What do you need to harvest solar power electricity? Well that depends on what the end goal is.
There are different ways in which to utilize solar power; primarily there are “off grid” systems and “grid tie” systems and a combination of the two.
In a grid tie system, your home is connected to the “grid” (the electrical distribution system), the electricity you produce is fed back into the grid for all to use, typically a special meter is installed that monitors the electricity that you produce and you are paid for the electricity that you feed into the grid.
An off grid system is where you have completely disconnected from the electrical distribution system, relying only on the electricity that you are able to produce yourself.
Both types of systems require the same components that tie the solar power cells together: solar panels (homemade or manufactured), a mounting system to ensure the panels are securely fastened, an inverter or micro inverters to convert the DC (direct current) power that solar power cells generate into the AC (alternating current) electricity we use. Off grid systems require batteries to store the electricity you harvest so it can then be used when the solar panels are not producing the electricity required to power your home (during the evenings and cloudy days). Some people opt to have a hybrid system, and although they are utilizing the grid tie system, they opt to have batteries as a backup during power outages.
If you are considering a solar electric system the first thing you want to do is to check out government programs from your federal, state and local governments as some of these programs will help fund your home solar power project in the way of tax credits and rebates, there are even incentives in some countries that will buy the electricity you produce (at many times the market value).
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a monthly check from your utility company instead of writing one? » Read more: Produce Your Own Solar Power Electricity and Get a Monthly Check From Your Utility Company?