Lawful Evil (lawful_evil) wrote,
Lawful Evil

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I've been investigating solar panels. I'd like to get a small one to play with around the house. It has been a while since I took physics so I'm having some trouble. It seems like I need the following.

1. A solar panel
2. A battery of some sort.
3. An charge controller to make sure the battery isn't overcharged and damaged.
4. Either I need appliances which run of DC from the battery or I need an inverter to change the DC to AC.

If I were to get a single panel, say a 40 watt panel, 2.31 Amps and 17.3 Volt. What do I then have? If I get a standard 12 volt battery, then what can I power? It looks like there isn't a standard 12V battery. They each have a rating... 86.4 AH@20 hr Rate or 31.6AH@20 hr Rate I can guess based on the price that the 86.4 is a better battery, but how long can I power something with it? If that says what I think it says, it says I can get 86.4 Amp hours out of the battery provided I draw the power slow enough to make it last 20 hours.

Just as I was about to give up with confusion over what exactly I need and don't need, I managed to find a packaged solar system which included all that crap. I bought a small 34 watt system to try out. Once it shows up and we figure out how to get the thing working I'll have to decide what to power off of it.

Also managed to replace the faucet in the upstairs bathroom which was leaking.

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