What You Ought To Know About Solar Shingles

Solar power is generated by converting sunlight or heat into energy either directly using photovoltaic cells or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP) in which concentrated solar power systems use mirrors or tracking systems to focus a huge area of sunlight into a small beam. Sunlight is converted into electricity using photovoltaic effect.

Although ‘solar shingles’ offer excellent incentives besides a number of benefits compared to conventional solar cells, there are certain typical challenges inbuilt in the installation of such a roof. One should plan meticulously and in particular considerable attention is needed when wiring solar shingles. Solar shingles, also known as photovoltaic shingles appear similar to traditional asphalt shingles or tiles and are available in various types.

Here are detailed guidelines explaining the installation process of a photovoltaic solar shingle roof. Solar shingles present superior artistic look in contrast to traditional solar panels and in addition, it is less complex accessory to the home. Unlike solar panels, which need a ‘mounting rack’ for installing above the roof; solar shingles are fastened directly on top of the roof.

From the cost perspective, one has to add only the difference in price between normal roofing shingles and solar shingles to the cost and compensating the additional cost, there will be sizeable saving on the cost of mounting racks. A very systematic planning is needed before taking up the work of installation of the solar roof.

The layout of the roof, the number of tiles needed to generate the required amount of power and how the internal wiring though the house linking it to the power control panel and inverter will be carried out are some of the aspects that need careful assessment.

Solar cells should be interconnected in series in order to supply high voltage to the inverter. In this configuration, the positive terminal of each element is wired to the negative terminal of the next as against parallel wiring in which each element is kept on a different branch of the same wire.

In a serial wiring, the voltages of each element adds up. For installation of solar shingles on the roof, they should be clipped together and placed on top of each other as is done in respect of usual roofing shingles. When fixing standard shingles this one step alone would be sufficient.

However, in case of photovoltaic shingles, it is also necessary to connect with electric wires. A standard assembly involves drilling holes through the roof every 3 ½ inches along a line of superimposed tiles in order to pass the wires through the holes. It is better to use a template and mark the places where each hole is to be drilled, prior to the actual installation of shingles, to avoid any errors.

After passing wires through the holes drilled for wiring, channel each line of wires through a ‘wiring raceway’. Proper alignment of ‘wiring holes’ and raceways between structural components in the roof is very essential. It is necessary to engage a licensed electrician to complete the work of wiring of solar cells to the inverter and power control unit and from the inverter to the electric power grid. It is also very important to take into account that solar shingles cannot be cut, as this will make solar cells ineffective.

Additionally, a minimum slope of 3: 12 of the roof is needed to ensure smooth drainage. While installation of a solar shingle roof will confer great incentives, the installation job is not easy. For correct installation, appropriate planning and great care at each stage of the process is absolutely essential. It is not a job that can be undertaken in a hurry.

Tabbing The Solar Cells Of Your Homemade PV Panel

Even a few years back, owning a solar panel was a costly proposition; in spite of the fact that someone installed the project all by himself. However, things have changed for the better and now there are affordable materials that facilitate do-it-yourself (DIY) installation of solar panels.

Like any other project, making and installation of a solar panel becomes easy if you follow the directions laid down in credible guidelines. The preparation of the tabbing wire, which includes tinning the wire, is one of the most crucial steps in making the solar panel; if you are not aware of this, read below to understand the term and process properly.

Tabbing wire falls in the group of regular wires with special characteristics; one such characteristic being it is not made from copper and is a mixture of tin along with other metals. This characteristic makes enables this wire with silvery finish to become an efficient conductor of electricity and being flat it is ideal for attachment to solar cells.

To tab a solar cell, initially you need to cut the tabbing wire to an appropriate length, which you can do by laying two cells at an appropriate length and then taking the measurement of this length to determine the size of the wire. Cut the tabbing wires all at once, since you will be required to cut many of these wires for your project.

Take a wood, cut it to the proper length and wrap the tabbing wire around it to get uniform length. Now cut the tabbing wire according to the folded markings after taking it out from the wood template. Now that the tabbing wire is cut as per the required length, you are ready for the next step, which is tinning and for this you will require a solder and soldering iron.

