Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Upgraded my Solar Installation

I upgraded my solar installation from 180Watts PV + 83AH Battery Bank to 260Watts PV + 170AH Battery Bank. I almost doubled the capacity because I have several new appliances that require the upgrade. These new stuffs that I got is the CCTV set I installed consisting of the DVR(48Watts), 4 security cameras(48Watts) and a TCL 15" LED Tv(20Watts).

My current upgraded solar installation can not support the 24-hr surveilance operation of my CCTV so I bought a mechanical timer to automatically turn on and off my cctv at certain specified period.

I also noticed lately that the location of my PV's is not highly optimized, I am losing at least 1.5 sun hours everyday but because it's almost summertime, that is not really a problem because I am able to get adequate energy to charge my PV's and aside from that, I bought a new Solar Charge controller. This device boosts the voltage output of my PV panels from 12.6V to 14.6V so that it will efficiently charge my battery. It also has features like over-charging protection(it stops charging my battery if it senses that the battery is fully charged), it also isolates my PV panels from my battery bank which means, at night, when there is no sunlight, my PV will have 0 voltage so the tendency is that my battery bank will in turn treat the PV as load, therefore, electric current will flow through my PV and this electric current will damage my PV. But upon buying my PV, I always ask the shop owner to add 6A rectifier diodes to isolate my PV's but this still not enough protection and the solar charge controller simply maximize the level of isolation of my PV's from my battery Bank.

I am also thinking of connecting my Solar Installation to the power grid in the near future just to to do some experimentation since one of the great topics nowadays is the pricing schemes of net-metering. The Philippine Congress and Energy Regulatory Board has not come out with reasonable pricing schemes but the Law on net-metering has already been approved. Probably we will have to wait at least 2 years. So for now, anybody with Solar Installation can enter into a net-metering arrangement with their local electric utility companies but they can not expect any pay at all, but they can expect that their electric bill will go down significantly.  This means that even if they consume far less than they send to the power grid, the excess will serve as a donation.

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