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In a tiny house, every object has a particular place with proper purpose. Also, you own nothing unnecessary to need, use or want. Besides, you can simply clean the entire home which may take one hour or less. The energy bills will be minimal as you use less space to cool and heat. From compact refrigerator to portable equipment, you will have a great time living in a tiny house.
But, if your house is in remote places where the regional electrical supply system is not available, then! Taking this into consideration, you must rely on the solar sources of energy to power your machines. In today’s article, we will discuss how to wire a tiny house for solar power. Let’s start!
Selecting The Solar Panels:
Solar power is a great way of powering a tiny house. First of all, the smaller space requires a low power facility. While any traditional home uses almost 30 KWs daily, a tiny house will use almost 3 KWs daily. You should decide to use super energy-efficient LEDs lights to a mini-split system, during the build of your tiny house.
Calculating The Power:
A tiny house uses around 3 to 4 KWs daily. Usually, approximately 80% of the power is used for cooling and heating. Although, it will depend on you. If we illustrate,
- Minisplit (cooling/heating): About 3000 watts daily
- Refrigerator: About 780 watts daily
- Light Bulbs: About 100 watts daily
- Cell Phone: About 30 watts daily
- Laptop: About 240 watts daily
- In Total: Approximately 4,150 watts daily
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?
Typically,15 solar panels are required to power a medium tiny house. A normal-sized panel will provide approximately 300 watts. Therefore, all the panels will generate almost 4,500 watts directly from the power of sunlight. Moreover, the number of the panels will depend on your equipment and the uses of the tools. We have discussed on an average basis.
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Wiring The Tiny House With The Solar Power:
- Step 1: Know The Energy Requirements: Before doing anything you must meet energy requirements. Then, know the monthly requirements. If you have previous utility bills, you can easily find them. Just figure out the used ‘kilowatt hour’ label on the bills. Then, notice if this is noted on a monthly basis. You should get the bills each month. For example, if the bills are not indicating the kilowatt-hour label, check the readings of the meter. As such, excluding the last digit from the recent reading. Then, it will be the appropriate number. This should be on an average of daily basis.
Find the average kilowatt-hour regularly instead of monthly counting or yearly calculation. Then, divide the number accordingly. If you can not collect old utility bills, then the appliance requires to go over one by one. All the appliances need to be added up which are using electricity.
While you add up the energy required, you should remember one point. You should never include appliances that would be powered in various ways. A propane-powered appliance is one of them. An easier option will be inputting the details into the calculator. As such, you will get their results.
- Step 2: Assess Where The Solar Panels Go: While you may think the easy answer to put the solar panels is always on the roof. Although, you may not always find it as an available way. If something stops you from panel mounting of the roof, then you have to choose for a ground-mounted or pole-mounted system.
Be sure to discover a spot where the panels will have direct access to the sunlight. There should be no shadows in their way. A pathfinder equipment will assist you to find out the right placement for the solar panels which will surround your home.
In particular, designed software can calculate the optimal sunshine. Our recommendation is to keep the solar panels aligning on the ground. If you do this as an alternative to your roof, you will get some extra benefits. During the summer, the roofs get hot resulting in the reduction of efficiency of the panels. The ground solar panels are easily accessible. Hence, it is suitable to monitor, clean and fix. You might like to keep the tiny home in the shade, instead of facing the direct sunlight. Indeed, it allows your house to stay cool. Meanwhile, the roof solar panels repositioning will be very much difficult.
- Step 3: Set Up The Racking: When the solar panels are lying on the ground, the next step is building up a racking system. It will keep them angled to the direct sunlight. The process is not so complicated. Just set up a frame in which the panels will lean on the sun-facing angle.
As such, the racking will look similar to any homemade version. However, you may probably like a mobile preference for the racking system. There, wooden boards can be used for the racking. This will allow to assemble as well as disassemble the racking at the time of movement.
Rack building materials can cost around a few hundreds to a thousand bucks. This will depend on the framing type you buy. Heavy solar panels will increase the safeness of the racking system. Moreover, the bad weather can not do any harm to the solar panels of your tiny house.
- Step 4: Install The Solar Panels While Wiring The System Together: Now you require to mount the solar panels with your racking as well as start wiring. You may find it tricky if you have less idea about the electrical systems. You should need a clear understanding of two distinctive sides. One is the off-grid power system’s component and the other is the solar wiring.
Components & Their Function:
Solar Panels: This converts the sunlight into potential energy which later transforms into electricity. The solar panel on average can generate 250 to 300 watts each hour.
We recommend this Portable Folding Solar Panel for your small house.
Charge Controller: Via the charge controller, the panel will channel the energy. Then, it will sit between the batteries and the panels. As such, this will ensure a steady energy flow. You can select the Renogy Solar Charge Controller for your house.
Battery Bank: It stores the electricity generated by the solar panel. If you have more capacity in the battery bank, you will be able to store more electricity. We suggest Ultra-Portable Durable Solar Power Bank for your Solar project.
Inverter: The inventor will convert the direct current into an alternating current. While, the electricity generated by the panel is direct current. However, most of the appliances need an alternating current. Renogy Solar Inverter is one of the best seller solar inverters available on the market.
Battery Monitor: It will allow you to observe the detailed energy numbers which go through the batteries from the solar panels. Additionally, out of the batteries into the appliances. We recommend the Renogy Monitoring Screen for real-time tracking.
Wiring The Power System:
Above the discussion, you already understand the main components which make up a solar power system. Now, we will focus on the basic wiring plan. You will have to follow it to make everything work. Also, when you finish all the wiring of the power system, the scheme should seem suitable to function properly.
The main reason for wiring is to shift the potential electricity from one point to another point. Therefore, the wiring should follow an ideal system that will begin with the solar panel. Then, it will end up on the appliances. The components involve shifting the sunlight into electricity, we already listed above.
How To Fit Together:
Wiring: Indeed, you may think about what type of wire you should use for the projects. While most of the panel systems have their self wires. It is included with the kit. However, if you want to buy a new wire, Cooper Cable
is the most appropriate for the task.
Solar Panels: It converts the sunlight into direct current power. Besides, two wires will be coming out of every panel. One is a positive and another one a negative. In the case of having different solar panels, there will be multiple options. Moreover, these require consolidating into a separate wire added by the combiner box.
Charge Controller: Now, the single positive and negative wire from the combiner box needs to be plugged with the input of the charge controller. At the end of the output portion of the charge controller, you should connect another set of negative and positive wires to the device.
Battery Bank: The wiring set coming from the output end of the charge controller should be linked with the battery bank. The positive wire is connected with the end of the positive battery bank. On the contrary, the negative wire is connected with the end of the negative battery bank.
Inverter: With a pair of wires connecting with the battery bank’s end, link the opposite ends to the inverter. It transforms the energy from DC power to AC power. Meanwhile, when you convert the energy into AC, it will be usable for your appliances and standard devices.
Let’s Wrap Up:
By the end of today’s article, we hope you already understand how to wire a tiny house for solar power. Indeed, most people love to live in a tiny house because they seek independent survival. Besides, tiny house living will reduce the expenses dramatically. For powering up the little house, the sun is a wonderful gift. After calculating your proper location, you can set up the solar panels. The number will differ and depend according to your power requirements and equipment.
This A Video Of My Friend Wade And I Wiring Up My Daughter’s Solar And Grid Power Tiny House: