Building a DIY Home Solar System for Emergency Backup Power
Do you worry about power outages, natural disasters, or The End of the World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)? Are you looking for a way to prepare for such situations through do-it-yourself (DIY) means? Then you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of DIY solar systems for emergency backup power. With DIY solar systems, the ability to keep the lights on during an outage is in your hands, giving you greater independence and control in emergencies.
Don't know where to start? For a quick crash course in backup solar power check our emergency solar FAQ, or download our Emergency Solar Power 101 guide to become a DIY home solar system expert so that you can keep the lights on during power outages like a boss.
How does a home solar power system work?
So, how does a home solar power system work? It’s simple. You stick some fancy panels on your roof and let them soak up the sun’s rays like a bunch of thirsty plants. Then those panels work their magic and turn that sunlight into good old-fashioned electricity your home can use. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even store that electricity in some high-tech batteries for a rainy day.
The sun offers an endless energy supply. The amount of the sun’s energy that hits the earth within 90 minutes could supply the world with electric current for a year; all we have to do is harvest it. And it doesn’t matter if you hire a solar company to do it, if you do it yourself, or if a troupe of mysterious elves sneak in and do it for you overnight; it all works the same way.
But how do home solar power systems convert direct current from the sun to alternating current that we use at home?
Since we're focused here on a DIY emergency solar power system, here's a step-by-step guide to how that works:
- In an emergency solar system, you typically only have the solar panels set up when you need them in good times to charge up your battery and in bad times when you're using power from the battery to keep it recharged. At all other times, you keep your panels safely stored somewhere inside, ready to be brought out when needed.
- When the sun hits a solar panel, it creates an electric charge via the photovoltaic effect or PV. These panels contain photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into direct current (electricity). As long as the sun's rays hit the panel, they will turn the solar radiation into current electricity.
- Next, the solar panels transfer the electric power generated to the solar generator, storing the power in its batteries and converting it from direct current into alternating current with its inverter.
- The alternating current flows through your electric service panel and is distributed throughout your home like regular grid electricity through the cable you’ve connected into, or you plug your appliances directly into the generator itself.
Why use solar for emergency backup power?
The heart of a solar emergency power system is its generator, just like most other emergency solutions. But unlike traditional generators that rely on fossil fuels, solar systems generate clean energy from the sun. This means you don't have to worry about running out of fuel, smelling the nasty fumes (or even dying from carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re foolish enough to run a gas generator indoors), or annoying everybody around you, including your neighbors, with the excessive noise.
Plus, solar generators are dirt simple to set up, use, and expand, while also being quiet and safe to use indoors. The solar generator as well as the solar panels that charge it up require little maintenance, making them an ideal solution for long-term backup power.
Benefits of DIY vs. hiring a solar company
When it comes to getting a solar system, you have two options: you can hire an expensive solar company to do it all for you, or you can embrace the DIY life and, well, do it yourself. (Sorry, but you'll be waiting a long time for elves to come in the night and make it happen.)
DIY solar systems offer several benefits over hiring a solar company.
- DIY solar systems are cheaper than professionally installed systems. You'll save money on labor costs and can purchase the materials yourself at a better rate.
- You control your component selection, ensuring you get the desired quality.
- Wth a DIY system, you know how it works and can troubleshoot any issues.
- You have the satisfaction of building something yourself and being self-reliant.
- You'll have the support of the DIY solar community to help you along the way!
How to build your own solar system
Now, let's learn how to build your emergency backup solar power system.
- Determine your energy needs by deciding what appliances and devices you’ll need to run during an emergency. Then you can calculate the number of panels and generator size you should get to meet your emergency energy needs.
- Select components including solar panels, a solar generator, and mounting hardware.
- Install the system by figuring out where to store your panels or mounting them on the roof or ground rack if you opt for a permanent installation.
- Connect your components and testing the system.
Building your emergency solar power system can be a huge investment, but it pays off over time and provides a fun project for many DIY enthusiasts.
Solar kits are a DIY dream
If you're new to DIY solar, solar kits are a dream come true. Solar kits that are designed for emergencies contain everything you need to build your backup solar system, including panels, a solar generator, and the cabling needed to connect everything. They are easy to install and require no prior knowledge of solar. Plus, you can purchase solar kits at a lower cost than individual components.
While an emergency solar kit is great for backup power during outages, those looking to minimize their dependence on the grid and become self-reliant completely can benefit from off grid solar kits. These kits are especially useful to those in remote areas without access to grid power. By going fully off grid, you can generate electricity independently and never have to worry about power emergencies again.
Best solar kits for DIY home solar systems
With countless options available in the market, selecting the right solar kit for your project can be challenging. The more power you want to generate or store will determine how expensive the solar kit is, so there may be a balancing act between how much you're willing to spend and how big your emergency solar system will be. Online retailers such as Shop Solar Kits can help you pick the best solar kit for your emergency needs and budget.
Shop Solar Kits: Your Solution to DIY Backup Power
DIY home solar systems offer a practical solution for anyone looking for emergency backup power during power outages or other unexpected events. By harnessing the sun's power, you can keep your lights on and appliances running even when the power goes out.
Shop Solar Kits offer a range of home solar systems in convenient kits that cater to different budgets and energy requirements. Our professionals can help you find the right system for your needs and even offer a personalized quote to get you started.
Learn how to use solar power to be prepared for any emergency with our comprehensive guide to emergency solar power.