In some states, you’re required to have certain certifications, or even be a licensed electrician, to legally wire solar panels. You should have experience and training in residential wiring, and knowledge about how local grid interconnection works. You’ll need to know how to purchase equipment that correctly matches your system requirements, including power conditioning equipment that’s critical for making the electricity produced by your solar panels compatible with the grid. You’ll also need meters, instrumentation, and safety equipment.
Excellent article as always MM, we’ve been anxiously waiting for you to post it! This is something my wife and I have been researching for a while as well, especially since we got an electric vehicle. I would really appreciate more information on your financial numbers, especially how you calculate the returns and payback period. I did some math on this recently and found payback times on a 10KW DIY install were closer to 40 years before breaking even. This contrasted harshly with the numbers (8-10 years) that a local solar company was advertising. Not sure if they’re being misleading or if I missed something.
Some photovoltaic systems, such as rooftop installations, can supply power directly to an electricity user. In these cases, the installation can be competitive when the output cost matches the price at which the user pays for his electricity consumption. This situation is sometimes called 'retail grid parity', 'socket parity' or 'dynamic grid parity'.[50] Research carried out by UN-Energy in 2012 suggests areas of sunny countries with high electricity prices, such as Italy, Spain and Australia, and areas using diesel generators, have reached retail grid parity.[4]

Solar PV Project Financing: Regulatory and Legislative Challenges for Third-Party PPA System Owners– Third-party owned solar arrays allow a developer to build and own a PV system on a customer’s property and sell the power back to the customer. While this can eliminate many of the up-front costs of going solar, third-party electricity sales face regulatory and legislative challenges in some states and jurisdictions. This report details the challenges and explains alternatives.

As you may be aware, the Federal government will provide you with a hefty grant to reward you for being a part of the transition to renewable energy. Just how hefty, you ask? The incentive program will cover 30% of your costs. Not bad, right? For more free money, be sure to check out North Carolina State University's DSIRE. Many states, towns, and utility companies provide additional grants, tax breaks, buyback programs, and low-interest loans to help offset the costs of solar energy. DSIRE maintains an up-to-date list of these programs.
With over 100% year-on-year growth in PV system installation, PV module makers dramatically increased their shipments of solar modules in 2010. They actively expanded their capacity and turned themselves into gigawatt GW players.[39] According to PVinsights, five of the top ten PV module companies in 2010 are GW players. Suntech, First Solar, Sharp, Yingli and Trina Solar are GW producers now, and most of them doubled their shipments in 2010.[40]
Before you go searching for websites that sell solar kits the first thing you should do is get at least one quote from a full-service solar company. You can do that online through our solar panels estimator. The advantages of this are that you find out what the cost of the competing option to a DIY solar project (a full-service installation) costs. You need to know this to know whether all the individual costs you face when doing a DIY installation (panels, inverters, racking, electrical sundries, service board upgrades, installation labor, permitting and inspections) are actually worth it. Click here to learn how much a solar installation for your home will cost.
When a pole or magnetic field passes a coil the result is electrons begin to flow but for the purposes of our discussion of how windings work what is important to understand is that more windings in a slot of finer gauge wire make higher voltage with the magnetic rotor being turned at a lower RPM. This is great for wind generator in low wind areas and integrating into builds where people keep track in mind that making some power over time is better than not making any power until the wind blows hard. It does remain a balancing act because while many consumers want low RPM generator. The trade off is that while finer wire will make voltage to reach a cut in point to start generating power the down side is that finer wire limits the potential current that a winding can carry. Niner wire also builds up heat as there is greater internal resistance.
So you got your cells in the mail. Let’s say you received solar cells totaling 194 watts for $105+shipping (an actual example from ebay) that you carefully unpack, taking care not to break them, as they’re very thin. Now find yourself some tools like a soldering iron, solder, solder paste or flux (for removing the grease off the wires), a saw, some wooden board and protective glasses, a multimeter to measure voltage and amperage. And, of couse, a pencil and a ruler.

Well, the Tumo-Int kit includes a wind generator, blades, charge controller, and other accessories like screws, nose cone, and etc. Further, the AC generator is a permanent magnetic triple-phase unit. Overall, it is one of the best residential wind turbine kits that you can try along with your existing solar array to add to energy production. Use the link above to buy a unit of the wind turbine.


