Generally, 1 kilowatt home solar system kit are sufficient for most households. 1 KW home solar power system reduces waste and pollution by about 170 lbs. of coal from being burned, 300 lbs of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and 105 gallons of water from being consumed each month! (#) No doubt it is a big step towards protecting our environment. To opt for home solar power system, you should know what its major parts are, how they work and what each one is used for.
Here is a small description of these parts: Solar panels
The most important component of our home solar system kit is Solar Panels which harvest sunlight and convert it into electricity. On the surface of Solar Panels, Solar Cells are set in a grid-like pattern.
These solar cells collect sunlight in the day time and convert it into electricity. On a Solar mount, solar panels are put in groups. In home solar power system every single solar panel is wired to another panel by solar interconnects wiring which is sunlight tolerant. All these arrays are wired to a solar combiner box from where they are all connected to heavier underground wires which takes the power to the battery and equipment room.
This is the way our home solar power system works. Do you know that Solar panels are the most expensive component in a solar power system? But in recent years the manufacturing cost of photovoltaic cells has dropped by 3–5% per year while government subsidies have increased.
This makes solar energy an ever affordable energy source. Charge Regulator/Controller Flow of power to battery of our home solar power system is controlled by the charge regulator. In the home solar power system, it automatically blocks the charge in case the batteries are fully charged. It checks the damage to the battery which could be caused by overcharging. Inverter Inverter converts DC power from the battery to AC which is a standard household power. Inverters for home solar power systems come in different ratings i.e; from 50 to 5500 watts which could be chosen as per the requirement.
Batteries store DC electrical energy. In the home solar power system this stored power can be used later on to fulfill the electricity needs.
Battery size is chosen as per the power requirements and amount of reserve power needed. Batteries require care and knowledge to install since these contain acid and stored energy. Fuses In case of any malfunctioning in home solar power system, fuses prevent the damage and fires to the costly equipments. Meters show the charging process, it also show the amount of solar power used and how much of it is available. Meters in the home solar power system should be placed in a convenient place for easy checking.
Engine Generator is generally a part of the home solar system kit. In fact it’s a backup for charging the battery when there is a deficit of solar power. Important factors that impact the efficiency of solar light panels:
- Reflectivity of the cell surface
- Efficiency is also affected by the amount of light blocked by the surface electrodes lying on the front of the cell.
- Operating temperature of the cell also affects the efficiency, hotter a cell gets the less current it produces. Solar cells get hot when in use, so it is important to mount them in such a way that they are cooled to keep current production at its maximum.
- You must take care that the batteries used for the system are appropriate for the application since the batteries used are discharged and recharged slowly.
Solar Water Heater
Hot water is the second largest energy consumer amongst American houses. Hot water usage includes bathing, clothes washing and dishwashing…a typical U.S. household requirement of hot water is around 15 to 30 gallons per person per day. Solar hot water system is the ideal and efficient solution for most homeowners.
In the majority of cases, a solar hot water system generates more energy at a substantially lower price. Solar water heaters can be simple or complex; it can be as simple as a garden hose in the sun or as complex as multiple glass-plated solar collectors. Simple or complex… these are the perfect way for home owners to lower the cost of heating their water. Solar hot water generation technology is proven and reliable technology which offers long-term performance with very low maintenance.
A properly and thoughtfully planned home solar system kit could supply all or a significant amount of hot water required for household purposes. As per California Energy Commission, Solar hot water generation in typical household using electric water heating can save around 60 to 70 percent water heating costs. To get the maximum benefit, you need to go in for properly sized system which offers the best performance in your climate.
Types of Solar Water Heating Systems Passive Systems
Passive solar water heating systems are those which involve no moving parts and no external energy source other than the sun itself. It consists of a black painted water tank which is kept in a well-insulated box having glass or plastic on one side for allowing the sun’s rays to heat the tank.
This type of system is often called a batch heater. Passive systems do not require any pump to transfer the water; however, water is circulated all the way through the natural process of convection. Passive systems normally have a solar collector which is directly linked to a water reservoir. Such a set up is called an open loop system which is not costly and is very reliable. But this system definitely has some disadvantages. It is not fit for the places having climates where temperatures drop below the freezing point of water i.e. temperature drops below zero.
This is because of the reason that on freezing water expands in volume, therefore parts of the solar collector holding water will burst. Another problem with the Passive system is that in night or on a cloudy day, a passive open-circuit system has the tendency to work in reverse direction as the water in the collector is colder than the water in the reservoir. Therefore in this case, heat from the reservoir will be used to heat the water in the collector. Considering these points, Passive systems are usually recommended just in warmer climates. Active solar water heaters are significantly more expensive but are much more efficient than passive solar water heaters.
Active solar water heater involves equipment like collectors, sensors, pumps and controllers to make it more efficient. Active solar water systems are of two types: Direct and Indirect In Direct systems water is heated in the collectors whereas in indirect systems in place of household water solar collector is filled with an intermediary transport fluid. This fluid normally has an antifreeze component, which make them ideal for cold climates.
As these fluids get heated in the collectors, it travels all the way through a heat exchanger, where the heat which it contains is shift to the household water. Active systems are also known as closed loop systems.
Active systems are more efficient than the passive systems; they utilize a pump to move the heated fluid from the collector to the reservoir. As this pump is set in motion only when the collector temperature is more than the reservoir temperature, therefore in Active system there is no heat loss at night or on cloudy days. Moreover this fluid is normally antifreeze and is often pumped through a closed circuit; therefore it works well in colder climates as well. But the minus point with the active system is this that the pump needs power. Hence Active systems are not carbon-neutral; except for the power used for the pump is renewable source of energy.