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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » CORPORATE CHRONICLE™ » Solar Power Info for small off grid system

Solar Power Info for small off grid system

+13
rmark
hirankb
Jeremy
OnlyGuru
ninja
lokka1
rainmaker
Redbulls
sriranga
playsmart
zenobia
Slstock
Chinwi
17 posters

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Chinwi

Chinwi
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics

Solar Power help

With the impending huge escalation of electricity charges people are looking for solar energy once again.

To help anyone interested, I am giving some facts and figures needed for establishing off-grid small scale cheaper illuminating system.

Solar panel :

New 40 Watt panel is sufficient for lighting purposes of a normal house.

Price is around 7,500.00 Rupees.
If you can go for 2 x 40W = 15,000/- you can run 12 V fans for few hrs after sunny daytime.

Storage:

A normal car battery is OK. If you can find a battery removed from a vehicle with some charging capacity try it without buying a new battery.


Charge controller:
You have to fix a controller between the solar panel and the battery to protect overcharging. Price : around 3,000/-

Do not connect the panels directly to the battery for more than one hour. In a sunny day it may get fully charged within few hrs and then start killing the battery.


Lights:

LED is the best. 12V CFL also can be used if your kid prefers to study under CFL than LED.
Locally made LED bulbs are available at lower cost.
A bulb with 24 LEDs is around 350 rupees with 6 month warranty.
Remember to buy 12 Volt type (230 V is made for mains current)

IMPORTANT fact about LED Bulb ( LED Bulb = series of connected LE Diodes)

There are 2 types in the market.
One with heat sink and other without heat sink.



If the bulb is with a heat sink that means it generates lot of heat and very less power is saved.
Hence DO NOT buy bulbs with heat sink if you want to save energy and money.( for 12V or even 230 v)

Some local bulb manufacturers use low quality material and life time is less.
Hence, be careful when buying LED bulbs. Keep your warranty papers safely.

I buy fair quality make from “Shine Bulb” Kandy. 072 2 653 406
Their make is available at Welco elect. 1st cross st. Pettah . opp. peoples bank. .
30 LED 12V is around 450/- If you buy more than 10 ask wholesale price.

Solar panels are now available everywhere you can Google or papers to find nearest.

I bought from JLanka . Pahalawela road, ( Japan friendship road near the parliament , Battaramulla 077 831 4973. jlankatech.com
40W panel was 11,000/- now the price has come down to 7,500/-

Solar panels give power for about 15-20 years with a slight correction each year after 10 years of time. I have used a pair over 25 years . They died due to weathering of plastic like material.


Solar Power Info for small off grid system  Led-bulb-62144-2323921 LED bulb with Heat sink use power to generate unnecessary heat
.
Solar Power Info for small off grid system  Ampoule-led-e27-rvb-5-watts-telecommande-ir Another heating type bulb .
.

Solar Power Info for small off grid system  Led-bulb-55

Non heating LED bulb without Heat sinks : save more energy .
.
Solar Power Info for small off grid system  LED-Bulb-0330 Another non heating LED
..
Solar Power Info for small off grid system  C200912121141561488_solar_charge_controller_12_24v_10A_EPHC Charge Controller

Note:
I posted some commercial address to help only. I have no contacts with them. There may be better places near you.

Note2: Do not connect 12V bulbs to 230 V !

Slstock

Slstock
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

Excellent and timely.

zenobia


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

Dear chinwi
how is it modified if i need to use a computer(mainly a laptop) and the luxury of tv?

playsmart

playsmart
Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

Thanks,,

sriranga

sriranga
Co-Admin

Thanks a lot Chinwi. Really appreciate.

http://sharemarket-srilanka.blogspot.co.uk/

Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

Good info mate.
Thanks a lot.

rainmaker


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics

@ Chinwi

In Kenya there was a pilot study where families were given solar power systems to install in their homes. The project was coordinated by Cambridge University.

The solar system is locked and needs to be recharged by buying topups (like Dialog). After the solar system is paid fo with regular top ups, the system becomes unlocked

I mentioned this to one of the top consultants of the CEB as a very viable solution. Hopefully, others will also see the genius of this idea. It was featured in the Time magazine last year.

8Solar Power Info for small off grid system  Empty Solar Power Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:59 pm

lokka1


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

Thank you for a very good and well researched article. As a solar power engineer I really appreciated it.
Lokka1

ninja


Senior Equity Analytic
Senior Equity Analytic

Thank you Chinwi

Chinwi

Chinwi
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics

Thank you all for the feedback.


@ rainmaker,

Usually I refrain talking about the officials of CEB.

They had all the time and power to provide solar energy to rural isolated villages without wasting most of the power in the miles long wires.

If your proposal is viable probably they will not go for it. !


@ Zenobia,

how is it modified if i need to use a computer(mainly a laptop) and the luxury of tv?

Simple.

You have to have enough power generation say 120 W and good storage batteries. If you already have the basic system with 40 W you can add more panels later with the increasing demand. Connect batteries in parallel if use more than one.

Then buy a 100W ( or more) Inverter. It takes 12V DC from the battery and give you 230V AC (be careful with AC) to run small AC ( 230 V alternate current) apparatus under given Wattage. For TV or monitor , do not use old cathode ray type TVs. Use small LCD / LED TVs.

I think the solar panel people sell small inverters for few thousands of rupees. (Not the big ones needed for net-metering. )


Note : Thumb rule for checking a good "Non heat sink type" LED bulb : Give it power and wait 10-20 minutes. Touch it to feel the temperature. If no heat or very little heat that is good.
Some manufacturers give high power to LEDs to make it brighter and attractive to customer. This will reduce the lifetime of LEDs. You can detect it by heat.

OnlyGuru


Stock Analytic
Stock Analytic

Chiniwi,

Thanks, very interesting.

Solar power is something of my interest for some time now.. I have been regularly googling to study about it and still not sure is it a viable option for me to run refrigerator of 175 Watts. Any help?

lokka1,
can you suggest something for my requirement!


--

What about water?
As the next problem for sri lanka we should start it now.




Jeremy

Jeremy
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics

I have a 3kw system which generates 15 units a day. It cost me Rs 750,000/=. It is connected to the national grid under the net metering scheme. Please tell me the alternatives available coz I need few more systems.

hirankb

hirankb
Senior Equity Analytic
Senior Equity Analytic

Let me contribute my two cents worth

1. We aware not to install batteries inside a closed room or in a place with spark potential. Batteries give of Hydrogen in sufficient quantities to be very hazoudous in a confined space.

2. Be absolutely certain the battery terminals are comletely covered with insulating material . a shorted battery WILL explode with lethal force. Shorted current can go as high as 5000A , yes correct 5000A ,for a 60Ahr battery. Blinding ,becoming deaf , acid burn are only the lesser evils.
As a comparission an entire house (3Br) will not take 60A at full load.

3. Inverter gets very hot. keep away from flamables.curtains, news papers, oily cloths, plastics etc

4. do not install battery+ inverter in the same room or space as the gas cylinder.

5. disconnect selected circuits from 240v bus-bar in MCB box and drive the selected solar powered circuit from a dedicated and discreate incomer from invertor.

6. Most inverters give square wave 240v AC. THIS IS VERY BAD FOR SOPHISTICATED ELECTRONICS DRIVEN DIRECTLY from inverter. Lap tops OK because of the barrier in PSU. but LeD TV's , descktops will suffer sooner than later if a low grade inverter is used. Ask for a " true Sinusoidal wave" inverter.

thats all that comes to my mind right now. I will sleep on it and if the thread continues I shall contribute more. I have some training and experience in solar energy and supply side management which i like to share with the members.

Chinwi

Chinwi
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics

@ hirankb,

Thank you for the important contribution . I missed that part.

Especially, if you want to use an inverter and if you are not familiar with electronics and electricals better to get professional advise.

Batteries should be places with good ventilation.

I have an inverter bought from some other country , rarely use it.

My intention was to give info for a low cost simple system to illuminate using LED / cfl bulbs.

Years ago 40-60W panel was near 60,000 /- Now we can buy it for 7- 7,500 .

15Solar Power Info for small off grid system  Empty Solar Powered Refrigerator Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:33 am

lokka1


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

OnlyGuru wrote:Chiniwi,

Thanks, very interesting.

Solar power is something of my interest for some time now.. I have been regularly googling to study about it and still not sure is it a viable option for me to run refrigerator of 175 Watts. Any help?

lokka1,
can you suggest something for my requirement!
Considering the economics, what I can recommend is to switch to a refrigerator as they use in small boats using 12v or 24v DC and use the solar powered system recommend by Chiniwi. You might be able to even get your existing refrigerator converted to use DC electricity if there are no sophisticated electronics.
Lokka1


--

What about water?
As the next problem for sri lanka we should start it now.




Chinwi

Chinwi
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics

Lokka1 wrote:Considering the economics, what I can recommend is to switch to a refrigerator as they use in small boats using 12v or 24v DC and use the solar powered system recommend by Chiniwi. You might be able to even get your existing refrigerator converted to use DC electricity if there are no sophisticated electronics.



Wow !

This opens a new avenue for an innovative investor / businessman.

Many years ago I assembled a miniature A/C / Fridge like gadget with the help of refrigerator guy to use in a orchid growing chamber where you need low temperature.

[When you propagate orchids by seeds or mericloning you have to keep them below 25C for many weeks/months continuously. Running an A/C from start to end of this period makes the cost of plants very high.
Hence we tried to give a Solar power solution .
]

We used car A/C compressor run by 12 V motor pulley.
Due to high cost of Solar panels we could not make it that good and viable.
I think 40-60W panel was over 60,000/- those days.

Thank you Lokka1 for reminding this again !


12 - 24 V mini refrigerators could become a popular household item in future . 40W = 7,000 is very interesting.

