The notion of unlimited and free energy has naturally attracted the interest of the environmentally conscious and frugal to use solar panels to save money and the environment. You can begin and enter this world by building panels yourself. You will need to use a guide book and a kit that provides easy to follow instructions and includes videos as an aid. You will have to do your research to find what works for you. When used properly these kits are a great learning opportunity and help you power simple devices. More kits are coming on the market as there is enormous demand for trying this route to energy production. For those who do not want to go all the way yet, this is a good place to start. Solar energy production techniques are being refined and improved on, so it may be wise not to make major investments at this time. In fact as revealed in the British media in February 2010, scientists have discovered a plastic that can store and release energy and may make batteries obsolete.
A solar power system generates electricity, uses batteries to store the power and a charge controller to regulate the power produced by the cells mounted on a weatherproof enclosure and charge the batteries, and a power inverter converting the direct current electricity from the battery to alternating current electricity used in the house. For a very simple system you can also not use a charge controller and just attach the panel to the batteries. However, a charge controller will refill batteries when power is used up to keep them fully charged. There are 2 types of inverters, the: Modified Sine Wave and the True Sine Wave. The True Sine Wave is more costly but is able to replicate the electricity current type more exactly and is worth the cost, depending on your needs. Solar systems can use standard sealed lead acid 12 volt batteries also used in cars. If you only want to power a few very small items, you might consider other types of batteries that are lighter in weight. A system can be sufficiently potent to power a house, or limited enough to power one appliance or a few. The cost and the sophistication of the materials needed will vary with the size of the house. The simplest systems have limited applications.