How Is Solar Power Collected into Batteries? How Is Solar Power Collected into Batteries?
Using photovoltaic panels, it is possible to collect the solar power captured by them and store it in batteries for a short period of time. After it is stored, it can be used to power appliances, electronics and lights in your home. In order to produce a large amount of electricity, many solar panels are necessary, but that does not mean you cannot cut into your power bill at home by installing your own. Even with the sunny side of your roof covered in solar panels, you can generate a fair amount of direct current electricity, convert it into alternating current energy and store it in batteries. It may not get you off the grid, but it will reduce the amount of power you use from external sources.
How Solar Panels Work
Basically, solar panels work by capturing the sun’s energy in groups of cells positioned together in a panel. The solar energy in the form of protons which free neutrons stored in the solar cells. The neutrons are thus channeled through wires attached to the cells into an energy converter. The energy that is produced in the solar cells is direct current. It is converted into alternating current, making it useful to power electronics, lights and appliances in your home.
How to Store Solar Energy
It may be the case that not every bit of energy generated by solar panels can be used right away. You may want to store some of the power in batteries wired to the solar panels. As the power is generated, it is converted and transferred directly to waiting batteries, ready to be used at a later time. In order to do this, there are some calculations you have to make. With a home energy monitor, you can determine how many kilowatt hours your home requires in a given day. You need to know how many hours of sunlight are available. This, of course, will change with the season and be in part dependent on the weather. From there, calculate the total watt capacity of your solar power system by dividing daily kilowatt hours by total sunlight hours and multiply by 1.25. As an example:
A home that uses 40,000 watt hours per day, divided by 12 hours of sunlight equals approximately 3,333. That number multiplied by 1.25 equals 4,162 which is the total watt capacity of the home.
Determine the capacity of each solar panel to know how many solar panels you will need to produce this kind of power. First, the power produced needs to be converted into alternating current. After that, determine the size of the battery bank you need to store the power produced by the panels. Total amp hours must be calculated in order to properly determine the battery capacity. Daily energy use divided by 12 (the voltage of the battery) will give you the amp hours. Multiplied by the number of days you want to store power will give you total amp use.
From there, determine the battery capacity size and the size of the charge controller. A charge controller is necessary on the battery so its life is not cut short.
The mathematics can get a bit confusing when calculating all of your needs, but when you have the solar panels up and running, it is a small step to storing the power that is produced. By storing solar power in batteries, you can power your home even when it is perfectly dark or overcast outside.