Due to the constant increase in energy tariffs and the stimulation of green energy in several countries, the question of organizing your own solar power plant has become urgent for ordinary people.
For this purpose, many owners of private territories and apartments are installing solar panels for the house. But not all standalone sources give the expected results, and some do not function at all.
Therefore, below we consider the basic nuances of using solar panels and a detailed algorithm of installation, which will allow you to achieve the maximum effect.
What should be taken into account at the design stage?
Before installing an autonomous power plant, it is important to choose the most suitable location for the installation of solar panels, their type, and purpose. Following these criteria, determine the parameters of solar panels and accessories. If you are going to use a home power plant to generate electricity rated at 220 V, then you will need these elements:
- Photovoltaic converter – allows you to generate electrical energy from solar radiation through a chemical reaction. Characterized by power per 1m2 of area, capacity, and type. The total number is selected depending on the needs of the consumer and the planned amount of generation.
- Battery – accumulates the electric charge received from the solar panel to power the devices in the dark time of day. Therefore, the capacity is chosen with a reserve, taking into account that in cloudy weather the charge will be much worse.
- Charge controller – redistributes electricity from the solar panels to the battery, and when it reaches its maximum, transmits the excess to the external network. In the absence of such a system, it reduces the electric power supplied to the battery to a minimum.
- Inverter – designed to convert the constant electrical voltage coming from the photovoltaic cell to the alternating voltage used in domestic networks. They also allow solar panel owners to sell excess electricity from a home power plant.
- Connecting wires – transmit electricity throughout the entire electrical network of the solar plant. Depending on their location, they have different requirements, for example, those laid outdoors must be resistant to external factors.
Despite the importance of each element of the home free energy generator, special attention should be paid to the choice of photovoltaic module, as the productivity and quality of the entire system will depend on it.
Choosing a solar panel
Three types of solar panels are popular as a source of electricity today:
- Polycrystalline module – is characterized by stable generation rates, regardless of the intensity of the sun’s rays. Also, solar panels based on polycrystalline silicon have a relatively low efficiency – from 9 to 18%, depending on the manufacturer. Over time, the efficiency does not decrease, but the disadvantage of polycrystalline cells should be a relatively short life – about 10 years.
- With a monocrystalline module – such panels produce electricity unevenly in sunny and cloudy weather, they lose power over time. But the efficiency of the autonomous power supply based on monocrystalline silicon is in the range of 12 to 25%. And the service life of monocrystalline panels is about 25 years.
- Amorphous crystals – used in flexible wafers, have a fairly low efficiency – about 6%. The maximum power declared by the manufacturer decreases significantly over time and can drop by 20 – 40%. Service life is quite low – no more than 5 years.
Choosing the place and method of installation
Optimal generation of electric current is provided under the condition of sufficient sunlight on the surface of the panel, so the neighboring buildings and trees should not shade it. The same applies to the way they are placed relative to each other – the upper or side panels must not cover their neighbors. Optimal power generation is achieved when the rays are perpendicular to the photovoltaic converter, which must also be taken into account when choosing a location.
The most common uses for installing solar panels are:
- Roofs of buildings – depending on the angle of inclination, solar panels can be placed either directly on the roof or a special structure. But not every angle of inclination is suitable for obtaining electricity, the optimal angle is from 0° to 40°.
- Freestanding supports – suitable for a house with a homestead plot, which has room for an additional structure.
- Walls – despite the horizontal position, the panel is attached to an inclined frame.
- Loggia or balcony – both walls and roof are suitable for covering with photocells.
In addition to the open space, do not forget that the chosen design must also be able to withstand the weight of the solar panel. This is especially true for buildings under construction or being modernized so that the same roof will not fail under the weight of the home power plant, solar collector, and other roof equipment. About the sides of the world, it is set to the south. Located on the ground, necessarily raised above the surface of the ground at least half a meter.
Note the accumulation of dust, snow, leaves, animal products and insects on the solar module significantly reduces their effectiveness. Therefore, the place of installation should allow for maintenance and periodic maintenance.
Stages of installation of solar panels
Once you have prepared everything you need for a home power plant, selected a place, and made a diagram of the location of the panels go directly to the installation. To do this:
- Assemble the frame – any sturdy material (steel, aluminum, or wood) will do. It is desirable to use durable options because the power plant will serve you for more than one year.
Depending on the place of installation, they can be made and assembled separately from the mounting pad, but the dimensions must take into account the dimensions of the panels in advance. Be sure to leave an air gap between the roof and the battery for ventilation.
- If the modules in the panels are not soldered together, be sure to perform this procedure. Do it very carefully, as fragile parts can easily be damaged.
If you have purchased prefabricated panels, in which nothing needs to be soldered, go straight to the installation.
- Installation of prefabricated solar panels does not require additional manipulation – the main thing is to fix them securely to the frame.
If you assemble them from modules, make a base of dielectric material with holes for ventilation, install the glue base and close with an airtight transparent cover.
- Solder the connecting wires – the panels can be connected either in series or in parallel, but most importantly, do not forget to install a blocking diode in the power circuit of each of them. This will prevent the battery from discharging back into the module circuit after the sun goes down.
- Connect the solar panel to the rest of the home power plant.
It should be noted that the position of the sun in summer and winter are drastically different, so it is very effective to make adjustments to the angle of inclination. To do this, you can provide an appropriate movable mechanism in the frame or support bracket.