How to hook up Solar Panels (with battery bank) – on a basic, DIY solar energy system

I’ve included this video on photovoltaic panels and solar energy to show the basic fundamentals of what a solar energy system actually consists of.  Knowing the fundamentals will help you to understand the big picture when it comes to a whole house, full scale solar power system.  In this video he is setting up solar batteries from a small array of photovoltaic panels for a simple, basic system.  This can then be scaled up to meet your solar energy requirements and to take advantage of solar tax credits that may be available in your state.

Set up photovoltaic panels outside on the ground or on the roof.

Connect lines from  the photovoltaic panels to inside a water tight junction box or run the leads all the way into the house to the charge controller, ideally mounted in a safe, easily accessible area dedicated to this purpose.  Confirm that negative leads stay with negative leads and positive leads stay grouped with positive leads.

On your controller, attach the red lead (positive) to the positive input and the black lead (negative) to the negative input from the photovoltaic panels.
From the controller, output wires go to the battery pack, red to red, black to black.

You can increase your overall solar energy storage capacity by increasing the number of batteries by connecting positives  to positives and negatives to negatives on the posts of the batteries.  You will want these to be of the deep cycle variety like those used for  golf carts that can be drained down regularly and then recharged without harming them.

Make one battery your lead battery and then go from that battery to the inverter, black to black, red to red.  Including a digital volt meter in line is also a good way to go to monitor voltage output of battery pack which in turn is also a reflection of your photovoltaic panels output.  Once your inverter from DC power (your batteries), to AC power (required for your household appliances and lights) is connected, you can then plug-in your appliances and you are ready to go.

This is a very simplistic and basic system but it’s important to understand this as this is fundamentally what you are doing when you scale up.  For larger systems, you will want to tie your photovoltaic panels directly into your household electrical panel where you can take advantage of the whole house wiring system already in place.  You will also be able to enter into an agreement with your local power utility to sell excess power back to them. This is covered, in detail, right here, where a whole house solar power system has been installed.


Category: Solar Energy
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