The following post explains through calculations how to select and interface the solar panel, inverter and charger controller combinations correctly, for acquiring the most optimal results from the set up.

## Calculating Solar Panel, Inverter and Battery Charger Specifications

For the sake of convenience, let's believe you possess a a 100 watt appliance or load that you would like to operate, free of charge through solar power, for around ten hours every night.

In order to exactly determine the dimensions of the solar panel, batteries, charge controller and inverter the following mentioned parameters will need to be strictly calculated and configured.

## Estimating Load Wattage

1) First you will need to estimate how much watts of electricity you may require for the specified load.

Let's say you have a 100 watt load that needs to be operated for approximately 10 hours, in that case the total power required could be estimated simply by multiplying the load with hours, as given under

**100 Watts x 10 hours = 1,000 Watt hours**. This becomes the absolute power necessary from the panel.

## Determining Approximate Solar Panel Dimension

2) Next, we need to determine the approximate dimensions of the solar panel for satisfying the above estimated load requirement. If we assume a roughly ten hour daily optimal sunshine, the specifications for the solar panel could be simply and quickly calculated as explained in the following expression:

**1,000 Watt hours / 10 hours sunlight = 100 Watt solar panel.**

However, you may notice that mostly during the summer seasons you may normally get around 10 hours of reasonable amount of sunshine, but the winter season may produce roughly around 4-5 hours of effective sunshine.

Contemplating the above scenario, you too might agree and recommend considering the worst possible sunshine hour into calculation so that even on the weakest of sunshines your load keeps running optimally.

Therefore taking into account the 4 to 5 hours sunshine per day consideration, we calculate the true power for the solar panel which would enable your load to keep running throughout the year .

1,000 Watt hours / 5 hours sunlight = 200 Watt solar panel.

## Calculating Battery Ah

3) Once you have calculated the solar panel as per the above calculations, it's time to calculate the AH rating for the batteries that might be required for operating the specified load under all conditions. If the selected battery is rated at 12V, in that case:

Dividing 1,000 Watt hours by 12 Volts = 83 Amp Hours of reserve battery power.

Let's upgrade this value a little more with a 20% added tolerance, which finally gives a rounded up figure of around 100 AH. Hence, a 100AH 12V battery is what you may finally require for the inverter.

## Evaluating Charger Controller Specifications

4) Now, to figure out how big your solar charge controller would need to be for the above calculated parameters, you might need to take your solar panel current or the Amperage specs into consideration, which may be simply gotten by dividing the panel's wattage rating with its voltage rating (Ohms law remember?)

**100 / 12 = 8.3 Amps.**

We have so far applied a "plus tolerance" to all the previous parameters, so let's show some generosity to the Amp spec of the panel also, and instead of sticking to the 8.3 amps limit, you might be happy raising the level to around 10 Amps? That looks good, right?

## Assessing Inverter Specifications

5) Finally we boil down to the inverter specifications, and determine the reasonably exact capacity that would keep the unit compatible with the above discussed results, and keep the load running without issues, whenever required.

Well, calculating the inverter specs doesn't look difficult at this point of the discussion.

Since we already know the maximum load wattage which is 100 Watts, implies that we simply choose an inverter which might be capable of handling a 100 watt comfortably.

That implies, we simply need to get an inverter rated at 100 watts,.... OK, you may be thinking of adding some tolerance to this candidate also, not an issue, instead of 100 watts you can opt for a 125 watt inverter, allowing all the gadgets to happily "shake-hands" and your house powered round the clock forever, free of cost.

Karan says

Hello Swagatam,

I am working on a solar car project and need some guidance regarding the number of solar panels required and their specifications.I want to run a 5-6kW BLDC motor directly through the solar panels,i am not sure about the approach so it will be of great help if you can throw some light on it.

Swagatam says

Hi Karan, If you implement the steps mentioned in the above article you will be able to get the answers to your questions correctly. Along with load specifications, there are a few other parameters which you will need to include in the calculations. Please try it and let me know if you have any problems.

yusuf makalo says

Hello sir.hop u fine.i have a 50ah solar battery.my panel is 120w.my load at night is only 50w TV,roughly 70w.problem is when I power on my inverter with TV on the battery drains from 13.4v to 12.3v in that moment.then inverter goes off after only 2hrs not even 4-5hrs I expected.please help sir,am using a computer ups as inverter….

