Free Sun Power shining on Solar panels generates free energy by converting sunlight to electricity with no moving parts, zero emissions, and no maintenance Free tutorials, interactive online Design Tools and a Solar Power Simulator at

Run your own Solar Energy System! 5 Meters display charging, power, voltage, & more. Watch the power change as you turn appliances on/off.

Details of the Solar Energy System used in this small, energy efficient, earth sheltered home.

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About Solar Power
Easy 5 Step Guide
Example Systems
Solar Energy Home
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  Solar Combiner Box
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Basic Tutorials :
  Solar Panels
  Charge Controllers
  Power Inverters
  Storage Batteries
  AC Generators
  Wires & Cables
  Meters & Monitors
Advanced Info :
  Watts & Power
  Solar Radiation
  Battery Wiring Diagrams
Design Tools :
  System Sizing Estimator
  Battery Bank Designer
  Wire Size Calculator
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Easy to follow Step by Step Guide to setting up a solar energy system
Basic Tutorials

Our tutorials will cover all parts of a Solar Energy System from the system overview to the individual components required to assemble a solar power system and produce free electricity from the sun for energy independence.

This will include the Solar Panels which generate the electricity, the Charge Controller to control battery charging, the Power Inverter that makes 120 volts AC from the batteries to run your appliances, the storage batteries which store the excess power for use when the sun is weak or not available, and AC generators for back-up power. We will also discuss the proper wire sizes used to connect the components together and meters & monitors to track system performance and usage.

Start with the Overview and continue left to right on the menu and each part of the Solar Energy System is discussed in the order in which the system would be assembled. Or, read the short summaries below and click the tutorial that interests you.

Who can use Solar Power?
A Solar Power energy system can be used by anyone to supply all their electrical needs, provide back-up power, or even just as a supplement to the normal electrical grid connection to a utility company. It is ideal for remote locations where power is unavailable or too expensive to hook-up to.    <details>
Solar Panels
The Solar Panels tutorial will give you a simple explanation of this most basic electric power generator for solar energy systems. Fixed, Adjustable, and Tracking type mounting systems are also covered. Getting power from the sun's energy is not only Free, but it's Fun to setup a solar energy system and be your own utility company!   <details>
Charge Controllers
Next, read the Charge Controller tutorial to see why this device is necessary to protect the batteries from over charging and supply them with the proper amount of energy to promote long battery life. The popular 3 stage charging cycle of PWM charge controllers is fully explained and shown visually on a multi-color chart.   <details>
Power Inverters
The Power Inverter tutorial will cover the 3 basic types of power inverters so you can decide which one is right for you. The power inverter converts your storage battery power into the 120 volts AC that runs your appliances. It is the heart of your solar energy system. Unless you only run 12 volt DC appliances you will need a power inverter to supply your AC.   <details>
Storage Batteries
Without Storage Batteries to store energy you would only have power when the sun was shining or the generator was running. Here we discuss 4 major categories of batteries for solar power systems. The batteries in your system are very important. The care & feeding section of this tutorial is a must read to ensure long battery life and good performance.    <details>
AC Generators
Even the largest Solar Energy System would not have enough power for many consecutive days of no sun. The AC Generator tutorial will tell you what size generator you'll need and the best techniques to use when charging your batteries and/or supplying power to extra large appliances.    <details>
Wires & Cables
To prevent dangerous overheating or inefficient tranfer of power, the wires and cables in a solar power system must be correctly sized. This tutorial provides a convenient chart to determine wire size based on solar panel power output and the distance between the solar panels and the batteries. For safety and good performance of your solar power system you will have to use the appropriate size wires when connecting the components of your system.   <details>
Meters & Monitors
This tutorial explains the importance of monitoring your solar energy system. With the included voltage chart, you can easily determine the basic level of charge on your batteries using just a simple voltmeter. Taking proper care of your batteries will ensure good system performance.    <details>
Power Requirements
This tutorial is a little more advanced, but explains more about voltage, current, power, and Ohm's Law. Find out about the relationship between AC amps and DC amps. The importance of energy conservation for a solar power system is also covered.   <details>
Battery Wiring Diagrams
Learn how to use series and parallel wiring techniques to obtain exactly the power and voltage you want using 2, 4, 6, or 12 volt batteries. Series wiring, parallel wiring and using series/parallel combinations show you how to build your battery bank into any configuration you need using simple pictorial diagrams.    <details>
Solar Radiation : Sunshine across the United States
This tutorial shows a color coded map of the United States that displays the daily average hours of solar radiation (sunshine). This information will assist you in calculating the number of solar panels you will need for your solar power system. Also included in this tutorial is a short explanation of Watts, WattHours, and AmpHours and how they are used.   <details>
Putting it all together
Take a look at a simple animation of all these components working together. This will give you an overview of the minimum equipment needed for a solar alternative energy system.    <details>

Design your system quickly with our Interactive Design Tools
(Note : These design tools require javascript to be turned on in your browser)
* Check out our easy point & click System Sizing Estimator to quickly & easily calculate the number of solar panels and storage batteries you'll need for a wide range of system sizes.
* Our Battery Bank Design Tool will take the confusion out of wiring up your battery bank. Use 2, 4, 6, or 12 volt batteries to build a system voltage of 12, 24, or 48 volts using series and parallel wiring with just 4 clicks. Battery bank capacities from 300 AmpHours to over 4000 AmpHours are displayed graphically so you can see exactly how to wire the batteries together.
* This Wire Size Calculator will allow you to quickly find the correct wire size in AWG (American Wire Gauge) based on the distance to your solar panel array & the amount of amperage your panels put out. No math required!

New Feature!  Check out our new feature Solar Projects where you can build easy, do-it-yourself projects for your solar power system to save money and have fun doing it!

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