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cizzi
November 9th, 2008, 15:47 PST
I want to play with numbers. For example if I give you X AH battery size and X Watts PV array size how many watts/hour per day does that give me to use? I know there's many factors involved however is there a general rule of thumb to simplify the process without going through all the mathematical steps which I have allready. Thanks for any info.

i.e 200 W panel with a 100 AH battery would allow me to use how many watts per day?

If this sort of logic is not possible I understand, I'm just curious..

BB.
November 9th, 2008, 16:09 PST
Starting with the panel size... You can use this link (http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/codes_algs/PVWATTS/version1/) to see how many watt hours (or kWhrs) per month/year based on parameters you input...

You will need your location (pick one from program nearest you), and, if you are off grid generating AC power--you will want to use a derating factor of ~0.52 (assumes flooded cell batteries and AC inverter--you can use the default of 0.77 for grid tied systems). The rest of the numbers you input based on your panel setup (tilt, facing E/W/S, tracking or not, etc.).

The one drawback to this program... It assumes that the minimum panel size is 1kW--so you will have to do a conversion for smaller panels (for example, x200Watt/1,000watt to get the kWhrs per month for a 200 watt system or 2/10 or 1/5 for this example).

For many reasons (mostly to do with long battery life and efficiency), the starting rule of thumb for battery sizing is 6x the daily battery load (pretty much assuming that you charge during the day, and consume power at night). Gives you 3 days of "no sun" and a 50% maximum depth of discharge.

If you get outside of the Rules of Thumb--then there are other issues that need to be looked at to define an optimum system.

I think also that somebody here made up an Excel spread sheet to work out some of the panel/battery/charging calculations for setting up an off-grid system...

I took a quick search and could not find it just now... Maybe somebody else remembers the post.

-Bill

cizzi
November 9th, 2008, 16:20 PST
Thanks for that link and information. This solar stuff is truely a rewarding experience from researching to buying and installation to upgrading and maintaining, I spent this weekend converting a 3-way light in my bedroom to use the DC from my distribution power bar :) Was quite fun, although I no longer have a 3 way on/off switch since I used the traveller wires to send power to my other switch. Anyways, I keep learning and its great to see stuff working.

niel
November 9th, 2008, 19:06 PST
bb,
the calculator you speak of was from bad apple and it would appear it has dissappeared from the post in the thread he created for it.
on further investigation into it i found this link, but didn't try it. i'll copy and paste it here.

Attached Fileshttp://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/images/attach/zip.gifSolar Calc.zip (http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/attachment.php?attachmentid=25&d=1189385260) (14.9 KB, 44 views)

cizzi
November 9th, 2008, 19:20 PST
Neil, I can't get the spreadsheet to work with Excel 2007 on Windows Vista, does it only run on office 2003? I would have to install that version ?

BB.
November 9th, 2008, 19:33 PST
Opened fine in Windows XP with Excel 2003--Can't imagine that a later version will not work...

-Bill

cizzi
November 9th, 2008, 19:34 PST
It opens fine but when I enter some values in winter month for example, it doesnt update the other spreadsheets.. shouldn't need to refresh anything since its excel?

niel
November 9th, 2008, 20:17 PST
i haven't played with it to tell you how it works with vista. you may need to address questions to its creator and that wasn't me. the instructions do say to fill it in for each of the worksheets, but i don't know for sure if he intended it to carry the info to the other worksheets or not. i lean not.

BB.
November 9th, 2008, 20:49 PST
This is the first time I have looked at this program... For me, the ouput graphs did not update until I had put in data/numbers in all of the Green Areas for PV and Battery pages (used <Enter> key to update the cells--may not have been required).

I have not looked at what is going on--so I don't know if everything is correct/makes sense or not... If you like the program, you might try sending a message to Bad Apple (he has not logged in since early September--so he may not be available).

-Bill

crewzer
November 10th, 2008, 4:21 PST
Here’s a quick “back of the envelope” backwards calculator for an off-grid system:

(Energy Requirement (kWhrs/day) / 63% end-to-end system efficiency) / local isolation = ~ PV array size (kW STC) For example, to deliver 5.0 kWh/day in Massena, NY, from a south-facing PV array tilted up at latitude plus 15 degrees (~60 degrees) on an average day in December:

((5.0 kWh /day) / 63% ) / (2.5 hrs/day) = 3,2 kW STC, or 3,200 W STC

Ref: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/redbook/sum2/94725.txt

The 63% end-to-end system efficiency factor is derived from the following values:

PV module / array operating efficiency: ~85% of STC spec
System wiring efficiency: 97%
Charge controller efficiency: 96%
Battery efficiency: 85%
Inverter efficiency: 93% for 48 V inverters

Multiplying these values through results in an overall system efficiency spec of ~63%. YMMV.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer

mike95490
November 10th, 2008, 6:54 PST
i.e 200 W panel with a 100 AH battery would allow me to use how many watts per day?
.

The simple way, is, allow for 5 hours of sun, daily.
PV = 85% of label [ 170W ]

5 x 170 = 850 W hour daily harvest.

There is about 15% loss when recharging a battery, leaving you 722.5wH to use.

You can split that between different uses, lighting, laptop computer, LCD TV,
an inverter will generally add 10% conversion losses, so what you can power directly from 12V is better than up converting to 120VAC