Solar Panels – Generate Free Electricity and Save on Your Monthly Utility Bills
Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes
Solar panels are used to convert the sun’s radiation into electricity. While the earliest panels were bulky, inefficient and expensive, extensive research and modern manufacturing have ensured that solar panels are both efficient and cost much lesser to purchase and maintain. Solar panel kits have become a viable investment for Americans worried by rising power bills. It is estimated that new EPA regulations alone will make power generated from conventional energy sources like coal and gas up to 37% costlier in the next five years. There are different ways in which solar panels can be used in power kits. The complexity varies depending on the size, capacity and application. Let’s take a look at the different types of solar power kits:
There are different types of kits available for consumers, which vary in their capacity and installation methods.
Grid Tie Solar Kits
Grid tie solar panel kits ensure excess power generated by the panel is fed back to the grid using a biphase electric meter. The meter measures power used by the home from the grid as well as the electricity fed back from the panel. This ensures utility bills for the homeowner are reduced in proportion. However, solar panel installation requires special permission from the utility. The biphase meter is supplied by the utility. These systems feed electricity from solar energy directly to the grid through the utility meter. So when you are not using much electricity at home, the generated power is taken by the utility. Monthly bills are reduced in proportion to the solar energy fed to the grid. Additionally, the homeowner reduces his grid consumption by using solar power. Such kits need permissions and special metering by the utility before installation.
Off Grid Solar Kits
Off grid solar kits can be used to power your home requirements either completely or partially, depending on the capacity. These kits are powered only by the sun, so a battery is required to store the generated electricity from the panel. While smaller off grid kits can handle lighting and light appliances, full size kits can be used to power the entire power requirements of a home without depending on grid power. Such standalone kits can also be used for lighting signage, outbuildings and small isolated workshops without additional grid connections. The solar panels can be installed in any convenient location like roof tops or courtyards. The main criterion is that strong sunlight should be available for a large part of the day for the panel to work efficiently. The capacity of solar power produced can be increased by adding panels, so the solar power generation can be easily scaled up. The wiring and instrumentation involved is less costly and complicated than is required for a grid tied system. Special permissions are not usually required from the utility, while for grid tie kits, prior approval must be obtained and special utility meters are installed to get the benefits.
DIY Solar Kits
DIY solar kits are perfect for buyers who can carry out installation themselves. These kits range in power capacity from 5 watt mini systems to larger 85 watt kits. The kits are sold with a suitable battery and the electronic components like charge controller, power cable and panel board are included for the buyer to install.
Ready to Use Solar Power Kits
These kits come in pre-configured fashion. Plug and play kits come ready to use for the buyer. Special installation knowhow is not required. The kit usually has pre-installed wiring so users can start off straight out of the box. Smaller plug and play kits do not require a standalone battery to work. Portable, plug and play kits are great for charging cellphones, tablets and other small portable appliances without depending on a plug point.