also interested in wind power and perhaps solar water heating, as we run a gas water heater and we do use a lot of hot water. Interested to know what anyone knows about this.
2 people like this
4 responses
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
25 Oct 10
kris 182_2000, I am not really sure about your country's legislation with regards to installing this installation for your personal domestic use, as such I know along with others I do not think I am the best person to say what is right or acceptable in your country. I know for my country, most of occupants under public government subsidized housing schemes are not allowed to as there's insufficient space allowance for the installation. Besides, the cost would also be another considerable factor. It would also require careful calibration and professional consultations for the house unit. So, I think the link below might explain further and clearer for you. Take care. Ref: http://www.solar-estimate.org/index.php?verifycookie=1&page=important&subpage=permit&external_estimator=
• Canada
26 Oct 10
Our lot size is 50x150 feet so we have ample space for something like this. I think a home kit would be allowed here, and I've seen several professional installations at residential homes over the years including solar water heaters on roof tops. I don't see why I wouldn't be allowed to build my own small unit, wouldn't need a full size panel that's for sure. I'll check out your link, thanks for providing it.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
26 Oct 10
kris182_2000, I believe every country have their own legislation as far as having energy consumption is concern and as such manufacturing as well. As you can see the technology is really limited to certain appliances like the water heaters of today and I think this is understandable especially in temperate countries and regions where winters can be extreme. However, I think there would be limitations from your legislators especially when you are installing this to produce electrical power to your house which concerns like safety, maintenance and possible abuse. I am sure the electrical company in your country will be gravely concern. I think you will need to look into the cost of such installation which not only require care and maintenance in the long run but also since it is rare, I am quite sure the cost will be astronomical for a domestic consumption, which may not equate to your budget at the end of the day. Believe me, I am not trying to throw a wet towel to you but I have to say that this technology would be better if a few households could actually share the supply or for industries that have intensive use of electrical energy where such technology can help to conserve the national electrical energy supply which in turn will reduce the demand and ultimately the price per unit at the end of the day. Anyway, I really hope that you will be able to get the needed answers here. Have a nice day.
26 Oct 10
Its good thinking to use solar energy as an alternate source of energy,but though we got heaps of solar resources we are not able to use it and more over the companies couldnt produce efficient technology to use solar energy. If you want to use the solar plates to lit your whole house it doesnt work,because its only limited to one light or maximum two. Though there are already solar water heaters in the market there life times are not satisfactory.May be we should wait few days to see a good technology which gives us free energy to use for our household purposes.
• India
26 Oct 10
The primary difficulty with solar power is one of efficiency. Although Sun showers enough energy on earth in a day than what we use in a year; yet the efficiency of power transfer had always been an issue. It is difficult to put that power to work for us. We have not yet discovered a way to convert solar energy to usable electric current. In solar panels the sunlight striking silicon crystals create an electric potential. If these crystals can be backed by an array, then the electrical potential can be harnessed to create a current. Photovoltaic cell is the only way to harness this effect but the problem is that through conventional means you will be able to elicit a 1% return on the energy you would put into the solar cell. Through modern technology we can now produce a return of more than 30% of the power the cell receives. This is achieved through multi junction photovoltaic cell through application of thin film technique. You will have to wait until thin film technology would open up new vistas in solar power and increase the efficiency of solar panels significantly.
@veganbliss (3903)
• Adelaide, Australia
26 Oct 10
"Inexpensive" & "solar power" do not go together. A solar powered (whether self-powered in isolation or mains-feed) system requires a lot more that just solar panels, which are extremely expensive, provide very little power at the best of times & are very inefficient. If you want to do it yourself, you will need to look at the other system components like inverters, batteries & regulators. It's a huge outlay which will take an extremely long time to recover the costs to set up & maintain your system. Perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with all the down sides of solar power for a more balanced argument. Leading inventors like Tom Bearden & John Bedini are very much against using such systems & explain why in great detail on their websites. They have their own solutions which you can build very, very cheaply or even for "free" depending on how big your junkbox of parts is. Each of these many varieties pump out kW of power every second, not fractions of a Watt. Scores of people from all over the world have successfully built & tested them themselves since 2006 & published their results with photos online. Even a ten-year-old New Zealand Schoolgirl built one many years ago & published her exhibit in the newspaper.