Swagatam says

Yusuf, to get 5 hour back up for 70 watt load, your battery must be rated at 50 Ah. If your battery is 60 Ah, then check the current consumption by connecting an ammeter in series with the battery positive, it should be around 6 amps at 70 watts, if it is higher then either your inverter is malfunctioning or your load is above 70 watts. If it is 6 amps then your battery has gone bad.

Jibril says

Thanks so much. This article looks much educative

Swagatam says

Thank you, Glad it helped you!

Adekunle says

Good morning, please I have 96 batteries of 12v 150ah With inverter of 48v. Please how many watts of solar panel will be required? To charge it effectively?

Swagatam says

Hi Adekunle, the solar panel specs will depend on how the batteries are configured, and the number of batteries connected in series and parallel. If you specify this then I can give you a rough idea regarding the solar panel capacity.

Glen Perry says

Hello Swagatam, I’m trying to figure out roughly what I’ll need in battery size and solar panel size. I’ll be powering music amplifiers and laptop, with a total draw of about 8 amps AC, using a 1500W inverter connected to a 12V battery. I’ll need a minimum of 5 hours run time, with the solar panels charging the battery as I go.

So my question is, will a 100Ah 12 volt SLA battery be enough, and if so how much solar panel wattage will I need to keep the battery going for 5 hours under my load? I’ll be using the amplifiers at a volume you’d expect in a very small venue.

Thank you!!

Swagatam says

Hello Glen, I think the calculations given in the article quite matches your requirement. So a 200 watt panel is what you may need for your application.

A 100 Ah battery should work fine.

John Payne says

Hello , I would like an estimate of how many panels and battery’s i might need for an all electric 40 square meter house . The hot water heater is only 20 liters , the lights are LED , the stove top is induction and the oven is like a normal oven .The frig is a single door. The water pump is demand pump and a computer AIO. There are other appliances such as kettle for water , rice maker , toaster , oven and microwave . all which could be removed or not. Cheers, John

Siva DS says

Hello Mr Swagatam

I need to install 100 watts street light with solar panel.

Can you advise me which type of battery I should use and is it 100Ah 12V enough?

Siva

Swagatam says

Siva, if the light is also 12 V then 100 Ah will be enough, provided the panel gets vertical sunshine at least for 8 hours.

Ma'aruf Aminu says

God day sir, I really appropriate this article, and I benefited from it, my question is if the system voltage is 24v how the calculation will be for total wattage of 2000w.thanks sir, I am expecting the answer via my email

guy says

Hi swagatam,

let’s say that i need a 25W solar panel to power a camera with load of 5W, to 24 hours a day (average sunlight in my country is 5 hours a day).

[(5W camera * 24 hours) / 5 hours of sunshine] = 24W ~ 25W solar panel needed.

now let’s say im using a 12V battery. so, [(25W*24 hr) / 12 V] = 48 AH ~ 50 AH battery.

how to calculate the charge controller ? (25W solar panel / 12 Volts battry) =~2 Amps?

im waiting for your reply, thank you

guy

Swagatam says

Hi Guy, in real life batteries are hugely less efficient compared to theoretical calculations. So 50 Ah will not work, it has to be around 65 Ah, and dividing 65 Ah with 12V gives 5.41 amps. Again at this rate the battery would require to 12 hours to get fully charged. So solar panel must be rated at 10 amps, so that at peak sunlight it gives 10 amps and gradually becomes lower until it drops at 2 amps by evening. So the solar panel practically should be 12 x 10 = 120 watts. Or you can use a 12 x 5 = 60 watt panel if you can keep its direction continuously angled towards the sun.

Peter French says

Hi Swagatam

I have a problem that I need help with. I will briefly describe my system, so that you have an understanding of the problem.

I am running 4 x 100w solar panels, series parallel connected. Thus supplying 200w x 24v to my controller.

I have a 40a MPPT controller connected to 2 x 105ah 12v deep cycle batteries in parallel. This then feeds a 200w inverter. I built this circuit to run my 10a 110vac well pump when the mains power fails.

I built a control box circuit to control switching automatically from mains to inverter when the power fails.

