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How to Setup Solar Power: Selecting the Right Batteries

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 83

Properly sizing your batteries is an important step in learning how to setup solar power. Solar power derives energy from sunlight, so unless you're living close to one of the poles, your solar system will only be generating power for part of the day. If you don't have a connection to the power grid to supplement your energy needs, you will need a battery backup system that can charge during the day and provide power at night.

Batteries are engineered to meet different requirements. A batter that is perfect for one use may not be good for another. Batteries that are used in the solar power systems need to be able to collect a charge relatively quickly and disperse that charge over a longer period of time. By doing some research before purchasing your batteries you can ensure that the power charge and drain characteristics of the batteries match what is needed for your needs.

Unless your solar system power system is minuscule, you will need several batteries working in tandem to provide your power needs off hours. This series of batteries that are interconnected and work together is called the battery bank. By properly sizing the battery bank, you can ensure that you will have the right amount of power for extended periods of cloudy weather.

When you build solar power panels, the system will be sized for a certain number of watts per hour. When you purchase your batteries they will be rated for a certain voltage. A watt, is simply, one volt times one amp.

Watt=Volt * Amp

Or, another way of saying the same thing is a volt is a watt divided by an amp.

Volt=Watt/Amp

If your solar Power System was set up to provide 1320 watts at 110 amps (a common value in homes) you would need a 12 volt battery to get the same amount of power.

1320 Watts/110 amps=12 volts

It is important to size everything properly so that your power needs can be mapped during a time when your solar panels are not providing the power.

There are several different kinds of batteries, but two of the most commonly used in solar panel projects are wet cells and gell cells. Knowing how to setup solar power requires you to learn the differences between these two.

Wet cells, while cheaper, require much more maintenance and much more care to use. Wet cell counts excrete gasses that can be explosive and can also leak acid during maintenance. Therefore it is vital that if you use wet cells, that you place them on a concrete floor or in some other stable environment. The maintenance that wet cells require includes refilling them several times a year and to clean the terminals of any corrosion.

Gell cells are much more forgiving than wet cells. They require little or no maintenance. They won't leak, and there are no dangerous emissions. The major drawback of gell cells is that they are much more expensive than wet cells.

As you can see there are many considerations to take into account when you are building a battery backup for a solar power system. When you build solar power panels it is important not only to take into account the amount of power you will need, but also the power that you will store. To learn more about battery banks and how to setup solar power click how to setup for power now.

Source: EzineArticles
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