3 Ways to Get Started in Solar Power for Beginners – Tips and Kits
So, you’ve always wanted to get involved someway, somehow with solar power. I mean who doesn’t want FREE POWER? Free power is what all preppers, survivalists and homesteaders want as part of their kit. But where do you start? It all sounds so complicated. Fortunately, there are some simple explanations, tips on how to get started and even some off the shelf kits.
The Four Main Parts of a Solar System
No, not THE solar system! Luckily, solar power systems are a lot less complicated and are composed of mainly four parts:
1. Photovoltaic Solar Panels
2. Charge Controller
3. Battery Bank
4. DC to AC Inverter
You need Solar Panels to convert the sunlight into electricity, a Charge Controller to control power to the batteries, a Batter Bank to store the power and a DC to AC Inverter to change the batter current into current your household appliances can use. That’s the basics of a Solar Power system! Yes, it does get more involved than that as you dig into it, but I wanted to break it down into bite size chunks for you. Too much information at once and people sometimes throw in the towel before they get started.
The folks over at The Modern Survival blog have done a great job of explaining the four components even further and show you how simple the whole process is. I’m pretty sure that after reading that post you’ll feel much more confident in getting into solar power. Remember, after the initial set up. you’ll be getting FREE POWER!
Ok. Now that you know the basics of what goes into a solar power system, let’s look at how to build one.
“9 Steps to Build a DIY Off-Grid Solar PV System”
That’s the title of this post from Walden Labs. This article digs a little deeper and builds on what you’ve learned so far. They explain all the components in more detail and show you how to build your first solar power system. The good thing about this article is you can make your first project as little or as big as you want.
Now that you’ve got a really good handle on the ins and outs of solar power, here are 12 DIY solar panel tutorials for you to experiment with.
I’m Not Technical or DIY, Just Give Me a Kit!
Some people are not technically inclined, DIY types or simply don’t have the time for build solar power systems. You still want FREE POWER but can’t manage to build your own system. No problem! There are solar power kits available.
Kind of in between the DIY type and the buying off the shelf type? No problem there either. Here’s a portable solar power kit you can put together with off the shelf items. Here’s what the author has to say about this kit:
“The beauty of this small system is that it can be scaled to meet different needs & budgets substituting different parts. I recently heard a quote that, “good design is modular”. That’s the approach we are taking with our solar setup and these different configurations. Portability + expandability. We want our setup to be somewhat portable so if we decide to park our trailer in full shade we still want to be able to enjoy the benefits of solar power. And we want the option to expand our system in the future (add more solar panels + batteries).”
All the parts needed can be purchased on Amazon and some components can thrifted. (Our tool box was purchased at a Thrift Store and we purchased some used wire at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.) The parts listed are quality. You may be able to build a cheaper system substituting different charge controllers / panels but I believe you get what you pay for. I have used the SunSaver & Renogy brands and they have worked well for us and have a good reputation plus they are affordable!”
Free Solar Heat Without Panels, Controllers or Batteries!
All still too much? Right, so after all that it still sounds too complicated, difficult or expensive to put together. Your bottom line is “give me some FREE solar for FREE!” Ok, no problem. I got that covered too!
Here is a solar heating project that only requires soda cans, some wood, some pvc tubes and some flexible plastic pipe. Solar panels, controllers, electronics or batteries not needed! You can probably make this out of scrap material you have on hand.
You see? Solar power isn’t so complicated after all! Why not give it a try and get some FREE SOLAR POWER!
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