SolarDesignTools provides free interactive online design tools for Electric Solar Power energy systems. This includes determining the required number of solar panels, how many batteries will be needed, calculating wire sizes, a solar radiation chart, example system pictorials, and more.
Try this example of an interactive electric Solar Power Simulator to see how Solar Energy systems work.

Home / Overview Starting Guide System Sizing Tool Battery Designer Wire Size Calculator Tips & Strategies Terms & Definitions
Solar Panels Charge Controllers Storage Batteries Inverters/Generators Meters & Monitoring Solar Radiation Wiring Diagrams

Starting Guide

Getting Started
Like most things, getting started and knowing where to begin is half the battle. Basically there are 5 steps for designing your solar power energy system. I'll list them below then explain each one a little bit.
  • System Concept & Overview
  • Determining Power Requirements
  • Wire Size Calculator
  • Battery Bank Designer
  • Example Wiring Diagrams
As a first step I would recommend viewing the Overview page to get a overall concept of what makes up a solar power energy system. Second, you'll need to determine how much power (in WattHours) that you are going to need. This can be done using our System Sizing Tool tool. This is where you'll figure out how many Solar Panels and how many Batteries you will need. Third, click on the Wire Size Calculator to determine the correct wire size to use to connect the solar panels to your system equipment. Fourth, the Battery Bank Designer shows you how you can use combination wiring techniques to get the Voltage & Capacity you'll need. Lastly, the Example Diagrams show 3 different size systems and how all the components hook-up together.
System Concept & Overview
The Home/Overview page shows the basic components of a solar power energy system and how they connect together with a brief description of each component. A more detailed explanation is offered in other pages, but this will give you a general idea of what compromises a solar power energy system without getting overly complicated.
Determining Power Requirements
For this step you will use the System Sizing Tool tool to calculate the power needs for various common household appliances. This tool uses a simple point & click interface to allow you to chose different appliances with different capacities. Included are refrigerators, televisions, computers, lighting, and other devices.
Wire Size Calculator
The Wire Size Calculator tool calculates the gauge (size) wire you'll need to run from the solar panels to the charge controller of your solar power energy system based on how many solar panels you have, what their output is, and how far away from the rest of the equipment the solar panels are.
Battery Bank Designer
The Battery Bank Designer shows examples of different wiring techniques using series wiring, parallel wiring, and a combination of series and parallel to provide the correct Voltage and Power (capacity) needs for your system.
Example Wiring Diagrams
3 different size systems are shown in the Example Wiring Diagrams page showing how all the various components of a solar power energy system connect together. Details of metering equipment is also shown.

Home / Overview Starting Guide System Sizing Tool Battery Designer Wire Size Calculator Tips & Strategies Terms & Definitions
Solar Panels Charge Controllers Storage Batteries Inverters/Generators Meters & Monitoring Solar Radiation Wiring Diagrams

DISCLAIMER : The information and suggestions on this website are generally proven and accepted standards and techniques. They are, however, not meant to supersede local zoning laws or the recommendations of a licensed electrician. Always read the instructions provided with your equipment and observe all safety precautions.