What is a cell protector?
A cell protector has reverse current flow protection diodes built in to it to prevent loss of power production due to shading.
How does shading affect a solar module?
Shading of a single module affects current output not voltage. Shading of multiple modules in series or parallel affects the current output of both modules unless blocking diodes are in place. Hot spots can begin over time where shading occurs and current flow accumulates in that area.
Can I hook dissimilar panels in to one another?
Dissimilar panels cannot be wired in parallel or series. The larger output module will push current to the smaller panel instead of the charge regulator. If an array consists of different panels, you will need multiple charge controllers where similar panels are hooked together.
What is a series connection?
A series connection is where multiple electrical devices are wired positive to negative increasing their voltage. The overall amperage output remains the same. (Ex) two 12V, 3A, 36watt solar modules are in series. The voltage of the array will be 24V and the amperage output is 3A, output wattage is 72 watts.
What is a parallel connection?
A parallel connection is where multiple electrical devices are wired with both positives and both negatives hooked together. Their voltage remains the same but their amperage increases. (Ex) two 12V, 3A, 36watt solar modules are in parallel. The voltage of the array will be 12v and the amperage output is 6A, output wattage is 72 Watts.
What does ‘Uoc’ mean?
This symbol found on the name plate of solar modules stands for ‘Open Circuit Voltage’. Open circuit voltage is when a solar module is illuminated and no load is placed upon it. The voltage will be higher than when the panel is loaded .
What does ‘Isc’ mean?
Isc is the short circuit current of the solar module. This is the maximum amount of current that this module could produce. A solar module can actually be short circuited without damaging the module. If you short the leads together in intense sunlight you could measure the current flow with a clamp on meter.
How do I know how intense the sun is?
We offer a solar irradiance sensor that hooks to any digital multi meter. The sensor will tell you how intense the sun is and how much solar power production you should expect.
Can a solar panel produce more current than it’s name plate value?
A solar panel can produce more than it’s name plate value under high solar irradiance. The solar irradiance at the name plate rating is 1000 W/Sq M (watts per square meter). It is very possible at times to exceed 1000 watts and go up 1200 watts. This is why the National Electric Code mandates wiring be large enough to support 25% more current than name plate.
How does a Solar Charge Regulator work?
Solar charge regulator monitors battery voltage to see the state of charge of the batteries. When the batteries are nearing full charge, the regulator opens the circuit removing the batteries from the solar panels.
How does a solar charge regulator work in conjunction with other charging sources like an alternator, shore power, generator, wind turbine?
Solar charge controllers have current backflow prevention diodes in place to work in parallel with other charging sources.
How do three stage battery chargers work?
Most charge controllers charge in three stages- Bulk, Absorption and Float. Bulk releases maximum amps to the 80-90% charge level. Absorption is fewer amps with higher voltage. Float is lower at voltage level to keep batteries at 100% charge.
How does AGM battery charging differ from Lead acid charging?
AGM requires lower terminal charging voltage. Higher voltage creates boiling off the batteries acidic solution. Battery charging creates hydrogen off gassing which can escape from wet cell batteries but not sealed batteries. Lower voltage prevents over charging.
How does temperature affect my solar modules?
The higher the temperature of the solar module, the less efficient it will be in its power output. Increased temperature increases the resistance of the solar cells which decreases the output.The best conditions for maximum solar output would be a bright sun on a cold day.
How can I tell the charge status of a battery system?
The battery voltage will tell you the rough status of charge. To get the most accurate reading, you must measure when not charging or discharging. The most accurate way is to measure specific gravity of the wet cells.
What is the best mounting angle for my panel?
The best way to mount solar panels is to get them perpendicular to the sun. The best mounting angle changes throughout the year, steeper in the winter and shallower in the summer. If you have to pick a fixed angle throughout the year, use your latitude.
What is STC?
This is the international standard at which solar panel power outputs are rated. The temperature at which the module is tested is a fixed 25 Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). The solar irradiance is fixed at 1000 Watts per square meter. The voltage and current is measured and certified to ensure the module’s designed power output is correct.
What is the difference between a cell, module, array and solar string?
A solar cell is a silicon wafer in which a direct current can be produced when exposed to sunlight. cells are soldered in series and parallel to make a solar module or “solar panel”. A solar array is comprised of multiple solar modules. A solar string is multiple modules wired in series to achieve a required voltage for a charge regulator or inverter.