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Solar System by sirxbit(m): 5:06pm On Jun 07
Poor power supply has been a major challenge in Nigeria and it’s not getting better anytime soon. One of the efficient way to tackle this problem is through solar system which simply means harnessing the power of the sun to generate electricity. The reason of creating this thread is to educate you guys on solar system and calculations needed to get a good and efficient solar system. First let’s discuss all about solar system, the pros and the cons
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 12:35pm On Jun 08
Solar electricity simply refers to generating electrical power using photovoltaic solar
panels. Solar power is a useful way of generating modest amounts of electricity, so long as there is a good amount of sunlight available and your location is free from
obstacles such as trees and other buildings that will shade the solar panel from
the sun. Most people usually think that solar is for the rich. Yes it is expensive but you can get yourself a small system and upgrade later on. The amount of energy you need to generate has a direct bearing on the size and
cost of a solar electric system. The more electricity you need, the more difficult
and more expensive your system will become. I for example can’t sleep at night due to heat so my first solar installation was to power my standing fan and an electric bulb all through the night. The system could also charge my phone perfectly.
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 12:56pm On Jun 08
1. Solar system have a long life span- The longest been solar panels which life span ranges from 20-25 years, The inverter and charge controller rangers from 10-15years while the battery been the shortest ranges from 4-6 contrary to what people say. The truth is that most solar installers in nigeria do a very bad job and that kills the life span of a battery( i will talk about that later on). Over all solar installation gives good value for your money. Running a diesel or petrol generator for such amount of years will result in huge cost as compared to solar. Although the initial installation cost is high, it worth it if you think of solar installation as an investment.
2. Lowers electricity bills- solar system can help in lowering your electricity bills if you live in areas with fairly good power supply but huge bills(for those with prepaid meter). You can set up a solar system consisting of just solar panels and hybrid inverter that powers your devices when the sun is out thereby cutting power from the national grid and working on solar. This cuts down the cost of your electricity bills drastically as Nigeria gets lot of sun ray everyday
3. Eliminate Noise and Air pollution- solar system helps in reducing noise and air pollution. You can agree with me that the sound of Generator are displeasing to the ears and also the air pollution which have resulted in the death of many. Solar system helps tackle this problem
4. Earn money back on investment- like i have said earlier on, solar installation initial cost of install is expensive but with time, you earn back your money x2. This is especially for business owners who run business everyday and need power for their business. You can invest in solar installation and forget about generator for years
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 1:12pm On Jun 08
1. Initial cost is expensive- Truth be told, The initial cost of solar installation is expensive ( depending on your load capacity). Most people don’t have the initial capital needed for solar system installation. But you can always start small and experience the beauty of solar and with time, you can upgrade. You can start with installing a small solar system capable of powering a standing fan, 2 energy bulb and charge your phones.
2. Not suitable for powering heavy machinery- solar system is not suitable for powering heavy machinery as it will need a large amount of space for the solar panels and huge battery power bank. The installation of such system even if you have the space would be extremely expensive.
3. Bad technicians/clients - This is one major problem in the solar industry in nigeria. Most installers don’t fully know the calculations needed to achieve a good solar system. Some do but would want to gain a lot of profit thereby buying substandard materials and cutting short of major components needed to run the system at full efficiency( for example, from my calculations i will be needing 4 150w solar panels to fully charge the battery but since i want to cut cost, i would i install 2 solar panels which won’t be sufficient to charge the battery thereby killing the battery within a short while). The clients also are to be blamed as they would want to cut cost as much as possible giving the installer little money to work with.

We at Melbrom Nigeria Limited are here to help you with efficient solar installation that will run years without any problem. Contact details on my signature
Re: Solar System by Ojumu20: 1:14pm On Jun 08
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Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 1:14pm On Jun 08
feel free to ask any question
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 2:57pm On Jun 08
1. Solar panels- This is the heart of a solar system. They are various types of solar panels. We have poly-crystalline and mono-cyrstalline. Monocyrstallime solar panels are more efficient than poly crystalline solar panels although poly is cheaper than mono. The more powerful th sun rays, the more power you get. Solar panels are linked together in what we call a solar array. Connecting multiple solar panels together allow you to produce a higher current or run at an higher voltage. Solar panels can be connected in series to give you more voltage and more power (watts). They can also be connected in parallel to give you more current and more power(watt). Regardless if your panels are connected in series or parallel, you get more power from your connection. For example, say we have a solar array made up of four solar panels connected in series. If each individual panel is rated 12v, 12w and 1A, then this solar array connected in series will be rated at 48v,48w and 1A while if connected in parallel, will be rated 12v, 48w and 4A.

2. Batteries- Batteries are used in the solar system to store charges. Typically, this charges(energy) are stored in deep cycle lead acid batteries. These look similar to car batteries but have different internal design. This design allow them to be heavily discharge and recharged several hundred times. Most lead acid batteries in Nigeria are 12v. Like solar panels batteries can be connected in series or in parallel to increase the voltage, power and current.

3. Inverters- The electricity generated by our solar system is direct current (DC) while electricity from the national grid(phcn) is alternating current (AC). Most if not all our domestic electronics make use of AC current. That is where the inverter comes in. The inverter is simply a device use for converting Dc current to AC current. They are different type and sizes of inverter. The size of inverter depends on the load you want to power.

