Solar Panels


Solar Power DIY could well be one of the most adventurous Home Improvements that you could undertake.

This will appeal to those who have a good head for heights, as their will be a good deal of work on the roof, as well as,  those with decent electrical skills.

If you do not have these skills, you will need to develop them before you start a Home Improvement Project like this.

There are a number of courses available on the internet that can help you with this area of training.

To help you decide whether you are up to Solar Power DIY, we have put together these few tips for you to consider.



Calculations - There are a number of calculations that need to be considered, right at the outset, to determine whether Solar Power DIY will be feasible for you.

It is at this point that you should be considering any Solar Energy Pitfalls.

It is also the time to calculate the Solar Panel Pay Back  .

Roof Area - You will need to calculate the available roof area, that is the amount of space that Solar Panels could be fitted to, that is facing in the correct direction.


Electric usage - calculate the number of kilowatt hours of electric that you make use of each month.

Solar Panel output - Research the output of the Solar Panels available to you and with this information you should be able to calculate the number of panels you would need to produce all of the energy you require.

In the USA information is available from the Federal Energy Agency about the average solar radiation for your location.

This will tell you the solar hours which multiplied with the output of the maximum number of Solar Panels you could fit, will provide the maximum power you could expect from your Solar Power DIY Installation.

These figures will obviously be higher in a southern location than in a northern one. But is locally variable due to altitude, angle of roof, direction and shade.



Planning Tips.

Free Advice - Enquire of the companies that you are considering purchasing Solar Panels from to see if they have any advice for your particular situation. As there are now many companies that will supply panels to the Solar Power DIY market, you will need to research into the different solar panels that are available.

It is wise to settle on an established, reliable company. Such companies can give you good advice on installation, including examination of your roof and advise on where best to place the Solar panels.

Add ons - Choosing the right Solar Panels is just the beginning in this Home Improvement Project.

  • Batteries - will be needed for storing the power ( these will need to be deep cycle batteries capable of many charging cycles)
  • Electric cables - to carry the power from the panels to the batteries, it is important that the distance between the panels and the batteries is as short as possible due to the power loss during transfer
  • Mounting frames - to fix panels to the roof
  • Power Inverter - which converts DC to AC electrical current, is needed to enable the Solar Power DIY can be integrated with your house's electric system. Don't be tempted to go for a cheap Power Inverter as this could be expensive if you have to replace in a few years time. A good quality Inverter will last longer and help to provide a steady supply of power.
  • Whilst considering this project, it could be an idea to check out Solar Water Heating as an additional means of Quick Energy Saving Tips.
  • If you choose to go with this form of water heating it would also be wise to consider  Water Pipe Protection.

Don't just depend on the information you can glean from the internet, ensure you research the supply companies before you part with your hard earned cash.

Ask friends and neighbours that have completed similar projects for recommendations.



Installation - Solar Panel DIY on roof's really is a two-person job. You really need a friend or relative to help you with this part of the project.

Someone with experience of working at heights would be invaluable. Solar Panels are quite heavy and an awkward shape to carry for one person.

This is an area to spend some time on considering how to complete this in a safe and efficient manner. Check out our How to use ladders  page for some tips on working at height.



Qualifying Installations - Energy Star rated Solar Panels are required in the USA to be able to claim the 30 percent tax credit available for Solar Power.

In the UK the whole installation has to be completed by an accredited company for you to be able to claim the feed-in tariff from the Power companies.

So Solar Power DIY in the UK has to be approached in a different way to enable making use of Solar Power.

This can be done in the following ways :-

  • Battery powered equipment that can be re-charged with Solar Power.
  • External lighting is one area that can be transferred over to Solar Powered equipment, this includes garden paths as well as sheds and garages.
  • Swimming pools can have their water heated through Solar water heaters.
  • Solar Powered extractor fans for Bathrooms and kitchen and toilet areas, these individual fans work independently of the home electric system.
  • Caravan and Motorhome equipment
  • Canal boats and other leisure craft equipment
  • Car battery trickle chargers
  • Mobile phone chargers


Hopefully these tips have aided your decision on whether to install a solar power system.

In the long term the savings can be quite considerable and you will also be doing your bit in your nations response to climate change.


  • Solar Energy Pitfalls
    Solar Energy Pitfalls
  • Solar Panel Pay Back Period
    Solar Panel pay back period will become more and more important as the world's population grows and moves toward a developed lifestyle. Energy consumption will continue to increase, and prices rise increasing the desire for home energy generation systems and Going Green. Recognising whether your system will save you money over the long term, will be an important factor in choosing your particular system.
  • Solar Water Heating
    Solar Water Heating


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