A Complete Guide To Setting Up A Solar Power System In Your Home

Using solar energy systems for power isn’t exactly a new concept by now. It lets people cut down on electricity costs, and its renewability makes it more eco-friendly.

Solar power works by capturing sunlight through mirrors, lenses, and photovoltaic panels. The concentrated energy gets converted into a current, which is then stored in batters for later use. You can use that to supply power during certain times of the day or a whole day, when it’s dark, or when you can’t use your current power system. For this reason, it’s quite accessible as a source of power, especially in underserviced areas.

how to set up a solar power system at home

Although it has these benefits, the rate of people adopting it for their households is still quite low. For one thing, solar panels require some considerable investment for buying and maintenance. And, of course, there’s the claim that other energy producers are trying to curb its usage to keep themselves in operation.

Nevertheless, people nowadays have more opportunities to switch to solar power thanks to advancements in photovoltaic technology. If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of this renewable energy source first-hand, look up reliable solar power system installers like Impact Energy Solar In Colorado and similar providers in your area to ask questions and get started.

But before you get ahead of yourself, you should know that switching to solar energy takes a few key steps. Preparing your household for installation is one of them. Fortunately, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Here’s what homeowners like you should do to set up a solar power system at home.

1. Calculate Your Household’s Approximate Energy Consumption

Before installing solar panels, assessing and knowing your energy needs is essential. You can do this by summing up all the power that your home requires.

A common way to go about this is to look at your monthly electric bills for a whole year first. List down the total number of watts you consume. Then, you get the average. While it may not represent exactly how much energy you use, it should put you in a safe range for how much you’ll need to keep your daily routines.

You can also make a list of the appliances you use daily. These may include:

  • Clothes irons
  • Refrigerators
  • Washers and dryers
  • Fans
  • Lights
  • Televisions
  • Microwaves
  • Electric cookers
  • Desktop and laptop computers
  • Heaters

You might add more to the list depending on what you have in your home. Once you have everything down, the next step is to add the approximate time you use them daily and their power rating.

Then, you calculate the watts per hour. Multiply each appliance’s power rating by its run time. After doing this for every device and appliance, you can add all the individual figures to get the overall ‘watt-hour.’ This figure helps you determine the size of the solar power unit you need to keep everything running in your household.

As a rule, the size of the system and your estimated consumption are directly proportional. The greater your energy needs, the bigger the solar power system you have to get. So, make sure you have this down to make your search for the ideal system much easier.

2. Check If You Have All The Components That Make Up The Solar Power System

The second step to setting up a solar energy system is gathering all the parts of the power unit. Regular ones usually include the following components:

  • Solar panels
  • Inverter
  • Charge Controller
  • Battery Pack
  • Fuses
  • Meter
  • Breaker
  • MC4 connector
  • Electrical safety equipment, like surge protectors

When buying these parts, make sure they’re compatible with one another and suit your installation needs.

Once you’ve purchased and confirmed that you have all the necessary parts, read through your user manual and module instructions that come with the solar power system unit. Take your time to understand the instructions.

different surveys when building a new home

3. Find The Ideal Location To Set Up Your Solar Panels

While it’s true that most people install solar panels on their rooftops, it’s not mandatory. There are other factors to consider before deciding where to set up your system.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the panels must have full access to sunlight. So, avoid placing them somewhere on the roof surrounded by tall trees. These can cast shadows on the solar panels, affecting their ability to capture as much light as possible. Also, their twigs, leaves, and other detritus may cover the surfaces of the panels, making them even less efficient. Other tall structures around your home do the same thing, as well.

With this understanding, always make sure you place your panels at a location and position primed for maximum exposure. If you can’t find a good enough space on your rooftop, the ground is always a good option. Just keep it protected from foot traffic or debris by putting up a fence.

There are also more creative ways to put up the panels. For those, consider working with a professional solar power installer to get the best advice on what to do.

4. Make Stands For The Battery And Inverter

Depending on the layout, it’s a good idea to have stands for the inverter and battery; otherwise, the setup may look flimsy and incomplete. You can either make one from scratch or purchase a completed stand, preferably from the same set as the components you bought.

Before getting the stands, you should first know where you’re going to place the inverter and battery. They should have enough space for the stands you’ll purchase. Once you got that down, you’re ready for the next step of the setup.

