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I‘m not an expert when it comes to this. Didn‘t even know this was possible. Useful read, appreciate your posting this.
what size solar trickle charger would I need for at jeep wrangler. It is the tow vehicle for my class a motorhome
Trickle Chargers generally keep batteries maintained when not in use for prolonged periods of time. For a full sized automotive battery, I would recommend at least a 15 watt panel. Battery MINDer makes the SCC015, a very nice unit that also de-sulfates and restores batteries.
Hello u woyld need a solar panel at 14.5 volt at 5 amps with a blocking diode So battery will not back feed to solar panel solar panel are light Activated resisters
i am very thanks
thank you too much about good knowldge .
Very very helpful. I used it to size a backup panels and batteries for my refrigerator after a Hurricane. In 2005 locally some lost power for 3 weeks, this helped me calculate what I needed for refrigeration for me. The only question I have is could take a battery to 50%? Is that in Volts or AH?
50% discharge has to do with capacity. Well, it actually has to do when chemistry. As the battery discharges, the amount of available electrolyte becomes less and less as it becomes diluted with water, a by-product of the chemical reaction that creates electricity. The internal plates also become covered with lead sulfate, which also hinder further chemical reaction.
You cannot accurately measure available AH unless you run a load and determine runtime under that load. But you can measure volts. a 50% discharged 12 volt battery will not read 6 volts. 12.2 volts is closer to 50% discharged. Anything less is severe and will rapidly accelerate sulfation and decrease battery life.
I just bought an energizer(84020 12V All-In-One Jump-Start System with Built-In Air Compressor and Power Inverter) as I am in sales and constantly on the road. I wanted to charge the battery with solar since I am in solar sales and I like to walk the walk. Its a 12v 18AH SLA but is expecting AC as the charge. I was wondering how many watt panel might supply an adequate recharge if I strap it to the roof of my FJ as I have latops phones and other sales tools plugged in to the unit. I ma guessing Ill need a small inverter and charge controller as well. Thanks in advance!
Hi, I got a bit confused with the answers provided in blocks 29-31 of the calculator. It says in block 29 I need just over 7 panels in parallel. Block 30 says I need just 1 if in series. But block 31 says I need 8 total panels. ??? My plan was to just have a panel to keep a 90 aH deep cell battery charged in series. Well, 1 vs 7 is going to save me a lot of money. Can you clarify? Thanks!
Line 29 is the RAW of solar panels that will (total Watts) be enough for your system based on your calculations. This number may have decimals. Line 30 indicates the voltage system. 1 is for 12 volts. 2 is for 24 volts, etc. If your batteries are in parallel, so too must the panels be in parallel. Only one string of panels is needed. Nothing should be wired in a series with another set. The last line rounds up the number in line 29. If your RAW number was ~7.38, it‘s going to round up to 8. You can‘t have a partial panel. Line 31 is the true number of panels needed, in accordance to the Watt rating recommended.
If your batteries are connected in series for more than 12 volts, then there is was an error in your numbers. The system voltage you enter (line 12) will determine the number in line 30.
i need to figure out how many panels it will take to charge a 165ah, 12 V battery ?
Please read through the Walkthrough, which explains how to use the solar calculator. To answer your question, you would need to know the amount of draw on the battery, and how many hours of sunlight you feel comfortable relying on.
I have two-10 W solar panel and two-12 V small 12AH/20HR Battery bank. What is the best wiring diagram for my panels? is it parallel or in series to compensate a 5 hrs full-charging.
As long as both the batteries and the panels are wired similarly (in seres or parallel) it won‘t make a difference in terms of time to charge. You‘re looking at the same amount of power in the end.
I‘m trying to run a 2 amp(max draw)DC bilge pump 24/7, and have a 3 cloudy day reserve. Just got a 60W panel, and a new 115 Ah 12V deep cycle battery. Do I really need (3) 60W panels in series with (3) 115 Ah batteries to run a little tiny bilge pump constantly. I did calculations on my own before I found this site and bought the parts. Not sure how I came up so short. I get 7 hours a day of direct sunlight on the panel.
The solar calculator was correct. We do recommend three 115 AH batteries and three 60 Watt Panels (in parallel, not series). It‘s actually less than three of each recommended, but the calculator always rounds up to the nearest whole unit. No partial batteries or panels.
