DIY Solar Energy: Easier Than It Looks

As DIY solar energy products arrive on hardware store shelves in a greater variety of styles and prices, handy consumers start to think they could put up a few panels of their own without the help of a technician. In fact, it is totally possible to do this if you create a thorough plan before you get started. Always remember that you will save money with solar energy if you invest that money wisely in thermal or PV panels.

Select your products carefully for thermal or PV application, or both. Do some research beforehand and do not focus solely on the price of panels. Whatever you say about shoes, sofas and cars works the same for panels: you get what you pay for. Really cheap stuff is not worth buying. See what professionals and consumers have to say about brands you have in mind so you do not waste your money on duds which only leave you discouraged.

Before getting started, find out all about the codes for installing panels in your city or region. They differ from place to place and you do not want to have to undo all of your hard work because of a regulation you never read. Codes might pertain specifically to where you can put a panel, for instance, which leads you to the next consideration.

Now that you know you can do the project without hiring a contractor, figure out where you get the best sun exposure. There is no point even starting if you do not have this, but let us just say you were inspired to get started because you noticed that you got sunlight for several hours a day over your home. Figure out exactly where the sun was shining the most. If it was in your yard, can you put panels up there; or are there too many animals and kids running around? Will you have to move the pool? The roof is the most popular spot for installations, but only if your roof is in good shape and faces the right way. Pole-mounted solar PV panels also work, but this is where you might fall afoul of regulatory bodies. The trouble with solar electric is that you really do need that direct sun exposure to make the system work. With solar thermal, there is a bit more leeway.

Finally, think about safety. Lots of systems can be built for less than a thousand dollars that will save you several hundred dollars a year, earning back your investment within two or three years. Still, you want to have the use of your legs when the money starts saving up in your bank account. If you are going to do any work on a roof, make sure you use proper harness equipment and never work alone. Maybe you can do a certain amount but must call in a professional to finish off the rest. You can still pat yourself on the back for having thought this DIY solar energy project through thoroughly.

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