11th April 2012 01:23 PM
Efficient use of Solar power
I have a solar power generator giving 4 KW but canít accurately utilize that power.
I need some way of switching heaters on when it's sunny and off again when clouds arrive. A staggered light sensitive switch or three adjustable light sensitive switches at different levels of light, with perhaps 3 relays at about 1kw jumps to supply background heating. (Separate heaters) might work but its messy.
Better still a current sensitive coil device to go around the output from the D to A converter (Or input to the consumer unit at the other end) and match only that level of current switching heaters on and off when current drops below a specified level. Perhaps using thyristors for a precise match to what is generated, since heaters won't mind reduced wattage.
I can manage wiring and am not precious about how it looks but need to use the sun's power more effectively.
At this time I the kit has generated 4 mega watts after just 9 months, but for me it has done very little.
Can you please assist me or point me to someone who can.
Environmentally I do not think itís a big thing to ask to actually make use of the power my home generates, thus using less of the planets resources, in this case gas and non-solar mains energy.
Perhaps a heat pump would be a good idea running only in day light hours and feeding the radiators though at a max of 55 degrees C) But thatís a massive cost just to use the energy I have.
Any Ideas or experiences would be welcome? Astonishingly, None of the solar power suppliers I have contacted can be bothered even though it's their field of expertise.
11th April 2012 03:08 PM
What manner of control do you have now for the DC power coming from the collectors?
It might be easiest to control it (by that I mean, bleed it off to some useful purpose) before it gets to the D to A.
<EDIT>Also, are you using any sort of battery arrangement for storage?
Last edited by cowboybob; 11th April 2012 at 03:10 PM.
Semper ubi sub ubi.
11th April 2012 03:40 PM
I would use the excess power to heat large drums of water.
Years ago I had two water heaters.
At night cold water entered the first tank and nothing happened. Then the water entered the second tank and gas heated it to warn.
In the day time solar heated the second tank to 90C first then heated the first tank to 90C. At the point of use cold water was mixed with the hot water to keep it at a good temperature for use.
By having two tanks of water the gas fire almost never came on. If it did come on, the water entering the tank was at least warm not cold.
I don't think 4kW is going to heat a great amount of water. But it will help the hot water supply.
11th April 2012 04:40 PM
Sorry guy's I don't have a hot water tank and they cost a bomb ...
Plus I need space heating not water, unless I can find a way to heat water and then pass it through the rads with a separate pump ... a 3 KW input heat pump with a heat exchanger is supposed to give 10 Kw output... but again so far only con men and cowboys have been interested .
I can't get at the DC side as it's a "rent a roof" system, hence it has to match but nit interfere with the system that give the owning company their feed in tariff.
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