5. Set Up Your Battery

Speaking of which, you should place the battery in its rightful position according to your layout.

You’ll also need a power controller to monitor how your battery is charging. This small device has a LED light that acts as a signal to indicate the battery’s current status. Aside from that, it controls the power the battery receives and adjusts it if necessary.

 

The battery serves as the conduit for storing the power solar panels generate throughout the day. Whenever you need solar power, you simply channel the battery to discharge the energy it collected.

It’s crucial to have a battery with optimum storage to have a steady energy supply and to run your electrical appliances normally when there’s no sunlight.

6. Then, Place The Inverter

Solar panels produce electricity in the form of direct current (DC). However, electrical appliances can only use power alternating current (AC). Instead of using adapters when running your devices, inverters simplify the task by converting DC to AC.

Much like the inverter, you also need to set up the inverter correctly. They can also come in different power capacities. So, it’s important to get one that matches the needs of your household.

Note that not all inverters work for every device or appliance in your home. Check out your user’s manual or talk to an expert if you need to learn more about this.

7. Put Up The Solar Panels

Once all the other components are set, you can get to mounting the solar panels at the best spot. Again, you must place them somewhere with the optimal exposure. A professional can help you find that position and even help you with the placement. Ensure that your mounting stand is the same as the location’s latitude angle for maximum energy efficiency.

solar-battery

8. Work On Wiring The Components

You start by connecting the battery to the inverter. Next, wire the charge controller to the solar panels. Then, you connect the direct current load with the solar charge controller.

When connecting the charge controller and solar panel, it’s best to use an MC4 connector to get better results, especially if the panels are large. Once you connect the charge controller to the battery, you should see the LED lights lighting up.

If you are wiring smaller solar panels, try tracing a junction box at the back with a positive and negative terminal. Use the red wire for the former and the black one for the latter to connect everything.

After everything is put in place, give the solar power system a test run. The battery should start charging within a few moments. Then, pause and check if any problems pop up, like overheating, smoke, or odd smells. If everything goes without a hitch, you can now enjoy your new source of energy.

As you’ve seen throughout the article, the whole process is best done with the help of a professional solar panel installation crew. Don’t hesitate to look up the best ones in your area.

Time For You To Go Solar

Due to its many benefits for your budget and the environment in the long run, relying on solar energy may be one of the best investments you make. This guide should give you a good idea of how to properly set up a system. Of course, you should turn to professionals to make sure you did everything right. Here’s to more sustainable homes.

11 Ideas for Easier Recycling at Home

Going green isn’t just meant for Earth Day. Going green is a way of life. However, Earth Day is a day we pause and commemorate, acknowledge and support environmental programs and Earth-saving strategies. It is also a great day to commit or recommit to employ earth-friendly practices in your life, at home and in the office. There are countless things you can do to “go green.” Most of these things are ease to incorporate into your life. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to go green. Recycling is the process of obtaining or retaining waste and converting it into usable, new materials. Some things that can be used to recycle are:

Recycling is actually a great way to conserve raw resources and save energy. Recycling at least one ton of paper can save 7,000 gallons of water and 17 trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Hiring a skip would help recycle that amount of paper and you can click here for ideas for ideas on the size of the skip you could employ.

As you see, recycling is an effective and simple way to help the environment. It is something the entire family can do too. Before recycling, call your local waste management services. Determine how to you need to sort and pack items for recycling. In addition, you want to know what day or days the waste management services collects recycling. Check with them to find out where you safely dispose of light bulbs, hazardous materials and batteries. These cannot be recycled or put in the trash.

Your local waste management recycling service has different rules about how items must be sorted, cleaned and packaged. Metal, cardboard, plastics, aluminum, glass and paper can be recycled.

It can be tricky to recycle plastics because some can break down easier than other plastics. The number located on the plastic item will determine if it can be recycled. It will also determine if the plastic can be picked up for recycling.

