If you are planning to reduce your carbon emissions this year, one of the best things that you could do is to invest in a solar power system.
The solar panels are the most important parts of the power system, and it makes use of solar energy from the sun to generate a photoelectric effect, which results in the production of electricity. The generated voltage specific to the panel is then transmitted to the battery as direct electric current, from where it will charge the battery bank.
But between the battery bank to power your appliances, some integral process needs to take place – the direct electric current/ DC current must be converted into an alternating electric current, AC. This conversion takes place in the converter, the other important component of the solar powering system.
Note, however, that the inverter is incomplete on its own, and for the conversion to be done correctly, there must be a charge controller present between the solar panel and your battery. This controller is an important component that protects the battery from overcharging or any other form of damage.
To connect all these components together, you need to follow these steps:
Connecting the solar panels
The first step you need to follow involves connecting your solar panels all together. That is if you have more than one solar panel.
Note that the panels often come wired in the parallel orientation for the preservation of the voltage from each cell, but if you want to increase the total voltage from the panel for them to conform to your battery’s bank, you’d need to connect them in series.
You need to make sure that the solar panels have the same voltage output as the power output/ voltage from your power bank.
Connecting the leads from solar panels to the charge controller.
For this step, you need to take the outgoing leads from your solar panels then connect them to the charge controller. For this connection, you need to calculate the size of the wire that you will – the size is based on the output current, as well as the wire’s length.
Bear in mind that your charge controller needs to be placed as close to the batteries as possible. For the best results, make use of the DC wires whose size/ gauge ranges from 16 gauges to 10 gauges. The standard size ranges between these sizes.
Connect Battery cables to the batteries in the bank
In this step, you need to take your battery cables to ensure the connection of the battery in your battery bank in a series and parallel orientation for the optimization of the battery bank’s capacity, while maintaining the same voltage for the panels.
Next, connect 2 of your batteries in the series orientation – connect one positive terminal to the negative terminal of the other battery for doubling of the voltage. Next, connect these batteries in parallel – positive to the negative terminal, maintaining the voltage readings while doubling the current capacity.
Connecting the controller with the battery bank using the battery cables.
The best charge controllers have average voltage fluctuations for the panels, and the output will have a steady voltage (charging) to batteries. In this setup, the role of the controller is to protect your batteries from being overcharged, while also protecting an overcharge of the batteries. This setup is also designed to protect your solar panels from any current backflows for the batteries when the solar panels are not charging.
Connecting battery bank to the inverter
Here, you need to connect your battery bank directly with the input lugs for your inverter, then hook up the inverter into your home panel. Doing this allows the inverter to convert DC current from batteries into the 110V AC power that can power your house.
Note that in cases where your house’s panel is connected to the power grid, you could program your inverter to allow you to sell all excess solar power back to the local power/ utility company.
Solar energy is one of the cleanest sources of energy, but you need an inverter to convert the produced solar energy into power that you can use to run your appliances.
By learning how the connection between the solar panels and the inverters, as well as the battery bank work, you will be able to determine whether the system is setup for optimal performance or not. It also make it easy for you to determine the amount of power you are getting from the solar panels.