I am using a 110v DPDT relay for the main switching. My problem is that in order to use this circuit I have to have the coil of the relay energised continuously, this leads to probable overheating of the coil and thus failure. Can you suggest a simple circuit that I can use which will switch power to the pump from the mains, to the inverter without the need for constant energising of my relay coils.

I would really like to do this without the relay if possible but at the moment cannot see how this can be achieved. Thanks. Pete

Swagatam says

Hi Peter, what is the coil voltage of the relay, is it 110V DC? The relay coil will get damaged only when the input voltage is considerably higher than its specified rating. In your case what is the coil supply voltage that you are using to energize the relay, is it much higher than 110V?

Please clarify this, I’ll try to figure out the solution. I would recommend using a relay only since they are more reliable and easy to wire, compared to other options like a triac or SCR

Paul says

Hi Swagatam

need some help with solar panel setup I have an air con and a fridge,that i want to run of solar.

air con will be running 24/7, air con spec 1200 btu current 5.3 amps rated power input 1550 watts rated current 7.5 amps voltage 220v 50 hz solar panel 250 w open circuit voltage37.25 volts. max system voltage 1000v max power voltage 29.8 . this will be off grid setup using batteries I live in Barbados Thanks Paul

Swagatam says

Hi Paul,

as you can see I have explained everything in minute details in the article, so can you please try calculating the required results, if you have problems I will help you out.

Abubakar Alee says

Thank you once again!

I prefer the complex one,i can construct it anyway.

Best regard!

Swagatam says

OK, then you can try this concept:

https://www.homemade-circuits.com/5v-pwm-solar-battery-charger-circuit/

For this you will need a 24V panel, at 7 amps, this will be converted to 14V 10amps for your battery

Abubakar Alee says

Hello sir swagatam.

Pls refer me to the home made controller circuit.moreover am i right inthe calculation.it ‘s blessing to here everything from you.

I can’t thank you enough!

Swagatam says

Thanks Abubakar, yes your calculations look right to me. controllers are of many types, from most complex to most easy ones, the easy ones will also charge your battery effectively although slightly less efficiently than the complex ones, which type do you prefer?

Abubakar Alee says

Good day sir.

It’s Abubakar again.

Sir, i do the load analysis nd i found the ff values.i would like to use

20watt dc fan*2

5watt dc bulb*3 All were in DC.

From 9am to 9pm daily,my T load is 55w and total wh is 660wh.

# i choose panel 660/12=55w

Truepower is 660/5=132w.I chose150watt panel.

#EMF Ah is 660/12=55Ah i upgrade it 65Ah.

#charge contrller 132/12=11A

The issue is that i went to the sellers thy told me that i can only get 20A c contrller and above,he then suggest i can use It in panel range for 20A to 1A,which is fairly nor agree with him.could you PLS help me out?

Dhanyavaad!

Swagatam says

Hi Abubakar, 20A is the maximum limit of the controller. A 20A controller will restrict the current to 20A and will have the maximum range of 20A for the load, so it can be used with a 11A solar panel also, no problem at all. You can also built one at home if you need to.

Abubakar Alee says

Hi

Thank you for helping me out,truely fine person.would you let me know the advantage of using DC system alone or AC system?

Swagatam says

Hi, thanks, can you please elaborate your question, because solar inverter works only with DC, not AC

uden says

Hi,

I have the 3.5W Led Bulb 24 nos ( working to AC power), operating hour per day 12 H and need to (2day run backup) what is the Solar panel, Battery, Charger controller, and Inventor capacity?

tks

Choubey says

Hi,

I have 180 Ah battery with 12v and inverter. I want to install solar pannel. How much watt is required ?

Swagatam says

Hi, you can use a 20V 20 amp solar panel.

Santhosh Olympuss says

Looking for 2KW OFF THE GRID system for a house in Eco Village. i have chosen a 2.5 k inverter, what can be the panel and battery specs?

2K panels are needed? of 1- 1.5 k is enough?

how many 150 AH batteries? 2 or 3

Looking for a guidance

Swagatam says

Hello, kindly go through the step by step explanations above and calculate the required parameters. If you have any difficulty in the process let me know I’ll help you out

srinivas says

Sir ,I have a hybrid solar pcu, grid input is 130-270VAC, PV input is 45VDC,PV Charger is 1KW mppt,Inverter 1KVA,Battery 24V, AC output 230V. Suggest the rating of panels and quantity of panels required .All should be in series or parallel .

