Roof Solar Panels

DIY Solar Panel PlansIf you are looking into installing a solar power system, there are few things you need to consider before starting the project.  There are a wide variety of roof solar panels available today to choose from and even though they can look very similar, there are differences between them that are important for you to understand.

Basically, all solar panels are designed to allow sunlight to pass through their transparent surface and strike the solar cells inside.  These solar cells will produce a DC electricity when hit by sunlight.  Any required voltage can be generated by wiring together the right number of solar cells.

This DC electricity is then sent to a device called an inverter that is normally located near the electrical panel, and this inverter converts the DC electricity into AC electricity, and sends it through the wires in the house to the appliances needing power.  If there is more power being produced by the solar panels than can be used by the appliances in the home, the excess can be sent back up the power lines to the power grid.  When this happens, the electric meter actually runs backwards and a credit is given by the power company for the power produced.

In the evenings, when the sun isn’t shining and the solar panels can’t produce electricity, the homeowner has two options.  First, batteries can be used to store excess electricity that is produced during the day and then at night the inverter can pull power from the batteries rather than the solar panels.  Second, the inverter can switch the home back over to the power grid.  The battery bank option is more expensive to install, but is a better solution over the long-term.

One of the most important considerations is choosing the right solar panels.  Even though they all will basically produce electricity when exposed to sunlight, some are more efficient than others.  What this means is that more efficient panels will produce more power for a given amount of sunlight than the lesser panels.  This is very important because it means that you will need fewer panels on your roof to satisfy your electrical needs.

Another key consideration is their durability and there are two main factors that need your attention.  The first is the durability of the enclosure.  The solar cells that are housed inside the panels are very fragile devices and need to be protected from the elements for them to last.  If the solar panel is not made well, it may allow moisture or insects to penetrate it and damage the solar cells.  This will destroy the panel’s ability to generate power and it will have to be replaced prematurely.  The other thing to consider is the durability of the solar cells themselves.  There are several ways to make solar cells and some methods are better than others are for both output and durability.  Simply put, there are two main styles of solar cells, monocrystalline and polycrystalline and it is important to know which of these is used in the solar panel you are considering.  The monocrystalline solar cells are the best available and are made from a single crystal structure.  They will produce more current than the polycrystalline and will last longer as well.  Even thought they are a little more expensive, they are worth the investment over the long run.

Click here for the best guide to building your own solar panel, complete with step-by-step videos.

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