last june 12, 2012, i installed an eighty watt solar pv system with a 40ah deep cycle battery. the target is to light up the whole 2nd floor of my house and to power a small web server and its wireless router. …and that’s what i did. here’s a table of my system’s loads for the curious:
|load||wattage||hours per day|
|2x led bulbs||5w||4|
my 40ah battery setup lasted until april 2013 where i replaced the 40ah battery with 16ea 9ah vlra ups batteries. in theory, there should be an increase in the juice. however, i am not comfortable with my readings. i find it still low. probably due to the thin wires used to connect these small batteries. well…
what i’ve learned so far?
first, use the appropriate cables/wires as much as possible. thick is good but not too thick and you might wish to have the measurements ready. with this in mind, i am having my electrical wiring reviewed and replaced prior to upgrade.
second, use bigger capacity battery as much as possible. i have decided to use the 100ah series on my next upgrade. why?
- it is easier to manage. cable and storage wise. unlike what i have right now, it took me a while to connect those 16 batteries
- there will be less power loss. as i mentioned above, there is a teenie-weenie but noticeable voltage drop somewhere in the connection/series
third, but the most important thing i’ve learned in my first year, is, solar panel orientation. i have read a lot that the proper orientation of your solar panel should be 15 degrees south-east when you are located in the philippines. i have neglected this at first (for 5mos or so) resulting to time consuming relocation. my panels’ current orientation is on the highest location i could get and roughly facing south-east resulting to decreased charge time.
lastly, solar panels needs cleaning too. try to have it cleaned at least once a month. these panels are prone to moist and dust since they are exposed. so wiping them with a clean soft cloth with soap and water will help pump out as much juice as it can.
..and, that’s it. my next upgrade’s guide is through