Questions tagged [solar-panels]

For questions about photovoltaic panels or photovoltaic-based solar power systems.

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DIY Solar Panel Install

I have a house under construction, and the electricians have installed a 1" conduit from the attic to the main panel. I have also gotten 5 quotes to install a Solar PV system around 9kW. I can ...
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1answer
49 views

Calculating daily energy production of PV panels

From https://www.solarpowerrocks.com/solar-basics/how-much-electricity-does-a-solar-panel-produce/ it says: "Using the example above of a 250-watt STC rated panel, if you multiply the 250 watts the ...
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4answers
271 views

using solar when power grid down, why do I need batteries?

I am considering a home solar photovoltaic installation, probably 5kw or so. The usual configuration around here is with a grid-connected inverter and net metering. But when the grid goes down, the ...
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2answers
51 views

How to calculate wattage used in a solar panel set-up

I want to run an electronic that uses 300 watts @ 5-10 amps via solar panel's on my rv. I've got (2) 6 volt batteries set up in a series so it is 12 volts. Here are the stats for one battery (so I ...
14
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6answers
4k views

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

I understand that electric heating is less efficient and comparatively more expensive than gas heating (propane or natural gas), but considering I live in Texas (a lot of sunlight) and I intend to ...
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2answers
1k views

Is it safe to harvest rainwater that fell on solar panels?

I am working on creating blueprints for my new home. My plan is to have both solar panels on the roof and a rainwater catchment system that directs water from the roof into some tanks in the basement. ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Comparing mixed orientation solar panels to non-mixed on a Brooklyn Solar install

I'm looking for advice on choosing from two solar panel proposals. I have a historic landmark brownstone in Brooklyn with a flat roof and am looking for the most power that I can fit into the roof ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Solar panel as a hatch and Is sleeping under a solar panel safe?

I'm looking to build a very large custom roof hatch/vent on my van. I was going to make to top out of Lexan, but then I realized I might want a large solar panel on the roof as well. I was looking at ...
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2answers
51 views

Solar powered water pump

I have really low water pressure in my home at about 15 PSI and sometimes even 0. I already have a check valve on my main 3/4" line from the water meter. Since electricity is pretty expensive where I ...
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2answers
47 views

simple 12 volt heater

I have a small shed and a few extra solar panels (about 400 watts worth). It's a cold area and I'd like to just convert the electricity to heat. I thought maybe a dummy load would work. Basically I'm ...
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0answers
59 views

Connecting house battery to starter battery - cable sizing considering alternator?

I have a heavy duty 6 ton truck with 24 volt start batteries. I am building a house battery system, also 24 volts. I want to connect the house battery to the car battery with a switch, so that I can ...
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2answers
52 views

Status of solar-powered landscaping lights [closed]

As of now (9/2018), are solar-powered landscaping lights a sensible option? In 5-year intervals, for the past 15 years, I've been suckered into buying solar-powered landscaping lights and every time ...
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0answers
47 views

Solar panel not charging battery

I have a small PV system for my shed. Just setting up and testing at this point. 90W panel MPPT T20 charge controller - 20 AMP 120ah 12 volt battery Only one led light connected to load. I am not ...
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2answers
79 views

Any ideas for how to use solar to offset electricity in an apartment? [closed]

I have 2 solar panels and a deck that is east and south facing, so it gets plenty of sun. I've been trying to see if there's a way to use those to help offset electricity in an apartment. Any ideas ...
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1answer
393 views

Do I need to feed a subpanel with a breaker, or can I use subfeed lugs?

I am feeding a subpanel from a main panel, and the subpanel will have a main breaker installed. Do I need to feed the subpanel from a breaker in the main panel, or can I use subfeed lugs? I ...
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1answer
463 views

Are blocking diodes necessary for solar panels

In a residential solar array, bypass diodes are used when panels are in series to prevent a shaded panel from effectively becoming a large resistor. Blocking diodes prevent current from going back ...
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2answers
58 views

Solar for particular electronic equipment

I am living in a rental house. Earlier i had an idea to install solar panel for whole house but the cost is very high and other problem is if i am going to shift the house I want to move solar ...
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0answers
69 views

How to bring solar panel wires inside house?