Based on what you currently have: To keep a safe discharge level of 50%, we recommend you use a single 115 AH battery under a 2 amp load for no more than 31 hours and 57 minutes. Having 3 batteries will ensure at least 3 days of backup power should the sun forbid to shine. A single 60 watt panel will deliver about 4.5 amps per hour (a total of 31.5 amps in seven hours). This would still not cover the 48 amps draw taken in a single day, hence the need for more than one panel. Our calculator is very conservative. It‘s better to size a little larger to make up for unexpected weather or extra need for longer duration of power.
I have a attic exhaust fan that has a 38 volt motor.
What is the optimum wattage for it to run?
Thank you in advance.
Volts is only half of the equation. You will need to find out the amp draw of the motor. Voltage multiplied by amperage equals total watts.
Filled out the calculator properly, I think, but if I put 2 days backup power, the rounded number of batteries comes up as 0. For 3 days, it comes up as 1. I am confused, shouldn‘t I always need at least one battery?
Hmm, without knowing any of the other fields you entered I cannot replicate the issue or even possible know how to fix it. But you‘re right, it‘s not recommended to have 0 batteries if you want ANY backup power. :)
The calculator works for me when I use it. Can you possibly take a screen shot of the calculator filled out and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org?
very useful…..thanks to the creator….
Thank you for the feedback. I‘m glad it was helpful.
Most of the comments address small loads over long periods of time. I am trying to powers a gate opener which operates five times a day for one minute cycles each time using 5.5 amps 110 volts and 500 watts at the peak of operation. I need a battery to support this. Currently I am using a 20 watt 12 volt panel with a 33 amp hour battery. This gives me about one cycle per per day then its done. Living in the tropics I get almost 10 hours of strong sunlight. I just can‘t get it figured. To complicate issues, the gate opener draws 0.05 amps and 5.5 watts when not operating to power proximity sensors. Do I need a serious battery bank for this power surge.
If your numbers are correct, then a single day of gate use will consume 28.7 amps from the battery. (5.5 amps x 5 times a day + .05 amps x 24 hours constant). For a battery only rated for 33 AH, this is not good. The battery is being nearly depleted on a daily basis. Especially considering a 20 watt solar panels will only charge at a rate of 1.3 amps per hour. If you get 10 hours of direct sunlight, that‘s still only 13 amps. Every day of use, the battery is drained more than being recharged.
A larger battery, at least 60 AH, will only discharge 50% from the daily draw. But I suggest adding another 20 watt solar panel to the system as well.
Thanks for your response and looking at my numbers. I will upgrade and let you know the results of your advice.
Upgrading as suggested in your previous reply. I am using an 85 Watt panel providing about 6 amps. what is the maximum distance between the panel and the battery (79Amph). I have read suggestions of 30 feet but I need to go 60 feet. Any thoughts on the gauge of connecting wire for this distance.
We include 16 gauge wire for our panels, up to 127 Watts. We recommend trying to keep the distance of the wire to 50 feet or less. More will work, but you will see a drop of efficiency the further you go.
the problem is the 5.5amp is 110V not 12V.
For a 1 minute cycle * 5 times = 5 minutes = 1/12 hour
1/12 * 500 = 42 watt hours + 5.5*24 = 174 watt hours
174/12 = 14.5AH/day
Looking at the figures I would go up to 16AH/day for the inverter. Possibly 20AH for a big day.
I agree though 60AH battery and 40 watt of solar as a minimum
sir my load is 750 watts two coolerado units, i have ten 150 watts solar panels and eight batteries of 100AH each an inverter charge controller ,sun light is available for 6 hours.is it adequate system
I recommend you input your numbers into our solar calculator and find the answer yourself. There is some information missing, such as the duration of the load and the time of backup power desired. Without this information, I cannot verify if you have enough reserve or charging power for your load.
Sir thanks for your prompt reply,duration of the load would be 6 hrs and backup power also 6 hrs.
