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Friday, October 1, 2010
This general information guide to solar panel installation will address the following topics:
* Solar Panel Purchases
* Solar Panel Installation Tips
* Solar Panels and Power Meters
Where can I purchase solar panels?
You can purchase solar panels from a variety of solar panel producers, including Sunwize, Evergreen, and Mitsubishii Electric. Prices change constantly, but a good solar panel report comparing cost/kilowatt is available here.
You can also buy solar panels securely online, from a wide variety of retailers.
Solar Panel Installation Tips
Solar Panels are typically installed on rooftops, building tops, or stand-alone facilities. It is vital to install your solar panel so that it gets the most direct sun exposure - you want to make sure your solar panel is maximally effective year round. To do this, there are several web-based solar resources to help you properly set up and install your solar panels by tracking the position of the sun in the sky over the course of the year.
Position your solar panel in direct sunlight
Solar Panels perform at optimum capacity when placed in direct sunlight. Try to position your photovoltaic array directly under the noontime sun for maximum efficiency from your photovoltaic unit.
Notice obstructions to sunlight
Remove all items unnessary items or trim branches that may be blocking sunlight to your solar unit. Trace the path of the sun in the sky to determine if an object is casting a shadow over your solar photovoltaic panels. If this is the case, then the operating efficiency of your unit will undoubtedly suffer.
Mounting your Solar Panel
Solar Panel Mounts are used to install photovoltaic solar panels. Solar panel mounts come in three main varieties: pole mounts, roof-ground mounts, and flush mounts. Using these mounts, you can install your solar panel onto an RV, on top of or against the side of a pole, on your roof, or even install them as a free-standing unit. You can learn more about installing solar panels using mounts in our mounts section.
Water pumping with solar panels
A good way to put solar panels to use is to install a solar-powered water pump for your well. Although windmills have traditionally been used to power such systems, a solar-powered system works just as well, and is equally friendly to the environment.
Your Well Pump
It is important to choose a quality well pump for use with your solar powered well pump system, one that makes the best use of your power and doesn't require an inefficient, wasteful transformer. Your well drilling provider is likely to offer you the industry standard well pump, a 220 volt alternating current model. The problem with such a high-voltage pump system is that the required transformer is extremely wasteful and can be a huge strain on your inverter during startup. This can cause the power to home to dip, and the lights to dim, which can cause a full-out inverter failure unless you have a top-quality inverter. Avoid such a high voltage system if you can, and instead, opt for a 120 volt AC model, which is much more efficient and does not put nearly as much of a burden on your inverter.
The Solar Panel
Your solar panel does not have to have a very high wattage rating in order to run your solar pump, just check with your well-drilling company to determine what wattage rating you need from your solar panel. An important consideration when setting up an outdoor solar panel system for your well pump is to ensure that you purchase a mounting rack that offers plenty of clearance between the ground and your solar panel and keep in it an open area away from trees. You don't want any large pets, floodwater, or falling branches to damage your system.
Solar Panels and Power Meters
As you purchase more and more solar panels for your home, your reliance on the city's power grid will progressively decline until your power meter doesn't turn at all. As you continue to buy solar panels, you wonder, what happens beyond that point? What happens on the days when my home produces more energy from solar panels that it needs?
Also, we reccomend using a true sine wave inverter with your solar powered pump system. True Sine wave inverters tend to work better when motors are involved (such as those found in a water pump).
If you are interested in reaping benefits from your solar panel investment, read on to discover how you can turn your power meter backwards for profit.