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Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by sathob(m): 2:39pm On Jan 26, 2010
Well, great people, I think I should start this on behalf of George_D because of the request made by others who have expressed interest in alternate electricity, especially solar energy. Our independence is not complete if we are to suffer frequent power outages and been dependant on the nation’s electricity grid system always. I have read in this house many times, from members “PHCN don go off, so I will track later when they come back”. No one can run away from power outages in the main electricity grid – not even the west, it happens. Hence, we all should have alternate electricity and using renewable energy is, to me, the best. This means one can enjoy their independence fully by being totally free and not “dom” (dominated).

Look at some advantages
•Lower or no electricity bills
•Compared to generator users, there is no fuel cost and stress of getting it and no fumes.
•People living in the remote locations where power is unavailable or too expensive to hook-up too can have electricity.
Just to mention but a few.

Without going into detail, one can enjoy electricity by means of using solar energy (energy from the sun), wind mill (using energy from the wind). Don’t forget, where there is frequent electricity supply from the utility company, you can store some energy for back up.

You will need the following to complete a solar project or back up.

1. Solar panels
2. Power Inverter
3. Charge controller
4. Batteries to store energy
5. wires and cables
6. Monitors/meters

The solar panel consists of cells called photo voltaic cells and these, covert the energy received from the sun to electricity in simple terms (this electricity is a direct current d.c). The panels can last up to 20 years plus. The panels can be fixed, adjustable or of the tracking type. You can decide to go for a complete panel from manufacturers (already made) or build panels by yourself using solar cells- the latter is for the hobbyist. The panels are rated in watts eg 80w solar panel supplying 12v continuous at a given time

The inverter
Power Inverters are available in 3 basic designs, two of which I remember very well now – the one that out sinusoidal waves and those that are modified sign wave type (meaning not pure sine waves and do have limits when it comes to its application) . The power inverter converts your storage battery power into the 240 volts AC that runs your appliances. It is the heart of your solar energy system. Unless you only run 12 volt DC appliances you will need a power inverter to supply your AC. This is just the basics.

The Charge Controller
A Charge Controller is necessary to protect the batteries from over charging and supply them with the proper amount of energy to promote long battery life.

Batteries
Without Storage Batteries to store energy you would only have power when the sun was shining. There is a lot more to batteries than just the ordinary car battery. Yo may need to change batteries over the years.

Wires and Cables
Without the right size of cables, you are likely to experience inefficient transfer of power (greater losses) and overheating.

Meters
This is required to monitor the performance of your solar system.

Firstly, it is very necessary to know what gadgets you will be using (eg. tv, sat. receiver) and how long you will use them on solar power and how much energy your battery can store and which solar panel (rating in power) will supply the required energy to be stored or used.

A lot goes into calculating the cost of setting up a solar system. First one has to consider the period of usable sunlight available at their location to do this calculation. For us here close to the equator, we get about 7 to 8 hours or more of sunlight during dry season, just a rough estimate.

How do I know I need 100w or 80w or 300 watts solar panel for my project?

The power consumption of appliances is given in Watts. To calculate the energy you will use over time, just multiply the power consumption by the hours of usage.

Eg. If I have 90W tv set which I want to use for 6hrs, 25W satellite receiver for the same period, and a 50W fan for 3 hours. What will be the energy required from the solar panels for the period?

1. the energy for each appliance is Watts x time (hours) = Wh

So, the watt hours for the tv = 90 x 6 = 540 Wh (watt hours)

Watt hours for sat. receiver = 25 x 6 = 150 Wh

Watt hours for fan will be = 50 x 3 = 150 Wh         

2. sum the watt hours for the individual appliances ie. 540 + 150 + 150 = 840 Wh (watt hours)

This means that the solar panel will need to supply 840 watt hours of energy to the battery each day to cover the total power required by these appliances.

3. since there are bound to be losses in the system However, to account for natural losses, we multiply the result by 1.2 (this factor allows for natural system losses, assuming 85% efficiency). Therefore, we will assume the panels will actually need to be able to supply a total of
840 x 1.2 = 1008Wh

4. so, to supply 1008Wh of energy the panel we assume to receive 7 hours of sunlight will be rated at 1008  Wh /  7 h =  144W
So, I will need 144W solar panel to supply energy to my appliances above at the given time.

Regarding point 3, it also means, if I have a solar panel rated at 100W receiving sunlight for 7 hours a day, the total energy supplied considering 85% efficiency will be 100x7x0.85= 595Wh and not 700Wh

5. Your battery should be able to store 1008Wh of energy. Since batteries capacities are rated in Ah (Ampere Hours) you need to multiply Ah by the Volt rating to know the Watt Hour.  Power(W) = Voltage (V) x Current (I)  ; Watt hour = VxIxHour

Therefore Ah (which is I x h) = Wh / V = 1008 / 12 (the number 12 represents a 12v battery)   
= 84 Ah

So it means you will need not less than a 84Ah, 12V battery (deep-cycle batteries, not ordinary car batteries) to do the job.

