What Solar Energy Equipment Do You Need? – Everything You Need to Know About Building a Solar Power System
Building your own solar power system can offer a variety of financial and environmental benefits. Not only can solar power reduce your monthly electricity costs and increase the value of your home, off-setting some of your power needs with clean, renewable energy can significantly reduce the size of your carbon footprint.
Given how beneficial residential solar power systems can be, it is no wonder that so many homeowners are deciding to embrace solar energy and reduce their dependence on the utility companies. If you are looking to invest in your own solar power system, we can help!
Building Your Own Solar Power System:
To help you get started with solar power, we are going to go over each of the essential pieces of solar energy equipment you will need to build your own system. While switching to solar power may seem somewhat complicated and overwhelming at first glance, it is actually fairly simple once you break down and examine each individual component. After reading this article, you will know exactly what pieces of solar energy equipment you will need and where you can find them!
The Four Essential Pieces of Solar Energy Equipment
To make things easy, we are going to go over each of the four main pieces of equipment in a solar power system. Whether you are looking to build a small-scale solar power system for your RV, or you are looking to install a full off-grid system to meet all of your power needs, you will need to purchase the following four pieces of solar equipment:
Solar panels are one of the most important pieces of solar energy equipment you will need if you plan on building your own solar power system.
Given that it is the solar panels that actually convert sunlight into electricity, choosing the correct solar panels for your particular needs is an important decision. Some factors you will need to take into consideration are the size of the panels, their efficiency, wattage, cost, and type.
Solar panels are generally categorized as either monocrystalline panels, or polycrystalline panels. Both types of solar panels will serve the same function in your solar power system. While either type can work, it is worth noting that monocrystalline solar panels are generally more efficient than polycrystalline panels. Monocrystalline solar panels also tend to be much sleeker, which is due to the fact that each of their solar cells only needs to be comprised of a single silicon crystal. However, these benefits often come at a price, so if you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider larger and less efficient polycrystalline solar panels. On the other hand, if you can afford to spend more, you can invest the extra money into more efficient and compact monocrystalline panels.
The number of solar panels you purchase and the wattage of those panels will depend on your power needs, as well as the size of your battery bank. If you are unsure how much power you will need, consider taking a look at our Ultimate Off-Grid Solar Watt Hour Calculator. Once you understand how much solar electricity you need, you will be able to determine what type and how many solar panels you will need.
We carry both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels in a wide range of wattages, sizes, and styles. Whether you are looking for a portable and foldable suitcase-style solar panel, or more of a permanent module, you will find exactly what you need by browsing our Full Collection of Solar Panels and PV Modules.
Given that the power output of your solar panels will fluctuate throughout the day and vary from season to season, it is important to have a charge controller to regulate that electricity and make sure it flows to your battery bank at the correct voltage and current.
A charge controller will protect your batteries by preventing overcharging issues. They can also reduce the effects of battery drain by preventing the reverse flow of electricity from your battery back to the solar panels when they are not absorbing sunlight.
Simple solar power systems can use a PWM charge controller, which is a much less advanced device than a MPPT charge controller. Essentially, a PWM charge controller acts like a switch that will turn on and off at pre-set parameters to prevent overcharging. MPPT charge controllers act almost like ‘smart devices’, as they feature integrated computer systems that make them programable and adaptable to changing voltages and currents.
We carry a wide range of both PWM and MPPT charge controllers. Shop our Charge Controller Collection to find the perfect device for your particular solar power system.
Given that solar panels generate direct current, or DC power, most systems will require a solar power inverter. These devices convert DC power into AC power. Given that the electrical outlets in your home provide AC power, most electronic devices and appliances use this type of electrical current.
A power inverter will let you use your newly generated solar electricity to power your devices. Converting solar electricity into AC power will also allow you to run a grid-tied system and feed any excess solar energy into the electricity grid for utility credits and cash rebates.
Whether you are running an off-grid, grid-tied, or hybrid solar power system, a power inverter is a practical piece of solar energy equipment that is well-worth the investment. Shop our entire collection of Solar Power Inverters to find exactly what you need.
Solar batteries give you the ability to store solar electricity, so you can use that power at your convenience. They are also useful if you are interested in incorporating a backup power system to act as a power supply in the event of blackouts and grid failures.
Without a battery bank to store your solar electricity, your entire solar power system would become useless whenever the sun was not shining. So, if you plan on using solar electricity after the sun has set, you will need an appropriate power storage solution.
All of our solar batteries were specifically designed for the relentless discharging and recharging that occurs with solar power systems. You can shop the best solar batteries on the market today by exploring our Solar Power Battery Collection.
Complete Solar Kits
While you can certainly build your own solar power system by purchasing each piece of solar energy equipment individually, one of the easiest ways to get started with solar power is to purchase a ready-made solar power kit.
Complete solar power kits come packaged with all of the components you need to start generating and storing solar power right away. If you need every piece of solar energy equipment, complete kits offer convenience and discounted prices.
To make solar power as accessible as possible, we have assembled solar kits that come with all of the solar panels, charge controllers, batteries, inverters, and accessories needed to get started. By bundling components from a variety of reputable manufacturers, we are able to offer high-quality equipment at discounted prices. If you are just starting out, take a look at our Complete Collection of RV, Van, Boat, and DIY Solar Power Kits.
Solar Generators for Portable Power
Solar generators are quickly becoming one of the highest selling pieces of solar power equipment. Essentially, solar generators act as all-in-one solar power stations, which allow you to store solar electricity and use it to charge all of your devices.
They are compatible with solar panels and use integrated battery systems to store solar electricity. Most units will feature a variety of different power input and output ports, so you can charge everything from portable electronics, to small appliances.
The best solar generators are also designed for portability and will feature lightweight designs, sturdy exteriors, built-in carrying handles, and display screens, which allow you to quickly monitor the status of the battery. You can think of a solar generator like an emissions-free version of a traditional gasoline generator.
While solar generators are not necessarily an essential piece of solar energy equipment, they are extremely convenient and are proving to be an extremely popular choice for those looking for a convenient and portable way to store solar electricity.
If you are unsure where to start, we recommend reading our Complete Solar Generator Buyer's Guide. Once you have found a solar generator that meets your particular needs, you can shop our Solar Generator and Solar Power Station Collection. We carry some of the best solar generators on the market today, so you will be able to quickly find the perfect device to meet your portable power or backup power needs
If you have any questions about building your own solar power system, or you would like some more information about a particular piece of solar energy equipment, we encourage you to reach out at any time!
Feel free to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 1 – 877-242-2792.