The process of solar panels charging a battery is very interesting. Today we will answer different aspects of the solar panel battery charger calculator.
Process of Solar Panel Charging a Battery
How a solar panel charges a battery is described step by step below:
- The solar panel absorbs sunlight.
- Converts the absorbed sunlight into DC (Direct Current) electricity.
- This DC electricity is then used to charge the battery with the help of a solar regulator.
- DC appliances are powered directly from the battery.
- AC appliances require an inverter to convert DC into electricity.
Charging Time of Battery Using Solar Power
The charging time of a battery through solar power depends on many factors. For instance, when direct sunlight falls on the solar panel, the charging speed becomes very fast. On the contrary, on a cloudy day, chagrin becomes slower through the solar panels.
Charging time also depends on the type of battery and how much the battery had been used. If the battery condition is good, a 100W solar panel will take 5 to 8 hours to charge a 12V battery.
If the battery is in a good condition and sunlight is falling at a 90º angle on the solar panel, the charging speed will be the fastest.
Charging a Dead Battery
It is possible to charge a dead battery provided that it meets some conditions. The solar panel should have sufficient light to charge the battery. Another important thing is that the solar panel should have the same voltage as the battery.
Another important thing is that solar charge controller should be used. It should be used to prevent damage by overcharging the battery.
Deteriorating of Battery with Time
While charging a battery, ion flows from the cathode to the anode. While using the battery, the process is reversed. So, the ion then flows from the anode to the cathode.
While charging the battery and using it, the capacity of the battery decreases over time. After 1000 charges,
a high-end lithium-ion battery can lose 20% of its capacity.
So, when the capacity of the battery is decreased, the charging time will also be decreased. Suppose a high-end lithium-ion battery would take 150 minutes to be fully charged. After decreasing 20% of its capacity, it will take 120 minutes to be fully charged.
So, the decreasing of the battery capacity also decreases the charging time.
Solar Panel Calculator
A solar calculator depends on so many factors. For instance, it depends on battery voltage(V), battery Amp-hours(Ah), and battery type. It also depends on the solar panel wattage(W), and solar charger control type.
To fully charge a 100 Ah battery within one day, it will take 3 solar panels. 4 peak sun hours will also be needed to fully charge the battery within one day, otherwise it will take some more time.
It is important to know the average sun hours per day to have an idea of how long it may take for solar power to charge the battery. One way for it is to Google your city’s average sun hour of the previous year’s month.
For instance, if you are in May 2022, you should find out the average sun hour of May 2021. After finding out the average sun hour of that month, divide it by the number of days of that month. Thus, you can get the average sun hour of that month.
Cost of Solar Power
Solar panel costs between $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the type and model of the solar panel. While the initial cost of the solar panels is relatively higher, you can benefit from this investment over a period of time as it will give you cheaper electricity.
As per the Solar Energy Industries Association(SEIA), in the USA, the average cost of a residential solar power system costs $2.94 per watt.
The two most common types of solar systems are the Grid-Tie solar system and an off-grid solar system.
Grid-Tie Solar System Costs
It is the cheapest solar system option. Households and small businesses use this solar system. An average household may cost $15,000- $20,000 to install this grid-tied solar system.
A small household may cost $5000 to install this grid-tied solar system. The cost of it depends on how much electricity the household needs.
Off-Grid Solar System Costs
The cost of an off-grid solar system is higher than a grid-tied solar system. It is mainly used in medium to large businesses. The average installation cost of an off-grid solar system in the USA is $30,000- $48,000.
Solar panels can contain 32, 36, 48, 60, 72 and 96 cells. A cell can produce 0.46 volts of electricity. So, solar panels having 32 cells can produce 14.72 volts of electricity.
Shorting a Solar Panel
Most of the time, a solar panel will not be damaged by shorting it. Solar panels have been designed in such a way that they can continuously operate close to their short circuit current.
If a solar panel gets damaged while running under a short circuit, it is a faulty solar panel.
Depreciation Rate for Solar Panels
The decrease in solar panels’ value over time is called the depreciation rate for solar panels. There is no hard and fast rule for the depreciation rate for solar panels.
However, upon observing, the depreciation rate was found as follows:
• 1st Year- 20% depreciation rate
• 2nd Year- 32% depreciation rate
• 3rd year- 19.2% depreciation rate
• 4th and 5th year- 11.5% depreciation rate
• 6th year- 5.8% depreciation rate
As had been discussed earlier, solar power produces DC electricity. This DC electricity is then converted to Alternating Current(AC) through an inverter.
The conversion from DC to AC in a solar power plant is called the nominal ratio of the solar power plant. That is the ratio of DC installed capacity/ AC installed capacity. This ratio is limited between 1.10 to 1.20