Solar Power

Setting Up a 1000W Solar System with Battery Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this tutorial, I’m going to guide you how to set up your a solar panel system, step by step with some product suggestions (affiliate links), which you can obviously alter to your needs.

What can you do with a 1kw solar system?

During a normal summer day, a 1000W solar system can generate energy quite efficiently. On average, most areas in northern hemisphere receive about 4 to 6 hours of peak sunlight in the summertime, or more if you are located more north and longer days in summer. This means the system can produce between 4 to 7 kWh of energy daily under optimal conditions. This estimation assumes that the panels are placed at the optimal angle, facing the sun without any obstructions like shadows or cloud cover. In winter, with about 2 to 4 hours of peak sunlight means that under optimal conditions, the system could produce between 2 to 4 kWh of energy daily.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. household consumed about 886 kWh per month in 20211, but it can vary depending on many factors. This makes an average daily consumption to be nearly 30kw all year long, so a 1kw system only covers about 20% of an average household needs and will not be enough but still a good reduction of the household’s costs.

1. The Importance of Securing a Permit

Before diving into your solar installation, it’s crucial to check with local authorities regarding any required permits. Many municipalities have regulations concerning the installation of solar systems to ensure safety and adherence to local codes. In some cases, you might need to submit relevant project documentation detailing your solar setup, its capacity, and other technical specifics. Failing to secure the necessary permits can lead to penalties or even the need to dismantle your system. Also, you might not be allowed to install the system yourself unless you have relevant license to do so. So make sure to check with your local authorities first!

But, let’s get to it.

2. Choose the Right Solar Panels

For a 1000W system, you’ll need solar panels that collectively produce 1000W. Depending on the type and efficiency of panels you choose, this will probably be from 3 to 8 panels combined. See more info on here on: How to choose a solar panel?

I’d suggest to choose the pane from a well known manufacturer

Recommended Products: Solar panels at Amazon

3. Choose the solar system charge controller

A charge controller, often referred to as a solar charge regulator, plays a pivotal role in solar energy systems, safeguarding the batteries from overcharging and enhancing the longevity of the entire system. Essentially, this device manages the flow of electricity from the solar panels to the battery storage, ensuring that the right amount of energy is sent to the batteries. It does so by regulating the voltage and current coming from the solar panels, optimizing the charging process and preventing battery damage from overcharging or deep discharging. Modern charge controllers often come equipped with features like Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), which enhance the efficiency of energy harvesting.

If you choose to have a 12V 1000w solar system then aim for a charge controller capable of at least 100amps. If you aim for a 24V system then around 50-60amp charge controller is sufficient.

Recommended Product: Charge controller choice

4. Decide on the Right Inverter

The inverter is what converts the direct current (DC) generated by your solar panels into alternating current (AC) for use in your home. f

You can read about inverters in this blog post: Choosing the inverter for your solar installation

Recommended Products: 12V inverter options or 24V interter options

5. Choose Your Battery Solution

If you want your system to work even when the sun isn’t shining, you’ll need a battery to store energy. For a 1000W system, aim for a battery that can store at least 3-5 kWh to cover your needs. But how do you know much that is in amp hours that is shown on the batteries. You’ll need to convert watt-hours to amp hours.

For a 12V system and Lifepo4 battery, which allows full dischange you should aim for 500amp hour solution to store the power generated from the sun. This in turn gives you 6,5kwh in total consumable energy. If you have a 24V system then you need half of that, this is a 250amp hour solution.

If you have a lead acid batteries, which usually have maximum allowed discharge rate at around 50% depending of a battery type. This means that at this rate you need double of batteries 1000amp hours for 12V solution and 500amp hours for 24v solution.

Also keep in mind that you can increase the amp hours if you connect batteries in parallel (connect plus to plus and minus to minus terminal). So 5 pcs of 100ah 12V batteries in parallel gives you total of 500ah.

If you connect batteries in series (minus terminal to plus terminal) then you can up your 12v batteries to 24v solution.

And you can utilise both parallel and series connection for a 24V system. For example if you connect 8 12V 100ah batteries you can create a 24volt 400amp hour solution which in turn provides you with total of 9,6kwh of usable power with lithium full discharge capable batteries:

More info on the discharge rates and battery types you can read here: Battery choice for your DIY solar project

Recommended Products: 12V lithium battery choices

6. Mounting the Solar Panels

  1. Choose the Right Location: Ensure the location receives maximum sunlight throughout the day. Generally, in the northern hemisphere, the panels should face south.
  2. Install Mounting Brackets: Use a drill and bolts to fix the mounting brackets onto the roof or ground. Make sure they are stable and strong enough to hold the panels.
  3. Attach the Solar Panels: Once the brackets are in place, lay the solar panels and secure them using bolts.

7. Wiring It All Together

  1. Connect the Solar Panels: Use MC4 connectors (commonly used in solar installations) to connect the solar panels together.
  2. Connect to the Inverter: Using the appropriate cables, connect the panels to the input side of the inverter.
  3. Connect the Inverter to the Battery: Use the recommended cables and connectors to attach the inverter’s output to the battery.

8. Connect to Your Home’s Electrical System

This step may require an electrician to ensure safe and proper connection. Usually, the output from the inverter is connected to your home’s main electrical panel.

Tip: Always follow local codes and regulations when connecting to your home’s electrical system. You might need to get the audit done before you could connect to grid or your home system. So make sure to check with your local regulator!

9. Monitor and Maintain

Most modern inverters come with monitoring systems to check the performance of your solar panels. Regularly monitor to ensure optimal performance and clean your panels as needed.


Conclusion

So I hope this post has helped to guide you on how to set up a 1000W solar system with a battery solution.

Footnotes:

  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) ↩︎