How to Calculate the Size of Your Solar Power Installation?

For people who are wondering how to calculate how much solar power they would need if they were to set up solar panels at home, office or any other place, in general, this article with an abundance of information that we have compiled, might be your aid.

Solar panels, solar power, solar powered electrical devices have all gaining the desired momentum in our country and with the government verbally agreeing to decrease the use of hydro-powered electricity and switching it with solar powered electricity has given it the necessary push required. Though a little heavy on the pocket at the moment, there are corporate structures, educational institutions and even residential solar power systems that are readily switching to solar power installations. However, the ordinary Indian man seems unaware of the entire technical aspect that works behind powering electrical devices with solar power.

One major aspect, which is often left out is how much solar power you would actually need to keep all your devices working on solar energy. Hence, we have compiled a list of steps using which you can easily find out how much solar power you might need from your solar system at home in India.

Just like normal electricity, the solar power is also calculated in the same units. So, the first thing you should do before having a solar installation done is check the solar power price list for your neighborhood. After you have done the necessary checks and comparisons, buy your solar panel systems priced at desirable rates, from trusted companies.

Now, returning to the topic of the day, it is very important to understand your energy requirements before investing on solar power generating equipment which includes- solar panels, batteries, and PCU or simply, an inverter that can retain solar power.

The first concept you need to understand before calculating your energy requirements is

Watt (power in units)= the voltage x current/electricity flow

The next and most important step is to calculate the total amount of energy that you consume on a daily basis in watts units. You need to have a fair idea of the appliances you own and the amount of energy that they might need. For example, a basic TV can take up to 90-250 watts a day and a fridge can take up about 150 watts per day. You need to add up the entire power consumption of all the household devices in units. Generally, a normal family that does not indulge in any extra leisurely activities is said to use over 2100 kWh, annually.

The next step is to invest in a good solar inverter. Now, this is the equipment that will convert your Direct Current into Alternating Current, and unfortunately enough, the entire process of conversion ends up in extra loss of energy. Hence, it is advisable to invest in an inverter that stores more energy than what is required by your household, on a daily basis.

For instance, if your household consumes over 300 Watts a day, it is preferable that you get an inverter that can hold at the least 30-40% more than what your household consumes. The preferable inverters come in 24V (Voltage).

So now we need to know the current that you will be using daily. The current is calculated in ampere units. And hence, let’s put the formula that we mentioned earlier, along with a few mathematical skills to work here.

Watts= voltage x current

300= 24 x Amps

300/24=amps= 12.5amps which we can later round off to about 13amps

Hence, using all these calculations, we have understood that you need at least 13 amps units of power to be generated by your solar panels and converted by your inverter, in order to make all the appliances in your household work in full swing.

Next, power back up.

If you think solar power is always better than hydro-powered electricity just because it helps you escape those damned frequent power cuts, then think again. India is an unpredictable country and its seasons are as unpredictable as its oddly timed power cuts. Hence, you don’t know when the sun will shine brightly over your head to provide you with the necessary power, for the entire day. Hence, it is important to know and take steps to store power for the rest of the day/night when there is no solar energy supplied to you. For this too, you need to use the formula that we referred to, earlier.

So, imagine that in your state the sun sets very late and you get a pretty good supply of sunlight. Hence, you need to calculate the power needed to be backed up, for the rest of the day when there is no solar energy. (by the way, the solar power is backed up into the compatible batteries, which too, you will be investing on, after the solar inverters). Suppose you need solar power backed up only for 6 hours of the day, you need to calculate it this way.

300watts x 6hours/24V= 75Ah

Hence you need to store 75Ah/Amph units of current in your solar power compatible batteries every day, to get you through the rest of the day that is deprived of sunlight, in the Indian subcontinent. Last but not the least, the equipment that you need to invest on is – the solar panels themselves.

Now, this is the most expensive parts of the entire process and you need to be careful in deciding the size of the panel because they need to coincide with the size of the solar inverter and the battery that can back up power. Hence, you need to again calculate how much of the current needs to go to the battery and how much of it needs to be converted into AC power. And VOILA! you have your own fully functional solar powered household.

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