Solar Doesn't Have To Be Scary

Posted on 10/25/2019 at 12:00 by Seth Hansen

Solar Doesnt Have To Be Scary Title Graphic

Halloween is just around the corner. 


Before you know it, houses will turn “haunted,” and neighborhood kids will dawn their costumes in search of their yearly sugar rush. 


In many ways, Halloween is a celebration of the strange. 


A time where the masses flock to be thrilled, terrified, or even scared senseless. 


While being scared once a year is fun and even welcomed, being afraid to take the next steps on a project because you don’t have the confidence to move forward is an entirely different issue.


To many, solar isn’t just confusing; it’s downright scary. 


There are so many factors to think through, so many variables to consider. It would be enough to make anyone frightful. 


Luckily, that’s where we come in!


Let’s break down the main aspects of what it takes to develop a solar solution and make the prospect a little less scary. 


Nearly every solar solution contains four main components: 


1. Load (How much energy will it take to power your device/system)


2. Sizing (How much solar is necessary/which technology will you need)


3. Charge controller (What means of charging protection/optimization is best)


4. Battery (What battery size/chemistry makes the most sense for your application)




While it might seem simple to determine how much power your device consumes, after a little research, it can be dizzying and downright frustrating. 


To tackle this difficult problem, take a look at two previous posts dedicated to learning about your power budget and calculating what your exact power budget is.


After reading through these posts and taking careful notes, you’ve learned how much power your device uses, and you’re ready to move forward. 




Before digging too deeply into what panel size or technology to choose, it’s essential to know the key difference between a conventional power supply (an outlet in your home, for instance) and a solar panel.


Now that you know how much power you need, we can determine how much solar it will take to satisfy your power demands.


This involves thinking about the voltage, current, and power you require. An additional item to consider is your operating environment. 


In what part of the world will your solution operate? 


How much sun can you expect over the course of a year? 


How do the changing seasons affect your solution? 


Check out this post to learn more about the seasonality of solar and how it factors into your solution.


Don’t stress. We are here to help with this part ensuring you get the perfect sized panel for your needs. 


Hint, not all solar technologies work well for specific applications. 


We can help you isolate, which is ideal for you showing you the available technologies and their strengths and weaknesses.


Here’s a deeper dive into the differences between crystalline silicon and amorphous silicon (Both are technologies we can offer for your solution).


Charge Controller


You might think you can connect a solar panel to your device, and you’ll be okay. While that can be true, the majority of the time, it’s a bit more complicated. 


The first step is determining when you need to use a charge controller.


Next, you can learn more about why they are crucial for maximizing the energy your solar solution can collect.


Finally, you can select the controller that will work best for your specific application. 




You’ve determined your power budget, selected the right solar technology, and know which charge controller will work best for you. 


Now what?


The last step is to determine which battery will act as an intermediary between the solar panel and your electronics. 


Batteries are almost always necessary because whether we like it or not, the sun doesn’t shine for 24 hours/day. 


There are different battery chemistry options to choose from, and just like the previous three steps, selecting the proper battery is crucial in creating a solution that will perform at peak level. 


With all these options available, how do you determine which battery, and what size is going to be best for you? Take a look at our post covering this exact topic to start.


With this knowledge in hand, we will talk through the various options allowing you to make the most informed decision possible.


October 31st is nearly here. 


While the neighborhood ghosts and ghouls that flood the streets might not send a tingle down your spine, the thought of creating a solar solution on your own just might. 


We get it. 


We are here to help. 


Do you want to learn more about what we offer and how we can simplify the process? 


Contact us today!


We look forward to working with you!


Categories: Solar Education