solar panel system for cabin

1 Posts
Aug 31, 2003 08:50 am
solar panel system for cabin

new to solar power...I need it for modest 12 volt lighting system for my 800 sq ft Alaska cabin. I plan to simply keep one premium quality deep-cycle 12 volt battery and use the lights for short periods of time when not using the propane light system.  How much panel do I need, and what type of crystal>??  thanks
Sep 1, 2003 03:55 am
Re: solar panel system for cabin

So many things should be taken into consideration; how many hours a day the module(s) will see full sunlight, how many watt hours of light will be used, budget, but one good thing about PV modules is that they are moduler. If you know the amp hour rating of your battery (at the 20 hr rate) find 20% of that. Example 220 amphrs.x 20%= 44 amphrs. Ideally you would want to keep the battery in this top 20% of charge. To replace that 20% the next (sunny) day lets pick a panels rated amperage output at random, 6 amps and divide the 44 amphrs. 44 / 6 = 7 So with that panel and battery you would need 7 hours of full sunlight on the module(s)something we dont have even here in NC. but I think AZ. comes close. But if you divide 7 hrs. by 3 modules you will only need about 2.5 hrs. of full sunlight. Find your batteries amp hour rating and start from there. Staying in that top 20% percent of charge will give your battery a longer life and better performance (brighter light) and a faster rate of recharge from the PV modules.
Sep 1, 2003 04:11 am
Re: solar panel system for cabin

I forgot about the crystal question. It makes little differance. Look instead at the modules working voltage ; 16.9, 17.4, 18 etc. The hotter the climate the higher the voltage needed. I started with modules that have a 16.9 working voltage which did very well in the winter time but not in the summer. The next set I got has a 17.4 working voltage, these work well in the summer and very well in the winter. I believe the next set I get will be 18 volt. This is in NC. with a 1200 amp hr. battery bank.

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