Swagatam says

Srinivas, what is the intended maximum load and for many hours per day.

AJITH KUMAR says

Hay, swagatham, I am Ajith, and I need your help to get a 12v 50amp Solarcharge control circuit diagram for my home unit., Thanks.

Swagatam says

Hi Ajith,

please provide the solar panel specifications, in terms of open circuit voltage and short circuit current, I will try to help!

Paaker says

I have ask the same question from many, but they all give me very lengthy lectures.and confuse me as much they can.even most of the Solar reseller don’t know how to simply explain this.

This is one of the clear and simply detailed explanation on internet, about calculating solar/battery and inverter.

Swag, you are great.

Thank you very much for your valuable time to spend here to teach others.

Swag says

Thank you Paaker, I am so glad you liked this post. Please keep up the good work!

Andrew says

What a lovely and educated example, Sir your explaination is truly the best solution to make all the calculations needed from A to Z and am very honoured to come across your site, thanks 4 ur motivation to share all your ideas with D world and i pray that God will feed u with more💪 knowledge so we can lean more from u 👊👊👊

Swagatam says

Glad you liked it Andrew, I hope it helps you to accomplish the required objectives. All the best to you!

David Ifeagbason says

Good day sir…Thanks for your post. I want to achieve a 60kva solar power and i have a 310watts panel..Am looking at using 24 solar panels and i have a 20kva inverter how many battries do i need to achieve this

Swag says

Hi David, you can calculate the parameters with the help of the explanation presented in the above article, you can also refer to the examples which I have discussed in the comment section.

Gurvinder says

Good day

I would like your help in the following scenario. I have been to many websites and each shows a different outcome and formula. I really appreciate your guidance

Total WH: 20000WHR per day (12 hours during night) 18kVa load

Panel : 310W x 80

Can you advise size of inverter and battery (off grid only)

Swag says

Hi, your panel output is 310 x 80 = 24,800 watts, multiplying this with minimum 6 hours sunshine gives 148,800 watt hour.

to operate a 18kva load you will require a 180kwh battery.

to charge a 180kwh battery, you will need at least 200kva power for minimum 6 hours.

your solar panel is 148.8kwh, which seems to be a little short for the battery.

you must upgrade to to at least 200kwh panel

inverter power handling capacity must be 20kva

ola korede says

hello sir am having a 3000va inverter and four 200AH/12v batteries connected serially but in term of usage consumption stays on just two when the remaining two remains full even after the former is low. what can I do to make the remaining two full battery work simultaneously or switch over former is low

Swag says

OLa, that can be difficult to solve if the batts are in series….because the batts which are getting discharged faster could be the defective ones and while getting discharged these may be causing a high resistance for the good batteries and preventing their current from reaching the inverter…you can try shuffling the positions of the batts withing the series or simply change the defective ones with new.

ola korede says

pls do you think the wiring can be responsible for the battery not working properly

Swag says

not the wiring, most probabaly it could be due to defective batts.

OM KUWAR says

frds…without controller dangerous for battery .if full charge battery …batterys supply retun to solar panel …and anothr things you can use the formula i = p÷v …55w÷12

Swagatam says

Hello, have you confirmed whether your battery is getting fully charged or not?, and whether your battery is working good or not?

you will need a 1kW solar panel for running a 850 watt load

Unknown says

I have 900 watts inverter what rating battry and solar panel should use

Swagatam says

what is your inverter's battery specification?

SinnSabs says

Hello Sir.

One Question only I want to clarify is the matching of Solar Voltage module to the Charge controller module.

Is 12 volts Charge controller can handle a 18 Volts solar panel?

or If we buy 12 volts charge controller, I will also buy a 12 volts Solar panel?

Swagatam says

Hello Sinn,

You will have to check the specification details of the controller, which will tell you the maximum input it may be designed to handle.

However in most cases a controller for a 12V battery would be rated to handle 18V easily.

No, a 12V controller will definitely not correctly work with a 12V input and will require require a minimum of 15V as the input.

as stated earlier an 18V input in most cases would be quite normal and recommended

Laptop Arcade Anura says

Hello sir I try build a solar system for my home.to run 5hours on battery backup.3X45w led tv's,20X12w led bulbs

1X95w refrigerator at night only. I have this item for solar system (1X200W mono panel,1X max solar input >50 12~24v 20Amp charging control unit,1X 2000W inverter,which type battery I need for 5 hours battery backup.and how many hours get it battery full charge.please help sorry for my bad English.

