- RudydooLv 62 months ago
Hey Ken, yes, you can. Are you a handy kind of guy that likes to do your own home projects? If so I suggest starting small, like we did. Our cabin in Northern Michigan has utility power, but because of weather and local topography, our power kept going out. 18 years ago I built a small 12 volt system that ran my kitchen under cabinet lights, a radio and had 12 volt outlets for small electronics. It had one 50 watt panel originally, we expanded to 150 watts later. Today, our entire cabin is powered by a 1.4 kw solar array on the garage and a 1 kw wind turbine, and the power company is my backup source. Our little 12 volt system is still in place today though, and has actually been expanded again. Now we have a 12 volt outlet with a reading light in each bedroom, nightlight and a few 12 volt LED lamps on the living area. We charge our cell phones and tablets, listen to music and light many areas just on our newer 120 watt panel. Power is stored in a 12 volt deep cycle battery in the basement.
We liked it so much we installed an almost identical system in our primary home too. It uses 2 golf cart batteries for storage ($120 each at a local golf cart repair place), a 20 amp solar charge controller ($25 on eBay) and a Kyocera 120 watt panel ($125). Our kitchen LED strips, desk light and LED lamp in the den and reading lights and USB outlets in all the bedrooms work off of it. It offsets a small amount of our utility power, maybe $1 or $2 a month, but it all continues to work when the power is out, even without running a generator. I do have a penny in the garage, during outages, we run it for an hour each morning and night to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold, otherwise we run our 12 volt LED lighting, listen to music and charge cell phones on the 12 volt system.
You only need local code approval if you're installing an inverter to supply your home with 120 volt power from your solar system, and you only need permission from the power company if you are planning on placing your solar made power on their grid. That is called, "grid intertie" when you do that, most states require the utility companies to allow it, but they do have requirements and restrictions. Our cabin system is tied to the grid now too, we still use maybe $5 a month in power from the utility. Check out the sources below, and if you want to see technical specs and diagrams of systems like this, register a free account with Home Power Magazine, you can read all the old articles about homes like this online. Take care Ken, RudydooSource(s): homepower.com midwestrenew.org awea.org
- MikeLv 72 months ago
Yes Plant a garden
- yLv 72 months ago
You can install your own solar energy system in many states, not all mind you. So local and state laws are the first thing you need to look into if you are thinking about doing this.
- NightTerrorLv 72 months ago
Solar energy comes from the sun. How would you create your own sunlight?