Learn how to Build Solar Energy Systems


Many of us would like to build solar energy systems ourselves. Some would like to save money by doing so, others just love the challenge. Whatever your reason, you'll need some help. We've taken the first step for you and identified some great resources to help you build solar energy systems that you can be proud of.

Lets look at a few considerations to build solar energy systems first.

  • Determine whether you want to install a solar hot water system or one to generate electricity, or both.
  • What is your geographic orientation? Solar panels should be orientated to receive the maximum amount of daily and seasonal sunlight. In the Northern hemisphere solar panels should be facing due south. In the southern hemisphere - due north. A variance of 45° won’t make much of an impact on performance though.
  • Your roof orientation. Has your house got a roof facing the sun most of the day?
  • Look at your and your neighbour’s landscaping and surrounding buildings that might shade the panels.
  • What is the weather conditions in your area? The more sunny the better, but solar panels perform very well in cloudy conditions too.
  • What is the tilt of your roof? The optimal angle is equal to your latitude, although most panels are fixed to whatever angle the roof is tilting without impacting performance.
  • What amount of electricity do you need to power your load? The easiest way to determine your household’s use is to look at your electricity bills. It’s best to use an average of a full year.
  • Whether or not you decided to build solar energy systems, great savings can be had by just installing energy efficient appliances and implementing other energy saving measures
  • Keep in mind that additional balance-of-system equipment will be required to transfer the generated electricity to the appliances in your house.
  • Always use a qualified professional to connect the electric components.

Energy Conservation

Energy Conservation is often overlooked, but it is indeed the first step to lower energy bills and energy independence. With a little knowledge and no impact to your lifestyle it is possible to - reduce your energy bill by up to 50%. Here are 10 easy ways to start saving money today:

Energy Conservation Tips:

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents light lamps (CFLs).
  • Turn lights off in unused rooms and install sensor lights outside.
  • Air-dry your clothes outside or on an indoor clothes dryer instead of using the tumble dryer. Use the cool cycle if you absolutely must.
  • Take shorter showers. You’ll not only save energy - you’ll also save precious water.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. And only full loads at a time.
  • Use the microwave more. Great for steaming vegetables.
  • Turn computers, TVs, radios and stereos off when not in use. Energy is still being used even on stand-by.
  • Insulate doors, windows, floors, ceilings and walls to stop warmth from escaping or heat from entering your home. You’ll require less electricity for heating and cooling.
  • Wrap insulation around your hot water system and it’s pipes. Set the thermostat at a comfortable 115° F.
  • And the most important consideration of them all - Buy energy-efficient appliances. Fridges use the most electricity, followed by washing machines, clothes dryers, electric stoves and dishwashers.energy conservation Look out for this sign when you go shopping next

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