How To Calculate Battery Capacity For Solar System

By now, if you have considered in investing unto some solar panels and, in fact, a whole solar panel system, you might be interested in this article. Solar panels have become a very viable option for a lot of people nowadays considering there are events that do encourage this like problematic power outages and electricity management budgets.

But, you may have wondered about what are the ins and outs of a solar panel system. Also, even if they are reported to be safe, are they effective in doing what we want them to do—fuel source, backup energy option, and flexible energy management?

Well, in this article, we go into the factors on how to calculate battery capacity for solar systems and what things to take account for in order to maximize your investment.

In terms of factors we need to be concerned about, let us drop in on them right now. As a solar panel or solar panel system, you have to take into account these three questions:

1. How much can your battery (whatever the type) store in terms of energy?
2. How much will your appliance utilize energy for a given amount or period of time?
3. How much energy can be generated from your solar panel over a certain period of time?

So, as you can see, the questions triangulate to three things: actual battery capacity, potential battery utilization, and solar panel energy distribution management. This should, all in all, be what is needed to figure out or estimate the relationship between your batteries and your solar panel system. You can do this a number of ways, but if you scroll down further, you will find some statistics and observations with regards to these three areas.

Actual Battery Capacity And Energy Compatibilities

Okay, here we go, ladies and gentlemen. First off, battery capacity can be measured in terms of ampere-hours or ampere per hour, like a label of 20AH.

Second, conversion is needed for this to be in watt-hours through multiplication of the AH figure with the battery voltage, as a label of 12V. Step aside, folks, genius calculation formula coming through…just kidding

Our 20AH would be 20 and our 12V would be 12. The product (of the multiplication process) of these would be our available power in watts or our w. So, 20 X 12 = 240. This would be then 240 watts hours provided by a 20-ampere-hour battery capacity under a conversation rate of 12 voltage of the battery. In terms of actual application, this is 240-watt-hours supplied within a frame of 1 hour (more or less), depending on certain aspects like temperature.

That said, the third aspect of this is taking into account battery material limits like those of the lead-acid type and those that use a Li-ion type. Another breakdown of this would be the following below.

Again, these battery materials do indeed affect the calculations we did above:

Lead-acid batteries will provide 50% of their power as useable power. Case in point, a battery capacity of 10AH will probably only provide 5AH of actual, useable power.

Li-on batteries will provide up to 80% of their power as useable power. Case in point, a battery capacity of 10AH will probably give you 8AH of actual, useable power.

Also, the term “energy compatibility” does matter as car batteries may not be appropriately designed compare to batteries that are labeled as generally. This has mostly to do with the rate of discharge and recharge. A car battery’s main design falls under generating much power at a quick rate but cannot often cope with internal charges and may not recover fully.

Appliances and Battery Energy Utilization

This is often a common enough issue for a good number of people and may warrant investing in a list for people to monitor properly. The appliances’ consumption of power is often labeled in terms of watts.

To notice how much appliances can affect a batteries’ potential overall utilization, you can just multiply the watts of a given device (often comes with the device label) with the duration of use. That is to say: Watts X Hours or WH.

So, if we are using a 20W Television for a roundabout number of hours like 2 hours, we will get…

20W x 2H = 40WH taken from the battery. And, that is only for television. If we add in a good radio session for say, 5 hours, we would get…

10W x 5H = 50WH taken from the battery. Adding up this addition, that is around 90 Watts from the battery in a span of 7 hours.

With respect to these, researchers and experts, as well as manufacturers are offering up people to take up alternatives like the energy friendly LED type appliances, which costs a bit more than the standard fare of appliances, but can cut down on energy utilization with respect to the discussion of battery (and overall household) use.

Solar Panel Systematization: Capacities and Utilization

Taking into account the factors of actual battery capacity and potential battery utilization, we focus on solar panel energy management.

First thing, the rate by which a solar panel can generate power is attributed in terms of watts (like appliances because it technically is).

Second thing, the formula (as a plausible theory, of course) is to multiply the watts coming from the solar panel and the hours it is exposed to solar energy (also known as sunshine).

Thirdly, the formula is a theory with a lot of variables to take in like temperature affected by weather conditions (bright sunshine in summer is quite different from the sunshine in winter).

So, that said, the breakdown for the difference could be something like this…

In summer: 10Watts from a solar panel would 60Watts of energy to your battery.
In winter: 10Watts from a solar panel would probably only get 10Watts of energy to your battery.

This is all under the influence also of what is known as a charge controller, which takes into account voltage changes. This can certainly affect the relationship between the three factors that are mentioned above.

So, aside from these three, you may also take this into account for your customizable (or maximized) estimates for how to calculate battery capacity for solar system (remember: it is not just raw battery capacity!). That said, hope this has been of help.

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