Do It Yourself 12 Volt Solar Power

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This is a measure of battery capacity. All lead-acid batteries have a nominal output of 2 volts per cell. Actual cell voltage varies from about 1. Industrial 2 volt single-cell batteries are also used in a series for larger applications. Series connections are where the positive terminal of one battery is connected to the negative terminal of another, resulting in increased voltage.

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Putting battery cells in parallel positive to positive and negative to negative increases amps amp-hour capacity, but does not affect voltage. Virtual First World Philippines.

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Learn the essential basics of using solar power so you can understand your project. Planning your project begins with understanding the basics found in this section. The four primary components for producing electricity using solar power, which provides common volt AC power for daily use are:.

Then, also look at the potential surge of the specific items to determine the minimum surge wattage you'll need. Usually, you'll need 1. Some deep well submersible pumps can require 3 times the surge protection. Solar Array Sizing Work Form This type worksheet helps figure the total number of solar modules required for your system.

Solar power works well for most items except large electric appliances that use an electric heat element such as a water heater, clothes dryer and electric stove - for example - or total electric home heating systems. It is not cost effective to use solar power for these items. Conversion to natural gas , propane or other alternatives is usually recommended. The basics of solar power Using solar power to produce electricity is not the same as using solar to produce heat.

The most common output is intended for nominal 12 volts, with an effective output usually up to 17 volts. A 12 volt nominal output is the reference voltage, but the operating voltage can be 17 volts or higher much like your car alternator charges your 12 volt battery at well over 12 volts. So there's a difference between the reference voltage and the actual operating voltage. Another perspective is that roughly miles square of solar panels placed in the southwestern U. Click on Thumbnail to view Larger Image The daily average of Peak Sun Hours, based on either full year statistics, or average worst month of the year statistics, for example, is used for calculation purposes in the design of the system.

The resulting outer positive and negative terminals will produce voltage the sum of the two panels , but the amperage stays the same as one panel. Four of these wired in series would produce 48 volts at 3. The result is that voltage stays the same , but amperage becomes the sum of the number of panels. Four panels would produce 12 volts at 14 amps. Charge Controller A charge controller monitors the battery's state-of-charge to insure that when the battery needs charge-current it gets it, and also insures the battery isn't over-charged.


Connecting a solar panel to a battery without a regulator seriously risks damaging the battery and potentially causing a safety concern. The most advanced charge controllers utilize a charging principal referred to as Pulse-Width-Modulation PWM - which insures the most efficient battery charging and extends the life of the battery. Even more advanced controllers also include Maximum Power Point Tracking MPPT which maximizes the amount of current going into the battery from the solar array by lowering the panel's output voltage, which increases the charging amps to the battery - because if a panel can produce 60 watts with If the battery voltage drops too far the loads are disconnected - preventing potential damage to both the battery and the loads.

BTC adjusts the charge rate based on the temperature of the battery since batteries are sensitive to temperature variations above and below about 75 F degrees. Battery The Deep Cycle batteries used are designed to be discharged and then re-charged hundreds or thousands of times. Simply stated, amp hours refers to the amount of current - in amps - which can be supplied by the battery over the period of hours.

For example, a ah battery could supply To quickly express the total watts potentially available in a 6 volt ah battery; ah times the nominal 6 volts equals watts or 2. The size of the battery bank required will depend on the storage capacity required , the maximum discharge rate, the maximum charge rate, and the minimum temperature at which the batteries will be used.

During planning, all of these factors are looked at, and the one requiring the largest capacity will dictate the battery size. For example, say you have a 24 volt nominal system and an inverter powering a load of 3 amps, VAC, which has a duty cycle of 4 hours per day. Your Review. Additional information Weight.

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Most recent reviews Most helpful reviews. Reviews There are no reviews yet. Your Cart. In all cases systems should be installed according to local electrical and other safety codes. These are typically used on remote buildings to power 12V lighting and low consumption appliances or in situations where an existing battery based system is in place e. The wind generator or solar PV panels charge the battery and the battery supplies power to the loads as needed. All loads are run at the battery voltage usually 12 or 24 VDC and special lights or appliances are needed.

T he charging source is sized to keep up with anticipated demand. To be successful, efficient use of the electricity generated is essential and the system must be sized to meet worst case conditions.

Small Solar Only System A good system for providing lighting in buildings where lighting is either only needed occasionally or mainly during summer months such as holiday cabins or garden sheds. Typically used for systems such as providing stable lighting - where the building is in open countryside and gets good exposure to the wind. Lighting is needed most over winter months when output from the wind generator is greatest.

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Uses: Marlec wind generator; gable end mounting pole kit; 10m output cable; control unit; 90Ah battery; battery terminals. For many systems 12V Small Area Modules which vary in size from 5 - W are used with standard charge controllers. Greatest output will be over summer months so this is ideal for holiday, weekend or garden buildings. No moving parts are involved so such systems are almost maintenance free. Solar PV Panels. The simplest systems use a photovoltaic PV solar panel to recharge the battery.

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