Solar Panels

By Todd Fratzel on Energy Conservation

Guest Post by Scott Anthony

As focus shifts to more economic and eco-friendly energy sources, some families and businesses are turning to renewable energy sources. Geothermal heating, windmills, and hydroelectric generators are becoming more and more common. In addition to these sources, the sun’s own energy can also be harnessed by capturing radiation with solar panels.

Solar panels harvest the sun’s energy which is converted for use. They are becoming more common. You might see panels on the roofs of buildings, on houses, or even powering roadside signs. Many people choose to have panels installed by professionals who have completed solar training courses. Others choose to go at it alone, using kits or even building from scratch.

Building solar panels can be a great project for a DIY buff or anyone interested in the science behind the process. Whether building from a kit or from the basics, this project will be in-depth and can keep an enthusiast entertained for some time. And thanks to all the people already planning and building their own panels, there is a good bit of online support for first-timers.

Of course, there are some positive and negative aspects of choosing to try to build your own solar panels.

Building panels can be an exciting project, as well as a great investment. When built and tilted correctly using minimum materials, solar panels can lower or even eliminate power bills. The power comes from the already-present sun, which means no new resources are wasted beyond the parts for the panel. Power is generated on-site, rather than being pulled from a power plant through miles of lines which can be downed during storms or accidents. Speaking of power lines, since they’re not necessary, panels can help to generate power for remote places.

On the other hand, panels aren’t perfect. Building them can be a hassle, especially for someone who lacks experience. Purchasing them can be cost effective with proper use, but they can initially be expensive. They also have a very specific look that might not fit in with your home’s aesthetic. Based on the size, angle, and efficiency of each panel, the amount of energy generated may be low. Being solar powered, panels must be exposed to sunlight. A panel in an area that receives little sunlight will be of little use, and the panels won’t work at night. Energy from panels will need to be stored or received from an alternative source.

Whether you want to build your own panels, have a professional install them, or you’re just interested in learning more about the process of capturing solar energy, it is a topic worth looking into.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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