How To Use Solar Panels To Charge Batteries?

The earth is in trouble. Actually, no, that’s not true. The earth is fine; it’s the humans who have problems.

Our dependence on fossil fuels is increasing as our society expands. In addition to the fact that the use of these fuels increases heat absorption in the atmosphere, which alters the global climate, relying on oil, coal and natural gas as a fuel source can be even more dangerous.

And it is that fossil fuels are limited and that one day they will be exhausted. Not if, but when that happens, everything we have built will need a new energy source, and if we can’t find one, everything could disappear.

Fortunately, we have alternatives that we call renewable energy sources, mainly solar and wind power.

Solar Energy

Over the past two decades, the contribution of solar energy to the global energy supply has increased significantly. According to the World Energy Council at the end of 2016, cumulative photovoltaic capacity increased by 75 GW to 303 GW, which, according to various statistics, is sufficient to cover 1.8% of global electricity needs.

It is clear that our government and common citizens understand the need for renewable energy resources and are doing their part to ensure that future generations can enjoy a healthy ecosystem.

One of the most significant advantages of solar energy is that it can be generated even from your roof. That’s right; by using photovoltaic cells, you can quickly generate electricity and use it to power various appliances in your home or store it in batteries for future use.

How to Charge Batteries Using Solar Panels?

Solar electricity is not only easy to produce, but it is also easy to store in batteries for future use. Not only does this require a minimum of equipment, but you can be assured that the electricity produced will be both economical and environmentally friendly.

Now, to charge your batteries with a solar panel, you will need the necessary equipment to convert sunlight into electricity and then transmit it to your cells. You can easily find all the required equipment in your local hardware store or electronics store. In addition, most of them will be quite cheap except for batteries. I have discussed all the essential equipment in detail later in this guide.

Once you have taken care of the equipment, you will need to decide where you want to install your solar panels. You must choose a place that receives the maximum amount of sunlight with the greatest intensity. Places like the roof, garage, and hangar should be an ideal position.

Solar Panel

The solar panel is probably the most crucial component of any installation that involves the production of solar electricity. Before you can invest your money in buying a solar panel, you must first understand how much electricity you need to produce. In addition, you must also take into account the rated power, as this is what defines the efficiency rate of the panel concerned.

The lower the rating, the lower the efficiency and, in most cases, lower the price.Solar panels are generally available on the market in different shapes and sizes, but one factor that really defines their portability is their flexibility. Rigid solar panels will produce more power than those with a flexible body. But if your priority is flexibility, you should always consider using flexible panels.

Most of the panels you will find in your hardware and local electronic stores will be rated at 12 V. They are inexpensive at the expense of efficiency. If your priority is efficiency, look for 16-volt panels because they can generate more power and charge your battery much faster.

Solar Battery

The battery is another essential addition you will need to store the electricity produced by your panel. The cost of the battery will increase considerably with its capacity and the higher the capacity, the more energy it will be able to store. But on the other hand, the larger the capacity, the longer it will take to fully charge (depending on the panel you have).

When searching for a battery, try to find those with a deep 12-volt cycle. Not only can these types of cells withstand many recharging cycles, but they are also more efficient and fail-safe.

They are designed to withstand 100% discharge and replenishment with no damage to internal plates and electrolytes. If you plan to use the batteries in your car, do not do so, as they are not intended for this purpose. They will not be able to manage several recharging cycles and will eventually fail, resulting in a significant increase in the cost of your project.

A Charge Controller

A charge controller is a device that helps to improve performance and provide an additional protective layer for your panels and batteries. They not only offer integrated short-circuit protection but also prevent overload or reverse surge. In addition, thanks to their modern design, they can easily be connected to various electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even PCs.

A charge controller is available with a variable voltage range from 12 V to 24 V or more. They generally have a charge and discharge rate of 20 A and consume less than 10 mA.

Even though they are not intended for smaller setup, if you want to improve the efficiency of your panel while protecting all your electronic components, then you must have a charge controller. Not only are they cheap, but they are also easy to setup.

An Inverter

An inverter is an electronic device which assists in the conversion of direct current to alternating current. In layman’s terms, it is an power adapter that enables the battery-operated system to power a variety of appliances via traditional domestic wiring.

If your solar panel set is of 12v, then you must have an inverter that is capable of handling that voltage. Do understand that the current rating of your inverter must be higher than your load. This is to ensure the longevity of all your electrical components.

How Long Does It Take Recharge the Battery?

The answer to this question depends on various factors, some of which are:

1. The size and capacity of the battery.

2. The efficiency and current production capacity of the panel.

3. The efficiency of the charge controller if it is connected to the system.

Typically, it usually takes between 5 to 8 hours to fully recharge a dead battery using a solar panel capable of generating 1-ampere current.

The only way to speed up the process is to increase the amount of power generated by your panel and to do so; you will need to ensure that your panel receives direct sunlight without any hindrance.

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