Solar panels to run AC [1,1.5,2,3,4 5Ton]
Solar panels are trending since 2014 and since then more and more people are showing interest in them. The questions related to solar panels become more and more exciting. I find excited about these questions is most people are concerned about how many solar panels are needed to power their heaviest load. And for most of the time, the heaviest load in a home is Air Conditioner.
Here I am going to answer one of my favourite questions which is “How many solar panels are needed to run an AC?”
For each one ton of capacity, AC consumes 1 unit of power per hour and to run the same for 8 to 20 Hours daily with solar panels you will need 5 to 12 numbers of 330 Watt solar panels with a grid-tie inverter and net-metering. Also, we can say that you will need a 1.6 kW to 4 kW grid-tied [also known as a grid-connected] solar power plant with net metering.
Since batteries are still expensive and they need time-to-time maintenance as well as replacement. It is not recommended to go with a solar power plant having battery backup (these solar power plants are also known as off-grid solar power plants, learn more) as long as grid power is available.
What is a Gird-tied solar power plant?
Sunshine is available for 5 to 8 hours only but our requirement for electricity is for 24 Hours. To use solar power for 24 hours of requirement we need to have a solar power plant big enough to produce excess power more than our daytime requirement and a way to store this excess power for night usage.
To store this excess power, batteries could be an option, but storing electricity in batteries is still expensive. The reliability of solar energy is completely weather-dependent, leading us to blackouts on certain days of the year.
To overcome these issues, string inverters (also called on-grid or grid-tied inverters) have been developed, which convert DC (direct current) power generated by solar panels into AC (Alternate Current) power in synchronization with grid power.
A benefit of synchronization of solar power with the grid is that if we generate more power excess than our daytime requirement, this excess power can reverse feedback to the grid. In simple words, excess power from the solar power plants will be exported to the grid.
And this exported power will be subtracted from the power you will use at night. Hence your gird will become a huge battery for you and you don’t even need to pay for it.
When the sun goes down, a gird-tied solar power plant becomes unable to produce electricity. Hence we need to use the power from the grid and the amount of power we use at night will be compensated by the power we injected into the grid during the daytime.
The above diagram shows the typical connection of Grid-tied [on-grid]
Now, to subtract the power exported to the grid from the power imported from the grid, you will require “Net-metering”.
If the net-metering is not available in your state and you are looking for a battery-less on-grid solar power plant. I highly recommend you to read our blog on “Solar without net-metering”.
Power consumption by AC [1 ton, 1.5 ton, 2 ton, 3 ton, 4 ton and 5 ton]
As I already mentioned each ton of AC consumes 1 unit of power per hour, which means that if you want to run a 2-ton AC for 8 hours per day the total power consumption by the 2 Ton AC in a day will be equal to [2×8 =] 16 unit [or 16kWh].
Similarly, we can calculate the power consumption by different ratings of AC [that is 1 ton, 1.5 ton, 2 ton, 3 ton, 4 ton and 5 ton] running for different hours daily. Refer to the below table showing the same.
As you can see from the above table running an AC is very expensive and installing a solar power plant to run it will be expensive too.
Whether solar panels are in your budget or not I highly recommend you to read our blog on “15 low-cost tips to reduce the power consumption of AC”.
Sizing of Solar panels to run AC
Power generation from solar panels is dependent upon the sunshine time, pollution level shadow free area and tilting angle.
Now considering, a 100% shadow-free area, low pollution level, and right tilting angle then 1kW of Solar panels (330Wat x 3) will generate 5-6 units of power in 7 to 8 hours of sunshine.
To run 1 ton of AC for 8 hours, you will require number of solar panels that generate (1 x 8 = 8 Units) 8 units of power [that is 8kWh] per day. Hence the size of a gird-tie solar power plant required to generate 40 Units of power = 8/5 = 1.6kW
Solar panels come in various sizes like 330Watt, 325Watt and 360Watt etc, so the numbers of solar panels required can be different for different ratings of solar panels.
Since 330Watt of solar panels is popular these days, we can conclude that 5 numbers 330 Watt solar panels are needed to run 1 ton of AC for 8 hours daily.
Similarly, we can calculate the size of the grid-tied solar power plant needed to run different capacities of AC for different time periods. Refer to the below table showing the same for ease of your understanding.
Solar Panels need to run 1 Ton AC
To run a 1-ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 5 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 7 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.
Solar Panels need to run 1.5 Ton AC
To run a 1.5-ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 7 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 11 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.
Solar Panels need to run 2 Ton AC
To run a 2 ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 10 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 15 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.
ALL INVERTER PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS. Shrego ProBTech (Online eXpert)
Inverter/Solar Online Technician. All Inverter/Solar basic problems are resolved here.
NOTICE: This article is published and intended for First Level Troubleshooting (FLT) only. It is advisable to seek expert’s opinion before carrying out major works on your Inverter/Solar apparatus.
The detailed tips given in this article are practical as they are gathered through years of working experience on Inverters, UPS, Solar and other power appliances, coupled with academic knowledge acquired through years of intensive studies in institutions of higher learning and professional bodies as an electrical engineer. Therefore this may be the last bus stop when you are searching for solution to all common Inverter problems.
All the major problems common with all Inverters are under these nine (9) headings plus (7) other tips.
If the solutions provided here would not resolve your unique Inverter problem or you have any problem not detailed here, you may as well contact us directly either through phone conversation, whatsapp, SMS, e-mail or
if you require the physical presence of our Technical personnel in your location. Our telephone lines are open 24/7.
- In case you need to contact Shrego ProBTech for free Technical advice, troubleshooting or complete resolution of your issue: Please call our Technical Director directly: Engr Shola Peters on:2347039745558(whatsapp), 2347045541814,2348053143834or mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you follow these tips it will save you a whole lot on repairs, cost of electricity consumption, maintenance, as well as system failure.
Shrego ProBTech Online….”Helping You To Grow Our Brand”
First, let’s define an Inverter
What is an Inverter?
Basically, Inverter is just a form of UPS but with longer backup time. It has an input source connected to mains from public utility source, or a Generator. The AC supply is converted to direct current (DC) by means of a rectifier on the Inverter circuit to charge the battery, which is DC. The charged DC battery is then inverted back to AC (Alternating voltage) via a step up transformer, which is what supports the load (equipment) during power outage, hence the name INVERTER. Ther are other Inverters too that do not incorporate the use of isolation transformer, they are called Transformerless Inverters.
Apart from the runtime, there are other features that distinguishes an Inverter from a UPS.
First, the switching time between the UPS and some Inverters differs.
Switching time for UPS is in the range of 0.5mS to 5mS, while for Inverter, it may range from 20mS to 500mS. This wide time lag may be noticed as power interruption by sensitive equipment.
While UPS is built primarily for short time data protection when there is power interruption, because it can perform voltage regulation at the output, some low grade offline Inverters on the other hand are intended primarily for backup only, but not equipped for smooth transition between power interruptins. In other words, they are not equipped with interruption-free circuits. they use some system of relay for switching. Such Inverters cannot guarantee data protection especially during power fluctuation or when power is out of range. It is simply garbage-in-garbage out meaning, whatever voltage comes in is what it gives out at the output. If the input voltage is poor, the output voltage will also be poor.
Since there is no real switching taking place in an online UPS, it is recommended to connect very sensitive equipment, like servers, switches, computers and other communication equipment to UPS/online Inverter.
Secondly, Inverter operates with external batteries because of their size in contrast to UPS. The size of charger in Inverter enables them to charge larger size and number of external batter(ies) than the UPS would do hence, Inverters are further distinguished by the size and number of batteries they can be operated with, which also determines the runtime during power interruption.
In summary, all UPS contain inverter circuit within them, but not all Inverters perform voltage regulation that ensures regulated power during interruption, as UPS would do. Also, while Inverters can backup for hours or days, UPS may only last for minutes or few hours, their major design is to retain power temporarily and prevent interruption only until the main power source is restored.
COMMON INVERTER PROBLEMS SOLUTIONS
Basically, all the major problems common with all Inverters and/or common error displays will fall under one or more of the headings listed below.
CONTENTS OF THIS ARTICLE
(1) Inverter Not Charging
(ii) Bad input Voltage or Frequency
(iii) Blown Fuse/tripped breaker
(v) Inverter fault (Board Issue)
(2) Battery Problem
(i) Battery Under Charge or Over Charge
(ii) Battery charges or discharges fast.