NB. Another way of calculating battery capacity is explained in this example. Should my battery be rated at 84Ah, 12V the watt hour (energy) will be 84Ah x 12 V = 1008Ah

It implies that the battery can supply a 150watt appliance for 1008/70 = 14hours

Pls don’t just play around with batteries they are dangerous.

4 Likes

Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by Nobody: 9:26am On Jan 27, 2010
As a hobbyìst you mentioned,where,how do i get these materials in place n the costs, thank you,u are good.
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by uchesco4: 6:09pm On Jan 27, 2010
thanks is a good info.
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by SolarFob(m): 4:58am On Jan 28, 2010
hey, how are you, nice to discuss solar energy system with you guys here, this is Allan from China, we are professional solar energy company, and we've already helped my clients made some solar street lights projects in Warri and Lagos, also some small solar power plant, solar water pump projects, for your description, i have some different opinions, just for information smiley

1. you mentioned every day you have 7hrs sunshing time in Nigeria, yeah, this is right, but convert to standard time, it's around 5hrs in nigeria, coz during the morning and afternoon, the sunshing does not so strong, here in China, our averange time is 3.5~4hrs/day.

2. to charge the battery from solar panel, there has energy lost, coz we can only use DC17.5 OR 18V solar panel to charge DC12V battery, while the marked power of solar panel is just it's peak power.

3. abt the battery, we often use lead-acid battery, but it will be better to use gel type deep cycle battery, coz it can last for more than 5~8years! and in order to protect the batt, we not allowed to use all the energy stored in the battery, better to remain at least 20% energy in the battery, or the batt. will damaged very soon. this is determined by the specification of battery.

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by SolarFob(m): 6:52am On Jan 28, 2010
this is the diagram of home solar power system

1 Like

Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by SolarFob(m): 6:57am On Jan 28, 2010
it should be come with batt. bank

2 Likes

Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by Blog2010: 5:35pm On Jan 30, 2010
I commend Sathob for his/her extensive knowledge on the application of Solar Energy as well as raising the topic for dissatisfaction with the ‘norm’ of electricity supply from Grid system, so therefore,  I won’t touch on the technical aspects of solar energy components.  Sathob makes valid points that one feels its time for ‘Change’ towards renewable energy,  most especially Solar Energy due to the natural terrain of Nigeria.

Using solar energy allows us as individuals and organisations to reduce our carbon emission footprint that scientists argue, leads to global warming (I think Nigeria is hot enough already smiley) Unpredictable changes leads to risks of extreme weather, floods, hurricanes, or heat waves amongst many other natural disasters we tend to read, listen or watch in the news media.

Many argue the points that solar panels give off no pollution; the only pollution produced as a result of solar panels is the manufacturing of these devices in factories, transportation of the goods, and installation (which new technology and awareness is addressing).

Solar energy harnesses electricity in remote locations that are not linked to a national grid. (Am sure many African nations can relate to this wink) and some argue that the installation of solar panels in remote locations is usually much more cost effective than laying the required high voltage wires.

Solar energy can be very efficient in a large area of the globe, and new technologies allow for a more efficient energy production on overcast/dull days.

Solar panels can be installed on top of many rooftops, which eliminate the problem of finding the required space for solar panel placement.

Solar energy provides long term cost savings compared to grid connected power supply or the use of generators. (As we all know, how costly the latter can be, especially in areas with constant power disruption or non electricity power supply for long periods of time). Although the initial investment of solar power system may be seem slightly high, once installed, they provide a free source of electricity, which will pay off over the coming years.

The use of solar energy to produce electricity allows the user to become less dependent on the worlds fossil fuel supplies.

The production of energy from the use of fossil and some renewable fuels can be noisy, yet solar energy produces electricity very quietly.

Having raised many points in favour of solar Power, one feels obliged to raise points that should be considered and addressed by future generation, such as:

The initial cost of solar power which can make initial installation of solar power system costly, however this is gradually reducing with new technology and more competitors entering the solar energy renewals market.

Solar energy is only able to generate electricity during daylight hours. This means for around half of each day, solar panel are not producing new energy for your home/organisation but with larger energy storage batteries this point is easily combated.

Pollution levels can affect a solar cells efficiency therefore Solar power system needs to be approached from a holistic point of view of also reducing our pollution emission.


I hope this information raises awareness for change in our society.

