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Solar Electric System Sizing
Step 1 - Determine Your Power Consumption Demands

Make a list of the appliances and/or loads you are going to run from your PV system. Find out how much power each item consumes while operating. Most appliances have a label on the back which lists the wattage. Specification sheets, local appliance dealers, and the product manufacturers are other sources of information. We have provided a chart that lists typical power consumption demands of common devices which you can use as a guide. Once you have the wattage ratings, fill out the load sizing worksheet.

Typical Power Consumption Demands
Appliance Watts
Coffee Pot 200
Coffee Maker 800
Toaster 800-1500
Blender 300
Microwave 600-1500
Hot Plate 1200
Washing Machine Automatic 500
Washing Machine Manual 300
Vacuum Cleaner Upright 200-700
Vacuum Cleaner Hand 100
Sewing Machine 100
Iron 1000
Cloths Dryer Electric 400
Cloths Dryer Gas heated 300-400
Water Pump 250-500
Ceiling Fan 10-50
Table Fan 10-25
Electric Blanket 200
Blow Dryer 1000
Shaver 15
Computer Laptop 20-50
Computer PC 80-150
Computer Printer 100
Typewriter 80-200
TV 25" Color 150
TV 19" Color 70
1TV 2" B&W 20
VCR 40
CD Player 35
Stereo 10-30
Clock Radio 1
Satellite Dish 30
CB Radio 5
Electric Clock 3
Lights: 100W Incandescent 100
Lights: 25W Compact Fluorescent 28
Lights: 50W DC Incandescent 50
Lights: 40W DC Halogen 40
Lights: 20W Compact Fluorescent 22
Compact Fluorescent Incandescent: 40 watt equivalent 11
Compact Fluorescent Incandescent: 60 watt equivalent 16
Compact Fluorescent Incandescent: 75 watt equivalent 20
Compact Fluorescent Incandescent: 100 watt equivalent 30
1/4" Drill 250
1/2" Drill 750
1" Drill 1000
9" Disc Sander 1200
3" Belt Sander 1000
12" Chain Saw 1100
14" Band Saw 1100
7-1/4" Circular Saw 900
8-1/4" Circular Saw 1400
Refrig/Freezer 20cf 1.8Kwh per day (15 hours) 540
Refrig/Freezer 16cf 1.6Kwh per day (13 hours) 475
Sunfrost 16cf DC (7 hours) 112
Sunfrost 12cf DC (7 hours) 70
Freezer 14cf (15 hours) 440
Freezer 14cf (14 hours) 350
Sunfrost Freezer 19cf (10 hours) 112

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List all of the electrical appliances to be powered by the PV system.
Separate AC & DC devices and enter them in the appropriate table.
Record the operating wattage* of each item.
Specify the number of hours per day each item will be used.
Multiply the first 3 columns to determine watt-hour usage per day.
Enter the number of days per week you will be using each item to determine the total watt-hours per week each appliance will require.

* Most appliances have a label on the back that lists the wattage. Local appliance dealers and the product manufacturers are other sources of this information.

Load Sizing Worksheet
DC Appliance Watts x Qty x Hrs/Day

= Wh/Day x Days/Wk

= Wh/Wk
A___________ _________________


B___________ _________________


C___________ _________________


D___________ _________________


E___________ _________________



Total the numbers in the last column. This is your DC power requirement.

TOTAL ______

Multiply the total by 1.2 to compensate for system losses during battery charge/discharge cycle.

DC WH/WK ______

1. Add AC WH/WK and DC WH/WK together. This is your total power requirement per week.

TOTAL ______

2. Enter the voltage of your battery bank (usually 12 or 24 volts).

VOLTS ______

3. Divide line 1 by line 2. This is your amp-hour requirement per week.

AH/WK ______

4. Divide line 3 by 7 days. This is your average amp-hour requirement per day that will be used to size your battery bank and your PV module array.

AH/DAY ______


Step 1 -
Determine Your Power Consumption Demands
Step 2 - Optimize Your Power System Demands
Step 3 - Size Your Battery Bank
Step 4 - Determine the Sun Hours Available Per Day
Step 5 - Size Your Array

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