Hybrid solar system installation

How To Correctly Calculate A Hybrid Solar System

The hybrid solar system you use can help you calculate the best-suited solar system for your home or business.

One of the most crucial stages you must take when creating any solar power system is figuring out how much solar electricity you will need and sizing the required solar equipment. 

This will give you an idea of how many solar panels will you need to power your home or business, helping reduce costs and improve efficiency overall.

Many believe that the only calculation required is to purchase solar panels with power ratings equal to the desired amount of electricity. Still, there are additional crucial calculations that you need to do.

To begin with, your batteries, power inverter, and charge controller must function properly. Your newly assembled solar power system won’t function well or at all until everything lines up and is compatible.

This blog will assist you in selecting the ideal solar power equipment to meet your unique power requirements. 

It will outline a quick calculation method for determining the number and kind of solar panels you’ll require.

Additionally, it will cover how to determine the amp-hours of solar batteries and select the best charge controller and power inverter.

You can create an effective solar power system that will truly meet your electricity needs after knowing what kind of equipment you need. This is why calculating a hybrid solar system is vital.

Estimating How Much Power You Will Need

Before investing in any solar-powered equipment, you must determine your required power. The majority of the time, this entails calculating your load watts.

The entire amount of electricity needed to run all the electronics or appliances you intend to use solar power is your load. A crucial step in correctly sizing every component of your solar power system is accurately calculating the load consumption of the hybrid solar system.

A charge controller that can regulate that amount of electricity, a power inverter that can work with the system’s specifications, and deep cycle solar batteries that can store that amount of energy are all things you’ll need to buy, in addition to solar panels that can handle that load.

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Let’s do a quick example. Assume you have an electricity usage of 400 kWh per day, which translates to about 33 days (approximately one month) of usage in a row.

The first step is to determine your daily average energy consumption by dividing your monthly consumption by the number of days for the month (2,000 kWh ÷ 30 days). This gives us a result of 66 kWh per day.

Next, we need to calculate how many days we have been using electricity this month. We’re currently three weeks into our billing cycle and have used 300 kWh of electricity this month (300 kWh ÷ 3 weeks = 100 kWh). 

To find out how much more we will use each week, take 100 kilowatts multiplied by the number of remaining weeks left in your current billing cycle: 100 kilowatts × 4 weeks = 400 kilowatts.

schematic of a solar power system
schematic of a solar power system

Load Wattage

For simplicity, we’ll suppose you want to power a device that consumes 100 watts for 10 hours daily. The watt-hours, or Wh, for that specific load, would then be determined using a straightforward computation. In this instance, 100 watts multiplied by 10 hours would equal 1,000 watt-hours.

You would require enough solar panels to generate 1,000Wh of power each day if this were the only thing you intend to use your hybrid solar system for.

Determining Solar Panel Requirements

You must decide the type and quantity of solar panels you will need to install to meet your expected load need once you have calculated your load in watt-hours.

The number of solar electricity panels can generate in a single hour of direct sunshine is measured in watts. Consequently, a 100-watt solar panel that received 10 hours of direct sunshine would be effective if you had determined that you needed 1,000Wh to meet your load requirements. (10 hours / 1,000Wh = 100W solar panel)

You must, however, take into account the actual daily sunlight that your solar panels will receive. The sunlight a solar panel can absorb each day depends on various factors, including the presence or absence of clouds in the sky and the time of year you utilize the solar panel.

Always be wary of overestimating when figuring out how much sunlight your solar panels will receive each day. Consider your location and the varying quantities of sunlight it receives throughout the year, assuming there may be gloomy days.

You can start looking for solar panels once you have determined your load requirements and know how much sunlight your region receives daily. 

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Read More: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Energy You Didn’t Know About

Calculate Your Battery Requirements

After determining your power needs and the quantity and kind of solar panels you’ll require, you must determine your storage requirements.

You must determine the Amp Hours/Ah rating your batteries require to meet your load requirements to select the appropriate solar batteries. You may determine that amount by dividing the watt-hours by the volts.

Given that you intend to power both 12V solar panels and 12V batteries, you would divide 1,000Wh by 12V to arrive at a total of 83Ah. In this case, your storage needs can therefore be satisfied by a 100Ah 12V deep cycle solar battery.

Deep Cycle Solar Batteries

Deep cycle solar batteries are created especially to survive the frequent charging and discharging cycles when working with solar electricity. You can link additional solar batteries together in a series or parallel connection to achieve various voltages and capacity totals.

Read More: How to Size Your Solar Batter Bank for an Excellent Performance

Considering Your System’s Charge Controller Specifications

At this stage, it is important to emphasize that the power your solar panels can produce will fluctuate. For this reason, you’ll need a charge controller that meets the requirements for both your battery bank and solar panel array.

Charge controllers stop overcharging, which can harm your system’s batteries permanently. The finest charge controllers also stop the reverse flow of current, which can happen at night when the solar panels aren’t producing power, from the batteries to the solar panels.

It would help if you determined your solar panels’ current or amperage specifications to select the right battery bank and charge controller. You may figure this up by dividing the voltage by the solar panels’ wattage rating.

For instance, a 100 watt solar panel / 12V = 8.3 Amps.

You may always round up a little when selecting a charge controller, but you don’t want to leave too much room or risk overcharging your batteries. For our current example, a 10A charge controller would work just fine.

Recommendations are looking through the charge controller collection if you’re in the market for one. From 8A controllers to 80A devices, retailers provide a comprehensive selection of MPPT and PWM charge controllers.

Identifying the Power Inverter Specifications Your System Needs

The power inverter is the last piece of equipment whose specifications you need to figure out. Said, the power inverter transforms the DC power your solar panels produce into more usable AC power, which most electronic appliances and devices need.

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Since you already know the maximum load wattage at this point, you should select a power inverter that can handle that wattage easily.

As the highest load wattage in our example is 100 watts, you would need to select a power inverter with a rating of 100 watts or somewhat higher since spikes occasionally occur.

The voltage rating of the power inverter you choose should compare to the voltage of your battery bank since you want to ensure they are compatible. Therefore, if your solar power system includes a 12V battery bank, you should purchase a 12VDC inverter that converts 12V DC power into 12V AC power.

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Purchasing a Complete Solar Power Kit

You can always choose a whole solar kit if you want to spare yourself the hassle of ensuring all your solar components are compatible and will work efficiently together.

Solar kits are not only a terrific concept for novices but also, because the equipment is packed together, they can be sold for less money. Most of the time, they were buying the different pieces of equipment as part of a bundle resulting in significant savings over buying them separately.

Everything you require, such as solar panels, a charge controller, a power inverter, a deep cycle solar battery, and all the cables and connectors required to connect everything, will be included in a complete solar power kit.

Conclusion

Ideally, this article has given you a better understanding of calculating a hybrid solar system.

The information provided above is a good place to start, but it’s always best to speak with an expert when you are looking to invest in a hybrid solar system. 

Solar power is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on electricity bills and support the environment.

But what about when you need more than just a few panels for your home? If you’re looking for a complete hybrid solar system, it cannot be easy to find an installer who can provide all the necessary components without charging exorbitant prices.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels: Everything you Need to Know

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