OnlyGuru


Stock Analytic
Stock Analytic

GMNet

Who was the supplier, is Rs 750,000/- all inclusive (net metering, Solar panels, installation & commissioning)?

rmark

rmark
Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

There are number of companies supply net metering system in Sri Lanka. I got some information on net metering system/suppliers during the Architectural Exhibition @ BMICH held in last month.

smallville

smallville
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics

OnlyGuru wrote:GMNet

Who was the supplier, is Rs 750,000/- all inclusive (net metering, Solar panels, installation & commissioning)?

CEB has introduced a plan to reduce ur bills by Net Metering Solar Power system for Homes..

http://www.solarenergysrilanka.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/net-metering-investment-in-solar-energy.html

OnlyGuru


Stock Analytic
Stock Analytic

Thanks smallville,

I have seen this site and received a quotation from JLANKA for a friend of mine, which they quoted was Rs 980,000/-and for festive its Rs 675,000/- will generate around 170 units a month.

But GMNet mentioned he has one which will generate 15 units a day which means (15 X 30) = 450 units for Rs 750,000/- That's why I wanted to know from where did GMNet get this cheap.

Anyways thanks alot.

Jeremy

Jeremy
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics

Solar Power Info for small off grid system  Solspe10

Solar Power Info for small off grid system  Solspe11

Expert

Expert
Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

Wow!
I have missed a lot....

This is very interesting and useful. I didn't know that the solar panels have come down so much in price. I recently saw a panel at the shanty near the sea at the Bambalapitiya railway station and wondered how they could afford it; I thought it must have been a donation and yes, it could very well be.

A laptop runs on a battery and I believe it is 12V; I just checked from a friend and he says there are 15V and 19V chargers for laptops :-( . And a UPS also keeps its charge in a sealed lead-acid battery and that too I think is 12V and since it generates back 230V AC current, it must have an inverter built in: some food for thought. But remember that their capacity is low and they may not be able to power anything big.

Yes, I am fully in support of a battery operated refrigerator. Recently I saw in a car advertisement that there is some vehicle for sale with a 12 or 24V small fridge. Why not use one at home?

What if the laptop battery is charged from solar power and then used in the laptop?

Now, can somebody tell me whether these panels are cost effective considering their lifetime, please?

Chinwi

Chinwi
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics

@ Expert,

I like the way you think ! Smile

You can do experiments and develop a system for your need.
I do not like to publish every possible circuitry due to safety reasons.

UPS has all the gadgets inside , 230 to 12 step down, AC - DC, charger control, sealed battery, again 12 to 230 V DC to AC generator etc. I think you can remove 230 to 12 Step down part and connect 12V from Solar to battery if you can make charger control to work to save the battery from over charging. Then keep 12V to 230V part to generate enough power for laptop.

[No one should try this if you have no enough experience in doing these things. For eg. In PC power supply unit they increase the voltage to much higher than 230v before regulating it down to 12V and 5V levels. Some capacitors inside of these gadgets store over 300V even after the power is switched off ]

You should never connect 12 V DC from the battery directly to 12 V inlet of a laptop. You need small circuit to make the DC to suitable for the laptop ( balancing voltages, amperage and other factors) DC to DC converters are used for this. Car charger is OK.

Somehow, it is better to use the original charger given for the laptop and supply AC to it. ( even with some power loss)

In addition, UPS batteries are sealed lead acid thus could be a solution for low ventilation places.
As their capacity is low you can increase it by connecting them in parallel.

I think for smaller unit with 10-20 W panel 2-3 UPS batteries connected in parallel are cost effective than car batteries.

smallville

smallville
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics

A normal 600VA UPS wont power a CPU for more than 15 mins. Further, u can buy a 1.5KVA UPS (over 10000/- I think) and expect it to hold at least 30-45 mins. In addition, a UPS could also be used to power few LED or CFL lights for hours Wink

My thinking is; a car battery can be connected to a UPS removing its standard small battery to increase the power up time. So instead of 15 mins for a standard 600VA UPS, it can at least hold for more than an hour if a PC is used.

But what I'm not sure about is whether the internal circuit parts, resistors, caps, transistor, etc.. can last with the heating it can possibly emit working for such long. In that case 1.5KVA UPS at least would last couple of hrs but the 600VA one we generally use will not.
This factor has to be taken into consideration if we want to implement this solution.

hirankb wrote:
6. Most inverters give square wave 240v AC. THIS IS VERY BAD FOR SOPHISTICATED ELECTRONICS DRIVEN DIRECTLY from inverter. Lap tops OK because of the barrier in PSU. but LeD TV's , descktops will suffer sooner than later if a low grade inverter is used. Ask for a " true Sinusoidal wave" inverter.
This point of hirankb is really valuable to look at. Many years back when the power cuts were applied Island-wide by CEB, I cooked one of my Fans powered by an inverter. At that time I didnt know abt these waves Wink

So if a UPS can be used with a car battery, it would be a good alternative to an inverter as a commercially available UPS comes with the Sine wave which is good for any electrical appliance.

Hope someone with knowledge is Electronics could clarify these things.

zenobia


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics

dear all
any brands of inverters with true sine wave AC output? (other than UPSs)
thanks
zenobia

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