Solar Living

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The battery to the left is 2 volt 1600 amp hours  = 3200 watts, That is volts  X  amps  =  watts. Running a 12 volt system of 6 batteries is 19200 watts, A 24 volt system of 12 batteries is 38400 watts, a 48 volt system of 24 batteries is 76800 watts. In reading up on these batteries their full amp hour capacity = 2200. Over discharge of battery should be avoided. 1600 out of 2200 would be well within that and if they are 1600 it is still the 1600 would be usable power to the very bottom end of the battery.

A lot of people use flooded batteries and need to monitor the acid level monthly. keeping the batteries topped of is critical to have the power stored to spec. Most golf cart batteries have 200 Amp Hours of power and will drop rapidly as the acid drops bellow the top of the plates and will cause damage to the battery. The three main types of batteries used on solar systems are Flooded Acid, AGM, and Gel Cell. I am using the Gel Cell Batteries and they should be layed on the side as I have done.

Batteries charging will determine the life of your batteries. Being sure that flooded batteries are checked and properly filled. Differant types of batteries may charge different ways. Flooded commonly charge to a bulk charge of 14.4 volts and float at 13.5 volts and also need to be equalize up to 15 volts every month or two on a 12 volt solar system. Gel cell commonly bulk charge to 13.8 volts and float at 13.6 and do not get an equalize unless really need be on a 12 volt system. AGMs I have not used but have friends that do and that info will replace this sentence. For a 24 volt system just double the above ratings and for 48 volt systems quadruple the above ratings.

In wiring a solar system you need to be aware of the size of wire to reduse power resistence from the solar panels to the charge controler. I have used a charge controler with MPPT or max power point (technology or tracking) to run higher voltage from the panels to the controler so I can run smaller wires a longer distence. I am running 60 volts at 16 amps 100 feet with 10 gauge wire and 50 feet with 6 gauge wire total 150 feet and the charge controler steps the volts down and the amps up. Volts run just fine but when the amps go higher the wire needs to be larger. The photo to the right is of the panels running higher voltage to the 24 volt system. You can see the power convergance of extra volts in to amps. There are limits of max volts and amps for the controler such as this one is 150 volts and 80 amps. Be aware also of cloud bursts and snow reflection that increase power from the panels.

         STATE of BATTERY CHARGE

              CHARGED     75%        50%         25%       DISCHARGED

12 volts   over12.6 V    12.3 V      12.0 V       11.7 V     under11.4 V

24 volts   over25.2 V    24.6 V      24.0 V       23.4 V     under22.8 V

48 volts   over50.4 V    49.2 V      48.0 V       46.8 V     under45.6 V

Below is a Wire Chart I use for Voltage Drop of 2%. Keep in mind that I added the power of the panels as max power. Bold numbers are not recomended it is best to use the next size wire up for better results.

                                 16 volt array                                              32 volt array                                                       48 volt array                             

wire gauge =  #8     #6      #4      #2     #1/0    #2/0          #8        #6       #4      #2     #1/0     #2/0              #8      #6       #4      #2      #1/0     #2/0

     10           15      24      39      62      98      124            31       49       78     124    197       248               46      73      117    186      295      372

     20            8       12      19      31      49       62              15      24      39      62       98       124               23      37       58      93      148      186

 A  30            5        8      13       21      33      41              10      16       26      41       66        83               15      24       39       62       98      124

M   40            4       6       10      15      25       31               8      12       19      31       49        62               12      18       29       46       74       93

P   50            3       5        8       12      20       25                6      10      16      25       39        50                 9      15       23       37       59       74

S   60            3       4        6       10      16       21                5       8       13      21       33        41                 8      12      19        31       49       62

     70            2       3        6        9       14       18                4       7       11      18       28        35                 7      10      17        27       42       53

     80            2       3        5        8       12       16                4       6       10      15       25        31                 6       9       15        23       37       47

                            FEET OF WIRE                                            FEET OF WIRE                                              FEET OF WIRE


                                 64 volt array                                                80 volt array                                                   96 volt array    

                   #8      #6      #4      #2      #1/0     #2/0         #8        #6       #4      #2     #1/0     #2/0              #8      #6       #4      #2      #1/0     #2/0

     10           62      98     156    247      393      496         77        122     195    309    492      620               93      147     234    371     590      745

     20           31      49      78     124     197       248         39         61       97    155    246      310               46       73      117    186     295      372

     30           21      33      52      82      131       165

     40           15      24      39      62       98        124

     50           12      20      31      49       79         99

     60           10      16      26      41       66         83

     70            9       14      22      35       56         71

LOADS.

The field WATTS is the power used by the appliance if it was to run for an hour long.


APPLIANCE                                    WATTS


Microwave Oven average size             1260

Food Processor or Blender                  200

Toaster                                             1200

Clothes Washer standerd                   700

Vacuum Cleaner                                550                   

Electric Blanket                                 180              

Check your appliance type and model for the power rate.