What solar panel do I need to charge a 12V battery? Here’s what you need to know. As you know, solar panels can offer one power or another depending on their cells and the material with which they have been manufactured. Currently in the market we can find solar panels that range between 250W and 300W, these are the most common. Now, we also find some models that do not reach the average, as is the case with 150W solar panels, and others that exceed it, such as 500W.
What solar panel do I need to charge a 12V battery?
In addition, of course, to the solar panels that vary depending on whether they are 12V or 24V. In this article we want to help you understand these values in order to answer which solar panel for a 12V battery you need. Continue reading for more information!
What do the watts (W) of solar panels measure?
The value of the watts (W) of the solar panels is one of the most important measurements that we must take into account when purchasing one or another product, these indicate the generation power of a solar panel . The most typical thing is that we find them between 250W and 300W —which are those that have a total of 32 photovoltaic cells each—, although we can also find measurements above or below these values. Now, why exactly do we need to look at watts? The answer is very simple, to know the amount of energy they can generateand if they meet the needs of our home or they will fall short.
To do this, what we have to do is review the average kWh consumption of our installation and then calculate how much energy the solar panel can give us. You’ll need to multiply the wattage of the solar panel by the number of hours per day to find out how many kWh per day it’s going to give you—of course, keep in mind that the number of hours will vary from season to season, and depending on the region you live in. you find-.
For example, you can multiply 250W x 5 hours of light and you will get 1250W per day, or what is the same, 1.25kWh per day. The consumption of your home will therefore determine how many more panels you need to be able to meet the energy needs you need.
What do the volts (V) of solar panels measure?
The most common when talking about solar panels is to find the 12V and 24V measurements , although this does not imply that we can find solar panels of up to 48V —in the case of larger installations—. Now, what determines this? What is the use of knowing the maximum voltage that a solar panel can offer us? It is important that you know that the maximum voltage offered by a solar panel is the magnitude that is used to establish the differentiation of electrical potential that exists between two points. The voltage serves to tell us the amount of work that can be done with a given capacity to deliver electrons to the circuit. That is, the more voltage there is, the more work can be done with the current.that circulates between the electrodes of a battery and, therefore, more energy will be in it.
12V solar panels are best suited for small houses or smaller projects. See, for example, for street lamps, for tourist vans, for small houses, to charge mobiles, for science projects, for solar water pumps, for fishing boats… A 24V solar panel, on the other hand, It is used in large houses, as well as in hospitals, ships, offices, factories, parks, government buildings, apartments…
What solar panel for 12V battery to buy?
When buying a 12V solar panel battery, it is essential to take into account the voltage of our solar panel since its compatibility will depend on it. Now, the voltage also influences the compatibility with the inverter and with the charge controller – so you must also pay attention to these elements, before anything else. It is important that you also look at the power, as a reference, keep in mind that 32-cell solar panels —those that generate between 250V and 300V— are the most recommended in this case. In any case, the most important thing and what we must pay special attention to is the voltage of the solar panels —as we said—, since the compatibility with the battery will depend on it.
A 12V solar panel battery must work with a 12V solar panel . It seems obvious, but it is not so. And it is that the same does not happen with 24V solar panels since there are no batteries that offer this voltage. In these cases, for the batteries to work properly and there are no problems that affect their useful life, they must be connected in series. That is, you have to connect two 12V batteries in series to a 24V panel . Remember, always in series, not in parallel, since when we carry out this last installation, all the positive poles of the battery are joined on one side and the negatives on the other, resulting in the 12V voltage being maintained and the capacity in amps from each battery add up. This can cost your battery dearly by working beyond its capabilities.
A possible option that you can also consider when talking about 12V solar panel batteries, and in case you have a 24V panel, is to install an MPPT charge controller . In this case, the 12V battery and the 24V panel could be used without causing problems in the installation and without affecting the useful life of the battery —which, we remember, is one of the most expensive elements of the installation— . The charge regulator of a solar panel is the piece that is responsible for controlling the voltage and intensity with which the batteries are charged. This helps prevent overcharging or discharging of it when it is working.