Source: Fix.com

Although plastics are trickier to sort and recycle, it’s important to dispose of them properly. One important factor to establishing a recycling a program at work, school or home is to create a system that works for everyone. Here are a few ways to recycle at home:

Source: DIY Swank

Recycling is about convenience, convenience, and more convenience! When incorporating a successful program about which you can read in the essay about recycling, make bins easily accessible. They should be in an area that is easily visible and used like the utility room or kitchen where they can be seen and used

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Now, if you need a simple recycling system everyone can follow (even kids), use caster and baskets. These are easy to access and use. They slide out of site when not in use.

Source: Family Handyman

Use space by going vertical. You can hook bins on walls to utilize space. It will be easy to sort and store.

Source: Sweet Haute

Another way to make a successful recycling program is to make it fun. Use stylish bins and trash cans to recycle items.

Source: Sweet Haute

Another way to make a successful recycling program is to make it fun. Use stylish bins and trash cans to recycle items.

You may not have time to personally decorate trash cans by spray painting them. How about using printable labels. These labels can go generic bins to help separate recyclables.

Source: Lil Blue Boo

Batteries are not to be recycled. They cannot be put into a trash can for non-recycling either. Instead, they should be properly thrown away at a collection center or a participating auto part store. The same thing should be done with light bulbs.

Source: Sawdust Girl

Make a special area of your home or office to use as a personal sorting center. This is where you can sort and clean recyclables. You may want to look at some personal recycling centers to get an understand of what you need.

Source: I Should Be Mopping the Floor

Many people do not have an area they can keep bulky recycling or trash in the home or office. If this is the case for you, create a dedicated spot in the garage or other area. It won’t take long before your family or co-workers are pitching in to recycle.

Recycling is full of great ideas to help the environment. Find the ones you like. Used them in your successful recycling program.

Useful Resources

What is a Power Inverter and Why do I Need One?

Are you the owner of an RV, SUV, car, boat or other vehicle with enough free space like Honda BR-V, and want to be able to watch TV, cook, or power a laptop onboard? If yes, you’ll be needing a power inverter. But what are they, and what do they do? Read on to find out why you’ll need one to power your gadgets on the road. As a fun fact, power inverters are now also becoming more commonly used in air conditioning units for homes with ess battery but these will require an HVAC technician to install. Use of the technology is expanding.

power-inverter-car

What is a Power Inverter?

Basically, they are devices that turn your vehicle battery’s direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) – the kind of electricity you have in outlets in your house, that are connected to the energy grid. Power inverters are not to be confused with catalytic converters, which control exhaust emissions.

Having a power converter means you can plug in your appliances and devices, and power them like you would through an electricity outlet in a house.

In your car, you can get USB adaptors for your cigarette lighter so that you can charge your phone or plug in your satnav. But for larger gadgets and electronics with proper plugs, you’ll need an inverter.

Working of a Power Inverter

Like we said, they convert currents to a type safe for use in vehicles. Your vehicle’s battery voltage provides a current that powers its internal workings – you’ll need to know which voltage your vehicle’s battery uses to choose the correct inverter.

The current supplied by a battery sticks on one circuit, in one direction – where the name ‘direct current’ comes from.

However, to power your gadgets, you’ll need alternating current, as those electronics need more power to function than the DC can provide. They’re made to function with the high-voltage AC current supplied in homes. If you are wondering ‘how to do my homework‘ to write a high-quality essay on electricity, consider EssayDoc.

Power inverters increase the DC voltage, change it to AC, then use it to power your devices. They amp up your battery’s voltage so you can play video games and use a kettle in your RV. Cool, huh?

Size Selection

These babies come in a variety of sizes – most commonly 1000, 3000 or 5000 watts.

It’s recommended that a 3000 watt inverter is the happy medium between inverter sizes and best choice to get. They’re not too small like the 1000, or too powerful and overcharged like the 5000. If you need a little extra boost, there are 3500 watt capacities available.

We spoke to a representative from Crusader Vans, who has a lot of knowledge on the topic at hand and they said, “The size you choose depends on the watts or amps of what you want to run (find the power consumption by referring to the specification plate on the appliance or tool). We recommend you buy a larger model than you think you’ll need (at least 20% more than your largest load).

Determine Continuous Load and Starting (Peak) Load: You need to determine how much power your tool or appliance (or combination of them that you would use at the same time) requires to start up (starting load), and also the continued running requirements (continuous load).” Follow this link to know more about them: https://www.crusader-vans.co.uk/

Modified or Pure Sine Wave Inverter?

