This is a book about installing a small solar energy system on a minimal budget. It is an off-grid system, intended to be expandable to run the whole house when enough solar panels and batteries have been added, but it can be expanded on a monthly basis for very little money each month, perhaps as low as $200 per month, depending on the quality of batteries you buy--and considerably less than that if you have a source for used golf-cart or fork-lift batteries, or perhaps even automotive batteries, as long as you are prepared to replace them soon. We discuss the basics of solar energy, how it works, and how it all goes together, and we discuss the building of a suitable structure to hold the parts. We devised a very inexpensive system to mount the panels to the structure, and we tell you how to do that, and why you may or may not want to use this system, which requires access to the underside of the roof. We discuss the life of the system, and how much money should be set aside each month for replacement items, and how you can set aside more than that, so that the replacement fund can be self-sustaining in the future. We include diagrams and photos where necessary, and a list of suppliers in the appendix. We discuss series and parallel circuits, and how to choose what voltage your system should be, and other decisions which should be made early in the process.
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