Solar panel mechanical characteristics such as dimensions, frame profile, and static load rating, as well as grounding and mounting locations will need to be understood when designing your home solar grid tied or off-grid system. Frame and back sheet color may also come into play for residential DIY customers. Black frame solar panels are very popular because the aesthetics of the panel blend very well with many roof applications.
I bought a diy solar panel guide before starting my project.  The one I chose is called Green DIY Energy.  In order to help people out, I bought several of the most popular guides and reviewed each of then.  Green DIY Energy is the most comprehensive with over 200 pages of ebooks and 6 DVD quality videos that cover the entire build process from start to finish.  I especially liked the videos.  When I built my first solar panel I followed along with the videos and at the end of the weekend, my solar panel was finished.

My position is that solar is not good enough for places that are not sunny most of the year, and that includes most of the North East USA. In a few years, when the panel efficiency gets greater with the retail sale of dual-gate and possibly tri-gate or more gate solar panels, then we will have something. Folks should install what works right for their area, and in much of the US, solar is a good idea; just not all of it, not yet.

9 Feb 2013 at 7:40am --> . . California Solar Panels in California Solar. Looking for California residential solar panels, california solar panel manufacturers, california solar shingles, california solar energy, california solar water heater, california wind power, california solar panels rebate, commercial solar panels, used solar panels california, solar panel manufa...


I pay a less than that for generic acrylic instead of that Brandybrand(TM) stuff listed, but I also avoided the expensive epoxy by encapsulating the cells (and bonding them to the acrylic) with some EVA film. If you don’t have a lamination machine, then it is hard to do and requires a certain amount of technique; basically, partially heat and stretch it into position, before pressing it into place. Then when it is tacked together, heat it up some more to melt it into place. Being a human lamination machine is easier than cake decorating, but still hard.

In any generator whether it be a re manufactured delco permanent magnet alternator, our white lightning radial or even the larger axial flux designs different wire gauges can be used and are used for different reason for a given application. It is important also to understand that generally speaking when you are looking at a permanent magnet alternator for sale on our site ebay youtube Amazon ect when you see a voltage advertised such as frequently 12, 24, and 48 models this usually does not mean that there is some sort of internal regulator which limits the output voltage of the generator or pma to an adequate charging voltage level for an application This is one of the biggest mistake we see do it yourselfers make when selecting a generator. Typically sellers and manufacturers rate a permanent magnet alternator as for instance 12 volt when the RPM range of the generator is sufficient to reach Cut in Voltage to charge a given battery bank. Windmill, wind generators, wind chargers, or residential wind turbine kits terms we often see used interchangeably are trying to tell you that in a direct drive application with a particular blade set that they would use a particular generator for an application. So what’s the difference? Any style generator has a capacity “slots” or area that a winding can fit in. This will be unique to the particular generator. It is important to understand that within the working area different wire gauges can be used. In the area of the generator windings more “ turns” wraps or whatever terminology you prefer can fit in a given area with finer wire that with thicker wire as a matter of what will physically fit in a given stator coil, wrap , winding and or slot “again whatever terminology is appropriate for the given alternator.
A typical home uses approximately 10,932 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year (about 911 kilowatt-hours per month). Depending on the average wind speed in the area, a wind turbine rated in the range of 5–15 kilowatts would be required to make a significant contribution to this demand. A 1.5-kilowatt wind turbine will meet the needs of a home requiring 300 kilowatt-hours per month in a location with a 14 mile-per-hour (6.26 meters-per-second) annual average wind speed.

Wind turbines need wind to produce energy. That message seems lost, not only on most small wind turbine owners, but also on many manufacturers and installers of said devices. One of the world’s largest manufacturers of small wind turbines, located in the USA (now bankrupt by the way, though their turbines are still sold), markets their flag-ship machine with a 12 meter (36 feet) tower. Their dealers are trained to tell you it will produce 60% of your electricity bill. If you are one of those that is convinced the earth is flat, this is the turbine for you!
Wind Resource Considerations -- If you live in complex terrain, take care in selecting the installation site. If you site your wind turbine on the top of or on the windy side of a hill, for example, you will have more access to prevailing winds than in a gully or on the leeward (sheltered) side of a hill on the same property. You can have varied wind resources within the same property. In addition to measuring or finding out about the annual wind speeds, you need to know about the prevailing directions of the wind at your site. In addition to geological formations, you need to consider existing obstacles, such as trees, houses, and sheds. You also need to plan for future obstructions, such as new buildings or trees that have not reached their full height. Your turbine needs to be sited upwind of any buildings and trees, and it needs to be 30 feet above anything within 300 feet.

