First, a power audit was done to determine the peculiar energy needs of the client, the load requirements that can meet those needs, the amount of grid power and sunlight available to the client, installation space and the client's budget. Recommendations were made based on the audit. With a veto, our engineers proceeded to design the system using the findings from the audit as basic assumptions.
This system was designed to supply the offset and provide uninterrupted power supply. It was also decided that the system would be grounded. Read how we decide if a system requires to be earthed here.
Ten (10) 405W half-cut Era Solar panels were connected in five (5) strings of two (2) panels each. Total output from solar panels expected at 4,050W.
Half-cut panels were used for the system. The choice of a half-cut cell solar panel for this installation was decided by space considerations as well as market realities. Since at least 2019, half-cut panels have been displacing the traditional mono and poly panels. Manufacturers of high-powered panels, that is panels that are rated from beyond the 360W that is the optimum for most panels, to panels with power ratings up to 600W, now exclusively depend on half-cut technology.
In a half-cut solar panel, more solar cells can be squeezed into the module without any significant increase in the size of the panel, whilst at the same time reducing the resistance of the module. Learn all about half-cut solar panels here.
The solar panels were mounted on the roof.
Inverter, Batteries and Charge Controller
Eight (8) 200Ah Ritar AGM batteries were used for the project. The four batteries were mounted on a metal rack. They were installed under the staircase.
An 80A Outback FLEXmax MPPT charge controller was used in the installation. The work of a charge controller is to keep the batteries in a solar panel-deep cycle inverter system from overcharging by regulating the charging and discharging of the battery.
The Outback FLEXmax is programmable. It comes with an in-built backlit 80-character display that shows the status of the system and performance data log reaching up to the last 128 days in the history of the system. Beyond its ease of use, the manufacturer designed the Outback solar charge controller with a discreet black case and green screen. This unit is a great addition to any solar panel system design for both advanced and beginner solar aficionados.
Built for high performance, the Outback Flexmax can handle high amounts of DC volts and convert them to 12V to 60V for battery banks. They come with a very high maximum input voltage capacity, up to 80A, making them perfect for large-scale installations. Learn more here.
A standout feature of this installation is the earthing. To earth an electrical system is to connect its non-current-carrying components or the body or enclosure of the system to the earth. The earthing component is connected between the equipment body or enclosure and the earth pit which is placed under the earth surface. The goal is to discharge the electrical charge directly to the earth. More here.
The system was earthed by placing two copper rod with galvanized steel pipe upright in the ground.
In addition to the protection features provided by the inverter against reverse current, overload and overcharge, the system incorporates extra protection features including AC and DC circuit breakers and surge adapters. They offer additional protection to the client's investment. They also make it easy and safe to disconnect the system from the panels in the case of emergencies like lightning that could damage the inverter or solar panel fires.
SolarKobo helps its clients in Lagos and elsewhere in Nigeria figure out their power needs and make the best possible choice of all solar products including batteries, solar panels and charge controllers that meet their peculiar power needs and fit their budgets. We also have university-trained engineers who provide the best possible installation services on order.
All photos used in this article are the properties of Solarkobo and are not to be reused without written permission.