3 Likes

Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by sathob(m): 9:46am On Feb 02, 2010
Thanks to all of you for the diverse way to help liberate ourselves when energy (electricity) is mentioned.
Originally, this thread was created under Free to Air Satellite (FTA) forum to help its members enjoy FTA to the fullest. Some few minutes after I posted the topic and its content, the whole thing disappeared. Honestly, I considered it lost or deleted I never knew the thread was relocated here and has received some attention. I came across it this afternoon when I clicked on updated topics button because I wanted to make a correction in the same topic I re-posted to the FTA forum. I really appreciate your contributions very much. I am glad to make replies to a few questions and comments put across.
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by sathob(m): 9:50am On Feb 02, 2010
@Aique
I live in Ghana and that will make it difficult to tell, where in exactly Nigeria to get these materials. But, I have friend in the FTA who knows where to the materials in Nigeria. It’s not difficult to get battery and if you know some electronic you can build your own charge controller and solar panel - there is a lot of resource on that. As a hobbyist, it’s good to start building your solar panel using wafer solar cell some of which are of the broken type. You can get the broken / whole solar cells from ebay and there good deals there.
You can get cables from electrical shops and meters from electronic shops.

@Solarfob
Thank you for the contribution which I believe will help us liberate ourselves. I think with your experience in the profession, you will continue to contribute to throw more light in the technical areas.
Yes, I mentioned everyday 7 – 8 hours of sunlight as just a rough estimate for those of us here on the equator.
I live in Ghana which is also close to the equator, so if you state the average sunshine period (this may be the effective sunshine to generate electricity) is around 5 hrs, though I am a bit sceptical, then it means one must have more panels to compensate the 2 or 3 hours.
I also think you should be of great assistance to Aique who will need materials as a hobbyist, by linking him to your contacts in Nigeria who deal in solar.

@Blog2010
Thank you, (I believe it’s sir ) – I am a “he” lol. You have said it all, though my inspiration is coming from the Free to Air satellite Technology section of nairaland, you have really said it all about solar energy and I advocate that we all have it, not only solar but wind energy too. This is all what renewable energy is about and you have said it. At the end of the day we liberate our planet from the natural disasters we are experiencing.

1 Like

Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by nonsog: 6:08am On Aug 26, 2014
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Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by c0ogumo(m): 4:29pm On Apr 19, 2015
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1 Like

Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by ogianyo(m): 7:23pm On Apr 21, 2015
Thanks for all the info. In Nigeria, how much will it cost to install a 4kva capacity system that van last for at least 8 hours
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by c0ogumo(m): 12:57am On Apr 22, 2015
ogianyo:
Thanks for all the info. In Nigeria, how much will it cost to install a 4kva capacity system that van last for at least 8 hours

If you are looking to install quality system.
I would say N500k to start.
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by pato405(m): 1:54pm On May 14, 2015
Thanks for the insight.

I have a question:

In your last calculation, you did 1008/70

Please where did you get the 70 from
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by Fyzt: 7:30pm On May 21, 2015
This inverter will Power Your LCD TV, BULB,FRIDGE,LAPTOP,FAN 1, UPS FUNCTION: it will change to city power (NEPA) supply, once city power comes. It wills automatic change to battery supply immediately once the city power gone .And there is no interruption time. 2. CHARGING FACILITY; it is combined with in-build charger, which can charge your battery with power voltage from low voltage of 130v to high voltage of 250v 3. PROTACTION: auto protects from both high and low city power voltage .it won’t over heat &spoil even charge with long time low voltage. And it will cut off automatically from high voltage 4. QUIET WITHOUT NOISE FEATURE: the inverter fan will stop running when the battery is fully charged. The fan will stay still when there is city power supply, and city power will be used directly.


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Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by c0ogumo(m): 12:46am On Jul 08, 2016
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Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by Demobanjo(m): 10:56pm On Jul 08, 2016
In your calculation, it seems you used the wrong number

it should be 1008/150

to give 6.7hrs

check http://www.solarknowhow.com for more
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by mindtricks: 5:55pm On May 05, 2017
sathob:
Well, great people, I think I should start this on behalf of George_D because of the request made by others who have expressed interest in alternate electricity, especially solar energy. Our independence is not complete if we are to suffer frequent power outages and been dependant on the nation’s electricity grid system always. I have read in this house many times, from members “PHCN don go off, so I will track later when they come back”. No one can run away from power outages in the main electricity grid – not even the west, it happens. Hence, we all should have alternate electricity and using renewable energy is, to me, the best. This means one can enjoy their independence fully by being totally free and not “dom” (dominated).

Look at some advantages
•Lower or no electricity bills
•Compared to generator users, there is no fuel cost and stress of getting it and no fumes.
•People living in the remote locations where power is unavailable or too expensive to hook-up too can have electricity.
Just to mention but a few.

