Do you know how much money you spent every month on electricity bill for your home? Apart from your bank mortgage, your power utility bill will be your second largest household expense.

Due to rising energy costs, many home owners are frantically searching for alternative energy source. One of the most popular solutions is the implementation of Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on residential homes.

The concept of a home solar power system is actually quite simple. The main components are the solar panels, charge controller, battery bank and power inverter.

The solar panel is made from soldering multiple Photovoltaic cells together in series. The PV cell has a natural tendency to generate an electric current when exposed to direct sun light. The amount of power produced by the cells will depend on the intensity of the sun, the angle of the panels in relative to the sun and also the quality of the cell.

The electric current generated by the PV cells will be used by the charge controller to charge up the battery bank. The charge controller also acts as a regulator to prevent the battery from overcharging.

What type of battery is suitable for a solar system? The battery most suitable are marine type or deep cycle battery. This type of battery can be discharged to a lower level and is more durable.

How many battery units do you need? The actual number will depend on your power requirement. For a typical small home, 4 – 6 units of 12 volts battery will be sufficient to provide the power required.

Since deep cycle battery can only store Direct Current (DC), you will need the power inverter to change the DC to Alternate Current (AC). Most of the electronic gadgets at home are designed to use AC.

To use the power from the sun, all you will need to do is run an extension power cable from the inverter around your house. Next, plug in your electrical equipment to the power outlet and you will be enjoying free energy from the sun.

How much would it cost to setup a Photovoltaic solar array at home? If you are planning to outsource the project to a professional solar contractor, the investment cost can be quite high. Be prepared to invest upwards of $40,000 for a complete system.

If you are on a limited budget, you can opt for a Do It Yourself (DIY) system. All of the solar components are available from major hardware stores. Hunt around for bargains and discount offers. A small DIY home solar power system can be built with a budget of approximately $1500.

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