1.Start with calculating the required power. Choose the most suitable electronic devices to use and find out their power consumption in terms of ‘Watt-hours” (Wh). You can do this by multiplying the wattage ratings of the devices by the usage hours. Finally, find the total of the Watt-hours you have found.
2.Consider the site where you want to set up the solar panels and ascertain how much sunlight actually falls there without any obstruction. The time during which a shadow (of a tree, edifice, etc) remains on that place should not be taken into account for this purpose. You should also regard the ‘Winter Hours’ as another important factor as days are shorter in that season. Add up all the hours.
3.Now, you have to find out the amount of power that should be produced every hour of sunlight in order to fulfill your requirements. Just divide the total power consumption in Watt-hours by the total number of hours. However, there are a number of other factors (angle and exposure to the sun, cloud coverage, common inefficiencies, etc.) that can affect the output of the solar panels. So, multiply your answer by a number between 2 to 5 to get the actual amount of power needed.
4.After that, purchase the best photovoltaic cells for your solar power generator. It is always good to go for ‘B-grade’ cells as they come with proper warranties yet are extremely affordable. Also, opt for cells that can last up to 5 or 10 years. With the price of solar panels is going down significantly, there is no need to search hard for long-lasting ones.
5.Prior to buying the batteries for your solar power generator, determine the capacity that will be required by you. At first, double up your power consumption necessities as you can’t use more than half of the batteries to avoid over-discharging. Then, calculate the capacities of the batteries by multiplying it by the number of days to use.
6.Now, purchase your batteries. Choosing ‘deep-cycle’ batteries over normal car batteries will always be good for your solar power generator. If budget is not a constraint for you, go for AGM batteries in order to get the best results.
7.After the batteries, invest in a charge controller for providing support to your solar panels in producing current. Things you should consider during the purchase are battery life, efficiency of the controller, cost of the controller, and so on.
Summary: If you want to make the most of the solar energy, consider setting up a small-scale solar or photovoltaic cell power generator.This article is a 7-step guide for the set up of such a small solar power unit.