How Big Does a System Need To Be?
Solar electric systems are often described by the nominal power rating of the solar panels. I have twelve 75W modules so I can describe the system as a "900W system," or almost a kW. A one kW system is an average size for a small stand-alone home system powering a good assortment of typical AC loads. However, this oversimplifies the situation.
We need to size:
- Panel array
- Battery bank, if applicable
To do this we need to know:
- Load analysis - average and surge
- Real world performance of components
It is common to do a load analysis and find that a system to match is out of the budget. By increasing efficiency and planning for later expansion a compromise can be reached.
Next page: Putting It Together