How to choose a best solar configuration for maximum efficiency?

Solar Energy is most popular and clean renewable energy that anybody can harvest. In the recent years, there are many upgraded technologies arrived in the market. With that we can harvest more energy at a small places. We will be discussing the latest technologies available in the market (2021). However, we should also consider combining those technologies together to make a best efficient solar system with compatible setup.

So let’s know about the latest technologies and try to choose a most efficient solar system. Keep in mind, combining right tools at the right place is always great for more productivity. Let’s get started!

For a simple solar setup, we need the following things

Solar Panels:

Choosing a solar panel is very important for harvesting energy from the sun. There are different types of solar panels are available in the market. Of these, Mono Crystalline Solar panel is good in collecting more energy than Polycrystalline panels. You might be confused by its name that poly is more, but its not. The monocrystalline technology uses a single crystal on each cell of pure silicon makes it highly efficient at a little premium price.

Monocrystalline Solar Panel (Higher Efficiency):

  • In Monocrystalline panels, each PV is made up of single silicon crystal. This panel looks black in nature. (Good energy efficiency but high in cost, considerably 20% Higher).

Price History for LOOM SOLAR Panel 50 WATT/12 V MONO PERC

Statistics

Current Price Rs. 2,949December 4, 2021
Highest PriceRs. 3,000November 6, 2021
Lowest PriceRs. 2,207October 8, 2021
Since October 2, 2021

Last price changes

Rs. 2,949November 22, 2021
Rs. 3,000November 6, 2021
Rs. 2,850October 19, 2021
Rs. 2,400October 12, 2021
Rs. 2,207October 8, 2021

Polycrystalline Solar Panel (Low Cost):

  • Polycrystalline panels are made using multiple silicon crystals melded together. This panel looks blue hue in color. (Cost effective but Less Efficiency).

So when choosing a Solar Panel, Consider a monocrystalline panel for more efficiency. These panels even produce some energy even in cloudy days.

Factors Determines the Efficiency of Solar Panels:

  • Type of the Solar Panel (Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline).
  • Mounting Place and Orientation.
  • Distance and Wiring Quality.
  • Climatic nature of a location (Cloudy, Sunshine, Fog, Snow).
  • Charge Controller type and Inverter.
  • Dust formation – Usually Cleans itself during rain when installed in correct angle.

Solar Inverter:

Solar Inverters are used to convert the stored DC Energy in the battery to supply the AC Devices like, Fan, TV and AC Lights. Inverters available in various KW that how much devices you can run at a time. You need to choose it as per your requirements. But there is also types of inverters available. We see only generally used inverters here.

The traditional inverter (UPS) is only used for Home UPS and not for solar (can be upgraded with additional controller, but not recommended).

The new inverters that comes with additionally work with Solar also, these are called Hybrid Solar Inverters. These inverters also has solar input, where you it can intelligently choose the best power source available. So choosing an hybrid inverter will be best suitable if you are planning to upgrade it to solar in the future.

Charge Controllers (for DC Devices only):

Why do we need a charge controller, can’t the solar panels charge the battery directly?

Without a charge controller, the battery may charge at the day time but at night it reverses back to the panel and drain the battery. A Charge controller is an electronic device that has protection diodes, it allows to pass the current in one direction only. The Charge Controller is used to monitor and charge the battery with its required charge voltage and stops draining, prevent over-charge and over-drain. Some batteries can’t be recharged again when it is completely drained. So a charge controller is important to protect the battery and panel. 

Charge controllers are suitable only for DC Devices to work directly. But you can connect an inverter from the battery if you need to run AC Loads. If it is DC Only, there is no DC to AC conversion takes place, hence no loss. There are 2 types of charge controllers available PWM and MPPT. The MPPT Charge controllers are recommended for more efficiency.

PWM Charge Controllers (Less Efficiency):

MPPT Charge Controller: (Higher Efficiency)

Batteries:

Batteries are also an another important investment in solar setup. Traditional setup uses lead acid batteries that are more cost effective but Less Cycle Life, Heavy Weight, Maintenance needed and more importantly it takes too long to charge the battery and it is waste of collected energy from the solar panels. The current battery technology that is available in the market is Lithium Batteries. These batteries are less size, less weight, long cycle life and more importantly fast charging.

So when you are choosing a setup, you can consider the available best technologies available.

Lithium Batteries with 2 Years Warranty is available at Loom Solar. These batteries are equipped with Battery Management System and can work with old solar setup also.

Get DIY Lithium Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries from FactoryForward

Advantage of Lithium Batteries over Lead Acid Batteries:

  • Faster Charging time than Lead Acid Batteries
  • Zero maintenance
  • Self-discharge rate – 5% per month @ 25˚C (Lead Acid Batteries needs to be charged at least once in a month to avoid degrading. But Lithium Batteries have longer shelf life)
  • Higher AH Efficiency – 100%. (Lead Acid batteries performance gets reduced when battery is less than 50% of charge. But lithium batteries works sturdy until it lasts, the BMS disconnects the battery when it drains than its capacity)

Summary:

The best solar considerations as per the current technologies are

  • Mono Perc Solar Panels
  • Solar Hybrid Inverters (that gives first preference to solar energy).
  • MPPT Charge Controller (Maximum Power Point Tracking)
  • Lithium Ion Batteries or Higher Life Cycle Lithium Ferro Phosphate (Lithium Phosphate, LiFePO4) Batteries

Note: We have explained the best available technologies in the market. But the technical specification needs to be considered before deciding as per the application. We will see some example setup in the upcoming blogs. Leave us in the comment if you need any queries and interesting topics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *