Here's your basic explanations for the different type of systems and components used.

Excellent video for getting started in Simple Solar Panel Systems. Very good explanations of inverters, loads, charge controllers. Things to look for and to be aware of. Good money saving tips!

Video Transcript

whats up youtube this is LDS reliance today I'm going to do a video and show you a very low level beginners level way to hook up a solar panel system gonna try to make this uses little jargon and dumb this down so that anyone can understand how this works it's really not that complicated obviously in any system the first thing that you need is going to be a solar panel in this case I just have a small 10 watt solar panel for demonstration purposes but they range in size dramatically they can be as big as a door and then they can obviously be small enough that you could mount in in in conspicuous places like this one the first set up there's two different types of setups out there there's a grid-tied set up and then there is an off-grid set up this the first one we're going to go over is an off-grid set up basically the the main difference is that you're going to be charging batteries to store the power instead of using the power on demand so in this case in this case you need to the the power source is obviously the solar panel and then you need it connected to a charge controller this one is just a cheap one that I you I play with four for testing purposes so each one will be labeled it's very easy to understand very straightforward but it has a little picture of a solar panel here you connect the red wire which is positive to the positive and the black wire which is negative to the negative there's only two wires in it in a direct current system like this this is a DC system not AC like like your house uses and it is also most solar panels are only 12 volts well the the easier the beginner ones are are only 12 volts so you connect the input here and then the next picture is for a battery and here I've got a a battery you need some storage medium a way to store the power so you will hook up the charge controller 22 the battery again the red is positive B and black is negative ok so now that's connected now we have we have power the third part is for the load now a load is just a term for anything that is going to use the power in this case I'm going to demonstrate with a computer case fan since it's 12 volts just for easy demonstration purposes so obviously it's powering we don't have any sunlight on the panel so it's using the battery the stored energy in the battery to power the the load or the fan in this case now you can have many you can have bigger batteries than that you can have smaller batteries and that you can also hook them up with multiple batteries in series which is kind of like how a flashlight works you put multiple batteries inside the flashlight and they're connected end to end and they provide the power for the flashlight and in this case you could connect these end to end and create a larger power source more more power to draw on I'm going to leave that explanation and in more detail in in a different video but for this purpose this is all it is is literally is that simple you've got a power source you've got a device that allows that power to to kind of move in between devices basically the excess power can go into the battery and charge it and then and the load can also be powered from either the the solar panel or the battery or both very straightforward system this is once again this is called an off-grid system the next type of system that that we have is a grid-tied system or an inverted system basically what we want to do here is we want to take the power source the solar panel and we want to convert it immediately into usable energy and houses use alternating current we use 220 volt alternating current the United States so this is just a cheap inverter again that I used for testing purposes and it will convert the DC power from the solar panel into usable AC power and you've got your you know your normal wall plug type plugs also usually will have a USB plug where you can charge a cell phone or or whatever else so all you need to do for this setup there's really no other devices at all you simply have the inverter and you have the solar panel and you just again you connect the red wire to red and the black wire to block and that's literally it now obviously and a grid-tied system needs to be installed by a professional you do not want to be working with AC power DC power is not very dangerous 12 volts is not very dangerous if you make a mistake you're not going to burn your house down but if you make mistakes with AC power that's bad and also is probably illegal to do so and obviously there's different types of inverters this is just a cheapo inverter there are also more sophisticated inverters this one is a pure sine wave inverter which means that this one will actually be able to run sensitive electronics without damaging them these I kind of have a dirty sine wave of power their kind of squared off and so they won't do very well with things like flat panel TVs and and and computers and things like that so these are much more expensive but they will have much cleaner power and they're they're safe to use though the third one which I I can't show you but is a grid-tied inverter which basically means that it will tie into the electrical grid of your power company and it will power your home or if you don't need that power it will sell that power back to the electric company for a certain amount of money these these are a little bit less common for obviously for beginners because there's one there's no way of storing the power and to it takes a professional to install it and three is prohibitively expensive at least to get started so just wanted to show you conceptually what this looks like and and explain how it works I don't have this isn't in sunlight so even if i connected it I wouldn't you know I wouldn't be able to show you but basically converts 12 volts DC in two hundred twenty four 24 volt AC so that you could plug your TV or your computer or whatever you want it into it and it would work hopefully this kind of helps you understand a little bit more about how to connect a solar panel system hopefully it was a beginner level enough for you guys if you have any questions feel free to ask thanks for watching


