DIY Solar Power

Is solar power a viable option for you and your home or is it just a marketing strategy to get you to buy a product that isn’t practical and doesn’t perform the way it is said to perform.

I must say that solar power is an option being strongly supported by governments and public alike and is being embraced by the building industry in many different forms. Some government bodies even have grants available for people to install solar power so it must be the way to go, or is it?

Solar power has been used in homes for heating water for some time now by capturing solar energy in the form of heat but the type of solar power under question is where solar energy is converted into electricity.

We know this form of power works because we have experienced it in such things as calculators, battery chargers, traffic signs and so on, but what about in a home situation where high currents are required 24hrs a day ?

I think we all know that the sun is the source for this power but nature dictates the time when the sun is available, the most obvious time is day time. Unless I have missed something we have a period of darkness called NIGHT so what happens then?

Solar power obviously cannot be provided during the night or even in quantity on a cloudy day, so the biggest issue with solar power is how to overcome these situations.

Power storage is the only answer and can be done in many different forms depending on your situation but for the typical residential home this is best achieved with batteries; and not the type that fit in your camera.

From a practical note can I say this; the greatest demand for electricity is during the winter months and at the height of the summer when air-conditioners are in use. Depending on where you live you need to consider the hours of sunlight available during these times.

Winter brings short daylight hours and in some parts of the world winter daylight hours can be very short indeed. Winter also brings with it more cloudy days than any other time of year and this reduces the power output from solar.

Don’t get me wrong here because I believe solar power is a great way to go in helping save the environment as well as having sustainable electricity, but I also believe to make any REAL savings on power you would need to combine solar with wind.

When you think about it there is often wind during the winter months and on cloudy days (rainy days) using wind power during these periods is very practical.