Should You Use Solar On Your Homestead?


Bobbi PetersonSince the first prehistoric farmer planted their first prehistoric seed, farmers have been thriving — and sometimes withering — based on the consistency of the sun. Every day it rises in the east and sets in the west. Animals, plants and workers set their days around the sun's journey across the sky. Without the sun, there would be no farming.

Shouldn't farmers who depend so much on the sun start to get a little something back? That "little something" could actually become an endless supply of affordable energy. We're talking solar power, and by most scientific accounts, we still have around five billion years of sun power to tap into. Should you use solar on your homestead? A more apt question might be: How many ways can you use solar on your homestead? Let’s take a look.

The Sun Basics

Harvesting solar power has been around for a long time. As an answer to the oil energy crisis, then-President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House roof back in the late ‘70s. Today, improvements in solar panel design and battery proficiency have made it practical for homeowners, businesses and farmers to adapt their power grid structure for solar use.

Solar power is collected by panels not unlike giant mirrors. That absorbed power activates fuel cells that energize batteries. Those batteries are then wired to produce power. It is like having your own mini-electric grid right on your property. In fact, you could reach a point where you are producing an excess of power, so much that you could sell some back to the power company.

Although there are some smaller solar-power systems that could be set up as a DIY project, you might want to stick with professional installation for your homestead. There are too many variables such as placement, shade and even temperature that could impact your solar system's efficiency. Once your solar system is up and running, you might be amazed at how it can be utilized. Here are a few ideas:

Solar Generators

How many times have you suffered through a power outage? Usually these are caused by severe storms. That means electric crews have to scramble into action to fix a problem that could be county-wide. That could mean several hours or days without power.

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