Let me quickly correct a wrong impression. You don’t have to be a graduate of engineering or electrical electronics before you can become a solar engineer or be able to successfully install solar electricity for organizations, governments and private individuals.
All it takes is for you to be able to know the difference between red and black colour. Once you are able to identify red and black, the rest is as easy as whistling.
This is because much of what you will be doing is connecting the solar components together with red and black cables. Even the connection process doesn’t take more than three simple steps and in 30 minutes or thereabouts, you are done. It may sound incredible but it’s true.
Let’s start off with the red and black cables. Red cables or wire in any electrical device are positive. They are also denoted by signs like (+) plus or red paint or mark.
You and I know that red is a colour normally used as a warning signal. Therefore care must be taken while handling red wires or cables because they carry electric current. Black cables, on the other hand, are not electricity conductors.
They are referred to as negative or neutral. Every minus (-) sign, paint or mark are symbols for black or negative. We always emphasize this so that you don’t, for instance, mistakenly screw a black cable onto a red battery terminal or insert a red cable into a node meant for black cables. Such wrong connections could precipitate a spark which can damage some if not all the solar components.
Now to the installation process which as stated earlier takes just three steps and 30 minutes maximum once the components are in place.
But first, let’s get familiar with the components. Only four components are needed to install a full solar system.
The first one which is the most important and also the most expensive is the solar panel.
This is the device that generates electricity. Once the sun shines on it, it automatically begins to generate electricity.
But the kind of electricity it generates is called Direct current (DC) which can’t power home appliances as home appliances are usually powered by Alternating current (AC). But there is a device that turns direct current into alternating current.
That device is called inverter and it is our second component.
The inverter’s main function is to convert direct current into alternating current for home appliances.
The third component is the battery.
Please note that this is not the normal car battery that we all know. Car batteries are designed to provide a very large amount of current for a short period of time. But deep cycle batteries, designed basically for solar electric power, provides steady amount of current over a long period of time.
It is also designed to be deeply discharged over and over again (something that ruins car batteries quickly) its main function is to store energy for later consumption. When the sun is down in the evening and throughout the night, it is the energy that the battery has stored during sunrise that supplies electricity until the sun is up again in the morning.
The last component is the charge controller. It controls all the charges flowing into the battery so that there won’t be overcharging or undercharging which can damage the battery or shorten its lifespan.
Charge controllers, as you will discover shortly, also perform the function of being the component to which the cables of the other three components are inserted. Also on the charge controller, there are two signs; plus sign (+) and minus sign (-). The positive sign stands for the red cable while the negative stands for the black cable.
How to Install Solar Panel System
Now that we are familiar with the components, let’s commence the 3-step process of installation. Shall we?
STEP ONE – Grab the solar panel. Turn it over and you’ll find red and black cables sticking out from the back of the solar panel. Insert these cables into their emblems or nodes for solar panels on the charge controller and screw firmly.
STEP TWO – Get a black cable and screw one end of it, using a screwdriver to the negative battery terminal. Insert the other end into the nodes for the battery on the charge controller and screw firmly.
Perform the same task for the red cable by screwing one end of it to the positive terminal of the battery while the other end goes into the node for the battery on the charge controller.
STEP THREE – The inverter also comes with its own cables like the solar panel. It also comes with negative and positive terminals like the battery. The connection process is similar to that of the battery.
Get a black cable; connect one end of it to the negative terminal of the inverter, the other end to the negative node on the charge controller. Perform the same task with a red cable by using it to connect together the positive terminal of the inverter and its positive node on the charge controller.
Those are the three-step installation process for a full solar system.
Now grab the solar panel and place it where the sun can shine on it. Go back to the inverter, plug your appliances into its socket and switch it on. Are your appliances on? I bet they are!
NB: The electric energy your household requires will determine the number of solar panels and batteries you will need to power all your appliances.
If for instance, you’ve calculated the wattage of all your electrical appliances and they all come to about 1500 watts (or 1.5kva, then you will need a solar system of about 2000 watts or 2kva. One battery or one solar panel will definitely not have the capacity to generate the required current for 2kva electric power demand.
Please do the needful to ensure there are no wrong connections as this writer or NaijaLEARN.com will not be liable for any damage resulting from any mistake during the connection process.
If you are blessed with this powerful information, make sure you share with friends and families using the share button below. And if you have any question, you are free to ask using the comment form below.
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