Solar Panel System | Photovoltaic installation roadmap

Solar panel system converts sunlight directly into electricity (“solar power”). Our photovoltaic installation roadmap is going to explain what is new under the sun and what is old. Why there different technics, and how to make a distinction for your needs. Every supplier should calculate the solar quote. Therefore, you know that the offered system covers the total electricity consumption from the Electra bill.

If you had a green light in your mind while asking an installer for a quote, it should go red when there is no calculation with it. Only a reasonable estimation is confirming the size of a solar panel installation!

On top of that comes the experience. If you need technical support with that, contact us. For a small fee of 50 euro’s, we recalculate the quote for you. Saving money is no problem when it is well done.

Solar Panel System | Photovoltaic installation roadmap

From theoretical to actual return can be a big difference. In practice, various internal and external loss factors reduce profit. Where you live on this earth and what kind off weather conditions, for example. Here in Portugal Algarve the biggest problem is the heat that the sun produces. The energy efficiency of solar PV modules is theoretical not that high. So it is essential to choose the right panel for your area where you live.

With this article, we are going to give you all the essential ingredients to look for when you are going to buy a solar panel kit. Even with reading this webpage, you will have the right questions if you get a quote from the supplier.

Electricity generating needs home work.

To know anything about the size of your solar panel system and how much sun power it have to produce. You have to understand how much energy you are consuming from the national energy supplier like the EDP. Preferably on a yearly basis.

There are two ways, depending on the interest you have in electric grid consumption.

  1. Ask your Electra supplier, or look at the electricity bills.
  2. Install a wifi smart energy meter.

With option two, you will have the most accurate energy usage because there is a difference between the day and night use. Are you have plans for your residential solar installation to have lithium batteries implement in the future. Then for sure, you like to know the nightly electricity use. That amount of kilowatts determines the size of the backup power with lithium batteries.

If you do not want to purchase a smart energy meter, then know your annual energy consumption. In Portugal Algarve, we have 8.3 hours average sunshine a day according So from every 24 hours, you can cover 8.3 hours with solar energy. Remember, these are average values. Practical, in our experience, most costumers have savings of around 50%.

Calculating your solar power requirements.

The daily sun covers about 33% of the yearly electricity consumption. So, take 33% of that and divide it by 365 days. And again divide it by 8.3.
For example, the consumption is 9000 kW/year. 33% of that is 3000kW. Divide it by days of the year, so 365. The result is 8.22kW and divide it again by 8.3. The hourly average electrical use over a year is 1 kW an hour.

This example is processing the values of weather influence, panel heat and user behaviour in a solar panel system. Here you can download it or click on the picture for our example solar panel system outcome.

Online free photovoltaic software.

This free online application is from SMA. Sunny Design is for everyone interested in solar PV system calculation. If you study it, you will notice that the outcome is different from then our example, presented earlier. We use the same yearly consumption, but the results are so different that you have to ask why?

SMA sunny design takes several extern influences into account. But it also based on human behaviour for using electricity. It is the action and usage of different load profiles. Like:

  • With one person in full-time employment and often out in the evenings.
  • Profile for one young family with one parent in full-time employment and a child.
  • Private household of one family. Both parents are in full-time employment. The children are of school age.
  • Load profile for heating electricity with night charging and daytime top-up charging.
  • Single-family home in Southern Europe.

And so they have therefore 21 different options. This program gives an estimation of the power consumption, but you can always input your use of electricity for different choices. To pay extra for a solid solar power calculation is worth the money. A smal price for a big investment! Try it, its free, and can save a lot of money.

This online program also gives extra’s, too have a backup power battery, electric vehicle and heat pump while dimension the PV installation.

How do solar systems produce energy?

As our example revealed, we need six solar panels from Ulica 370Wp Perc. To generate renewable energy, we convert it to AC power. That is the same power system what’s coming from our wall contact box. For that we need a DC to AC converter, or solar PV inverter.

Of course, while Sunny Design is from SMA, the suggestions for the solar photovoltaic installation converter is also SMA. In our example, it is a Sunny Boy 2.0 that converts the DC to AC from the PV panels. If your house has a  three-phase electric system, then the complete solar system needs a three-phase inverter like the Sma Sunny Tripower series. In principle, the energy production system is ready to produce clean energy.

Meanwhile, with all that sunlight into electricity from your home solar, you like to use it wisely. The most efficient photovoltaic solar power system use al the clean electricity. Therefore it’s best to install a home manager like the SMA sunny home manager 2.0. Especially if you also want to connect a battery to your panel systems.

Renewable battery storage is cost-effective. With the dropping lithium battery prices and a well done photovoltaic PV calculation, you can become autonomous or have a off-grid solar kit. With the grid as a backup buffer, efficiencies above the 90% are possible.

But even without that, the home manager can arrange the peak loads from the washing machine, warm water boiler or heat pump at the time the PV modules produce enough. The same rule is applied for a electric vehicle.

More efficiency from your photovoltaic system?

And if you like to achieve the highest efficiency, think about Thermal PV Panels. The efficiency knife cuts on both sites. The temperature of the panels are lower, so the yield will be higher. With the warm water, you can heat your domestic water boiler or swimming pool. Some off our clients have a swimming pool pump on DC power. So not the energy loss from the inverter to convert DC to AC.

The size off the system demands an insight view of your electricity consumption and the plans for the future. Installing solar is done step by step, but all start with an efficient calculation. Then you are save for the next 25 years.

Unfortunately, we can not give any solar panels system price in this article. A PV system costs are depending on more factors then we can cover here. Like the mounting system, ground-mounted or on the roof. The installation of a net meter. But proven is, that a solar energy system that covers your electrical bill needs a PV calculation. So ask your supplier about it! To live without fossil-fueled energy is a good feeling.