This is my firs attempt to make an Instructable, being a huge fan of this site, I am pretty excited.
I am from Argentina, so it is probable that some misspellings and grammatical errors pop up here an there, I apologize in advance for them.
Current Method for Stand Alone Photovoltaic Systems Sizing
This particular method is known as "Current method" since it uses the currents (in Amps, Amps Hour / Day) to select the components.
1) The modules
In Argentina we use this scale: cell → Module → PanelThe PANEL is an array of several modules, plugged in series or parallels to achieve the right configuration. In this example we will have everything in 12 V systems, so 32-cells modules are going to be OK.
The MODULE is composed of several cells in series and parallel to achieve the right current and voltage.The CELL is the smaller component. Is made of silicon, with the electric contacts in front and rear to pick up some electrons, running around the silicon when some photons hits them.
2) The charge regulator
This is a critic component, since it keeps your batteries fresh and healthier. A bad chosed charge regulator will end up in an early death of the batteries.
3) The battery bank
Deep cycle solar batteries aren't cheap, nor light weight. So choosing the right size of that battery bank, suitable for your budget and energy needs is going to be criticall.
Hope someone finds this text helpful!