Before you start tinning, straighten the wire so that it is evenly flat. Then lay it down to the working surface and make a mark at the middle, since this is commonly the place where tinning is required. Apply a soldering lead, evenly, on top of the tabbing wire with the help of the pre-heated soldering iron and continue this process until you finish coating the tabbing wire completely.

However, exercise caution and do not apply too much solder on the tabbing wire, since the objective is to coat the wire evenly and completely. Now that this process is complete, the rest that you require to do is to align and connect the solar cells together to set up your own solar panel.

Making and installing a solar panel is an economic way of having solar energy for your home, which will not only help you to cut down on electricity bill but will also help you to take that necessary step in doing your bit for keeping the environment clean and free of pollution. This is simple and all it takes is to have appropriate materials for the project and good solar guidelines on how to carry it out.

Do some research work, visit the related sites online and if required try to get a video illustration. The most satisfying part of this project is that you will get a good experience in doing solar panel and later can use this expertise to start your own assembly business. Get smart, cut down on electricity bill and use the vast source of energy, the sun, to produce your own solar energy.

Choosing The Right Wiring Style For Photovoltaic Panels

If you are planning to build an array of solar panels, first you need to determine the number of Photovoltaic (PV) panels required to meet your energy output goals and then start assembling them. In order to do that you need to understand as to how to wire your panels together.

Read the points enumerated below to understand not only the difference between parallel solar panel installations and series solar panel installations but also the one that best suits your need.

Wiring PV Panels In Parallel

Visualize three polar panels are lying next to each other on the ground with a positive and negative terminal on the top and at the bottom of each panel, respectively. You have two options and can exercise any of these to wire these panels together using the terminals.

One of the options that you can opt for is to run the wires along the top and the bottom of each panel, connecting the positive and negative terminals together, respectively. This is a parallel solar installation; however, you should also understand the implications when you wire your panels in this manner.

When you use this method to wire your panels in parallel, the total voltage output remains the same as it is in a single panel; however, the amperage (amps) output becomes the sum of the output of each panel.

Let us consider the fact that you get 12 volts and 3.5 amps for each of your panels. Therefore if you wire your panels in parallel, the cumulative output of your three panels is going to be 12 volts whereas, you will get 10.5 amps.

Now if you increase the number of panels from three to six, the voltage output remains the same at 12 volts whereas, you can get amperage of 21.

Wiring Solar Panels In Series

Now, consider the second option and again visualize the same three unwired solar panels lying next to each other on the ground. You are now going to wire them in series; this means, instead of wiring the positive terminal of one panel to the positive one of the next panel, you are going to wire the positive terminal of this panel to the negative one of the panel next to it. Perform this process for each of your panels and your array of solar panels will be wired in series.

Now let us understand the consequences of wiring the array of solar panels in series. Here, the amperage remains the same and the voltage output is the sum total of voltage output of the three panels.

Considering the above example of panels, now your amperage is 3.5 whereas the voltage output increases to 36. Again, if you increase the number of panels to six, you amperage remains the same at 3.5, but you can get 72 volts.

When To Adopt Each Respective Wiring Style

Now the million dollar question is which wiring style should you opt for; it all boils down to the system that you want to charge. For example, during your camping trip if you want to charge up your 12 volt RV system, you need to set up your solar panel system in such a manner that you get an output of 12 volts.

Let’s assume that you have two solar panels, each of which produces 12 volts at 3.5 amps. In this case you need to wire them in parallel so that you get 12 volts and increase the amperage to 7.0.

On the other hand, if each of your two solar panels produces 6 volts at 3.5 amps, you need to wire them in series to get an output of 12 volts at 3.5 amps. Another thing you should understand that no matter whichever method you choose, the total power output remains unchanged.

The total power is measured in watts and hence to find out the total wattage of your charging system, simply multiplies the amps with total volts. See the example below: 12 volts x 10 amps = 120 watts 120 volts x 1 amp = 120 watts. Therefore, there is no difference.

To understand the difference between parallel and series wiring, simply remember parallel wiring = more amps and series wiring = more volts.