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Required Solar Panels Plus Other Components, DC/AC Converter


<<Continue from previous page

Once the power requirement table has been prepared, and the maximum power to be used at any time and the average consumption in watts hours has been calculated, the next step is to define the power capabilities of each component and finally the number of solar panels required for the project.


DC to AC Converter

House or project

power requirements

Power DC to AC


Efficiency 90%

120 volts

Battery or

Batteries Bank

24 volts

Efficiency 90%


24 volts


Summary of Power Requirements

1-Outlet voltage required: 120 volts AC

2-Total watts hours required: 13150 Watt/hour or just W/h

3-Maximum power to be used at any given time: 6500 watts

4-Average watts hour used in 24 hours: 13150/24 = 547.92 W/h


To proceed to calculate the right number of panels

it is necessary to select first the proper system components

for power and voltage ratings, and to take in consideration their

losses and efficiencies. The procedure to select the right

components is by going from the project power needs all the way back to the solar panels, in other words the required number of solar panels will be the last element to be calculated.


Power DC to AC Converter

The DC to AC converter “converts” the direct current power from the batteries to the 120 volts AC power that all home appliances in the USA normally use and are designed for it. The power converter must be capable of delivering 6500 watts at any given time when all appliances are turned on at the same time, as is required by the house as in  row 3, and 120 volts AC  as per row 1


The 6500 watts figure is the nominal calculated power requirements, so a safety percent margin must be added to the actual power converter to be selected. If there is no plan to add more devices a minimum margin of plus 30% power handling capability is OK  but it would be better 50% or more.


From this:


5-Nominal delivering power: 6500 watts


6-Minimum for a real life converter:  6500 x 1.3 = 8450 watts


Because power is related to voltage and current by the formula

7-       P=VI, then ;


Minimum output current to handle will be:


8-       I = P/V = 8450/120 = 70.41 amps


Calculate The Required Input voltage

Power converter come in several inputs and output ranges and capabilities, for this example lets select one with a nominal input voltage of  24 volts.If a 24 volts battery or battery bank is selected then the power converter  must handle the nominal input 24 volts plus a margin capable of a minimum voltage of 20 volts on the low side and a minimum of 28 volts on the high side, in other way, it must have a minimum input working voltage range from 20 to 28 volts.


Nominal input voltage: 24 volts

Minimum input voltage range: 20 to 28 volts


Calculate the Required Input Power and Current

Because a 24 volts battery was selected and a battery voltage do not vary much when fully charged and within the nominal current load, the nominal input voltage of 24 volts will be used for the required power and current requirement calculations for the DC to AC converter.


From 6- It was found that the power to be delivered to the

house was 8450 watts including the plus 30% safety margin, based on this the input required power will be calculated:


Power to be delivered: 8450 watts

Nominal input voltage: 24 volts

Power converter efficiency: 90%


To compensate for the only 90% efficiency of the converter the power at the input must be:


Minimum input power required = 8450/0.90 = 9388.88 watts


Because   P= V x I


Then, Input current = P/V = 9388.88 watts/24 volts = 391.20 amps


For safety be sure to specify a DC to AC converter with a minimum power margin of plus 30%, or capable of handling: 9388 x 1.3 = 12204.4 watts   





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Charge Controller

Efficiency 90%

Solar Panels

29 volts

Average From 85% optimum conditions  

24 volts