Besides the sizing, there are two main types of inverter – the modified sine wave, and the pure sine wave.

So, what’s the difference, and which one will you need?

  • Modified Sine Wave: These tend to be cheaper, and less powerful. However, they’re good for most everyday electronics you will want to use, just not very large ones.
  • Pure Sine Wave: These are compatible with pretty much all electronics, gadgets, and appliances, and produce a powerful current most like the one supplied by the electric grid. These are the most common choice, because they’re more likely to be compatible with anything you need to plug in.

Power inverters are useful for charging on the road without having to cart around adaptors and large plugs

Other Features and Tips

  • Power inverters are especially useful if you are setting up a solar power system – they convert energy from the sun into electricity you can use to power your gadgets within your vehicle. This is renewable energy that isn’t a drain on your best car battery.
  • Power inverters aren’t just for vehicles – if you have a small cottage or outhouse, they’re very useful for setting up a small power source there.
  • Many (but not all) power inverters come with USB outlets, useful for charging on the road without having to cart around adaptors and large plugs. For ease of use, get one compatible with USB.
  • The best inverters have digital screens which show you how much energy has been consumed and information about battery voltage. It’s useful to know these things at a glance, so consider getting one that has a screen.
  • Modern inverters, such as a solar inverter, have been made to be extra-quiet, so you won’t be woken up by a noisy machine while trying to simultaneously get some sleep and charge your phone in your RV.

Recycling of Lead-Acid Batteries in Developing Countries

Lead-acid batteries (also known as LABs) are a common item in our daily lives. Once the lead of the battery is timed out, we have no option but to dump it because it has no use for us anymore, but the copper plates in the battery remain reusable which can be used for recycling. There are some disagreements about the benefits of recycling battery, say alkaline battery, over simple disposal because the mercury in the battery no longer exists and the disposal material is abundant and non-toxic. But for automotive batteries the scenario is different in terms of benefits. The recycling of this type of battery holds both economic and environmental benefits.

lead-acid-battery-recycling

The reusable material from the used battery is removed and recycled which reduces the needs for raw materials which is originally imported from abroad. It creates a balance payment and cost. In addition to this there can be considerable environmental impact during mining processes such as emission from smelting of sulfide ore, copper, nickel, and cobalt and this can be eliminated if recycling can be introduced.

Dangers of Lead-Acid Batteries

LABs generally consist of both sulphuric acid and large amount of lead which is not only corrosive but also a good carrier for soluble lead and lead particles. Lead is highly toxic metal which causes a wide range of adverse health effect especially on young children. If one gets expose excessively to lead it can cause damage to brain and kidney, impair hearing, and can led to various other associated problems. On an average an automobile manufactured contain about 12kg of lead, in which about 96% of lead is used in lead acid battery and remaining 4% is used in other applications like wheel balance weight, protective coating and variation dampers.

Both lead and cadmium are harmful for human health and environment. This toxic substances seeps into the soil, groundwater and surface water through landfill and also releases toxins into the air when they are burnt in municipal waste incinerators. Moreover cadmium can be easily absorbed by the pant root and get into the fruits, vegetables, and waters are consumed by animals and human beings, they can fall to prey to a host of ill effects.

Studies have shown that nausea, excessive salivation, abdominal pain, liver and kidney damage, skin irritation, headaches, asthma, nervousness, decreased IQ in children, and sometimes even cancer can result from exposure to such metals for a sufficient period of time.

Need for Effective Control Measures

In a battery recycling plant, effective control measures need to be implemented, both to protect the health of workers and to prevent pollution of the environment. Good plant design, with reduction of the potential for the emission of contaminating substances is of utmost importance and the newer smelting processes are inherently much cleaner than traditional blast furnaces.

Pollution abatement technologies, including the treatment of exhaust gases and liquid effluents, need to be installed. Those mostly exposed to releases within the plants are the workforce. Control measures such as maintaining minimum standards of air quality within the works, medical surveillance of employees, use of protective equipment, and provision of conditions of good hygiene in general, is necessary to avoid occupational lead exposure. However, few government/non-governmental steps have been taken yet; rather this practice is a traditional trading system as prevail in the society.