Without going into detail, one can enjoy electricity by means of using solar energy (energy from the sun), wind mill (using energy from the wind). Don’t forget, where there is frequent electricity supply from the utility company, you can store some energy for back up.

You will need the following to complete a solar project or back up.

1. Solar panels
2. Power Inverter
3. Charge controller
4. Batteries to store energy
5. wires and cables
6. Monitors/meters

The solar panel consists of cells called photo voltaic cells and these, covert the energy received from the sun to electricity in simple terms (this electricity is a direct current d.c). The panels can last up to 20 years plus. The panels can be fixed, adjustable or of the tracking type. You can decide to go for a complete panel from manufacturers (already made) or build panels by yourself using solar cells- the latter is for the hobbyist. The panels are rated in watts eg 80w solar panel supplying 12v continuous at a given time

The inverter
Power Inverters are available in 3 basic designs, two of which I remember very well now – the one that out sinusoidal waves and those that are modified sign wave type (meaning not pure sine waves and do have limits when it comes to its application) . The power inverter converts your storage battery power into the 240 volts AC that runs your appliances. It is the heart of your solar energy system. Unless you only run 12 volt DC appliances you will need a power inverter to supply your AC. This is just the basics.

The Charge Controller
A Charge Controller is necessary to protect the batteries from over charging and supply them with the proper amount of energy to promote long battery life.

Batteries
Without Storage Batteries to store energy you would only have power when the sun was shining. There is a lot more to batteries than just the ordinary car battery. Yo may need to change batteries over the years.

Wires and Cables
Without the right size of cables, you are likely to experience inefficient transfer of power (greater losses) and overheating.

Meters
This is required to monitor the performance of your solar system.

Firstly, it is very necessary to know what gadgets you will be using (eg. tv, sat. receiver) and how long you will use them on solar power and how much energy your battery can store and which solar panel (rating in power) will supply the required energy to be stored or used.

A lot goes into calculating the cost of setting up a solar system. First one has to consider the period of usable sunlight available at their location to do this calculation. For us here close to the equator, we get about 7 to 8 hours or more of sunlight during dry season, just a rough estimate.

How do I know I need 100w or 80w or 300 watts solar panel for my project?

The power consumption of appliances is given in Watts. To calculate the energy you will use over time, just multiply the power consumption by the hours of usage.

Eg. If I have 90W tv set which I want to use for 6hrs, 25W satellite receiver for the same period, and a 50W fan for 3 hours. What will be the energy required from the solar panels for the period?

1. the energy for each appliance is Watts x time (hours) = Wh

So, the watt hours for the tv = 90 x 6 = 540 Wh (watt hours)

Watt hours for sat. receiver = 25 x 6 = 150 Wh

Watt hours for fan will be = 50 x 3 = 150 Wh         

2. sum the watt hours for the individual appliances ie. 540 + 150 + 150 = 840 Wh (watt hours)

This means that the solar panel will need to supply 840 watt hours of energy to the battery each day to cover the total power required by these appliances.

3. since there are bound to be losses in the system However, to account for natural losses, we multiply the result by 1.2 (this factor allows for natural system losses, assuming 85% efficiency). Therefore, we will assume the panels will actually need to be able to supply a total of
840 x 1.2 = 1008Wh

4. so, to supply 1008Wh of energy the panel we assume to receive 7 hours of sunlight will be rated at 1008  Wh /  7 h =  144W
So, I will need 144W solar panel to supply energy to my appliances above at the given time.

Regarding point 3, it also means, if I have a solar panel rated at 100W receiving sunlight for 7 hours a day, the total energy supplied considering 85% efficiency will be 100x7x0.85= 595Wh and not 700Wh

5. Your battery should be able to store 1008Wh of energy. Since batteries capacities are rated in Ah (Ampere Hours) you need to multiply Ah by the Volt rating to know the Watt Hour.  Power(W) = Voltage (V) x Current (I)  ; Watt hour = VxIxHour

Therefore Ah (which is I x h) = Wh / V = 1008 / 12 (the number 12 represents a 12v battery)   
= 84 Ah

So it means you will need not less than a 84Ah, 12V battery (deep-cycle batteries, not ordinary car batteries) to do the job.

NB. Another way of calculating battery capacity is explained in this example. Should my battery be rated at 84Ah, 12V the watt hour (energy) will be 84Ah x 12 V = 1008Ah

It implies that the battery can supply a 150watt appliance for 1008/70 = 14hours

Pls don’t just play around with batteries they are dangerous.

Indepth knowledge on display! Sad you aint no more?
Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by spinola: 10:53am On Jun 07, 2017
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Re: Solar Energy - All You Need To Know by spinola: 8:26am On Jun 28, 2017
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