(iii) Battery voltage too low
(iv) Reversed Battery Polarity
(v) Corroded battery terminals
(vii) Loose battery terminal
(3) Inverter over load
(i) Loading Inverter above the rated capacity
(ii) Short-circuit condition
(7) Output overload/short circuit
(11) Inverter is shocking.
(12) Why battery may fail easily ( For Inverter/UPS)
(16) Cost effectiveness of using Inverter/Solar over Generator
(17) Our services.
Now, let us go into details and what to do to resolve each of these problems one after the other.
(1) Inverter Not Charging:
There can be lot of reasons why the Inverter may not charge,
- No power supply: When you notice that the Inverter is not charging, the first thing to do is to:
(i) Check the power source to be sure that power is available. Be sure power is available from Public utility source of Generator. If available, check the breaker between the power source and the Inverter
(ii) Check the fuse in the plug, where plug is use to connect Inverter to mains power source and replace if blown off ( but be sure to detect what caused the fuse to blow off and correct where necessary).
(iii) Ensure that the input socket and plug are ok, and where the input connection is via a connector, ensure there is no loose or disconnection of the input cable(s).
(iv) Check the continuity of the input cable, to be sure the cable supplying power to the Inverter is not broken.
- Bad input Voltage/frequency: If the input Voltage or frequency is too high or too low for the preset value of the Inverter or there is power fluctuation, the Inverter will delay to accept the supply. Bad voltage may be corrected with a Voltage Regulator installed at the input of the Inverter, but the frequency has to be corrected by the public utility supply Authority or on the Generator. The correct Voltage and Frequency values and window of allowance depends on each country’s standard. You may set the Inverter to accept wider voltage/Frequency window if equipped with such option.
- Blown fuse: The Inverter may also not charge if the input fuse is blown or the breaker trips due to fault. Since breaker cannot just trip or fuse blown without a cause, the cause of this has to be ascertained before the breaker is reset or fuse replaced. In replacing the fuse, the fuse must be replaced with exact same rating otherwise, a major damage will be done to the board in case of another fault.
- Wrong Connection: If the line and neutral or earth cables are interchanged, the Inverter may not charge but come with error message on the display. Ensure that the Live cable go to the live terminal of the Inverter and Neutral to the Neutral terminal, same to the earth. Also ensure that the battery polarity is correct. If the battery is not connected or the battery DC breaker is not ON, the Inverter will not charge. Wrong connection can cause a major damage to the Inverter, therefore ensure that a qualified Technical personnel is employed to handle your Inverter installation.
Shrego ProBTech has a reputation for reliable, neat and affordable installations. Call today.
- Inverter fault (Board issue): In some cases, especially if the Inverter is not well protected from surge, there may be some failed or blown component on the Inverter board due to surge, it may also cause the Inverter not to see the input. Refer to product vendor or qualified Technician for repair. You may also contact Shrego ProBTech for assistance if you want to save cost.
- Battery full: In some Inverters when the battery is charging, the Charge indicator blinks but stops blinking and remains steady when the battery is full or near full, some customers inteprete this to mean that the battery is not charging. When the battery is full, the battery indicator stops blinking and remains steady, until there is a drop in the battery’s nominal voltage.
To confirm if the Inverter is charging, switch off the input to the Inverter and drain the battery a bit, say for 10 minutes or more then return, power to the input, the indicator should start blinking again for a few minutes before stopping again.
(2) Battery Problems
Battery is the major component of Inverter that needs to be carefully selected from reliable shop as their replacement is very costly and success of repair cannot be guaranteed.
When battery fails, one or more of the following can be responsible:
(i) Battery Under Charged/Over-Charged: Every battery has its charge/discharge cycle. A battery that is continuously under-charged or over-charged cannot maintain its rated lifespan. Most of the modern day intelligent Inverters have over-charge or over-discharge cut-off sensor that ensures that the batteries are not unduly over-charged or discharged. However, most of the cheap (sub standard) Inverters in the market are not equipped with this intelligent device, which causes the batteries to boil when over-charged or cause suffation to set up when the batteries are constantly over-discharged and are not constantly kept at full charge. For batteries to serve their stated lifespan successfully without premature failure, they must be maintained kept charged at all times after use.
Another thing to consider is that, batteries must not be over-discharged. In-fact, batteries are not expected to be discharged below 0.5V per cell, i.e. for a 12V battery, minimum voltage to discharge the battery must be around 10.8V ( for the conventional batteries). Once it is below this, most intelligent Inverters will begin to beep to alert that the battery is low and after sometime shuts itself down completely to prevent damage to the battery. At this point, the battery must be fully re-charged before use, even if the machine fails to shut itself down. Many battery users complain of early failure of battery because they don’t know or follow this simple maintenance instruction.
Since it is not all Inverters that are equipped to shutdown or prevent over-dis/charge, it is advisable to seek technical personnels’s opinin before shopping for an Inverter; otherwise untimely failure of batteries will be a constant issue.
(ii) Battery Charges/Discharges fast: If the battery shows full charge too early meaning, it reaches its full charge earlier than usual, which consequently also determines the discharge rate, it may be the first sign that the battery is getting weak. A strong battery takes longer time to be fully charged and also longer time to discharge. However, in a battery array that involves two or more batteries joined together, failure of one battery in the string may affect the performance of other batteries in the array. The strength of all the batteries in a string is determined by the capacity of the weakest of them in the array. This also explains why weak and strong batteries should not be combined in a battery array. This shall be explained further under battery maintenance.
Another important thing to consider is when battery discharges faster but takes longer time to be fully charged. In this case, you need to evaluate total load connected to the Inverter to find if there is a hidden heavy load draining the battery. If a battery takes a long time to be full but discharges faster than expected, it may mean that there is too much load feeding from the battery. Shed some heavy loads and observe any difference.
(iii) Battery Low Volt: When the battery voltage becomes too low, lower than the normal voltage then it is time for replacement. One of the symptoms that will manifest is that the battery discharges faster than usual and also complete it’s charging process earlier than usual. When a battery shows full charge within a few minutes of charging, it is time to call a battery Technician to evaluate the voltage level or the electrolyte level, in case of tubular battery. For wet cells, electrolyte level must be checked every three months and it must be above the cells level. No other water except Distilled water must be used to refill the cells, otherwise corrosion of the cells and consequently failure will result. Most of the modern day Tubular batteries are designed with float indicator that measures the electrolyte level on each cell, when the electrolyte drops below the marked evel on the float indicator, it is time to top up the electrolyte,
Dry cells are maintenance-free, so all they need is to be operated under cool temperature and be constantly in charged condition.
Another problem that can cause battery to have low voltage is when the battery has been left in a deeply discharged condition for long without recharging, it develops what is called suffation which may be irreversible, and it may be impossible to revive such a battery again. A dry cell battery loses 2% of it’s voltage every 30 days if left in a discharged condition, while wet cell self-discharges as much as 10-15% monthly, that is why battery must be fully charged if it is going to be left unused for a long time. The shelf life of battery is very short, that is why it is not advisable to buy battery and keep for a long time if it is not going to be used. If a bettry is not going to be used over a long period of time,it is advisable to have it charged after every three (3) months and stored in a cool place. Heat helps in self-discharge.
(iv) Reversed Battery Polarity: Reversing the battery polarity will cause damage to the Inverter, especially the one that is not adequately protected. Care must be taken to ensure that the positive terminal of the Inverter cable is terminated on the positive terminal of the battery and ditto for the Negative (-) terminals. Also for batteries in series or parallel, the polarities must not be reversed. It is always advisable and safe to allow a Technician handle every battery installation.
(v) Corroded Battery Terminal. Corrosion of battery terminals is one of the causes of poor battery charging as the corroded materials forms a thin film of insulation between the battery terminal and the connecting cables hence reducing the current flow to the battery from the Inverter.
To reduce this effect, you can apply petroleum jelly on the battery terminals after scrapping off the corrosive substance or immediately after battery installation.
(vi) Swollen/Hot Battery. This is a situation whereby the battery gets swollen or bulges out as a result of failure of the battery. Such battery should be isolated from the array and replaced immediately.
When battery is charging, try and feel the temperature from the casing of the battery, if the Inverter is not equipped with battery temperature sensor. If battery gets unnecessarily hot, please, call a Technician immediately. A battery that hot during charging can explode, causing electric fire.
(vii) Loose battery terminals. If the battery terminals are loose, high resistance will be built around the terminal that will prevent or reduce the flow of charging current to the battery. This can result to arching (sparking) around the terminal and in extreme cases can result to fire. Ensure all battery terminals are firm.