Thank you for the information. According to my calculations, the battery bank of 800 AH will give you 6 hours and 24 minutes of uninterrupted runtime when you need the backup power. Any longer duration and you‘ll drain beyond 50% capacity. The solar system consisting of 1,500 watts total is nice. This will ensure full charge in 5 hours after the batteries have been discharged by the drain. Daily drain is roughly 360 amps, while total recharge amount in 6 hours of direct sunlight is roughly 650 amps. If your numbers are correct, the system should be adequate.
my watt demand is 300w/h but i make 400 to increase the backup power is that is right sir? line 14: # of days backup power required, is that means the needed backup in whole week when we say 24*7= 168 hours and I have direct sun 10 hours daily which means 10*7 = 70hours sun light in week, so i need a backup of 168-70 = 98hours or 4.08 days is that is right sir?. line 19 Actual # batteries wired in parallel and rounded at line 21 to 2 so where is the problem in here. the same manner in solar panel, line 29 Number of solar panels in parallel 2.409 is calculated and rounded to 10 at line 31.
Line 14 refers to number of days. The number should be 7, not 168. Backup power refers to the battery system, assuming no solar whatsoever. This number is entirely up to you and has no influence on the solar demand.
This section of the calculator allows you to figure out how many batteries it would take to give you the runtime necessary in an emergency, at the same time taking into consideration a safe 50% battery discharge rule. The number of batteries you need depends on the capacity of the batteries you choose to enter into field 18.
If line 29 gives you 2.409, the line 31 should be 3. I don‘t know where the number 10 came from. But if any previous field was entered incorrectly, it could throw off the rest of the calculator.
thank you for your help. what does the 18th line mean? and how can i calculate or find this?. still i‘m getting the wrong rounding at both battery and solar panel numbers, so i sent screenshot of the calculator to your e-mail: email@example.com please check and help me about the wrong fields. my estimated watt demand is the device consumption from device data sheet not calculated by the formula DC Amps x 12 and system voltage is 48VDC.
Line 18 is the capacity of the battery you choose to input. Line 15 will tell you the raw Amp Hour storage you need, but you choose the battery. For instance, if line 15 says 100, you can use x10 10AH batteries, or x5 20 AH, or x1 100 AH battery. You input this because the battery you use is up to you and what you decide to purchase. Once you decide on a battery, the next lines will tell you if you need more than one. Back to the example, if you put 10 AH, line 21 will tell you need 10 batteries.
This calculator is designed for 12 volt systems, but the principles will work for any system. Use our other calculators for more info on battery selection and amperage/inverter calculation for 48 volt systems.
Hi, this may sound a little stupid, but i am trying to get my head around 12v power Inverters and deep cycle Batteries. i tried to use your calculations, but came up with more questions that answers.
If I need 8amps (2500watts)per hour under full load (1 to 2 hrs daily) for cooking and about 1-2amps for lighting and radio 24/7.
I will be operating a 2500/5000w modified sine inverter, with a 140AH battery. Will this battery be capable of running this system? I was also looking at a 40watt solar panel through a 30amp regulator for recharging and a 2kva gen-set for use during the cloudy days, or will I need a larger AH battery and larger panel?
There is an average of 10 hours daylight (tropical climate),
If the calculation is correct, I will need 4 × 40watt panels.
It may be the numbers I entered,
line # and figures
3 = 100 (8amps x 12 rounded up)
6 = 7 (60 / 8 average)
12 = 12v system
14 = 1 backup (gen-set)
18 = 1 × 140AH battery
22 = 10 daylight (conservative 9closer to 12)
25 = 40 watt panel
told me I needed 4 × 40watt panels in line 31.
cheers for any advise,
The 140 AH Battery system is good and will provide enough power for 1 single day safely. 2 days will discharge the battery all the way. But four 40 watt panels is sound for the amount of charge you need to put back into the batteries on a daily basis. I do recommend the results of the calculator.
A 50 watt light bulb will draw 4 amps at 12.5 volts DC (Watts = Amps x Volts). 3 bulbs will draw a total of 12 amps per hour. For 6 hours, that‘s 70 amps. For 3 days, that‘s 210 amps total draw. A 130 Amp Hour battery will not cut it, especially considering an 18 watt solar panel will only charge at a rate of 1.25 amps per hour. Recharging at a rate of 7 amps a day, while the draw amount is 70 amps a day is not going to be enough. You will either need a 145 Watt Panel to recharge in a single day, or give yourself more days to recharge the batteries. Or you can switch to lower Wattage bulbs, or a combination of all three suggestions.