Swagatam says

Please provide the total wattage of the solar panel, and the total wattage of the load, only then I would be able to suggest you the approximate results

Laptop Arcade Anura says

2 solar Panel 100W 17W 5.68A

max load 100W per hour.need 5 hour's battery backup for night time only.

Max says

Hello Sir

Total Home load is 3600W expected to run for 10H daily

I have 12pcs 300w 36v solar panels

I also have 5000w inverter

I also have 6pcs 24v 250AH batteries

I needed to know the size of charge controller to use since I have 36v from Panels and 24v for batteries and inverter

Swag says

5kva inverter for for a 3.6kva load is OK.

Now 3600 x 10 = 36000 gives us the total power requirement for the load.

you have 12 x 300 = 3600 watt solar panel output, but since the average sunshine can be expected to be around 6 hours a day, the power output is not sufficient for 36000 watt power requirement.

your solar panel would provide just 3600 x 6 = 21600 watts of average power, whereas the requirement is 36000 watts.

for a 3.6kva load the inverter operating at 24V would require 3600/24 = 150 amps.

your battery Ah rating is 250 x 6 = 1500 Ah, so it can be comfortably discharged at 150amp rate, that’s OK, so the battery specs is fine.

your charger should be able to charge your battery at the rate 150 amp for at least 10 hours, which implies that your charger controller must be rated to output 28V at 150 amps….however again since the sunshine could be just for 6 hours, this will fall short. To compensate this you will have to upgrade the solar panel appropriately, or you can can use a solar tracker that will enable the solar panels to absorb sunshine for 10 hours optimally, and your existing devices can be used without any modifications or upgrades.

Swagatam says

for a 100 watt load to run for 5 hours you will need a minimum 500 watt hour battery, if it's a 12V batt then it would need to be 500/12 = 41 or 40 AH rated.

you can use your 100watt panel to charge the battery withing 8 hours,,,preferably using an MPPT charger circuit.

Swagatam says

If the panel voltage is within 60V then it would be fine, however if the inverter load is too high then the batteries might not charge properly….in other words the inverter load and the battery charging consumption must be less than 250 watt combined

JITENDRA PATEL says

Sir , second question .your answer to Ms. Achilles Hector should be direct I.e. Battery V = 24 , Amp Hr = 44+@ 24 v , Inverter w = 216+ w , but you replied her to follow calculation as per yr blog.I know you can't calculate for everybody but how can we cross check whether our calculation is right until and unless you or any other reader give her the answer.I request you and atleast one reader to confirm my answer.

JITENDRA PATEL says

Sir , I read all posts today.in your blog for calculation , in point #2 , you calculate 1000 wh/ 5 hr sunlight= 200 w but in point #4 , you wrote , 100 w panel /12 v = 8.33 Amp charge controller.why you took 100 w instead of 200 w ???

Swagatam says

Jitendra, 200 watt is for countries with weaker average sunlight, and 100 watt is for countries for stronger average sunlight…

the example is given for a 100watt panel, anybody can easily convert the results for 200watt also….

there's nothing too difficult or confusing about the calculations.

owor paskr says

Hello mr Swagatam.

I have 8 solar panels of 200watts each. I would like to ask which inverter size is the most suitable for these panels when wired all together.

Can I use the inverter which come with inbuilt charge controller?

Which battery sizes and how many pieces do I need to make the wiring.

Which wiring method would give me the most efficient power outputs.

Can I use the solar power output out of these 8 panels to run a Panasonic home theater of 13200watts?

Thanks in advance

PASCAL

Swagatam says

Hello Pascal,

the most suitable inverter that could be used with the mentioned 200 x 8 = 1600 watt panel is around a 1300 watt inverter, 13200watt is out of question, since it's way out of the range of the panel.

connecting the panels in parallel would be a more convenient option….

the battery voltage will need to be matched with the panel output if no MPPT is used in the middle, and therefore will need to be wired accordingly.

