Your Questions About Solar Panels

Mandy asks…

how many solar panels would I need to power my home?

or how many watts? i dont use much electricity. i have on a couple of lights and a computer, sometimes the tv. how many solar panels would i need to power those constantly throughout the day, and maybe charge batteries for night? the air, refrigerator and hot water heater i would still use regular electricity.

ssadmin answers:

Solar panels produce DC electricity, not AC. So, they would have to charge a bank of batteries, then you'd need an inverter to convert DC to AC.

You need to find what your peak wattage is (consumption) and how long you want to run things for and work backwards from there.

Suffice to say, a roof-full of panels probably won't be enough.

Chris asks…

How to make my microwave work only using solar panels?

Hi,
I got really interested in the whole concept of solar panels. I read a couple of articles and saw a few videos on how to convert solar energy to electricity, but what I want to know is how can I make the microwave work, only using solar panels?

What I mean, is how many Volts, Watts, Amperes or any of these do I need to make the microwaves fully functional and how many big the solar panels need to be to absord enought energy?

Thanks!

ssadmin answers:

There's a lot of important details, but the short answer is that you would need a system capable of supplying around 1000W, at 120VAC and capable of handling the current (which would be around 8A).

The specific requirements would depend on how you intend to use the microwave oven (i.e. How long its on for and how often you turn it on). Based on the usage you'd be able to come up with an idea of how many batteries you need (for storing the energy) versus how many solar panels you need (for charging the batteries).

In any case, it would be a fairly expensive way to heat food. Even if you made it cheap (i.e. So that the system could only be used occasionally), I'd guess it would cost at least $1000 for the inverter, batteries and other electronics plus another $1000 for a (relatively low power) solar panel.
If you wanted to make it more of an ‘on demand' system, you'd be looking at a pretty high price tag.
You'd probably be better off with a solar cooker.

That being said, such a system would be able to power many other household things as well, it wouldn't be limited to just powering microwave ovens. However economically, solar power isn't (currently) reasonable (assuming you have access to the grid).

Michael asks…

How many solar panels do I need to run a pump?

I plan to buy solar panels of the following configuration:
Sun Force 39110 / 123 watt – 7 amps

To run through an inverter, to produce the 110v I need to run the pump during the day.
The pump is 110v / 7.5 amps / 0.5 HP

My question is, how many solar panels would I need to run the pump?

ssadmin answers:

Are you sure you want those panels? It would probably be more cost-effective to get higher-wattage panels. From those specs, it sounds like you need about 800 watts of panels. That's 4 200-watt panels.

I would skip the inverter, and look for a pump that runs off DC. In fact, many AC motors will run off DC, although that's a trial-and-error sort of thing that no one will guarantee. Typically you would lower the voltage input to do so, so a 110-volt AC induction motor would run off maybe 70-80 volts DC, to avoid burning out the motor. But if you get a pump rated for DC, then you'll certainly have something that works right.

Maria asks…

Solar panels for house power in the suburbs of philadelphia?

i live around there, no tall buildings around or anything. i was wondering if anybody has a house that has solar panels and if it works well and how much power it gives off. specs like that.

ssadmin answers:

The amount of electricity your house could produce depends on the roof square footage thats facing the sun or that can have stands to angle the panels. Many people go for a system that gives them about half of their total usage. The actual amount per square foot can vary slightly depending on the pannels you get there are amorphous and crystaline as well as different formulations of the solar material. The best bet would be to contact a solar installer in your area for a free evaluation or for a quick look you can check out manufacturers websites like sharpsolar, bpsolar and I believe home depot also installs solar now.

Mary asks…

A good brand of solar panels for my house?

I want to install solar panels in my roof and most installers don't recommend any particular brand. Do you have experience with any particular brand that has worked for you or anybody you know? Does the brand of the panel make a difference?
I' talking about photovoltaic panels. I'm interested in connecting to the grid and getting the benefits that my state (Arizona) is giving to individual homes. Thanks for asking.

ssadmin answers:

Bp380j Bp 80w Solar Panel (brand 80w 12v Module)
Bp380j Bp 80w Solar Panel (brand 80w 12v Module)

Ventamatic Solar Panel 10 Watt, Model# VX SOLAR PANEL
Ventamatic Solar Panel 10 Watt, Model# VX SOLAR PANEL

Additional 10 Watt multi-crystal solar panel for use with Item#s 336620, 336622. … 18 x 13, Works With: Solar Fans, Solar Panel

Bushnell Trail Scout Pro Solar Panel Accessory 119750C
Bushnell Trail Scout Pro Solar Panel Accessory 119750C
PANEL (CLAM) $59.95
B&H Photo-Video-Audio

Note: This is just a partial list. However, a brand does not really matter for solar or wind power. Most of them comes after the testing done by the government. Also if you can find local electrician to suggest how to get second hand panels for your house would be even better…

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