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How can I Use Solar Power in my Home?

Solar panels can be installed on homes to capture the sun's rays and convert them into energy.
Solar power systems that are connected to the power can transfer excess energy onto the grid.
A closeup of a solar panel.
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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2014
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The use of solar power in the home is becoming an attractive proposition for a growing number of people. Many people use solar power by harnessing the sun's energy to heat their homes and to run different appliances. It is an economical and earth-friendly way to bring power into the home, and can cut external power consumption by 50 to 70%. There are a number of ways you can use solar power in the home, including through solar heat systems and solar panels that generate electricity.

Once implemented in the home, solar water heating can be used to heat the home and to generate hot water. A collector mounted on a roof or other elevated area is used to absorb the thermal energy from the sun, often magnifying the heat and storing the resulting hot water. This heat can be used to supply hot water to the home, or it can be piped through radiators to provide warmth. This can not only lower utility bills, but also add value to your home when you come to sell it.

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The technology used in solar power is the solar electric panel, which uses photons to generate electricity. These photovoltaic (PV) panels can be free standing rigid sheets used to harness the sun's energy. They can also be set into the roof, or you can get peel and stick laminates, depending on your roof type. As the photons of light hit the panels, they excite electrons in the material used to make them; this higher state of energy is then captured as electricity.

The energy is converted to electricity through a modified grid system. This system is no different to the usual grid system found in the home, except that it also converts solar energy. The system also has a meter installed that reads how much solar power the home has used compared to normal electricity. The meter subtracts the solar energy electricity, and the amount left is the figure applied to the utility bill.

Most solar power systems are also capable of storing some of the energy that they generate. If there is a surplus of energy, it can be used at a later time to heat rooms and generate hot water. It can also be used to light your home or supply electricity to other electronic devices.

Cutting costs is the main reason people use solar power in their homes. Depending on the system, solar panels can pay for themselves in about 12 years. By the year 2020, the US Department of Energy hopes that this form of electricity generation will become commonplace in the home. The agency hope to see normal energy consumption cut by about 70% in that timescale.

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Discuss this Article

anon335661
Post 37

I want to use solar power at my home. I reside in India. How much will it cost and what is the process? How much energy will it provide?

anon328913
Post 36

I am planing to install solar power plant in my home instead of electricity due to many electricity cuts and also selling out from my shop counter. How can I do this? I reside in malegaon maharastra, India.

anon323628
Post 35

I want to install solar power in my home. So where should I apply for installing solar energy in my home? Who should I contact?

ahmedfarouk
Post 34

I want to install a solar electricity system in my house in damiatta city, egypt. Please advise.

jpsgias
Post 32

I want to install solar power in my home. So where should I apply for installing solar energy in my home? Who should I contact?

anon251295
Post 28

I have a science project due tomorrow on this and I need to know what the efficiency of photovoltaic is. Can anyone help?

ShieHaier
Post 27

@anon178730

A smaller system:

Wind Turbine Rated Output: 2KW

Solar Panel Maximum Output Power: 800W

Suitable for Daily Power Consumption: 6~8KWH

Allowable Max Continuous Loads Power:5KW

it's wind-solar hybrid system, including controller and inverter, it may cost you USD6472.

Bigger system:

Wind Turbine Rated Output: 3KW

Solar Panel Maximum Output Power: 1200W

Suitable for Daily Power Consumption: 9~12KWH

Allowable Max Continuous Loads Power: 5KW

it's wind-solar hybrid system, including controller and inverter, it may cost USD9844.

For solar panels, it's about USD2.1-2.3/watt exw price in China for normal quantity.

anon178730
Post 26

i want to install the solar energy panel in my house could you guide me what is the cost to pay initially) as well as what is the cost for wind energy for 5 kw required.

ShieHaier
Post 25

Actually solar power supply system for home use is very simple, first you need to know your daily consumption of your house.

anon161655
Post 24

everywhere electricity is cheaper then solar power. But now, these days, you need to think green. you are saving the planet.

anon157863
Post 23

can i ask who is the author of this article?

Moderator's reply: Thank you for visiting wiseGEEK. The writer's name is Garry Crystal. The author's name can be found at the bottom of every wiseGEEK article.

anon156975
Post 22

I want to install a solar electricity system in my house in Punjab, Jalandhar. please advise.

Sujit Singh
Post 21

I am planning to install a solar power plant in my home. Can you guide me how I can do this. How much will the solar panel cost? how much is the installation cost? How will I store the energy and then use it? where do I get this solar energy panel?

Mohamed Ali
Post 17

Please will you guide to me in order to know the correct

watts to my home and the cost of the panels and battery?

anon93101
Post 16

Solar energy is really great. Though a little slow, but a great alternative. I'm glad that people use it in homes.

simla

anon92154
Post 15

i have bought a house in vasai and there the electricity goes for six hours per day and i had heard about the solar energy., how can i get it for my parents' place and mine which is in the next building?

anon83938
Post 13

I am living in India and am interested in installing this solar power plant at my residence. What will be the total project cost? What hardware is required?

anon83271
Post 11

I am living in India and am interested in installing this solar power plant at my residence. What will be the total project cost? What hardware is required?

anon79338
Post 10

this has been really helpful wise geeks.

kuyamike
Post 9

i am planning to build solar panel in my own, can you help me to do this? i am residing in quezon province philippines

anon53201
Post 6

We are planning to set up a solar power plant at or home in hsp district. So what will be the process to whom we must contact for this? What will be the total expenditure?

anon45961
Post 5

I am planning to install a solar power plant in my home. Can you guide me how I can do this. How much is the solar panel cost? how much is the installation cost? I am residing in Pune. How will I store the energy and then use it? are there different systems available o store it? where do I get this solar energy panel?

anon42809
Post 4

I am planning to install solar power plant in my home instead of electricity due to many electricity cuts. Can you guide me how I can do this. I am resisidng in Zirakpur, Punjab, India.

anon42708
Post 3

I have used solar panels on my RV and now want to install them for my home use. How will I store the energy and then use it? Is this done in the same way through batteries and inverter? Or are there different systems available.

anon25528
Post 2

What are the advantages of Solar Power over other power options?

llsacornut
Post 1

I'm planning on moving to the Fayetteville area of Arkansas, and building a geodesic dome home. How would I use solar power on a dome home? I would also like to have water pipes in the floor and in the walls to regulate the temperature during the winter and summer powered by solar.

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