Solar Power – Do You "D-I-Y" a Solar Power System, Or Pay Someone Else to Do It?

If you want solar power to give you the energy for your home, then you can either pay another to install a solar power system or install it yourself, or “D-I-Y.” You need to be sure you weigh the choices carefully, as there are pro’s and con’s to each. Here are some of the reasons you should consider as you make the choice to install the system.

One very important consideration is your budget and the cost of the installation. If you hire out a contractor to do the work, you can expect to pay the company as well as all of their overhead (taxes, insurances, profit). Weigh out the amount you can save if you do the work yourself, and see how each can fit into your budget. Even if you can afford to pay another, the money saved can be earmarked for other purposes.

You can also consider the following: do you have the time to do the installation yourself? To be honest, installing a solar power system isn’t a long process, but you need to allocate a few days’ time to the project. Is that something you can afford? If your time is more valuable than the cost of paying a professional, then you should farm it out.

If you decide to install the solar power system, of course you’ll need to be sure you know what you’re doing first. You need to do the research and also find instructions that can guide you every step, or simply get the company selling you the system to give you detailed instructions. Just be sure you think carefully about doing the work yourself and if you want to learn what it takes to do it right.

Surely there are other considerations to take in to account before you install a solar power system, whether you hire the job out or D-I-Y. This article covered some big concerns. If you want to do it right, then you will need to read up on how it’s done and the difficulty level of the installation. You can enjoy solar power and save money on the installation, you just want to be sure you’re not getting in over your head. Don’t try to rush into either direction, just take some time to think and plan ahead. All of that to say – don’t be discouraged from trying to D-I-Y, just be sure you get a great guide to show you how.

Jacob Michaels has written a number of different articles on Solar Panels and they can be found at Solar Powering Homes. If you want to learn more about Collecting Solar Power, visit Home Solar Power and claim your Free Special Report.

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Solar energy is getting a lot of attention these days. Its time to answer the question: how do they actually work? It is not obvious how a panel can convert the sun’s rays into electricity without moving parts. This article will help explain the process in terms that hopefully anyone can understand.

The most basic definition of how solar panels work is that the sun strikes a certain material, it excites electrons and creates a current and voltage that can be used to power devices. Now let’s delve a little deeper.

Silicon: Not Just for Computer Chips

First, silicon is taken from the earth. Silicon is one of the earth’s most abundant elements. It’s found in sand and rocks of all types. You’ve probably heard of ‘Silicon Valley’, the hotbed of technology research and investment in California. It is so called because silicon is used in computer chips.

Silicon is a semi-conductor. Think of copper, a conductor, as in copper wires. Now think of rubber, an insulator, such as the coating on a copper wire. Silicon falls somewhere in between and is therefore called a semi-conductor. This property is exploited in computer chips and solar panels to handle tiny reactions that generate electrical currents. An electrical current is basically a “flow”. Picture a wire as a tiny pipe and the current as the rate at which the “water” (in this case electricity) flows through the pipe.

Just Add Boron and Phosphorous

But silicon by itself is not enough to create power from the sun. The silicon is grown into a very thin crystal-like wafer using pressure and heat. It is then coated with two different materials: boron and phosphorous. Boron is coated on one side, phosphorous on the other, with a gap in between the two layers. Boron, when combined with silicon, is a positive material, but it wants to be neutral. The only way it can get neutral is to gain an electron, which has a negative charge.

Now enter phosphorous. Phosphorous and silicon is a negatively charged material, meaning it has extra electrons. But it wants to be neutral too! And how can it do that? By getting rid of electrons of course! And how will it get rid of them? That’s where the good old sun comes in.

Here Comes The Sun

When sunlight strikes the cell, it gets those electrons all excited. Just think of the electron as a kid in his mom’s arms as they approach the park. He just can’t wait to get away from mom and onto the swing set. The electrons leave the phosphorous and go toward the positive boron, creating an electrical pressure as they enter the gap. This pressure must be released, and is through the wiring in the cell. This creates the flow, or current, we talked about earlier.

The cells are coated with materials to ensure the sunlight is absorbed and not reflected. The silicon wafers are wired together and encased in tempered glass and aluminum to prevent weather damage. These are called panels, and are then wired together to form an array. And that is the basic building block reaction of a solar panel!

About The Author

Kriss Bergethon is a writer and solar expert from Colorado.

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