Your Questions About Solar Panels

Mark asks…

How do solar panels and solar energy connect?

Does the solar energy hit the solar panels and creates electricity.. or what ?
Where can you put solar panels ?

ssadmin answers:

There are now thousands of happy Earth4Energy members worldwide who are saving money every time the sun rises and every time the wind blows!

Michael asks…

What is the absolute maximum amount of energy that solar panels can get?

Say solar panels converted 100% of energy from the sun. How much energy would a solar panel get that was, say, 1 square foot? What I mean is how much of the sun's energy actually gets to the solar panel?

ssadmin answers:

That depends on the solar insolation which varies around the surface of the Earth. At the top of the atmosphere, the insolation is around 1300 Watts per square metre. The atmosphere attenuates a lot of that, though, but that is the absolute maximum. (no atmosphere).

A rough rule of thumb is that on a clear day at the equator, the maximum is about 1000W per square metre, and this will reduce as latitude increases and as cloud cover increases.

I go through the maths here: http://www.howtopowertheworld.com/what-is-solar-energy.html

Also, you can measure the insolation around the world,: there are maps which show this, for example http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/natural-resource-solar-power-potential

You'll have to convert the units though.

Hope this helps.

Mary asks…

Is it expensive to install/set up solar panels?

I've looked at prices for individual solar panels, and they are pretty affordable. But that's just the panel and I don't know what else as for as labor and equipment it costs to install and hook up so that the panel actually powers other things like water heater or whatever. I know it probably depends on many factors but just give me an idea if you can. Thanks.

ssadmin answers:

Just like beauty, costs are in the eye of the beholder. There is a great web site that you should visit before you check prices. You can plan a system that meets your needs and then price it accordingly. The Renewable Energy site for Do-It-Yourselfers. This site sells nothing so you can use it confident that you are not being steered in the wrong direction. Click on this link.

Http://www.builditsolar.com/

Good luck and if you run into any dead ends or need a clarification, feel free to contact me from my profile page.

Susan asks…

How do you install solar panels on a slate roof?

How do you install solar panels on a slate roof?

Thanks,
Helpmeplease.

ssadmin answers:

Just like a tile or other stone roof, one or more tiles is generally removed, and a standoff is attached through the sheathing to the rafter below. The standoff is then flashed just like a vent. Racks are then mounted on these standoffs.

You can see examples of mounting systems on http://www.unirac.com/

Solar hot water can be heavy, and you would want to be sure of the strength of the underlying roof, especially if there is a tank on the roof.

Solar electric is light.

It's probably worth it to get a pro to do the install on this kind of roof, as it's not as forgiving as, say, asphalt shingle.

George asks…

What type of wiring is used between solar panels and their grid inverters or battery connections?

What should I use between the solar panel array and the battery shed on the ground? Also, what type of wire should I use to connect each of the panels? I know a lot of panels come with plug and play connectors but I understand a lot of people replace them with…something.

ssadmin answers:

Normally all the wiring is THNN. The wire size depends on how much voltage and at what amount of amps you are running through the wires. The wires from the solar array has to be 256% of the rated power out put.

There is a lot to it.

Try this information site. Http://www.oynot.com A good place to start is on the Solar howto pages.

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