Selecting The Correct Size Power Inverter Battery Cables
It is very important to be sure you are using the appropriate cable size for your inverter/battery. Failing to do so could lead to your inverter not supporting full loads and overheating, which is a potential fire hazard. Use this as a guide for choosing the proper cable size, and be sure to contact a professional electrician or our tech team with any additional questions you may have.
1. What size inverter do you have?
2. What is the DC voltage of your battery bank?
3. Now divide the inverters wattage by your battery voltage this will give you the maximum current for your cables.
Why Should We Use Deep Cycle Battery For Solar Power System
Obviously, battery in a solar power system is being charged in daytime by sun and discharged in cloudy day or night. Battery is acting as a solar energy storage device, it reserve solar power in sunny time and provide power in raining time or night. So solar battery is always being fully charged and deeply discharged. We should choose deep cycle battery for battery bank of solar power system.
Solar Power Design Process
Lets start with what solar power experts consider before designing a solar power system for home or business. Several factors are considered during the design process, but two factors are the most important. The first is the amount of roof space available for the installation of solar panels, and the second is the amount of electricity your home consumes each year. Other factors that will affect the design are the specific inverters and panels being used, the roof structure and orientation, and the shading profile.
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Make Sure Your Panel Location Has The Proper Angles
I have written a whole separate article on the proper angle to place your solar panels, and what happens when you dont put it in the right spot. But, suffice it to say, you lose a lot of the potential power you could be producing when your solar panels are not facing due south and when theyre not properly angled. Because many homes do not have a roof lines that face directly south, it can be expensive, difficult, or impossible to face your solar panels in the right direction when they are on the roof.
Determining How Much Energy Solar Panels Produce
As you might have guessed, the amount of power that your solar panel produces depends on how much sun they gets. That means during the shorter days of winter you will get less power. Also, cloudy days will give you much less power than sunny days.
Again, the best way to know how much power your solar panels will produce is to measure it. Buy one solar panel and measure how much energy you can produce throughout the year. Not every year is the same, so you will need to oversize your system just a little bit in order to account for usually dark or cloudy years.
However, you may just want to get a rough estimate of how much solar power your panels were produce. Luckily the US government has produced solar power availability data for the entire United States.
The map above shows on average how much power your solar panels will produce per day. The number depends on the color of your area it ranges from about two to eight. This number can be multiplied by the power rating of your solar panels to determine how much power they would produce. So if you live in an area labeled as three on the map and you bought a 1 kW Solar panel array then you would get 3 kWh of energy produced per day on average.
This assumes that you have full access to the sun so long as it is up. If location of your solar panels is partially shaded, especially during mid day, then you will get less power than the map shows.
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Install The Proper Solar Inverter
Installing a solar inverter takes expertise because it will need to be hooked up the electrical grid. For this, we recommend utilizing the help from a professional installer, as they will do this safely and effectively with the right permits.
Request quotes from top-rated solar installers in your area
Overview Of Building An Off Grid Solar System
Designing your own self-sufficient solar power system must start with your end users needs in mind. Making the effort to follow a proper design process saves you money, time, and makes the process of going off the grid a pleasant one.
Here is an overiew of the steps Ill take you through over the course of this three part guide.
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Which Solar Energy Equipment And Materials Do You Need
In a rapidly expanding renewable energy supplies market, you have many choices for every component you must integrate to make your DIY solar system work efficiently during its entire operational life. Heres a list of the major parts for most solar systems.
After all the headwork and logistics are done, you move on to the legwork: installation of PV panels on racks or poles somewhere on your property, then connecting them to your home electric panel. Depending on whether you opt for grid-tie, off-grid, or a hybrid system, further electrical connections may be needed to get everything up and running.
How To Reduce Your Solar Energy System Cost
Above we have seen the different factors and points which influence different costs and budgets of solar energy. Below we are going to look at how to reduce your solar energy system cost.
Use your appliances minimally daily
The less number of hours you use your appliances the huge the difference of your solar energy system and this means you will need small size of solar Components.
Use of solar-friendly appliances
Use of solar-friendly appliances such as LED bulbs and solar refrigerators lowers you system cost by a significant amount of dollars.
