Solar Power Cost

Your solar power cost is an important thing to consider because you could figuratively flush a bunch of money down the toilet.  Here’s why…  a system that is not sized properly will not return your money in power savings and there is a broad spectrum of prices for components ranging from cheap and inexpensive to premium quality and very expensive.

A simple search on the internet for solar power equipment reveals thousands of options on how to put a system together with multitudes of different components and options.  If you cut through the clutter and hype and get down to the basic details you can break the system into a handful of essential components.

When researching the right solar power system and the potential solar power cost you need to evaluate the batteries, the charge controller, the power inverter, and the solar panels themselves.

Batteries can be obtained new or used and the number you will need will depend on your sizing criteria.  For a remote cabin with only the very essential electrical devices you can sometimes work with 2-4 batteries.  And if life and reliability are a low priority you can refurbish batteries obtained for free from a local golf course.  If you surf the web you will find a bunch of sites promoting a solar power system for under $200 built on the premise of using used batteries and surplus/broken solar panels.

For a modern energy efficient home with a full blown new solar power system you see battery banks that cover an entire wall.  Batteries with power inverters, charge controllers and other ancillaries in a full scale system will cost many tens of thousands of dollars.

For my remote cabin up in Washington state I designed and built a system capable of powering my deep freezer, my lap top, and a couple of light bulbs with surge capabilities to run a power drill and a welding machine (yes I am self sufficient in the wilderness!) and I spent just over $12,000.  I expect decades of service and using my background in engineering I designed in the reliability I need to make sure I can survive a tough winter.

Your solar power cost will of course depend on your particular needs but the first step in the whole process is to determine what your electrical loads are going to be and establish the size of system you need.  From there you can decide on highly engineered fully reliable off grid type set up or the hobbyists “don’t actually have to depend on it” $200 special…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

black and white pictures January 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm

My brother purchased a brand new one for my home. But I am having some problems and I need help.

Roger W. January 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

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