Andy Fisher says

I have a solar company getting ready to do my solar. I will have 28 lg 315 watt panels. They are giving me a 7600 watt inverter. I asked why my inverter is less wattage than my panels. He said you divide the wattage of the panels by the inverter and get 1.17. He said as long as it's. Between .75 and 1.35. Is this right??

Swagatam says

The technician is probably correct. the inverter wattage should be much less than the panel wattage otherwise the solar panel could be forced to run at an inefficient zone causing huge drop in inverter voltage

Unknown says

I hv a 1000 wt invetor and a 240 solar panel and battery but if I try to connect the invetor it just says faulty Wat cn be the problem with it

Swagatam says

your specs are not sufficient for judging the fault…

NANDULA SUBRAHMANYAM says

Hello sir. Can you suggest me what are all the components to be bought by me including their grades as I am not much aware of electrical components

Swagatam says

Hi Nandula, please specify your requirement specifications….only then I would be able to suggest.

NANDULA SUBRAHMANYAM says

My requirement is making a speed restrictor for vehicles.

Swagatam says

you can try the following circuit

https://homemade-circuits.com/2013/12/vehicle-speed-limit-alarm-circuit.html

kanu kamliya says

hello sir I am student from Anand,Gujarat, I

want to make 100 watt solar

inverter,so how many watts solar panel and

battery require for it?

Swagatam says

please see the above comment.

kanu kamliya says

hello sir I want to run 100 watt inverter on solar panel so how many watts panel require for it???

Swagatam says

hello kanu, you can try a 25 watt panel and a 25 AH battery

eshkariel tapiador says

Don't forget the circuit…

Swagatam says

eshkariel, I think it's already published in my blog, you can refer to this post for more info:

https://homemade-circuits.com/2013/04/solar-water-heater-with-battery-charger.html

Swagatam says

Good Morning Eshkariel,

Your calculations look OK to me.

You can try the inverter that's been covered in this article although it's not a pure sine wave, just a modified one.

https://homemade-circuits.com/2013/04/how-to-modify-square-wave-inverter-into.html

transformer rating could be = required wattage divided by available voltage, this will give the amp rating for the trafo.

Battery could be rated at = required wattage divided by voltage,this will give the AH of the battery, but make it twice at least for a reasonable back up time.

achilles hector says

Good day Swags!!!

How's my circuit?

Swagatam says

Good day Eshkariel,

you can try calculating the parameters with the help of the data given in the above article. It isn't very difficult if you see.

I'll try to design the solar charger that you have asked and will let you know soon, pls remind me if i forget, though:)

achilles hector says

Dear Mr. Majumdar

Can you help me in installing a solar panel at home?

I have the following data:

Solar panel wattage: 216 watts

Electricity required in our home: 106 watts

Hours of use: it doesn't matter to me as long the hours wont go below 10 hours.

Hours of sunlight (based on the normal daylight ): Max.- 7 hrs.; Min.- 6 hrs

Can you fill in the blanks? :

battery: voltage:___; amp-hours:___

inverter: wattage:___; voltage: 220

Can I ask if you can make me a solar charge controller out of the data above?

And can you add a function to the solar charge controller? : If the sun has enough light,

the inverter will get the source from the solar panel while the battery is being charged.

Then the moment the cloud dims, in which the solar panel can't produce enough voltage,

the relay will change the inverter's source, which is from solar panel to battery. With this function I can protect the appliances from low voltage and use the solar panel during daytime.

thanks a lot for your kind consideration!!!!

yours truly

Eshkariel Tapiador

Swagatam says

Dear Achiless,

I'll try to do it and respond soon.

Olamide says

Hello sir, I want you enlighten me on this, I have a battery bank of 19v 47ah lithium ion battery that I used to charge my laptop, but I want to use it with my 1000W inverter, when I read the normal out of the battery it was 16.8v, the battery was connected in parallel and series, I have 20amps charge controller. Now my question is that, (can 12v 40watt solar with 20amps charge controller charge the battery without giving out any problem) thanks sir

Swagatam says

Hello Olamide, A 40 watt panel will only produce 3.33 amps from 12 V, which is way too less for the battery in terms of voltage and current both, so your solar panel will not be able to charge the mentioned battery. Even with a boost charger the current will drop to 2 amps which is not sufficient for the battery. Your panel must be rated at 24 V 15 amps or 10 amps for charging the battery efficiently and quickly.

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