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 maxjmum
controller rated amperage,
which is about right for
the controller.

The solar panels in this
solar 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.


Two Common Types
of Solar Cell Panels.

Monocrystalline Solar
Cell Panel.

Monocrystalline solar cells
are the most efficient
because electrons flow
easier through the cell.
The efficiency can range
from 17% to 22%.
They cost more because
of the manufacturing
process.


Polycrystalline Solar
Cell Panel.

Polycrystalline solar cells
are less efficient because
of the way the way the
silicon crystals are
arranged in each cell
making it harder for
electrons to flow.
The efficiency can range
from 15% to 17%.
They cost less to produce
than monocrystalline
cell panels.

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,
number 6 gauge four
conductor tech cable wire
is used to deliver this
power to the controllers.
Not perfect, but this was
what I was able to locate
at a reasonable price.

The tech cable which has
four number 6 conductors
is used for two separate
banks of panels.
I also ran a separate
number 10 ground wire
as the internal 6 conductor,
the ground wire is a
number 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 amp hours, 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 series to get 12
volts.
Make up parallel groups of
the series wired batteries.

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, and 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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