(viii) Battery Electrolyte dry out. Tubular or wet cell batteries, unlike dry cell (maintenance-free) batteries needs periodic maintenance. The electrolyte level must be closely monitored and must not be allowed to dry out otherwise, permanent damage may be done to the battery cells and consequently failure of the battery.
(i) Loading above the rater Inverter capacity. Basically, most low grade domestic or industrial Inverters are designed for light loads- such as lighting, electronics appliances, and fan. Heavy high wattage equipment, like refrigerators, heating appliances, ovens, Air conditioners, electric motors and pumping machines are not practically suitable for low grade Inverters. Apart from some of these appliances drawing very heavy current from the battery causing it to run down quickly, their starting current can be a burden on the Inverter, causing it to shutdown under over-load condition or even burn the machine board. When calculating the loads to be connected to the Inverter, the total expected (maximum demand) load must not exceed the rating of the Inverter. Allowance also must be given for future load additions or for redundancy, so the rating of the Inverter must be a little bit above the expected maximum load demand, like 20% higher.
over, when calculating the total load, which is the sum total of all the watts ratings of each appliance to be connected to the Inverter, consideration must be given to the difference between the Wattage rating of the appliances normally written on the name plate and the KVA rating of the Inverter. Kilowatt is not the same as KVA. The efficiency value and power factor of the Inverter must be good. Since there is a difference between (Kilowatt (KW) Volt Ampere (VA) and Kilovolt Ampere (KVA), and most of the appliances are rated in KW while most Inverters are either rated in VA or KVA, some mathematical conversion has to be done to determine the actual kVA capacity of the machine. For further information on suitable Inverter size to for your installation, you can contact Shrego ProBTech.
Please, take note that some Inverters are also overrated that is, they are rated above their real capacity. For instance, an Inverter that has a label of say 2kVA can in real sense be just 1.5kVA or less. Some bubious sales persons even remove the manufacturer’s label and replace with cloned label with higher rating. This is very dangerous and that is why it is advisable to consult a Technical personnel before shopping for Inverter as well as every other electrical appliance.
Point To Note: Inverter or UPS should not be loaded above 80% of its rated capacity for three basic reasons:
One, possible future expansion of load.
Two, maximum efficiency of the machine. Loading machine to full load will lead to low efficiency (performance) and consequently pre-mature failure.
Three, many of the Inverters are overrated, and so may begin to show overload indication even at less than 80% loading.
(ii) Short-circuit condition. Another thing that the Inverter can sense as overload is when there is a short-circuit on the line. When there is a bridge between the Neutral and the line (live/hot) cables, the Inverter sees it as overload because it will be drawing very heavy current more than what the Inverter can handle.
(iii) Inverter Fault. Inverter can also show overload as a result of internal fault on the circuit board. Refer to competent Technician for repair.
(iv) Battery Low Volt. Another fault that inverter can translate as over-load is battery low volt. When the battery voltage drops below the preset value for the Inverter, it may cause the Over=load light or display on the Inverter screen to come up. If after recharging the battery the fault clears, then it is low dc voltage otherwise, go further with the possible conditions stated above
(4) Wrong Circuit Wiring and Cable Sizing:
Before installing Inverters, care must be taken to the theoretical calculations involved in selecting cable sizes and types as well as international standard cable colour codes, how the machine is connected to the load and the supply source. Wrong cable size is a potential fire disaster, loose termination and wrong wiring is another accident waiting to happen. Most fire incidents in homes and offices are caused by loose terminations or wrong (low grade or under-sized) cable. (see my note on Common Causes of Fire in Homes and Offices) for details on this. The current-carrying capacity as well as the colour codes of the cables must be carefully selected. There are American, British, German etc colour codes for cables which must be religiously followed. Also, the size of the input and output receptacles (sockets and plugs) must be adequate for the load demand of the machine. Breaker(s) or fuse of suitable sizes must also be incorporated at appropriate places for protection of not only the equipment but also humans.
Inverter load must be completely separated from the rest of the loads in the installation and appropriate isolation and protection devices such as MCBs and ELCBs must be used both for the input and the output of the Inverter. The ground cable of the Inverter must be terminated on the earth bar of the building, which must in turn be buried to the general mass of earth.
(5) Inverter Displays Utility Failure (Battery Not Charging):
This problem occurs when the Inverter cannot get supply from the source. When this happens, the Inverter can only run on battery mode but cannot charge. This is accompanied by a beep sound that repeats itself every second (depending on Inverter configuration). A lot of things can be wrong, some of which are: blown fuse or tripped breaker, unavailability of supply from the source or bad input frequency or voltage. Another thing that can be responsible is a broken cable or open-circuited transformer.
The first thing to confirm when the Inverter displays utility failure or No input is: Availability of supply from the source.
Check the fuse/or input circuit breaker.
If plug and socket is used to connect the input to the power supply source.
Check the plug and the socket to ensure there is no loose or open connection and also ensure the fuse on the plug is ok.
You can also carry out continuity and short circuit test on the supply cable (to be done by a qualified Technician).
You may need to test the isolation transformer as well and surge module if available.
In the case of blown fuse, fuse don’t just blow, it is caused by a fault. The fault can be transient or permanent. You must first establish the anomaly that caused the fuse to blow in the first place before doing replacement, otherwise the same fault if not cleared will blow the fuse again and may cause further damage to the inverter. You may replace the fuse with the same current rating as the blown one or refer to a qualified Technician for replacement. Don’t use overated fuse otherwise, you may damage your Inverter. If the Inverter is equipped with a circuit breaker instead of fuse, you may reset the breaker only after the fault that triggered the fault is cleared.
In complex cases, the surge circuit of the Inverter might have been affected or some other power components on the board, in which case you will need to refer to your product vendor, Inverter Technician for repair, or simply call Shrego ProBTech for assistance.
(6) Inverter Over heating:
Inverter over heating can be caused by many things, but the most common cause is fan failure or overload. The purpose of the cooling fan in an Inverter is to provide a means of cooling for the electronic components on the board, which generates heat when in operation. The fan does this by dispersing this generated heat to the neighbourhood. When the fan fails,or the enviromantal temperature is too high, the heat buildup can cause these semi-cnductor components to explode and fail. For this cause, ensure that the room where the Inverter is installed allows for cross ventilation and is spacious.
Therefore, at every point in time, the fan must be working when the Inverter is in operation and heat is being generated. Most Inverter designs are equiped with thermostat such that the fan stops blowing when the Inverter senses that the room temperature is normal, the battery has passed the bulk charge stage and the load is minimal.
If it is the cables that are overheating, then the cable contacts must be examined for partial contact (loose connections) or overload.
Over-heating can also result from operating the Inverter in poorly ventilated environment.
This can occur when the Inverter is operating under abnormal working conditions. One of this is when the mains Voltage or Frequency is abnormally poor. This is more common when powering the Inverter with Generator. Most Generators usually have poor Frequency and/or Voltage problems which may cause the Inverter to operate under tense condition and can eventually lead to Inverter failure.
Humming can also result when the Inverter is abnormally overloaded or under short-circuit condition.
(7) Output Overload/Short-circuit:
This fault can occur when there is a bridge between the phase and Neutral of the output cables or between phase and earth. In such case if there is no circuit breaker incorporated at the output of the Inverter before feeding the load, this can feedback to the Inverter causing it to fail. If such fault occurs, first of all find a means to isolate the load from the Inverter, then change the cable and return the load back to the Inverter. If there is a breaker at the output of the Inverter, it must trip to save the Inverter.
Overload may also occur when the Inverter powers load more than it’s rated capacity. In such case, the Inverter will beep for some seconds and then shutdown by itself. Ensure that the excess load is removed and reset the breaker.
Some Inverters may also show Overload before shutting down when the battery is too low as earlier stated but, this error will clear off after the battery is recharged. When an Inverter shutdowns as a result of low battery, do not attempt to load the Inverter immediately the mains is present but allow the batteries to charge to some percentage before connecting the load back.
Overload can also be as a result of blown components on the Inverter board.
(8) Inverter On Bypass Mode:
In bypass mode, the Inverter can only supply to the load when mains is present, but shutdowns instantaneously after mains is off. This can happen when the Inverter is not properly powered up.
To power up the Inverter, depress the ON (power) button until the Inverter comes online or follow instructions on powering up. If it fails to come online after the ON button is depressed, then it may be a sign of fault or bad ON/OFF switch or even disconnected signal cable.
Also, if the dc circuit is broken, it will not allow flow of current from the battery to the load.
This may also be as a result of an internal fault within the Inverter.
Please, refer to a qualified Technician or the product vendor for repair,
(9) Inverter Goes Off Few Moments After Power Supply Is off:
This situation is different from Bypass Mode described above as it is not instantaneous. It is a situation whereby the Inverter goes to battery mode when there is utility failure but lasts only a few seconds or minutes, then goes off. In such case, confirm that the battery is ok, because a bad battery cannot retain charge and consequently will also not be able to discharge to the load.
(10) Inverter returns power to the input
When an Inverter returns power to the input, it’s a sign of fault. A damaged relay or AVR can sometimes be responsible among other components. Please, consult your Technician or Shrego ProBTech for help.
(11) Inverter is shocking.
A shocking Inverter may be a sign of failed component that is causing leakage, broken cable that is causing leakage and an unearthed Inverter. First, ensure that the Inverter is connected to the earth, and that there is equipotential (0V) or voltage less than 10V between the Live and Neutral cables.
FACTORS DETERMINING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INVERTER
There are some factors that determine how effective and durable a good Inverter would be. Under good management, an Inverter is a durable machine which hardly develops fault if operated under suitable conditions.
(1)Environmental conditions: Temperature and dusts play very significant roles in the performance of an Inverter. High temperature causes excessive heating on the transformer and other components of an Inverter. Besides, every 8°c rise in temperature shortens a battery’s lifespan by half.
Inverter must therefore be installed in a place where there is cross ventilation and free from moisture.
Accumulated dusts on the circuit board of the Inverter can also react with moisture to form a conductive film and cause short circuit, thereby damaging the board. It may even lead to fire incident. That is why it is essential to have your Inverter/UPS serviced from time to time by a qualified technical personnel.
You may contact Shrego ProBTech for preventive maintenance whenever you feel your Inverter is due for servicing.
(2)Quality of supply (Voltage/Frequency Fluctuation): If either of the two electrical quantities is out of range, it can affect the performance of an Inverter. Voltage fluctuation may be corrected with an automatic Voltage Regulator/ Stabiliser that compensates for the high or low voltage as the case may be or an Over-voltage cut-off device (Voltage Guard) that outrightly cuts off supply to the machine whenever it goes out of preset range. Allowable AC Voltage for Nigeria is between 220V and 230V, while some machines may still tolerate between 190. 270V depending on the design.
However, unlike voltage, frequency cannot be corrected by Voltage Stabilizer or Over-Voltage cut-off device; it has to be corrected from the supply source, i.e either from the AC Generator or from PHCN. Allowable frequency window for AC machines is 50Hz ±2. When this is out of range, the Inverter/UPS will reject it and the battery will stop charging until this becomes normal again.
I have had cases where clients complained that their Inverter does not backup for long when batteries are charged with Generator but does well when charged with public utility source and vice versa, my response has always been to check the frequency of the Generator being used for the charging which most of the times are far above or below the allowable frequency window. If the Voltage or frequency is higher or lower than allowable range, the batteries would not be charged well and the result will be low backup time.
(3)Wrong Cable Size and loose connection on battery terminals: Wrong size of cable for interconnection of batteries or loose contacts can cause fire and loss of life in the worst case or erratic performance/short battery runtime and lifespan in the least. Correct calculation of the cable cross sectional area to handle the load demand must be strictly ensured. Underrated cable size, especially when strings of batteries are connected in parallel can lead to insulation breakdown and consequently failure of the cables and the batteries.
(4) Inverter Size: It is important to ensure that the loads to be powered by the Inverter does not exceed the maximum rated capacity of the Inverter, otherwise constant breakdown will be the experience.
WHY BATTERIES MAY FAIL EASILY (FOR INVERTER/UPS)
I have been invited by clients to many homes and offices to come and have their Inverter/UPS batteries checked. Most of these clients complain of their batteries being only a few months old and yet failing so suddenly, could be as short as four months old. So bad. Whenever I hear such story, I am always full of pity for these clients who after spending hundreds of thousands on batteries, hoping to solve their power problems still could not derive the best from their investment. It grieves me whenever I hear such complaints. Many of these failures can be avoided if the user is given adequate information on why these early failures occur and how to mitigate against it. That is why I have taken my time to explain some of the commonest reasons why batteries may fail before their designed time.
Whenever a battery fails, it is easy for clients to assume that such battery is sub-standard or maybe it’s a refurbished battery, while this is true in some cases, in most cases it is not. Even some of the best brands in battery can fail prematurely if proper maintenance procedures are not observed.
Battery, like other apparatus is an exhaustible device meaning, it has exhaustible number of charge and discharge cycles, after which it will begin to degrade until the active materials in it is completely exhausted. Apart from this, battery also has a suitable operating temperature under which it must operate, above or below which it will be adversely affected.
Below are some of the reasons why batteries may fail before their designed time.
(1) SUB-STANDARD PRODUCT. There is no doubt that most battery products in the market today as ever are sub-standard, while some of them are refurbished. This is why selection of batteries must be carefully made. Most clients go for just any cheap battery their money can afford or find on the internet and expect to get the best out of them. The fact remains, nothing good comes cheap. If you are looking for something cheap, not like battery because battery is the main strength of your Inverter, without battery, there is virtually no Inverter. If it fails, your Inverter machine is just like an ordinary box. Fake Inverter can be repaired, but not a fake battery. That’s why at Shrego ProBtech, we always emphasize to clients, above other things to leave supply of batteries to us, and some of those who do otherwise have had to call us a few months later for battery replacement, so pathetic. We carefully shop for our batteries from trusted manufacturers directly, that’s why we can afford to give a year warranty with confidence.
(2) CHARGE/DISCHARGE CYCLE: Battery, like any other device has its own number of charge and discharge cycles after which it will begin to show signs of degradation. In other words, it can be depleted after the active materials in it has been exhausted. The time it takes to complete this cycle now depends on how much it is being used. A battery that is being deeply discharged constantly with heavy load may take a shorter time to complete its life cycle than the other that carries lesser loads and maintains full charge at all times. That is why we always advise our clients to avoid as much as possible adding high current demanding loads such as Refrigerator, water heater, electric cooker, pressing iron and Air Conditioner to Inverter. While this may work, depending on the power rating of the Inverter, the rate of discharge will be very high on the battery which may lead to premature failure.
(3) UNDER/OVER-CHARGING: One of the major causes of battery failure is over-charging or under-charging. When battery is constantly under-charged or left in low charge state for a long time, it slowly causes the lead sulphate in the battery to crystallize which results in the battery’s storage capacity being permanently damaged and reduces the battery’s active materials that is responsible for its high capacity and low resistance, this is called suffation. Reversible suffation can be corrected if the battery is serviced early by applying a specific voltage that helps dissolve the crystals thereby bringing the sulphate to its active state, but irreversible sulfation cannot be corrected. It sets in when the battery has been left in a low or discharged state for a very long time. This is why it is not good to leave batteries in the discharged state for a long time.
Continuous overcharging on the other hand can lead to electrolyte boiling and outgassing which will eventually damage the cells in the battery.
(4) LOW ELECTROLYTE: Battery also fail when the level of distilled water in the battery (Tubular) is low. Ensure that the level of electrolyte in the battery is not low at all time. Most of the modern day Tubular batteries are designed with liquid level indicator tht helps to moitor the electrolyte level on the battery cells. Ensure that the water level does not go down below the level marked as Low
(5) SULFATION: This situation as described above occurs when the battery is left in an uncharged condition for a long time. Batteries need to be constantly recharged to keep the sulphate active. A battery loses 2% of it’s charge every 30 days and if this is left for a very long time without recharging, then sulfation sets in.
If a sulfated battery is connected to an Inverter, even if it has never been used before, it cannot be effective again.
SIMPLE TIPS TO PREVENT BATTERY FAILURES
(1) HEAT. Keep heat away. Heat has a very damaging effect on battery’s lifespan and overall performance. In fact, theoretically, every 8 degrees rise in temperature reduces a battery’s lifespan by half. In other words, for instance, a battery which is designed to last 4 years if operated under 25 degrees Celsius temperature will only last 2 years if it is constantly operated under a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius. At Shrego ProBtech, consideration of the environmental conditions under which the battery will be operated is very key, that’s why our batteries rarely fail, more especially if other maintenance conditions as we have advised are also followed. Batteries installed close to source of heat, like kitchen will no doubt fail in no distant a time.
(2) SHORTING THE BATTERY TERMINALS: Some people try to test the capacity of a battery by shutting the two terminals (positive and negative) expecting a sharp spark. This action has a very damaging impact on the battery by weakening the internal cells of the battery, thereby reducing its lifespan.
(3) DIRT AND LOOSE CONNECTION: Dirt at the battery terminal or loose connection may cause high resistance at the terminals of the battery that adversely affects the performance of the battery. Keep the terminals clean and greasy always.
(4) MIXING BATTERIES OF DIFFERENT BRANDS OR CAPACITIES TOGETHER: I once met a Technician who wanted to install two units of 12V batteries in series for a client and mixed one that is 100AH with another that is 200AH capacity. I asked why he was doing this and his answer is simply, He go work meaning, “it will work” Truly this arrangement will work but the ignorance of the gentleman is that while this may work on the interim, the 200AH battery will soon be damaged by the 100AH. The simple logic is this, during the charging process, the charger has a sensor that senses the voltage at the battery terminals which it uses to control the amount of charging current to deliver to the batteries. So when the charger senses that the voltage at the battery terminal is approaching full charge, it reduces the charging current from bulk charge stage to absorption stage, then to float charge stage. So since the charger sees the two batteries as one, not two, while the 100AH battery is full, the 200AH is still hungry for charge, and the consequence is that the 200AH battery will not be able to reach full charge at every point in time, which as earlier discussed is one of the main causes of battery failure.
Also, during discharge the batteries connected in series have the voltage increased, but the current the same, so the Inverter choses the current of the smallest battery, which in this case is 100AH as the current to work with, since it sees the two batteriesas as one unit thereby reducing the backup time. So, it is wrong to mix smaller and bigger battery as well as new and old batteries together. The same is true for batteries of different manufacturers (brands).
(5) QUALITY OF POWER SOURCE TO CHARGE THE BATTERIES: I have heard a lot of complaints from customers that their batteries always perform well after charging with public utility supply but performs poorly after charging with their Gasoline Generator. There are two major explanations for this. They are the Voltage and Frequency. These two electrical quantities are so important to electronics devices that any pronounced variation from the standard will surely affect the performance of an Inverter and other electronics devices. While Voltage variation can be regulated with a Voltage Stabilizer, the frequency on the other hand cannot. So, while the Generator Technician may be able to set a close to perfect voltage during servicing, most of them have issue with adjusting the frequency. The voltage window may range from 220V to 240V, any frequency window out of range of 50HZ ( or. 2) is abnormal and may not be accepted by most of the electronics appliances. The same frequency that may power the Air conditioner, Electric stove, fan, iron or light may not be acceptable by the Inverter because of the semi-conductor components that operates the Inverter.
(6) ELECTROLYTE USED TO TOP UP: Use of poor electrolyte or miniralized water to top up electrolyte in the case of Tubular (wet cell) battery will cause corrossion of the cells and premature failure of the battery.
(7) BATTERY USE AND STORAGE: As earlier stated, if battery is not going to be used for a long time, it should be stored in a cool environment free from heat and in full charge condition. Occassional charging is essential from time to time say, once in two to three months to arrest battery self-discharge. Also, during use avoid over discharging battery and be sure to recharge after each long use/deep discharge.
#1 If your battery is unduely getting hot, it may be a sign of battery failure. Switch off supply from the Inverter and call an eXpert nearby to get it accessed and if necessary replaced. A battery that get abnormally hot can explode and lead to fire outbreak.
#2 Do not use Car battery for your inverter as it is not designed for that purpose. Car battery is designed for quick start as in the case of car starting, and not for continuous use. Besides, it is also not designed for trickle charging that the Inverter provides.
#3 When it comes to battery selection, the size determines the strength, This size comes in form of weigth, as size of the casing can be deceptive. In most cases, the bigger the physical sze and correspnding weight, the larger the AH rating. Typical AH ratings of batteries are: 5AH, 7AH, 18AH, 75AH, 100AH, 150AH, 200AH, 1000AH and so on. These values determine the capacity of the battery. The larger this value, the longer the backup time.
Apart from the AH value of battery, another thing to consider is the voltage. We have 2V, 6V, 12V, 24V batteries. The voltage value determines the number of such batteries to be connected together in a string to give the desired voltage to energize the Inverter.
TIPS ON UPS MAINTENANCE
UPS is an electrical machine that provides emergency power to appliances for a short duration of time when power supply fails. It does this backup with the aid of internal batteries installed in the UPS.
The primary purpose of UPS is for data protection in the effect of sudden power interruption or outright failure. For instance, it prevents computer or server from restarting or shutting down when power surges, sags or outrightly fails, which may result to loss of valuable and unretrievable data.
Some UPS also provide voltage regulation at the output such that even when the supply is unregulated, a smoothened output is delivered to the load. So in this case, UPS also serves the purpose of a voltage stabiliser.
UPS also helps to give longetivity to the equipment it is protecting, as it helps to cushion the damaging effects of erratic power conditions on the equipment it protects.
TYPES OF UPS
Basically, there are two broad types of UPS, Standby/offline UPS and online UPS. There are other types like line interactive, Delta conversion, Ferro-resonance and so on, but I will limit my discussion only to these two basic types common in homes and offices.
This type of UPS cannot guarantee data safety as it uses relay for switching. It runs constantly on mains (power supply) and switches to battery mode only when the voltage rises or falls below pre-determined value. Data may be lost during this short switching period. This type of UPS is available below 1KVA.
This type of UPS is used for equipment that are very sensitive to power fluctuations, such as servers, routers, switches and personal computers. For this type of UPS, no switching actually takes place since the batteries are always connected to the inverter. This type of UPS is recommended for data safety. Although the initial cost of this UPS may be higher than its offline counterpart, the maintenance cost is lower due to longer battery life.
Another advantage of this type of UPS is in its ability to provide electrical firewall between the incoming utility power and sensitive equipment. It can adapt to varying input frequency range such that the output frequency can be maintained within the acceptable window.
HINTS ON MAINTENANCE OF UPS
UPS is not an inverter; it is designed only to back up for a short duration of time, say 5 to 20 minutes on battery. Prolonged use may result in sudden shutdown of load and low lifespan of the battery.
UPS must be constantly connected to a supply source (PHCN, Generator or solar panel) and should not be allowed to operate on battery for an extended period of time. Doing so will shorten the lifespan of the batteries.
UPS must not be over-loaded. Each UPS has its capacity written on its name plate (either in VA, WATTS, KVA, KW e.t.c). Also each appliance to be connected to the UPS has its own power consumption or current rating written on it. Total capacity of these appliances added together must not exceed 80% of the rated capacity of the UPS. Over-loading can completely damage the UPS, or in the least throw off the entire load.
UPS must be completely powered up with the soft button before it can backup during power outage or fluctuations.
Ensure to shutdown the UPS when leaving home or closing for business. This will ensure that it does not run down on battery when there is power outage.
Ensure your UPS is serviced by an expert at least once in six months in an extremely dusty environment or annually in a less dusty environment.
Ensure that there is no loose connection on the UPS terminals. Loose connection is one of the primary causes burning of cables and in some cases fire outbreak. During servicing, tell the technician to check the terminals for you to ensure it is electrically sound and firm.
For industrial applications involving high capacity UPS, ensure that the technician to handle the installation provides adequate protection both.
COST EFFECTIVENESS OF USING INVERTER/SOLAR OVER GENERATOR
I was asking my friend a question this morning
The question was, how much does it cost to fuel your Generator?
His response was ₦1,500 (Nigerian Naira).
As a matter of fact, my friend has 2.9KVA Generator which he uses to power his house.
I interviewed him on how much he spends to fuel his Generator. Here is his response
₦1,500 fuel when ran for 4 hours per day lasts 4 days, meaning ₦1,500 lasts for an average of 16 Hours.
This means an average of ₦100 per hour.
If he were to use the Generator for 12 hours a day as I use my inverter (7pm to 7am), he would be spending a total of (₦1,200 X 7) = ₦8,400 in a week
In just a month, he would be expending ₦1,200 X 30 = ₦36,000 on fuel alone.
Now let’s get down to Inverter
An average Inverter battery under normal circumstance and with normal maintenance is designed to last an average lifespan of 4 to 5 years before replacement is expected, but to be conservative, I am using an average of 4 years for my calculation.
Hence in 4 years, my friend would be spending (₦438,000 per year X 4 years) = ₦1,752,000on fuel alone, apart from cost of Generator servicing and repairs and the initialcost of buying the Generator.
Now, with 1.5KVA Inverter, the total amount I will spend for complete installation is a lump sum of ₦322,000 for the 4 years that the batteries will last.
From these analytical calculations, it is obvious that the cost of running a Generator for just 8 to 9 months only has covered what it would require to install 1.5KVA Inverter with batteries that will last for 4 years before battery replacement. This does not include the cost of buying the Generator itself which is about.₦120,000
So with Inverter, I have saved a total cost of ₦1,430,000 (One Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira Only) overt the 4 year period.
Now, that is just the cost implication.
There are other benefits of Inverter that might not have considered, here are few of them:
(2) With Inverter, you can sleep throughout the night without interruptions brought by the need to turn off or to add fuel to the Generator.
(3) You don’t disturb yourself and neighbor with the noise of your Generator. Some neighborhood don’t even allow running a Generator overnight for security reasons. In such neighborhood, most residents are forced to endure blackout under extreme heat.
(4) You don’t contribute to environmental pollution caused by harmful carbon mono-oxide that is being released from the Generator exhaust.
(5) You don’t need to disturb yourself with turning ON and OFF of Generator every time power is interrupted by the public utility supply authority. Inverter automatically switches itself to battery mode and vice versa when there is power interruption/restoration.
(6) You don’t waste energy as you only take what you need from the battery based on the load, unlike the generator that burns fuel irrespective of whether any load is connected or not.
(7) You are immune to fuel scarcity. During fuel scarcity, you don’t need to spend your productive or rest hours queuing for fuel at the filling station.
These and other reasons are stated so that you can know how much you have been losing by not taking advantages that Inverter offers you.
This awareness campaign is from Shrego ProBTech.
INTRODUCTION: Shrego ProBtech is an indigenous Alternative Power Solution provider (Solar and Inverter) company that specializes in supply, installation and maintenance of electrical equipment across Nigeria.
We have a Vision: To cross from the shores of Africa to the global world, by delivering unparalleled robust renewable energy and electrical services to our cherished clients.
Our online provision of useful and free solutions to Inverter, Solar and general electrical issues has made us the #1 on Google search engine, and our effort is to maintain this #1 position which we have been maintaining since 2015 up till date.
Our mission: is to ensure that all homes and offices get quality, yet affordable power supply, through various alternative sources. In pursuing this objective, quality of equipment and workmanship is our non-compromising selling point.
Our aim: This online technical assistance is aimed at freely helping to solve some of the commonest problems arising from electrical power appliances usage and to introduce our prospective clients to all the alternative power sources available to them with a view to providing useful information on how to put these appliances to optimum use, so that every dime spent on them will be justified.
You can contact us for Inverter and Solar installation using the best technology and product.
We also render online assistance to Inverter/Solar users at no cost, and if need arises for us to be physically present at your location for Inverter/Solar issue resolution, our charges are reasonable. Enjoy this free service while the opportunity lasts.
Shrego ProBTech Online….”Helping You To Grow Our Brand”
What we say is what we mean……
Please, don’t forget to drop your questions/Комментарии и мнения владельцев as feedback.
For more tips/recommendations on Inverter and its maintenance or
To buy or install UPS, Inverter, battery or solar panel, please call
Our Technical experts on: 2347039745558(whatsapp), 2348053143834 or
E-mail us at: email@example.com.
- Inverter/UPS Machine: Recommendation, supply, installation and maintenance of
- UPS and Inverter BATTERY
- Solar panels and Charge Controllers
- Repairof : Inverters, UPS and Stabilisers
- Supply and installation of human and equipment protection devices and isolators, such as, MCB, ELCB, Gear Switch, and Change-over Switch.
- Supply and installation of Surge Arrestors both data and power.
We also do the following
- Electrical load assessment, drafting and design for residential, commercial and industrial premises
- House wiring and sophisticated electrical design and installations
- Electrical circuit fault troubleshooting and correction on buildings.
You can call us for any of these services and we will give you a satisfying professional experience at reasonable cost.
Shola Peters A.
Shrego ProBTech Nigeria.
Cell: 2348053143834. 2347039745558(whatsapp line).
How much energy does a solar panel produce?
While many factors affect the amount of energy a solar panel can produce, you can expect a typical single solar panel in the United States to generate about 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day, saving an average of 0.36 on electricity costs per day.
Now, 0.36 doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s just the energy savings for one panel over the course of one day. Installing a whole solar panel system, on the other hand, would save you more like 130 a month (or more!).
What determines how much electricity a solar panel will produce, and how can you determine the amount of one solar panel’s generation? Let’s find out.
See how much you can save by going solar
- Most residential solar panels today have a power output rating of between 370 watts and 400 watts.
- The average-sized solar panel will produce between 1.5 kilowatt-hours and 2.4 kWh of electricity per day.
- One solar panel generates enough electricity to power small appliances like a TV, lights, or device chargers.
- How much energy a solar panel produces depends on how much sunlight the panel gets, the panel’s construction, your roof’s characteristics, and even how old the panel is.
- Installing a whole solar panel system allows you to power your home with renewable energy, decrease reliance on your utility, and, most importantly, lower your electric bill.
How much electricity does a solar panel generate?
The average solar panel is able to output between 370 and 400 watts of power. This works out to a single solar panel producing about 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per day. That’s enough electricity to watch your TV nonstop for almost a full 24 hours.
The following table outlines how much electricity a 400-watt solar panel would produce under ideal conditions over the course of a day, a week, a month, and a year:
|Electricity production of 400-watt solar panel
How many solar panels do I need to power my house?
Let’s be honest, no one is installing just one solar panel on their roof. As mentioned above, one solar panel will produce roughly 2 kWh daily. On the other hand, the average U.S. home uses about 29 kWh of electricity daily. So, you’ll need a lot more than just one panel.
In fact, you’ll probably need at least 15 solar panels on your roof to generate enough electricity to cover your daily energy usage. That works out to about 6,000 watts of solar, or 6 kilowatts (kW). A 6 kW system will produce about 10,950 kWh per year. That’s enough electricity to cover the average household’s electricity usage and potentially eliminate a 135 electricity bill.
The actual number of solar panels you need will largely depend on how much energy you use throughout the year. But it will also depend on your panels’ environment and the panels themselves.
factors that affect the amount of electricity that solar panels produce
We want to be totally honest with you, most of the time, solar panels won’t produce the maximum amount of energy possible. Solar panel specifications, like power output ratings, are determined by testing the panels in a laboratory under Standard Test Conditions.
Your roof isn’t exactly a lab, and the conditions it’s under aren’t always going to be ideal for your solar panels. There are a number of things that will impact how much energy your solar panel is generating.
Amount of sunlight
The amount of sunlight that hits a solar panel is one of the biggest factors in how much electricity it will generate. The more sunlight available to the panel, the more electricity it can produce.
This means you’ll want to install solar panels on an unshaded portion of your roof. You don’t want overhanging tree branches or your chimney casting shadows on your panels. Even dust and debris can cause your panels’ production to drop, so it’s important to clean your solar panels once or twice a year.
It’s more than just if your panels are shaded or not. It also has to do with if where you live naturally gets a lot of sunlight. Scientists use “peak sun hours” to compare how much sunlight different places get. Solar panels will be able to generate more electricity in places that get more peak sun hours.
The following table lays out how much energy a 400-watt panel could produce in states that receive different amounts of sunlight, assuming all other conditions are the same:
|Number of peak sun hours
|Daily electricity production
You can hear more about how weather conditions impact solar panel production in this video from SolarReviews founder, Andy Sendy:
The panel itself also affects how much energy it can produce. Solar panels are made up of solar cells, which are what actually turn sunlight into electricity. Today, most solar panels use monocrystalline solar cells, AKA the most efficient silicon solar cell made today. If you used a polycrystalline solar panel, it wouldn’t be able to generate as much electricity as its monocrystalline counterpart.
It’s not just about the material the solar cells are made out of – how much electricity a panel produces is also impacted by how many cells there are and how those cells are shaped! Solar panels typically come in two sizes: 60-cell solar panels for homes and 72-cell panels for larger commercial installations.
72-cell panels have more solar cells, so they’re able to generate more electricity, but they’re too large to use on many residential roofs. However, a lot of solar panel manufacturers today are starting to make 66-cell solar panels that are still practical for home solar, but the extra six cells mean the panels can produce more energy!
Manufacturers are also making more half-cut solar panels, where the solar cells are cut in half with a laser before being put into the panel. This increases the efficiency of the panel so it can generate more electricity. Half-cut panels are also wired differently than traditional panels, so shading has less of an impact on how much energy is generated.
