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 "Do it Yourself Solar Power Systems..." 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post "Do it Yourself Solar Power Systems..."
by: Kriss Bergethon

So you've been looking at your rising electric bills, eying all the government incentives for going green, and now you've decided that you want to install a solar energy system in your home. Great! You could hire contractors for the whole process, but if you like to do things yourself, one of the simplest options is to shop around for an affordable grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) power kit. The benefit of using such a kit is that you don't need to set up a battery bank; instead, your sun-powered system is connected right to your home's circuit box, and the energy generated by your solar modules is used to offset your electric bills.

Working on the Roof

If you want to install your home solar system on the roof, you'll need to get your hands on the proper building permits and roofing materials. Since the solar modules will be installed on special rails or mounts, part of the roof will have to be removed to make some extra room. You'll probably want to have extra shingles, nails, and roofing caulk to make sure your roof is just as rain-proof after the process as it was before.

Always Call the Electrician!

If you are going to do the wiring yourself, it is essential to have a master electrician examine your work to make sure it is safe and properly wired together. Electrical wiring and the safety precautions involved can get pretty complicated, so don't even think about skipping this step unless you happen to be a master electrician yourself.

Do You Have Basic Carpentry Tools and Skills?

So, you've got your home solar kit, you've made your plans, and you've got some construction experience under your belt. But do you have the proper tools? You'll need a ladder to get up on your roof, of course, as well as all the required roofing repair materials, a hammer and nails, a tool belt-you get the picture. You'll also need a good power drill for drilling and tightening fasterners. Check the solar power kit for instructions and a list of tools you need to complete the job. As much as possible, try to get everything together before you start the job.

Don't Forget about Safety

If you have the proper experience, this is a no-brainer. You'll want to have eye protection, ear protection, gloves, and scaffolding or rope-and-harness system to guarantee that a slip won't lead you to an unfortunate and dangerous fall. Working on a roof puts you in a hazardous situation, and you want everything to be secure. Always ask for help if you're not sure if something is safe!


Most home PV kits come with some sort of instruction manual or video tutorials. But it's still a good idea to read up on the subject as much as possible before you get to work. Many books and websites offer basic instructions and advice on how to install solar power kits. Make sure you completely understand what's going on, and then have fun making your solar energy system work!

About The Author
Kriss Bergethon is a writer and solar expert from Colorado.

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[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
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Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:43 am
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