Carefully cut the top of the can in the form of a star, and then distort free parts using pliers (Image no. 1). It is important to do all this before gluing the cans together. We have marked three holes on each can with a nail, then drilled the bottom using tools shown on images 2 and 3. More details can be found on diy solar panels video tutorial page.
Note: This wind turbine kit works best indoors using a fan to simulate the power of wind. Use a standing or box fan with multiple power settings. The pictured wind turbine was built from the components in this kit.  Purchase extra Styrofoam trays to experiment with even more blade patterns. The Wind Turbine Science Kit includes easy-to-follow instructions and supplies for seven experiments.
Easy to set up. Easy to use. Great for educational purposes. Can't be used without an household 120VAC electrical outlet available. This is a "grid-tied" solar kit, not for standalone applications. 230W is the "maximum" output power on a bright sunny day, but after conversion efficiency losses, this is only minimal output power, which won't make a big difference in saving electricity, not to mention it can only be used in the daytime. A bit pricey, but at only $2.69/watt not too shabby for a "starter kit" in solar energy.
Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country as an increasing number of Americans choose to power their daily lives with the sun’s energy. Thanks in part to the Solar Energy Technologies Office's investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year. You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your home’s roof or finding another way to harness the sun’s energy. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out what’s best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.
A few years ago, some state governments started developing new standardized interconnection requirements for small renewable energy generating facilities (including wind turbines). In most cases, the new requirements are based on consensus-based standards and testing procedures developed by independent third-party authorities, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and Underwriters Laboratories. Utility companies will typically require compliance with IEEE 1547, which addresses electrical safety requirements for wind turbine systems. Some utilities may require appropriate electrical listing before allowing interconnection of the wind system.
There is no silver bullet in electricity or energy demand and bill management, because customers (sites) have different specific situations, e.g. different comfort/convenience needs, different electricity tariffs, or different usage patterns. Electricity tariff may have a few elements, such as daily access and metering charge, energy charge (based on kWh, MWh) or peak demand charge (e.g. a price for the highest 30min energy consumption in a month). PV is a promising option for reducing energy charge when electricity price is reasonably high and continuously increasing, such as in Australia and Germany. However for sites with peak demand charge in place, PV may be less attractive if peak demands mostly occur in the late afternoon to early evening, for example residential communities. Overall, energy investment is largely an economical decision and it is better to make investment decisions based on systematical evaluation of options in operational improvement, energy efficiency, onsite generation and energy storage.[59][60]

The new HO series system can run on the grid as a "Grid-Tie" or it can run in a rural setting with no grid power at all. The system is very versatile to be able to run as a Grid-Tie or an Off-Grid system. So, if you are interested in the new HO Series turbine here are some links to videos of the system in action, this is a grid tied system and we can still sell you any size that fits your budget in time to take that tax credit.


There are multiple variables to consider when seeking out the best solar panels on the market. While certain panels will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in top-of-the-line solar equipment doesn’t always result in higher savings. The only way to find the “sweet spot” for your property is to evaluate quotes with varying equipment and financing offers.
Step 1: Estimate your total daily electricity load (in kilowatt hours (kWh) based on your appliances and lighting requirements. Calculate the wattage (amps X volts) for each appliance and then multiply that by the time it will be turned on to calculate the kWhs. The Department of Energy has a very helpful tool to do this.  Let’s assume you want to run a 225W refrigerator (.675 kWh) and two 50W light bulbs (100W) for 8 hours (.8kWh). Your total daily electricity usage would be 1.475kWh (or 1,475 Whs).
Always, as in always, remember to take your first and most important safety precaution before you strap on your safety harness belt and take your first step up the tower: Shutdown the turbine and furl the blades before you ascend. If you leave the machine running, a sudden shift in the wind’s direction can spin the blades right into you, slicing and dicing you as if you were so much meat and cheese for a chef’s salad.

Thankfully here in Finland our grid is just under 10% coal and that is mostly combined district heat and power. Unfortunately solar doesn’t really make economical sense here. When the consumption is highest and dirtiest there is no sun to be seen for months. And in summer time, when there is plenty sun, consumption is quite low and electricity price is close to zero, even negative if it is really windy in Denmark and Sweden.
The soldering is super easy and will go fast once you get the hang of it.  This is a great first soldering project because it is so easy.  Put the cells face down on the table and bring the tab from the front of one cell to the back of the next one.  There will be metal squares or pads on the back of the cell.  Press the tab down on the metal pad with the soldering iron to heat them and then press the solder on the tab.  The solder will melt and attach the tab to the pad.  If you aren’t experienced at soldering, make sure you heat the metal and apply solder to the metal.  Do not heat the solder.  If you end up with the tab connected to the pad and nice shiny solder, you’re doing it right.  Keep going until you have 9 cells in line like this.
×