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How to build a home solar photovoltaic system to save electricity?


Perhaps many people have thought about making a solar energy generating system at home, and you are one of them. Especially for those who are tech fans, this idea has appeared in your brain for more than one moment. But why such a good idea has not become a reality yet? I believe for most of the time, we are stopped by dozens of concerns: the high cost of solar panels, big investment of other accessories like inverter, power lines, and etc, lack of hands to install, no technical instructions, too troublesome in logistic and etc. All these factors become obstacles to stop us from making our own residential solar system. But today, I would say, all these obstacles are not a problem if you read this article from the beginning to the end. Here let me explain to you how to make your own solar power generation system at home, and in the latter part, there is also an analysis of the detailed price which are practical in countries all over the world.

Solar PV system for civil household use and power grids
What is a Solar Photovoltaic System

Why should we build a solar PV system? What are the pros and cons?

To have your rooftop covered with solar panels and make it like an ET base in a fiction movie is an awesome thing. You may be the first to do this in your street, or to be an energy-saving pioneer in your area as you are able to generate electricity by yourself. By several steps in this article, you can now take advantage of the energy from the Sun, and more importantly, it’s totally FREE. The solar panels output electricity for your devices to use, and if there is electricity left, you may sell it back to the utility company for profit. You don’t have to worry about running out of fuel for a gasoline generator, or a sudden power cut-off due to the hurricane.

Above are the prons of building a residential solar PV system. While for the cons, it needs investment at first place, and regain the profit gradually. And the solar PV system needs some maintenance work as the dust may accumulate as time goes and the rain may get the surface dirty too. Another cons is that when the weather goes cloudy or rainy, it doesn’t produce much electricity.

Residential solar PV power generation
Solar PV system for houshold

Choose a suitable type: on-the-grid or off-the-grid?

On-the-grid is also called Grid-Tie. It means your solar power generating system is connected to local power grids (utility companies) so that you are able to transmit the electricity to the utility companies and get money. Off-the-grid means the opposite. It means your solar power system is an isolated system that didn’t connect to the utility company’s electrical network.

Then what should we do if we don’t use that much in an off-the-grid solar PV system? Good question. This scenario is often seen in our life, for example, in the daytime when the sunlight is strong and sufficient, the solar PV system can generate much electrical power, but we don’t use them all, while in the evening when we go home, we need much more electrical energy for cooking, air conditioning, lights or entertainment. What should we do to avoid the waste of electrical power for that part? That’s easy. You may add battery banks in the solar PV system to restore the energy. So we can take the energy out whenever we want. We recommend people use gel batteries as a safe option. We will list the technical specifications and price in the below part.

Home solar PV system
How solar PV system connected

What do we need?

  1. Solar panels

Solar panels receive sunlight and generate direct current(DC) electricity

  • Electrical wires

Wires connect each device and transmit electrical current

  • Inverters

The inverter is a vital device that inverts DC into AC so that the electrical and electronic devices in your home can be used.

  • Battery bank

A battery bank is an array of batteries, a single battery has a voltage of 12V, they restore the electrical power when home consumption is less than the volume that panels generate, and release the power when consumption is bigger than electricity generated.

  • Surveillance system (optional)

A solar panel surveillance system helps the user to know the working condition of the entire solar system, like how much electricity the system is generating, how much electricity is being consumed, the current capacity of batteries, and some time calculations and statistics. This is an optional configuration for home users, as this surveillance system is commonly applied on solar PV plants with a mass quantity of solar panels.

What’s the price for a home solar photovoltaic power system?

The price of a whole PV system differs from the place. In the US, a 5KW capacity solar PV system may cost up to 35000USD. This is a referential number, in some areas it can cost more due to different local policies,logistic or labor costs. The hardware of the system itself is much less than that. For example, a home solar PV system of 5KW made in China with quality above everage is about 10000-13000USD. (Ex-works) Above everage means the PV system including solar panels, inverters and other components have been applied in different situation, location and countires already and proved OK. Some suppliers may offer lower price but life span is unpredictable.

residential solar PV system in China rural area for home use of electricity

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