A significant portion of our home electricity bill is caused by the light bulbs in our home. If we can stop that expense we can save a big amount of cash from our electricity bill. Using the solar panel is the best method for this. Lighting home bulbs (AC) using the solar panel is not as hard as you think. Because you only need a few equipment to build this circuit.
- Solar panel
By using solar panels we can get 12 voltage (DC) only. To light to the home bulb (AC), we need 220 voltage. then we have to convert 12v (DC) current to 220v (AC) current. For this, we can use an inverter. First, get the solar panel, and connect it to the inverter by wires. Then get the output from the inverter (AC) to bulb through wires. When connecting these items make sure to connect positive to positive ends negative to negative ends.
What is an inverter?
The inverter is a device that can convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). Using direct current (DC) we cannot use many household items. Most electrical appliances are made for alternating current (AC). Using the solar panel we can get direct current (DC) only. Therefore we are using an inverter to convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
When you selecting an inverter, you have to choose it according to the number of the bulb you want to light.
Example: When using a 500W inverter normally you can use 8 bulbs in 50W. If you use LED bulbs for this, you can double the number of bulbs.
How to select the best solar panel for you?
When using solar panels, we need to consider the number of bulbs we are using and the watt (W) value of the inverter. If we are using a 500W inverter then we have to use solar panels with a total watt value of 500W.
If you are using a couple of solar panels for this system then you have to connect each solar panels. There are two ways to connect these solar panels.
- Series Circuit
- Parallel Circuit
You can add solar panels according to any of the above ways and each type will have different results.
Wiring solar in a series circuit
When solar panels are connected in a series circuit, the output voltage increases but the amperes are not affected. Therefore we can not use this circuit for 12v inverter. If you are using this way to connect solar panels you need to calculate your total output voltage and find a suitable inverter that matched the output voltage.
Example: If you are using 4 solar panels and each panel rated 12v 5amps in this way. Then your output is 48 voltage and 5amps.
How to connect : Connect the first solar panel’s positive terminal to the next solar panel’s negative terminal. Do the same for all the other solar panels.
Wiring solar in a Parallel circuit
When you are connecting solar panels in a parallel circuit, the voltage does not increase but the amperes are increasing. Then you can use a simply 12v inverter for this circuit.
Example: When using 4 solar panels which are connected in this way and each panel rated 12v 5amps. Then your output is 12 volts and 20amps.
How to connect : Connect all solar panels positive terminals to the positive terminals, and negative terminals to the negative terminals.
Can we store this power and use it at night?
Yes, using batteries you can store the energy generated by solar panel for after use. Without batteries, you are not able to use power at the night. By using a battery and getting solar power at night you can get extra advantage from your solar system. If you install batteries to your solar system you can store excess power generated by your solar panels in a battery for after use.
If you are using batteries for this system you have to make some small changes.
First, you have to connect solar panels to the batteries through the charging controller. After getting power to the inverter from the batteries. Then inverter generates the alternating current (AC) to the bulbs as described earlier.
Why do you need a solar charge controller?
Even if you are using the best batteries to the store energy the battery still needs a device to continue cycles of charging on/off and stop the overcharging. Normally solar panels generate higher voltage than they mentioned. A 12v solar panel gives around 14v to 20v. and this higher voltage can damage the battery instantly. Therefore we are using a solar charge controller to prevent these harmful situations.
What are the best batteries for store solar power?
When installing a battery for your solar panels, you need to choose the most suitable battery for it. Because it’s difficult to change it afterward. There are many types of batteries in the market. Here is a quick review of the batteries.
- Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries (FLA)
- Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries
- Lithium Batteries
Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries (FLA)
Flooded lead-acid batteries have been used for over 100 years and are widely used as solar batteries. These batteries can be used for a long time and are relatively inexpensive. The downside is that the battery acid inside it needs to be recharged within 3 months.
This battery should be checked at least once a month. If you think it’s difficult to check the battery regularly, you can use a sealed lead-acid battery.
Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries battery
If you use a sealed lead acid battery you do not need to check it often. We do not have to refill the battery acid for that. The battery life is relatively short and there is not much difference in the price.
The lithium battery is the most expensive battery of all time. These batteries are also used in most of the mobile phones and laptops in the world. Although this battery is expensive people still buy this battery for reasons such as not requiring maintenance, large storage capacity, extended battery life, and efficient use.
When you choose a battery, consider the above factors, and choose the right battery based on your needs and financial capability.
How long we can use this solar system?
In general, you can use your solar power system longer than you think. But it depends on the quality of the equipment you use for the solar power system. If you use high-quality raw materials for this, you will be able to perform your tasks without any breakdown.
When we talk about the solar panel. The standard level solar panels also get 20 years warranty at least. To the best of my knowledge, it works without any issues for more than 25-30 years. An inverter also depending on the type of inverter you get, your warranty period will be at least 10 years or more (only for genuine products).
If you are installing a battery to store excess power make sure to buy a good quality battery for your solar system. Because you also have to spend a considerable amount of money on the battery. If you spend money at once and buy a good battery, it is a good investment for your solar system.
Do you need to maintain this system?
Often not necessary. But from time to time it is advisable to check your inverter. If it is dusty it causes your inverter to overheat. Also, if your system crashes, first look at the wiring system that you have installed on your solar panels. As it gets older, it may need to be repaired.