Next - Site Review: How Much Energy Do You Need?
The nominal voltage of your system is usually determined by the system size. Small to medium systems, where most loads are DC, or a few loads are AC through an inverter, lend themselves to 12 volts nicely. Many lights and small appliances can be found at this voltage and efficiencies are high.
On the down side, 12 volt suffers from high line loss problems. The solar modules and loads cannot be far from the battery bank. To review the wire loss tables, click here.
24 volt systems are suggested for medium to large systems. With 24 volts we have less wire loss problems and larger inverters are available. 24 volt DC appliances are more rare than 12 volt units. For this reason we lean heavily toward AC loads from these larger inverters. This simplifies wiring of the home to conventional AC wiring which exists in most homes and which any electrician can wire economically.
With the increased efficiency of AC lighting and the unlimited variety of low cost AC appliances, 24 volt systems, as well as 48 for large systems, have many advantages. Most of the modern grid intertie systems are running 48 volts DC or higher.
For the latest info on our upcoming workshops, click here.
EcoDepotUSA is now a certified installer and authorized distributer of the new Integra™ Solar Electric Roof mounting system! Learn more here.
New Solar Tax Incentives! More info...
Check out our richly informational "how-to" content and our educational DVD, "Hands On Straw Bale"