Your Questions About Solar Panel Kits

Sharon asks…

Does anyone know about solar power?

I really need to know what size battery I need to use with a 60 watt solar panel kit. Also how many batteries I will need. I will be using this kit with an old self contained camper. Thanks

ssadmin answers:

The 60 watts is probably overstated, but let's assume it's correct. At 12 volts, that's 5 amps. Generally, we try to charge a lead-acid battery at 5% of capacity, or at least 3%. That means a 12 volt, 100 amp-hour battery.

You can find gel cells equivalent to this, or just use a single car battery (deep cycle marine battery is better).

Lisa asks…

Its promoting diy solar panels make any body any $ or this just big lol?

I find some diy solar panels kit to promote, just wonder if this worth my time…

ssadmin answers:

I do not know whether these schemes make money for the promoters. They probably make money for whoever is at the top of the chain and selling the promotion materials.

If this is what I'm thinking of (Earth4Energy is an example), the information being sold implies fantastic benefits but doesn't deliver. It's just vague information culled from free sources that someone could google on their own. If it really worked, you would see at least a few people in the neighborhood doing it.

There are a number of people actively working to discredit such schemes on places like Y!A, and they are doing a pretty good job.

Linda asks…

How do I find the maximum wattage for a solar panel?

I have a resistor kit but I'm having trouble using it. My voltage appears to always be 7 whether I use a 1 Ohm resistor or a 100 Ohm resistor. When I try to read the Amperage it is always 0. What am I doing wrong?

ssadmin answers:

Best way is to read the specs.

Are you measuring the amperage across the resistor? That's why you're getting zero. You need to hook the meter in series with the resistor. (Panel to meter, meter to resistor, resistor to panel.)

Keep reducing the resistance until the voltage drops below about 5 volts. That's when you're trying to draw more than the maximum amps.

Be careful. Unless this is a tiny panel, you're going to be creating an extreme amount of heat in that resistor. Your resistor probably won't be able to handle it, and you'll have a scalding hot component even if it can.

1 ohm at 7 volts is 7 amps. (V=IR)
7 amps at 7 volts is 49 watts. (P=IV).

You can start putting 1 ohm resistors in parallel, effectively lowering the resistance of the load until the voltage drops, but don't be surprised if one of them fractures from the heat.

Michael asks…

if the open circuit volt is 21.5 on a solar panel do you need a charge controller?

I purchased 40 watt Solar Panel Battery Charger Kit with a Maximum Power Voltage of 17.5V
Maximum Power Current of 2.29A with Open Circuit Voltage of 21.5V, and have a brand new deep cycle battery and don't want to hurt it by overcharging it should I have a Charge Controller on the system?
more info on the kit can be found a the Source here:

ssadmin answers:

Solar controller is a must for a solar power system. It will smooth voltage and improve efficiency, also has over-charger protection circuit and many other protection function to protect your panel and battery from damage.

Donald asks…

Whats the best site for Solar Power?

Hey, I want to become more ‘greener' and need a site with good, solid information on DIY solar panels and kits, and possibly even videos on how to do so. Has anyone got good links?

ssadmin answers:

Hey, I think that is really good. I purchased the kit for about $100 and I can tell you, I reccommend it to everyone! Also, there is loads of FREE information aswell, and videos lol.

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