Your Questions About Solar Powered Generator

Betty asks…

solar powered generator help!?

I want to make a solar generator. I found a solar panel that is 12v and 5 watts. I have a deep cycle battery that is 12v. How much power in volts and watts would I have if i fully charged the battery with my solar panel. I am young and don't know too much about this subject so keep it simple.

ssadmin answers:

Wow, this sounds like fun. I used to work with Solar projects for EPRI and NASA, so I can give you a few tips:

1. 5 watts is a pretty small panel. You don't want to put it on a large battery (like a car or boat battery), or the battery's tendency to discharge will happen faster than the cell can keep it charged! A battery for a kid's scooter or car is probably about right (5 to 10 amp hr rating).

2. Even though your panel can deliver 5 watts peak, the actual power it will delivers varies with it's angle to the sun, the weather, how clean the face is, and the length of the day. It's not unusual to average only 1/5 to 1/7 of the output of the cell per day.
So, you can expect to get about 24 watt-hrs to 17 watt-hrs per day. That's about 2 to 1.4 amp hours.

3. The batteries don't charge perfectly, and they lose some charge just sitting around. Count on getting about 80% of the energy your putting in. So, count on having 1.6 to 1.12 amp hrs to power your gadgets for every day of charging.

You can run a small radio just about indefinitely on this, or a small brushless fan (about .1amp for about 11-16 hours), a small fluorescent lamp for maybe 4 hours, or even a small TV for maybe an hour.

Have Fun!

Linda asks…

Is the usage of Wind Powered Generators & Solar Generators Illegal in Singapore?

I'm planning to buy either a Wind Powered Generators, Solar Generators or a Hybrid Generator to be more “Green” & at the same time save on electric bills… I'm able to install such a generator on my home…

ssadmin answers:

Its sad that Singaporeans should ask such questions. We are so timid. At the very worst you get a fine for installing green equipments. Take a MRT ride where you can see many terrace houses. You will find many with solar roofs.Their owners are not languishing in Changi prison. As for wind power, Singapore is not windy whole year round. Best stick with solar panels.

Sandra asks…

Solar Powered Generator??

I'm looking to but this solar powered generator for emergency and outdoor use. Here is the product.

It says it can run a refrigerator. My question is for how long? Say the refrigerator uses 1000 watts how long will it can it run on the battery for this generator? What about something smaller like an appliance that uses 300 watts, how long will the battery here last? I want to know what this is capable of before I decide to buy it.

Here are some of the specs for it:

Powers AC products up to 1500 watts
Easy to monitor, dual-outlet, AC panel
Built-in 1500 watt inverter with protection features
60 amp-hour battery
Rated Power: 40 watts
Rated Current @ Pmax: 2.31 amps
Nominal voltage: 12 volts
Rated voltage @ Pmax: 17.3 Volts

ssadmin answers:

The battery has a nominal 720 WH of capacity; after the inverter, this will probably yield more like 600-650 WH.

How long a refrigerator will run on that depends on the fridge.  I'd estimate a day with the PV panel helping.  If you want to be sure, get yourself a Kill-A-Watt or equivalent and measure the daily consumption of the fridge you want to run.

The connectors and such aren't shown.  You may be able to add a bigger battery, more PV capacity or both just by wiring them in; this would let you run a fridge for several days.  The 1500 W inverter would probably be able to run more or less continuously.

Last, this is a fairly expensive system:  about $22 per rated PV watt (more per delivered watt).  You're paying a lot for the convenience of the built-in cart.  If you don't mind a little construction, you could bolt an inverter and a battery box to a hardware-store dolly and get a unit built to your own specs for much cheaper.

David asks…

I heard about a solar powered generator, can someone provide some info on this, are they legit?

ssadmin answers:

Yes, they are legit: read this article:

If you've ever found yourself without power in the middle of a storm, especially with today's unpredictable weather patterns, you may have also wondered whether it would be worthwhile investment.

Who would find the technology of a solar power generator useful?

There are many benefits of having a solar generator available for powering the necessities and even those things you just want to function when you're experiencing a power outage.

Reasons to have a solar power generator might include:

Life support – An elderly person, child, or person who is on oxygen or other life supporting machines that require power
Being able to power appliances, cook, work, and function normally during a power outage
Medical facilities can power essential equipment during a power outage, saving lives and preserving supplies
Saving on food – Residents lose hundreds of dollars and restaurants lose thousands of dollars of food every year when a natural disaster strikes and they are without power to keep the refrigerator and freezer operational. A solar generator would save a lot of money.
Solar power generators can be used virtually anywhere including in a home, business, boat, cabin, tent, desert, and many other climates and locations throughout the world.
Solar generators are available in several sizes and wattages. Your purpose for having a solar generator and the number of watts you'll need to keep your home or business up and running will determine how big your generator will need to be and how much it will cost.

The general rule of thumb when considering the cost of a solar generator is to assume the more wattage it produces, the more money it will cost to purchase.

Cost of Solar Powered Generators

The most expensive part of a solar powered generator is the solar panel system. The power inverter and the deep cycle batteries required to operate a solar generator aren't as expensive, but necessary.

The price range for a solar powered generator varies from a mere $30.00 all the way up to a whopping $50,000.

If you want to recharge your camera or small hand-held device, the small generator at the price point of around $30 will be just right. However, if you are looking to power an entire building or home that has no power at all, you should expect to spend up to $50,000 for a solar generator that can handle the job.

The price range for a small generator would run between $750 and $2,100. This is the most popular size and the most affordable for most people.

Portable solar powered generators can be very small, as in a few inches across. However, the larger units can run as large as 20 feet long and would need special transportation to get it to its destination.

No matter what size generator you have, it must be installed in a location where it gets direct sunlight whenever possible. The greatest disadvantage of solar power generators of course, is that they do require direct sunlight to be able to convert and store the sun's energy for later use.

Cloudy days or extended periods of inclement weather will prevent you from being able to recharge your generator.

Despite the drawbacks, a generator powered by the sun is an excellent supplemental power source or a great alternative power source in the case of an emergency.

Donald asks…

Inexpensive solar powered backup generator?

Want a backup generator with its solar panels included and can be used to hook up to important areas of the house. Maybe smaller generators for point to point hookup, i.e., one for the frig, one for the microwave and kerosene monitor, one for the main AC.. Don't want an electrician having to do a lot of work and need something simple and safe if such exists. Thanks

ssadmin answers:

A turn-key solar generator is suitable for your situation. Split into small pieces is not efficient.

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