Solar Panel Energy

Solar panel power
and considerations.




Solar Power



Free Solar Power
From the Sun.

Four panels to a bank


Power From The Sun.



The sun is shinning, the solar
panels are quietly doing their
job.

What a great feeling, power
coming into the house with
no effort on your part.

The solar panels of today will
produce some power even
on cloudy days.

There are many reasons to
go solar, become less
dependent on rising Hydro
costs, be more independent,
assist your own power needs,
or just have a backup
when HYDRO GOES DOWN.

With changing climate, more
wind and storms are prevalent.

There is more chance for
Hydro power to fail at any
time.

Planning a Solar
System



There are two ways to go to
building a solar power generating
system, you can use what power
you generate and sell any excess
power directly to a Hydro
Corporation.

At the end of the year Hydro will
settle up with you and I suspect
any money made will be taxable.

When hydro power fails, your
system is cut loose from the
hydro lines, for safety reasons
and your own power generated
when mostly needed will not
be available to you.

There may be a way to get
around this, so check it out
with an electrician and
be prepared.

The other way you can go is to
generate power and use 100
percent for your own use,
which is non taxable..

This is the method that is
presented here.

With this method, solar panels
are set up, power is delivered
to a bank of batteries, and
a power inverter.

Solar power throughout the
day charges the batteries.

The power generated can be
drawn off the batteries
during the day or night.

Size of the Solar
Panel System



The size of the system depends
on such things as expense,
what are your exact needs,
do you have room for solar panels,
and how far do you want to go.

Start small, but leave room for
expansion. You can start with
one panel and one battery,
and add more as needed.

Plan the wiring for future needs,
as you do not want to remove
wire, and replace more or with
larger gauge wire later.
( see voltage drop calculator
link below.)

Power Panel Systems



Solar panels come in many sizes
ranging from under 2 watts to
over 200 watts.

This solar power system uses
12 volt 100 watt panels.

These sizes are comfortable to
work with.
The size and weight of the
panels are easy to handle
by one person.

Three or four of these panels
will produce about the right
amperage for one 30 amperage
controller unit.

For each controller unit, plan
for 3/4 max. controller rated
amperage, which is about
right for the controller.

The solar panels in this system
have hinges added to the
bottoms of each panel so they
can be tilted to any angle for
different times of the year.

At present they are in a fixed
position to capture the best
average light throughout
the day.

Some solar panel systems are
automated to follow the sun
throughout the day.

A camera light meter can be
used to determine the best
fixed angle.

Wire Size



100 watt solar panels produce
around 13-14 volts, at 5-6 amps
in full sun..

Heavy gauge wire is needed
between the solar panels
and controller.

When 24 and 48 volt systems
are used lighter wire is used,
which is not as expensive.

The greater the distance
between panels and controller,
the larger gauge of wire
is required.

In this set-up the solar panels
are about fifty feet from the
controller, #6 gauge four
conductor tech cable wire is
used to deliver this power to the
controllers.
Not perfect, but was what I was
able to locate at a reasonable
price.

The tech cable which has four
#6 conductors is used for two
banks of panels.
I also ran an external #10
ground wire as the internal
ground wire is a #8.


Batteries



On the average charge and
discharge cycle one 12 volt
deep cycle lead acid battery
(120ah) is needed for each
100 watt solar panel.

With 8 solar panels, eight 120 ah
deep cycle batteries are required
to get the best use out of each.

Golf cart 6 volt batteries are a
good choice, place two in
parallel to get 12 volts.

These batteries pack a lot of
energy for the size and price.

Keep to the same brand for
all your batteries as internal
resistance can vary from one
brand to another and put a
lot of stress on some.
Some batteries will work harder
than the rest and require
frequent water added to the
battery cells.

Inverters



Inverters come in different power
inverting sizes, they are available
for 12, 24, and 48 volt systems.

Inverters can be either modified
sine wave or pure sine wave.

The modified inverted has a
stepped sine wave which some
electronic appliances cannot
handle.

The pure sine wave produces
power wave shape nearer to
the Hydro grid circuit.

There is a big difference in
price between the two types
of inverters.

The more expensive inverters
can handle appliances that
require pure wave electricity
to run the electronics within
the appliance, such as
televisions, and computers.

The higher end of inverters
have provision to make changes
within the inverter for
different applications.

Most higher priced inverters
have remote access and
monitoring features.




Testing



Any loose or bad connections
will lower the amperage at the
controller, and poor
connections produce heat.

One good way to check the
connection, even under layers
of electrical tape is to use a
heat sensing gun while the
inverter is drawing a load..

Temperature reading gun.
solar connections heat scanning

With a heat sensing gun, just
turn it on aim at a nearby
reference such as a wall, then
aim the green led light onto
a connection.

If it is good the light will remain
green, if it is bad the led light
will change to red and give you
a temperature reading.

When I was testing one bank of
solar panels, I found one bank
was producing a little less
than the other bank of panels.
I was able to locate a loose
connection, with the heat
sensing gun.

One of he 30 amp fuse holders
had a poor internal connection,
where I was losing power.

If the power wires are to small,
they will heat up, so make sure
the wires are large enough gauge
to handle the amperage.

Number 8 or 10 wire is good
for 30 amps.

A loose connection with 25 amps
of power present will heat up,
enough to melt plastic,
even start a fire.


Tips


Mount the solar panel solid,
so weather conditions such
as wind and snow will not
damage them.

Provide earth grounds for
panels and batteries.

Ground the negative side of
the battery bank to earth
ground.

Fuse all leads from the panels
to the controller and batteries.

Provide a high amperage fuse
between the positive side of
the batteries and inverter.
(200 - 300 amps)
Check all connections for
tightness from time to time.

Fuse the 120 Volt AC side of
the inverter.

Remember voltages of an
inverter can be fatal.
Check the city bylaws concerning
solar power in your area.


Index



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Small Solar Power System
Installation and Tips,
at findnchoose.


You might be interested
in these links.


Solar Panel Drop
Voltage Calculator


Battery Power
Time Calculator


Solar Panel Weight
Load Calculator


Solar Panel Weight
Calculator


Solar Panel Minus
Temperature Calculator


Solar Panel Wind
Force Calculator



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