Positive and Negative Impacts

In developing countries such as Bangladesh, recycling or reusing of used lead-acid batteries has both positive and negative impact on environment. Positive impact is that, if battery is recycled in proper and in sustainable manner it saves environment from toxic material of battery, otherwise battery waste is dumped into the landfills. Negative impact is that if recycling is not done in sustainable manner emits gases produced from battery recycling has adverse impacts on environment and human being.

In a battery recycling plant, effective control measures are required to safeguard public health and environment.

Direct recycling process should be banned as it has adverse impact on environment. As it is an illegal process, shopkeepers perform this process in hidden way. Government should impose the law and regulation strictly in this occurrence. This information can be used for advertising material highlighting the environmental benefits of recycling or reusing encourages the purchasing of old lead acid battery. It will accelerate the selling rate of old battery.

Importance of Awareness

Necessary steps should be taken to increase awareness about environmental impacts of used lead acid batteries. Proper instruction should be provided among the general mass. It will also increase reusing of old battery. Battery regeneration is a unique process specially designed to revive the lost capacity of batteries and give priority to choose secondary battery. Battery Reuse Centre can be developed for effective reuse and recycle.

The aim to divert reusable battery, donated by the public, which often could have been destined for landfill and instead provides a much needed source of low-cost battery to those in need. The battery reuse service encourages volunteer involvement and trainee placements in all aspects of its operation. Awareness program (posters, pamphlets, TV & radio commercials, road-shows, website, exhibitions, talks), infrastructure, information center, tax rebates for manufacturers should be taken to increase recycling or reusing of old battery.

Unending Benefits of Solar Street Lights

Solar power is getting increasing popularity as a dependable source for street lighting all over the world. Some of the benefits associated with solar street lights include reduced dependence on conventional energy, conservation of energy and less reliance on the national grid. In countries experiencing abundance of sunlight, solar lights are the best option to illuminate the streets, garden, parks and other public spaces.

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Solar-powered lights are a perfect eco-friendly green lighting solution

Nowadays, solar street lights are powered by PV panels, in-built battery, LED lights and smart sensors, all integrated into a single compact unit. Solar LED street lights have emerged as a cost-effective and environment-friendly to light up roads and public spaces. LED lights are widely acknowledged for energy conservation, are long-lasting and good-looking, and are maintenance-free. These characteristics make LED-based solar street lights well-suited for commercial as well as domestic lighting applications.

Key Features

A modern solar street light has embedded solar panel, inbuilt lithium-ion batteries, battery management system, night and motion sensors as well as automatic controls. The fully automatic device comes with LEDs, inbuilt and replaceable Lithium-ion battery and passive infrared (PIR) sensors. A typical solar street light is weather-proof and water-resistant, has low insect attraction rate and low glare and has a longer life.

The embedded solar panel converts solar power into electrical energy which is stored in the inbuilt battery, and used for dusk-to-dawn lighting operations. The main innovation of modern solar street lights is the battery management system which is facilitated by the presence of night and motion sensors.

During the first 5 hours of night, the system works at average lumens brightness. Subsequently, the intensity of the light reduces till dawn or until PIR sensor is activated by human movement. When people are within a certain radius away from the light, it automatically turns to its full brightness. This smart feature makes solar street lights device a perfect combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Solar powered lights by Deelat Industrial has been tried and successfully tested in a wide variety of domestic and commercial applications. The device is well-suited for lighting up streets, courtyards, gardens, parks, compounds, boundary walls, car parks etc. in an eco-friendly and cost-effective manner.

Unending Benefits

Due to off-grid nature of solar street lights, solar street lights incur minimal operational costs. Such lights are wireless in nature and are independent of the utility company. Compared to conventional street lights, solar street lights require almost zero maintenance. Due to the absence of external wires, these lights do not pose any threat of accidents like electrocution, strangulation and overheating. Infact, solar lights illuminate the streets throughout the night irrespective of power cuts and grid failures.

Solar street lights are a delight for environmentalists around the world as it can provide significant lowering of carbon footprint of individuals, homes and businesses. In other words, solar-powered lights are a perfect green lighting solution. In terms of cost, solar street lights are a better investment than conventional street lights if the capital as well as O&M costs are considered.