Solar System - How To Combine
Solar Generators with Portable Power Stations
Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source globally as compared to other conventional energy resources due to eco friendly, portable and easy to use. Governments especially in the Europe and the USA are contemplating replacing traditional energy sources with renewable ones in their bid to increase the share of renewable in their national energy mix. The percentage of renewable energy contribution in the USA has increased by 100 % from 2000 to 2018 in USA. And among renewable, solar energy is better-placed for quick expansion as compared to other renewable sources – windmills can't be installed everywhere while sunlight reaches every nook and cranny of the earth. The technology for harnessing solar energy is widely available, is portable, easy-to-use, and affordable – only installation cost with almost no maintenance cost. Solar Energy including distribution and centralized generation is projected to climb from 11 percent of the total of the United States renewable generation in 2017 to 48 percent by 2050, making it the fastest-growing electricity source. So, for all the right reasons, renewable will dominate the global energy market in near future.
The prices of PV panels are declined due to its modern technology, provision of incentives by the government to promote solar energy. As per NREL (2018), the prices of solar panels declined to approx. $ 0.75/watt in the residential system and the prices for industrial/commercial solar energy systems are also economical due to net metering functionality. The functionality of net metering of solar energy system enables to sell the excess energy to the government/grid which is not being utilized by the consumer. The advantage of net metering is that no energy storage and provides an incentive for the installation of high rating renewable energy (solar) devices as compared to limited to the load requirements. The renewable energy resources are eco-friendly as no greenhouse gas emission produces as the World is so conscious of the reduction of greenhouse gas emission. Therefore, this article; encourage consumers to buy solar energy equipment to generate their own energy at home for utilization of energy for daily use as well as to sell the grid at reasonable tariff as governments are encouraged to the consumers for the net metering system. Later on, we will tell you about types of solar panels, how to connect them in parallel, and how to connect solar generators with portable power stations so that you can benefit from this "new normal" of electric power.
Let start with the types of solar panels
Types of Solar Panels
- A solar panel is a device that converts sunlight into an electric current. These devices are ubiquitous in their existence. Structurally, these solar panels are made up of solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells. These solar cells are arranged in a specific pattern usually grid-like on the surface of the panel. Silicon is a major component of solar panels.
- When sunlight strikes over the surface of a solar panel then the photons present in sunlight initiate electron flow in each of the solar cells and resultantly electric current is produced. So, in this way, we get electric power from these panels.
- Though, solar panels can come in various sizes, but, there are three main types of solar panels based on the type of solar/photovoltaic cells. These three classes of panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous or thin-film solar panels.
- Monocrystalline Panels:Monocrystalline panels are made up of silicon solar cells and these cells are arranged in perfect square shapes.
- Polycrystalline Panels:Like monocrystalline, polycrystalline panels also contain silicon-based solar cells but the cells are arranged in octagonal shapes.
- Amorphous / Thin film Panels:Unlike both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, thin-film panels are manufactured from a variety of materials mostly from cadmium telluride. All of the three types have their respective pros and cons and you can get any of them from the market easily.
How to Connect Your Solar Panels in Parallel
Whether you have a crystalline or thin-film panel, you need to connect all of your panels for getting maximum power. Here, we will explain about connecting your solar panels in parallel.
Parallel circuiting is employed for electrical wiring in our homes. This type of circuiting suits alternating current (AC). In parallel connection of your solar panels, you have to follow the following two simple steps.
- First of all, identify all of the positive and negative terminals of your solar panels. Look for a block usually present at the backside of each solar plate which contains bypass diodes. At bypass diodes, both terminals of the solar panel are present.
- Then, just connect all of the positive terminals of your solar panels and all of the negative terminals of your solar panels, and you are done with parallel circuiting of your solar panels. Use copper wire for connecting your panels. Copper wire has low resistance as compared to cheap aluminum wires. Therefore using copper wire in your parallel connection will minimize power loss during transmission.
Benefits of Connecting Solar Panels in Parallel
In parallel circuiting, ampere of your solar panels is increased while its voltage remains the same. For example, if 2 solar panels of 12V and 8ampere are connected in parallel then the voltage of the panels will remain the same i.e. 12V while its ampere (electric current/power) will double i.e. 16 amperes. This means if you have an electric appliance that operates on a 12V power source then connecting 2 solar panels with 12V and 8Amp will increase the operational time of your electric appliance as compared to a series connection.
Parallel connection offers multiple paths for current transmission. So, if one of the transmission paths is damaged then the other path will be available for electron flow and you need not renew your wiring.
Finally, the effective resistance of a parallel circuit is always low as compared to series or hybrid circuit, and therefore, a parallel connection is best for almost all of the home appliances.
Though you may consider series or hybrid circuiting parallel connection is the best choice vis-à-vis increasing power output.
How to Combine Solar Generators with Portable Power Stations
Solar generators as the name indicates are electric generators powered by solar panels. Unlike gas-powered and gasoline-powered generators, these solar generators use sunlight for generating electric power. A typical solar generator consists of solar panels, solar batteries, a battery charger, and a charge inverter. Solar panels convert light energy into electrical energy which is then used for charging solar batteries. The charged batteries can then be used for powering any of the electric appliances. These solar generators are an innovative off-grid solution.
In a solar generator, electric power is stored in batteries as DC. Though lead-acid batteries are also common lithium-ion batteries are widely used for their better performance. As almost all electric appliances require AC so these generators can't power most of the home appliances so the inverter is to convert DC into AC before supplying it to any of the appliances. You can also power a portable power station with these solar generators for completely going off-grid.
Portable Power Station
A portable power station is a lightweight, portable, and rechargeable battery-powered generator which has an AC outlet, DC carport, and USB charging ports. This portable power station can power almost every appliance from smart phones, tablets, laptops, to CPAP and small appliances, like a fan, and electric blankets, etc.
A portable power station is little more than an inverter that takes DC from a charged battery and converts that DC power to AC for running your home.
Portable power stations are noiseless, pollution-free, and economical but you have to combine them with batteries and solar generators are the best choice for their renewable and clean energy.
Combining Solar Generator with Portable Power Station
Combining a solar generator with a portable power station is pretty straightforward. Simply install a cable from the batteries of your solar generator into the DC carport of your portable power station and now you are ready for using the innovative off-grid electric solution. Most of the power stations do have USB ports for charging smart phones and emergency lights.
Renewable energy especially solar energy is economical and feasible for residential, commercial and industrial due to eco-friendly, reduction of solar panel prices and net metering functionality. Solar energy as a clean energy solution is becoming increasingly popular. To avail of the convenience of these smart off-grid solutions, you need to be aware of their working mechanism and connectivity. We hope that you have learned to connect solar panels in parallel and combining solar generators with portable power stations. Keep in touch for your learning journey with us.