I had a confusion with below items can some please explain
19 Actual # batteries wired in parallel Raw number number (gives 2.13 for my specifications)
20 Batteries wired in series Relates to system voltage number (gives 4.00 for my specifications)
21 Rounded number of Batteries Always rounded up number (gives 1 for my specifications)
19 – This means that based on the battery capacity you need and the battery AH you chose to use for your battery system, then you will need a little more than 2 batteries to achieve the capacity you need. Realistically, you can‘t have a fraction of a battery, so the rounded up field should display 3 in total.
20 – 4 means you have a 48 volt system.
21 – This is incorrect, as you have at least 4 batteries in series, and within that system, you need 3 in parallel, this should come to 12 batteries total. The calculator, I believe, was developed for 12 volt systems, so the numbers may be thrown off by the increase in system voltage.
I am completely new to all these conversions and solar panels etc. I am trying to complete a very small diy project where I want to run a small aquarium air pump for 18hours a day. The pump is rated at 3.5w 240v ac. Are my calculations right in that this could be done with a small 30w panel. Bearing in mind I need to use an inverter as I can‘t source an adequate 12v dc pump .
Yes, a 30 watt solar panel will do just fine for your application, even when taking into consideration the inefficiency rate of an inverter.
i need information about a small household project. i m having a 1000watts A.C load and the A.C voltage is 220V. i need this load to be run continuously for 10 hrs a day without any backup. can u please do the calculations for the number of batteries and 100 watts solar panels i would need to install. invertor efficiency is about 90% and sun is available for 6 hrs a day. i want this system to fully rely on solar panels and no other source of power.
Are you unable to insert these numbers into the calculator for yourself? If you need help understanding what the fields mean, please refer to our calculator tutorial.
This information is not adequate enough to help you size a system. Please provide the following: Amount of draw from the system PER HOUR. The number of hours the system will be running. And the number of sunlight hours you need to recharge for.
I had a question about the Solar Panel array. If I‘m sizing a system, and I want just one solar panel for the system with no additional panels in parallel then I would: under item 25 (selecting panel size) I would insert a panel wattage until item 31(rounded number of solar panels) approaches 1?
Thanks in advance for clarifying the situation!
My background: I‘m doing an undergraduate project where I‘m building a PV powered Vapor Compression Refrigeration system. I‘ve estimated that the power consumption is about 300 watts per day, or 12.5 per hour 24 hours a day. It will be running on a 12V system, and its days of backup should be between 1-3 days. I‘m also limiting the system to 1 battery only. Where I‘m from, using TMY3 data from our local airport, the average peak sun hours per day is around 5 hours. With this, I‘m finding I need a panel of 130 watts.
Note: I‘m only using this calculator as a reference for sizing the system so that I have a ball park of what to expect as I‘m going along in the design and building process.
Line 31 will always round up. The actual number that you need to equal to 1 will be line 29. The is the Raw number. For instance, if you select a panel in line 25, and line 29 gives you 1.5, then it‘s telling you really need 1 1/2 solar panels, but since you can‘t have half of a panel, line 31 will round it to 2 to be on the safe side. Have Line 29 equal to 1 and you‘ve selected an appropriate size panel.
I have 4X160AH battery with a 48V 5KVA inverter,l would like to know how many solar panels i need to get and the charge controller?
How many solar panels do you need for what purpose?
I mean to charge the battery to full capacity. Thanks
Within how many hours of direct sunlight do you feel comfortable relying on per day? How many days do you need the batteries to be recharged by?
Lets say 6hr sunlight per day. I want to be using only solar to recharge the batteries
I do not know how much power you need to recharge the batteries. I will assume because you are using 160 AH batteries that you will need to recharge 160 amps in 6 hours. You can do this for a 48 volt system with a total of ~1,200 Watts of solar panels. That‘s x4 panels of roughly 300 Watts each because our solar panels are rated for 12 volt systems.
I have a 2X24V each,370Watts solar panel , how long will it take to charge the battery?
What are the capacities of the batteries? What is the output voltage of the solar panels?
370 Watts will charge a 48 volt system at a rate of 7 amps per hour. Therefore, it will take 23 hours of direct sunlight to charge 160 Amp Hours.
