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Solar Panels to Charge Car Battery-Introduction, Size, and Protection
A solar panel is a term used in a non-literal form for a Photo-Voltaic module. A photo-voltaic module referred to a collection of cells organized together and arranged structurally. The Cells are unique and are displayed in sunlight for them to operate. An assembly of Panels translates to an Array that generates solar electricity.
Solar electricity, or rather solar power, is a great way to attain free energy from sunlight. It`s environmentally free and highly available, which deem it the best for most household appliances and commercials. Switching to Solar panel energy is a great way to save money.
The choice of a solar panel will be determined by the quantity of power you need. The size is determined by the number of cells in it. This depends on the use, whether it`s for home purposes or commercial purposes. The average size of a solar panel for residential use is 65 by 39 inches. A commercial one can be somewhere around 70 inches by 40 inches. These measurements, however, vary among the producers. Direct current (DC) appliances can be connected directly, but an inverter is needed for alternating current (AC) power appliances.
Portable Solar Panels to Charge a Car Battery
Portable solar panels refer to small-sized panels which can be carried along wherever you need them. The panel converts sunlight energy into DC, which gets the car battery charged. Solar power can be accessed from anywhere and can charge a battery with the correct charger system. Time taken to charge the car battery is based on the performance of the solar panel.
The weight of these panels is light, and others are even foldable to ascertain the ease of transport. Having a portable panel is a good way to ensure a backup charging option. This is considering that a car battery gets discharged in instances like a light left on.
The portable solar panels are very easy to connect and use. It makes people think they are not powerful as the use of electricity or large solar panels. Well, as technology keeps improving, portable solar panels have become sophisticated. This makes them a great choice for any car owner. A regulator or a controller is required to be installed between the panel and battery. It helps control the voltage to ensure the battery charges proficiently and is free from damage.
What size solar panel to charge a 12v battery?
Most cars are fixed with a 12-volt battery. It`s advisable to go for a deep cycle battery. The reason is that it can handle frequent charging cycles without damage. Deep cycle batteries are made with strong and thick plates. A 12v battery requires approximately 13.5 volts to charge fully. Ideally, the photo-voltaic cells of the solar panel should have high voltage than that of the battery.
The deep cycle batteries have a rating measured in amp-hours (Ah). This indicates the amount of electric current over a duration. Assuming that the battery is rated 100Ah and you want to charge it in like 5 hours. Then 100Ah divided by the 5 hours is 20A.20A times 12volts is 240 Watts. Assuming that your panel is solely for charging a car battery, then a 300 watts solar panel should be enough.
Nevertheless, you can put together three panels, every 100 watts, to attain the same. It is important to note that the panel should be surfaced under direct sunlight. This is to ensure that it sufficiently produces the power rated on it. Things like shades, Placement angle, and overcast compromise the solar panel output
Solar Car Battery Charger With Overcharge Protection
A car battery will discharge over time and therefore a need to charge often. However, safety measures should be put in place to avoid unnecessary expenses. Overcharging of a battery affects the life span. It can lead to an explosion. The use of protection decreases the maintenance cost to the user.
A battery that is rated over 5 watts generation requires a Controller. A controller is usually rated in amps. Apart from protection from battery overcharge, a controller prevents discharge and improves the quality of the current. A controller acts as a regulator to allow energy to pass to the battery and cut it off when it`s fully charged in a simple language.
Some solar are pre-installed with plates that block battery from discharging when sunlight is inadequate. However, in most cases, they do not help in overcharge situations; hence a controller is highly recommended.
How long can a solar panel last?
A solar Panel can take you a long way if well protected. Solar panels can function properly for up to 25 years. It is a good, therefore, an investment. Some factors determine the lifespan of solar panels. Here are some of the measures to protect a solar panel.
1. Clean excessive dust and dirt, which build over time. Small particles accumulate on the surface of the panel. A regular cleaning routine to wipe off these threats optimizes the functioning of the solar panel.
2.Regular maintenance, including time-to-time check-ups and inspections to fix any issues. Installation and the inbuilt system need to be checked more often. Despite the durability, panels are prone to disconnection of the built-in circuit.
3.Indoor Factors which cause degradation. Birds and crawling insects might inhabit beneath the panel. This occurs mostly in instances where the panel is permanently mounted. They pose structural complications which implicate the efficiency of the solar panel. Other factors which result in degradation include heavy snow loads and strong winds.
4.Trees and hanging branches. It is advisable to keep the panel free from hanging branches and falling trees. Such threats are catastrophic and might render a panel useless after the Photo-Voltaic cells are fractured. Solar panels are, however, not fragile.
Solar Energy is free and environmentally friendly. A car battery will require regular charging. The use of a Solar Panel to get your battery charged is convenient. It is also Cost-effective. This makes it an excellent alternative from charging stations which might be barely accessible.