The sunlight is a great source of power, and it can be used to charge various kinds of batteries. Parametric offers a solution that uses solar panels to charge batteries in their People and Traffic Counters. However, while the solution works great, it is important to remember that the choice of the IoT Solar panel in the right size matters.
The main criterium that determines if the solar solution will even be possible is the place of use. Additionally, things like fog, dust and even cloudy weather may affect the performance of the IoT solar panel system.
Parametric has in their portfolio a wide range of products suitable for various use cases. They have a range of solar panels with integrated charges and batteries for solar panels from 5V up to 20V.
As mentioned before, it is critical to properly select the correct solar solution. This article may help with that choice a little.
PVGIS – Photovoltaic Geographical Information System
The PVGIS is a great tool that can be used for the simulation of the solar power system. It uses meteorological data at the desired location. This is a free online tool and can be accessed at the link below.
The first step for the simulation is to type the address or select the desired place by clicking on the map. Once the place is selected, you need to enter the technical data of the solar panel.
Go to the Off-Grid tab and type the correct details of the solar system. For example, parametric offers the 17W solar panel with a 40° mounting bracket. In this case, settings should look like this:
Parameters and values
Once all values are entered, it is time to run the simulation. Click on the Visualise results button.
The most important output from the simulation is the Percentage days with empty battery.
In this example, at the chosen location, the value is 1.8%.
If the value is 0, there is a very good chance the solar powered system will work in the desired place. If it is not, like in this case, a more powerful system should be chosen.
To simulate if the solution would work with the bigger IoT solar panel in this location, we need to go back to the table with details of the solar system and change the Peak power to a higher value. Let’s try a 60W panel instead of 17W.
And simulate the results again…
Now, the value of percentage days with an empty battery is 0, which means the 60W solar system should work fine for this location.
The PVGIS simulation is based on a meteorological data model (PVGIS-NSRDB solar radiation database). There can always be unpredictable weather situations where too little solar energy is stored and the system will switch off. Alliot nor Parametric can be responsible for any miscalculations or mis-purchases that may result from using this tool.
Contact us today for assistance in assessing your IoT Solar Panel requirements or to discuss your IoT projects in more detail.