Solar Panel Installations
Solar panels can be a great investment that not only saves you money and increases the value of your property, but also helps the environment while it’s helping your wallet and bank account.
What is a Solar Panel?
Solar panels generate free power from the sun by converting sunlight to electricity with no moving parts, zero emissions, and no maintenance. Each Solar panel is made of crystalline-silicon cells. To protect the cells from the most severe-environmental conditions, Solar panel are made of high transmission rate and low iron tempered glass, anti-aging encapsulation material, and high climate resistant and insulation back sheet by hot lamination, with anodized aluminum alloy frame and junction box. The photons (light particles) produce an electrical current as they strike the surface of the thin silicon wafers. A single solar cell produces only about 1/2 (.5) of a volt.
Solar panels come in various sizes to satisfy a full range of applications. Solar panel are reliable, virtually maintenance free power supply, designed to operate efficiently in sunlight. By using solar panels, the solar radiant energy is transformed into electrical energy. Solar panel is part of a PV solar system. The set of a basic PV solar system consists of a PV Solar panel, solar regulator, solar inverter, and storage battery.
Solar panels can be used in roof PV solar systems, PV stations, building, and other electric generation application etc widely.
The mechanical and electrical installation of solar systems should be performed in accordance with all applicable codes including electrical codes, building codes, and electric utility interconnect requirements.
Solar Panels can be used on land except for corrosive salt and sulfurous areas. Excluded applications include, but are not limited to, installations where Solar Panel are likely to come in contact with any salt water or where likely to become partially or wholly submerged in fresh or salt water, examples of which include use on boats, docks and buoys. Don’t install modules in a location where it would be immersed in water or continually exposed to water from a sprinkler or fountain etc.
Modules are designed for a maximum allowable design pressure of 50 pounds per square foot, about 2400Pa, which may correspond to a nominal wind speed of approximately 130 km/h in certain circumstances. However, a typical 12 volt panel about 25 inches by 54 inches will contain 36 cells wired in series to produce about 17 volts peak output. If the solar panel can be configured for 24 volt output, there will be 72 cells so the two 12 volt groups of 36 each can be wired in series, usually with a jumper, allowing the solar panel to output 24 volts. When under load (charging batteries for example), this voltage drops to 12 to 14 volts (for a 12 volt configuration) resulting in 75 to 100 watts for a panel of this size.
Solar panels help to reduce energy costs, reduce emissions, and above all improve the efficiency of a home. Solar panels are part of a complex system designed to meet the power draw of an average home. When making the decision on your solar panel system, consider the dize and durability of each model. The power output can vary depending on the technology (single crystal, thin film, or polycrystalline) but in general, a two squre foot panel will output 50 watts, while an eight square foot panel will output 190 watts.
Actual maximum allowable wind speed may be influenced by module type, mounting configuration, location, and other factors. In no case should modules be exposed to pressures greater than 50 pounds per square foot of uniformly distributed wind, snow, or other loading.
When choosing a site, avoid trees, buildings or obstructions. Modules should be mounted to maximize direct exposure to sunlight and to eliminate or minimize shadowing. Even partial shadowing can substantially reduce module and system output. Furthermore, partial shadowing can elevate the shaded portion internal temperature, which may lower output and shorten module life.
Modules may be mounted at any angle from a vertical orientation to a horizontal one. The appropriate fixed tilt angle and azimuth orientation should be used in order to maximize the exposure to sunlight.
Incorrect orientation of modules installation will result in loss of power output. Modules connected in series should be installed at same orientation and angle. Different orientation or angle may cause loss of power output due to difference of amount of sunlight exposed to the modules.
Look for controllers featuring maximum power point tracking. This technology is in place to optimize panel energy production by changing charge rates at specific voltages. The controller should feature battery temperature compensation, this system modifies the charge reate in relation to temperature.
Other than the panels themselves, the second main component of a solar panel system is the inverter. An inverter converts DC to AC power and is required because the power coming from the panel array in direct current while a home circuit only accepts alternating current. Inverters must be judged on their automatic shutoff capacity, battery charging capabilities, and surge capacity.
