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### Author Topic: Solar Panel  (Read 4708 times)

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#### Togo5

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 37
##### Solar Panel
« on: April 14, 2007, 04:20:36 AM »
Does anyone know how i can get a 12volt Solar panel to power a 12volt inverter, i have briefley tried and had no such luck. the inverter runs of the cigarette lighter in a car so is obv battery powered, which makes it DC, is a solar panel AC and therefore why it doesnt work??? Please Help!!!

Thanks

#### JonHylands

• Expert Roboticist
• Supreme Robot
• Posts: 562
• Robot Builder/ Software Developer
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2007, 05:31:07 AM »
A solar panel typically produces very little power. What is the wattage range of your panel? Inverters typically are only 80-85% efficient, so you're going to have to produce at least 125% of the power you're trying to consume on the inverter with the panel, and there's probably a bottom line you have to surpass.

Most people run an inverter off one or more batteries, and then charge the battery with various sources, including solar and wind.

- Jon

• Supreme Robot
• Posts: 11,659
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2007, 09:55:04 AM »
check the datasheet of the solar panel for how many amps it produces (probably no more than 50mA).

then check the amount of amps the inverter requires.

amps for inverter divided by amps from solar panel = number of solar panels you need in parallel to power the inverter
(assuming the voltage are the same)

#### Togo5

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 37
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2007, 10:58:00 AM »
yeah its maximum is 50mA at 12V

#### Togo5

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 37
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2007, 11:00:39 AM »

sorry didnt mean to post that soon lol

the inverter requires """150 watts continuous power with 450 watts surge"""

but say i need 5 solar panels rated at the 12V, to power the inverter, doesnt that then make the voltage going to the inverter 60V, therefore way above the 12V requirement?? ?? ?? ?? ??

Thanks

• Supreme Robot
• Posts: 11,659
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2007, 11:17:47 AM »
that depends on if the solar panels are in series (add voltages) or parallel (add currents) . . .

and the power surge can be handled with a giant capacitor . . .

#### hazzer123

• Supreme Robot
• Posts: 460
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2007, 11:21:05 AM »
If the output of the solar panel is 50mA at 12V you'll need like 250 of them to provide adequate power! And thats assuming its always sunny.

I think the best idea is to use the solar panel to charge a battery, and power the inverter using the battery.
Imperial College Robotics Society
www.icrobotics.co.uk

#### Togo5

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 37
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2007, 12:36:25 PM »
iv sin sum with like massive amps, im talking like 120!! but unfortunetly so is the price like £400+!! dnt see me getting a free sample!

its just that i have a genius idea/invention tht can provide constant power to something, (preferably on a much larger scale even a whole house) even when it is dark, this could massivley reduce electricity bills and possibly even global warming

cheers anyway!! ill have to make small improvements!!

#### Togo5

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 37
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2007, 12:41:40 PM »
also may i add lol, no batteries are required at all!! nothing like this has ever been done before, i have spent hours on the web searching and the only solution that has been used is an old method, powers during sunlight and charges battery, at night the battery is used, however, the battery is under massive amounds of stress and due to the constant charge and use, lasts only months, and are hundereds of pounds to buy as the battery needs to handle the massive pressure put under it.

no one has yet come up with a solution, appart from me, what i think could work, yes it will cost hundereds of pounds to prototype and develop but the retail prospect and selling aspect could be huge, obviously there is going to be hickups in my design and times i wont think it will work but i have faith!!

#### hazzer123

• Supreme Robot
• Posts: 460
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2007, 12:44:52 PM »
Hmmm... are you saying that there are amps available that can bump the power up?

Thats not right, because you always substitute voltage for current. That is if you double the voltage, you half the current. This keeps the power (P = VI) the same.

Also, i dont think that the batteries used nowadays are that affected by constant charging. They have no memory effect, meaning that charging hast no lasting effect.

If youve considered all this, then good luck!
Imperial College Robotics Society
www.icrobotics.co.uk

#### Togo5

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 37
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2007, 12:57:35 PM »
well i found this one, you can buy an inverter for this that can power 240V appliences, therefore there must be enough power for it to power the inverter
check out the price!!

http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=97380&doy=23m4#overview

also i saw this on HowStuffWorks about the batteries;

Quote
If you decide to use batteries, keep in mind that they will have to be maintained, and then replaced after a certain number of years. The PV modules should last 20 years or more, but batteries just don't have that kind of useful life. Batteries in PV systems can also be very dangerous because of the energy they store and the acidic electrolytes they contain, so you'll need a well-ventilated, non-metallic enclosure for them.

• Supreme Robot
• Posts: 11,659
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2007, 01:06:14 PM »
Hmmm that gives me an idea for 250 hamster wheels connected in parallel . . . think of the power!

ok more seriously now, so what will your system do at nighttime if it doesnt store the power collected during the day?

#### Somchaya

• Robot Overlord
• Posts: 180
• You know it's cute!
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2007, 02:24:52 PM »
Hmmm that gives me an idea for 250 hamster wheels connected in parallel . . . think of the power!

Omg, I'm not the only one who has the idea in mind? Dang, I've been wanting to do something like that for years
Somchaya - Back after a year of misc things
http://whisker.scribblewiki.com

#### Togo5

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 37
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 01:23:54 PM »
can a UV light power a solar panel as normal light bulbs, even high wattage ones for some reason dont.

Is it the UV from the sun, rather than 'light' that powers solar panels??

Thanks

#### Somchaya

• Robot Overlord
• Posts: 180
• You know it's cute!
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2007, 01:56:49 PM »
So I'm not very familiar with how solar cells work, in terms of which band of the EM spectrum it uses, but it seems that the sun's rays have a lot more energy than even high wattage bulbs.

I was looking at http://www.howstuffworks.com/solar-cell.htm and it says that "on a bright, sunny day, the sun shines approximately 1,000 watts of energy per square meter of the planet's surface." My guess is that our bulbs don't come close to that kind of wattage and so solar cells don't work very well with them, as opposed to sunlight.
Somchaya - Back after a year of misc things
http://whisker.scribblewiki.com

#### GaleTonkin

• Beginner
• Posts: 1
##### Re: Solar Panel
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2014, 10:25:19 AM »
Does anyone know how i can get a 12volt Solar panel to power a 12volt inverter, i have briefley tried and had no such luck. the inverter runs of the electronic cigarettes lighter in a car so is obv battery powered, which makes it DC, is a solar panel AC and therefore why it doesnt work??? Please Help!!!

Thanks

Well my personal opinion about these panels are not good. Very expensive with little efficiency..
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 10:37:34 AM by GaleTonkin »