Solar Power

Solar Power in the Home

Conserving Electricity – Begin with the Appliances You Use

In order to make a solar power system practical for use, you need to look at the kinds of appliances you are currently using. For instance, using a stove that runs on electricity instead of natural gas or propane will greatly enlarge the size of a system that is powered by solar energy.


Replace High-usage Appliances

Therefore, expect to pay around 4 times around what you would pay if you chose appliances that conserved energy. Neither are heating systems or hot water heaters practical to use if they are powered by electricity. Consider replacing any appliance or system that runs on 1,500 watts or more of electricity.

Turn Off the Lights

Conserving energy also entails turning off lights when leaving a room, whether you are connected to the grid or living in a remote location and using a system powered by the sun.

energy consciousness

Solar Panels for Home Use

Solar panels used on a small home in the city number about six and produce about 80 watts each of electricity. Add such items as a charge controller, batteries and sine wave inverter and you can make a system upgrade that will reduce your energy bill substantially.

No More Outages

By using solar panels, you don’t have to suffer during power outages. While your neighbors are sitting in the dark, you can comfortably sit at home and watch the game or partake in any other activity that necessitates you use electricity.

An Ideal Configuration for a Small to Mid-sized Home

The above-mentioned system can adequately power a home that features electrical-conserving appliances, such as a wood stove, a small refrigerator, desktop PC, microwave and color TV.

The Current Costs for Installing a System

Adding solar panels to your home as well as including the necessary accessories for the system to work will usually run around $5,000 for a small system upgrade. However, most people need more energy. Therefore, an average system will probably cost about $15,000. A ballpark estimate for a single-person home is about $10,000 while a two-person sized home, again, can upgrade to solar for about $15,000. Expect to pay $20,000 and upwards for a home that holds a family of four.

help to calculate the costs

Other Cost Considerations

Naturally, the entire cost of a system is contingent on just how much energy you or your family needs and uses and how much a back-up generator will cost. You can save some money by using less automation and utilizing the batteries more. However, using this approach also produces a less efficient system operationally.

The Solar Power System – A Boon for Your Budget

While you might have to put a good deal of money into a solar installation, the system will, in the end, pay for itself. After all, your utility company will continue to charge you, regardless of whether you choose to go solar or continue to stay on the grid. Although you may pay quite a bit for a system initially, that cost can be recouped in the amount of money you save.

Looking at the True Worth of a System

Therefore, when you are changing your electrical usage to solar, you should look at costs and equipment in terms of system life. In 20 years, what will you pay for electricity without the incorporation of a solar system design? How will you impact the environment? When you factor in those criteria, you can see the true value of a solar system design.

Consider Your Energy Consumption

Look at the energy used in your home and consider how you can save on its use. When you see how solar power reduces the use of electricity on the grid, you will, no doubt, want to find out how you can introduce a solar system design into your own living space.

25 thoughts on “Solar Power

  1. Markerbuoy - On Canada's Left Coast

    My ad hoc solar set up on a budget!
    Thanks for watching…

  2. Doug Lawrence

    Can you tell me where you live more or less. Just wondering if this is
    viable where I live.

  3. Colin Keevil

    Thanks for sharing, this video has taken away some of the worries I have
    had with getting my own system up and running.

  4. David Trees

    Hi MB, thanks for sharing your Solar Generation journey and experience. Was
    interesting. How’s the family? Cheers from Manchester.. David 


    Excellent! I am a new subscriber and I appreciate your common sense and
    honest approach.

  6. Rob Summerlin

    Good info, thanks for sharing, sounds like the good life, I admire your
    self sufficiency.
    All the best

  7. Job1116

    EDTA is also used in boiler water chemistry. Interesting the similarities
    in our chemical usage. Next you’ll be sharing that you also use Mercuric
    Nitrate, Tri Sodium Phosphate and Mercuric Nitrate. Love living vicariously
    through your experiences. Cheers mate!