Use of direct current
Though it is not that common, using dc current eliminates the inverter budgets.Connecting your system to the grid. It can be worth to mention that this is the most common way to reduce your solar energy cost or pay back the cost of your system.
This is because you feed your energy to the utility grid rather than in the batteries. More so if you dont use all the energy you feed to the grid, the utility company pays you for the remaining energy. This is also regarded as the investment aspect of solar energy.
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Purchase The Components That Make Up A Solar Panel
You will need:
Image source: Energy.gov
Solar cells are what converts the suns energy into electricity, each solar panel consists of about 36 solar cells.
Buying pre-soldered tabbing wire will cut some steps out of the process, but you will still need a soldering iron to solder the wiring to the back of the solar cells and string the wire correctly to connect the solar cells.
Non-conductive material to attach the cells to, like wood, glass or plastic
For DIY solar panels, wood usually works best as backing because it is easy to drill holes for the wiring. Once you have your solar cells wired together, you can glue these to the wood backing and then attach all of the wires and solder each solar cell together.
After wiring, you then connect these wires to a charge controller, which regulates the volts of energy. Wood can also be used to build a box to protect the solar cells and then to lay the plexiglass on top for moisture protection.
Seal the solar panel with plexiglass
Once your solar cells are wired and glued to the wood backing, you need to seal them with plexiglass for protection from heat, debris, and moisture.
The Impact Of Shading On Solar On Solar System Design
If your roof has shading from neighboring trees, other buildings or large chimneys installers may choose to leave these areas uncovered by solar panels to optimize the production of the system or may place panels in these locations with the understanding that these panels may produce less energy at certain times of the day. Installers may also suggest changes to system design to create separate solar panel strings that are designed to avoid power loss from shading or may suggest the use of micro-inverters or power optimizers to help mitigate the impact of shading of the production of the overall system. The latter two technologies may come at a higher cost, but these costs may be justified by the additional power they help your system to generate.
The above factors are taken into account when designing a solar system for your home or business. The process of providing an initial system design can be quite quick and can often be turned around within a day or so. Other factors such as the structural integrity of your roof, the condition of your existing electrical system or the specific impact of shading may require that solar installers visit your property to gather additional information in order to develop a system design and a price quote that they can stand by. To get started, check out some helpful tips we offer to all new solar shoppers:
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Calculating Your Power Needs
How much electricity do you want to generate with your solar array? Answering this question is the most important aspect of your DIY solar project.
It will allow you to figure out how many solar panels you need, and, if desired, the size of your battery pack for solar storage. Your energy usage will also determine the inverter and charge controllers you need as well as the thickness of wiring and sizes of fuses.
Every electrical appliance is important to include in this calculation to get the total output wattage. You need the sum-total of all the electrical power demands from all of your appliances, like refrigerator, oven, hot water heater, computers, TVs, washing machine, dryer, hair dryers, clocks, lighting, electric baseboards, space heaters, cellphones, tablets, etc.
Begin by looking for the power consumption rating labels on all of your appliances and devices.
Some of them may have the wattage displayed. In other cases, youll have to figure it out based on the amperage or voltage thats given. Use this formula to make the conversion:
Watts = Volts x Amps
There are many online calculators to use when adding it all up. Or, you can set up a table like this:
Note: To fill out the fourth column, multiply the output wattage by the number of hours of use per day . Then add up all the values in the fourth column to get the total wattage you use per day expressed in kilowatt-hours .
Ok Lets Connect And Install
Here I will try explaining in a lay mans language the best and easiest way to install your components and how to connect each component to another step by step and the type and size of cables you should use.
Also, it is good to not that connection of a solar component depends on the nominal voltage of the component that comes before it in the circuit, the ie connection of solar panels will depend on solar charge controllers nominal voltage.
We will start our connection from the solar panels to the loads .
Step 1: Solar panels connection
First, we need to determine the type and size of cables to use.The type of cable to use is the same cable and that comes connected to our solar panels for array interconnection.
But you will need to buy extension cables to run from the solar panel array to the solar charge controller.
You will need to determine the installation area of your array and the installation area of the solar charge controller and then buy cables equivalent to that distant.
For the interconnection of the solar panels to form an array, there are two ways to do that, you can connect either in parallel or series.
