There are not many ways to generate electricity without moving parts. When it comes to electrical energy in off grid situations many think solar panels. Solar systems are simple. Many off grid systems have a DIY Solar Energy System. They also have some other way of making electricity. The sun does not shine all the time, therefore you should also have another way to make electricity. A basic solar energy system is the safest way to make electricity. Let’s talk about safety first.

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One, any form of energy can hurt you. You can’t see electricity, and any system above 50 volts can cause electric shock. Two, you need to consider fire protection as well. If you build a DIY Solar Energy System, you need to learn how to build fire safety measures into your design. Three, solar panels produce voltage if light shines on them. If you are handling solar panels outside, you need to be aware of electric shock and fire potential. To reduce risk, you should tape the wires with electrical tape until you’re ready to connect them. My point is, you should review the safety information provided with your solar panels and take action to protect yourself and your family.

DIY Solar Energy Beats Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


I mentioned before that solar energy is the safest way to get started with sustainability. I say this because you don’t need to store energy to use solar energy and there are no moving parts. This is great! One of the most dangerous things you can do is store a lot of gasoline or diesel in one spot. Propane is a bit safer, but it still carries risks with it. Even batteries are dangerous. Remember cell phones exploding into a ball of fire in the news? Burning fuel to generate electricity also generates Carbon Monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous odorless gas to any living creature that requires oxygen to live. Small gas generators produce a lot more carbon monoxide gas than cars do because they usually don’t have catalytic converters. I hate to say it, but many people die to carbon monoxide poisoning. This is preventable. If you must use a small generator, then you must follow the instructions for proper placement for proper ventilation of carbon monoxide. With solar, you don’t need to worry about this!

The next thing to consider with solar energy systems is energy storage. Solar panels only produce energy when there is adequate light shined on them. They don’t work as well when it’s cloudy, raining, or snowing. This is clearly true at night. It is common to combine solar with deep cycle batteries and an inverter. These solid-state devices are what make solar such an attractive solution to making electricity. Other than the inverter, none of these devices make noise! It’s nice to not have to deal with a noisy generator!

Getting Started with Solar

The overall design of a DIY Solar Energy System is simple. Getting started with solar is much easier than it used to be. All you need to do is be comfortable safely wiring electrical parts together. You also need a good understanding of part ratings. There are many solutions available online. I have shared one solution below. Check out this solution to get started:

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DIY Solar Energy System