I have a pretty simple solar panel setup in the backyard which links to the charge controller to the batteries. I wanted to run wires inside the house so I can use it for smaller stuff like charging ...
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1answer
56 views

How to calculate theoretical long-term projected savings for a DIY solar powered fridge? [closed]

I went on energystar [dot] gov and used their product finder to find the lowest "annual energy use" compact refrigerator. For my use, that turned out to be the FURRION - FCR43ACA-BL which has an ...
2
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1answer
526 views

Is there a type of interlock (transfer switch) that can be used for a generator OR solar panels?

For a new house, I've decided to install two breaker panels, one for critical loads like the well pump, lights, refrigerator and certain outlets, and a second for heavy and non-critical items like the ...
2
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3answers
688 views

Is a 240v solar panel setup better than 120v?

I am considering a small 1kW solar system (4x 250-watt panels). The seller offers them in both 120v and 240v configurations with "micro-inverters". Given a 25-year panel warranty, could the amperage ...
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2answers
913 views

Identifying and crimping 2-pin connector

What are these plastic connectors? They’re female and male counterparts. One has male pins and the other has female metal square-holed pin receptacles. What are these called? Here’s a side view and ...
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0answers
34 views

Using excess energy during float phase - am I using up my batteries' cycle life?

I have a hybrid power system: 3kW solar; 2kW wind turbine; 1kW water wheel, that feed a 48v (flooded lead acid) battery bank. Presently, after absorption charging is complete and the system goes into ...
2
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1answer
518 views

Charging a battery with a solar panel

I want to light a cabin. I have the following: 75w 12V Coleman solar panel (two bare wire ends) Large car battery from a Jeep Even larger (boat?) battery - an Optima Yellowtop 34/78 50/10/2A 12V ...
3
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2answers
620 views

Multiple grid-tie (non-micro) inverters

This is a question that just occurred to me. Assume you have multiple grid-tie solar PV inverters connected to your home load center. What would happen if, while in operation, you were to open the ...
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2answers
97 views

How does a roof replacement impact recommended timing of solar panel installation?

I just found out that I should replace my (currently asphalt shingle) roof in the next year. I am also interested in evaluating the feasibility of installing photovoltaic and/or solar hot water panels....
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4answers
188 views

Is Having Multiple Charge Controllers on a single 48V System/Battery Bank a “Bad Idea”?

I have a 48-volt renewable energy power system in my house that is presently off-grid. It has: - a 6kVA inverter/charger that can connect to a generator or the grid (charge controller #1) - a 2kVA ...
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0answers
43 views

Combining a solar collector with photovoltaics

Our house has 10 solar collector panels, each 1 by 2 meters, installed around 20 years ago. By now their polycarbonate covers are breaking down due to the elements, and we've thought about the ...
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3answers
205 views

How can I economically switch between two home power sources?

We're researching low cost solar power systems, and we stumbled across a company out of Tx, offering a system that allows you to switch individual circuits between your service lines and solar. Sounds ...
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2answers
110 views

Will this solar panel setup work?

Fairly new to using solar. I have been reading up on volts vs. amps in terms of what makes the most efficient system. I am considering a 24v battery bank with 4 12v batteries connected together. These ...
30
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13answers
8k views

Protecting solar panels from kids who may throw stones to get monkeys off roof

I have read this question - Solar panels and hail and my question is similar. I have the possibility that neighboring kids may throw stones at my roof top solar panels to scare off monkeys which are a ...
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2answers
168 views

Will this solar charger work with my solar panel setup?

I recently bought some used solar panels that are about 25 years old, because I got a great deal on them. They have some odd operating values, which is confusing me as to which solar charger will work ...
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1answer
1k views

Can I connect a battery reserve to my solar attic fan?

I have recently purchased a solar powered gable fan for my attic. This fan will only work when the sun is up, but I would like a little more out of it during the early evening hours (no sun). Is ...
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7answers
6k views

Heat large pool with electric via solar panels?