For our array, it should have an output 24v which is the nominal voltage of our solar charge controller and the solar panel.
If they were connected in series, the output current would be equivalent to that of one solar panel and the output voltage would add up 12v x3=36v. In series, voltage adds up.
For more illustration watch video below:
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Select A Solar Charge Controller
Alright, so we have batteries and we have solar, now we need a way to manage putting the power from the solar into the batteries. An extremely rough calculation to figure out what size solar charge controller you need is to take the watts from the solar, and divide it by the battery bank voltage. Add another 25% for a safety factor.
Now theres a bit more to consider with selecting the charge controller. Charge controllers are available with two major types of technologies, PWM and MPPT. In short, if the voltage of the solar panel array matches the voltage of the battery bank, you can use a PWM charge controller. So, if you have a 12V panel and a 12V battery bank, you can use PWM. If your solar panel voltage is different than the battery bank, and cant be wired in series to make it match, you need to use an MPPT charge controller. If you have a 20V solar panel and you have a 12V battery bank, you need to use MPPT charge controller.
Are You Skilled Enough To Build Your Own Solar Panels
Solar panels are relatively simple enough to build, but for them to remain functional for a long period of time, they need to be built with extreme precision. Solar panels need to be able to maintain their integrity in harsh weather conditions and from consistent exposure to heat and sunlight.
Safety is the biggest concern with homemade solar panels. Moisture can get inside and ruin them and there is the potential for improperly built panels to catch fire from the suns heat. Mastering the soldering and electrical wiring is a challenge that generally takes the knowledge of a skilled electrician or engineer.
Building a system requires a willingness to research, make mistakes, and gain experience in electrical wiring skills and soldering techniques. So if you are an experienced engineer or electrician, this can be a bit easier to master but it is definitely not a quick weekends worth of DIY-ing.
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Make Sure Your Solar Panels Are Accessible
Lastly, solar panels need to be clean and cool to work a maximum efficiency, and have a nice long life. Dust, dirt, and snow will naturally accumulate on solar panels, which need to be cleaned off periodically. Snow accumulation on your solar panels will reduce their life. Placing your panels closer to the ground where they are easier to access can go along way towards making routine solar panel maintenance actually get done in a timely manner.
How To Design And Install A Solar Pv System
Design and installation of Solar PV Systems
Today our modern world needs energy for various day to day applications such as industrial manufacturing, heating, transport, agricultural, lightning applications, etc. Most of our energy need is usually satisfied by non-renewable sources of energy such as coal, crude oil, natural gas, etc. But the utilization of such resources has caused a heavy impact on our environment.
Also, this form of energy resource is not uniformly distributed on the earth. There is an uncertainty of market prices such as in the case of crude oil as it depends on production and extraction from its reserves. Due to the limited availability of non-renewable sources, the demand for renewable sources has grown in recent years.
Solar energy has been at the center of attention when it comes to renewable energy sources. It is readily available in an abundant form and has the potential to meet our entire planets energy requirement. The solar standalone PV system as shown in fig 1 is one of the approaches when it comes to fulfilling our energy demand independent of the utility. Hence in the following, we will see briefly the planning, designing, and installation of a standalone PV system for electricity generation.
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How A Custom Solar Design Process Works
Your home is unique, so why should you have a cookie-cutter solar panel system? At AllSeason Solar, we custom design each system and perform all of the work no outsourcing! Our goal is to provide you with a solar system that results in greater financial incentives and benefits.
Lets learn more about how a custom solar design process works so you know what to expect.
The first step is to request a solar consultation. The purpose is to make sure that you qualify for an installation. The majority of homes are able to benefit from solar energy, but some properties are a better fit than others. Also, you can only install solar panels if you own the roof, otherwise we need permission from your landlord.
At AllSeason Solar, our consultations are always free. We appreciate the opportunity to visit your home and better understand how a solar system can improve your energy needs. At this point, we can begin discussing designs that will work for you and your property.
If you like what you hear and are ready to move forward, the next step is to sign the agreement. Dont worry its not scary! Our customer service reps are happy to walk you through the contract and explain everything line by line. We want you to be comfortable moving forward. The best part is that once you sign the agreement, you are locking in your energy rates for the next 20 years!
Site Audit and System Design
Solar System Installation