  8. HuntingTime1

    very useful and straight forward as I am about to add solar to my cabin
    look forward to seeing your workshop setup in future well done

  9. Markerbuoy - On Canada's Left Coast

    No…& somehow I manage to survive 🙂
    Too much for me to fiddle with 🙂 🙂

  10. Glenn Hough

    Great job, thank you for sharing your experience and tips, now we know what
    to do when we experience the same problem….

  11. John L Smith

    Informative video, thanks! Even so, I think the following should be put on
    a billboard in every town:

    These are 4 working parts to a solar electric system, and they’re all
    that’s needed. Everything else you see or hear of is bells and
    whistles–nice maybe, but not necessary.

    1. Solar collectors.
    2. A battery bank, which stores the collected solar power.
    3. A solar charge controller, which protects the batteries and the load.
    4. The load, which is whatever electrical devices you’re running.

    There are some things it’s nice to know:

    Note 1: A solar charge controller has terminals marked for solar
    collector(s), battery(s), and load, so hookup is not brain surgery. Also
    see Note 5.

    Note 2: A 12 volt system uses any number of 12 volt solar cells,which are
    always connected in parallel, meaning positive-to-positive.

    Note 3: A 12 volt system also uses any number of 12 volt storage batteries,
    which also are always connected in parallel, positive-to-positive.

    Note 4: Watts equals volts times amps (not to engineers, but for all
    practical purposes). So the wattage of any system is 12 (volts) times the
    total amperage rating of all the solar collectors.

    Note 5: Importantly, the amperage rating of the solar charge controller
    must match or exceed the total amperage rating of all the solar collectors.

    Note 6: Manufacturer’s amperage ratings are optimistic, and there are
    losses in the system. Expect real-world available power (watts) to be less
    than the system’s rating by perhaps 25%.

    All of which is pretty much exactly as you state in your video, except I’ve
    put it into outline form. People tend to make the whole subject sooo
    complicated, but as you point out, it’s not. Or…it’s complicated to
    engineers, yes, but we mere mortals just bolt the parts together.

  12. CheapskateGardener

    I so need to set up a small system for my chicken coops for the winter

  13. Adsjabo

    Another interesting video mate, very cool to see your levels of self
    sufficiency! Looking forward to the next upload!

  14. James Glynn

    Hi mark. I see at around 4:20 you say you use propane for cooking and
    refridgeration, and wood for heating. I’m making a system for wood burning
    that will not only heat the house and water but power it too! the smoke
    can be easily converted to run a generator and propane fridge. The heat
    can heat the house and water. You live in a wood so plenty fuel. I
    don’t. So I’m in the process of integrating my system to gasify household
    waste through pyrolysis. Very simple and clean. You don’t burn anything,
    just heat it up and capture the gas. I should eventually be able to create
    a continuous flow system so I’l be generating power and gas 24/7 and
    because I live right on the grid, i’ll be pumping it straight into it and
    getting paid for it. Not just a plan but the life I’ve chosen for myself

  15. James Lockwood

    thanks so much for great video. can i ask – how much did your setup cost
    all in? thanks

  16. Jon Offgrid

    hi there on the edta i am nedeing could you give me some info on how to use
    it our betterys we have are messing up sould would apresheate some info is
    there all diffrent kinds of it i want to make sure i get the right kind of
    edta thank you

  17. ariel marin

    Thanks for your video. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject .
    Solar Power is a very good thing for the planet. ..I live in texas as you
    know it’s oil city soo solar panels are not very popular. I have a solar
    system in my house. And l am happy man…..

  18. Mika Lee

    Once again, I deeply appreciate your style it mirrors my own in many ways.
    I will be employing a solar system like yours even though I know little
    about it. But the is no choice in the matter as there is no power in the
    area. planning a 500w solar system which I think will do the job. But I
    will be force to use an electric fridge but it will be a small one 7.5 cu
    ft. Any pointers would be of great help sir. As for me everything has to be
    on a budget, and very reliable. 

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