Last week we talked about batteries and how to choose the one that fits you best. Now it’s time to talk about the other components of an electrical solar power system. When he first started to make changes in his life so that he can go green, my neighbor Bob wasn’t aware of what are the components he needs to accomplish that.
He learned that a solar panel system is made up of more than just the solar panels. In addition to a series of solar panels and solar cells, a full solar system requires batteries, a voltage regulator, and inverter, and a cable system to connect all of the components.
Now, we talked about batteries last time. It’s time to focus on the other components of an electrical solar system:
The solar panels are the devices that collect sunlight. These devices are mounted to receive direct sunlight and connect to the rest of the power system. Again, choosing the right solar panel depends on knowing how much energy you need for your electrical devices. For instance, if you need 55 Watts of energy to power an electrical device, you can either install a 60 Watt solar panel, or you can install two 28 Watt solar panels that connect to each other. Your space and budget requirements may determine which configuration is best for you.
The energy that is generated by the panels is stored in the batteries that are connected to your solar panels.
You will also need a voltage regulator for your solar panel system. The regulator ensures that your solar panels will not deliver more energy to you batteries than the batteries can handle. In doing so, the voltage regulator keeps the battery functioning optimally by shutting the battery down once it is fully charged. Every solar panel that produces more than 18 Watts should have a voltage regulator. You only need one regulator, even if you have multiple solar panels. 8 Amp regulators are generally good choices for most solar panel systems, but if you have a 150 Watt solar panel system, you will need a 12 Amp regulator.
The inverter converts the energy from the battery to energy that can be used through an AC outlet. Simply plug your appliances into the inverter to receive an electric current. Just be careful, some inverters consume power, which will lower the overall power output received by the electrical appliances.
So this is what a solar panel system is made of. I hope this gives you at least some idea of what to look for in a store and what questions to ask, so you can get a picture of what budget you will need. This is an important step to take and it takes patience and research. This is why I thought that meanwhile, you can try to lower your electricity bill. Bob gave me some great easy tips last year which really worked for me, and I’m gonna pass them on to you next time!