I'm very interested in how solar panels work. I understand the bigger picture of how it can be used for solar heating or as a generator, but I'm lost at the smaller details. Things like: - Could my computer work on solar? It has a 900 watt power supply (this is excluding monitor/speakers) - if a panel is for example, a 60 watt panel, does this mean it will pump 60 watts a second into a battery? - Does solar heating make the water electrified?
If you do decide to install your own system, get the current set of electrical code books so you know how to install the system in a manner that will pass the code requirements, which is required if you wish to have or keep insurance on the house and contents. Solar is not the complete answer in many places, in some places wind and solar together provide adequate power- but many municipalities do not permit wind turbines, and in some instances for good reason- some experimenters use the blade materials, like PVC which can break rather easily and be quite lethal. You tube has a number of blade failure vids.
solar heating will not make the water electrified,solar energy be converted into heat energy which will heat water,there is no electricity but heat energy to make water hot,you will not worry danger of electricity leakage.
Solar water heating is low technology. There are do it your self plans for it all over the internet. There is no electricity involved. Simply laying a garden hose on the ground in the hot Sun can heat the water to really high temperatures. Just have a shutoff nozzle on the hose, turn on the tap and open the nozzle until water comes out and then close the nozzle at the end of the hose. Let the hose full of water sit in the sun for an hour or so and then open the nozzle and feel how hot the water is that comes out. Be careful, because it can be so hot you can get a burn! When the gallon or so that can fit in the hose has all come out and is replaced by other water from the tap, it will feel cold again. Close the nozzle and wait another hour to heat it up again. A solar hot water heater is just a very long coil of pipe in the Sun, maybe with a pump to slowly circulate water from a holding tank so you can make and store more hot water that fits in the hose. Solar electric power is completely different. It uses semiconductor devices called solar cells to make electricity directly from light. Many of solar cells are usually arranged into large panels to make larger amounts of power. In electricity, Watts = Volts * Amps. Battery capacity is usually measured in Amp-hours. Small solar panels are often designed to produce electricity at 2 volts. A 60 Watt, 2 volt panel makes 5 Amps of electric current, because 2*5=60. So if you use it to charge a 2 volt battery with a capacity of 5 Amp-hours it will take hour to charge. A 0 Amp-hour battery would take 2 hours to charge with the same panel.