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  Renewable Energy & Technology - Solar PV - Page 1

Solar 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

Wiring Up

The 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

 


Solar PV - Page 2 Continues

Huw Edwards 2012 All images on this site remain the copyright of Huw Edwards or the photographers, and may not be reproduced without prior agreements