Solar Pv Array

Shane Said:

Can you feed into your household electrical system from a solar-cell array?

We Answered:

First of all, solar cells produce low voltage DC, so you need batteries to store the DC, a charge controller to control the charging, and, most important, a good sine output inverter. The output from solar arrays varies all over the place so the charge controller and batteries are needed to control that. The inverter will shut down if the current goes too high, or the input voltage goes outside of specs. so you don’t need any UV protection.

The inverter generates the 120 volts 60Hz you need if you are in the US.

But you cannot connect the inverter output to your power lines, you will burn out the inverter or get the power company very upset. AC voltages don’t add. They will be at two slightly different frequencies, and the voltage will add and subtract as the phase changes. You will get high currents into or out of the inverter or into or out of the AC mains. Something burns out quickly.

You need a special switch that disconnects the AC mains and connects your inverter output. You can do this for the entire house or a part you select.

Or you need a special inverter that synchronizes with the power company frequency and phase, but you need the permission of the power company to do that, plus a special meter, as sometimes power will flow back into the meter.

Or, for small scale, just an outlet strip plugged into the inverter, into which you can plug your appliances when power goes out.


Darryl Said:

Is there a solar pv array that give’s you 12v 10a ?

We Answered:

yes, there are lots.

a few:…

search the internet for “solar array purchase 120watt”

Note that most of the ones rated at 120 watts will give you that much power only in very bright sunlight shining directly on the array, directly perpendicular. You probably should get a larger one if you want 120 watts for any length of time.

The voltage will vary with the amount of sun.