Below is a functional diagram of all components which usually fit in a small box – except of cause the solar panel.
The “heart” is UNplug which is monitoring all connected devices:
- Solar charger
- Solar panel
- Utility power (wall plug)
The assembly is very easy and should not take more than 15 minutes. Once all components are connected you will start making your own energy!
There are only three states the system is operating in:
- During day the solar panel delivers power to the inverter and the excess energy charges the battery. The 120V outlet is powered by the inverter. When the energy consumption is higher than the energy from the solar panel then the battery is discharged. The discharge level can be adjusted between 10-80%. It is best to set discharge to 10% to maximize battery life.
- During the night the inverter is turned off and the utility power from the wall outlet is just passed through. If there is a black out at night then the controller immediately starts the inverter to power the 120V outlet (there will be a short warmup delay before the inverter is operational).
- You’re Protected! If there’s an outage, and you can’t switch back to the grid, this is when the batteries take over. Unplug provides automatic uninterruptible power (UPS) with built-in surge protection.