Do you want to install solar panels and inverters on your own but do not know how to? Well, all you have to do is to continue reading this article, and by the end of it, you will already have the answer to how to connect solar panel to battery and inverter.
It may sound hard, but connecting a solar panel to your battery and inverter is possible. You just need to have the proper materials first.
What You Will Need
First, we are going to need the materials below so you can start this solar panel setup with no bumps in the road.
The most important material for this project would be your solar panels. There are different solar panels. Standard ones can have 250 to 400 watts of power output.
The higher the power output, the more expensive the solar panel will be, but the fewer solar panels you will need. If you go for a 250 watt solar panel, eight of them would be able to produce about 2kWh of power, but you would only need five 400 watt solar panels to get the same amount of power.
However, the latter would be more expensive. Overall, it will depend on your budget and free space to install the solar panels.
Since your house runs on an AC circuit but your panels are DC, you cannot directly connect them with your power grid. That is why you need an inverter, so your solar system can connect to your power grid by inverting DC to AC.
But you have to size your inverter first. Determine the total power requirement you want and divide it with the efficiency or power factor of the inverter to find the VA rating of the inverter you need. Efficiency of inverters range from 60% to 80%.
So if you have a 600 watt power requirement and an inverter efficiency of 80%, you will need a 750 VA inverter.
800 VA inverters are available in the market, like the Luminous Eco Watt Plus 850 Square Wave Inverter.
When choosing the right battery for your solar panel, you will have to plan accordingly first. One factor that is sometimes overlooked is battery sizing.
Low-priced batteries may be budget-friendly, but we would say that it is not worth it if you sacrificed quality for it. You might experience frequent battery change if you do.
When looking at the voltage, you will have to determine the inverter’s specification so your battery and inverter need to have the same voltage.
But what should be considered the most is the battery’s cycle life. It will tell you how many discharges and charge cycles the battery can take before its capacity drops to a certain percentage.
Solar charge controller
Solar charge controllers will only allow electricity to flow in one direction. Because of this, it acts as a valve, stopping your battery from discharging at night or when there is no sun. It will also prevent your battery from overcharging.
Since we want a solar system that is off grid, definitely go for the MPPT charge controller.
Throughout the day, your solar panel’s voltage will vary, but an MPPT charge controller can convert the voltage to match your battery, increasing your solar panel’s efficiency.
Wires have to be sized properly since a wire is like a hose. If you have less resistance, the more smoothly the electrical current will flow.
We use the AWG (American Wire Gauge) to size copper wires and residential wires. You’ll have to find how many amps your solar panels, charge controller, inverter and battery are so you can use the proper wire size for each device. Here is a simple list of wire gauges and their corresponding amp capacity:
- 3/0 gauge – 200 amps
- 1/0 gauge – 150 amps
- 3 gauge – 100 amps
- 6 gauge – 55 amps
- 8 gauge – 40 amps
- 10 gauge – 30 amps
- 12 gauge – 20 amps
- 14 gauge – 15 amps
Different devices may have different amps, but generally this is what is used: 3/0 or 1/0 for your battery bank, 3, 6, 8 for your charge controller, 10 for solar panels, and 12 and 14 for your AC devices.
Step By Step Tutorial On How To Connect Your Solar Panel To The Battery And Inverter
Now that you have the proper materials with you, you are now ready to connect solar panels to battery bank charge controller inverter. So let’s begin!
Step 1: Prepare your batteries
Your batteries have to be charged first before you install them. Why? Because you want to make sure that when you first use your batteries, they will not be discharged to more than 70% of their capacity.
By charging your battery at full capacity, you will not run into the risk of over-discharging your battery, which lowers its life.
Step 2: Create jumpers
Once your batteries are fully charged, the next step is to connect each of them. Wires between batteries have to be large enough because they will be used in conjunction with your inverter, which will demand higher power. That is why people often use a 3/0 or 1/0 wire gauge.
Batteries are generally wired in a parallel connection so you can preserve the panels’ voltage. Connect the terminals of the batteries — positive to positive, negative to negative.
Step 3: Connect your solar panels, solar charge controller and battery bank
Before you connect solar panels to batteries, you have to set up the charge controller first.
You have to connect positive to positive leads and negative to negative leads on the battery and solar charge controller. If you have more than one battery, make sure you connect the positive of your solar charge controller to one end of the battery and the negative to the opposite for a balance charging.
For you to hook up solar panels to your solar charge controller, connect your solar panel’s adapter kit first. After that, connect the panel and the controller — positive to positive and negative to negative.
Step 4: Connect inverter to battery bank
Now you are ready to attach your battery to your inverter.
If you have multiple batteries, attach a positive lead to one end of your battery bank and the negative lead to the opposite and connect them to the same charges of your inverter.
Going green and joining the trend of using alternative energy is one of the best decisions you will make. You are not only helping the environment, but are also lessening your electrical bill at the same time.
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