Portable Solar Panels

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 06:52
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Hi all, What do I look for to keep a 130ah battery charged and what are good panels and what are best to keep away from as there is a fair range in price so one must be better than another
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 07:35

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 07:35
Depends what power you are going to draw from the battery, for how long, what other charging (240v mains, vehicle alternator..) you'll be using - the overall energy balance. How much you put in depends on how much you intend taking out.

Suggest have a look at Electricity for Camping and get some ideas there.

As you say, there is a fair price range. Cheap is usually not good and good isn't cheap. Expensive isn't always good. The big reputable brands (BP Sharp etc) are usually reliable but anything too good to be true is best avoided. That said, again depends on your individual needs - are you setting up a camper or a holiday home or something else.

I haven't helped much, but check out Electricity for Camping and get back to us.


J and V
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AnswerID: 465530

Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 07:40

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 07:40
What's your battery load demand per day in Ah?
Not the size of battery, but the size of the load determines what size solar panel is required.
So if you want us to give you a panel size recommendation, you need to tell us the type of battery load(s) you have. What's the product of run-time in hours, and amps in a 24hr period?

BTW, the design/brand of the solar regulator is way more important than the brand of solar panels.
If solar panels don't quite output 100% of their rated power, you lose nothing.
But if the solar regulator does the wrong thing, battery life may be shortened by 75% or more and you're out of pocket substantially.

...there is a fair range in price so one must be better than another...

Maybe different profit margins could have something to do with the price too, no?

cheers, Peter
AnswerID: 465531

Reply By: Mrbrush - Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 21:19

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011 at 21:19
If you just want to run a fridge and lights, I`d go a minimum 80 or 100watts.

Go for a mono panel and an MPPT solar charger. I just replaced my PWM charger for the Mppt as they are more efficient and yet to try it out.

I have my 140watt panel bolted on my canopy, with 2 fridges in the back tray no probs.
so if your parked up somewhere you still have charge going to your battery and fridge working.

A portable set up would be good for a camper as you can move it around to chase the sun.
But if you go out for the day I would`nt be leaving it out.

I`m no expert but my panel is made in china along with 95% of roof solar system panels.
As long as the specs are good I can`t see a problem with a cheaper panel.

AnswerID: 465612

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