How to connect solar panel to battery

In today’s world of expensive electricity, people are moving towards solar power which is not only cost-effective but clean and renewable as well. However, to get the most out of solar power you need to learn how to connect solar panels to batteries.

DON’T FRET this guide has got you covered. Here you will get a step-by-step guide to installing solar panels. So without further ado let’s get into it:

Tools required

  • A couple of batteries
  • Inverter
  • Charge controller
  • Solar panels 

While connecting the solar panel to the battery we used 6 one amp panel set up, fifteen watts of the panel.

Step 1: Install Solar Panel:

First and foremost, once you have made an investment in high-quality solar panels, installing them Is the priority. As the name suggests, the solar panel works in the presence of sunlight. So it’s recommended to install solar panels in a spot where it will get enough sunshine. The best is to mount it on the rooftop where there’s no shadow at any time of the day.

To ensure safety and damage protection, keep the wiring underground. In case you can’t manage underground wiring, make sure it’s away from the reach of any flying creature like birds.

 Step 2: Adjust the Charge controller:

Remember that connecting solar panels with batteries is not as simple as plugging the wire into the battery. To get the process done or you can start, you need a charge controller. Now you must be wondering what is a charge controller. 

charge controller is basically an electronic gadget that controls the charging current/voltage and blocks reverse current to avoid damaging the batteries. Moreover, if you are using an inverter in place of a solar system with batteries then you need to connect the inverter with a charge controller to avoid overcharging.

Keep in mind, A battery’s capacity to retain a charge and sustain a charge over time may be permanently damaged by charging it above the limit, therefore this is crucial information to have.

 To put it simply, in bright sunlight 12-volt solar plates produce approximately 16 to 20 volts of power. If there wasn’t a solar charge controller to manage the current, the batteries would die very rapidly.

Using maximum power point tracking (MPPT), this 15-A/200-W device may speed up power generation by as much as 30 percent each day. 

Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) analyzes the solar array’s output in relation to the battery’s energy and then optimizes the voltage to charge the battery quickly. 

To prevent damage from excessive current, the controller is equipped with a 25-A circuit breaker and has a constant power requirement of 35 mA as its baseline.

It is recommended to charge a battery in three distinct phases: first, bulk charging stage where you let maximum current to get the battery up to around 80% as rapidly as possible; second, at absorbe stage i.e at decreasing voltage as the battery nears full charge; and third, at a “float” to charge to retain the battery up and going for usage.

Step 3: Check the Charge Controller:

We know that you must have checked the controller before purchasing. However, you need to double-check its functionality after connecting it with a 12V battery. 

Some of the more sophisticated MPPT charge controllers will include visual indicators, such as LED lights or a screen, to let you know how things are going. 

Even if you choose a more affordable one, it should include some kind of indicator light to let you know whether it is powered on and functioning properly.

It is safe to switch off the charge controller after you have verified that everything is functioning as it should.

Step 4: Set up the Controller:

Once you make sure your controller is perfectly working, it’s time to mount the solar charge controller. Before mounting, follow a few precautionary measures.

  1. Never mount the controller in the open air since they are not weatherproof.
  2. After turning the load off, you should connect the solar panel and battery cables (so that the automated identification feature works correctly) and let the controller finish the identification procedure.  When in doubt, hook up the load line.
  3. Take the solar panel off during charging, and limit the battery 
  4. Always remember which ends of the battery are which(-ve and +ve). But remember that it’s best practice to have a means of distinguishing between the positive and negative wires. Make the process easier by naming red wire positively charged and black wire negatively charged.
  5. Use non-conductive material like a piece of wood or plastic to avoid the current.

Set up the controller by inserting the cable ends into the charging controller’s input pin. In most cases, no additional connectors will be required on the terminals of the cables leading into the charge controller. Instead, insert the positive and negative bare wire ends into their respective ports. If you fail to do so, you end up damaging the controller which might result in a heavy short circuit.

Step five: Verify the Charging Controller’s Output

 Usually, rechargeable batteries contain a digital display that shows how much power is supplied to the battery. Make sure everything is properly connected if you are seeing zero digits on the screen. To keep tabs on the battery life and performance of the controller, use an app and a charging cable that communicates with your mobile device.

Step 6: Let the Battery Charge:

Since everything is in place, it’s time to let the solar panel charge your battery. Don’t rush, because charging duration depends upon various factors including battery type, solar panels power and of course weather or temperature outside.

Speaking of the solar panel type, 100 Watt, 200 watts, 300-watt and 400-watt solar panels are available on the market. You can buy the depending upon your needs.

Now that you’ve enough knowledge of how to power your small house using solar energy, it’s time to mount solar panels and save the dollars that you were spending on electricity bills.