Bifacial solar panels: Bifacial solar panels are able to generate electricity from light that hits both the front and the back of the panel. When sunlight hits the ground and bounces back up, bifacial panels can capture that reflected light and use it to make more electricity. These aren’t particularly useful for homeowners with rooftop solar, but they can be a great option for ground-mounted systems.
The truth is, not all roofs are good for solar. The characteristics of your roof are a major player in how much energy solar panels can produce for your home.
The number one thing you need to consider is the direction of your roof. The best direction for solar panels to face is south, so you’ll want to have a south-facing roof for maximum energy production. This doesn’t mean you can’t install solar panels if your roof faces a different direction. The panels will just generate less electricity because they get less sunlight.
The following table outlines how much electricity a solar panel will generate facing different directions if all other factors are the same:
|Solar panel direction
Assumes 400-watt solar panel and 5 peak sun hours
The panel’s age
The panel’s age is often forgotten, but it’s important to remember that your solar panels won’t produce the same amount of energy for their whole life. As solar panels age, they lose a bit of their ability to generate power. You can think of it as any other electronic you have. your laptop probably doesn’t work as well as it did the day you bought it.
Solar panels, on average, degrade at a rate of about 0.5% per year. So, by the end of a panel’s typical 25-year warranty period, they usually operate at about 85% of what it was initially. Don’t worry – your solar panels will still generate enough electricity to help lower your utility bills.
See how much it would cost to power your home with solar panels
How to determine how much electricity a solar panel can produce
So, now that we’ve covered what impacts a solar panel’s ability to produce electricity, we can get into the good stuff. figuring out how much power solar panels will produce for your home.
We’ve already established that there are a number of factors that are going to impact how your solar panels generate electricity. So for the sake of simplicity, we’re only going to take a couple of things into account for the below example, including:
All you need to do is multiply the wattage of your panel by the number of daily peak sun hours. A homeowner in Florida who installs a 400-watt solar panel can expect about four peak sun hours in a day. That means this panel would produce 1,600 watt-hours of electricity per day. Electricity is usually measured in kilowatt-hours, so you simply divide your 1,600 watt-hours by 1,000 to get 1.6 kilowatt-hours.
400 watts x 4 peak sun hours = 1,600 watt-hours per day 1,600 watt-hours /1,000 = 1.6 kWh per day 1.6 kWh x 30 days = 48 kWh per month 1.3 kWh x 365 days = 584 kWh per year
Bear in mind, this is a really simplified way of calculating how much electricity a solar panel produces. The actual amount will fluctuate day by day, even hour by hour, based on all the factors mentioned earlier. Use our solar panel calculator to get a more accurate view of how much electricity you can expect solar to produce on your roof.
|Solar panel model
|Estimated daily power production
|REC Solar Alpha Pure
|Candian Solar HiKu6
|Qcells Q.PEAK DUO BLK ML-G10
|Jinko Eagle 66TR G4
Estimated production of a single panel assuming 5 peak sun hours at STC.
Keep in mind, high-wattage panels tend to come with high price tags, too. This means you may have to pay more upfront for your system, but you’ll need fewer panels to meet your energy needs.
Power your whole home with solar to save money
Now you know how much solar electricity you can expect one solar panel to produce and how much a whole system can, too.
But the best part is that installing solar does way more than just let you power your home with renewable energy. it helps you save money. By using the electricity generated by solar panels on your roof, you don’t have to take electricity from your utility, which means they don’t have to charge you.
Most of the time, you can install enough solar panels to cover all of your electricity costs. In fact, that 6 kW solar system we discussed earlier could save the average American homeowner around 130 a month!
But of course, this is just an estimate. Just like with how much electricity a panel produces, how much solar panels can save you depends on many factors. The easiest way to determine how much solar panels can save you is by using our solar panel savings calculator below. Not only will you get a free solar savings estimate, but you can also choose to get in contact with vetted local solar installers to start getting real solar quotes for your specific home.
How Many Batteries for 1000 Watt Solar System?
Nowadays, various power variations are available for the batteries of the solar system. But in 1883, Charles Fritts from the United States made the first solar cell from selenium. At that time, no one thought that this technology would be so successful in the future. However, more and more people are turning towards solar technology. If you are planning to do so, this is a decision for life. You will learn today about how many batteries for 1000 watt solar system are accurate, how many batteries for 2kw solar system are required, and how many solar panels for 1000 watts are apt.
What are Solar Batteries?
Solar batteries are devices that store the excess electricity generated by your solar panels is the battery of your solar panels. This stored power is used by the solar system to power your home, lightning, or any other appliances that are connected to it.
How Many Batteries for 1000 Watt Solar System are Required?
A 1000-watt solar panel system is the most common range of solar power systems available in the market. Solar panel systems are dependent on the sun, but if you want to run them on cloudy days, you will need batteries to power them. Now your next question must be how many batteries for 1000 watt solar system are required? Well, it depends. A single 200-ah lead battery is capable of running a 1000-watt solar system for 1 hour, and larger batteries can even run such systems for longer periods. If your solar panel has the right voltage, even a 24V battery can be used. If fully discharged, a 12V 100ah lithium battery can also supply 2400 watts (but only 1200 watts can be tapped because of 50% depth discharge). These are few-watt equivalents for various 12V batteries.
- 100ah 1200
- 200ah 2400
- 300ah 3600
- 350ah 4200
- 400ah 4800
- 500ah 6000
In a solar system, any of these batteries can supply 1000 watts. The difference is just in the duration of supply. For example, a 300-ah battery with a 50% DOD has 1800 usable watts which is good an hour and a half, or maybe an hour and 45 minutes. On the other hand, if you use two 250-ah batteries that is 500ah or 6000 watts. Even with only 3000 watts available, the battery can carry a 1000-watt load for 3 hours. This must have taught you how many batteries for 1000 watt solar system are suitable.
How Many Solar Panels for 1000 Watts?
To supply enough solar energy to a 1000 watts solar power system or 1 Kilowatt you need 5 solar panels. This is the most common ratio for this wattage. Each solar panel will be 200 watts which will sum up to 1000 watts. Or you can use 10 solar panels with 100 watts each.
How Many Batteries for 2kW Solar System?
A 2000-watt or a 2-Kilowatt solar power system will roughly need 2-4 solar batteries. The number of batteries depends on their power supply.
- 2 batteries with 12 volts and 200 Ampere (Ah)
- 4 Batteries with 12 volts and 50 Ampere (Ah)
However, the number varies depending on the usage and time period for which you need a solar power system.
What is an Inverter and Charge Controller?
For a solar power system to work efficiently, only panels or batteries are not sufficient. You need an inverter to manage the power. A charge controller regulates the electricity flow from the Photo Voltaic (PV) generator or Inverter to the battery. It regulates the voltage and current supplied by the generator or inverter. It prevents over-charging and over-discharging of the battery. Therefore, it is also known as Battery Charge Controller (BCC).
Efficiency Ratings of Inverters
The efficiency of an inverter depends on the load of the inverter. Inverters with 90%-95% efficiency have high-quality sine waves. Inverters with lower quality modified sine waves are less efficient between 75%-80%. After this, let’s see how many solar panels for 1000 watt inverter.
How Many Solar Panels for 1000 Watt Inverter?
After learning about how many batteries for 1000 watt solar system, it is time to know about panels. A 1000 watts solar power system produces enough electricity to run a van or a small workshop. But for household uses, it is insufficient. Also, if you are looking for a house then you will need to get an assembled one because in the market the highest watt you get is a 400 watts solar panel.
Therefore, for a 1000-watt inverter you will need:
Do not forget to consider the space available for installation because 10 solar panels need a spacious area. If you have limited space, go for a pair of 5 solar panels. Now, let’s find out how many solar panels for 1500 watt inverter.
How Many Solar Panels for 1500 Watt Inverter?
The average consumption of a house in the United States is about 900 kilowatt-hours per month. According to this, a house requires 30 solar panels to meet these consumption requirements. For bigger houses, a 1500-kilowatt inverter is beneficial.
For a house with 900 kilowatts-hours consumption, you need 27 solar panels of 375 watts. Therefore, for a 1500 watts inverter, you will need 50 panels of 250 watts each. The power supplied will be around 12,500 watts. However, these many solar panels require a lot of space. So, another option is to use 3 solar panels of 400 watts each that will provide about the same amount of power. Now that you have understood how many solar panels for 1500 watt inverter, let’s further explore how many solar panels for 2000 watt inverter.
