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Ecopia the friendly eco shop
Ecopia the friendly eco shop

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Choosing Solar panels for Battery Charging

The most common question is what type of solar panel to use for camping power. Don't use solar panels like those seen on suburban home roofs designed for supplementing AC power, their voltage is different.
Use solar panels that are designed for charging batteries. These are nominally rated for charging 12V and 24V Batteries
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Camping with solar power
This is the time of year when everybody loves camping out. The weather is great and the days are long so we want as much time as possible outdoors. The only limitation may be not having power  to charge mobile phones and run small appliances.
The easiest solution is to use a small 12Volt solar panel to charger up a portable battery and use this to provide electricity.
At Ecopia we have a solution for any need so visit and contact one of our consultants talk you through the process of using off-grid solar power
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Introduction to off-grid stand-alone solar power
If you are considering using solar power to provide stand-alone electrical power off the grid then you will need the following:
·       Solar Panel
Solar panels for off-grid power generate 12 volt direct current (12VDC ). Several panels can be connected in series to produce 24V or 48V.
·       Battery
Solar panels only produce electricity while the sun is shining and do not store electricity, so you will also need a 12V battery to store the solar power. Batteries can also be connected in series to store DC electricity at 24V or 48V, because higher voltages are more efficient for larger off-grid systems
·       Solar regulator
Connecting a solar panel directly to a battery may overcharge it, so a solar regulator is connected between the solar panel and battery to control the battery charging cycle. Regulators must be rated according to the maximum solar panel voltage (Vmax) and current (Imax).  
·       Inverter
In order to run standard home appliances that normally plug in to a wall socket (AC outlet) you will need an inverter to convert the DC battery power to AC (alternating current) electricity. Inverters must be rated according to the battery voltage and the maximum watts (W) demanded by the AC appliance plugged into the inverter.
With these components you will be able to produce solar powered electricity without the need to connect to the electricity grid.
Off-grid solar power
Off-the-grid stand-alone solar power is used for remote buildings not connected to the the power grid. It uses 12V solar panels to charge 12V batteries which store the power for use as 12V direct current (DC) or it can be converted to AC electricity by an inverter. Stand alone solar power is different to the grid-tied solar arrays normally seen on suburban house roofs which are connected to the electricity supply system, which uses alternating current electricity (AC). The electricity generated by these solar panels is still direct current (DC) so an inverter is needed to transform the DC to  AC electricity suitable for ordinary household needs.
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