Friday, May 10, 2013

What is needed for Solar Power System Installation

General Requirement of Solar Panel Installation at homes

Are you planning to install solar power system for your house?  Do you know what is required and where to start?  If you plan to install a solar power system for your house, then you need to know some basic requirements for installing solar power system.

Besides from installing solar panels on the roof top, some additional equipments are needed for providing power to your house from solar energy.  Once you buy all the equipments and install the solar panels and they are working, there will be little or no maintenance and no additional cost.  Let us now see what is the general requirement for installation of Solar Energy system.

Once you have a general understanding of how the solar energy system functions, it will be much easier to choose the right parts.  In this article you can see the brief description of a standard grid tie system ( or on the grid system).  Staying connected to the power grid means that you still receive the power from the utility company and you can even sell your excess power back to the utility company.

What are the main components of a solar energy system for your house

In the on the grid system,  the electricity is generated by many solar modules ( or PV solar panels).   There will be a shut off switch which separates the panels from the rest of the system.  This is required for you to be safe in case of any repairs.  The next equipment in the list is the solar inverter which turns the Direct Current (DC) from solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) for the house.  From the inverter, the power goes to the circuit breaker box and distributed through out the house. A power meter which is capable of measuring power going into or being pulled from the grid will measure amount of electricity which is needed or sold back to utility company.

Choosing the correct solar panels

You are supposed to know few basic things before proceeding to design the solar power system for your house..  You should know how much energy is needed to be produced, amount of space available on roof top,  and what you can afford to buy.   The best starting place is to know how much you consume in a month.  With this information, you can estimate what is the size of solar array is needed to produce the required amount of energy, or how much energy can be produced in a given place available or how much can be produced with the money you have.

Once you know about your monthly target output in KWh, it is very easy to calculate the size of solar array needed.  An average house may need about 600 KWh every month but it differs from place to place.  Divide this number by the peak sun hours you receive each day to know the size of your solar system.  The Peak Sun Hours are the number of hours per day where the solar irradiance equals to 1000 watts/square meter.  The average peak sun hours at any place is 5 hours.  An example would be,  if you use 1000 watts daily, and you receive 5 hours of sun light per day, then you need a 200 watt panel to completely cover your usage. 

Now take your monthly KWh number ( 600 Kwh) / 30 days / month = 20 Kwh per day. Do you know what size of solar array makes 30 KWh per day?  This depends on peak sun and let us take it as 5 hours.  So 20 KWh / 5 peak sun hours = 4 KW array or 4000 watts.  For a 4000 watts array, you need 20 Nos. of 200 Watt panels, or 16 Nos. of 250 Watts panels. 


Now you know how much power is needed, start designing the solar array.  There are two different kinds of solar panels. -  traditional crystalline solar modules and thin film solar panels.
Crystalline are large modules and expensive but more efficient than thin film panels,  The thin film models comes on a flexible roll of metal or plastic which can be applied on any flat surface like metal roof.   It is very simple to install this kind of panels.  But if the place is less on the roof top, then choose the high-efficiency crystalline panels.

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