Video: How Do You Work Out How Much Solar You Need to Run Your Gear?

Working out how much solar you need to run all your appliances and gear can be an in-depth procedure, but in a nutshell here are the basics to consider.

First, you'll want to decide whether you want to just run your gear while you go away for a few days, or you want it to provide permanent power. If you are only going away for a short time, you can get away with having a little less solar and letting your batteries slowly get lower, because you'll be able to charge them up to full when you return home. On the other hand, if you want a permanent power setup, you'll need enough solar to keep your batteries full on a regular basis.

The next step is to work out approximately how much power your electronics will drain from your batteries each day, measured in Amps. For example, if your 12V fridge draws 1 amp an hour and runs for 24 hours, it'll use about 24 amps each day from your batteries.

Finally, once you've worked out how much power you are using each day, you'll want to pick a solar panel that will provide either more than that amount each day, so that your batteries will stay full, or a perhaps a little less if you only go away for a few days and don't mind the batteries getting low. We estimate that a solar panel usually gets about 5 peak sun hours during the day where it produces power at its peak, so if you look at what the solar panel is rated to produce in amps and multiply that by 5, you'll have a good indication of how many amps you'll be putting back into your battery each day.

Other factors to consider include the size of your batteries, taking into account bad weather, and what charge controller you are using. If you'd like some help working out what you need, feel free to get in touch and talk to one of our experts.

October 13, 2014 | Comments

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