There are a number of companies that offer small solar systems. They usually offer system design help to determine your solar power potential. As I get the time, I’ll list some of them on this site. If you have recommendations I’d like to hear them.

Solar power is generally produced by solar cells. Solar cells are a very expensive way to get electrical power, though I admit a fairly reliable and low maintenance one. If getting electricity using solar cells please take special care to design your electrical use to be as efficient as possible, usually using it for lighting and electronics.

Using electricity from solar cells to heat anything is a great waste of this precious form of energy. There are many ways to heat home, food and water directly from solar energy, much more efficiently and cheaper than using electricity. Actually if you put a cooling system on your solar array, you can increase the power output by putting reflectors on the array. Then the heated water (from cooling the cells) can be used to keep your home warm, provide refrigeration, heat domestic water, etc.

Solar array tracking systems are worth looking into; anything to increase the efficiency of these expensive devices.

You are best advised to store excess solar cell power in batteries. Building an inexpensive battery bank is easy for those people who take the time to learn a little about ordinary vehicle batteries. Many are thrown away that are not bad, or have several perfectly good cells and only one bad one (which can be bypassed). Getting the ‘Capacitive Battery Charger’ book will help you find out about this bonanza of potential electrical storage.

Please do not consider storing any form of electrical power as hydrogen (from an electrolyzer) unless you have a specific use for the hydrogen. Those people who want to use the hydrogen to power internal combustion engines to regenerate the electricity are wasting most of their original electricity and are using a very dangerous way to do it.

See ‘Hydro’ for an explanation of ‘Reverse your Electric Meter’ as a way to store excess power without having a battery bank.