Thursday, December 29, 2011
By M.S. Rochell
When moving into green living, many homeowners choose to start their journey with solar energy kits. These kits provide a complete alternative energy unit with all necessary parts to collect electricity from the sun.
One of the main benefits of solar energy is that it is free, once you have set up your solar energy system. Many people are turning to DIY solar and solar power kits to defray the expenses involved in setting up their system.
As technology advances, prices tend to drop dramatically. Currently, a small five watt mini unit retails for less than $120 US. The more power collected, the higher the price will rise.
Solar energy kits often include cells, a battery, fuse holder, wiring and assembly instructions. Cells are used to collect energy which is then stored in a battery for later use.
The smallest units can effectively power one household small appliance like a toaster or blender. If electrical power for the home is desired, much larger units will need to be installed on the roof or yard of the home.
Larger units include the same pieces as smaller units with more solar cells and larger batteries. Some units also come with instructions on connecting power supplies to the electric meter of the home.
This is perfect for homes with very little electrical use. Power that is not used can be fed back to the local utility company for credits. When the sun is not shining or home power needs increase, those credits can be used to pay for electrical needs.
Home based units will often include an inverter. Inverters are used to change electrical output from DC to AC. Most homes work with AC power, this is the power that comes out of the sockets in the home. Solar cells collect energy in DC form so in order to use that power, the inverter is needed.
Mounting larger solar energy kits can be accomplished in one of two ways. Roof units often attach to brackets bolted into the framing of the home. Lawn units can be installed with wood, metal or PVC frames.
Lawn units tend to be less common due to the movement of the sun. At some time during the day, solar cells will receive direct sunlight and produce maximum wattage. As the sun moves, that direct sunlight will move and the units will no longer be as effective.
Pricing for kits rise dramatically depending on total energy capacity. Off grid homes, or homes that collect all electric from the sun or other alternative sources, can invest more than $10,000 on units that will provide the needed amount of electricity. For every 100 watts of power, homeowners can expect to pay around $600 per kit.
Some electrical knowledge is useful when trying to construct your own kit. Most, however, can be considered plug and play. Mounting cells on a roof may require outside help in order to ensure unit weight will be properly distributed and safely attached to the frame of the home.
Anyone can move into the green age of energy with a solar energy kit built for quick and easy installation. Online is the best place to start your search for your step into alternative energy production.
M.S. Rochell is the editor of http://www.Go-Green-Solar-Energy.com which offers education and inspiration on the benefits of going green with solar energy. Please visit for more on which [http://www.go-green-solar-energy.com/solar-energy-kits.html]solar energy kits will work best for your needs, and to receive our free Affordable Solar eBooks.