Tips on Solar Panel Design
If you are going to install your own solar panel system as a renewable energy resource for your home, then you want to put in some considerable time on the solar panel design. A well designed solar panel system will save you time in your original installation, along with saving time, good design will save you money in the long run.
The key to good solar panel design is to know just how much power you need for your solar panel system. You can assess your current energy consumption based on what you currently pay your electrical company, or you can find many calculators on the internet that will provide you estimates based on the type of appliances you use.
If you calculate an amount that seems unreasonable to maintain with a solar panel system, then you can make many changes to lower your energy consumption. Changes that you might want to make include: using low wattage light bulbs, rethink your options for heating, and review all the appliances like fridges and stoves that you use consistently. If you are not using appliances, or use them very infrequently, consider getting rid of them completely and save yourself the trouble.
After you have determined how much energy you consume in a day, you want to calculate how big of a solar panel array you will need in your solar panel design. Again there are a number of online calculators available to assist you and you want to have as many solar panels as needed to get to that total number of power consumption daily. If you do not find an online calculator, you can consult with a solar energy professional, or review the packaging on the solar panels you intend to purchase, they will indicate how much energy they output.
The next consideration in your solar panel design is the battery. Prior to determining the system battery, you need to find how much voltage the system generates. Generally if you have a smaller system you will want to use a 12 volt battery, if larger 24 volts. If you are designing an entire office building or telecommunications, then you can think about using a 48 volt battery.
Your last big consideration is the cables that are required to connect your panels, battery and inverter. The placement of the components of your solar panel design will play a big part in determining what type of cables you need. The further apart your components are the more potential for energy loss, investing in higher quality or larger cables would be optimal in that case.
Now your design should be relatively complete, and you need to determine what type and size of inverter you are using. Check with the local municipal government for requirements and possible financial advantages when it comes to using inverters.
You should have a relatively good design after attending to these details, next you want to ensure you understand how to wire a solar system, and get your materials ready. With a little energy beforehand you will spare yourself some grief in the long run.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jakob Jelling runs http://www.solarpanelmanual.com which focuses on solar energy. Please visit his web site to learn more about solar panel design.