Solar Panels

Submitted: Monday, Jan 28, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 689 Views:2227 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Similar to Darren's question today I am interested in charging a battery with solar panels whilst stationary. I have acquired 2 solar panels with a max output of 37 w each. i have noticed that one will power up a 12v trouble light that i have.
Can u just hook up the panels to the battery or do u need a regulator. would one panel be sufficient to charge a 12 v battery which will basically only run lights and possibly a 6 inch Tv
I know nothing has anyone got any suggestions.
I recently returned from a 2 month trip to topend of Qld and Nt with a camper trailer off road with a battery charged by the car it worked fine but no good for extended periods.
Thanks in anticipation Ray
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Reply By: Mark Wilson - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2002 at 01:00
I've got an 87 watt array which develops about 19volts of charge at 6 amps. As a result I was advised to run a voltage regulator. The one I use is solid state 12 volt regulator rated at 8 amps.

I use the array to charge the battery and run everything from the battery. That way I protect my appliances from power spikes that might occur as a result of fluctuating power levels from the array. From memory the voltage regulator cost about $70.00 6 years ago.

It hasn't given me a moments problem up to date.

As an example of what our 87 watt array can power. Except in periods of extremely high temperatures we can consistently run our 39 litre engel for as long as we need AS LONG AS there is 8 to 10 hours of sunshine each day.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 1862

Follow Up By: Luke - Friday, Feb 01, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Feb 01, 2002 at 01:00
hi mark i was wondering what the demensions of your solar panel are

FollowupID: 644

Reply By: luke - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2002 at 01:00
mark i was wondering what the demensions of your panel are

regards luke
AnswerID: 1872

Reply By: Stewie - Thursday, Feb 14, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Feb 14, 2002 at 01:00
Ray...I run an array of 3x60w Solarex units through a solid state regulator. You need to determine whether or not your 37w panels are of the self regulating variety. This can be identified by looking at the open circuit voltage (ie in full sun with no load. a regulated panel would have about 14v on O/C whereas an unregulated unit would be around 19v, generally self regulating panels are not as efficient in marginal conditions (partially cloudy) you are better off with unregulated through a regulator. As far as power consumption is concerned you need to look at the whole picture in regard to power in/out. You may get 2.5Amps out of each of your 37w panels. Multiply this by available sunlight hours 8-10 and you are looking at a max of 20-25 A/h of input - at best. Now look at the outgoing equation, how much does your light and TV require and how long will you be using them. As long as outgoings is less than input then the battery remains charged.
AnswerID: 2097

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