How Many Solar Panels for 2000 Watt Inverter?
For an inverter of 2000 watts, you can use 7 solar panels of 300 watts each. These numbers change on the basis of a load of inverters per hour. Here, a 300-watt panel is suggested as it will be high-powered, and the number of panels will not take up too much space. Also, it will supply sufficient power to keep the inverter running for 5 hours under five hours of continuous sunlight. For types of battery refer to the point how many batteries for 1000 watt solar system.
The efficiency of a solar inverter is increased by the wattage supplied. And the higher power generated by solar inverters is due to their large Photovoltaic (PV) cells. But this efficiency could be reduced on the basis of sunlight and sun hours. This explains how many solar panels for 2000 watt inverter are required. After this, let’s see how many solar panels for 3000 watt inverter.
How Many Solar Panels for 3000 Watt Inverter?
An inverter with this power can easily run appliances like television, refrigerator, fans, dishwasher, lights, microwaves, etc. considering that you add the wattage used by these appliances with the wattage supplied by the inverter. For a 3000 watts inverter, you can choose any one of the following options.
- 12 solar panels at 250 watts each = 3000 watts
- 15 solar panels at 250 watts each = 3750 watts
Here, 12 solar panels are accurately supplying the required power but since no one knows the availability of sunlight on alternate days, the power required may not be supplied at the end of a cloudy day. Therefore, to avoid this, a batch of 15 solar panels of 250 each is the best option. Also, it will save up some space. This perfectly explained how many solar panels for 3000 watt inverter are apt. After this, you should also find out how many solar panels for 4000 watt inverter.
How Many Solar Panels for 4000 Watt Inverter?
After finding out about how many solar panels for 3000 watt inverter, let’s further see how many solar panels for 4000 watt inverter are required. Well, if I tell you that a 4000 watts inverter will provide enough power to run your air conditioner, would you believe it? It is true because it falls in the highest power ranges. For a 4000-watt inverter, you have the following options for solar panels.
- 12 panels of 335 watts each = 4,020
- 16 panels of 335 watts each = 5,360
- 18 panels of 335 watts each = 6,030
The number of panels depends on the efficiency ratings, available space, and quality of solar panels. Also, proper installation is mandatory by experts to avoid accidents afterward because the power supplied by a 4000 watts inverter is dangerous. Now, in the next para, let’s explore how many solar panels for 5000 watt inverter.
How Many Solar Panels for 5000 Watt Inverter?
You were worried about how many batteries for 1000 watt solar system, but here you will know about 5000 watts inverter too. Before you move on to buy panels for your 5000 watts inverter, check your utility bills and make sure the annual average usage is near about 5000 or not. The number of solar panels required by a 5000-watt inverter depending on the availability of space and other factors can be as follows:
- 16 panels of 400 watts each = 6,400
- 18 panels of 330 watts each = 5,940
- 20 panels of 300 watts each = 6,000
A 5000-watt inverter can effectively run a refrigerator (100-200 watts per day) and a washing machine (800 watts per cycle). It can also effectively run a microwave oven (2400 watts per hour) and an air conditioner (3 to 4 watts per hour), along with other household appliances. With this, you have completely learned how many solar panels for 5000 watt inverter are required.
This article covered a variety of questions, like- how many solar panels for 1000 watt inverter, how many batteries for 2kw solar system, how many solar panels for 1000 watts, etc. After going through their answers, you must have learned a lot of new things. Now, if ever you are asked to choose batteries for your solar system, you know what batteries to choose and in what number.
Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet’s long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.
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What size solar inverter do I need?
Solar inverters are one of the most important components of a solar panel system. They’re responsible for converting direct current (DC) electricity from your solar panels to alternating current (AC) electricity to power your appliances. When it comes to designing your solar panel system, the size of your inverter will play an important role in overall electricity production. In this article, we’ll discuss what impacts solar inverter sizing.
How to determine inverter size
Solar inverters come in all different sizes, big and small. Similar to solar panels, the size of an inverter can be rated in watts (W). When it comes to solar inverter sizing, installers will take three primary factors into account: the size of your solar array, your geography, and site-specific conditions.
Size of your solar array
The size of your solar array is the most important factor in determining the appropriate size for your solar inverter. Because your solar inverter converts DC electricity coming from the array, it needs to have the capacity to handle all the power the array produces.
As a general rule of thumb, the size of your inverter should be similar to the DC rating of your solar panel system; if you are installing a 6 kilowatt (kW) system, you can expect the proposed inverter to be around 6000 W, plus or minus a small percentage.
Inverter manufacturers typically list sizing guidelines for the array capacity their inverters can be paired with on their product spec sheets. If the size of the solar array paired with their inverter is outside of the stated guidelines, manufacturers may void their warranty offering.
Geography also plays an important role in sizing your solar inverter due to its impact on the production of your solar panel system. Properties in Arizona have higher solar irradiances (i.e. larger amounts of solar radiation) than properties in Vermont; as such, a rooftop 6 kilowatt (kW) system in Arizona should produce more power than a similarly sized system further north.
Because these two systems will produce different amounts of DC electricity at a given point in time, the inverters needed to handle that electricity load can also be different sizes. In areas with more sunshine and moderate temperatures, inverters will likely be sized closer to the overall wattage the solar array so it can handle close to the maximum power output of the array at any given point. Alternatively, if your solar array experiences lower amounts of solar radiation or high temperatures that decrease panel efficiency, it’s less likely to produce that maximum power output defined by the DC rating under standard testing conditions (STC). In these scenarios, a smaller, undersized inverter may get the job done.
The site and design specifics of your solar array will impact the size of your solar inverter. Similar to geography, the tilt and azimuth your solar array is installed at will affect how much electricity the system can produce. Environmental factors (such as shading, dust, etc.) will similarly play a large role in how much sunshine reaches the array.
Solar installers will account for these considerations, equipment efficiencies, and more when estimating the overall production of your solar panel system. All will contribute to the overall derating factor of your system, which is used to help determine what your solar panel system will produce in a real-life scenario (as opposed to the STC specs determined in a lab.) Solar panel systems that experience more shade, are at a sub-optimal tilt, or facing east rather than due south have higher derating factors than systems on sunny, south-facing roofs.
Solar panel systems with higher derating factors will not hit their maximum energy output and as such can afford smaller inverter capacities relative to the size of the array.
Calculations for solar inverter sizing
The size of your solar inverter can be larger or smaller than the DC rating of your solar array, to a certain extent. The array-to-inverter ratio of a solar panel system is the DC rating of your solar array divided by the maximum AC output of your inverter. For example, if your array is 6 kW with a 6000 W inverter, the array-to-inverter ratio is 1. If you install the same sized array with a 5000 inverter, the ratio is 1.2. The majority of installations will have a ratio between 1.15 to 1.25; inverter manufacturers and solar system designers typically do not recommend a ratio higher than 1.55.
Below are some examples of solar inverter products and their maximum DC power output recommendation:
|Sunny Boy 5.0-US
A higher array-to-inverter ratio may work for your system if your solar panels will not produce at their maximum power output due to the factors mentioned above. The benefit of oversizing your solar array relative to the inverter capacity is that lower-wattage inverters will be less expensive than their larger counterparts. But it’s not advisable to oversize your array too much as it can cause clipping. Clipping occurs when your solar panels are producing too much DC for the inverter to handle at a given point in time. When this happens, the inverter will limit the amount of energy it’s converting, resulting in power losses from your solar panel system.
On the other hand, you don’t want to install a solar inverter that’s too big (i.e. has a lower array-to-inverter ratio) because your inverter is going to be most efficient if it’s running close to its overall capacity. If the inverter is too large compared to the array, it will not produce the desired amount of electricity.
What about microinverters?
With microinverters. the conversion from DC electricity to AC electricity occurs at each individual panel. Microinverters are smaller than large central inverters devoted to handling power for an entire system. As such, the size of a microinverter corresponds to the energy output of the solar panel it’s converting power for rather than the DC rating of the entire system.
Similar to central inverters, manufacturers of microinverters will list guidelines as to the maximum DC rating a panel should have if tied to their microinverter product. If you connect a higher wattage panel than the microinverter specs indicate, then clipping will occur.
Find a qualified solar installer on EnergySage
The best way to ensure that your solar inverter is sized appropriately is to work with a qualified, reputable solar installer. You can sign up on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to receive multiple quotes online from pre-screened, vetted installers. These EnergySage Approved installers will use design tools to make sure your solar array and inverter are sized accordingly given your electricity needs, solar equipment, property, and geography.
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