is playing a big part in my renewable energy
production, I have been using solar PV for about
10 years now and I have seen the panel
effeciency, especially in cloudy conditions, rise
over the years.
I am using 2 types of panel, both
from the German company Solara, the newer panels
are 90 watt panels and the older ones (taller)
are 85 watts each.
I did not want to
mount the panels on the roof, mainly as its in
the wrong direction, so some sort of frame was
required. I looked at the commercially available
options and I thought they were all too
expensive, so it was out with the circular saw. I
used 4"x 2" pressure treated lumber
(from Galvins) and worked out a design for the
frame. I made a jig (thanks for the advice Kohin)
to ensure all the cuts were square and screwed
the pieces together.
The whole frame
then got 3 liberal coats of wood preserver to
ensure the best chance of survival. At the moment
I am still working on a design for the legs and
hope to fit them soon.
4 x 90 watt Solara PV
panels in a timber frame
panels are connected to the Morningstar
controller in the garage by 50 metres of 6mm
solar cable. The panels are wired in series, so
the array runs at about 80 volts open circuit.
The MPPT controller then works out the
"sweet spot" voltage to run the array
at to achieve the best possible power output.
The wires from each panel
are fitted into an IP rated junction box and
wired in series. This is then paralleled to the
other array and the larger solar cables carry the
power to the garage are wired directly into the
morning star controller. As I write this the
panels have only been up for 1 day but already I
have seen over 50 amps.
I now have 2 arrays
up - best seen so far 51.3 amps into the battery