Living off the grid, away from power lines, requires setting up a self-sustaining electrical system. If wanting freedom from the power company, there are three basic ways to generate your own home electricity.
Solar Electrical Systems
Photovoltaic (PV) cell technology, most commonly referred to as solar panels, converts energy from the sun into electricity. PV cells produce electricity from the freed electrons caused by the interaction of sunlight with the semiconductor materials in the solar cells. Solar systems work whenever there is sunlight, but generate more power when the sun is brightest, and the most energy when light strikes the cells directly.
Solar systems are most commonly engineered with a battery bank, to store electricity produced when the sun is shining. During the day the solar electrical systems draws power directly from the solar panels, storing any excess electricity in the batteries; after dark the electrical systems draws power from the batteries.
Because photovoltaic cells produce DC (direct current) power, and virtually all household appliance use AC (alternating current) electricity, a solar power system employs an inverter to convert DC power to AC. A typical solar electrical system will have a number of solar panels, called an “array,” wired to an array disconnect switch. The disconnect switch is wired to a charge controller that is connected to the battery bank. The battery bank is connected to a system meter, to monitor the system input and output, that is in turn wired to the invertor. The inverter is connected to an AC breaker panel that distributes the power to the home.
The capacity of the power system is determined, and limited, only by how many solar panels and batteries are wired together in a “parallel” configuration; the greater number of panels and batteries, the more electricity the system is able to produce and store. Solar power systems are not ideal for locations where there may be long periods of darkness or low light.
Turbine systems consist of two types, water and wind. The overall setup is identical to a solar system, except a turbine, or generator, replaces the solar panels to produce electricity.
In its simplest form, a wind turbine is essentially a windmill, and is positioned in a location where the wind will have an unobstructed path to the blades. As long as the wind is blowing, the turbine produces electricity. Multiple wind turbines can be wired in parallel configuration, also, to boost power generation.
Water turbines work identically to wind turbines, but are connect to a water wheel. The water wheel is placed under a source of constant, free-flowing water, such as a river, stream or spring, and produces electricity continuously – provided the water is flowing.
Eco energy production and eco features added to your property are a great way of increasing the value and saleability of your property. Estate agents all over the country agree that as the UK gets more environmentally aware this is a great thing to do whether you have houses for sale in Brixton or the Yorkshire dales looking into eco energy production is a fantastic idea and of course helps preserve this planet.
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