4. Charge controller- if you are using batteries, your solar electric system is going to require a controller in order to manage the flow of electricity (current) into and out of th battery. This will damage and eventually destroy the batteries if not controlled. A solar controller prevents This from happening by managing the batteries, ensuring the batteries do not get overcharged by the solar by the solar array and not over discharge by the load
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 3:01pm On Jun 08
Next i will be discussing on how to size your solar system i.e how to know number of solar panels, size of inverter, size of charge controller and number pf batteries you will be needing for your solar system.
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 6:02pm On Jun 10
In other to achieve a good solar system, 5 calculations are necessary
1. Load analysis
2. Solar panel sizing
3. Battery sizing
4. Inverter sizing
5. Charge controller sizing
LOAD ANALYSIS- First we have to get the wattage of all the appliances we will be running on our solar system after which we multiply each with the numbers of hours we will be making use of them. Say for example, in my home, the following appliances are what I want to run on solar.
1. A standing fan - 30w = 30w
2. 42 Inches led Tv - 85w = 85w
3. 4 led bulbs – 8w = 32w
4. Laptop and phone charging– 40w = 40w
5. Dstv decorder – 18w = 18w
6. Sound system – 85w = 85w
Total wattage = 290W

Next we compute how many hours we plan on running each items
1. Standing fan – 12 hours
2. 42 inches TV – 6 hours
3. 4 led bulbs- 6 hours
4. Laptop and phone charging- 6 hours
5. Dstv decorder- 6 hours
6. Sound system – 6 hours

Now we multiply each device wattage by the hours we want to run our appliances
1. Fan – 30w *12h = 360wh
2. Tv – 85w*6h = 510wh
3. Bulb – 32*6h =192wh
4. Laptop and phone – 40w * 6h = 240wh
5. Decorder – 18w*6h = 108wh
6. Sound system = 85w*6h = 510wh
Total watt-Hour = 1920wh (This is the charge I need to store) Note – So of you might be thinking, is this the number of hours I can use my appliances in a whole day? The answer is NO. The number of hours I listed there is the number of hours I will be using my appliances when the sun is down(Night). Meaning that during the day when the sun is out(Day) and my battery is charging, I can make use of my appliances. The appliances will be powered directly by our solar panel. You will be needing a very good inverter system to get full efficiency and enjoy your solar system. I will talk more about this later on
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 6:05pm On Jun 10
SOLAR PANEL CALCULATION- Now that we know how much energy we want to run and store per day, it’s time we compute the size of solar panel needed to provide us with the energy we need and also charge our battery system.
The formula for this = Total watt hour/sun peak * 1.3(30% efficiency lost added to the system
Sun peak= No of hours at which the sun shines daily (at its peak)
Solar panel needed = 1920/4*1.3 = 624w
Note - I choose 4 as our sun peak value because here in Warri where I am, we get at least 4 hours of good sun per day (sometimes, we can get more than four hours of sun ray but it is safe run our calculations on less). If you are in the north or a sunnier area you can increase yours.
Now we know that we need 624wh worth of solar panels. Solar panels come in different wattage e.g. 150w, 175w, 200w, 355w and so on. For our example, I will be making use of 150w solar panel. so to get the number of 150w panels I need, I simply divide 624w by 150w which will give me 4.16 approximately 4. Therefore, I will be needing 4 150w solar power my appliances and charge my battery.
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 6:06pm On Jun 10
BATTERY SIZING- Now it’s time to know the size of battery I will be need to run my appliances. Sizing our solar system depends on 4 factors
1. Daily consumption (Which we have calculated)
2. DOD (Battery Depth of discharge)
3. Efficiency
4. System voltage
DOD- Depth of discharge is the allowable level at which you can charge and discharge your battery. Going below that will kill the battery in time. All battery has a certain number of cycle (Number of times you can completely drain and recharge your batteries). Each time you completely drain and recharge your battery, one cycle is gone and the less cycles we have the less our battery perform (Shorter hours). Therefore, we want to design our solar system in such a way that we don’t have to use more than 50-75% of the battery capacity (It’s advisable to run your calculations on 50% to have an efficient system with longer battery life span). This will therefore increase the life span of our battery. Most technicians ignore this part and that is why they design a bad system that gives the clients problem within a short period. Also make people lose faith in solar energy as they will be told by friends that you need to change batteries frequently, which is certainly not true. Now let’s run our battery system calculations
EFFICIENCY- No devices are 100% efficient so therefore when we running our calculations, we should make sure to compute for lose in efficiency. For batteries I go with 85% efficiency.
SYSTEM VOLTAGE- This is the voltage at which our system will run. There is formula that I know of yet. This can be computer base on the load you will be running. For me I choose to go with this when designing a solar system
12v=small load <1200w
24v=medium load 1200w-2400w
48v=large load >2400w
From our example of 1920w, we will be making use of a 24v system.

Battery bank calculation= Daily energy consumption/DOD*Efficiency*system volt
Battery bank calculation= 1920/0.50*0.85*24 = 188Ah
Therefore, will be needing a battery of 188ah to run our appliances when the sun is down(Night)

Note- we have different sizing of battery. Most batteries come in 12v but the Ah (Amp hour) varies.
For my design I will be making use of a 12v 200ah battery. But remember that our system is a 24v system. Our battery bank voltage must match our system voltage. Since I will be making use of a 12v battery and the solar system is of 24v, then I will be connecting two batteries in series to achieve a 24v system. In summary I will be need two 12 volt 200ah batteries.
Re: Solar System by sirxbit(m): 6:07pm On Jun 10
INVERTER SIZING – In other to size our inverter we multiply each of our product with a multiply factor. 1.3 for small appliance, 2 for medium appliances 3 for heavy appliances. But to make things easier and efficient, I just multiply my total wattage load by 3. For our example, our total wattage load is 290w. multiply 290w by 3 we have 870w. So I will make use of a 1kva inverter system

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