Your Questions About Solar Panels

Robert asks…

Do I only need solar panels to have energy in day and through the night?

So I want to go completely solar. Do I need the connected solar panels alone for after sundown hours; Do I need something else in order to have energy to run my entire house throughout the night?

In other words do solar panels store the energy for after sun-down or do I need other devices to store the energy?

ssadmin answers:

Most of the other answers are correct but not comprehensive.

Solar panels produce electrical energy or heat energy but do not store either type of energy.

Solar heat energy can be used in residential systems for hot water and space heating (also keeping a pool hot). Whether passive or active systems, you need some sort of “thermal storage” usually a big insulated vat of water that heats up when it is sunny and cools down as you use the heat. It is not economical to produce electricity from this energy in residential systems. (btw passive systems should be designed into the house when built and essentially the entire house is designed to collect solar energy and be the thermal storage system — passive systems are almost impossible to retrofit into existing houses)

Solar panels made up of “photovoltaic cells” (PV) produce electricity directly. However, the electricity produced is a direct current (or DC current) like common household batteries or automobile batteries. Not in an “alternating current” or AC like normal household current. So it must be converted to AC to run most common systems. However, if you are going to use only solar energy it may be cost effective to switch to 12 volt DC lighting …and other systems to save on some of the complexity because any time you begin running systems like DC to AC converters or rectifiers you loose energy.

To store solar made electricity you can use batteries.. Like “wet cell” automobile batteries (or more likely deep cycle marine batteries which are designed for long slow discharges)…

Alternatively, as one other person suggested you can “sell” the power to the power company and buy it back at night. One issue is that typically you sell it to the power company for a cheap rate and buy it back at a more expensive rate… So be sure to include the actual rates in your estimates of cost. This type of system also has a safety backup.. You can always buy power from the electrical company if it rains for days and you cannot produce the power yourself.

Hope this helps

Donna asks…

How much will solar panels cost to power our home?

It would be nice to go green but it needs to make sense money wise. We have a 1,300 square foot home on the beach home with plenty of sun. Our electric bill is 100 bucks a month give or take. How much will solar panels cost and how many solar panels will we need to effectively power our home.

ssadmin answers:

You could easily knock 40 percent or more from your power bill by using a manual on off switch on your electric hot water heater and check efficiency of any electric refrigerator and or freezers.

Like you say, your place is on the water, wind power would be the best way to go because of onshore winds which would get you up and running for much less than solar and likely be good 24 / 7 rather than daylight only.

Mark asks…

Can solar panels to heat pool be used for other household purposes?

Hi there, my father just bought a house that has solar panels on the roof to heat the water for his pool. The water goes through pipes by the panels and flows back into the pool. I was wondering if there is any way to use that solar energy for other areas of the house. The panels were put in when the house was built in the mid 80's and the house is in Central Florida/E. Orlando.

Thanks in advance!

ssadmin answers:

Yes, you can use them to make hot water for the house, supplementing your hot water heater. These panels have just been made mandatory in Hawaii. During the summer, when you don't need to heat the pool, you could add a valve and piping to send the water from the panels to your hot water heater.

“imintowater” has a point, you wouldn't want to use the same water for the pool as for drinking water, and you'd have to valve the system to prevent mixing, unless you installed a heat exchanger so that the fluid that goes through the panels just transfers heat to the drinking water without mixing with it.

Linda asks…

How much does solar panels cost to install to your house?

How much, roughly, does solar panels cost to install for hot water for a house? Just looking for a rough idea without having to go through rigmarole of signing up to loads of different contractors before getting a quote.

ssadmin answers:

I asked about 4 years ago and they said £7000! Then i found out they don't work very well anyway. Save yr money.

Charles asks…

How much solar panels would be needed to fulfill the complete electricity requirements of my house?

I live in india. My house has 5 ceiling fans, 1 TV, 1 refrigerator, 1 washing machine, 1 electric motor for pumping water, 1 electric iron, 1 electric heater for heating water, 8 tube lights, 6 bulbs. Also tell me how much will it cost me to have these solar panels installed in indian rupees. Also tell me where to get these panels in india. Thanks

ssadmin answers:

I'd suggest checking out…


watch the free video review of one of the most popular guides to building your own source of alternative energy.

Hope it helps & Good luck!!!

– Katie : )

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