Switching to clean energy for household supply is an increasingly widespread option. Its advantages are many, from not contributing to the environmental impact derived from polluting sources, to reducing electricity bills. However, taking the step and starting to take advantage of the energy that comes from the sun to illuminate a home and power the different equipment goes beyond purchasing the panels and placing them on the roof. Do you know how you will use the system? Will you connect it to the network or will you opt for an off-network installation? Solving these questions is key to knowing what components your installation needs.
Components Photovoltaic kit for self-consumption.
As mentioned, a photovoltaic installation for the home will need much more equipment than solar panels. In general, the following components will be necessary, although the list may vary depending on the use that you want to give the solar kit.
- Solar panels: Essential for any installation, no matter how small, the panels will capture solar energy that, to power home equipment, will have to be converted into alternating current. Choosing the type of panel well (here you can see the difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels ) and the size of the installation will be fundamental aspects. Both the final price of the solar kit and the amount of energy you will get will depend on the choice. If you fall short of the average consumption of your home, you will not be able to cover your needs. Therefore, calculating the size of the domestic solar installation is crucial.
- Inverter: In order for the energy absorbed by the panels to be effectively used, it is necessary that it go from direct current to alternating current. And that, precisely, is the function of the inverters which, in addition, depending on the installation, can lead the energy to the grid or to the battery bank for domestic storage.
- Domestic batteries: If you want to install a system that allows you to take advantage of the energy captured from the sun at night, domestic batteries will be essential. Although batteries to store energy significantly increase the cost of the kit (for example, a Tesla Powerwall would cost 6,880 euros without installation), they will be a crucial element for off-grid solar systems.
- Battery charge control system: This equipment is the one that ensures the good maintenance of the battery. Thus, with it the load is managed so that there are no excesses that could end up damaging the storage system.
In addition to the above, the mechanisms for anchoring the solar panels will also be necessary, which will vary depending on whether the roof is sloping or straight, as well as the wiring and connectors. When, for example, what is sought is to take advantage of solar energy to heat the home and to provide domestic hot water, the components of the kit will change. In this case we would be facing a solar thermal installation in which, from the outset, the photovoltaic panels would be replaced by solar collectors.
Type of domestic solar installation.
Not all the components in the previous list have to be part of the solar installation. This is so because the possibilities are as many as the juice that the owner wants to get out of solar energy. Thus, for example, if what you are looking for is to supply absolutely all the equipment in a home, generally all the items on the list will be necessary. At the other extreme, for example, there would be an installation for pumping water that works with direct current, which could work only with the solar panel.
- Solar kit for complete domestic installation: It will be the one you will need if you want to get the most out of the sun’s energy. That is, are you looking to illuminate your home with it, but also to connect all the equipment, etc.? Well, for that it will be essential to have the elements indicated with a clarification. The battery is optional except if the intention is to provide an installation without connection to the electrical network. In systems with access to the grid ( here you can see the differences between one and the other), it would be possible to take advantage of solar energy only with the panels and an inverter, although they would not cover all the needs and it would be necessary to continue using the electricity grid.
- Solar kit to illuminate a home: In this case, the battery would be a necessary element since one of its main functions is precisely to deliver energy for night lighting, at which time the sun is not contributing to the system. Along with the bank for home storage, the charge controller and solar panels would also come. To maximize the efficiency of the system, it would be advisable to opt for LED lighting.
- Solar kit for specific equipment: Home cooling systems account for a good part of the electricity consumption of a home. Therefore, it would also be possible to equip itself with a solar system to power these equipment. In this case, it is essential to opt for an installation connected to the grid, which has solar panels and an inverter.
- If the aim is to take advantage of solar energy for irrigation, the system would be very similar, although, if the irrigation needs are high, it is likely that a battery is also necessary.
- Solar kit for pumping water : In this case, the components will be marked by the pump itself. If it works with direct current, you will only need the panel. On the contrary, if it does it with alternating current, an inverter will have to be added to guarantee the operation of the system.
What home solar installation to choose?
Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question. As has been seen, everything will depend on the party that you want to take out of solar energy. The available budget will obviously play a role in this decision, as will the owner’s intention. If what you want is to completely disconnect from the electricity grid and be 100% autonomous, it will be necessary to bet on a complete home solar system and off the grid.