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My site is about solar appliances: home solar panels, RV, etc. You may find here articles about solar lights, batteries and pool covers, generators and solar powered motion security light and so on

Unlike fossil fuels – coal, oil, gas, the resource of the Sun is almost inexhaustible. According to NASA, the Sun will shine least 6.5 billion years 🙂 The use of solar panels is not accompanied by harmful emissions. Compared with traditional sources of energy, this impact on the environment is negligible. Users of solar panels don’t care about the growth of energy prices, solar-powered power systems maintenance is low cost – it is only necessary to clean panels several times a year. Manufacturer’s warranty on them is usually about 20-25 years.

But of course, solar systems have some disadvantages. Installation cost of the entire set for a private house is pretty high. Due to the fact that sunlight is absent at night and weak on cloudy and rainy days, solar energy can not be considered a stable source of electricity. To accumulate it, you need to install additional equipment. Batteries that allow you to accumulate energy and compensate the instability of solar energy supply, is distinguished by a high price that is not available to every homeowner.

Check here main steps to follow when planning to power your home with solar energy

Main types of solar systems

1. Systems in which solar energy is transferred as heat to the antifreeze (sometimes water and even air) circulating between the storage tank and the solar collector panel. Such systems have the highest efficiency, but don’t produce electricity.

2. Solar batteries that produce electricity, which accumulates in a battery and through a DC/AC converter goes to to home electrical system.

Very often both types work in complex. For example, batteries provide electricity for lighting and household appliances, and the collector heats the house and provides hot water.

How it works

The sun’s rays “hit” the surface of the panel and “shift” the electrons from the atomic orbits. The efficiency of solar batteries depends on the panel’s area, intensity of the solar radiation, and position of the solar modules. Therefore, the efficiency of batteries varies with a weather, season, geographical location, etc.

The solar energy system is complex and uses a number of auxiliary devices to provide energy transmission and transformation:

  • Solar panels
  • A power accumulator (battery) to work when the battery does not generates needed power (when its cloudy, or at night)
  • DC-to-DC converter. Solar panels produce direct current, the voltage varies depending on the intensity of light. The inverter is required to convert it for battery charging
  • DC-to-AC converter and Voltage stabilizer for home appliances
  • Automation system to monitor the charge/discharge, provide safety algorithms, etc.

Solar chargers

Solar charger is a portable system, the main component of which is a solar battery. Solar charging is a universal source of energy, suitable for many devices: phones, tablets, laptops, video cameras, GPS-navigators. The solar-powered charger allows to always stay in touch for people with an active lifestyle.

Modern chargers can have various properties: waterproof, shockproof, stylish, compact etc. The advantage of solar chargers for phones and tablets is small size and light weight. More powerful models of solar panels can not be such compact, but have a large area and power. When choosing a solar charger, you need to consider its intended purpose.

For charging mobile phones, GPS-navigators, smart phones, solar chargers with a solar battery capacity of 0.5 W are suitable; battery capacity varies from 2000-5000 mAh. For tablets, video cameras, etc, you need more powerful solar panels – 0.8 W and more; with a battery capacity of 4000 mAh. And for more powerful devices (netbooks, laptops, etc.) chargers with a solar cell power of 1.5 W and a battery of 10,000 mAh are suitable.

Solar chargers with built-in battery use modern Li-ion and Li-Pol batteries, which are reliable, haven’t “memory effect” and keep the charge for a long time. You can put in the sun and charge built-in battery all day long. When needed, they’ll provide quick charging for your mobile phone with an output current of 2A and more. Devices without batteries have bigger panel area and you can not store energy in them.

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