Solar energy is here to stay whether it’s installed on our rooftops, in our recreational vehicles, in our off-the-grid cottages, or supplied by the utility company. A recent article in Forbes magazine predicted that PV capacity in the United States would quadruple over the next five years, with the largest share coming from public utilities. We welcome the prediction that the solar industry will be one of the fastest-growing in technology.
We received a peek at the upcoming years of solar technology. We were wondering about the pros and cons of 48v solar battery systems, so we did some research to inform the solar-curious in pursuing their off-grid aspirations.
What Exactly Is A 48V Solar Battery System?
Powering 12V equipment is standard in off-grid homes like cottages and RVs. For additional power devices, you’ll need to decide whether to raise the voltage or the amperage if you use panels or batteries to store the energy. If you connect batteries in parallel (see diagram), the voltage won’t change, and the current will increase by 50%. However, this is useful up to a limit since larger cables are needed to ensure the system’s safety when the amps are increased.
When more amperes, or current, pass through a wire, the resistance increases, and the temperature rises. If the temperature rises, the risk of fire, blown a fuse, or tripped circuit breaker rises accordingly. With 48v solar battery systems, capacity may be increased without risk of injury.
Why is a 48V system preferable to a 12V one?
To reduce potential hazards, safer 48V solar battery systems may provide more energy to components without increasing their current (amperage). The following are the advantages of using a 48v solar battery:
Save Money on Batteries and Wiring:
Since 48V systems may provide more energy to components without increasing the current, they can save money on batteries by doing away with the need for as much copper wiring, which is costly and wastes energy as heat and resistance during transmission.
As the need for high-power appliances in the home and on the go continues to rise, 48V networks with a converter are becoming more common. A 48V conversion must be more effective than a 12V converter in the vast majority of cases. Mauricio asserts that this strategy will work in setups that include a photovoltaic array, a battery bank, an inverter, an AC transmission system, and a set of appliances. So, the DC voltage is only required for the battery bank design and wiring in between voltage regulator, battery, and inverter.
There is no difference in scalability between 48V and 12V systems. Putting together four 12V batteries in series would provide the minor possible 48V system. The 100Ah AGM battery gives this setup 2400 WH of usable power (Volts x Amp Hours = WH). To keep this system charged, you would need three 200W (or similar total watts) solar panels, assuming it runs down daily and receives around four hours of bright sunshine every day. However, the capacity of this system might be increased to handle a more significant workload.