Part 2 of the above video

Video Transcript

what's up youtube this is LDS Reliance today I'm going to do the second video in a kind of beginner solar panel series I got two really good questions from watch from subscribers to my channel yesterday and so I'm going to go ahead and answer those questions and use that it's kind of an opportunity to explain a few more things here we have if you ignore this thing for a second we have basically exactly the same off-grid setup as we had yesterday - the load we've got the solar panel here got our charge controller here we've got our battery here now the third set of wires going out here goes to the load and in this case the question I got last night the first question was what are you how do you do it if you have more than one load so the answer that question is you use something to divide the load and in this case I have a load center this is a typical household type load center let me see if I can show you it just looks like a breaker box is what a lot of people call it but it basically is used to divide the power and distribute the power I want to zoom in a little bit here so the power that comes in through the top there in those red and black wires again red being positive black being negative the black goes over to a little bus bar negative bus bar the red goes into a breaker and the breaker acts essentially as a switch so you can flip on and off the the load which is kind of nice for safety purposes and then underneath the breaker is the the power wire that comes out and then off of the negative bus bar you've got negative leads that come out to go to the load remember you always have to have a positive and a negative red and a black in a direct current DC system okay so let's hook up some loads hopefully we can see all this here okay so as with yesterday we're going to use our 12 volt fan as one of the loads I've got this all pre-wired I'll have to do another video to kind of you know if you guys want to know how to wire this thing up it's going to be a little bit more involved than I can do in this video okay so we've got this load and if we flip that breaker that it's connected to we have power what I'm going to use for a second load is actually an inverter in this I'm going to be using this dance or different questions later so let's hook up this other load you want to make sure that these don't touch here this is just kind of a test setup so normally you wouldn't have like exposed wires like this and then I'm going to use just a simple cell phone charger as the load let's turn this thing on so we got lights on turn on the fan and we're powering a cellphone and we're powering the fan so let's see if we can see this a little bit better sorry once again we have a power source solar panel comes in to the charge controller the charge controller manages the power and either sends it to the battery to charge the battery or sends it on to the load this is a load which basically means it's distributing the load to multiple loads so we have a zoom back in here we have a double pole breaker so that we have two different loads on the same breaker one going to the fan one going to charging the cell phone through this inverter so the second question was what happens can you can you do both off-grid and grid tied or inverter of inverted power in the same system now obviously we've just kind of answered that question we have both in the same system it's it's obviously much more expensive to do it this way because you've got to buy a charge controller you've got to buy batteries it's more complicated batteries are extremely expensive especially to get any meaningful amount of storage and and you're also going to lose efficiency through the charge controller so there's a couple different ways you could do this you could send the power you could send the power through the charge controller as we have here and on downstream into the inverter however you're going to even the best charge controllers are only 85 90 % efficient so you're going to lose some power there and not all of the power from the panel is going to make it all the way over here to the inverter another option would be to go from the solar panel through kind of a switch like you could do an on-off situation the switch that could divert power either to you do either/or so you could be sending power to the inverter or to the grid when you don't need it when your batteries aren't charging or you know flip a switch and it can go to the charge controller into your batteries and and so forth there's probably more ways you could do that I trying to keep this basic and beginner but this hopefully this illustrates how you can do both in the same setup and also illustrates how you can have multiple loads in the same system now one other thing I want to mention with these load centers is that you need to make sure that they're rated for DC power this one in particular actually is not I just use it for testing purposes it's a home line series and it is not rated for DC power I've used them for years and they don't have I haven't had any problems with them but I would not recommend that you buy those for DC power there's separate series that you can look at the manufacturer specs and make sure that they're rated for DC power usually they'll be rated for 48 volts DC and those are safe to use you know anytime in a DC situation just give you a new heads up alright hopefully this answers your questions and thanks for watching