Solar Power Customized – Makes More “Cents” With Time!
The Seeds Sown Today Could Be The Fruits You Reap Tomorrow…
When you think solar, most people think about the costs involved; on installation and the overall cost of the system. But when you think of the costs of running a few lights and your TV, a fully integrated energy system seems a bit like overkill! But think about this… Do you really need a fridge to be plugged into the wall for it to do its job?
The same question could be asked of your washing machine, microwave oven, hot water jug and the list goes on… For the sake of running a few lights and a TV, you don’t need a fully integrated energy system to save a lot of dollars! For example; one of our projects involved a washing machine that was hard wired to a power inverter, which ran off of a single battery, which was in turn charged by a solar panel – we’ve never ever paid a cent to run that machine! That machine dropped off the power grid!
Where (How) Do I Start?
You may want to start really small and then gradually go bigger as your understanding for solar grows. As you discover ways to power other appliances, they too will drop off the grid, thereby saving you dollars!
For many people, there’s a daunting thought that goes along with going off grid as everybody is so dependent on the energy company as a reliable and constant source of electricity. But going off grid, doesn’t necessarily mean, you are no longer connected to the power lines and being still grid connected, doesn’t mean you can’t save big either!
Where to Next?
A one solar panel, one battery solar set up is the simplest way to begin and discover the greater benefits of solar; Plus, it’s easy! Click here to see our example solar energy configuration and the steps you can follow to assemble it…
It makes perfect sense to go off grid as energy companies greed grows even larger, reducing feed in tariffs to just a fraction of the actually cost of electricity. What that means is: The energy company will make a lot of money off, of any excess energy being generated by residential grid connected energy systems, while your only savings would be what you can generate for immediate usage! This knowledge should be enough to decide where the excess energy you produce is stored! Power grid or batteries?
Efficient Ways You Could Use Your Energy System
These days, there are a myriad number of appliances that operate from 12/24 volts DC, doing away for the need of an inverter. So before introducing an inverter to your system, you may want to first check out your 12/24 volt options.
In such cases you want to run appliances such as your washing machine, microwave oven, etc. You may need an inverter. How large and what type of inverter you may need, depends on a number of technical factors, as some appliances need large surge currents to operate, while others will run as specified. For example; an inductive load will need several times more power to start, than a resistive load of the same capacity: Compare a 1000 watt incandescent lamp to a 1000 watt motor.
With every off grid energy system, comes the potential issues involving batteries… For one, they’re not cheap! For each system, you must consider the loads your system is expected to run. 12 volt systems are fine in most cases, but when it comes to the more power hungry appliances, 24 or even 48 volts may be necessary…
Batteries for solar power systems come in several forms. We find the 2 volt battery system works best. Being that each battery is only 2 volts, 6 of those is required for a 12 volt system and so on… But they can get expensive, going for up to $2000.00 per battery! In some cases, you could get them at an auction for a bargain!
How Long Will My Batteries Last?
Considering you’ve done the math for the load you expect to run, it’s best you don’t run your batteries for more than 50% of it’s capacity. For example, a large 12 volt, 260 Ah battery, would rate in power as: 3120 watt hours (12 volts x 260 Ah). You could easily think a load of 1000 watts could be run continuously for 3 hours. But that could easily damage or considerably reduce the life of your batteries. In such case as our example, I would recommend just 1:30 hours continuous usage. This is why off grid energy systems can get very expensive!
How Long Will My Batteries Take to Charge?
Everything above in reverse! So if your system can get full direct sunlight for 7 hours in a day, then that (7) multiplied by the power of your solar panels is how much your panels will generate in watt hours. So if we had a 100 watt solar panel generated energy for 7 hours, it would have generated 700 Watt hours; or .7 Kw… In such case if you were to consume 700 watts of power a night, your solar panel will sufficiently restore it during the next day.