Solar Panel Electricity Generation – A Step-By-Step Guide to Solar Mic…
Solar strength can give fantastic benefits for people and the ecosystem and no doubt, in the coming years, solar panels will become the most shared form of micro-electricity generation, overtaking petrol and diesel generators. In fact the only real obstacle to solar strength closest becoming the most usual form of micro-generation is that many people don’t however know how to use it. This article helps cure this so that you too can assistance directly from this simple and free electricity production. In particular the article explains:
- How solar panels work;
- How you can wire them up simply; and
- How you can work out how many panels you need.
When panels produce electricity
First, a quick explanation of when panels work. As soon as any light hits a solar panel it begins generating electricity. The brighter the light, the more electricity it will generate. Solar panels are rated in Watts. This explains the maximum strength they will give when sunlight shines directly on them. E.g. an 80W panel produces 80W of electricity when direct sunlight shines on it. Without light, the panel will not generate electricity. Also, the panel will not store electricity. It is like a generator that turns on when light shines on it and turns off when the light goes. So panels are generally used with batteries, particularly if the strength needs to be used at night. However, for powering a pond fountain or fan during the day, batteries are not needed.
How to wire up a panel
If you have an existing system such as in a boat or caravan, discarded or anywhere you use a 12V or 24V battery for strength then simply wire the panel to the battery. If the panel is 10W or above it is best to use a charge controller in between. This prevents the panel from overcharging the battery when the battery is complete. If you are creating a new system – such as wiring up a discarded or summer house – then it is best to use the output from the charge controller. This can go into an inverter if you want 240V electricity like you would get in the mains or can be used directly by 12V appliances such as 12V lights, 12V fridges or 12V televisions.
How to choose the strength you need
Finally, it’s important to make sure you will have enough strength. In summer, taking explain losses such as not pointing directly at the sun you get about 3 x the panel rating in Watt hours of electricity a day. In winter you get about 1 x the panel rating in Watt hours per day. So a 20 Watt panel (whether monocrystalline, polycrystalline or thin film) will give you about 60 Wh of electricity per day in summer and about 20 Wh of electricity per day in winter. Similarly an 80 Watt panel will give about 240 Wh in summer and about 80 Wh in winter. Simply work out how much strength you will need on average, make sure your battery is large enough to store the necessary strength and then buy the amount of panels you need.