Solar power is a superb way to generate energy for your home in a clean, efficient and sustainable way, and it can lead to a considerable reduction in your household heating and light bills!
However, what makes some homeowners hesitate, is the cost of hiring contractors to fit solar power systems (also known as photovoltaic systems) to their property.
It is worth considering investing in the range of solar power kits now available. These provide all the components (and instructions) you need for “DIY” solar systems, including the panels, the inverter and any mounting system needed.
You can select a solar power kit to match the space you have available, and the level of output you need to match your energy requirements. The size and degree of complexity involved then dictate how quick it is to fit.
For example, a compact solar power kit generating up to 4kW could potentially be up and running within 24 hours. However, if you invest in a solar power kit generating 8kW (or up to 20kW) it can take several days to get it fully operational.
There are even solar power kits that are suitable for boats and motorhomes too!
What do solar power kits involve, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?
Grid-Tied Solar Power Kits
As the name implies, this method of harnessing solar energy in your property works in conjunction with your existing mains supply. The panels in the kit have connectors that transport energy to the electric grid that feeds properties in your area.
The main advantage of this is that you can “sell” any surplus energy you generate to your local energy supplier, and all your own energy is stored by the grid. As no battery or other stand-alone equipment is needed, it can be a low-cost route to solar energy.
However, grid-tied solar power kits are highly specialist in their fitting requirements. A qualified electrician must be part of the process.
Small Off-Grid Solar Power Kits
This is a great option for when you need a smaller – but still reliable – amount of electricity, and you don’t want or need to be integrated with a mains system.
These kits feed energy into a battery, for an easy and highly economical source of power. This is then usually supplied to a generator.
This kit is ideal for when you don’t have grid access nearby, such as boats, motorhomes, caravans, cabins and outbuildings.
You simply need to invest in one with the correct sizing to match the energy level required.
As they are not tied to the grid, installation is quick and the whole system is low maintenance. Though the battery and any generator involved will eventually need to be replaced.
Hybrid Solar Power Kit
For some people seeking to harness clean and efficient solar power, having the option of being tied to the grid and collecting energy in a battery is “the best of both worlds”.
Particularly as you don’t need a generator for this type of kit, keeping equipment and installation costs down.
The inverter in a hybrid solar power kit can feed the grid and a battery. When electricity costs are high, you can use the residual power from the battery, and then revert to the grid when “off-peak”.
One of the benefits of this option is that you can save a substantial amount on your energy bills, as you be self-sufficient when needed.
It also provides greater flexibility in the way the solar power kit is installed and wired, if it is not entirely reliant on interaction with the mains grid.
Hybrid solar power kits come in various sizes and types, but as they are grid linked they require the services of a qualified electrician during the installation process.
Choosing between the kits simply comes down to the location of the solar power kit, your energy expectations and preferences and how accessible the grid is.
To find out more about DIY solar panel kits and any questions you may have Get in touch.