The environmental movement has gained momentum in recent years, and at the forefront of the movement is the use of solar power to provide energy to both homes and businesses. Once considered an expense out of the reach of most families and business owners, manufacturers have developed solar panel kits that include all of the components required to install eco-friendly and energy-efficient power systems. Homeowners and businesses can find solar panel kits at big box home improvement shops and retail outlets that specialise in alternative power sources. Shoppers can also shop online and find excellent deals at eBay. First, solar panel kit shoppers should learn about the advantages of buying solar panel kits, the primary buying factors to consider, and the most common solar panel kit components.
Solar Panel Kit Overview
Solar panel kits contain components that work together to convert sunlight into electricity. The energy converted from the sun powers large home appliances, as well as small, portable electronic communication devices. Solar panels comprise the primary component, as the panel's photovoltaic cells harness the sun's vast energy to produce electrons. The electrons then leave the panel from a wire in the form of 12-volt, direct current. Batteries store the direct current and inverters convert the direct current into alternating current to power off-grid appliances. Solar panel kit components can also feed energy into the electrical grid to augment grid-tied power.
The Advantages of Buying Solar Panel Kits
Solar panel kits provide homeowners with a convenient way to assemble and operate their solar power systems. Recent innovations have eliminated the time consuming task of buying separate components, often at several different outlets. Homeowners do not have to worry about a shortage of individual components, as each kit contains everything they need to produce safe, eco-friendly energy. Solar power is also economical, clean, and low maintenance.
Until the early part of the new millennium, solar power was one of the costliest types of energy. Manufacturers were eventually able to enjoy economies of scale, as solar power demand increased, along with the soaring cost of alternative energy sources, such as oil and natural gas. While the upfront investment in solar panel kits can be expensive, the average 30-year lifespan of the kits makes the initial investment more than worthwhile. Moreover, the power derived from the sun's energy is free. Homeowners do not experience the wild supply and demand fluctuations that hamper fossil fuels. Government rebates and local tax breaks help defray the cost of purchasing solar panel kits.
Solar panel kits provide all of the components necessary to convert the sun's almost infinitely renewable power into a clean energy source. The assembled kits do not emit noxious fumes, nor do they create ozone-depleting greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. Solar energy is the most eco-friendly energy source available on Earth, and unlike large electrical generators and gas furnaces, solar panel kits do not contain components that cause noise pollution.
Ignore the warnings from utility companies. Solar panel kits provide self-sustaining components that require minimal maintenance. One of the few issues homeowners may have to address concerns replacing one of the kit components. Yet, that rarely happens before the assembled solar energy system experiences its 25th birthday.
Buying Factors to Consider
Homeowners should prioritise a list of buying factors before they reach their solar panel kit purchase decisions. In many cases, homeowners place the most significance on cost. They create a budget and try to stay within the budget. However, other factors come into play that can influence which type of solar panel kit to buy.
Manufacturers construct solar panel kits for two applications: off-grid and grid-tied. Off-grid solar panel kits provide power to remote residences, recreational vehicles, boats, and electric fences. Many consumers utilise off-grid kits to provide backup power during emergencies. Grid-tied kits connect to a utility's electrical grid and homeowners employ the kits as the sole power source of their homes or supplementary power that defrays energy costs.
Online vs. In-Shop
Homeowners traditionally bought their solar panel kits from home improvement shops. They were able to consult with highly trained sales professionals who provided advice on buying solar panel kits. The boom in online commerce has changed the business model, especially at eBay. Solar panel kit shoppers can find sellers who offer solar panel kits that the sellers have never used, but have removed from their original packaging. Many of these sellers offer the kits at discounted prices.
Home and Geography
Solar panel kits provide power supply information for the assembled system. Homeowners not only must consider the size of their homes, but also how many rooms require supplementary or full solar power. They also must factor how much direct sunlight hits the area where they assemble the solar panel kits, as well as the geography surrounding the home.
Some local governments prohibit homeowner associations, municipalities, and other civic organisations from passing and enforcing housing codes that prevent homeowners from assembling and installing solar panel kits. Understand the law as it pertains to solar panel appearance and even if the law gives homeowners the green light, they should still confer with their neighbours before installing the assembled solar panel kit.
Solar Panel Kit Components
Solar panel kits include several components that work seamlessly together to create a clean energy-producing system. Do-it-yourselfers do not need advanced engineering degrees to understand the components and their functions. However, they should understand the basics of each major component. The following table lists the primary solar panel kit components.
Photovoltaic cells that absorb the sun's energy
Polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and amorphous are the most popular solar panels
Amorphous panels easiest to fit into tight spaces
Monocrystalline considered the best quality
Regulates voltage going into the battery
Protects against battery discharge at night
Allows more current to flow when battery charge registers low
Ensures charge controller is compatible with solar panels and battery
Store extra energy
Deep cycle solar panel kit batteries discharge and recharge hundreds of times
Rated in amp hours (ah)
Converts battery DC power to AC power
Two types: modified sine wave and pure sine wave
Utility companies supply pure sine wave power
Modified sine wave power less expensive, but can damage smaller appliances and electronics
Essential for a grid-tied system
Not required for off-grid systems
Switch installed near the point where the cables enter the home
Rapid technological changes have rendered some traditional solar panel components obsolete, while creating new components that enhance energy conversion performance. Do-it-yourselfers should stay abreast of the changes for not only buying new kits, but also replacing antiquated components on their current systems.
Buying Solar Panel Kits on eBay
eBay offers buyers a convenient way to find high-quality new or used solar panel kits, and even find great deals. Sellers display enlarged photographs on their product pages that should provide buyers with insight into a solar kit's condition, as well as the components included inside of the kit. You also can review seller accepted payment methods and delivery terms to ensure a seller under consideration accepts your preferred method of payment and delivers the kit in a timely manner.
eBay also compiles customer feedback and places the feedback on seller product pages. You should consider solar panel kit sellers who have earned positive feedback from selling home improvement materials and equipment. Once you find the right seller, ask the seller if he or she runs an eBay Store where you can purchase the solar panel kit directly.
Homeowners have many options for improving their homes, but no other option provides more long-term benefits than installing a solar power system. Manufacturers produce kits that contain all of the components that homeowners need to assemble a safe, clean, home energy unit. Most kits include solar panels, batteries, charge converters, and inverters. Homeowners follow easy-to-install instructions and immediately enjoy the advantages of running an economical, clean, and low maintenance home energy system. Buying the right solar panel kit requires listing criteria that varies amongst homeowners. However, most homeowners must consider finances, grid, geography, and shopping in person or online. The ultimate consideration may be how much direct sunlight a home receives from the cleanest power source on Earth.
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