Solar home electric generators are becoming increasingly popular because sustainability and the use of renewable resources is now entering mainstream understanding. Whereas in the past, harnessing the power of the sun for electrical generation may have seemed like the domain of the hippy population, in the New Millennium, it’s become a movement for many more people.
Solar electric technology uses photovoltaic cells to generate electricity directly from solar radiation. That basically means free electricity, courtesy of the sun. A solar home electric generator may not seem like a cheap investment at first but when you consider the amount of money you will save on electricity from the grid, and that the origin of your energy is a source that will never run out, it makes a lot of sense long term.
Using solar roof panels, home owners are able to convert sunshine, or more correctly, solar radiation into energy that can be stored in a battery. A meter on the generator indicates how much charge is in the battery and an onboard controller continually monitors the charge in order to prevent over charging or under charging. An inbuilt inverter then converts the battery power (DC electricity) into home friendly AC electricity which can then be used by a variety of appliances.
Saving money and making an honorable contribution to sustainable practices are not the only reasons for investing in solar home electric generators. In some areas, an electrical power supply is either non existent or unreliable. There are indeed homes that run entirely on solar power, harnessing the sun’s radiation in large solar panels.
But one of the more popular uses for a solar electric generator is for portability. RV owners commonly take one on the road to power their appliances such as stove, fridge, fans, lights and TV. Boating enthusiasts also enjoy having access to electricity when out at sea or even on a day trip, fishing while watching the game at the same time and keeping the beers icy cold.
Unlike clunkety, fuel-guzzling gas-powered models, solar home electric generators are usually completely silent, require minimum maintenance and never require fuel – other than what the sun naturally provides.
When you decide to use a solar home electric generator, you need to determine what your requirements for the electricity will be, and also, the reasons why you will use it over grid power. What you need will depend on the amount of power, in Watts, that’s required, the number of hours it will be needed, and the amount of solar energy that is available in the area where the sun is available (sun hours per day).
You also need to find out how much power your appliances consume when switched on. Multiply this figure by the number of hours for which the appliances will be used.
Calculate the totals for each appliance and add another 15% to allow for the inverter, wire and battery charging time, and also losses of storage. The figure you are left with will approximate the energy your solar generator will need to produce and store.
Logically, energy efficient appliances are best advised when using electricity from a solar home electric generator. The less power they use, the longer you can run them on solar power.
So before you go out and buy a solar electric generator, do your homework and work out what your needs are; not just the individual appliance’s requirements, but also where you will be able to position your generator for maximum sun exposure, why and when you’ll need to use solar energy, and whether your home depends on it for its electrical requirements.