I am new to learning solar power and I‘ve been doing some research for a school project. I want to design/redesign a solar charger that charges a battery bank thats capable enough to charge a 12 volt car battery but at the same time I want to charge small electronics too. I want to use the battery bank to charge these for later use. How would I go about using solar panels and a battery bank to charge a car battery but not overcharging and burning up small electronic rechargeable batteries? Thanks
Our solar panels are designed for 12 volt systems, primarily lead acid batteries (like car batteries). To prevent overcharge, please us a solar charge controller. As far as the actual calculations go, please use the calculator to find out how many watts you need for charging. We‘ve also published a helpful tutorial to explain what the fields for the calculator mean. If you know your system voltage, draw amount (amps, watts, etc), and number of sunlight hours, you should be good to go.
Hi, most interesting. What is the maximum DOD ( degree of Depletion) would you allow your batteries to drop to on a daily basis, taking into consideration the deeper you go the less cycles you will get out of a set of batteries. I am taking mine down to between 20% and 30 %. Your comments please. I see no mention of any regulation in the comments and questions above? I use a MPPT 40 amp regulator? What do you think of the MPPT from outback or Microcare or any other for that matter.
Willie. Montagu, South Africa.
Our recommendation is to discharge no deeper than 50%. We mention this in our battery tutorial and other articles in our Knowledge Base. 50% for a 12 volt system should be 12.2v resting voltage. We do not sell MPPT regulators, and therefore cannot say either way if it is effective or not.
On figures of 3,24,12,1,40 I get <0.5 battery required. Then when rounded it gets rounded down to 0.
Instead of inserting a 40 AH battery, if you use a 13 AH battery the field #29 & 21 will indicate a total of ~1 battery needed. Because a 40 AH battery is being inputted into the formula, your power consumption indicates that you will only be using ~1/3 of the battery capacity. Rounded to the nearest whole number, that explains why it says 0. Hopefully common sense will tell you otherwise. :)
What is meant by batteries in parallel and is this absolutey necessary
Batteries in parallel is inportant. For example, If you put in that you were going to use 10 AH batteries, but based on your load you need 100 AH available, then in order to run your system you will need 10 batteries in parallel. 10 × 10 AH = 100 AH.
how much amp battery is required for 40 watt solar panel where sunlight
is available for 9 hour. is 5 am battery is suitable for 40 watt solar panel
It‘s always best to start with the purpose of the battery first, instead of your strength of charge. What is your battery being used for?
Dear Tech, its nice to come to know about your such a good and infomative site, great work.
my quesition is
I can get calculation about Solar Panel and Battery bank but I can not see any Information about charge controller to find the exact value? so how to calculate the amperage of charge controller that to be used in the system to charge the battery?
I recommend you use OHM‘s Law. Watts = Volts x Amps.
Say you use a 200 Watt solar panel. If your system is 12 volts (nominal) this is what I recommend you do:
200 Watts = 12 Volts x ? Amps
200 Watts / 12 Volts = ? Amps
16 2/3 = Amps.
This is a simple version for estimates only. But clearly a 200 Watt solar panel can charge at a rate of roughly 15-17 amps per hour. Therefore, the controller should be rated for more to compensate for this. I recommend a 12 volt 20 amp controller for this example.
hi I have a 60 watt solar panel – i need to run a laptop for 4 hours a day and 3 lightbulbs for 4 hours per day – i have a 88ah/640amp battery and recieve roughly 8-9 hours per day. I have 1000 watt sine inverter i have a new xundel controller which always shows that the battery is fully charged however the controller beeps that battery power is low after only using the laptop for 2 hours- what else do i need.
If your battery runs low after running your laptop for 2 hours, then I recommend using a battery with more capacity (higher AH rating).
Thanks for a very useful tool.
What is the limit of total solar watts that can be connected to a given ah battery? I have a 800 watts, 12V, 200AH inverter system. I have a 500 watts AC load to be powered daily for at least 8 hours. The calculation showed I need 15 nos of 120 watts panel in parallel connection to charge the 200ah battery. At what point do I reach the maximum no of panels (in watts or amp) that can be connected on a given battery?
Great question. We would approach it a different way though. By starting with the load, and making sure you have the appropritate amount of backup power to sustain the load for at least 2 days of ‘blackout’ (no solar input), and then sizing the solar panels to meet the demads of the load based upon the minimum average sunlight in your area, you end up with a system that is perfectly porportioned.
If you undersize the battery backup it would be possible to mess up the ratio, but as a rule of thumb, never have more than 30% of the battery capacity inputting into the battery.
What size panel do I need to trickle charge a 12volt battery for a John Deere riding lawnmower?
I would use a 5 watt panel.
great posting, thanks
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