An inverter actually runs off a personal battery bank to operate and must be able to automatically turn off when the load drops so it doesn’t drain the power source. In a similar vein, the inverter must be able to pass a portion of the panel power towards recharging the battery bank. Another factor to consider is that all appliances have a startup surge, especially noticeable in larger devices, the inverter must be able to handle this surge, multiple surges if possible.
Solar Panel Tilt Angle
Solar Panels produce the most power when they are pointed directly at the sun. For installations where the panels are mounted to a permanent structure the should be titled for optimum winter performance. As a rule, if the PV system power production is adequate in the winter, it will work well during the rest of the year. The solar panel tilt angle is measured between the panel and the ground.
Use fasteners to fasten the Solar Panel to the mounting support structure. Solar panels should be bolted to support structures through mounting holes located in the frame’s back flanges only. Stainless-steel bolts, with nuts, washers, and locks washers, are recommended for module mounting. Creation of additional holes for mounting is not recommended and will invalidate the warranty. Solar Panel should not be mounted by supports at the ends.
The mounting support structure should withstand forces from wind and snowfall. The support structure should also use proper materials and corrosive treatment.
Your panel should has proper ventilation. A clearance of 4.5 inches (about 115mm) or more behind is recommended to allow proper air circulation. Clearance of 1/4 inch (6.35mm) or more between each solar panel is required to allow for thermal expansion of the frames. Elevated temperatures can lower operating voltage and power and shorten the life of a solar panel.
Solar Panel Maintenence
It is not uncommon for a remote site to be checked just once per year. Under most conditions, normal rainfall is sufficient to keep the panel’s glass clean.
Clean the glass with a soft cloth using mild detergent and water. Panels that are mounted, flat ( 0° tilt angle) should be cleaned more often, as they will not self-clean as effectively as Solar Panels mounted at a 15°tilt or greater.
You should perform periodic inspection of the Solar Panel for damage to glass, backskin, frame and support structure. Check electrical connections for loose connections and corrosion. Check if mounting support structure and modules are loose. Check connections of cables, connectors, and grounding. Changed Solar Panel must be the same kind and type, if need. Solar Panel can operate effectively without ever being washed, although removal of dirt from the front glass can increase output. The glass can be washed with a wet sponge or cloth, wear rubber gloves for electrical insulation.
Solar Panel Safety Precautions
Solar Panel installation and operation should be performed by qualified personnel only. Children should not be allowed near the solar electric installation.
Avoid electrical hazards when installing, wiring, operating and maintaining the module. Solar panels produce DC electricity when exposed to light and can produce an electrical shock or burn. Solar panels produce voltage even when not connected to an electrical circuit or load. Solar panels produce nearly full voltage when exposed to as little as 5% of full sunlight and both current and power increase with light intensity. Do not touch live parts of cables and connectors. As an added precaution, use insulated tools and rubber gloves when working with in sunlight.
Do not drop the solar panel or allow objects to fall on them. Never leave a panel unsupported or unsecured. If a module should fail, the glass can break the panel. Such damage cannot be repaired and the panel must not be used.
When installing or working with a solar panel or solar panel wiring, cover module face completely with opaque material to prevent the production of electricity. Solar panels do not have an on/off switch. Solar panels generate high voltage when exposed to sunlight and are dangerous. They can be rendered inoperative by simply removing them from sunlight or by fully covering the front surface with opaque cloth, cardboard, or other completely opaque material. Is it advised to put the panel face down on a smooth, flat surface when installing or maintaining.
Every solar panel system utilizes a large array of batteries to store and regulate power flow to the home, but a charge controller must be in place to prevent damage from occuring. If the battery is full then voltage regulation begins and the power is cut off.
Solar panel systems offer homeowners more than a reduced carbon footprint, they also provide independence from utility companies. It is important to take your energy requirements and budget into consideration or you will risk getting carriedy away in the project.
The solar panel cost may vary, but the majority of the cost originates in the solar panels themselves, around 70 percent followed by labor, inverter, and battery costs. Its often less expensive to install the units at the time of construction. Depending on the system, the owner will have to invest in a battery bank to store excess power.
Your Lavitech project manager will help you select the best solar panel option for your building.