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Extending Your Solar Battery Life

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solar-battery-lifeThe batteries or battery bank is one of the most crucial component in any solar power system. Making sure you get the right batteries, set it up properly and maintain it are key to having a smooth running solar power system.

Here are some basic tips on how to extend the life of your batteries. [click to continue…]

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Avoiding Phantom Loads

phantom-loadIf you think you’re conserving energy when you switch off the lights or your appliances think again. Many of the common household electrical items today have a default stand-by mode. With this, even though they are switched off, they continue to draw what are known as phantom loads (PL). [click to continue…]

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Portable Solar Power System Diagram

If you’re thinking of setting up a solar power system that you want to use just for running certain appliances that are either AC or DC, and will not be plugging it directly to your home alternating current system, here are the list of materials you will need.

  1. Solar Panels or Photovoltaics
  2. Charge Controller
  3. Deep Cycle Battery
  4. DC input or Inverter
  5. if you plan on running only DC appliances then a simple DC input would suffice. If AC however, you need an inverter.

Here is a diagram to make things more easy…

portable-solar-power-generator

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Basics Of Solar Batteries

solar-bateriesSolar Batteries are a great way to store solar power and use it when the sun isn’t shining. Like at night, on cloudy days or even on rainy days. While there isn’t a specific type of battery called solar batteries, the kind of batteries that are best suited for solar power are deep cycle batteries. [click to continue…]

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Grid Tie Solar Power System Diagram

If you want to offset some of your house’s electricity consumption by using solar electricity, but don’t want the hassle of charging and taking care of batteries here’s the thing for you. But take note, if you plan to go with this setup it is important to understand that once the power goes out from your power company, so does the electricity in your house since your “on-grid.”

To have continuous power or atleast some backup, you would need some batteries installed.

The components that you will be using are:

  1. Solar Panels or PV
  2. Array Disconnect
  3. *Charge Controller
  4. *Deep Cycle Battery
  5. *System Meter
  6. *Main DC Disconnect
  7. Inverter
  8. AC Breaker Panel
  9. Kilowatt per Hour Meter
  10. Grid tie in

The one’s in red with an * before it are the optional components needed if you want to have battery back-up installed.

And as always, for easier comprehension check out the diagram below…

grid-tied-solar-electricity-system

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Off The Grid Solar Power System Diagram

If you want to completely rely on solar electricity and live off-grid, then this is the system for you. This is especially fitting for people living in very remote areas of the world that is inaccessible with current electricity power lines.

The components that you will be using are:

  1. Solar Panels or PV
  2. Array Disconnect
  3. Charge Controller
  4. Deep Cycle Battery
  5. System Meter
  6. Main DC Disconnect
  7. Inverter
  8. Generator
  9. AC Breaker Panel

And as always, for easier comprehension check out the diagram below…

off-grid-solar-electricity-system

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What Are Solar Panels?

Solar-CellSolar Panels are the defining and most important component of a solar power system. Solar panels are also known as photovoltaics (PV) or solar cells. Solar panels or photovoltaics are currently the best known method for generating electricity.

While the technology behind solar cells continue to advance every day, most solar cells are made up of mono crystalline silicone wafers with some trace elements used as coating. It produces solar electricity by making use of the photons that come from sunlight, have these photons hit and excite the electrons in the solar cells and thus produces electricity.

Each brand or manufactured solar cell wafer may have different wattage output, and to reach a higher wattage than what one solar cell wafer can produce, you simply combine more wafers into an array.

The main benefits of using solar panels is that it is very low maintenance and it basically produces electricity for free for the remainder of its life.

The only downside of solar panels is the cost of one of these, as with any new technology, the manufacturing cost have yet to scale to a sizeable amount before the cost of production can significantly lessen.

Here is an interesting video for you to get started on solar panels…

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Solar Inverters

Solar-panel-inverterBefore you can use electricity from your solar panels, you need to have the power pass through what is called a solar inverter. A solar inverter is a simple electrical inverter that changes Direct Current to Alternating Current. Direct current being the solar electricity and alternating current which is what the typical house uses.

There are more types of solar inverters, but this is the essentials of what you need to know. I will go into more detail on future posts.

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Reason For Getting A Charge Controller

charge-controller

Another essential part of your residential solar power system is the charge controller.

The main purpose of the charge controller is to prevent the destruction of your batteries because of over-charging or even under-discharging. Charge controllers are regulators that go between solar panels and your batteries. It acts to keep your batteries charged at peak without overcharging. [click to continue…]

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Why You Need A Battery Bank

battery-bank

Another common question I often get when it comes to solar electricity and residential solar power is whether you really need a battery bank and a charge controller. Isn’t connecting the inverter or any appliance directly on to the solar panel simpler? [click to continue…]

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