Why DIY solar projects can be a bad idea
Often times we get requests from clients who want to save by buying their own solar panels, batteries and inverters and then hiring someone to put everything together. Here is why it fails in a lot of the times.
1. Wrong sizing of the system
Just last week someone sent me a message, "What solar panels should i buy that can charge my 200ah battery fast?" My default answer to such questions is to say why this a bad idea. This is why many people fail to get the best out of their solar systems. Solar DIY is not new! it has been done by many people successfully but it usually depends on the scale of the project. If what you are after is just to get your lights to work then by all means go ahead.
Sizing a solar system is an exact science, which is best done by trained professionals who will know what is required to get the best out of the equipment and more importantly recommending to you what equipment works with what.
Did you know that Batteries can explode and cause fires if they are overcharged. Not everyone knows how to ensure that they are properly charged.
We are not out to get you to install solar systems with solar companies No! We are here to help you make the right choices that ensure that your money works for you.
2. Wrong equipment combinations
There is a danger in following the trends in a market. In our market right now the trending solar panel is Canadian. Many people will take this as the gospel truth! "Canadian solar panels work even when there is no sun" This is hogwash ofcourse but we meet so many customers who have been fed this very misleading information to the extend that they end up buying fake solar panels.
Verify the source of your solar panels and scrutunise the data sheets on the panels. If the label is fishy its probably just stuck on the panel and is fake. Buy Solar Panels from reputable dealers only.
As far back as 2017, the issue of fake solar panels was already and issue. Read this article.
3. Buying a very cheap charge controller / regulator
This is by far the biggest mistake many people who are new to solar make. They go for the cheapest charge controller yet this is one of the most important component that ensures the battery is being charged at the right voltages and most importantly that it stops charging when its full. Watch out for charge controllers retailing for less than USD20 and boy oh boy there are many of these in the market. We agree that solar components are becoming cheaper.
4. Using AC power cables in a DC solar system
Yes this is happening. Not only is a recipe for fires it damages equipment and does not allow you to get the maximum throughput from your equipment.. Just dont do it people. Its not worth it. It is better to save for a system that is properly designed and installed rather than to waste money by cutting corners. You lose more in the end.
This will not be a popular article for those who have been profiting from people's lack of knowledge. Read more about solar in our knowledge base before you go solar. If you want our Free Solar installation guide you can request for it here
If you are looking for professional installation services we are available to help you. Good luck with your solar project.