Where might I go for help with this? Should I try to price it out myself or find a contractor? What type of contractor should I look for? My community of 60 families owns a pool. It is about 30' x ...
3
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4answers
9k views

How to connect power inverter to standard lighting circuit

I'm interested in installing a solar power system in my garage and am wondering how to connect the three-prong receptacle output of the power inverter to a NM-B lighting circuit that was previously ...
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3answers
113 views

Can I put a PV panel on my roof and run wires into a room to a power resistor to generate heat?

Maybe a dumb idea, but can I just put a PV panel on my roof and run wires into a room to a power resistor to generate heat? I have just one room that I was thinking of adding this additional heat to. ...
2
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2answers
876 views

Solar panels and batteries as primary, grid as backup with auto transfer switch [closed]

I've been toying around with this idea and I'm not sure if it's feasible. I live in an area where the power company has recently adjusted rates to make grid-tied net metering rooftop solar ...
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4answers
141 views

Solar Power for Computer Build [closed]

I am going to be trying to power my currently in progress computer build with solar power. I'm not for sure what I should be looking for power wise. I have a 1000 watt power supply that apparently is ...
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1answer
2k views

Wiring a Tesla Powerwall into an Existing Solar Install

I've been looking at the cost and feasibility of augmenting my existing 5kWh solar install with battery-backed storage to shift usage of the solar power that I generate to more useful times of the day/...
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0answers
142 views

Solar Panel Collector type for Caribbean

I live in the Caribbean and am looking to get a solar water heater system. I’m looking into flat panel or evacuated tube system. I got an offer for an evacuated tube system with a stainless steel tank ...
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3answers
131 views

Photovoltaic installation: does it make sense (or is possible at all) to get a bigger inverter than the power output of the installed panels?

We are going to install a PV in our offices. Our actual needs would be satisfied by an installation of about 4kW, so that ~16 panels of 250W. It's going to be a central-inverter, grid-connected ...
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2answers
1k views

How do I hack cheap garden/solar lights to make a remote solar panel array?

I've got a shaded area leading up to my front door that I want to illuminate with solar lights, but alas, it's so shaded I can't seem to generate enough juice to charge the batteries. I know that ...
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2answers
242 views

Is it feasible to store adequate thermal solar heat overnight?

I'm considering a passive solar radiant heating installation in the Chicago area and was wondering if it would be feasible to store enough water/energy to support heating for most of the night. The ...
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2answers
2k views

Half of my lights and oulets are not working after heavy winds?

We have solar panels and mains power. Last night was very windy; we heard quite a few bangs from outside and thought it might be the wires getting knocked together. Woke up this morning and we have ...
2
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2answers
258 views

Is this Fafco valve actuator actually a Jandy?

My pool's solar panel valve actuator is not working any more. The temperature panel lights up but the valve seems broken. It doesn't move and I can't manually adjust the handle. I bought the house a ...
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6answers
4k views

Would solar panels save money with electric baseboard heat?

My house has electric heat, built in 1969. How can I save $. Are solar panels the way to go, or is there something better out there? I'm not sure which way to go . My electric bill is nuts. I have a ...
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1answer
328 views

Solar charge controller wiring

I have the proper polarities connected from the panel and battery to the controller. Above is a photo of the HQRP charge controller wired to a 30watt 24v solar panel and this 24v battery: I checked ...
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1answer
108 views

Is it worth it to upgrade a solar system to get power from partially obstructed panels?

So I did a 7K solar system in 2009. A year or two later I was reading about a new converter that removed the penalty for partially obstructed panels. In other words, if one of the 4 panels in a row is ...
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3answers
11k views

What is required to connect solar panels to my home without connecting to the grid?

My household has a base power consumption of approx. 200W-300W. I am considering if it was possible to get a reasonably sized solar panel to cover its needs when the sun is up, with a seamless ...
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2answers
412 views

Pre-Romex AC circuits to DC for offgrid Solar

We live in a rural 250 year old colonial that was wired for ceiling and wall sconce electric lights sometime in the mid-1940s. In the early 70's outlets were added, then updated to Romex when a ...