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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
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Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
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Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
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Larson Electronics Spotlights
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Explosion Proof Lighting
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Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
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Work Site Lighting

04/24/17 What Does It Take to Run Large Wattage Lights on Solar?

Article - April 24, 2016 By

Solar Powered Generator - 18 Kilowatt Max Output - 120/240VAC 3 Phase - 19' Trailer Config.

What Does It Take to Run Large Wattage Lights on Solar?

Sometimes, people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to capabilities of solar panel systems. The reality is, if you want to run large, industrial lights using natural sunlight, you need massive panels and batteries that can support such equipment.

For example, a 60-watt solar kit can be used to run low-watt LEDs, 12-volt appliances and charge small gadgets. But for 250-watt luminaries and 300-watt televisions, one would need a much bigger renewable energy system that can handle large power requirements. This type of robust solar energy module is applicable in sustaining remote business operations, such as construction projects and military bases, as well as off-grid communities.

This article provides information about the components required to support large solar panels when powering large-wattage fixtures for commercial use.

Solar Panels and Batteries

Assuming you already know how much watts-per-hour the fixtures consume and the number of hours per day you intend to run the lights, which equates to a watts-per-day estimation, the next step would be to meet those requirements. In a scenario wherein you need 15,000 watts (15 kW) every day and assuming you’re completely off the grid and need to replenish your batteries daily, you would need to add a total of 15 kW (minimum) of power to your battery bank on a 24-hour cycle to maintain consistent power.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is harvesting sunlight within a limited timeframe during optimal outdoor conditions. Assuming you only have four hours per day of usable sunlight (it is recommended not to be optimistic when calculating solar energy performance and usage), one only has four hours to collect 15 kW, which equates to 3,750 watts of power per hour. Now you need a large array of solar panels that can generate this amount of power consistently.

The next step is setting up a series of batteries to support your power consumption. To compute for your requirements in amp-hours, take the total daily watt-hour estimate and divide it by the battery’s voltage. Taking the above figure as an example: 15,000 watts / 12 volts = 1,250 amp hours. Afterwards, you need to compute for the number of batteries required to support the machine by dividing the total amp hours by the amp-hour rating of the battery. Again, using the figure above: 1,250 / 300 (assuming each battery supports 300 Ah) = 4.16 or 5, since it is not possible to purchase part of a battery.

When making calculations for your solar panel system, it is vital to always round up to the nearest whole number when encountering non-whole number figures. Furthermore, one should also take solar panel and battery efficiency rates into consideration during computation.

Dealing with Space Requirements

Setting up solar panels with large surface areas requires space. For large solar panel installations, such as 15 265-watt solar panels, individuals may need to consider the location of the units. Rooftops are ideal locations for solar panels. They are elevated, away from minor obstructions, such as trees, bushes and other equipment, which can help promote the harvesting of sunlight during daytime conditions. However, this may not be an option for small buildings and remote bases that use tents.

As a solution, groups may also mount the solar panels on sturdy poles next to the building or work site. This option is ideal for hilly locations, where installing large solar panels on higher surfaces will expose the units to more sunlight. It is important to consider that because the panels are supported by poles, such setups are not recommended for areas that are prone to bad weather, such as strong winds and tropical storms. To ease risks associated with pole-mount configurations, one should make sure that the supporting components come with various weatherproof ratings and corrosion-resistant finishes.

Maintenance for Large Solar Panels

Maintenance for large solar panel systems mostly involve electrical components. Once installed, the sunlight-harvesting parts rarely need cleaning (if installed at an angle of 15 degrees or more, in order to prevent the accumulation of dirt, dust, snow and other small particles). Individuals only need to run a soft brush or cloth over the surface of the panels when there is a noticeable dip in production. A decline of five to 20 percent is projected when dirt builds up on the solar panels.

It is not advisable to use rough, abrasive objects, such as wire brushes and invasive cleaning agents on solar panels. This may scratch the surface and contribute to a decrease in efficiency due to the creation of shadows. Individuals should also clean the solar panels during periods of low sunlight exposure, such as after sunset, before sunrise or during overcast conditions. Cleaning the surface when the sun is beating down on the panels may cause water or cleaning solutions to evaporate quickly, which may smear dirt on the surface. For oily accumulations from nearby equipment or operations, it is possible to use isopropyl alcohol to clean the affected area.

To summarize, factors that determine how often operators should clean their solar panels include the following:

• Location

• Tilt angle of the solar panels during installation

• Type of outdoor conditions during operation

• Electric rate/dependency (applicable to high energy consumption rates)

• Cost to clean the panels (cleaning tools, watery solutions and labor costs [if any])

Other than cleaning dirty surfaces, solar panels (since they have no moving parts) do not need to be closely inspected every week. Other components, such as the inverter and controller, are typically stored in an enclosed box, and may require maintenance or replacement if they break down.

Related Categories/Products
Category/Product (click on link below for more information)
Solar Battery Chargers
Solar Powered LED Lights
Solar Dock Lights
Solar Power Generators with Light Towers
Solar Powered Strobe Lights
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