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.

Home Page
System Simulation
About Solar Power
Easy 5 Step Guide
Example Systems
Solar Energy Home
Solar Projects
  Solar Combiner Box
  Mini Junction Box
Terms & Definitions
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
Nasa Animations
Solar Domain Names
Helpful Links
Site Map

Quick and easy projects for your Solar Energy System that will save you money!
Solar Panel System : Getting FREE power from the sun
Solar Panels : How they work & how to mount them. Charge Controllers : Protect your batteries with proper charging. Power Inverters : Converting DC battery power to 120/240 volts AC. Storage Batteries : Getting power when the sun is not available. AC Generators : Back-up power and back-up battery charging.
Solar Panels Controllers Inverters Batteries AC Generators
Solar Panel Energy System Tutorials, Design Tools, and an Interactive Solar Simulator.
DIY Solar panel system help for achieving energy independence. provides free beginner and advanced tutorials for setting up a solar power system for producing free electricity from the sun. Our tutorials cover Solar Panels, Charge Controllers, Power Inverters, Storage Batteries, AC Generators, Wires & Cables, Meters & Monitors, and more. Complete system wiring diagram examples plus interactive online design tools are also featured with a point and click interface. NOT plain worksheets. No math required! And, don't miss our new Solar Energy Electric Power Simulator where you can test drive a Solar Energy System.
FREE Solar Panels will make you energy independent !
Learn how to become energy independent with our Free Tutorials and solar power system Design Tools that show you how easy it is to setup your own solar energy system and be free from the standard utility company power grid which is prone to black outs, brown outs, and rising prices. Find out how easy and fun it is to achieve energy independence, throw away your electric bills, and become your own utility company !
Even if you don't need an independent system, you can still use free Solar Energy from the sun to reduce your electric bills and even SELL power back to the utility company using a Grid Tie power inverter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Solar Panels, Charge Controllers, Power Inverters, Storage Batteries, AC Generators, and Wires & Cables. Stop here for quick answers if you want to skip the tutorials.    <details>
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
Solar Panels make FREE electricity from the sun, have no moving parts to fail, and last over 25 years. They can be mounted on fixed, adjustable, or tracking type mounting systems. 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
A Charge Controller 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. Also covered are the newer MPPT (maximum power point tracking) controllers.    <details>
Power Inverters
Power Inverters are available in 3 basic designs. The pros & cons of all 3 are explained 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.
By using a Grid Tie power inverter, you can even sell your extra electricity back to the power company!    <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>
Example Wiring Diagrams for 2KW, 4KW, & 8KW solar energy systems.
These Example System Diagrams will show how to connect the components of a solar energy system. 2 KW, 4 KW, and 8 KW systems are shown and include the solar panels, combiner boxes, charge controller(s), power inverter(s), battery bank, shunt & meter circuits, AC breaker panel, and AC generator wiring.
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>
Easy 5 Step Guide: Where to start
Sound pretty interesting but don't know where to start? You can get just the basic information that you'll need with our easy 5 step guide. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed, then this guide is for you.    <details>

New pictures & more info on this Solar powered home. This small energy efficient home uses six 80 watt solar panels, a Trace 60 amp charge controller, a Trace 2500 watt true sine wave inverter and fifteen 105 AmpHour batteries. Click on the image for details and new updated pictures of Solar array. (Trace is now Xantrex)

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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